"Caution! Ride no car onto this open space" *
Exactly What It Says on the Tin
Gestalt of the
Weltanschauung of these former
Wunderkinder was characterized by a certain
gemütlich attitude toward each other's
— Bob Woodward
, Why Not Me
, "The Void: The First One Hundred Days of the Franken Presidency"
: German inserted into a work, whether it is necessary or not. A subtrope of Gratuitous Foreign Language
Sometimes overlaps with Bilingual Bonus
By the way, if you use a German noun in a post, remember: In der deutschen Sprache werden Substantive immer groß geschrieben
. (In German, nouns are always capitalized.)
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Anime und Manga
- Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts: Minami tends to babble in German when she's upset, a good example being in the Pool Episode after she sees Himeji wearing a bikini. Justified, since she lived in Germany for most of her life.
- Mephisto Pheles of Blue Exorcist usually says "Eins, zwei, drei!" (one, two, three) when performing magic.
- In which he also often uses the wrong "Ein" instead of "Eins"
- The manga now adds "Das stärkste Gefängnis". (Or that is what it was supposed to say, scanlation display it as "Das stärksten Gefängnis".)
- Also Kuchenkuckucksuhr meaning cake cuckoo clock.
- Two songs in the soundtrack have German lyrics which are a) sung by a beautiful chorus b) grammatically correct and c) relevant. Someone associated with the anime obviously did the research involved.
- The Filler Bount Arc is full of (poorly translated) German in attack calls. A grand ritual to open a portal uses the words "Tauch dich sofort auf!" (correctly: "Öffne dich jetzt!"), which translates into the command "Open!" towards the door.
- The Quincies have a European vibe, with their iconography specifically reminiscent of the Teutonic Knights. Accordingly, most of their attacks and artifacts named in the series have pseudo-German names (Letzt Stil, Seele Schneider, Heizen, Glitz(ern), Sprenger, etc.). When the Vandenreich (German for "hidden kingdom"note ) appear, the theme is indulged even more with the Teutonic Knight themes being updated to Nazi themesnote .
- Fate/stay night, mainly with Rin's spells (for example "Neun, Acht, Sieben, Stil schießen, beschießen, erschießen!", "Abzug, Bedingung, Mittelstand.", "Ein Kämpfer ist ein Kämpfer!").
- Fate/Zero's anime adaption also, especially the Rin-focused episode 10.
- Embalming has tons of it (and tons of strange English, too, considering the title). "I'll die if I don't eat a Baumkuchen!".
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Belkan AIs all speak German, while Midchildian AIs speak mainly Gratuitous English. This gives the viewer a double bonus, as Vita's intelligent device, Graf Eisen ("Count Iron"), is a a magical hammer that speaks German! Signum's device Laevatein speaks even with a Large Ham.
- Hayate's Unison Device, Reinforce Zwei, sometimes addresses her as "Meister Hayate" (By contrast, Signum, Zafira and Reinforce Eins call her "Aruji Hayate," translated as "Mistress Hayate"). Later on, Agito does the same, even though Signum is her actual Lord. In the Nanohaverse, Meister is actually a shorten form the term "Device Meister", a Device engineer.
- The Saint Cradle speaks German, too, and has a lot of lines in the final episodes of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S.
- Count Brocken from Mazinger Z was German -a German Nazi ex-officer to be exact-. In one of the manga versions sometimes he fell into uttering some sentence his native idiom occasionally ("Gutten Abend").
- The name and episode titles of Rozen Maiden are both in an English influenced German (the proper translation would be "Rosenmaid". The doll's names are also apparently translated from German, for instance, Reiner Rubin is Shinku (pure ruby).
- The same is true of Elfen Lied. However, the reason that Nozomi, a main character who sings the song the show was named after, was written out of the anime was most likely to avoid this.
- And Weiß Kreuz, apparently mostly because Takehito Koyasu thinks German is cool. The series group takes its name from the broken German for White Cross — the grammatically correct version would either be "Weisses Kreuz" or "Weißkreuz", the German name for lachrymatory gasses used in World War I. The other rival groups are Schwarz (Black) and Schreient (misspelled, means screaming).
- In Princess Tutu, when Fakir dramatically fetches his sword, he says something in badly, badly accented German. The series is set in Germany, but still...
- Fortunately, the English dub (and Chris Patton) does a better job with the accent, turning the scene into something that's...almost a little badass.
- Also, all of the readable text in the show is in German, although again the show's set in Germany, so it might not be all that gratuitous...
- Of course, Kujibiki Unbalance with Ritsuko Kübel Kettenkrad. Special mention to her German helmet. Fun fact: Kettenkrad is an abbreviation that refers to the world's only half-track bike and Kübel means "bucket".
- The "Kübel" probably refers to the VW Type 82 "Kübelwagen" or "bucket car" (named so for its so-called "bucket seats")
- Black Lagoon, especially around Those Wacky Nazis. Fuck Plan vom Schiff, indeed.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: The names of the organizations SEELE (soul), GEHIRN (brain), and NERV (nerve) are all in German. Additionally, Asuka is German, and so uses some rather poorly done German phrases throughout the series. The dubbers and her English voice actress all had a better grasp of the language, resulting in much improved pronunciation. The English dub also had her exclaiming "Mein Gott!" quite a bit, gave her a penchant for referring to Shinji as a 'dummkopf' (literally 'stupid-head', but good enough fit for Japanese baka or idiot), screaming "SCHWEINHUNDS! when fighting the JSSDF in End of Evangelion, "and generally added a lot more German into her regular speech.
- To be fair, 'dummkopf' would sound less silly to a German speaker then 'stupid head' sounds in English.
- While the pronunciation surely improved (as expected from someone non-Japanese), the grammar got worse.
- Asuka in the Spanish dub is very fond of uttering phrases in Gratuitous German. In her introductory chapter from the Japanese original, when Shinji and Asuka must open an Angel's mouth in order to make it swallow a battleship, she says "Open, open, open!"; the dub, however, replaces it with "Öffnen, öffnen, öffnen!" . And just to Get Crap Past The Radar, she also loves exclaiming "Scheiße!".
- Which literary translates as "shit!", but actually comes much closer to a genuinely felt "Fuck!" right from the heart, in contemporary German. (Though the use of swear words is less controversial in Germany, so it's used in a less unappropriate way.)
- Hilarity Ensues in the German dub.
- Would you know it. When Asuka's "mother" calls, they have the actress switch to a more contemporary accent, rather than clean spoken German.
- In the manga, some of the German edges into As Long as It Sounds Foreign. Example.◊
- The evil vampire Nazis in Hellsing.
- Alucard also sometimes speaks German, once saying 'Heil den Ich' after he makes a 90 degree landing on a aircraft carrier. Literal translation: vaguely 'Heal/Hail the I' and in correct grammar 'Heil mir/mich!' (depending on you going with 'to hail' or 'to heal' (probably the former in Third Realom and previous German culture))
- Integra Hellsing's Evil Uncle Richard kept calling her "Fraülein" for no reason, considering that he is an Englishman with Dutch ancestry, except to underline that he is evil. Only evil people speak German, right?
- The Panzer Kunst in Battle Angel Alita is the main example, but not the only.
- In the manga version of Fruits Basket, the half-German Momiji speaks entirely in German when he first appears. From then on, he constantly peppers his speach with Gratuitous German words and phrases.
- Legend of Galactic Heroes: Also titled: Heldensagen Vom Kosmosinsel ("Hero legends from Cosmic Island", literally - what makes this gratuitous is the grammatical case and wrong-gender article: it should be "von der" instead of "vom"="von dem"). The empire is clearly based on an anachronistic collage of Germanies, mostly Das Kaiserreich, or at least the theme-park version. They spout out a fairly large number of catchphrases: Prosit (cheers!), Feuer (fire!), Kaiser (emperor), and Neuland (lit. "new land", virgin soil) being prominent. Justified, in that the first Kaiser was apparently an enthusiastic Germanist and Kaiserreichish sort of guy.
- Zatch Bell!: The real name of character Umagon (Ponygon) is Schneider.
- At any given time, if a Digimon run isn't doing Gratuitous English, they're probably doing Gratuitous German. The most prominent instance is Digimon Frontier, where a sizable portion of the main cast is made of this trope: Volfmon (wolf-mon), Löwemon (lion-mon), Reichmon (empire-mon), and KaiserLeomon (emperor-Leo-mon), along with all of their attack names. Other examples from elsewhere include Duftmon, ShineGreymon Burst Mode's Torrid Weiß attack, and JagerDorulumon.
- Digimon Adventure 02: During his evil phase, Ken Ichijouji styles himself as the "Digimon Kaiser" ("Kaiser" being German for "emperor").note Oddly enough, no other aspect of his role involved this. Although Ken considered himself Kaiser, though, he still mentioned in one episode that he had yet to become the king of the Digital World...
