28 May 2014

Flowchart: How To Name Animals In German

Online language website Babbel has created a helpful flowchart that shows you how to name animals in German.

According to Babbel, the German language has nouns, verbs, propositions and adjectives that enable you to create new words that embody new concepts.

The flowchart reveals how animal names are made up by joining known animals with a descriptive word that sets them apart from other creatures. For example, skunk (“stinktier”) consists of “stink” and “animal”, while platypus (“schnabeltier” ) translates to “beak animal.”

The malleable nature of German means this naming technique sometimes gives rise to funny and bizarre permutations.

A slug (“nacktschnecke”) is called a “naked snail”, while turkey (“truthahn”) humorously refers to “threatening chicken.” For the latter, “trut” phonetically relates to the “trut, trut, trut” cluck a turkey makes, but it is also hypothesized that the name is derived from the Middle German droten which means “to threaten.”

Click the image below to view the entire flowchart, and discover more weird and wonderful animal name combinations.

Click to view enlarged version

[via Neatorama, MetaFilter and Babbel, image via Babbel]