Words that are not to be found in dictionaries are called
non-lexical (then the other way round, words to be found
in dictionaries are lexical words). Non-lexical compound
words often have an ambiguous meaning. The rules to invent
new words are quite arbitrary. To describe all the rules,
it would need approx. 100 pages more in this manual. Still
the author is not convinced that all these rules would
serve the purpose of learning to communicate in German.
The author believes that with a bit of help, a bit of
fantasy and a bit of common sense one can understand these
words very nicely. And it's not really necessary to create
new words as long as one does not feel very comfortable
with the language.
Below you'll find some examples of the text we had before.
It is quite probably that you'll never find the word
Lohndrückerei again. It
is formed from the words Lohn
= salary and Drückerei,
which is quite hard to translate. It is a substantivation
of the word drücken
= to press down.
some examples of the same type
tanzen => Tanzerei
Die ganze Tanzerei
All this dancing was boring for me.
telefonieren => Telefoniererei
war ganz schön teuer.
All these telephone calls were quite expensive.
We think that with these examples it becomes
clearer, what was meant, when it was written Lohndrückerei.
Even though the ending -erei is mostly used in spoken
language, rather seldom in written language.
another word that won't be found in any dictionary.
This word consists of three words.
= sector of low salaries
In case you wonder what that might mean, we try to
give a short explication. In comparison with neighbour
countries Germany has quite a high level of salaries.
Therefore many companies prefer to produce in countries
with lower salaries. To avoid unemployment it is discussed
to permit companies to pay less than what is agreed
with union. In these cases the German state would offer
to pay the difference between the salary agreed between
unions and employers, that the worker could get the
With this word you might be able to find it in a very
good dictionary. It is compound of Finanz
and Spritze. Finanz
you'll easily understand, even though it's not a word
per se, but it is used in many other words.
= tax office
= finance product
= injection of
To know what is meant with a compound word, usually one
has to know what the general context in which this
word appears is. Some people think it is good style to use
loads of compound words. The author of this just believes
it makes texts harder to read, when there are loads of
compound words. However it is probably a question of taste.