- Ho Yay anime Meine Liebe has such brilliant characters as Fuerst Oberst von Marmelade, (Lord Colonel Jam / Jelly).
- There's an Oddly Named Sequel, Meine Liebe wieder (my love again)
- The country is actually named "Kuchen" meaning "cake," though there is a town in Germany called "Kuchen"! And its neighboring town is called "Suessen" - "sweetening"...
- One glance at the map of 'Kuchen' can make a German burst in laughter.
- Zwiback (should be Zwieback, a type of dry sweet cracker backed twice, as the name implies (Zwie-> Old German for Zwei, two. It survives in the word Zwielicht, twilight)).
- Galaxy Fraulein Yuna - German "Fräulein" (technically a diminutive of "Frau", woman or female title of address) being an obsolete address for an unmarried woman, and in this case a sort of Alternate Character Reading for "ojousama".
- Geisters - German "Geister" (ghosts) apparently pluralized again in English just to make sure.
- In an episode of Zoku Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, when Chiri becomes a giant to fight off an army of alien Humongous Mecha, most of her attacks are accompanied by German exclamations. Abiru wonders why German, in particular. (It was actually a homage to Evanglion).
- Satella Harvenheit, the Jewel Witch, and Fiore, her sister in Chrono Crusade is German, and all of her attacks are called in that language. Another Woolseyism of the English dub is the fact that her voice actor (the same one who voiced Asuka in Eva) speaks the language.
- Hans, the Token Minority German dude on the team of burglars in The Daughter of Twenty Faces, does this a lot, dropping "Fräulein Chiko" all over the place and once having a short conversation in German with Chiko in (terribly pronounced) German.
- Zoids contains more gratuitous German and Italian than you can throw a braunschweiger at, it's just that for some reason the dub worked the names out from katakana, resulting in such hilarious names as Schubaltz (Schwarz) and Alcobaleno (Arcobaleno (rainbow)). Even the seemingly normal names like Flyheight and Zeke were originally Freiheit and Sieg. In the case of the Berserk Führer, they probably bowdlerized it.
- Each of the Liger Zero's armor units in Zoids: New Century has a German name — Jager, Schneider and Panzer. These correspond to the armor's specialty — the Jager (hunter) has incredible speed and advanced scanning equipment, the Schneider (cutter) has seven laser blades mounted all over its body, and the Panzer (tank) is incredibly heavy and equipped with ridiculous firepower. Funnily, Schneider also means tailor without technical context.
- Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor includes some examples of this trope, the Fafner units are named after German numerals (Mark Elf, Mark Zwei, Mark Sechs, etc) without forgetting the famous "Mark Sein" (which, funnily enough is homophone to '[es] mag sein.': '[it] might be.'). It might not be a case of completely gratuitous German, though, as Fafner is a concept taken from Germanic mythology.
- Ban from Get Backers is one-quarter German.
- Ban might actually be an aversion, as he rarely (if ever) speaks the language. The closest he comes is translating a letter (written by a Romanian woman to a Japanese man, but they both worked for the Nazis, so German might have been the language they had in common...). His father, on the other hand, is known as "der Kaiser."
- This pops up a few times in Mobile Suit Gundam and its sequels and alternate universes. The Zeon enemy faction was clearly based on Nazis, and had some German phrases (such as the infamous "Sieg Zeon!") and some German Mobile Suit and Mobile Weapon names, like the Dom Tropen ("cathedral tropes", which doesn't make even a little sense) and Neue Ziel (new target).
- Tropen could stand for Truppen, which is of course German for troops. Spelt Tropen, it means tropics - or tropes. It was the successor to the Dom Tropical Test Type...
- Also, later installments often had an edge towards German language (Wing used German numbers for Zechs and Noin (actually in German written 'sechs' and 'neun'), SEED had, among others, Tolle Koenig, which translates into 'awesome king' (funnily enough, in the older use of the word it would mean "insane king"), 00 has the Meisters, which are simply put masters, as well as the Gundam Thrones: Eins, Zwei, and Drei ("one, two, three"). G Gundam, on the other hand, surprisingly averted its gratuitous use: the only suit with a German name was from Neo-Germany.)
- SEED also uses Theme Naming with the weapon systems, with many of them in Gratuitous German.
- Gundam X seems to have German in place of English (which seems to be a more common choice) as the "setting language" - note the name of the ship (Frieden) and a lot of the characters' names.
- Which is bizarre, really, since the main characters are from (post-apocalyptic) America.
- Humongous Mecha in general, really. As more different types of mecha added to a series, the chances of one of them (at least) having a German name approaches 1.
- This was inserted into the original translation of Guyver. While the Big Bad's name is usually translated as Richard Guyot, he's known as "Reichmann (realm-man) Gyro" in the old translation, in part because he's a huge, blonde, pseudo-German guy.
- Many of the characters in Nodame Cantabile, especially those with a connection to von Stresemann. Stresemann himself uses the alias "Milch Holstein", his manager sometimes speaks in German, etc.
- To explain why native speakers might burst into laughter at this point, "Milch" translates to "milk" while Holstein is a breed of cattle famous for its milk output. On a more intellectual level, Gustav Stresemann served both as chancellor and foreign minister during the Weimar Republic.
- Actually lampshaded in-story: Chiaki is fluent in German, and immediately makes the connection to milk and cattle when he hears the pseudonym for the first time.
- The names of the three main characters of Fireball are in German. Especially Drossel's name is laden with German phrases, which together don't make a whole lot of sense. Also, "Drossel" is the German name for the bird named trush.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- The series has this for, who else, Germany. He says "MEIN GOTT!" once and one of his Image Songs is titled "Einsamkeit" (Solitude).
- The dub takes this Up to Eleven, some of which can overlap with Bilingual Bonus. In the episode where Britain and France are spreading nasty rumors about Germany, Britain tells Italy that Germany "hates [him] and thinks [he's] stupid." Italy goes over to Germany and asks if he hates him. Germany's response? "Lies. Actually… ich liebe dich," the German portion of which means "I love you." The shippers rejoiced.
- Germany's mochi counterpart speaks entirely in German, as can be seen in the video at the bottom of this page. While understandable, it's still obviously written by a non-native speaker.
- And then there's Prussia. His song with a title that no one really knows how to translate (the one from the "Ore-sama CD") contains many lines of badly pronounced and Google Translatorish German. "Über dem Rand" (over the edge, but as in "above the edge", not "falling over the edge" - the latter would be the accusative "Über den Rand") is just the beginning.
- The two main characters of Phantom of Inferno are called "Ein" and "Zwei".
- In Sailor Moon, Ami Mizuno has a German setting on her handheld computer.
- Practically the whole premise of Pumpkin Scissors is Post WWI Pre WWII Germany. "Gespenst Jäger" (Ghost Hunter, though "Gespenst" is only the singular - correct version would be Gespensterjäger, as one word) and "Himmel" (a drug) which means heaven/sky, are the ones you hear mainly.
- All of the invisible 9 units were identified as ""Related title" Jäger", including the real-life Fallschirm Jäger (lit. Parachute Hunter, AKA Paratroopers).
- That said, it wasn't actually set in Germany at all, but a Fantasy Counterpart Culture where evidently the exact same language is spoken. In the English dub, characters tend to pepper their speech with German phrases, and a few even have German accents.
- "Kämpfer" means "Fighter(s)" and Kämpferin would be the female version.
- Also the different types of Kämpfer are users of either Schwert (sword), Gewehr (rifle) or Zauber (magic).
- ef - a tale of melodies features this in the Eye Catch images.
- Yozakura Quartet features this in an episode. A few phrases and words, actually expected since the character is getting ready to go to Germany.
- A spell Dark cast in D.N.Angel was apparently supposed to be German.
- Sora No Woto has several dialogs entirely in German which is called "Roman" in the anime. The Arcadians appear to use French, but this only appears in writings and city names.
- In Infinite Ryvius, German names are extensively used for space ships(Liebe Delta, Gestalt, Gespenst) and space phenomena (Geduld)...
- 07-Ghost also has quite a few examples:
- Names: Teito Klein (small), Frau (woman or Mrs.), Fea Kreuz (cross), Verloren (lost)
- Other: Sklave (slave), Begleiter (literally 'companion'), Antwort (answer), the land of Seele (Seele means 'soul')
- Dot Hack is full of this. The author of the Epitaph of Twilight and subsequent originator of The World was born west German, and the programmer of the original game also had Germanic origins.
- The majority of the 'Lost Grounds' are made up of or take roots from German words: Dead World of Indieglut Lugh ('Dead World of into-the-embers Lugh'), Briona Gwydion the Dragonbein Range ('bein' also stands for 'bone'), Arche Koeln Waterfall (Combination of Arche, 'ark', and Köln, the German city of Cologne), Wailing Capital Wald Uberlisterin ('Tricker of the Forest'), and finally Hülle Granz Cathedral ('Shell Gloss Cathedral')-which also features one of the two only songs in-game with an actual language, in full German; the other one being the variations of Aura's Theme.
