- schwanger -- pregnant
- sprechen -- to speak
Even meaner, and more ironic in its difficulty, is the related word aussprechen. This word means "to pronounce" and is ironically one of the hardest German word for me to pronounce.
- Frühstück -- breakfast
I avoid saying this word at all costs. Too many umlauts for my mouth to comfortably handle. I still have a hard time distinguishing between the sounds of a normal U and a U with an umlaut, both while listening and speaking, and this word throws two of those tricky little guys at me at once.
- beschleunigen -- to accelerate
- Wirtschaft -- has lots of meanings
... and that's precisely why it's one of my least favorite words. It can means so many things that it can be hard to tell which meaning is intended in a particular sentence. According to context it can mean: economy, economic system, industry, pub, bar, small restaurant, household, or state of affairs.
- Any word that is almost identical in English
BONUS! Confusing Words!
"There are some exceedingly useful words in this language. Schlag, for example; and Zug. There are three-quarters of a column of Schlags in the dictionary, and a column and a half of Zugs. The word Schlag means Blow, Stroke, Dash, Hit, Shock, Clap, Slap, Time, Bar, Coin, Stamp, Kind, Sort, Manner, Way, Apoplexy, Wood-cutting, Enclosure, Field, Forest-clearing. This is its simple and exact meaning -- that is to say, its restricted, its fettered meaning; but there are ways by which you can set it free, so that it can soar away, as on the wings of the morning, and never be at rest. You can hang any word you please to its tail, and make it mean anything you want to. You can begin with Schlag-ader, which means artery, and you can hang on the whole dictionary, word by word, clear through the alphabet to Schlag-wasser, which means bilge-water -- and including Schlag-mutter, which means mother-in-law.
"Just the same with Zug. Strictly speaking, Zug means Pull, Tug, Draught, Procession, March, Progress, Flight, Direction, Expedition, Train, Caravan, Passage, Stroke, Touch, Line, Flourish, Trait of Character, Feature, Lineament, Chess-move, Organ-stop, Team, Whiff, Bias, Drawer, Propensity, Inhalation, Disposition: but that thing which it does not mean -- when all its legitimate pennants have been hung on, has not been discovered yet."
This quote is part of an essay written by Mark Twain called The Awful German Language (full text here: http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html). It's a hilarious account of Twain's experiences with German and all of its peculiarities. I encourage everyone to read it; you don't have to speak German to find it funny, although I think people like me who have learned German as a second (or third) language will particularly appreciate his quite accurate assessment of the insanity that is the German language.