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Austrian German word of the day: Jause

Austrian German offers up plenty of its own linguistic treats not used in standard German. Here’s an easy one for a popular, everyday topic — food.

Austrian German word of the day: Jause

What does it mean?

A Jause is used by speakers of Austrian German to describe a little something they’ll have to eat in between meals — sometimes mid-morning but often mid-afternoon. That’s right, a Jause is wonderful Austrian German word for “snack.”

How do you use it or where might you see it?

Using Jause can give you a little more informal Austria street cred, since it’s specifically an Austrian word that even native German speakers who are not from Austria might not recognize. It can help you show that you’re down with Austrian lingo and willing to go a little further than someone who simply relies on standard German all the time.

Unlike certain Austrian German words, like Baba for “hello,” you’re not restricted to using Jause just in informal situations, as with many other words in Austrian German or other German dialects.

Jause is also versatile and can describe any kind of snack – both sweet and savoury, so you’ll need to be specific about what kind of Jause you want. You can also use it as the verb “to snack,” by saying jausen. You can also engage in some fun wordplay when going on a “snack break” – or Jausepause.

READ ALSO: The best words in Austrian German

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For members


German word of the day: Basteln

This is a great word for those looking for a way to keep their kids entertained.

German word of the day: Basteln

What does basteln mean?

The German verb basteln means to engage in handicrafts or to tinker around with something. Though there isn’t a direct equivalent verb in English, the closest translations would be “to do handicrafts”, “to make” or “to tinker”.

Basteln is most commonly used to describe the kind of arts and crafts activities that children are particularly fond of, such as painting eggs or making puppets out of socks. But, of course, children aren’t the only ones who like to get make things, and DIY projects, or working with materials to create or repair objects also come under the umbrella of basteln

If you need to find a shop near you that sells the kind of materials you’d need for a Basteltag (craft day), you can search for online a Bastelladen (crafts store) or for Bastelbedarf (craft supplies).

The term basteln can also be used more generally to mean “to put something together”, usually at short notice. For example, if you find yourself having to throw together a last-minute presentation, you could say:

Ich kann aus diesen Dokumenten etwas basteln

I can put something together from these documents

Where does the word basteln come from?

The origin of the word is not entirely clear, but it is believed to be derived from the Middle High German besten, meaning “to knot” or “to tie up”. During the Middle Ages, the word besten was also used to refer to the handicraft work of laymen or craftsmen.

Over time, basteln evolved to mean the act of constructing or assembling something using simple and easily accessible materials. 

Use it like this: 

Basteln ist eine tolle Aktivität für die ganze Familie

Doing crafts is a great activity for the whole family

Er mag es zu basteln und mit seinen Händen zu arbeiten

He loves to do crafts and to work with his hands

Seit Tagen bastelt sie an ihrer Präsentation

She’s been tinkering with her presentation for days