- In the English version of the Azumanga Daioh anime, Kagura's frenzied attempted conversation with a a foreign man was in mangled German rather than English. "Helpen? Das help? HELPE MIEL!"
- The opening chapter of Litchi Hikari Club consists almost entirely of German commands and exclamations in its first half.
- Many of the runes in Madoka Magica turn out to be German when decyphered.
- There's also the name of the final Witch in the series, Walpurgisnacht. This is a Central/Northern European holiday on the eve of May 1st, exactly six months away from Halloween (All Hallow's Eve).
- The biggest (and not gratuitous) of them is Homura's familiars announcing that Gott ist Tot.
- In Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian, while Dalian says Yes and No, we have Rasiel who says Ja and Nein. She even says Es ist das Ende (It is the end) in the anime.
- Many songs with vocals that are included in the Guilty Crown soundtrack turned out to have German lyrics. The most prominent example would be the song bios which played at the end of episode 1 and 4 during Shuu's asskicking moment. While the pronunciation is horrible enough to fool even native speakers into thinking it's another language, [[the grammar and spelling of the lyrics is - except for a few details - actually pretty good. The song itself is still freaking awesome. The lyrics also aptly describe the relationship between Shuu and his sister Mana.
- In the English dub of Infinite Stratos, the German team member (Laura) does this, fitting in better with her thick accent. The original didn't bother.
- In One Piece:
- Captain Morgan from One Piece has the word "Möwe" (German for seagull) written on his metal chin.
- Chopper's attack "Kakuho: Elf" (Kakuho being japanese for Horn Cannon, Elf is German for either eleven or elve)
- In one of the early SBS when asked how far Luffy can stretch, Oda responses that Luffy can stretch exactly 72 Gomu Gomu, while 1 Gomu Gomu is 100 Märchen Gomu Gomu (Märchen is the German word for fairy tale)
- In Detective Conan the 'Nacht Baron' (Night baron) is a reoccuring fictional character and also a codename for several other things.
- Many of the weapons used in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED are named in German. Included are the "Igelstellung" (hedgehog position) vulcans, the Strike Gundam's "Armor Schneider" (Armor Cutter), and the Sword Strike's Anti-Ship Sword "Schwert Gewhir" (sword riflenote ), Rocket Anchor "Panzer Eisen" (tank iron or armour iron) and Beam Boomerang "Midas Messer" (Midas knife). And that's just the Strike Gundam!
- Attack on Titan features it. Apart from some characters featuring obviously German names like Hannes or Armin or even the protagonist Eren JÄGER (the last name is German for 'hunter'), the opening somehow lives from it. The first words are 'Sind sie das Essen? Nein, wir sind die Jäger' which is a somewhat awkward translation of 'are you the prey? No, we are the hunters'.
- There are also two insert songs sung entirely in German: "Vogel im Käfig" (caged bird) and "Bauklötze" (building blocks). The pronunciation in both is...not the best. It's worth noting that the soundtrack was composed by Sawano Hiroyuki, the same man behind Guilty Crown's "Bios". He pretty clearly has a fondness for this trope.
- Pandora Hearts has a character by the name of Zwei (two) . Rather fitting, as she's Echo's second personality...
- As one might expect, fairly prominent in Girls und Panzer. The command "Panzer Vor" (Tanks Advance) is used as a catch phrase, and quotes from Rommel and Guderian are featured. This trope is used especially prominent in one of the fan sub groups. Interestingly enough, most of it comes from fansubbers with the German-themed Kuromorimine Girls' College (which typically called "Kuromorimine", or "Black Forest, while only once being caled "Schwarzwaldspitze"). For example, in the fan subs for Episode 11, Erika's saying "Kuso!" is translated as "Scheiße!" in one fan sub, but "Damn it!" in Crunchyroll's subs.
- Justified in Spice and Wolf: All of the writing is in German, but the series takes place in an alternate universe version of medieval Europe, presumably based on Germany.
- Walkure Romanze features some german books that were quite obviously translated with google translator, as that software's old problem of some words being translated into ENGLISH (and not the intended target language) runs rampant in these fictional documents.
- Practically any time something is named Harken in a localized anime or Japanese video game, it is actually the German word Haken having gone through two more languages. This includes your Double Harken, Slash Harkens, and Lady Harken. Translating it correctly like Haken Mode is catching on, but raises an important question: do we really want to replace the word Harken when it sounds so cool, especially for giant scythes?
- Though Harke does mean the tool "rake"; maybe in some cases it's a misdeclension instead?
- Kill la Kill, yet another soundtrack composed by Sawano Hiroyuki, has Ragyo's Leitmotif "Blumenkranz" (floral wreath). The pronunciation hasn't improved, though the lyrics are near-perfect.
- Valvrave the Liberator, on the Dorssian side. They're particularly fond of Blitzendegen ("Lightning rapier") as an all-purpose battle cry.
- The Manga "Übel Blatt". Congrats, you got the umlaut right. (But a German can only snicker at the intended meaning of "evil blade".)
Bildergeschichten und Comics
- In the parts of ElfQuest dealing with Ember's tribe (part of Hidden Years and the Wild Hunt storylines, all (co)written by Joellyn Auklandus), quite a few character names are German words. The two most prominent examples are Tier ("animal") and Angrif (properly "Angriff", means "attack").
- Nightcrawler from X-Men. "Mein Gott!" "Unglaublich!" " Liebchen"
- "Ach du lieber...!"
- And, always, "Mein Freund."
- He addressed Beast as "Liebchen," which is inappropriate unless they were going for some all-blue Ho Yay. It can mean vest, bodice, jersey... or, on the other hand, an out-of-date expression for "darling".
- "Leibchen" means vest, bodice, jersey, "Liebchen" is just the expression for "darling"; they are pronounced differently
- Generally, German in Marvel Comics is nothing short of abominable ("Eyige!" "Hurensohn!" "Vas der teufel?") - the first issue of the Ultimate imprint comic "The Ultimates" made for a nice change in that regard. "Mein Gott! Erschiesst es! Erschiesst es doch endlich!" which is something you can imagine Captain America must have heard an awful lot.
- Marvel has a little-known German superhero called Vormund, which means Guardian. Legal guardian, to be precise. He was previously known as Hauptmann Deutschland, which sounded much like something the Nazis would have come up with.
- The German edition of the MAD Magazine once presented German Marvel Superheroes. Their Cap equivalent? Oberst Deutschland.
- There used to be a German parody strip, Deutsche Helden, in which Nachtkrabbler (Nightcrawler), der Rote Schädel (the Red Skull) and Elektroblitz (Blitzkrieg) share a flat. The first two are literal translations of the English code-names and sound unintentionally funny to German ears. Which is probably why in the official German editions they generally prefer to use the English names.
- The Marvel villain "Baron Blitzkrieg" is called "Baron von Blitz" in the German volumes because of the Unfortunate Implications. He's still a Nazi, though, so it's Bowdlerization meets No Swastikas.
- Though until the 80's they did translated all titles and names. Interesting they renamed the X-men as X-Team.
- Also known, back in the day, as "Gruppe X" (literally "Group X").
- Powerhaus of DV8, real name Hector Morales, is normally a big fan of Gratuitous Spanish — but has a Gratuitous German codename as a tribute to his German-born mother.
- Savage Dragon gives us Brainiape, who is of course Adolf Hitler's disembodied brain in a glass bowl on top of an ape body with zome of ze worst violence ever visted on ze German sprache in a bildergeschichte.
- Commando has this, spoken by none other than Those Wacky Nazis. Most commonly used are various military ranks and exclamations in the middle of other dialogue. Commando is even a Trope Namer, as Gratuitous German is commonly referred to as "Korkkarisaksa" (Commando German) in Finnish.
- Vampirella has a lot of this, given the abundance of Nazi foes. The best name must be "Scheisskopf" (shithead). It works without them, either: In "Feary Tales", Vampirella (as Cinderella) meets her evil ugly stepsisters Angriffe note and Schleimhaute. note
- Mecha calls Brownie a Dummkopf in the fic Rainbow in the Dark. The author revealed that she uses German insults with her close friends and is said in a heartwarming way. Aside from that, she knows nothing of German.
- Evangelion 303: Asuka often slips in her mother tongue, using German expressions such like: "Guten Tag", "Heilige Scheisse", "Scheiße!", "Schnell!", "Sheibe" or "Gott".
- In My Immortal, Ebony and B'loody Mary watch "Das niteMARE b4 xmas".
- In What About Witch Queen? prince Ferdinand sometimes has outbursts of German, which is apparently native tongue for citizens of Southern Isles. He also starts to ramble in German (called Islander in-story) when he's raving and has no idea that person who takes care of him doesn't know the language.
- In Nobody Dies, Unit 02's AI is named Zwei (the German numeral 2) since that Eva was built in Germany.
