Spearfish Lake Tales
Contemporary Mainstream Books and Serials Online
There are a number of German and Japanese phrases and terms scattered throughout this story. While in most cases they are explained when they first come up, I’ve included a glossary to keep readers from having to page back through the book when one of them comes up after the first mention. All terms are German, unless noted otherwise
NOTE: Some German locations are fictional, as are some American ones..
Abitur: Common usage for “Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife.” A combination secondary school graduation certificate and college entrance exam.
Alles ist in Ordnung: Literally, “All is in order”, and often used much like Americans would use “OK.”
Amis: German slang for “Americans.”
Anime: Japanese cartoons, some animated, others in print. They are quite popular, ranging from very innocent to hentai, which are loaded with sex.
Dirndl: A type of traditional dress worn in southern Germany and elsewhere. Features a very low bodice, usually worn over a blouse, and with an apron. Commonly seen on beer maids at German beer fests. (The girl in the cover photo is wearing a dirndl.)
Fuku: (Japanese, pronounced foo-koo) Uniform. The not uncommon sailor-appearing uniform is based on the British naval uniform from the early 1900s, and is a popular girl’s school uniform in Japan – and in anime featuring girls of that age.
Gaijin: Japanese word meaning “non-Japanese”, or “alien”. Frequently understood as derogatory.
Grossmutter: Grandmother, but more formal than the casual “Oma.” “Hier is miene Grossmutter” – “Here is my grandmother” as distinct from “Guten Morgen, Oma” – “good morning Granny.” Oma would always be used within the family.
Gymnasium: Highest level of the three-tiered German secondary school system. Pronounced with a hard “G” and softer vowels than in English. No relation to the American athletic building, but the latter’s name is probably derived from the European use. Gymnasium students are usually bound for university education.
Hauptschule: Lowest level of the three-tiered German secondary school system, mostly aimed at students headed for unskilled labor.
Hausfrau: A housewife.
Juku: Special Japanese private schools that offer lessons conducted after regular school hours and on the weekends, often preparatory for college entrance examinations.
Kinder, Kirke und Küche: Children, church, and kitchen. At the present time it has a derogative connotation describing an antiquated female role model. The phrase is vaguely equivalent to the English “barefoot and pregnant.”
Macht nichts: Literally, “It means nothing.” Can be taken a lot of different ways. American servicemen in Germany often use the term, “Mox Nix,” derived from this common German phrase.
Oberprima: The highest class level in German Gymnasium, the rough equivalent of senior year in an American high school.
Oma: Grandmother, but a little more casual, like “Grandma.”
Plattdeutsch: A fading North German dialect, also found in the northeasternmost Netherlands.
Realschule: Middle level of the three-tiered German secondary school system, mostly aimed at students headed for skilled or technical jobs requiring technical training but not requiring college.
Universität: University (as in University of).
Unterprima: German equivalent to junior year in an American high school.
Yonsei: (Japanese) the generation of people born in North America, Latin America, Australia, or any country outside of Japan to at least one Sansei (fourth-generation) parent.
Yuri: Japanese term for girl-girl love themes, especially in anime.