A creative take on 'basic German words'

Culture

Leise

"Leise" is the German word for quiet/hushed and Widenka took this photo in Arnstadt, Germany on the river Gera, about 20 kilometers south of Erfurt. The architecture and colors play a central role in this photo; the blue of the building seems to match the blue of the sky.

Culture

Diesel

"Diesel" is also the German word for diesel in English. Widenka photographed this motorbike at a gas station in Arnstadt, Germany. The motorbike and German word are centered in the composition and the red and white colors of both add matching contrast.

Culture

Vergissmeinnicht

"Vergissmeinnicht" is the German word for flowers known as forget-me-nots. Widenka found this German cafe bistro in Taipei, Taiwan, and photographed a typical German “Kaffee und Kuchen” (coffee and cake) setting next to the menu which had the German word printed on it.

Culture

Erholung

"Erholung" is the German word for rest/recovery. Minimalist in composition with contrast accents of dark colors against a pastel pink building and a cloudy sky, the photo captures the meaning of the term.

Culture

Du

Germans have two words for "you." "Du" is the familiar form, while the formal "Sie" is used to be more polite with strangers or in a professional context. Widenka photographed this word on a building in San Francisco, California. The shades of pink provide bold contrast against the olive greenish background.

Culture

Rummel

"Rummel" is the old German word for a fair with rides and games. It can also mean hype or drawing attention to something with a lot of people. Widenka took this photo on the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Culture

Einfahrt freihalten

"Einfahrt freihalten" is a common sign seen all over the German-speaking world, which indicates to keep the driveway or entryway clear. Despite two signs on both doors, someone is blocking the way with a bicycle.

Culture

Stadt für alle

"Stadt für alle" literally means a city for everyone. The sky here is atop the German words, which have been painted against a black-tiled wall. Widenka took this photo in his current city of Frankfurt, Germany.

Culture

Parken

"Parken" is the German word for parking. It can also be the German verb to park. Widenka took this photo on the streets of Frankfurt, Germany, against the backdrop of what is known as "Mainhattan," the central business district of the city.

Culture

Wandel

"Wandel" is the German word for change or alteration. Part of the word, Wandel, also contains the word "Wand" which means wall. Widenka took a photo of this artistic rendering of the word in Frankfurt, Germany

Culture

Kontrolle

"Kontrolle" is the German word for control or monitoring or surveillance. This mixed medium of street art, which Widenka photographed in Frankfurt, Germany, shows the essence of the word with the cartoonish policeman eyeing the blurred pedestrian.

Culture

Einfahrt freihalten

Here is another rendering of the words "Einfahrt freihalten" (keep the driveway clear), seen on the streets of Cologne, Germany. Though nothing is blocking the entryway in this image, the words are framed with natural greenery and graffiti tags.

Culture

Bitte jetzt

"Bitte jetzt" are the German words for now, please. Widenka set up this shot in Cologne, Germany, with a model to show some perspective and angle of the words, which seemingly come from the sky, with a strong yellow contrasting against a darker blue.

Culture

Hochhaus

"Das Hochhaus" is the German word for a high-rise building. Seen on the streets of Cologne, Germany, the words centrally anchor the composition with brick on top and colorful posters below.

Culture

Ausfahrt

"Ausfahrt" is the German word for exit. Widenka shot this monotone grey photo in Berlin, Germany, where the actual German word appears to blend into the different shades.

Martin Widenka's popular @basicgermanwords Instagram account artistically promotes language learning. Here are a few of his colorful shots of terms that make up the German language.