- The 1983: Doomsday Stories for Axis Powers Hetalia contains a nice helping of (largely translated) German. Given how most of the stories take place in Central Europe, it makes sense. Which makes the sudden appearance of Gratuitious Hungarian deliberately jarring.
- Time Of Your Life is now doing it. Very poorly.
- Since the Griffins of Summer Days And Evening Flames are based on Germanic tribes, it's often names and titles are in German. Occasionally, Gilda slips into her native tongue when vexxed or not focused completely.
- Grazie, the beautiful new girl did this a couple of times.
- Jericho, a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction, has the narrator, the eponymous Jericho, drop bits of German when he speaks. Jericho also notes that when he gets nervous or otherwise heavily emotional, he tends to speaks in more a more literal German-to-English manner, which effectively makes him sound as if he were speaking straight out of Shakespeare. Justified in that German—in-universe, called Teutsch—is his first language, and (very rarely) he does mistranslate.
Talking to himself: “Yeah, you’ve got a good point. On the other hoof, monologing aloud is quite grand. And as we all know, reality is flexible when something is aroused.” I blinked. “Cool! The Equestrian word is cool, ours is geil, which technically means aroused! Do not confuse these two. Especially not when these Equestrians are all naked.”
- The most notable time Jericho slipped into Teutsch (which he immediately translated) was when he broke his Code Of Honor and subsequently had a mental breakdown. He went on about a certain code of warrior's honor, which was a German homage to the Gunslinger's Creed:
Ich ziele nicht mit der Hand. Wer mit der Hand zielet hat das Gesicht seines Vaters vergessen. Ich ziele mit dem Auge.
Ich schlage nicht mit der Hand. Wer mit der Hand schlaget hat das Gesicht seines Vaters vergessen. Ich schlage mit dem Verstand.
Ich töte nicht mit dem Schwert. Wer mit dem Schwert tötet hat das Gesicht seines Vaters vergessen. Ich töte mit dem Herzen.
"I aim not with my hand. He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye.—I swing not with my hand. He who swings with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I swing with my mind.—I kill not with my sword. He who kills with his sword has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart." (Ignoring how, for some reason, the author chooses to refer to a pony's hooves as "hands" when using German.)
- Griphons randomly slip into it in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure, as well as having a German Funetik Aksent at all times.
- The bits of griffon language we get in Heart Of Gold Feathers Of Steel are all German.
- In Twilight Sparkle: Night Shift, the Germane region around Horsemouth and Stutencröe speak a German analogue, although it's translated to English/Equestrian because Twilight speaks the language. (She's part Germane - her father's original name is Nachtlicht.) More notably, two of the Horsemouth cult leaders are known as "Nichts" and "Nie" - "Nothing" and "Never".
- German is used at times in stressful situations and others inThe Matrix fanfic Bringing Me To Life. Justified for one character Max, as in one chapter it's revealed that Max's Grandmom was from Germany and taught him.
- The fifth season of Breaking Bad introduces the German backers of Gus, who have some interest in forming a new partnership with Walter. Like the Gratuitous Spanish from the other seasons, the grammar and use of phrases is excellent, but many of the actors speak their lines rather terribly.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the third season episode "Gingerbread", the newspaper article the gang looks up and the chant Giles is doing at the end of the episode qualifies for this.
- The German characters in Hogan's Heroes throw in a few easily-translated German phrases.
- Elliot from Scrubs speaks German, a fact that shows up in a few episodes, such as one with a German cancer patient; in fact, her German is way better than that of the "Germans", who speak hardly anything a German would accept as his native language. The actress, Sarah Chalke, actually is fluent in French and German.
- In Germany, that was changed into Danish. In other episodes she speaks Swedish, or a Swiss dialect. As a rule of thumb for the German dub: When Elliot talks in a language other than German she speaks German in the original English version.
- She also mangles it quite horribly, the first time it comes up. Granted she is angry with Dr. Kelso, but it takes a German a couple of viewings to realize that it is supposed to be German and a couple more to understand it. Other times she has a clear accent, but everything else is quite right.
- Doctor Who shows that Japan doesn't have the monopoly on Gratuitous German. "Exterminieren! Exterminieren!" Especially grating since "exterminieren" is not even a proper word (at least not one anyone actually uses), just the usual "Exterminate!" with a common verb ending. More accurate alternative would be "eliminieren" (which was used by the actual German dub), or "vernichten", which, while being closer to "destroy" or "annihilate", was what the... main inspiration for the Daleks used in a similar context.
- Used regularly by comedians for Those Wacky Nazis implications: even Jon Stewart is a regular offender. Of course in the complete package, with ze dialect, angry and even (or especially) as German native unintelligible pronunciation and of course scrambled grammar.
- Malcolm in the Middle has the original German couple Gretchen and Otto, which spoke a weird broken 'Deutschlish.' In Germany they became Danish.
- Dwight Schrute sings a couple of verses of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" during an episode of The Office (US).
Referring to copier instructions
: This is either an incense dispenser or a ceremonial sarcophagus. My German is pre-industrial
, mostly religious.
- 30 Rock: Liz Lemon can speak German, just not all that well. We see her use it a few times, most notably when she accidently sells NBC to a German cable TV company after confusing "verkaufen" with "kaufen" ("sell" and "buy" respectively).
- Fringe has quite a few examples. E. g., there's "Wissenschaft Prison Germany". What exactly is a "science prison" supposed to be?
- Apart from that, writing "Wissenschaft Prison" as it is, is the German equivalent for what "Sciencegefängnis" is for English, complete with the (non)existent spaces between the words.
- Most of the background chatter on the airplane in the cold opener of the series pilot. Hilariously badly spoken/accented, too.
- Jack Bauer pretends to be German in one episode and speaks it. When he is told he has an American accent, he explains he lived in America for years. Oddly, he is addressed as "du" instead of the more appropriate "Sie", although it's probably justified since they aren't actually Germans, but Russians.
- Not justifiable: Russian also has different pronouns too ("ty" -> "du"; "vy" -> "Sie").
- It's not justifiable because in German, using "du" when "Sie" should be used is fairly serious insult.
- I don't remember the scene but it could be justified. You can use "du" when you deliberately don't want to show respect to the other person and are in a position of power to do so. It would be certainly unwise to do it from a position of weakness.
- Frasier played with this a few times throughout its run, most notably in the episode 'An Affair to Forget', where, after one of Frasier's listeners calls into his psychiatric-advice program thinking her Bavarian, fencing-coach husband was having an affair, Frasier begins to think (with good reason) that his sister-in-law is the 'other woman', leading to quite a bit of German; including a scene where the characters must translate from English to Spanish to German, then back again.
- As Frasier is a Freudian, and Freud having been a German-speaker from present-day Austria, German psychological terms randomly pop up now and again.
- Frasier is even enraptured with a new love interest when, among other interests, she admits to speaking German and liking the German war film Das Boot.
- Grimm's monster names and related terms are all terrible German. They go from simple grammar fail (e.g.: using adjectives as nouns; wrongly cobbled-together compound words; e.g. werewolves are called blutbaden. In fact, "Blutbad", plural "Blutbäder", means "bloodbath" or "massacre''. 'blutbaden' itself looks like a verb infinitive, 'to bloodbath' (which doesn't exist)) to horrible dictionary slips (e.g. the supposed 'bee queen' is called "bee gay [person]") and mess-ups of cultural context of phrases that completely destroy the tone of a scene (e.g. the quote "Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei." which comes from a very well known comedic Breakup Song from the late 1980s, but is used in the show as some kind of philosophical wisdom handed down the generations to say over a friend's dead body).
- Sanctuary: In the episode "Normandy" during the 1944 flashbacks Watson goes undercover as a German officer and has to bluff his way past a German roadblock. This turns into a discussion (in German) about his accent, as he pretends to be Bavarian to explain his mistakes and the soldier holding him up turns out to be from Bavaria as well. Both of the actors' pronunciation was mangled so badly that even Germans watching the original version needed subtitles, and, needless to say, neither sounded even remotely like he was from Bavaria. In fact, this troper was led to expect some kind of twist where the German soldier would turn out to be a Allied spy as well.
- Stargate SG-1: In the episode 1969 Daniel Jackson pretends to be a German archaeologist and has a conversation consisting of Poirot Speak English and surprisingly good German. Normally, this would be realistic when an American tries to con another American, but Daniel is supposed to be a genius linguist...
- The X-Files: has numerous examples of this trope. "Die Hand Die Verletzt" features a Satanic cult that inexplicably chants auf Deutsch during its ceremonies. "Unruhe" features a serial killer who taunts his victims in German. In this episode we learn Scully learned German in college and she speaks a few phrases. Then there's "Triangle," a dream/fantasy episode which recasts the series villains as Nazis in a World War II setting.
