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Landeskunde und Kultur

How Does German Culture Compare to US Culture?

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Frequently, very frequently I find myself confused by living in the US again.

The culture is simply so different from German culture, which is where I began my post-grad school life.

I couldn't put words to all of it, but then a friend of mine asked me recently, "Of all the places you've been, where did you have the most culture shock?"

It took me weeks to sort out my answer.

After considering the 21 countries and perhaps 18 states I've visited, I've finally got my answer.

In this episode w…

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German Table Manners and Etiquette, Parts 1 and 2

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German table manners and etiquette might be like what you know, or they might be very different.

In German this is called Esskultur is the culture of food, dining, and manners.

For most Germans, Esskultur begins when they are in high chairs and their parents teach them to eat when the adults are eating, to wait until the adults are finished to be excused from the table, how to use a napkin, and how to use their eating utensils.

In the US, manners vary widely and the manners you learn depends …

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What is the German National Anthem?

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The German National Anthem is known as the Nationalhymne or Das Lied der Deutschen, "The Song of the Germans."

In today's episode of the podcast for German learners you'll hear:

  • the current national anthem

  • a bit of its history

  • the German National Anthem sung in German (by yours truly!)

It's really important to note the specifics of this Anthem because there is a strong connection to German history, one that is to be remembered and respected.

Besides, wouldn't you like to im…

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Erst Ordnung schaffen - First Create Order

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«Erst Ordnung schaffen.»

the stylist proclaimed as she clipped a section of my hair to the side and combed the section she was about to cut.

Erst Ordnung schaffen.

First, create order.

At that moment the hairstylist probably had no clue what an impact she would have on my life.

Her comment was my official introduction to the German sense of order.

In this first episode of the GermanWithNicole.com Podcast you'll hear how one of my private lesson clients created order and how it has chan…

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German Spring Cleaning Products (Nicole's 3 Favorites)

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Germanize your Spring Cleaning!

Es ist an die Zeit für den Frühlingsputz!

It's time for Spring cleaning!

A thorough Spring clean is much nicer when your cleaning products are high quality, biodegradable, and even smell nice!

This week you'll find out what my three favorite German cleaning products are.

Next week you'll be able to download a new, 4x6 card with Spring Cleaning vocabulary on it.

Because what better way is there to make your Spring Clean more enjoyable than to do it auf Deutsc…

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11 German Words for Holy Week and Easter (Karwoche und Ostern)

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Christian Holidays are often public holidays in Germany, so these are good words to know whether you're non-religious, atheist, agnostic, or religious.

The schedule carries over into school and school breaks, too. One of my clients is currently on Osterferien, Easter Holidays, and doesn't have school this week or next.

This week is Karwoche, or Holy Week, and in a non-pandemic year there would be much singing of the Bach Passions: the Matthäus-Passion (St. Matthew Passion), the Johannes-Passio…

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Save 5% on the Best German Pretzels in the US

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Meet the Milwaukee Pretzel Company!

They make pretzels--German pretzels!

They make them here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

You can have them shipped to you!

These are the best pretzels I've eaten outside of Germany.

When you visit one of their stands here in Milwaukee you'll likely have a chance to eat their Obatzda, which is a delicious, Bavarian cheese specialty made with camembert, butter, a splash of beer, onion, and paprika. And yes, their Obatzda is also the best Obatzda I've had outside…

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2 German Lozenges for Your Sore Throat

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Plus one immune booster used often in Germany.

Being sick is a drag in any language. Your throat gets scratchy, it hurts, you get all phlegmy...you feel awful, you're tired, and you miss out on work, time with your friends, your family. What a drag.

Now more than ever we've become aware of taking very good care of ourselves when we get sick. Here are a couple of German lozenges you might not have heard of that are excellent to have on hand.

You can order them from the Smallflower.com Apotheca…

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Have German Food Delivered to Your Door

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One of the hardest parts of shopping for authentic German food is actually your location. If you don't live near a city with a German supermarket or your supermarket doesn't carry international products, it can be difficult to shop for them.

Plus there are no surprises when you shop for it all yourself. Why not enjoy a surprise now and then?

What if you could get a box of authentic German products shipped to your door every month and each month it's a surprise? New products, different items, a…

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5 (Not-So) Last-Minute German Gifts

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It's not quite Christmas *yet*, however so many people are planning and buying their Christmas presents early this year that it's really a good idea to start planning for your German Christmas gifts now.

Planning ahead.

That's so German.

Here are 5 gift ideas whether you like to give bath & body products, German food items, or fancy Austrian wine glasses for Christmas.

You can order them all from home and whether you'd like to spend $25 or $250 (or more!), there is something here for you.

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