German Advent Calendar 14 – Look at you

Yourdailygerman-namregyliadruoY

Look at you

♥♥♥!+♥♥^♥♥♥

Hallo ihr lieben,

welcome back to the epic Advent Calendar 2021. Today, we’ll open door number 14 and behind it is… oh my God, it’s our very self. That is so incredibly profou…  oh wait, never mind. It’s just a mirror.
Or better, the German word for it

der Spiegel

Because, you know… every good series has some of these random slow filler episodes ;)

So, Spiegel obviously not related to mirror, but it does have English relatives. Like… a LOT.
For example spectacle and spectator and spectrum. Or … ahem… prefix words like inspect and prospect and respect and suspect and aspect.
Or how about scope and microscope and telescope and horoscope. 
Oh and let’s not forget about spy, speculate, skeptic and species. 
Pretty impressive, right.

The origin of all these words is the visibly ancient Indo-European root *spek- and the core idea of this root was simply… observing.
And I think it’s no problem to see how all these words connect to that. The only one that doesn’t really seem to fit is species, but if you think of a species as a set of specs. Like… white, omnivore, bad temper, arrogant, inclination to alcohol abuse, horse-shaped, big horn on the forehead. That’s a unicorn.

And Spiegel… well that one fits in perfectly, as it is simply the device we use to observe ourselves.

Anyway, time to look at some examples. Here’s a couple for Spiegel itself…

  • Maria guckt sich im Spiegel an.
  • Maria looks at herself in the mirror.
  • Thomas guckt in den Rückspiegel.
  • Thomas looks into the rear view mirror.
  • “Dein Kühlschrank ist ein Chaos.”
    “Nein, mein Kühlschrank ist ein Spiegelbild der Gesellschaft.”
  • “Your fridge is chaos.”
    “No! My fridge is a mirror image/a reflection of society.”

And here are a few related words…

  • Man kann den Geist in der Spiegelung der Scheibe sehen.
  • You can see the ghost in the reflection of the window.
  • Die Schrift ist gespiegelt.
  • The font is mirrored.
  • Der Boden ist so sauber, da kann man sich drin spiegeln.
  • The floor is so clean that you can see your own reflection in it.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the very famous Spiegelei.
Do you have an idea what that could be?
I’ll give you a hint… it’s MUCH better than scrambled egg (and that’s a fact).

  • Willst du Rührei oder Spiegelei?
  • Do you want scrambled eggs or sunny side up? (Lit.: “mirror egg”)

And this example is actually a nice one to illustrate a slight difference between Spiegel and mirror. Or at least I feel like it’s there.
At least to me, Spiegel has the focus a bit more on the shiny surface. It even sounds a bit like a shiny, polished object. Mirror on the other hand is more about the reflection, the mirrored image. It even sounds a little bit like error. Left is right, right is left… and you can’t

read mirrored fonts.

But okay… maybe that’s just me. And the real origin of mirror is actually pretty cool.
Because it is a direct relative to to admire. And they belong to the same family as… to smile.
So a mirror is essentially, where you admire yourself, a Spiegel is where you observe yourself.
Ugh… German… so pragmatic as usual. No wonder we’re so serious and poorly dressed.

Anyway, that’s it for today.
If you have any questions or suggestions, just leave a comment.
Have a great day, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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Flutedaug
Flutedaug
7 months ago

Rührei – für mich is dass schwer zu sagen (Amerikanerin hier).

Flutedaug
Flutedaug
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I’ll work on it.

just me struggling with english, let alone german
just me struggling with english, let alone german
7 months ago

First Q: “Man kann den Geist in der Spiegelung der Scheibe sehen.”. Sorry, but what happened to “Fenster” for window? “Der Scheibe” when searched, says ‘disc”. Thus, I am confused again. Please, could you clarify? Or are you using a synonym? ;-)
Second Q: What the heck do you mean “The font is mirrored.”?? WHAT???? WAS??? Wiebitte? (said so fast it sounds like one word). That statement makes zero sense, at least to me. I can’t process ‘the font is mirrored.’ If I heard someone say that, I would think “You have word-salad and need and head CT without contrast and a stroke alert. :-)

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
7 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

In English, there’s “[window] pane” to specify the piece of glass.

“Mirrored” for text that’s displayed in reverse doesn’t sound wrong to me…

cvickery
cvickery
8 months ago

❤️❤️❤️! is 6; 6×2 is twelve; 12^3 is either 1728 or zero depending on whether ^ is exponentiation or xor. But even if it was supposed to be plus, that would be a total of fünfzehn und heute ist vierzehn. I‘m confused.

jmarks
jmarks
8 months ago

Are there any related prefix verbs with subtle differences? Entspiegeln? Vorspiegeln? Bespiegeln, nachspiegeln, wiederspiegeln?

