Thursday, December 22, 2016

How do you translate “Beeswax” into German?

Beeswax candles
Beeswax candles at Christmas market in Bremen, Germany
The English compositum “beeswax” is one of those words that can be translated by simple concatenation of the translated nouns from which it is built. The German word for “bees” is ”Bienen,” the plural form of the feminine noun ”Biene.” The German word for “wax” is the etymologically related noun ”Wachs.” Stringing ”Bienen” and ”Wachs” together, we get ”Bienenwachs.”

The top picture shows candles made of beeswax for sale at the Christmas market in downtown Bremen, Germany. A sign promises that the candles are made of 100% pure beeswax. If you want to buy a beeswax candle, you would ask for a ”Bienenwachskerze.” The feminine German noun ”Kerze” means candle. The plural form of  ”Bienenwachskerze” is ”Bienenwachskerzen.”

Shopping for beeswax candles
Shopping for beeswax candles at a market hut on Bremen's Christmas market

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