Word of the Week: Beer

In case you’ve somehow missed it, Oktoberfest is in full swing in Germany and around the world. Oktoberfest is a rich tradition born over 200 years ago in Munich, and for many people it is synonymous with German culture. Of course for about as many people, Oktoberfest is synonymous with something far more tangible: beer. So in honor of Oktoberfest, “beer” is our word of the week.

Beer is a transcultural phenomenon across the world, and it is produced domestically in almost every country where it is legal. For this reason, “beer” is a great demonstration of the surprising closeness between languages that may at first seem worlds apart. Just look at some quick translations of “beer” into other languages:

German: Bier
French: Bière
Japanese: ビール (Bīru)
Turkish: Bira
Hindi: बीयर (Beeyar)
Russian: пиво (Pivo)
Chinese: 啤酒 (Píjiǔ)

Even if they look wildly different, spoken aloud “beer” sounds pretty similar in languages from all around the world, and reminds us of the intricate, living webs that connect our languages.

To get in the spirit for Oktoberfest, now is the perfect time to learn German with GLN. But even if the time is not quite right, the good news is that you have a better idea of how to say “beer” than you’ve probably ever guessed.

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