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
8 months ago

There’s also widerspiegeln, which is “reflect” often in a more figurative sense.

Ahmad Mazaheri
Ahmad Mazaheri
8 months ago

” wer is der schönste , Spiegelein an der Wand ? ” Schneewittchen aus Grimm Brüders Märchen .
Es gibt auch Spiegelung in der Medizinischen Sinne und der Spiegel des Meeres oder
,das Zuckerniveau ins Blut, nämlich der Zuckerspiegel .
Möchte ich noch der Ankleidungspiegel, der ins Fransösche Psyché gennant ! Aber weisse ich es nicht was es mit Psychologie zu tun !
Bis Morgen

Ahmad Mazaheri
Ahmad Mazaheri
8 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Noch Siegmund Freud zur Hilfe !

Amerikanskan
Amerikanskan
8 months ago

Spiegel, Spiegel an der Wand,
Wer is schönste in unsrem Land?

And Der Spiegel = Die Newsweek Deutschlands.

Man guckt sich dativ im Spiegel aber man guckt in den ackusativ Spiegel?

berlingrabers
berlingrabers
8 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Just for clarity: ich gucke mich im Spiegel an.

Amerikanskan
Amerikanskan
8 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Yeah, but I didn‘t know how to spell Spieglein or Spiegelein and I was too lazy to look it up.

Thought about my shoemaker‘s Seratoninspiegel – he suffers bouts of depression but was also too lazy to get back to the computer and write another post. See now that Ahmad already did.

In Zuckespiegel and Seratoninspiegel usw. is it sing. or plur. Spiegel? Tried to figure it out by the context but never managed. Lazy girl asks Ema instead.

Kirsty
Kirsty
8 months ago

What I would like to understand is why the water table is the ‘Wasserspiegel’. I mean, it’s mostly underground so you can’t really observe it…..

Elsa
Elsa
8 months ago

Hello,
No typos :)

If a Spiegel doesn’t covey the idea of admiring oneself, how would you express that in German?
e.g. she looked in the mirror and liked what she saw, for instance?

Bis morgen!

Starbuck
Starbuck
8 months ago

Just a quick one:

It should be “your fridge is chaos.” Rather than “a chaos”. Chaos is like the washing up, you can’t have one or several of them, its just a mass of something that gets bigger or smaller.

Scotty Renzo
Scotty Renzo
8 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Idiomatically, it would be more natural to say “The fridge is in chaos” or “the fridge is totally chaotic.”

Starbuck
Starbuck
8 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

You could say “What chaos!” or “Such chaos!” as a general exclamation.

“Utter chaos” is also quite a common pairing, e.g. “my apartment is utter chaos right now”.

coleussanctus
coleussanctus
8 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

I would just say “your fridge is a mess”.

I want to say “a chaos” is only used as part of the phrase “a chaos of XY”. A chaos of light and motion.

Starbuck
Starbuck
8 months ago
Reply to  coleussanctus

I don’t know that phrase. I wonder if there are other exceptions then in that case

coleussanctus
coleussanctus
7 months ago
Reply to  Starbuck

I know it from book and movie reviews, that kind of thing. I did think of a few more: when “chaos” is an adjective (they don’t have a chaos problem so much as a dishonesty problem), and in the phrase “a chaos that” (a chaos that destroys the soul). Still pretty rare, though, and I would never say “a chaos” just by itself.

Starbuck
Starbuck
7 months ago
Reply to  coleussanctus

Not including the chaos-as-adjective because the article belongs to the noun imo… It seems like using “a chaos” in the examples you’ve given would be for high drama situations/descriptions.

They sound like poetic melodrama, rather than just describing the state of the fridge. But… I do like a bit of melodrama in daily life ^^

coleussanctus
coleussanctus
7 months ago
Reply to  Starbuck

Who says you can’t be melodramatic talking about a fridge? Just imagine you’re Adrian Monk and ONE thing is out of place. Jokes aside though, I agree with you.

pmccann
pmccann
8 months ago

(-; ǝʌᴉʇʞǝdsɹǝԀ ɹǝp ǝƃɐɹℲ ǝuᴉǝ ɹnu ʇsᴉ sƎ ˙uǝʇun ɥɔɐu uǝqo uoʌ ɥɔnɐ uɹǝpuos ‘sʇɥɔǝɹ ɥɔɐu sʞuᴉl uoʌ ɹnu ʇɥɔᴉu ʇɹǝᴉʇʞǝlɟǝɹ lǝƃǝᴉdS uᴉƎ

michele
michele
8 months ago
Reply to  pmccann

Yikes. That was scary….I can read that :}

RuthE
RuthE
8 months ago
Reply to  michele

Wow, ja! Kopfüber, rückwärts, und auch auf Deutsch! Ich kann das auch lesen!