Luftschloss | Word of the Week | DW | 16.10.2012
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Word of the Week


Do you have a castle in the sky?


It's the girl who moves to LA to become a famous actress, or the man who believes he has a shot at becoming president. It's that million-dollar business idea and those floor plans in your head for a future mansion.

No, these aren't daydreams, but Luftschlösser, or "air castles." To the builder of a Luftschloss, it's only a matter of time until these mental blueprints become reality. Things would have happened already, in fact, save for forces just beyond one's control. In English we might call a Luftschloss a "delusion of grandeur." Yet the English expression shows significantly less empathy for the beauty of that vision.

Rare is the individual who can identify him or herself as the builder of a Luftschloss. It usually takes a friend, colleague, or family member to alert one to ownership.

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