My little personal contribution to keep track of all the terms and other German used on the show. Hopefully somewhat useful and/or entertaining.
Comments, requests, and questions can go on the talk page here or my user talk page. If you spy a term missing from the lists please inform me.
(Also not watching the dub either, so picking up the relevant stuff from what I can find.)

Translations Edit

Note: Basis for language discussion and critique is (usually) contemporary Standard German. Since that is what the show is apparently working from, or trying to, i.e. they do not seem to actively aim for 'historical' German, or try to imitate morphological changes of the terms through time and adoption by different language-speakers. Which could account for a multitude of weirdnesses (but afaik they haven't even given that as a handwave-y reason). Hence everything will be judged first by modern standards of spelling, grammar, etc.

Marked in red are special cases of linguistic horribleness or hilarity.

Wesen species Edit

Wesen species
Show Term Show translation [1] [2] (actual) translation (German unless otherwise noted) critique/comments German dub version
Abartige Aasfresser abartig "deviant, abnormal", Aasfresser (sg. & pl.) "scavenger (lit. "carrion-earter)
Augapfel-Aushacken Augapfel "eyeball" + a/Aushacken "hack(ing) out, peck(ing) out"
Bauerschwein German: Peasant pig Bauer "farmer, peasant" + Schwein, pl. -e "pig" okay compound, an alternative could be Bauernschwein Bauernschwein
Blutbad, pl. -en German: Bloodbath Blutbad, pl. -bäder (Blut "blood" + Bad "bath") "bloodbath, massacre"; blutbaden would be "to bloodbathe" okay; but word for an action/event instead of actor, and bad fake-German plural Blutbader = "bloodbather"
Coyotl Kojote = coyote
Daemonfeuer / Dämonfeuer German: demon fire Daemon/Dämon "demon" + Feuer "fire" okay-ish compound, better would be Dämonenfeuer; but word for an object instead of actor Feuerteufel = "fire-devil", arsonist/pyromaniac
Dickfellig thick-skinned dick "thick" + Fell "[animal] skin, fur" + adj. ending -ig not a noun but an adjective; adjective itself is constructed well (although in vernacular its meaning is usually rendered as idiom ein dickes Fell haben "have a thick skin"); another possibility is that they tried for "pachyderm", but that's Dickhäuter
Drang-Zorn Drang "urge, stress" + Zorn "wrath" Drang-Zorn
Eisbiber German: ice beaver Eis "ice" + Biber "beaver" okay Eisbiber
Fuchsbau German: Foxhole Fuchsbau (Fuchs "fox" + Bau "burrow") "fox burrow" okay; but word for an animal home instead of a being Fuchsteufel = "fox-devil"
Fuchsteufelwild fuchsteufelswild adj. "very furious, raging" Adjective not noun. If one assumed it were a compound noun it literally translates to "fox-devil-game" (game as in wild animals). Wilder Fuchsteufel = "wild fox-devil"
Gedächtnis Esser Gedächtnis "memory" (in the sense of whole collective or ability; a memory as recalled information is Erinnerung) + Esser "eater"
Gefrierengeber gefrieren "to freeze [become solid]" + Geber "giver" bad compound
Geier Geier (sg. & pl.) "vulture" existing animal name Geier
Gelumcaedus Gelumcaedus
Genio Innocuo Innocuo Kröte = "Innocuo toad"
Geölte(r) Blitz (Murciélago) "Geölterblitz, literally: bat out of hell." (Monroe, 1.20) from German idiom [wie ein] geölter Blitz "[like] greased lightning", i.e. very fast uhm, no?; going by Monroe's comment they apparently though it literally meant something like 'bat out of hell/hell bat'; FTR that would be Höllenfledermaus Murcielago
Glühenvolk glühen "to glow", Glühen "glowing" (noun) + Volk "(a) people, folk" better compound probably Glühvolk; refers only to a whole (ethnic) group or crowd, not individuals Glühwesen (sg.+pl.) = glow-being
