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Kultur und Reisen Culture and Travel

3 Easy Ideas for Your «Adventskranz»

der Adventskranz = advent wreath3 easy ideas Advent wreath

Do you know the difference between Advent and Christmas?

Growing up, I never really understood the difference. I even got an Advent calendar from my grandmother every year, but nobody ever explained to me the difference very clearly.

So you can imagine that it was a bit of a shock when I moved to Germany and found out: «Advent ist nicht Weihnachten!».

No, Advent is *not* Christmas. It is the time before Christmas.

Here's how I learned the...

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The 3 Phrases You Need to Survive Oktoberfest

3 Phrases Survive OktoberfestOktoberfest is almost here--this year it's September 21st through Oktober 6th--only ten days away!

Pack up your Dirndl, your Lederhosen, your Maß and your Handy, and make sure you take enough cash with you. This year one liter of Bier costs anywhere from EUR 11,40 to EUR 15,90. A soda costs at least EUR 8 in any tent, plus you're going to need some fabulous Bavarian food to sustain you through all the rides and singing.

So what if you're going to Oktoberfest but you don't speak German?


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das FahrradHallo ihr Lieben,

diese Woche mache ich Urlaub. Ich mache einen Fahrradurlaub! Hurra!

(Damit Sie Bescheid wissen: ich trage immer einen Fahrradhelm, wenn ich mit dem Fahrrad fahre. Das sollen Sie auch immer machen.)

Ich lese diese Woche keine E-Mails und beantworte keine Nachrichten.

Freizeit muss auch sein!

Viele Grüße

Ihre Nicole

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What does "zwischen den Jahren" mean?

At the end of the year a lot of Germans use the phrasezwischen den Jahren.what does zwischen den jahren mean Between the years?! That's not possible!

Or is it?

There are two things you need to know about this phrase zwischen den Jahren.

1. It's a real thing.

A lot of German offices shut down on Heiligabend (Christmas Eve) and don't open again until after Neujahr (New Year's Day). That means all their everything must be done on December 23rd! Since they won't be back to work until the new year has begun, then they have...

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Frohes Channuka!

Today is the first day of Hanukkah (or Chanukka...no matter which way you spell it, it's the Festival of Lights!) It's the perfect opportunity for you to learn about Chanukka - auf Deutsch!

Currently there are approximately 98,500 members of Jewish communities in Germany. These members are a part of about 110 Jewish communities all around Germany, which you can read about here.

Here is a free pdf of Hanukkah terms that covers everything from the Dreidl to powdered donuts!

Click here to...

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The 5-Day Weekend, Courtesy of the Reformation

5 day weekend Reformation Reformationstag2017 is a huge year for Germans: they get an extra national holiday, Reformationstag. It's the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door, which turned out to be a pillar event of the Reformation movement.

An extra national holiday means that everybody gets an extra day off work. Everything's going to be closed, however I suspect a lot of churches might have more visitors than usual.

So how does this make a 5-day weekend for Germans? Here's how:

Saturday and...

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Krank sein, ein Elfchen

An Elfchen is a German poem that contains only 11 words. The form is 1-2-3-4-1. Because if its simplicity, it's a fantastic way to practice your vocabulary.

Or, if you're sick and can't seem to shake off the crud of the decade, it makes a very succinct blog post.

Krank sein: ein Elfchen


hatte Halsschmerzen

mehr Tee trinken

bitte wieder gesund werden!


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You Are Welcome Here.

There is a lot of hate in this world, and it will not be tolerated here.

There are a lot of mean people in this world, and their actions are not welcome here.

There are many languages, cultures, and peoples in this world, and YOU ARE ALL WELCOME HERE.

All skin colors, all peoples, all foreign languages, all beliefs, all forms of religion and spirituality (or lack thereof), all forms of love, all forms of family ARE WELCOME HERE.

If you or someone you know is caught up in a hate group and...

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Just How Polite are Germans Anyway?

How Polite are GermansGermans have a reputation for being very direct. They're formal, which can be really hard to figure out. And they like their relationships eingestuft (graded); a neighbor is a neighbor, not a friend and a colleague is a colleague until you become friends. Not knowing these cultural elements and having to learn them can be like playing bumper cars--sometimes you hit a big bump with the Germans, and it can feel awfully uncomfortable.

But there's one area where Germans absolutely rule with...

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