Word of the Day – “der Druck”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning and the family of

der Druck

 

And Druck is one of those German words that really “sound the part” because it means pressure. I mean, pressure has a descriptive sound, too. Like steam hissing out from a valve. But Druck… that really sounds like the feeling of being under literal pressure. Ugh. Like when you wake up lying under your king size matress because you confused it for the blanket.
Oh well, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
Anyway, so Druck means pressure, there are loads of useful words to discover, so I’d say let’s waste no time and jump right in with some examples…

  • Thomas ist zur Zeit ein bisschen unter Druck.
  • Thomas is a bit under pressure these days.
  • Physikalisch ist Druck definiert als Kraft pro Fläche.
  • In physics, pressure is defined as force per unit area.

And here a few examples for compounds…

  • Marias Opa hat hohen Blutdruck.
  • Maria’s grandpa has high blood pressure.
  • Das Team ist extrem unter Zeitdruck.
  • The team is under heavy time pressure.
  • Atmen funktioniert indem man in der Lunge einen Unterdruck erzeugt. Der Luftdruck drückt dann Luft durch Nase oder Mund in die Lunge.
  • Breathing works through the creation of low pressure/negative pressure in the lungs. The air pressure then presses air through the mouth or nose into the lungs.
  • “Maria kann auf Knopfdruck weinen.”
    “Wow, ist sie Schauspielerin?”
    “Nein, sie hat ein Implantat.”
  • “Maria can cry on demand (on the push/press of a button).”
    “Wow, is she an actress?”
    “Now, she has an implant.”
  • Maria hat einen sehr festen Händedruck.
  • Maria has a very firm handshake.

As you can see, in compounds the translation is not always pressure, but the idea of applied pressure is always pretty clear, I think.
Now, if we had to invent a verb for the noun der Druck we’d of course write it as drucken, we’d give it the core idea of applying pressure and boom… we’d have a nice self explanatory translation for to press, to push and to pressure.
Well… German had the same idea, but then it decided to add a little twist.

Two verbs for “der Druck”

It does have the verb drucken, but it’s the German word for to print.
I mean… that makes sense, as well. Printing originally meant pressing down a plate with ink onto a paper and the words press and print and pressure all come from the Latin verb premere which was about putting pressure.
But the verb for the general idea of applying pressure ended up being drücken while drucken, which looks closer to the noun is only about printing.
So what happened? Well, a few hundred years ago, there was only one verb. In the southern half of Germany, they pronounced it drucken, in the more northern parts they said drücken. But it always expressed the full scope of applying pressure. It’s actually related to to threat, by the way, so it has its origins in the psychological version of pressure.
Anyway, in the 15th century Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with movable type and he happened to do this in the southern half of Germany. The folks in the northern parts were like
“Sweet. Let’s take drucken as a new verb just for to print. We’ll have a bigger vocabulary than those losers in the South.” And the folks in the south then were like
“We can’t have those losers in the North have a more diversified vocabulary than we do.” And so they imported the norther drücken as the general word for applying pressure.
And that’s why we have two verbs in German now. Drucken means to print and drücken means to press, to push and other ideas of applying pressure. With druck- it’s for a book – that’s a mnemonic you could use.

  • Ich habe das Buch gedruckt.
  • I printed the book.
  • Ich habe den Knopf gedrückt.
  • I pushed/pressed the button.

And this distinction also applies for the numerous prefix verbs. And many of them are really useful, so what we’ll do now is go through the prefixes and see if and how the meanings change or shif.. oh…. there’s a call coming in, Adore from the Philippines, welcome to the show.
“Hi, Emanuel… I have a suggestion.”
Sure, go ahead.
“Instead of going prefix by prefix, could we maybe first do a section on drucken and then one on drücken? I feel like having to constantly switch might be confusing.”
Oh… well… why not, actually. Yeah, that does make sense, now that I think about it. Thanks a lot for the idea.
“No problem. And thanks a lot.”
Cool. So I guess we’ll start with the prefix versions of drucken.

Prefix versions of “drucken”

And even though it sounds very …uh…un-prefix-version-ish, all the prefix versions of drucken do refer to printing. The most important one of them is definitely ausdrucken, which is used in context of printing from a computer. It’s “in” the computer and you print it out.
Technically, drucken itself also works, and the printer is called Drucker and not Ausdrucker, but drucken somehow sounds more “industrial”. Like, books and flyers and newspapers. Or T-Shirts.
In the office context, ausdrucken is definitely the word to go.

  • Muss ich mein Ticket ausdrucken, oder reicht das Pdf?
  • Do I have to print my ticket or is the pdf enough?
  • Auf dem Ausdruck ist ein schwarzer Streifen.
  • There’s a black band on the printout.

Besides that, there’s bedrucken, which is a somewhat technical term for the action of printing something onto something… a photo on a T-shirt or cup for instance. Oh and I guess we can mention aufdrucken auf, which has a very similar idea. But you’ll usually see the noun der Aufdruck, rather than the verb.