Hässlich German: Nasty and ugly. hässlich "ugly, nasty" not a noun but an (non-nominal) adjective Rattentroll = rat-troll
Heftigauroch heftig "strong, fierce, violent" + English aurochs Note: in German the bovid is called Auerochse (or Ur), which is the origin of the English name.
Hexenbiest German: Witch bitch. Hexe "witch" + Biest "beast" okay; official translation also correct technically, but secondary meaning Hexenbiest
Höllentier Höll "hell" + Tier "animal" okay Höllentier
Hundjager Hund "dog" + Jäger "hunter" okayish but for the missing umlaut, though possibly a better compound would be Hundejäger; alternatively there's another determinans/determinatum swap going on and it should rather be Jägerhund (cf. the Jägerbär) "hunter-dog" or Jagdhund "hunting dog" Todesdogge = "death dogge/doge[dog breed]"
Jägerbar German: Hunter bear. Jäger (sg. & pl.) "hunter" + Bär "bear"; Jäger-Bar however is a "hunter bar" (as in "pub") okay but for the missing umlaut Jägerbär
Jinnamuru Xunte Jinnamuru Xunte
Klaustreich German: Scrounging Prankster klauen "to steal" + Streich "trick/prank, strike" = "stealing prank" i.e. an act of stealing okay-ish; but word for an action instead of actor Hyänenratte = hyena-rat
Konigschlange König "king" + Schlange "snake"; Königsschlange "Boa constrictor" okay, also existing animal name (although they dropped an 's') Königsschlange
Koschie Koschtsche
Krampus Traditional companion figures of Saint Nicholas in southern Germany, Austria and its denredensurroundings. Krampus
Lausenschlange German: Lousy snake. probably Laus "louse" + Schlange "snake"; maybe Läuseschlange "louse snake", Laus(e)schlange "rascal snake" bad compound; "lousy snake" would be lausige Schlange Schreckensnatter = fright/terror-snake
Lebensauger Leben "life (sg. & pl.)" + Sauger "sucker" = "lives-sucker", Lebenssauger = "life-sucker" okay
Lowen / Löwen lion Löwe, pl. Löwen "lion" existing animal name Löwenzahn = "lion-tooth", dandelion
Mauzhertz German: Mouse heart. Maus "mouse" + Herz "heart" okay, although nonstandard spellings Mauseherz = mouse-heart
Mellifer German: Honey bee. Latin mel "honey" + ferre "to bear, carry" = "honey carrying" not German but Latin Mellifer
Mellischwuler "Queen Bee" Latin mel "honey" + German Schwuler (m. sg., from schwul "gay [as in homosexual]") "gay [person]" = "honey gay [person]" translation trainwreck winner; obviously a dictionary slip: they looked up 'queen', but then did not pick the equivalent of 'female regent' (Königin), but an equivalent for 'gay person';
proper German equivalent is Bienenkönigin (lit. "bee queen")
Bienenkönigin = queen bee
Mordstier Mord "murder" + Stier "bull" okay-ish; funnily, if taken as Mords-tier it means "great/big/awesome animal"
Nuckelavee Hufhänder / ?Hufhändler? = "hoof-handed, hoof-hander"
Pflichttreue a nominalisation of adj. pflichttreu "loyal to duty": der/die/das Pflichttreue, pl. -n (indefinite article endings: -er/-e/-es/-e) "the loyal/dutiful one"; or the concept, die Pflichttreue "loyalty to duty"
Raub-Kondor Raub (noun), rauben (adj.) "to rob, prey" + Kondor "condor" = "condor of prey" or "robbing/robbery condor" okay; dunno if they were conciously emulating Raubvogel "bird of prey" or just got lucky while going for the more literal second approach given above Raub-Kondor
Reinigen German: Pure rat. reinigen "to clean" not a noun but a verb Nagerstein = rodent-stone
Rißfleisch Rißfleisch/Rissfleich: from reißen "to rip", or Riss "kill(/ed prey) of a predator" + Fleisch "flesh, meat" okay; but word for object instead of actor
Rumpelstiltskin fairytale character, in German Rumpelstilzchen
Schakal jackal creature Schakal, pl. Schakale = "jackal" existing animal name Schakal
