The original German title Angst essen Seele auf is deliberately grammatically incorrect, translating literally as "Fear eat soul up." The correct German form would be "Angst isst die Seele auf" - which (without the definite article "die") became the title of a related 2002 short film also starring Mira. The grammatical incorrectness of the title is however entirely appropriate, as it is a direct reference to one of the title character's lines. As an immigrant, he speaks in what can be referred to as "broken German" consistently throughout the film. The line of dialogue he utters is simply "Fear eat soul up."
Since Ali's poor German grammar is translated literally in the film's English subtitles, the subtitles for Ali's dialogue are similarly riddled with grammatical errors ("You no make couscous?").