Monday, December 7, 2009


German Word of the Day: Raus (Out)

On Saturday, David and I took our took dogs to their first dog training class in Germany. We have been trying to coordinate getting our dogs into training classes for the last year, but due to many unforeseen conflicts, we have not been able to. Needless to say, our two dogs are sweet, but lack the good manners necessary to be taken out in public on a thrice daily basis.

Our dogs are already well versed in a few standard commands: SIT, DOWN, LEAVE-IT,..

Somehow the German commands seem to be a bit more effective. We are teaching the dogs German commands and they actually respond better.

To give a good example of this I will use the word sit. In German, SIT is SITZ. That extra z really seems to drive the command into the dogs head. Both David and I agree that they respond better to the commands when we give them in German.

One possible argument is that our dogs have simply stopped listening to us. Emma

The more likely reason, the German command has a much harsher and more stern sound. When you say a word like SITZ or PLATZ (DOWN), you can't help but sound like you mean business. Dogs need authority. Most dogs actually like authority. The exception here would be our Emma. Emma is as stubborn as a dog comes, but that's another story.... Back to German dogs commands.

My favorite command to give the dogs: RAUS. This means GET OUT. It's just fun to say. Not that I don't want my dogs around, they just tend to have a bad habit of getting into things they shouldn't.


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  2. Interesting post, Amy. I've often wondered about the relationship between language and consciousness. Certainly, the way we see things is conditioned by how we can describe these things in our own language. A Frenchman could see the same thing as I, and it would impress his consciousness in a different way because of the different language constructs it would have to pass through. I've always really wanted to see things through a different language construct than English. But that's not possible unless one is fully fluent in the other language - and perhaps not even then.


    Heh. Kidding.
    Or, rather, I'm not. Once you're fluent in German, we can have the discussion. I very much look forward to it, dear. ;-)

  3. (I deleted my first post because I realized there was a typo once I published it. Just so you know.) :-)

  4. I know exactly what you are saying. I tried saying the German words out loud and it does sound more commanding. That's really strange.

  5. Uh. The Germans are just eerie and the language is forceful. It's the "clip" in the sounds.

    Plus, they are natural bullies -- dogs see that. Dogs are intuitive that way -- and cats.... Cats will bite Germans....