Love German: Gegenwart

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Love German: Gegenwart

Die Gegenwart: the present (time)

If we take this word apart we find it is made of gegen (against) and wart (waiting). So literally, the word means ‘against waiting’. I find this word so beautiful because of what it represents. In the present, we aren’t (or shouldn’t) be waiting for anything – we are here.

Additionally, I’m assuming this word was developed after the words ‘gegen’ and ‘wart’ were already in use. Chronologically this would mean that the concept of the ‘present’ was only voiced/discovered after speakers actively realized there was something other than ‘waiting’ for the future.


Some say (Swiss) German isn’t a beautiful (let alone sexy) language. I beg to differ. While my relationship with German has had its ups and downs, I’ve learned to love it. While (Swiss) German’s hard guttural sounds sometimes seem harsh, I found many (Swiss) German words to have deeply beautiful, even philosophical, roots. By breaking these words apart, I have not only learned to love them more, I was able to make quick associations to be able to use them.