sprachgefühl noun1 : the character of a language 2 : an intuitive sense of what is linguisticallyappropriate
One review of the book praised the author‘s sprachgefühl and her graceful, literary style.
“Robert Dankoff patiently taught me Ottoman Turkish, attempting to instillin me Sprachgefühl, and carefullycorrected every inaccuratetransliteration and translation that I insisted he read.” — Marc DavidBaer, Honored by the Glory of Islam, 2008
Did you know?
Sprachgefühl was borrowed intoEnglish from German at the end of the 19th century and combines two German nouns, Sprache, meaning“language, speech,” and Gefühl, meaning “feeling.” (Nouns are capitalized in German, and you’ll occasionally see sprachgefühlcapitalized in English too, as in our second example.) We’re quite certainthat the quality of sprachgefühl is common among our readers, but the word itself is rare, making onlyoccasional appearances in our language.