- But in "Triangle" it was also averted. As stated in interviews on DVD the actors tried to speak german without american accent and to pronounce words with "ch" correctly. Listening to the american audio as a native german speaker you have to admit that they did their job very well.
- JAG has two examples of this trope. In "Nobody’s Child" multilingual Sarah Mackenzie correctly translates the hymn title Als ich bei meinen Schaffen wacht to As I watch over my sheep. And in "A Tangled Webb (Part 2)" she speaks German with Mennonite settler in Paraguay.
- The authors of How I Met Your Mother seem to love German compound words...
- In the aptly named episode "The Yips", Heidi Klum (who in Real Life is indeed a German native speaker) translates "yips" (the condition Barney has which renders him utterly incapable of flirting) with "Ach du meine Güte, gar nichts klappt mehr... [unintelligible]". The intelligible part means "Oh my goodness, nothing works anymore...", which is grammatically a whole sentence, although Heidi says it so fast that non-German speakers may be forgiven for assuming that it's one of those ridiculously long compound words.
- In the episode "Farhampton", Klaus (the German suitor of Ted's ex-girlfriend Victoria) teaches Ted the word "Lebenslangerschicksalsschatz", which he (correctly) translates as "lifelong treasure of destiny". Grammatically, this are actually two separate (compound-)words ("lebenslanger Schicksalsschatz"). Also, this is not actually a common expression in German.
- Van Kooten En De Bie: Mr. O. den Beste who is a former teacher German and thus often uses untranslated German expressions in his vocabulary.
- On Real Husbands of Hollywood, Boris Kodjoe, playing a fictionalized version of himself, speaks German sometimes (one episode features his German ex-girlfriend trying to get back with him). Kodjoe is actually German thus he is fluent in German as well as English.
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, the Japanese and Chinese versions of Yubel's two evolved forms have names in horribly mangled German. When they were released in Germany, they got more sensible names (translated from the English ones, which are totally different). Interestingly, Yubel's name is a pun on the words "Jubel" (jubilation) and Übel (evil/bad).
- Incidentally, the Japanese and Chinese names are legitimate German names, if you fix the mangling caused by Romanization; Das Abscheulich Ritter (Terror Incarnate) roughly means "The Detestable/Disgusting Knight", while Das Extremer Traurig Drachen (The Ultimate Nightmare) means "The Really Sad Dragons". ('Drachen' DOES mean kite, but I'm sure they were trying to say 'Drache'/Dragon)
- Native Speaker Nitpick: The correct phrases would be Der abscheuliche Ritter and Der extrem traurige Drache. Vocabulary sehr gut, grammar ungenügend, setzen! To explain this in more detail, the designers apparently still had trouble with applying the correct grammatical gender and case. Also, Das is the article used with nouns with a neutral grammatical gender; which, considering Yubel's appearance...
- The Sons of Rasputin from Mutant Chronicles spinoff Dark Eden have such interesting units as "Soldat", "Schwerwaffe Soldat", "Flammen Soldat" and "Cossack Kommendant". In Mutant Chronicles proper, Bauhaus takes the cake with "Kommandant", "Jaeger" and "Blitzer Kaptain".
- Parodied in Robot Chicken during the Anne Frank sketch (starring Hilary Duff). Anne tosses a paint can at some Nazis coming up the stairs. As they fall, one of them screams "Mein Kampf!"
- * BattleTech has some of these especially with the Lyran Commonwealth. Their rank system uses words such as Kommandant-Major and Hauptmann-Captain.
- Several stories of the Cthulhu Mythos make references to a book called "Unausprechlichen Kulten" as the second most popular book on cosmic horrors after the Necronomicon. Unsurprisingly, the grammar of the title is just wrong. It would be either "Unaussprechliche Kulte" (unspeakable cults) or "Von unaussprechlichen Kulten" (of unspeakable cults). It could be referred such in a proper German sentence with the right grammatical surroundings, but not on its own without the grammatical German context.
- Erma Bombeck wrote a humor column early in her career about borrowing her husband's small mouse-gray car and his insistence that the driver has to speak to it. In German.
"Du bist ein cheapie, that's what you are!"
- Fitz Kreiner of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe Eighth Doctor Adventures occasionally employs this trope, largely because, as his namenote suggests, he is half-German, although he doesn't seem to speak the language to any useful degree. He once referred to the Doctor as "Herr Doktor" for the crime of trying to make Fitz have a nice time, and, during a Heroic BSOD, started talking to himself:
"For you, Britischer pig, ze var is over."
- In fact, he speaks no German at all beyond "Stock" phrases from films, having been raised by his mother (British) in post-War Britain.
- Lots in the work of Sylvia Plath (both her parents were German), most evident in Ariel.
- In Rivers of London, when DC Grant comes across a German family while trying to escape from the middle of a riot he yells "Raus, Raus" at them while thinking that he hopes it means "move, move" like it does in War Movies, because it's the only bit of German he knows.
- Rudolf Von Flugel, from Richard Scarry's childrens' stories, is prone to this sort of thing.
- Holmes drops some German in Sherlock Holmes, quoting Goethe at one point.
- The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall uses this; "Hande hoch!" and "Raus! Raus!" come up a fair bit after a German airman is captured by the main characters. It gets lampshaded as their sole source of German is dialogue in War Movies
- Rick Yancey's Monstrumologist series features the Austrian Von Helrung as a mentor to the monstrumologist in the second book and let's the two exchange some very heterosexual endearments in German.
- Abounds in the two books of John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata co-written with Tom Kratman that play out in Europe, "Watch on the Rhine" and "Eye of the Storm".
- In the Honor Harrington series, the Andermani Empire is based on Prussian culture, and uses German military ranks and noble titles. However, the author seemingly did not consult a native speaker, because the Andermani's German is wrong on many occasions.
- Justified in-universe by a few hundred years of language drift and the influence of the chinese parts of the population
- In Veronica Wolff's Young Adult The Watchers series, several characters try to talk in German, including (that should say: especially) the protagonist who refers to a generally disliked teacher as Adolph (Ouch!). But it's not just her:
"Don’t forget your etiquette homework, meine kleine Gummibärchen."
- Apparently the author studied languages and art once..
- In Illuminatus!, "Ewige Blumenkraft" translation , the slogan of the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria, was supposedly shouted by Mayor Daley of Chicago at the Democratic Convention of 1968.
- In Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, the Hessian soldiers use a few German phrases, which are translated in an appendix for the benefit of young readers.
- In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, Penny invents a sphere-thing she calls the "German Grenade" to help her with her German class. Unfortunately, it doesn't speak German much better than she does, so it's useless for her purposes.
- In Distortionverse, Chapter 2 - Rosenmaester qualifies for this on various levels:
- Vortag Schlieber's name: Schlieber is not a German word whatsoever, while Vortag translates as Eve in English. And, no, it's not Played for Laughs.
- the name Rosenmaester, though looking German-like, is just a combination of Rosen (rose) and Maester (???) which is a Final Fantasy X-version of Meister.
- The Beatles recorded versions of She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand in German. They only knew the words phonetically, as none of them spoke German.
- This was ostensibly the decision of the record company, to break The Beatles to the German market, and is a good example of Not Doing The Research. The Beatles became popular in Germany during their time spent in Hamburg during 1960-1962, well before they were widely known outside of Liverpool. The English language versions of She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand had already been hits in Germany as well, and whilst the German language single was a big hit, the English versions continue to be more popular. The German version of "Hand" was included on the US album Something New and is more widely known for this.
- The Beatles notably almost boycotted the session, but did it on the condition that they didn't have to do anything like that again.
- blur does this occasionally.
- "Girls & Boys": "Du bist sehr schön/But we haven't been introduced" ("You're very pretty.").
- "Parklife" "it's not always vorsprung durch technik, you know."
- Franz Ferdinand's "Darts of Pleasure" finishes with a repeated chorus of "Ich heiße superfantastisch! Ich trinke Schampus mit Lachsfisch! Ich heiße superfantastisch!" ("My name is super fantastic! I drink Champagne with salmon fish!") The way it's sung is supposed to recall a (male) orgasm.
- Let's not forget the title-only Gratuitous German "Auf Achse," whose title is a Shout-Out to a German TV series about truckers and includes a verse about Jesus.
- And then there's "Tell Her Tonight," which is in English, yes...but then they re-recorded it with German lyrics. It's actually kind of awesome. (Compared to the original).
- The opening phrase of Def Leppard's "Rock of Ages" is in what can be described as German-sounding gibberish. It was sampled by The Offspring for their song "Pretty Fly for a White Guy".note
- Elliot Goldenthal is a well known modern classical composer that has worked for the soundtrack of many movies, and has a sense of humor when he puts titles on the tracks of his albums. One of the tracks in the Batman Forever soundtrack is "Fledermausmarschmusik". It's obvious what it means and what it sounds like.
- Another track in the same OST is named "Batterdammerung"
- Slovenian band Laibach like to translate innocent songs like Life is Life into German and adapting the music ... slightly. The result would not be out of place at a Nazi rally.
