Advent Calendar 9 – “Freeze!”

 

“Freeze!”

 

Hallo Leute,

door number 9 of our Advent Calendar and behind it’s freezing.
Because today we’ll look at the German translation of to freeze.
Nah, kidding. Of course I mean translations :).
Because, you know, German just doesn’t know when it’s had enough.
“Wordtender, I’ll have another version, please! With ice.”
“Don’t you think you’re good for tonight?”
“Aw, c’me on browwww, I’m jus’ like tipsy. Just one more, okay. I promise I won’t vomit this time.”

So, the direct German relative of to freeze is frieren. And frieren does mean to freeze BUT ….  at least  in daily German it is used ONLY in the sense of  you feeling cold.

  • Ich friere.
  • I am freezing.

  • Frierst du?
  • Are you freezing?
  • In der Oper war es arschkalt. Ich habe die ganze Zeit gefroren.
  • It was friggin’ cold at the opera. I was freezing the whole time.

For the actual freezing, the change from liquid to ice, we’ll use one of several prefix versions. Hooray.
The most generic one, the one that water does at below zero, is gefrieren. Because, in case you didn’t know…  the ge- is not limited to that spoken past stuff. It’s a regular prefix, too, just like ver- or be-.  What does it express? Well, let’s just say completion for now and hope that a certain Emanuel character finally completes his freaking book on the stuff.
Anyway, examples.

  • Der Regen gefriert in der Luft und wird zu Schnee.
  • The rain freezes in the air and turns to snow.
  • Mir ist das Blut in den Adern gefroren, als meine Katze das gesagt hat.
  • My blood was freezing in my veins, when my cat said that.
  • Ih… das Bier ist noch voll warm. Ich packe das kurz ins Gefrierfach.
  • Ew… the beer is still super warm. I’m gonna put it into the freezer compartment for a bit.
  • Eis ist gefrorenes Wasser.
  • Ice is frozen water.

If you payed close attention you might have noticed frieren and gefrieren actually have the same ge-form. But one uses haben, the other one sein for the spoken past, so we can tell them apart. Phew… I know you were worried.

  • Ich habe im Schnee gefroren. (past of frieren)
  • I was freezing in the snow.
  • Das Bier ist im Schnee gefroren. (past of gefrieren)
  • The beer has frozen in the snow.

So confusing :).
The other prefix versions are basically all specific kinds of freezing. And I think you can kind of guess their gist from the prefix.  Zufrieren, literally to freeze closed, is what lakes and rivers do. Einfrieren is kind of freezing for things. The main context is us freezing food but also a screen freezing is einfrieren.

  • Der See ist zugefroren.
  • The lake has frozen (over).
    (what’s the most idiomatic choice here?)

  • Kann ich die Suppe einfrieren?
  • Can I (deep) freeze that soup?

Then, there’s erfrieren which is to freeze to death and last but not least abfrieren which is pretty much the same as to freeze off and it’s mostly used in colloquial German for feeling really cold.

  • Der Bergsteiger wäre beinahe erfroren.
  • The climber almost froze to death.
  • Ich frier mir hier “einen” / “den Arsch” ab, nur weil dein Scheißeinhorn Privilegien diskutieren will?!
  • I’m freezing my ass off here, just because your bloody unicorn wants to discuss privilege?!
    (Germans often say just “einen” instead of “den Arsch”)

And that’s it. Now you have an overview over how to say to freeze in German. And it wasn’t actually that bad. The main thing to take away is that frieren alone ONLY means to freeze in sense of being cold.

  • Das Bier friert.

This sounds like the poor beer is shivering because it is dressed too lightly. Probably a Bud.
*Badumm Tish.
Leave a comment if you have any questions or if you want to try out some examples. Hope you enjoyed it and see you tomorrow.

 

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lokiuucx
lokiuucx
2 years ago

How exactly is gefroren/erfroren pronounced? You seem to ignore the last “r”, in dit.cc the are 2 versions: one without the last “r” pronounced and one with it pronounced. In google translator all “r” are pronounced. Are there different versions?

Thank you in advance,

lokiuucx
lokiuucx
2 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

My question is: in “gefroren” you seem to pronounce “gefroen” (the last “r” almost not audible); in others places I hear “gefroren” with a strong last “r”.

Here is this link, both ways are pronounced: https://www.dict.cc/?s=gefroren
Which one is the standard and what is the difference?

A
A
4 years ago

Good as always, I see in one of your examples you use nur for just, not Gerade. When do you use nur and when gerade? in fact a post about gerade would be lovely.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
4 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Oh help, and where does bloß come in this context?

