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Q: for scriptor only ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: for scriptor only
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: bearspaw-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 01 Oct 2006 21:09 PDT
Expires: 31 Oct 2006 20:09 PST
Question ID: 770055
I believe there is a German word "ver-schluken" (not sure if this is
the correct spelling). Is this a real word in the German language or
some form of slang.

If it is a real word, could you:
Provide a short sentence of a German example of the word usage along
with an english translation.
List any other languages that you are aware of (don't do any research,
just if you know any off the top of your head), that also use a
similar word.
Subject: Re: for scriptor only
Answered By: scriptor-ga on 02 Oct 2006 09:33 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear bearspaw,

I'll gladly do my best to answer your question.

First, there is a such word. Its correct spelling is "verschlucken"
(in the basic infinitive form). And it is indeed a verb from the
vocabulary of High German (standard German).

"Verschlucken" will usually used with the meaning "to swallow
something" ("schlucken" alone would just be "to swallow"). An example
for this use is:

"Ich verschlucke einen Bissen Brot." - "I swallow a bite of bread."

Derived from this use of the word, "verschlucken" can also be used in
a figurative way which has nothing to do with eating, like this:

"Der Tunnel verschluckte den Zug." - "The tunnel swallowed the train."

"Verschlucken" is also used to describe that someone's articulation is sloppy:

"Wenn er spricht, verschluckt er die Endungen der Wörter." - "When he
speaks, he swallows the endings of the words."

Then, there is another way to use "verschlucken", "sich verschlucken".
This translates literally as "to mis-swallow oneself". This would be
used, for example, if you tried to swallow a bite too big or swallowed
too hastily, so you have to cough. It would be used like this:

"Ich habe mich an einem Bissen Brot verschluckt." - "I choked on a bite of bread."

This variant, too, can be used in a figurative way; for example, if
somebody stumbles across his own greed:

"Die Firma hat sich bei der Übernahme ihres Konkurrenten verschluckt."
- "The company came into trouble due to the take-over of its

When it comes to other languages, all I can think of spontaneously is
French, where "avaler" means simply "to swallow, to gulp"; "étouffer"
means "to swallow" in the sense of "to swallow, to hush up, to
supress"; and "s'étrangler avec quelque chose" means "to choke on

Hope this answers your question!
Best regards,

Request for Answer Clarification by bearspaw-ga on 02 Oct 2006 10:31 PDT
Is "verschlukte" also used to describe "choking" as when something is
lodged in your throat, or is it only used to describe "choking" when
food or liquid accidently enters the lungs. In English I think that
"choking" describes both of the preceeding; is this also the case in

Clarification of Answer by scriptor-ga on 02 Oct 2006 10:43 PDT
Yes, "verschlucken" (note the "ck") is used for both.

On a side note: When food or liquid accidentally enters the wind-pipe
instead of the gullet, it is sometimes described with the expression
"etwas in den falschen Hals bekommen" (to get something in the wrong
thoat). Interestingly, that expression is also used figuratively as
"to misunderstand something".

bearspaw-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00
Great answer, thank you

Subject: Re: for scriptor only
From: denco-ga on 02 Oct 2006 00:29 PDT
I am sure that Scriptor is going to do the usual great job in answering your
question, but I ran across this quote that might be amusing to translate.

"Er wollte das Telefon und sie wollte es ihm nicht geben, also versuchte sie,
es zu verschlucken ..."
Subject: Re: for scriptor only
From: sublime1-ga on 02 Oct 2006 01:20 PDT
That's hard to swallow...  ; )
Subject: Re: for scriptor only
From: blinded-ga on 02 Oct 2006 01:48 PDT
In German, the prefix "ver" is like the english "mis", e.g. you say
"misheard", we say "verhört" (from "hören" = "to hear").

So "verschlucken" would mean "misswallowed", which makes no sense in
English I think. Germans say "verschlucken" for two reasons:

- You make a mistake by swallowing and are unable to breah and have to cough strong

- You mean something has been "verschluckt", which would give the
status "missed" to the thing, e.g. "firefox verschluckt meine
passwörter" would mean "my passwords are missing in firefox"

now to the times:

- ich verschlucke mich (present)
- ich habe mich verschluckt / ich verschluckte mich (past)
- ich werde mich verschlucken (future)
Subject: Re: for scriptor only
From: myoarin-ga on 02 Oct 2006 02:14 PDT
Scriptor will certainly handle this with great skill.

Sublime:  I suspect that the phone in Denco's quotation was a cell phone.
Subject: Re: for scriptor only
From: ro11-ga on 03 Oct 2006 01:28 PDT
And in Dutch:
'slikken' or 'inslikken' means 'to swallow';
'zich verslikken' means the same as 'sich verschlucken' as described by Sciptor.
Subject: Re: for scriptor only
From: myoarin-ga on 03 Oct 2006 03:58 PDT
If you want or need a little grammatical terminology:  "schlucken" as
a verb does not take an object: "Er schluckt"  He swallowed. 
(Nothing, but you could see his adamsapple move.)
The active verb "verschlucken" is used when there is an object (einen
Bissen Brot); in fact, "verschlucken"  must have an object, hence the
reflexive "sich":  "Die Firma hat sich ... verschluckt."
Subject: Re: for scriptor only
From: bearspaw-ga on 04 Oct 2006 17:46 PDT
Thanks to all the commentors for their comments. I especially like the
new word "mis-swallowed".

For years I have thought that the German folk had a special word for
choking when food or drink goes down the wrong passage.

It would be so easy to just ask "Did you mis-swallow?" when seeing
someone bent over gasping for air! :)

Also interesting to see that "Verschlucken" is also used to describe
"misplace", "lose" or "hide"

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