  • Tattoo war gestern – Printoo ist das neue Ding. Immer mehr Hipster lassen sich ihre Haut bedrucken.
  • Tattoo is last season – Printoo is the new thing. More and more hipsters have their skin printed upon.
  • “Du hast der Frau auf die Brüste geguckt, ich habe es genau gesehen.”
    “Äh… ich habe nur versucht, den Aufdruck auf dem T-Shirt zu lesen.”
    “Wir sind in der Sauna, Maria! Deine T-Shirt-Ausrede funktioniert hier nicht.”
  • “You were looking at that woman’s breasts. I saw that all too well.”
    “Erm… I was just trying to read the print on the T-Shirt.”
    “We’re in the sauna, Maria. Your T-Shirt excuse is not working here.”

And then, there’s abdrucken, which is once again to print. Yeay :).
But this one is not about the technical side but rather about the act of putting something out there by printing it in a newspaper or magazine.

  • Das Interview ist in voller Länge in der Sonntagsausgabe abgedruckt.
  • The interview is printed in full length in Sunday’s issue.
    (With just drucken that sounds a bit like the printing process could finish without interruptions. )

And of course we also need to mention the noun der Abdruck here, which is the German word for the print in the sense of traces, like a footprint or fingerprint.

  • “Ich habe dein Bier nicht genommen!”
    “Doch, hast du. Ich habe deine Hufabdrücke auf der Kühlschranktür gefunden, Unicornus Jr.!”
  • “I did not take your beer.”
    “Yes, you did! I found your hoof print on the door of the fridge, Unicornus Jr.”

This abdrucken doesn’t really have much to do with printing in the more narrow sense, though, and I don’t really know whether it comes from abdrücken or abdrucken. That’s something I forgot to mention but that might be slightly confusing – the nouns for the verbs are always with just “u” no matter whether they’re based on drucken or drücken.
Yup, double meanings inbound! Do you copy, Maverick?!
Loud and clear, Stinger, let’s give them a good look.
That… that was Top Gun, by the way.
A famous movie from the 80s and the film and the reason that inspired me to start this German learning blog.
Actually… I … uh… I think I have to watch it, like, right now. Is that okay with everyone, if we finish early today and do the rest next time?
“Oh, that’s why you wanted to do drucken first. You’ve been wanting to split the show right from the start, Emanuel. Shame on you!!”
What?! NO! That wasn’t even my idea… seriously though… there are a lot more prefix versions for drücken than there are for drucken. Many of them are REALLY useful and going over them now would be a little too much for a day. I mean, with the quizz and all, I think you’re good for the day.
And I GOTTA watch Top Gun.
So this was it for today. This was our look at the origin and meaning of der Druck and the reason why drucken means to print.
As usual, you can check how much you remember, and also learn some more compounds in the little quiz I have prepared for you.
And of course, if you have any questions or suggestions just leave me a comment.
I hope you liked it and see you next time!

 

** vocab **

der Druck – the pressure, the print
der Händedruck – the handshake
der Zeitdruck – time pressure
der Leistungsdruck – the pressure to perform well
der Knopfdruck – push/press of a button
der Blutdruck – blood pressure

der Abdruck – the print (foot, finger etc)
der Aufdruck – print on a t-shirt or cup
der Überdruck – overpressure
der Unterdruck – the low pressure

der Ausdruck – the (computer) print
ausdrucken – the print out

der Abdruck – the print (foot, finger, coffee cup etc)

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Turtles
Turtles
1 year ago

Heute entscheiden sie, woüber unsere Folge diskutiert. Und wir haben eine Anruf bekommen. Was? Der Druck? Okay. lass uns anfangen.

Gespräch 1

E1 : Papa. Wie ist es?
E2 : Was?
E1 : ein papa zu sein
E2 : Es ist reicht Sohn. Es gibt keinen Druck.

20 Jahren später
E2 : LÜGNEEEEEER.Ich habe mich nicht zum Windelwechsel angemeldet.

Gespräch 2

E1 : Schätz, Die Lied ist für dich

E1 : Deine Lippenabdruck immer schmeckt wie Erdbeeren. Ich mag Erdbeeren. uhhhh Das ist alles. Die Zeitdruck war Schrecklich,aber mit harter Arbeite ist die Lied pünktlich breit für deine Geburstag

E2 : Ja wow

Die Ende.

Teil 2 kommt bald.

Joanne Robert
Joanne Robert
1 year ago

Hi. Very nice article, enjoying the touch of humour, as usual, as well as the awesome mnemotechnics. “DrUcken like bOOk” is already coming handy! Just having some issues with the quiz… The first time it got stuck loading results. That happens often, so I just tried again. But then “What’s the German verb for printing a book?” was marked incorrect, with my answer (drucken) in green? That’s odd, right?
Anyway, just a detail. Been sharing your blog with just about everyone, keep up the great work :)

Josephine Mirchev
Josephine Mirchev
1 year ago

Thanks Emmanuel

jiamin
jiamin
1 year ago

der Nachdruck

I think this word also worths mentioning. haha

Brewer1766
Brewer1766
1 year ago

Passt. Super! Aber ich habe eine Frage: warum denskt du nicht, dass die Verwendung “to express–ausdrucken” nicht so wichtig ist. um hier aufgenommen zu werden? Oder es gibt’s einfach so viele Bedeutungen?

Kika
Kika
1 year ago

Thank you so much for your hard work! I do appreciate this email. Only problem is that once I open the topic and need to close the email or PC, it counts I read the entire article. So when I want to re-read the rest of the article, I am often blocked. I should be a paying member but I am not so enthusiastic. So at the end I can finish less than half of your helpful articles.
Is there any method to keep it to read later without being blocked?

Anyway it is always fascinating as I live languages.

Thank youuuu!

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

thank you for making your lessons fun!

Raunaq
Raunaq
1 year ago

Ich bin sehr dankbar und sehr glücklich, dass ich dieser toller Artikel lesen kann.
Vielen Dank an alle, die gespendet haben, um die Lernerfahrung eines Menschen zu bereichern :)

Maryam
Maryam
1 year ago

Hello, I want to thank someone who gave me ”learning German” scholarship. I am very happy and appreciative and also inspired. Thanks to your generous support which has allowed me to learn German language and helped me become a student in Germany in the future. I know the value of this scholarship and thank you again for your generous gift.

 

Habeb
Habeb
1 year ago

Hello everyone
Im Habib from syria a med student who need help to learn german and since we have no alawed criedet card i’ve e-mailed Emanuel und he help me and gave me a 12 month membershep and he said that some members paid some more to cover pepole how want to learn german, thats why i would thank you all for the help

Habeb
Habeb
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Its ok dont wory

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

Hi Emanuel,
 
Deine Posts sind einfach genial. ich freue mich dass ich deine Seite gefunden habe :)
 
Es gibt eine Typo: Do I have to print my ticker (ticket) or is the pdf enough?
 

Mehrdad
Mehrdad
1 year ago

 
Hey Emanuel
Ich finde es beeindruckend

paulocigar
paulocigar
1 year ago

Ich freue mich auf den nachsten Teil. Toller Artikel – sehr beeindruckend!

graz
graz
1 year ago

Hi! I’ve recently read this: “Fühl dich gedrückt!” Could you explain it in the next part on the prefix verbs with drücken? I couldn’t catch the meaning, but it sounds nice altough it’s not literally.
In my motherlanguage (italian) we have words like the verb ‘premere’ (drücken) and the noun ‘pressione’ (Druck) and others related words, as in german, like ‘imprimere’ and ‘impronta’ with different meanings. We say ‘imprimere nella mente’ that means to fix in your mind something you have seen, read or heard in order to remember it. Sometimes it happens by itself.. For instance, I’ve got the song ‘Take my breath away’ fixed in my mind since I’ve read the article. I would like to know if you can use in the same way drücken or a prefix verb with it in german. Nice explanation!

graz
graz
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I was led to believe there was a german equivalent, but this is very interesting too. I didn’t know that. Thanks!

Anastasiya
Anastasiya
1 year ago

Danke für dieser Artikel. Ich bin Novize, aber er ist sehr interessant. Ich bin glücklich, dass ich deine Artikel lesen kann!

Carmel
Carmel
1 year ago

Fehler gemacht – Ich habe ‘steht unter Druck’ gelernt. Schuldigung

Carmel
Carmel
1 year ago

Ich habe gelernt, steht unter Druck;ist das nicht mehr benutzt?

coleussanctus
coleussanctus
1 year ago

Some really helpful examples today :) Describing mundane things like a printer making black lines tends to not be the easiest thing to learn even though it’s (imo) incredibly useful.
 
I’ve never seen Top Gun and didn’t really plan to, but now I’m curious. I think I’m gonna pull up a dubbed version and watch it tonight. That’s one of the cool things about learning a language, stuff I would never normally do becomes fun.

Kris
Kris
1 year ago

Beeindruckende Beschreibung von Ausdrücken, Meine ausdrückliche Bewunderung für ausdrucksstarke Beschreibung von Sprachkonzepten mit eindrücklichen Regeln.

In etwas bedrückenden Zeiten amüsante und lehrhafte Druckschrift.

Berke
Berke
1 year ago

eigentlich ist das sehr sinnvoll, danke :D

John Clegg
John Clegg
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Wirklich vernünftig?

Chip
Chip
1 year ago
Reply to  Emanuel

 
“Das macht eigentlich sehr viel Sinn.” Sind diese Worte richtig?