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago

Ich glaube wir sagen: The lake froze over, or, the lake is frozen. Maybe even, the lake froze!
However, I have never lived near a frozen lake. Maybe people who do live there would say this differently.
Camille713

Amerkanerin
Amerkanerin
4 years ago

Emanual: Well, now I know how little I understand the Subjunctive and how much help I need with it.

Amerikanerin
Amerikanerin
4 years ago

Person243: Thanks for the info om “starr” and all the ways to use it – look forward to more of your comments.

aoind
aoind
4 years ago

“Frozen over” is more idiomatic for bodies of water. “The lake is frozen” sounds like it might be frozen all the way through, although for that we would probably say “frozen solid”. A frozen waterfall beloved of mountaineers could be described as “frozen solid”.I wonder if one day you might give us a little lesson on the subjunctive, which I really still don’t have a feel for. In one of the examples above you’ve got a climber almost freezing to death. In English that’s not counterfactual – he did almost freeze to death. German seems to come at from the angle that he didn’t freeze to death, never mind the “almost”, let’s use the subjunctive. That right?

evabara
evabara
4 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Interesting! That’s totally different from French. In French, the past of to die also uses the “to be”, but you still wouldn’t use the subjunctive in that example, that would be totally bizarre. You would just say “il est presque mort” which translates to either he almost died or he is almost dead, and I guess we just rely on the interlocutor to understand the meaning through context.

evabara
evabara
4 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

It would only make sense with an “if” clause. And in the “wäre fast gestorben” example, it’s almost impossible to make it make sense in French.. I guess you could make up an elaborate story for some hypothetical chain of events that would have resulted in him almost dying where it would make sense but otherwise it really doesn’t work.

I racked my brain to think of cases where you could use the subjunctive in French without an “if”. The only cases I can think of would be “j’aurai aimé” or “j’aurai voulu” and maybe “j’aurai pu” which are I would have loved to, I would have wanted to and I could have, respectively (just using I as an example, it also works with other subjects). Even if they can stand on their own, it still sounds like there’s more to the story and you would want to know why not.

aoind
aoind
4 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Cool. Thanks Emanuel – that’s gone in. “He were almost died”. Almost sounds right in English if you say it in a Yorkshire accent.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
4 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

It was the beinahe that I focused on so I missed that it was the subjunctive (a bit of a closed book to me here too). So could you have written ‘wäre fast erfroren” and that would have been equally correct or is beinahe rather than fast used particularly with the subjunctive or . . .?

parisbongi
parisbongi
4 years ago

Danke vielmals! Jetzt fällt der Schnee und ich friere. Zehr zeitnah… And for becoming motionless, we use freeze. Not in German?

person243
person243
4 years ago
Reply to  parisbongi

You mean the way the police calls out: “Freeze!”? That would be: “Keine Bewegung!” (lit.: “No movement!”) in German.
Or to freeze because of emotional stress. “I was so preplexed/stunned, that I just froze.” = “Ich war so perplex/verplüfft, dass ich einfach erstarrte.”
There is a proverb for that: “starr vor Angst/Freude/Überraschung…”. You could translate “starr” here as “benumbed”, “petrified” or maybe “frozen” if you prefer.
“starr” seems like a good word for Emaluel to elaborate on. It has many facets, including prefix verbs, different meanings and interesting adjective constructions like: “starrköpfig” = “headstrong”.
When moving pictures freeze, or other visual media, as Emanuel already mentioned: “einfrieren” is used. “Look how long he can hold that weight up.” – “No, it’s only the screen that froze.” = “Schau mal, wie lang er das Gewicht hochhalten kann.” – “Nein, das ist nur der Bildschirm, der eingefroren ist.”
In the same context, you could for example also use “(Bild-/Ton-)Aussetzer haben” or “stocken” (which originates I think from milk or blood getting solid, “to clot” – is that the word? So, very similar to “to freeze” but for emulsions instead of fluids).

parisbongi
parisbongi
4 years ago
Reply to  person243

Thanks a lot! I think “erstarren” is what I was thinking of.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
4 years ago
Reply to  person243

Having watched far too many Krimis on German TV the past year I can state with confidence that German Polizei shout out “Stehen bleiben!” (lit. stand stay) for ‘freeze’.

parisbongi
parisbongi
4 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Natürlich.

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago

I have trapped in the bus almost 2 hours because of the snow…
and reading this i was like…
na. Ok… ich weiß
Lol
So much fun indeed.
Thanks for sharing!!