Scharfblicke scharf "sharp", Blick, pl. -e "a look, view, glance" inappropriate plural, thing not actor; proper singular is Scharfblick, to make it an acting person results in Scharfblicker; (welp, the previously fan-assumed Scharfbicke would have been better)
Schinderdiv Schinder = "knacker", i.e. person whose job it is to deal with animal carcasses, figuratively a cruel and abusive person; schinden "to flay, torture, abuse; to overwork s.o."
Schneetmacher German: Coldhearted, evil creature. *Schneet ??? (probably sth to do with Schnee "snow" and schneien "to snow") + Macher "maker, doer" okay, excepting the unclear first word
Seelengut Seele, pl. -n "soul" + Gut "a good" / gut "good" (adj.); DWB adj. seelengut "kindhearted" not a noun but an adjective; or if aiming for "good soul" then a determinans/determinatum swap Tugendschaf = "virtue-sheep"
Seltenvogel Rare Bird selten "rare" + Vogel "bird" bad compound Geistervogel = spirit-bird, ghost-bird
Siegbarste German: Devoid of victory. *Sieg "victory" + bar supposed to be "devoid of" + -ste ???; while bar x is "devoid of x", -bar is "-able" (e.g. besiegbar "defeatable"), so here it would rather be the opposite of the intended meaning (while siegbar doesn't exist, it sounds more victory positive than negative);
also possible is something with bersten "to burst, break", preterite barst, as "burst/broken victory"
really bad compound (i.e. grammatically wrong and intended meaning not visible without the show's 'translation') Granitbestie = "granite beast/monster"
Shnabeltiermörder Schnabeltier + Mörder "platypus-murderer" okay; though the platypus was unknown to Europe until the late 18th century, i.e. much later than the illustration style implies
Skalengeck Scaled dude Skala, pl. Skalen "[measurement] scale" + Geck (modern:) "fop", (DWB:) "fool" dictionary slip: animal scales are Schuppe, -n, so properly it would be Schuppengeck Natterngecko = Colubrid gecko
Skalenzahne scaled tooth Skala, pl. Skalen "[measurement] scale" + Zahn, pl. Zähne "tooth" dictionary slip: animal scales are Schuppe, -n; intended translation would be Schuppenzahn
Sorglosgör sorglos "carefree" + Gör(e) "brat, child"
Spinnetod Monroe says "death spider" Spinne "spider" + Tod "death" determinans/determinatum swap: "death spider" would be Todesspinne; bad compound, better compound is Spinnentod (sounds more like a spider-killing being or an insecticide this way round), otherwise it rather sounds like an adjective (*spinnetot) which would be something like "very dead". Spinnensatan = spider satan
Stangebär Stange "pole, rod" + Bär "bear" ok-ish; no interfix: better Stangenbär
Steinadler golden eagle Steinadler (Stein "stone" + Adler (sg. & pl.) "eagle") "Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)" existing animal name
Volcanalis Volcanalis
Waage Waage "[weighing] scales" okay; but word for object instead of actor
Waschbar Waschbär (waschen "to wash, clean" + Bär "bear") "raccoon (Procyon)"; waschbar however is "washable" existing animal name, but spelled wrong without umlaut
Wechselbalg Wechselbalg "a changeling"
Wendigo Wendigo
Wildermann wilder Mann "wild man", but wrong as a compound if made a better compound it would be Wildmann; the legendary creature itself is called wilder Mann
Wildesheer, wuotis heer wildes Heer "wild army"; Wuotis Heer "Wuodan's Army" a proper compound would lack the -es declension (Wildheer); also once more a collective plural used for singular beings
Wildschwein Wildschwein (wild "wild" + Schwein "pig") "wild boar (Sus scrofa)" existing animal name
Wütende Taube wütend "angry", Taube "pigeon, dove" okay
Zauberbiest Zauber "magic, a spell" + Biest "beast"
Ziegevolk German: Goat folks. Ziege "goat" + Volk "(a) people" proper compound would be Ziegenvolk; refers only to a whole (ethnic) group or crowd, not individuals Ziegendämon = "goat demon"

