Fotoeins Fotografie

faces of home & place-story
Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

My Innsbruck: I do not refuse the humour

It’s not really low humour, and besides, I’m not one to reject humour.

As an encouragement for everyone to keep the environment clean (aside from personal and collective responsibility), the ubiquitous red garbage or waste bins throughout the city of Innsbruck are all tagged with a succinct sentence that’s amusing and punny. I don’t abide by the stereotype that the German language can’t be funny; instead, the stereotype persists because of lazy ignorant thinking.

Many small red waste-bins or garbage cans are located throughout the Tirolean capital. With a real chance to causing double takes, the different sayings on the bins is a mix of Austrian German and English, encouraging residents and visitors to use them as intended. The bins are emptied when city staff open them from underneath. This “attraction to waste” is not a unique phenomenon, as various other cities employ a similar trick; for example, in Hamburg and Berlin. But when a waste-bin urges people to feed it, I find it hard to look away.

From over 1200 submissions for a public city-wide competition for the best slogans, 20 were selected and unveiled in autumn 2010 (Innsbruck informiert, 2010: 15 Sept and 6 Oct). Theses mottos are on hundreds of bins in the city. Below are 17 out of 20 for a 85% completion rate, which is pretty good for a few days in and out of town.


Müllsprüche

For the compound noun “Müllsprüche”, the literal meaning is “rubbish slogans” or “trash mottos.” There’s a lot you can do to that in English; you can either keep the intended meaning or change the meaning to match your joy. As for me, I find them neither rubbish or trashy.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Man muss auch loslassen können. / You also have to be able to let go. Photo in Altstadt, 10 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Ich wär so gerne Müllionär. / I’d love to be a garbage collector. “Müll” is the word for trash or rubbish, and plays on the pronunciation pun for millionaire. Photo in Altstadt, 10 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Lieber Müll im Kübel als Dreck am Stecken. / Better trash in the can than skeletons in your closet. Photo in Altstadt, 10 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Selten so voll gefühlt. / Rarely (have I) felt so full. Photo in Altstadt, 10 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Ich nehme auch Bargeld und Kreditkarten. / I also take cash and credit cards. Photo in Altstadt, 10 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Verschmitzt statt verschmutzt. / Naughty, instead of dirty. Photo in Altstadt, 10 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Photo in Altstadt, 10 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Eigentlich wollte ich ein Flugzeug werden. / Actually I wanted to become an airplane. Photo on Inn-Brücke, 11 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Hast a la Mista, Baby? ‘Hast’ is the 2nd-person singular form of the verb ‘to have’ (i.e., you have), and ‘Mist’ is a colloquial term for crap or trash. ‘Terminator’ Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in the Austrian town of Thal near Graz. Photo in Altstadt, 11 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Wilten hier niemand Müll einwerfen? / Didn’t anyone want to throw trash in here? Wilten is the name of a southern district next to the city’s Old Town, and is a play on the preterite form ‘wollten’ for ‘wollen’, the German verb ‘to want’. Photo near Hofkirche, 11 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Rein oder nicht rein, das ist hier die Frage. / In or not in, that is the question. ‘Rein’ rhymes with ‘sein’, the German verb ‘to be.’ Photo near Landestheater, 11 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Habe durchgehend offen. / Always open. Photo near Landestheater, 11 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Give me some more! Photo near Triumphpforte, 11 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

www DOT müll DOT ade / goodbye to trash. “Ade” is a formal “goodbye” in southern Germany and Austria. Photo in Altstadt, 13 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Ich habe keine Sperrstunde. / I don’t have a closing time. Photo in Altstadt, 14 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Mülle Grazie / ‘A thousand trashy thanks,’ which plays on the puntastic pronunciation similarities between “Mille” and Mülle”. Photo in Altstadt, 14 May.

Strassenbetrieb, Müllkübel, Müllsprüche, Mistkübel, Abfallkörbe, Abfalleimer, Innsbruck, Tirol, Tyrol, Austria, Oesterreich, fotoeins.com

Mistverständnis / This word is a pun on “Missverständnis” or misunderstanding; “Mist” is colloquial for ‘crap’ or ‘trash.’ Photo near Hbf, 14 May.


The three I didn’t find were:

•   I bin gebürtiga Müllauer!
•   Blechreiz.
•   Wohl oder Kübel.

I made all photos above entirely with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime on 10, 11, 13, and 14 May 2018. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-chW.

8 Responses to “My Innsbruck: I do not refuse the humour”

    • fotoeins

      Hi, Cornelia. The more I read and understand German, the more I think it’s a clever language. It’s why I wanted to emphasize how the humour to help minimize the stereotype that one can’t be funny in German. Thanks for reading and for your comment, and I hope you and your family are doing well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • fotoeins

      We’re doing all right for now, thanks. I can’t pretend to be familiar with all the German dialects: I had enough problems with Kölsch, Bairisch, and Berlinsch. 😅

      Like

    • fotoeins

      I might recognize a few accents or some of the specific words by region. Otherwise, as the saying goes: “Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof.”

      Like

    • fotoeins

      Hi, Amy. I think there are some clever sayings in the whole lot. And to think the humour (or as I call it, the double-take) provides some extra motivation to be mindful about waste or trash: well, I guess every little bit helps. Thanks for reading and for your comment; I hope you and your family are doing well.

      Like

Please leave your comments below

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: