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Scheisse!: The Real German You Were Never Taught in School [Paperback]

Gertrude Besserwisser , David Levine
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 13 1994
Another entry in the bestselling, Merda! series, this humorous book helps readers navigate the world of real Low German. Scheisse! introduces readers to the fine art of cursing and basic slang to spice up their German speech. On-air radio giveaways.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Gutter German April 24 2004
In her book, "Scheisse" Gertrude Besserwisser, which seems to almost have to be a pseudonym, the reader is introduced to really wonderful low Deutsch of the most common variety. In fact, this is German you don't learn in school, I heard this stuff when I went to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. But not in school.
No profanity is too great for the unabashed Besserwisser. Wonderful colloquial German expressions of full throttle profanity and abusiveness are introduced in this book, along with illustrations by David Levine that increase the humor of the presentation.
The one item that the reader should know, is that basic knowledge of a little German is really a pre-requisite to get the most out of this book. Although, it is readable, by those who have never spoken a word of German. And just as funny. This book is highly recommended for people about to take a trip to a German speaking country. At least you will know when they are cursing at you, even if you cannot understand all of it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny book on German Dec 30 2003
This is probably the funniest book you'll ever see on German, and it's the only one I've seen on the subject. Most of the book wouldn't be repeatable here, but I might be able to mention a couple things. "Die Muschi" refers both to "cat" as well as to you know what, just as in English. Equally funny, I recall from my study of Chinese that in Mandarin, the word "mao," pronounced with the tone that falls at first and then rises, has the same dual meaning too. So German, Chinese, and English are all alike in this respect. :-) You might hear the acronym "BMW", but it doesn't refer to the car. It's shorthand for Brett mit Warzen, or "a board with warts," referring to a woman that is not especially well endowed. However, "der Vorbau" means just the opposite. In fact, it translates as "front porch," which carries a connotation of being fairly heavy as well.
The book has 12 chapters with hundreds of off-color and colorful phrases and words, and a glossary. Each chapter has a paragraph of introduction to the subject of the chapter, such as "Curses, Epithets, and Other Cries of Exasperation," or "The Basics," or "Body Language and Other Parts." Finally, there a little quiz in the back to test your new-found knowledge of scatological German linguistics, so to speak. The book is only 112 pages, but there is a lot of information in those 112 pages, and it's worth the price just for the entertainment factor.
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By A Customer
Went to live in Germany a few years back, having little knowledge of the language. I purchased the basic study items (dictionary, phrasebook, workbook, cassette tapes, etc). After beginning my studies, I came across this book. It was actually needed, because of my environment, German friends, etc. I figured it would help me learn the curses. This book did a few things I didn't expect:
- It gave me a deeper understanding of colloquial German.
- It taught me something about the German limbic psyche, and how they generate slang.
- It helped me 'fit in' - in bars.
- It helped me understand better, teaching me common words you won't find in standard books.
- It made me laugh (it is hilarious!)
- It helped me make my German friends laugh.
- And yes, it helped me learn the curses.
If you are learning intermediate German, this is a great addition to your collection. It is worth the price for the humor alone. Do heed the warnings in some other reviews, though - you need to know where you can use these terms, without getting into trouble.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My teacher didn't even know some of this stuff!!! Sept. 22 2002
Ok, I picked up this book so I could learn some dirty words. And boy was I in for a surprise! There is LITERALLY EVERY DIRTY WORD POSSIBLE in here. The book provides sentences with many of the words and at the end of each chapter gives you a chance to see how well you are learning the slang. The book also tells which words are considered "taboo," so you don't go around using things that might get you labeled as something bad. The book also clears up some slang that we may "try" to use that is wrong, such as if we directly translated "she dosn't have a butt," which, if I remember correctly acutally means "she can't sit for long." The book also gives great phrases (such as "Your place or mine?") and others that I cannot write in this review. It also has stuff that you can use, such as names for bars and how to ask for directions and other helpful stuff. There is a great glossary in the back for quick reference, and each chapter is broken into sections (such as: body parts, tourist stuff, profanity, etc). This is a great book. I showed it to my teacher, and there were things in it she never even knew! A must have!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Zum Lesen mit'm Duden June 24 1999
This book provides some useful words and expressions that you certainly won't learn in American high schools or colleges. It is probably the best of its kind available for German (the Wicked series books are filled with ridiculous made-up sayings that no native speaker really uses). That said, it really doesn't compare with the Merde books in French, of which this is the German equivalent. For instance, the sentences given as examples are not witty and they are also loosely translated into English, which might give the right "feel" but is not the best for someone trying to learn the intricacies of their usage. Also, the German doesn't get as vulgar as the French (whether this is because the German language is more civilized or this book less complete I hesitate to answer). One understandable problem is that there are tons of different dialects and regional differences in German so that a general unified version of German slang is sure to lack some substance. Consider also the great wealth of Viennese slang (Wienerisch, eh kloar!) or the different Swiss expressions which are of necessity left out. Over all this is a pretty decent book for those who want to learn some "low German" or just try out some choice words on their German teacher!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Scheisse!
This little book is a lot of fun to dive into! I've been studying German in university for 4 years, but they definitely don't teach this part of the language! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Natasha Rosewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a hilarious foreign-language text!
Until I read this book, I thought I knew every nasty thing you could possibly say in German. I was quickly proven wrong. Read more
Published on May 17 2003 by "krimischreiber"
5.0 out of 5 stars A great reference, but be careful!
I first read this book several years ago, prior to a trip to Northern Bavaria. It was a great and easy read, and gave me enough to sound much more native in my skills. Read more
Published on April 16 2002 by L. Herrmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad title, great book!
I've used the book a lot in my last three trips to Berlin. The Germans were surprised of the "stuff you never learned in German" that I knew. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2001 by Mark L. Welter
5.0 out of 5 stars Scheisse! The REAL German You Were Never Taught in School
This is by far the best reference guide available to the general public. I wish I would have had this when I was in Germany as an exchange student - I just know if I had, I would... Read more
Published on April 13 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars German For People With Dirty Minds
This book is the perfect way to spice up your German vocabulary with slang, curse words, insults, ect. Read more
Published on July 27 2000 by "skapunkbluesjazzrock"
2.0 out of 5 stars The word Scheisse says it all
This is not the sort of book you should buy if you are serious about learning German. It is the sort of book you buy for a laugh rather than to learn some informal conversational... Read more
Published on July 3 2000 by Jo-Ann Wynne
4.0 out of 5 stars Naughtyspeak
This is a very funny and useful book. As langauges go, German seems to have an unusually colourful set of expletives. Read more
Published on June 5 2000 by "gsibbery"
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference, but be careful...
As one of the books in the "Merda!" series of "real language you weren't taught in school," this is a much-needed reference which fills a big gap. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2000 by W.D. Peckenpaugh
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