- Fick mich, du miserabler Hurensohn ...
- "Kommeinezuspadt? Kommeinezuspadt? Kommeinezuspadt!" Most of the rest of song is just vaguely German-sounding gibberish, though, and the title is intentionally misspelled - the last part should be "spät", not "spadt", and the title's spelled as one word but it's actually a sentence. "Komm eine zu spät" literally means "Come one too late". It's likely the actual title is supposed to be "Komm nie zu spät", which means "Don't come too late".
- The American band Tool has a song "Die Eier Von Satan," in which the singer growls out a menacing speech in German, punctuated by shouted crescendos that are received with wild applause by an audience. It all sounds incredibly Naziesque until you discover that the speech is actually a recipe for hash brownies. Also, the title means "Satan's Balls" (literally "Satan's Eggs"). The band also has a Gratuitous Italian song, "Message for Harry Manback," in which the speaker frequently curses in Italian.
- Bill Bailey loves using German gratuitously in homages to Kraftwerk, with songs like "Das Hockey Kockey" and "Hosenbügler".
- In fact, in Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide To The Orchestra, he introduces a Baroque musical piece as 'Wie Tiefer Ist Deiner Lieber', more commonly known as How Deep is Your Love by the Bee Gees.
- One word of Visual Kei bands Dir en Grey name exists in German too.
- The song "Pussy" by Rammstein is either Gratuitous German by a German band, or Gratuitous English.
- To clarify, the song is about a tourist who is out for a quick vacation shag/ general criticism of sex tourism and the assumption that Foreign People Are Sexy and was thus deliberately given a "mangled foreign language"-look.
- Swedish Power Metal band Sabaton uses German words frequently in their Songs, usually when singing about Germans. Anschluss, Wehrmacht, Panzer, Panzerkampfwagen and the like. They also covered the song "Für Immer" by German band Warlock, with actually pretty good German.
- Isch lieben aus tubikler/Es kat mi madre monster...
- KMFDM stands for the grammatically incorrect "Kein Mehrheit fur die Mitleid" (No Majority for Pity). However, the intro of "Megalomaniac" has the spoken words "Kein Mitleid fur die Mehrheit", which is the correct grammar for "No Pity for the Majority".
- The Canadian industrial band Front Line Assembly uses it in many of their songs. But their leader, Bill Leeb, was born in Austria, and later moved to Canada, so when used in a very personal song, such as Angriff, it seems less gratuitous.
- Hilariously parodied by Eisbrecher in their song "This Is Deutsch", along with Germanic Depressives and All Germans Are Nazis...but only if you actually speak German. Otherwise, it sounds like a straight example of all three tropes.
- Eric Bogle's "Flying Finger Filler'' contains a stanza sung in German that makes no sense whatsoever. Of course, the opening verse tells us that the entire song is supposed to make no sense.
- When the British punk/dance band Fuzzbox covered Yoko Ono's "Walking On Thin Ice", they translated the spoken word passage to German for some reason. The translation is flawless however and so is the delivery. In fact it sounds as if a native speaker spoke this passage, but the album doesn't feature any credits whatsoever so it can't be said for sure.
- "Hello Earth" from Kate Bush's album "Hounds of Love" features one line in German near the end: "Tiefer, tiefer, irgendwo immer tiefer gibt es ein Licht." ("Deeper, deeper, somewhere even deeper, there is a light").
- German band Scooter, whose vocals are usually in English, have the tendency to throw in a bit of Gratuitous German. A good example is the end of Posse (I Need You On The Floor), where HP says something that sounds like "Heili geili! Ihr Schweine", which really can't be translated at all. 'Heili geili' is nonsensical note , "ihr Schweine" means "you pigs", but most like is used as a form of praise in this context.
- SoundHorizon's Märchen. The. Entire. Album.
- Despite hailing from Germany, Power Metal band Powerwolf sing all of their songs in English peppered with the occasional Latin phrase. Kreuzfeuer is the sole exception, being sung entirely in German and Latin.
- The song "Blitzkrieg" Bop by The Ramones.
- Laurie Anderson uses spoken German language samples in "Example # 22".
- Maximo Park has this in the bonus track on "Too much Information" - "Angst essen Seele auf". They translate it immediately ("Fear eats the soul"), and anyway it's a Shout-Out to the like-named German Fassbender nope, not that one movie.
- The Fall "Ich rausum mach aus Bremen Nacht". From "Bremen Nacht" (duh). The singer varies the phrase a lot, but doesn't manage to get it grammatically correct (that he leaves German town Bremen, for which reason ever).
- Wire "A Serious of Snakes": "Then a pause for a German phrase Nie wieder nie wieder, nie wieder nie wieder Never again, none of your lip". The phrase BTW refers to never again fascism.
- In the Sloth song for the Evillious Chronicles "Deadly Sins Series," "Gift From The Princess Who Brought Sleep," the word "Gift" is used over and over.Spoilers
- Norwegian Band Trollfes T plays this straight in nearly all of their songs. They wanted to sing German, "because it sounds evil", but since none of them actually speaks German, they have nearly no grammar and replace every word they don't know with Norwegian words. Sometimes, there are also some (mostly correct) English lines in their songs. They call it Trollsprak.
- Ian Dury: "Hit me with your rhythm stick, das ist gut, c'est fantastique" (New! 2 gratuitous languages for the price of 1!)
- All three Xenosaga games were sub-titled with Nietzsche works in German: Der Wille Zur Macht (The Will To Power), Jenseits von Gut und Böse (Beyond Good And Evil), and Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra). In addition, there was a Xenosaga Alle Spezielle (a as it is, is the German equivalent for what ll special) DVD. Which, again, got the grammar wrong ("spezielle" is an adjective, in female or plural form, but it has no noun to refer to. "All special" in German would be most likely rendered as "Exklusiv" (such as "Exklusive Bonus-DVD" or something like that.
- Etrian Odyssey is fond of this trope. One of the character classes is called Landsknecht (simply swordsman in the Japanese version) and the second game features a character nicknamed der Freischütz. You also come across a few weapons with German names, such as a gun called Hakenbuechse (bonus points for the correct usage of ue in place of ü).
- Every Quest for Glory game features several themes, and the themes of the first one were discovery, winter/spring, and Western European mythology, which resulted in a lot of Germanic-inspired stuff.
- League of Legends demonstrates this trope isn't limited to Japan. Lux's ultimate attack is 'Finales Funkeln', which means 'Final Sparkle'. Mordekaiser's name is also German, literally translated as 'Murders Emperor' since they inexplicably used the plural form of 'mord'.
- This is most likely a play on words with the name "Mordekai" and the word "Kaiser" (Emperor).
- From the Wolfenstein series:
- Part of No One Lives Forever takes place in East Germany, with soldiers' usual exclamations being the standard "Ach-TOONK!" and "Töten Sie ihr!" (Kill her, which should correctly be "Tötet sie!". "Töten Sie ihr" means "Kill (polite form) to her!"
- RosenkreuzStilette is not only titled in German: the characters have names like Spiritia Rosenberg, Sichte Meister, and Graf Michael Sepperin (himself a reference to Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin). Only Michael has a normal German given name, though.
- The weapons too: for example, Spiritia's default weapon is named Seelegewehr (Soul Rifle, almost correct - should be Seelengewehr). Most of the names are tied to the user's.
- Many, if not most, of the Real Robots in Super Robot Wars have German names. The Original Generation games gives these robots the main role.
- Becomes a little unsettling, though, when you realize that the primary antagonists, the sinister alien Balmars, label all their stuff with gratuitous Hebrew.
- Examples from Super Robot Wars Compact 2 include Alteisen (Old Iron, really "scrap iron") and Weissritter (White Knight), plus their upgraded forms Alteisen Riese (Old Iron Giant) and Rein Weissritter (Pure White Knight)... plus the Alternate Universe Alteisen Nacht (Old Iron Night) and Weissritter Abend (White Knight Evening). Some of the German names found in Endless Frontier also double as fairytale references, including but not limited to Aschen Broedel (Aschenbrödel, aka Cinderella), Haken, Zeit Krokodil (Hook and "Time Crocodile", Peter Pan references?) and Schlafen Celeste. ("Sleep Celeste")
- And of course all the Einst, who name all of their units and attacks in German. Even the mundane stuff like "Energy Drain" which becomes the blatantly obvious "Gewinnenergie". ("Winnergy")
- Pfeil means arrow in german, and the III is supposed to be pronounced in german as well.
- A non-robot example of this trope would be "Ratsel Feinschmecker" (Mysterious Gourmet); pretty obvious since the character is actually of supposed German lineage.
- In the GBA game Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, in at least one cutscene, you can get Pastor Carter to speak German. At no other time in the game does Carter even hint that he's of another nationality (other than the nebulous one wherever Mineral Town is located).
