German Food Vocabulary: Döner

German Food Vocabulary: Döner

To be honest, I barely know student books of foreign languages teaching how to order a meal in real situations. And I mean very real, everyday situations. I am entitled to state it after years of ordering kebab (Döner) in Germany. A typical conversation between kebab sellers and their clients is like breaking all possible grammar rules in German, no matter where you come from. The famous phrase “Mit oder ohne scharf?“, which literally means “with or without spicy”, is one of the reasons why some important colloquial expressions never get into the learning materials.

Break The Rules Or Stay Hungry

Nevertheless, while ordering kebab in Germany, you have to use those clumsy phrases. Just keep in mind that no one has time for complicated sentences. Anyway, you will have to be familiar with a doner menu in proper German too. Unless you are in a tourist swamp in the middle of Berlin, you are likely to see a translation in Turkish rather than in English.

For this purpose, I gathered the most common words describing meal and ingredients from a typical kebab menu. Of course, solely the kebab wouldn’t be enough to describe the variety of oriental cuisine. It´s more than likely to see the soups, salads etc. on the menu in every doner stall around the corner. So I did my best and included them as well. And last, but not least: Meet the new flashcards! I will be using them to create vocabulary groups along with the infographics.

The variety of Turkish dishes offered in Germany is much bigger, of course. There are also soups, hamburgers, desserts and drinks as well as “untranslatable” dishes like Lahmacun, Dürüm, Sucuk, Pide etc. which I have excluded deliberately. But starting with that basic vocabulary will help you to absorb the new words from the menu more easily. Good luck!

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