During the process of studying a language, you can never learn enough idiomatic expressions as they are the main part of the language that will help you speak like a native. Therefore, German learners out there, don’t forget to revise the idioms you’ve learned so far because another wave of phrases is coming right towards you.
Die Daumen drücken
Different nationalities use different gestures when wishing someone good luck. “You have an exam tomorrow? I’m pressing my thumbs for you!”, Germans tend to say. “I have a job interview today. Keep your fingers crossed!”, is what in the English languages is said instead. In a situation you find yourself with a German friend, don’t hesitate to press your thumbs as hard as you can and avoid crossing your fingers because in Germany it wouldn’t have any meaning.
Andere Länder, andere Sitten
A similar expression that also captures culture differences is Andere Länder, andere Sitten (translated as “Other countries, other customs”) a.k.a When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” The phrase can be interpreted in two different ways. On one hand, it can have a synonymous meaning with its English equivalent, meaning, when you find yourself in a foreign country, respect the culture and traditions and don’t stick out from the crown, but rather blend in with the locals. On the other hand, the idiom may only emphasize the fact that different nations will undoubtedly have different customs.
Die Kohle zum Fenster rausschmeißen
Spending money irrationally can negatively affect our lives. If we don’t take care of our impulsive spending, it might as well come back and bite us. Germans have a remarkably creative way of putting this problem in words: “Throwing money out the window.” A similar English variation is “Pouring money down the drain.”
Abwarten und Tee trinken
There is nothing more relaxing than drinking tea, especially when you are a bit on the edge. Translated to “wait and drink tea”, the German expression reminds you that when feeling stressed, stand by, loosen up, and maybe calm down your nerves with a cup of hot tea. Some problems are best left unresolved and the only thing you can do is “wait and see” as English speakers would say.