- The Medic from Team Fortress 2, a strange American example, is German, and likes to pepper his sentences with German words, even if they don't really make any sense in context ("Oktoberfest!").
- His unlockables also share the Germanity (if that is a real English word), being named The Blutsauger (Bloodsucker, also: Vampire) and The Kritzkrieg (causes crits, named after the Nazi tactic of Blitzkrieg.) As part of a development theme, his lines have numerous grammar errors, namely the plurals of "Dummkopf", and his voice actor isn't German.
- Prosecutor Gavin from the fourth Ace Attorney game.
- His name, Klavier, is the German word for piano. It was changed to Konrad (a proper German name) in the French localization, and became Kantilen in the German localization. Of course, the "Klavier Gavin" name originated in the English-language localization. In the original Japanese version, his name is Kyouya Garyuu. Klavier's name makes a bit more sense when you consider that he's a musician in a series that loves Punny Names.
- His constant use of "Fraulein", however, is a little painful to native European German speakers, since "Fräulein" (with an Umlaut, you mind), being the diminutive of the title Frau and equivalent the title "Miss", is obsolete nowadays and only used when scolding or mocking someone. Calling a woman this can be considered being borderline sexist in some cases.
- Trucy Wright, a magician and Apollo's assistant frequently performs at place called the Wunderbar, combining Gratuitous German with Punny Name.
- Come Dual Destinies, Athena Cykes likewise punctuates her dialogue with German at times. As well as Gratuitous French and Spanish.
- The underwater theme park in which Ever17 takes place is run by a German pharmaceutical company, so all the signs and automated announcements are in German, and the computer system appears to operate in German as well. Additionally, all the tracks on the soundtrack have German titles except for the opening and ending themes.
- Happens quite a bit in the earlier Atelier games, to accentuate the fact that the setting is meant to be a kind of faux-Renaissance Germany; Translation Convention breaking for flavor. This is essentially thrown out the window from Atelier Iris onward.
- The main theme of Atelier Iris 3 is called Schwarzweiß -Kiri No Mukou ni Tsunagaru Sekai- (Blackwhite -Worlds Connected Beyond the Mist-) and even mixes the opening and ending with ominous German chanting. ("Ich gieren! Ich morden!")
- The anime and video game Kanon drew its name from Pachelbel's Canon. In his native German, it was Kanon und Gigue in D-Dur (Canon and Gigue in D major), or if you're being formal, Kanon und Gigue in D-Dur für drei Violinen und Basso Continuo.
- The SaGa Frontier 2 OST is the soundtrack from the video game. Released in Japan, the album's printed paper inserts expect a native Japanese reader, but nearly all the track names are in German for no obvious reason. (A handful are in French.) Though, in fairness, the composer Masashi Hamauzu is a Japanese national who was born in Munich, Germany.
- Being German, Lieselotte Achenbach of Arcana Heart peppers her speech with this in between her Funetik Aksent.
- A lot of Square (now Square Enix) games have used German in their titles and other places, such as Einhänder (in which German is Earth's global language) and Ehrgeiz (Ambition). Einhänder also features an animated video billboard in the first level that cycles through the text "leben - fallen - Volksgasmaske" ("to live - to fall - the people's gas mask"). Volksgasmaske is the name of a gas mask produced during WWII for civilians.
- All enemy characters in Einhänder speak German, generally just before a boss fight. The bosses all have German names as well (Drache, Spinne, Ausf D. Durer, Schwarzgeist, etc.)
Gustav: Willkommen! Hier findest du nur dein Grab! (Welcome! Here you will find naught but your grave!)
- The Final Boss battle against Yami in One Piece: Unlimited Cruise 2 has Ominous German Chanting for its BGM. While it sounds awesome, it's not particularly good or coherent German, and seems to mostly consist of verbs thrown together.
- Sieg Wahrheit (Victory Truth), the player character in Chaos Legion.
- Soul Calibur 4 has lots of German names. Usually with horrible pronunciation and very bad grammar.
- Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War pitted the player's country against the eponymous Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Germany, so a good 95% of enemy aces have had squadron names or callsigns named after things in German, almost all of them surprisingly accurate. All major (level boss) aces are named after colors sans Schnee which is German for "Snow".
- In Death Vegas, Helmut's Victory Quote is "ICH BIN DER BESTE!" ("I AM THE BEST!").
- The names of the twelve Dark Warlords in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War are simply the numbers one through twelve in German.
- The replacement characters in the Japanese version of Shadow Dragon are also German numbers.
- In the Front Mission series, the Humongous Mecha are called "wanzers." Wanzer is a shortening of "Wanderung Panzer", where panzer means tank in German. Lastly, in the first game there is a mech-mountable rocket launcher named "Wanzerfaust".
- Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey takes place in the "Schwartzverse" in the Japanese version, combining the misspelled German schwarz ("black") with the Latin-derived "-verse". The U.S. version goes all the way, calling it the "Schwartzwelt" ("black world") instead.
- Two of the characters in Soma Bringer are called Welt (world) and Einsatz (mission).
- In the X-rated Visual Novel Madou Souhei Kleinhasa (Magic Trooper Kleinhasa), the protagonist and his squadmates all have pseudo-German names (Belcelica von Meltmann, Nicola Schonheit, Felicia Claushitz....)
- Perhaps they meant "Kleinhase", which means "little hare"...
- In the Japanese version of Cannon Dancer, the Teki refer to their final joint attack as "Die Rudeltaktik," the German term for the "wolfpack" tactics employed in World War II.
- In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Decus uses mostly German words for his Artes, such as "Ausbruch" (outburst), "meine Liebe" (my dear), "Lawine" (avalanche), "Sturmwind" (tempest)and "Strahl" (ray). His Mystic Arte is called "Sturm und Drang", (Storm and Stress), originally being a term to describe a literary period around the end of the 18th Century.
- German also names Peridot Hamilton's sword moves in Tales of Hearts, which she combines with regular fire spells.
- The bosses in Jett Rocket have oddly German names. The devs are German, but one wonders why the bosses have German names when nothing else does.
- In Heroes of Might and Magic V a few of the Haven units have text written on their robes. You can clearly see "Die Heiligkeit" (the sanctity/saintliness) written on the cape and the robe of the Angel/Archangel. Other Haven units also have text written on their robes and various ribbons and parchemins. You cannot precisely read them due the low resolution, but they seem to be in German and of the same kind, too. Though this is never explained why.
- Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo (1993) aka Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (or to be gratuitously Germanic Devil's Schloss Dracula: Zirkel des Blutes) had speech in German in its introductory sequence. Also, the main character is called Richter.
- It's a game that came out only in Japan, this wasn't a translated version for the German market. Considering that Dracula is supposed to be of Romanian origin, and there's the Vampire Vords trope, it makes little sense. Also, Hammer Horror was obviously one of the influences for the Castlevania franchise, and considering English is the international language, English with a British accent would make sense as well. However, it definitely sounds appropriately Gotik.
- The original Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (1996) by Silicon Knights has several German-sounding names for cities/villages (e.g. Vasserbünde, Coorhagen, Nachtholm, Steinchencröe, Uschtenheim - German speakers might know if they make sense or not), while the original script and voice acting of the game is in English.
- "Vasserbünde" might either be "Wasserbünde" (Waterbounds?) or "Vagabunden" (Vagabounds), Steinchencröe might be Steinchenkrähe (Pebble-Crow, Steinchen meaning "Kleiner Stein" = Little rock. As for Uschtenheim: No idea.
- All these name are perfectly fine names for cities or villages.
- Castle of Shikigami 2 has this between-stages dialog during a two-player game with Kuga Kohtaro and Kim De John:
Kohtaro: Ohhh... hurry, hurry, hurry!
De John: Yes! Sturm und drang!
- At least, that's what the text box says. However, instead of "sturm und drang", the voice actor says "strong and dumb".
- Shadow Hearts: Covenant... Sorta. You see, this character, Karen König, has special moves which had German names. Unfortunately, the transliteration from Japanese katakana to English didn't make it.
- Heuervelk is supposed to be Feuerwerk, fire works
- Bullenfogel is supposed to be Brennvogel, burn-bird (although you'd say Brennender Vogel, birning bird in German - or, more simply: Phönix)
- Geuschbenst is supposed to be Gespenst, meaning ghost (or, more literaly, "spook")
- Sonnestark is most likely wrong in the Japanese version, too , as it is supposed to mean "power of the sun", which would be "Sonnenkraft" (the Japanese word for "strength can mean stärke as well as Kraft in German. This is most likely a case of did not do the research)
- Suikoden Tierkreis has quite a bit of this: "Tierkreis" means "Zodiac", if memory serves; also, the nation of Ritterschild ("Knight Shield"), and its three representatives Geschutz, Minen and Buchse. Geschütz's name means gun or cannon, Minen means "Mines" and Büchse means tin can or can be a gun with a rifled barrel (which would be more fitting considering the other 2 guys of this trio).