Rotznasig Carcaju rotznasig "snot-nosed" + Portugese carcaju "wolverine"
Folterseele Folter "torture" + Seele "soul"
Frosch Schleimig Frosch "frog" + schleimig "slimy"
Riesen-Ratte Riese "giant" + Ratte "rat"
Schmerzen-Kaninchen Schmerz, pl. -en "pain" + Kaninchen "rabbit"
Wasser Zahne Wasser "water" + Zahn, pl. Zähne "tooth"
Kackenkopf Kacke "crap [feces]", kacken "to crap" + Kopf "head" Wrong interfix, more accurate: Kackkopf.
Wettbewerbsgewinner Wettbewerb "competition" + Gewinner "winner" correct
Ungeziefer Greifer Ungeziefer "vermin" + Greifer "grasper" possibly an analogue to "predator" Beutegreifer?

Wesen group names/terms, culture Edit

Wesen or Wesen group names/terms, culture
Show Term Show translation [3] [4] (actual) translation (German unless otherwise noted) critique/comments German dub version
Endezeichen Grimm Ende "end" + Zeichen "sign" Endzeichen-Grimm(s)
Freidenreden Frieden "peace" + reden "to talk" not really a noun either; common misspelling in swapping ie and ei
Gegengewicht Gegengewicht "counterweight"
Genträger Genträger (sg.+pl.) = "gene carrier"
Gesetzbuch Ehrenkodex Gesetzbuch "book of law, law code", Ehrenkodex "code of honour"
Kehrseite, Kehrseite-Schlich-Kennen Kehrseite "reverse (side), opposite (side), flipside"; schleichen "to sneak, creep" and kennen "to know" = "reverse-side-sneaked-to-know" word for a thing used for people; if used for all of humanity it could make sense as in humans and Wesens being like 'two sides of the same coin', but not really applicable to singular beings; the second expanded term is just a hypenated string of words that makes no sense at all Ungesicht = "un-face", through Gesicht also meant/s "vision", so maybe that; aufgeklärtes Ungesicht = "informed un-face/vision"
Laufer (alternate on NBC: Lauffeur[5]) Laufer/Läufer (sg. & pl.) "runner"; alternate is Lauffeuer "wildfire" (lit. "running fire") (both in the sense of fire and of 'information spreading like') okay; note alternative spelling on NBC site Libertatis
Menschenjagd Menschenjagd "human hunt", from Mensch, -en "human" + Jagd "hunt" existing term
Purewelt Orden Pure World Order pur "pure" + Welt "world" +Orden "order" hm, okay; maybe wouldn't have compounded the adjective into following noun, and used a different adjective, like rein (pur doesn't fit the context)
Reinheitsgebot Reinheit "purity" + Gebot "an order, law, commandment" well, term exists in the real world, but over here in Germany the Reinheitsgebot refers to the purity law for beer (=the only ingredients allowed for beer-production are water, barley and hops)
Reapers Sensenmänner, sg. -mann, Schnitter
Roh-hatz roh "raw"/"rough" + Hatz "hunt, chase" Roh-Hatz
Umkippen Umkippen "to tip/tilt/keel over, topple, capsize"
Wesen German: Creature. Wesen (sg. & pl.) "a being (literal and primary meaning), creature" okay Wesen
Wieder Wesen, Wieder-[Wesen-type] wieder- "again" probably intended as a religious-style 'born again' thing; alternatively it could have been mistaken for the homophone wider "against", i.e. the wesen in question going 'against' their nature/culture
Woge Woge, pl. -en (noun), wogen (verb) = "wave", "surge" (pertaining to movement of water) Aufwallung
Verrat / Veratt[6] Verrat "betrayal, treason" note alternative misspelling on NBC site  ? Warane = monitor lizards
Ahnenerbe Ahnen + Erbe "ancestor(s)'s inheritance/heirloom"
Schwarzkralle schwarz "black" + Kralle "claw"
Wolfsangel historic wolf trap, widely-used symbol (heraldic and otherwise)
Hafen Hafen "harbor" Does not have the standard double meaning "safe place" as English haven does.

