Traditional German Christmas markets.

Is a stroll around a Xmas market on your schedule for your next foreign visitor/client? If so, equip yourself with all those words you’ll need to explain all the treats and goodies, which are on offer around every corner.

The stall offerings range from jewellery and handicrafts, clothes & toys, to finger licking yummies like crepes coated with sugar and cinnamon, stollen (German Christmas fruitcake), gingerbread to name but a few. If you fancy a nibble, you can’t go wrong with savouries like potato fritter (= grated raw potatoes fried into a pancake) with apple puree, sausages with a bread roll, curry wurst*, garlic mushrooms.

Then wash it all down with the ultimate Xmas market highlight Glühwein aka mulled wine or it’s cousin in crime the one and only red wine punch ‘Feuerzangenboule’ ! (cut out and keep explanation! – “it’s made by setting fire to sugar coated in rum and allowing it to drip into the mulled wine” – naughty but nice).

If you want to go the extra mile, “with a shot of ……” really is the correct translation for ‘Schuss’. English CAN be so easy, can’t it?

Before your guest insists on buying a round and you’re too merry to explain the procedure, let him/her in on the secret of the ‘deposit’, which they get back, so long as if they don’t take the mug with them as a memento.

Hope it helps. Never fret. KISS (keep it short & simple) “Oh It’s a German speciality, just try it, you’ll love it.” with a smile on your face will also do.

(*please don’t translate it as ‘curried sausage’ – as anyone who knows Indian cuisine, will have a different picture- say ‘sausage with a spicy ketchup’)

stroll (Bummel), treats (Leckerbissen), goodies (tolle Sachen), handicrafts (Kunsthandwerke), yummies (Leckereien), cinnamon (Zimt), gingerbread (Lebkuchen), to fancy sth (Lust auf), nibble (etw zu knabbern), savouries (Würzbissen), potato fritter (Reibekuchen), to be merry (beschwipst), ‘deposit’ (Pfand), mug (Tasse), memento (Andenken), to fret (hier: sich Sorgen machen)

3 thoughts on “Traditional German Christmas markets.

I’m wondering if there‘s a big difference between German and British Christmas markets. I‘ve never been to England during this time of the year and I‘ve just came across an article in which Bath‘s market was rated as one of the top 20 by European Best Destinations.

My former US colleagues loved our Christmas markets. Business trips to Germany were always scheduled for December and our meetings in the morning used to start with extra strong coffee for our US friends… 😉

To be honest, the British Christmas markets are copies of the German ones. Once upon a time we never had such things. Then the Brits came to Germany saw the markets here and little by little they set up markets in the UK cities too.

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