- Neinhalt Sieger from Samurai Shodown II has every single one of his special moves named in German, so we get odd stuff like Elefantglied (Elephant member (as in body part)), Vulkan Weinen (Vulcan Cry [as in 'weep', not 'shout']), and Blitz Jaeger (Lightning Hunter) mixed together with no apparent heads or tails to it besides "it sounds cool".
- Japanese Fighting Game developer Subtle Style LOVES this trope, evident in the titles of some of their games (Akatsuki Blitzkampf, its arcade revision, Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausführung Achse, and En-Eins Perfektewelt), character names (Elektrosoldat, Fritz, Tempelritter), and special events held for their games (Es gibt keinen Gott, Ein ewiges band, Adventskranz, Der kampf von meistern).
- Video game / music example: Command & Conquer: Red Alert's trademark musical track, Hell March, includes a single line of German voice-over... for a song that's supposed to represent the USSR. (Germany is in fact one of the Allies in this timeline.) No one knows why, exactly, but the "erroneous" sound clip has never been corrected or replaced, despite each Red Alert title coming with a new version of the Hell March.
- The line in question is "Die Waffen, legt an!" (Ready your weapons), but can and frequently has been easily misunderstood as "We want war, wake up!"
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni does this with the vocal version of the song "Fishy Aroma" making reference to an in-game clue involving numbers. This is an odd thing to do considering that Gratuitous Italian would make more sense with the series.
- Pokémon, which has... a thing about names, deserves a mention for the pseudo-legendary introduced in Generation V: Hydreigon. Its first and second forms are Deino and Zweilous, respectively; Hydreigon is the third and final form. The head numbering also matches: Deino with one, Zweilous with two, Hydreigon with three.
- The toymaker speaks a bit of German in the PC CD-ROM adaptation of King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder!.
- Blazblue, where all of Battle Butler Valkenhayn's special and super attacks are in, albeit choppy and broken, German.
- Lambda counts in German during her Drive combo. Some of her attack names also use "Zwei" instead of "Two."
- Final Fantasy XIII has Gestalt Mode for eidolons' special moves.
- Herzog Zwei, right in the title (as well as the stage names). Interestingly, quite a few people didn't notice it was supposed to be German for "two", particularly due to its much less well-known sequel being released in Japan only.
- Your two helicopter pilots in the Bullet Hell shooter Under Defeat both speak German, while the game's main antagonists all speak in English.
- The Sega Saturn game Wachenröder which was only released in Japan features an opening narration in German.
- Xenogears has the Gears Seibzehn and Achtzehn. Seibzehn is a misspelling of Siebzehn, meaning Seventeen in German. (Achtzehn is correct and means Eighteen.)
- Warrior Blade: Rastan Saga Episode III has some German voiceover lines, e.g. "Es gibt keinen Ausweg!" Which is strange, considering that the setting is not distinctly Germanic, and there is no German text displayed anywhere.
- Stahlfeder (a Vertical Scrolling Shooter for the PlayStation, whose name means "steel spring") has German ship and pilot names.
- Nineteenth century Japanese didn't have an equivalent for "job," i.e. paid work subject to many constraints for both the employer and the employee dissimilar to a serf's "roboten" (German: statute labor, a serf's duty towards their feudal lord) which was the common form of "job" for non-landholding Japanese. They borrowed the German "Arbeit" and nihonized it into "arubaito", or "baito" for short. This occurs in nearly every anime where a character says they have a (part-time) "job," particularly wage-earner/blue-collar jobs. Case in point, Morisaki Taku's part-time job at a restaurant in Umi Ga Kikoeru.
- Another German loanword that became a common Japanese term is "Märchen" (fairy tale), from which was coined the neologism meruhenchikku ("Märchen-tic," fairy-tale-like).
- In the 19th and previous centuries, much of Central-Eastern Europe was under the rule of the Austrian Habsburg dynasty or a local German nobility. Germany, the easternmost "western" country, was seen as having gold-paved streets, and so many non-aristocratic, non-German citizens aspiring to a higher social station attempted to ape Deutschtum in a similar way to modern "Wapanese". The "Junior Germans" were held in about the same regard.
- On the flip-side, the un-fanboyish use of the German language for convenience in trade in the Middle Ages, before national feeling really developed, leads to German names cropping up in weird places. The national epic of Estonia was first written down by a man called "Friedrich Reinhold Kreuzwald". Not the most Finnic-sounding thing in the world.
- This was aided by the fact that German populations ended up scattered all over Eastern Europe, ranging from the Transylvania Saxons or the Teutonic and Livonian Orders (the cause for the aforementioned Estonia) to as far away as Russia.
- In Latvia wannabe-Germans were called "Kārklu vacieši", willow-Germans, for some reason.
- In the late 19th century on the territory of today's Czech Republic, which at the time was under the Habsburg Monarchy, the Czech language was spoken only among low class citizens and the main and official language was German. This sparked the Czech National Revival whose main goal was to restore the Czech language. The problem was that there was no official Czech language, and many things didn't even have words in Czech and were borrowed mainly from German. The efforts in reviving the language and nation were successful, but it still has a lot of words that are German or are at least modified versions of them. To this day it is probably the second most important language in the Czech Republic, after English.
- Japanese wrestler Masahiro Chono promotes his own line of clothing, ArisTrist, with the tag line "...geborene Kämpfer" ("born fighters"), which also appears on much of the line's apparel. There's a reasonable explanation, however - Chono's wife and co-designer of the collection is German.
- Das Blinkenlights
- "Blinkenlights" in turn is inspired by an infamous computer room sign from The Fifties:
ALLES TURISTEN UND NONTEKNISCHEN LOOKENPEEPERS!
DAS KOMPUTERMASCHINE IST NICHT FÜR DER GEFINGERPOKEN UND MITTENGRABEN! ODERWISE IST EASY TO SCHNAPPEN DER SPRINGENWERK, BLOWENFUSEN UND POPPENCORKEN MIT SPITZENSPARKSEN.
IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
ZO RELAXEN UND WATSCHEN DER BLINKENLICHTEN.
- Uber is correctly spelled "über". For non-German keyboards lacking the letter Ü, "ueber" would be the correct transliteration. The German word is mostly used to mean "over'/above", but can also mean "beyond" if applied to a scale, or "super", indicationg something is surpassing usual boundaries or limitations. You'll see this a lot with gamers. However, the English use of the word is a loanword that has been adapted to suit the English alphabet, in a similar manner to the way a lot of French words have done so (and something that is very common in Japanese as well). The correct German spelling is necessary in German but people who speak English are unlikely to notice such things.
- The classical music world runs on this trope along with Gratuitous Italian. While the latter language is the standard for sheet music markings, larger musical concepts/philosophies tend to use German words (e.g. Gesamtkunstwerk, Klangfarbenmelodie, Leitmotif) thanks to Germany and Austria's place as the center of the musical world from the 18th century to the early 20th century, both in terms of great composers and the people studying and writing about them.
- Germany was a major scientific center in the 19th and early 20th centuries, so a fair number of scientific terms are German in origin. Bremsstrahlung radiation emitted when an electron is deflected by an atomic nucleus is one example.
- Philosophy has also led to a large amount of German words, primarily those describing abstract concepts, being absorbed wholesale into English. This is due to the large philosophical production of the late 19th- and early 20th century.
- Psychology: Sigmund Freud deliberately used popular-language terms such as 'ich' and 'es' instead of science-y latinate forms to stress the basic and generally-accessible nature of his theory of mind. This was initially imitated in English as 'I' and 'it', but to his chagrin soon changed to 'ego' and 'id', which is exactly what he wanted to avoid. A rare case where Gratuitous German would actually have been more appropriate.
- City buses in Kabul are frequently Mercedes models. Their drivers usually have them painted in sober colours with short slogans in poor German along the sides.
- Subverted by Finnish automobile retail and repair company Das Auto Oy. Not only does Auto mean "car" in both German and Finnish, but using the correct German finite article das also describes pretty well what kind of cars this company sells and provides service for.
- The American fast food chain (Der)note Wienerschnitzel. According to The Other Wiki, one would normally use the neuter form "das" for "Wienerschnitzel". Additionally, a "Wiener Schnitzel" (which of course comes from Austrianote ) is a completely different food entirely from a hot dog (sometimes called a "wiener"note ), which the restaurant chain specializes in. In Germany, some sausages (similar to hot dogs) are called "Wiener Würstchen", hence the misunderstanding. And, by the way, the correct German name would be "Wiener Schnitzel" , not "Wienerschnitzel".
- The very words "Hamburger" (of or relating to Hamburg), "Frankfurter"note (of or relating to Frankfurt), and the aforementioned "Wiener" as used in North America and around the world. Furthermore, it's unclear what Germany's role, if any, is in the creation of the modern hamburger sandwichnote .
Na, schon 'ne Alkoholvergiftung?