Other German terms, names & phrases Edit

Other German terms, names & phrases
Show Term Show translation [7] [8] (actual) translation (German unless otherwise noted) critique/comments German dub version
Albtraume fur Wesen Kinder Albtraum, pl. -träume "nightmare"; für "for"; Kind, pl. -er "child" = "Nightmares for Wesen children"
"Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei." "Everything has an end, only the sausage has two." (1.21) same A line popularized by the [1986 song] that became a carnival hit. Actually about the narrator breaking up with his girlfriend and later regretting it.
Bierwurze Milchzucker Bierwürze (lit. "beer-seasoning/flavoring") "gruit/grut"; Milchzucker "lactose" (both are lit. milk-sugar) Waschbars are eating lactose with added beer-flavoring herbs to combat lactose intolerance? Seems legit, totally.
Doppelarmbrust Doppelarmbrust "double crossbow"
Dreifacharmbrust Dreifacharmbrust "triple crossbow"
Grausen Grausen "horror" Grausen
Folter Clinic Folter "torture"
Gallenblase Gallenblase "gallbladder" existing term
Reinigungsbad Reinigungsbad "purification/cleaning bath"
Grosszahn groß "big" + Zahn "tooth"
Haarlos haarlos (adj.) "hairless"
Handgefecht Hand "hand" + Gefecht "battle, combat"
Keimarm Industries keimarm "low-germ, low in germs" (from Keim "germ" + arm "poor")
Saugendampf saugen "to suck" + Dampf "vapor" bad compound, determinans/determinatum swap (i.e. wrong way round to refer to the pipe)
Seele Dichtungsmittel Seele "soul" + Dichtungsmittel "sealant(s)"
Schlaftrunk Schlaftrunk "sleeping potion"
Siegbarste Gewehr Siegbarste + Gewehr "rifle"
Siegbarste Gift Siegbarste + Gift "poison, venom" Venenum Siegbarsticum
Spiegelbildverzauberung Spiegelbild "mirror image" + Verzauberung "enchantment, bewitchment"
Steinkellner Stein "stone" + Kellner "cellarer, cellarmaster" (nowadays "waiter") existing family name
Sterbestunde; " 'G' ist fur[/für] Grimm." (2.10) sterben "to die" + "Stunde "hour" = "hour of dying/death"; "G is for Grimm." existing term Sterbestunde
Tier Gift Tier "animal" + Gift "poison, venom" As it's a book on venomous Wesen it's the wrong way round and should rather be Giftige Tiere or Gifttiere "poison(ous) animals". On a minor note, German noun compounds are written together or with a hyphen: so either Tiergift, Tier-Gift or with an adj. as tierisches Gift; but as it's on a book spine it can be overlooked as a matter of design/layout.
Tränke Trank, pl. Tränke "potion" okay
Trauminsel Traum "dream" + Insel "island" okay
Unbezahlbar unbezahlbar "priceless" (lit. "unpayable") not a noun but an adjective
Verfallserscheinung Verfallserscheinung "sign of deterioration/decay/decline"
Völlige Verzweiflung völlig "whole, complete" + Verzweiflung "despair"
Zaubertrank 23 Zaubertrank "magic potion" okay Zaubertrank
Essigblasse [from the Zaubertrank 23 recipe] Essig "vinegar" + blass "pale" = "pale like vinegar" determinans/determinatum swap, "pale vinegar" would be blasser Essig or if made into a compound Blassessig
Die Zeit Totzuschlagen the Killing Time from Zeit totschlagen "to kill time"; the full phase as shown needs an "um" to make a sensible phrase, which is: um die Zeit totzuschlagen "for the purpose of killing/passing time" Probably another machine translation reading failure: they put in "killing time", and the machine translator didn't read it as a compound noun but as verb+noun.
Zigeunersprache Zigeuner "gypsy (sg. & pl.)" + Sprache "language" = "gypsy language" i.e Romani language apparently supposed to be a title of a person?;
(also stated to be sth about "Queen of the Schwarzwald Gypsies" living in Austria, where the Black Forest is definitely not.)
 ?Zigeunerfürstin = gypsy-princess [prince as in 'princeps', not as in a noble's child]
"Erntemaschinen von dem Grimms" (reaper scythe inscription) "Reapers of the Grimms" Erntemaschine, pl. -n "harvesting machine" + von dem "of the" + Grimms aside from the hilarious dictionary slip, the "of the" declension (used is dative singular) is wrong: the proper case here is the genitive plural der Grimms, proper dative plural ('incorrect' case but modern vernacular) would be von den Grimms
Verfluchte Zwillingsschwester verfluchte Zwillingsschwester "cursed twin-sister"
"Vernichter der Grimms" (reaper scythe inscription) "Annihilator(s) of the Grimms"
Xaliyaa Fingoo Kribblermücke

