Learning german dialekt begins with Kölsches Grundgesetz

Cologne skyline

This post is dedicated to my husband, our friends and family living in or not so far away from Cologne. Besides the Carneval, the annual merry-making drink till you drop carnival party, that takes the nation and Cologne by the storm in February, Cologne or Köln is also well-known for its ‘Law’ – Kölsches Grundgesetz. To understand the law, you need to know the Cologne dialect but learning this special german dialekt has been an uphill task for me. Things didn’t get easier, not even with the training from my in-laws and the mini dictionary that I have. Maybe listening to the Höhner 24-7, 365 days, a popular folk music band from Cologne, could have helped me in rattling away in Kölsch. Maybe I should start listening and singing to their songs again. Maybe…maybe…but anyway, all thanks to my friend from Aachen, in a town not so far away from Cologne, I learnt the meaning of the Cologne ground rules or laws and here they are with the meaning in simple german. You can find the english translation for some of those that I was able to find the right words. Prost!

  • Et es wie et es: Es ist wie es ist. = That’s life.
  • Et kütt wie et kütt: Es kommt wie es kommt. = It’ll come as it is. Don’t worry about it.
  • Et hätt noch immer jot jejange: Es ist immer noch gut gegangen.
  • Wat fott es es fott: Was fort ist ist fort. What done cannot be undone. = Live with it and stop complaining.
  • Nix bliev wie et wor: Nichts bleibt wie es war. = Be open-minded to the new and unknown.
  • Kenne mer nit, bruche mer nit, fott domet: Kennen wir nicht, brauchen wir nicht, fort damit.
  • Wat wellste maache?: Was willst du machen? = What more can do you? This is done and you can’t change anything.
  • Mach et jot äwer nit ze off: Mach es gut aber nicht zu oft. = Drink or party is good but not too much.
  • Wat soll dä Quatsch?: Was soll der Quatsch? = What’s the problem?
  • Drinkste ene met?: Trinkst du einen mit? = Do you wanna have a drink together?
  • Do laachste dech kapott: Da lachst du dich kaputt. = Laugh till you drop.

And if I did an awfully bad translation of the laws in english, please correct me and I’ll be happy to update this post. Jetzt kannst du dich kapott laachen :-).


About germanforrunway

learning german is a love and hate learning journey. The beginning is difficult and it gets maybe tougher but definitely more lyrical as I discover the colloquial language or the slangs and in german 'Umgangssprache'. german for runways is a collection of slangs that I have learnt from the germans around me and my wonderful friend, Kirsten, is the mastermind behind the blogname. german for runways is the direct and awfully wrong translation for german for advanced level.
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3 Responses to Learning german dialekt begins with Kölsches Grundgesetz

  1. Layla says:

    Just stumbled over your blog. Here my thoughts to a few of your entries 🙂

    Hehe, interesting to find someone who learns German and even (a bit) Kölsch. In-laws from Cologne? Wow, that must be a real challenge for you.
    I am “ne Kölsche” but living in UK for a few years now. Right now I am suffering acute homesickness and sing-a-song-tism (Karneval starts tomorrow and I cannot be there).

    By the way, Happy Birthday (belated). 🙂
    And although between Munich and Cologne is a whole (language) world, the dictionary leo is great indeed 🙂

    Here is the translation of the 2 outstanding sections.

    §3 Et hätt noch immer jot jejange: Es ist immer noch gut gegangen. = It always ends well.
    §6 Kenne mer nit, bruche mer nit, fott domet: Kennen wir nicht, brauchen wir nicht, fort damit. = We don’t know it, we don’t need it, done with it.

    Karneval and “De Höhner” and other bands (Brings, BAP, Bläck Föss, Funky Marys, Colör, many others) are good ressources for learning the dialect of Cologne.
    People from Cologne are cheerful and melancholic, funny and serious and that all mostly at the same time. And “schwade künne se” / they are talking a … loooooot! *lol*

    Well, if you like I am happily accepting an invite at facebook (Laylali Rayna).
    Anyhow I will bookmark your blog and I look forward to reading more from your fun with my beloved lingo 🙂 (I do love English too.)

    • vielen Dank fuer deine Beitraege. Die sind sehr schoen geschrieben.

    • Thanks for translating two of the Grundgesetz and tips on the Karneval music that I can refer to. I’ve already a few tracks from Hoehner in my phone n I’m still learning to sing to it cos u know Koelsch is more advanced than German..kekeke 😀 Keep your recommendations n Umgangsprache coming as I keep this blog alive too 😀

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