Star Wars Celebration Europe is coming up fast. The full site has been launched, tickets go on sale tomorrow, a bevy of guests are in the hopper, and — from what we’ve seen on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram — fans are already hard at work on assembling collections and costumes for the first ever Star Wars Celebration in Germany. On this note, we’d like to take today to recommend that in between gathering together your pins, patches, and vintage action figure and/or knitting, sewing, or vacuum forming your duds for the costume contest, you also brush up on your German.
The Rebels wouldn’t have scored their decisive victory over Endor without C-3PO’s dexterous lingual skills, and — as we doubt you’ll have a fully-functional protocol droid accompanying you to Germany — we recommend you take a little bit of time throughout the spring and summer to familiarize yourself with some essential German sayings. (We don’t think you’ll be needing them for anything as pressing as taking out a shield generator, but they may help you complete your set of original Return of The Jedi comics.)
Without any further pomp, here are 10 German phrases we recommend you commit to memory…
1. Please and Thank You
Bitte and Danke
You’re a guest in Germany. Be polite.
2. Which way to the nearest subway station?
Wo ist die nächste Stadtbahn station?
Essen has a robust subway network, including one stop right in front of the Messe Essen convention center. If you plan on heading into town for shopping, food, and friends in the evenings after Star Wars Celebration, the Essen subway is a fine way to do it, and with this handy phrase, you’ll always be able to find your way back home.
3. Where is the restroom?
Wo ist die toilette?
This phrase is doubly important for Star Wars fans, as beyond the obvious significance of needing to know where to go when nature calls, if you’ve got to change out of your street clothes into your formal Imperial officer dress, you’re not going to do this in public. We should state that Star Wars Celebration Europe recommends coming in costume — not changing in the convention center’s bathrooms — but we know it’s going to happen, so we want to make sure you at least know how to find your way around.
4. What is this line for? Where is the start of the line? Where is the end of the line?
Wofür stellt man sich hier an? Wo ist der anfang dieser schlange? Wo ist das ende dieser schlange?
Lines are a part of Star Wars culture. Lines are a part of Star Wars Celebration culture. And, as much as we try to minimize the need for queuing up hours in advance, we know we’ll have fans planting themselves down with enough time to read through Splinter of The Mind’s Eye twice to guarantee themselves seats for our big events. But before you join in a long snake of other attendees, it’s best you ask the three above questions to make certain you’re actually waiting to meet Dave Filoni and not at the end of the queue for a bowl of käsespätzle in the food court.
5. Did you make that armor / lightsaber / blaster / helmet / droid yourself?
Haben Sie diese rüstung/ dieses lichtschwert/ diesen blaster/ diesen helm/ diesen droiden selbst gemacht?
You’re going to see a lot of impressive craftsmanship at Star Wars Celebration, and it’s good to know how to express your admiration beyond gawks and furtive snapshots. Go over, introduce yourself, and strike up a conversation.
6. Are your onion rings covered in batter and fried?
Sind ihre zwiebelringe gebraten oder mit backteig überdeckt?
This seems an odd inclusion on the list until, after a long day at the convention, you pull up to a German pub and order a plate of — what you assume to be — hot, greasy, golden onion rings and are instead presented with onions simply chopped up into circles in the kitchen. This happened to us. Don’t let it happen to you. You’re welcome.
7. German beer is the best beer in the galaxy!
Deutsches bier ist das beste in der ganzen galaxies!
You’ve dodged the non-fried onion ring bullet? Good. Next, let’s make a new friend, and this is the perfect way to start. Germans take great pride in their beer — especially their hometown brews — and there’s no better sign of respect than ordering a local draft. You could try to order a Budweiser in a German bierhaus, but we don’t recommend it.
8. Pardon me, but I believe that’s my mint-in-the-box 1981 Kenner AT-AT you’re holding.
Entschuldigen sie aber ich glaube das ist mein 1981 Kenner AT-AT den sie da halten.
We’re all part of one big happy Star Wars family, but we still recommend you keep your eyes on your belongings — especially any trophies you’re hauling home from Celebration. Should one of your scores vanish only to have a Rodian then pass you by with a box that looks suspiciously similar, we recommend you settle this with words instead of blasters.
9. Do or do not, there is no try.
Tu oder tu nicht. Es gibt kein versuchen.
This just has to be on our list. We’re not exactly sure how often you’ll use it in conversation in Essen, but it’s always good to have in your back pocket. Who knows, maybe this’ll be needed as a clue in the Star Wars Celebration Europe Scavenger Hunt. Maybe…
10. May The Force Be With You!
Möge die Macht mit Dir sein!
Tremendous kudos to Hebert Primig for his assistance with the translations. Should this be even marginally helpful or entertaining, we’ll see about a sequel later in the spring. Until then, we look forward to sharing more about Celebration Europe soon and Möge die Macht mit Dir sein!