Common problems Edit

So in general the show's writers have problems with:

  • bad compounds: merely sticking words together (like it's done in English) without fitting them the way they work in German (i.e. with the proper interfix); or putting the wrong types together:
  • ignoring differences between nouns/adjectives/verbs; lots of them look identical in English, but not in German
  • determinans/determinatum swap: swapping the describing and described word in a compound resulting in a completely different meaning
  • dictionary slip: looking up a word in a dictionary or machine translator, and then picking the wrong word for the intended meaning (e.g. the Mellischwuler). Tip!: always check the chosen word in reverse to make sure it really means what you intend.

German primer Edit

Just a place for a variety of language issues. (Note that they may be more complicated if examined in full (as are all things), but here are reduced to the necessary and 'every-day' basics for brevity and usability.)

German language divisions and history Edit

Since there sometimes seems to be a bit of confusion about the terms.

Internally the German language is split into varying dialectical regions. Approximately the nothern third of Germany is/was the region of Low German, while the lower two thirds are High German; the latter is split in half into the northern Middle German and southern Upper German. Standard German is a form of High German (which is often used as a synonym for Standard German).

High German language development is historically split into the following phases: Old High German (8-11th century), Middle High German (11-14th), Early New High German (14-17th), New High German (17th-today). The Grimms worked in the 19th century, and so spoke New High German, same language as today.

Spelling & special letters Edit

The umlauts ä, ö, ü: they are proper sounds/letters on their own and cannot just be exchanged for regular a, o, u without changing the words' pronounciation or meaning, to either render it a different one or nonsensical. They developed from writing the vowel letter with an added e beside or above it, the latter which developed into the dots. If the version with the dots are not or cannot be used, umlauts can still be written as "vowel+e": ae, oe, ue (e.g. the name Goethe). If your keyboard lacks them you can use the ASCII codes for German umlauts: ä=alt+132, Ä=alt+142, ö=alt+148, Ö=alt+153, ü=alt+129, Ü=alt+154.

The ß (Eszett or 'sharp s') is historically a ligature of sz, but nowadays replaced by ss if the letter is not available. Generally, ß follows after long vowels and diphthongs, while ss marks short vowels. Eszett usually only exists as a lower case letter; in all caps it is usually replaced by 'SS'. ASCII code: ß=alt+225.

All nouns are capitalised in German; this helps with faster and easier reading and less ambiguity (e.g. as some word may be identically written but have different meanings and pronunciations, e.g. long Weg vs. short weg: "a way" vs. "away"). Funnily enough, the Grimm brothers were against this way of capitalisation, promoting and themselves writing without capitalising nouns.

ie & ei are commonly confused by English speakers because in German they are the other way round phonetically: In German ie is a long 'i'/'ee' and the diphthong ei is like in "pie". Hence why things like Frieden, Sieg, Tolkien often get their ie swapped to ei when spelt by English speakers.

Other things Edit

Titles/Honorifics: Herr (male), Frau (female), Fräulein (female, unmarried). Historically, Herr and Frau meant and were equivalent to 'lord' and 'lady'. In the 19th century that use changed, progressively becoming the 'regular' forms of adress, equivalent to English Mr/Ms; also Frau replaced the original Weib as the standard term for 'adult female human'. Fräulein, a diminutive of Frau, was used respectively for unmarried ladies and women. The title Fräulein was finally officially abolished in 1972 (in West Germany), and has fallen out of use as a proper title. Nowadays when used it is connotated either humorous or belittling and derogative, a sign of putting the adressee down and not taking her seriously.

I wonder if anyone actually reads this far? Or finds it useful. Comments, requests, and questions can go on the talk page.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.