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Landeskunde und Kultur

7 Things to Know When You Visit Germany

7 Things to Know When You Visit Germany

Germany is really what I consider to be my second home and there is a special place for it in my heart; there are so many reasons to visit Germany and here are 7 things for you to know when visit Germany and enjoy much of it, no matter what your level of German.

1. Country Size & Travel Basics:

Germany is about the size of the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin together and they have a population of 80 million people—we have about 300 million on a huge plot of land, so obviously Germany is much…

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Karneval / Fasching / Fastnacht

Karneval Fasching Fastnacht Fifth Season in Germany

Karneval is known as "die fünfte Jahreszeit" --the 5th season. It's known as Karneval, Fastnacht, or Fasching in many places in southern Germany.

Karneval is a big deal.

Their costumes are pretty fantastic, one of Heidi Klum's favorite things, and their costumes are no exception at the parade on Rosenmontag. But let's back up a few days and a few months to give you the best idea of Karneval.


It begins on November 11th at 11:11 a.m. because 11 is known as the "narrische Zahl," the fool's nu…

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Persian Ware Presentation on 2/12 in Richfield, Minnesota

Persian Ware Made in Germany

Persian Ware, Made in Germany

Black and Gold Autumn Pitcher SetBetween 1820 and World War I, nearly six million Germans immigrated to the United States. From 1840 to 1880, they were the largest group of immigrants. Though we had had immigrants from the German states as early as the 1670s, none of the groups were as massive as what was seen in the nineteenth century.

Though Germans were mostly eager to fit into American life, learning English as soon as possible, there was still a preference for German customs, foods, and hous…

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What are You Allowed to Name Your Child in Germany?

What are You Allowed to Name Your Child in Germany

It's no secret that Germans have a lot of rules. One "rule" that has become more flexible in the last few years is what you can name your child and how you spell her or his name. Now you can even bypass the commonly-accepted French spelling of the name "Jacqueline" and go right for the German phonetic spelling of "Schaklyn."

Yes, really.

Here is an article about the process of naming your child in Germany and for all you German learners out there, here are a few ways to read this article and e…

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What do Germans do on New Year's Eve?

What do Germans do on New Years Eve

Here is one of their traditions. Every New Year's Eve (auf Deutsch:  Sylvester) there is a particular television tradition in Germany:  Dinner for One oder: der 90. Geburtstag.

This is about as traditional as the Dick Clark New Year's Eve Special from Times Square, except it comes on television on multiple different stations all evening long. So don't worry if you miss the first showing at 10:55 am, because it will be running constantly from 5:30 to 8 pm.

Dinner for One is well-known for its …

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Deutschtests - High Hurdles for Spouses? - Artikelempfehlung

Since 2007, the foreign spouse of a German national must be able to prove they can speak a certain level of German before they can legally stay in the country. It may sound simple, but isn't always, if perhaps you travel so much for work that you can't regularly attend a German course. Perhaps there simply are no German courses in your area. Or maybe you don't have the electricity, computer and internet connection necessary to visit a German-learning website, much less read the article below. Is…

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Women, a Dirndl apron-tie code, und natürlich Oktoberfest!

If you’re headed to Oktoberfest this year, be sure to check out the apron ties on the womens’ Dirndls. (Ja, Dirndl. 4 consonants all together. It’s the traditional Bavarian dress we all so know and (many of us) love. Here’s how to decipher whether a woman is committed or still on the market, plus a few more tips for your visit to Oktoberfest.

Click here to read the article on Spiegel.de.

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German Directness, Pt 2. Are you Catholic or Protestant?

German Directness Pt 2 Catholic or Protestant

When I lived in Lippstadt I had great neighbors. I lived in Lipperode, a village that belonged to Lippstadt. The fascinating single mom next door, the heating oil guy and his wife across the street, the lovely couple in their 50s on the other side, and next to them, kitty-corner from us, lived Horst and his wife.

Horst had taken early retirement and was quite involved locally. He volunteered a lot, one of his positions being President of the village board for the protestant church. A Calvanisti…

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German Directness, Pt 1. Have you gained weight?

German Directness Pt 1 Have You Gained Weight

Germans are incredibly direct. A German really will ask you if you've gained weight (Haben Sie zugenommen?), just as someone might ask if you have lost weight at another time (Haben Sie abgenommen?).


Why do they think it's OK to ask such a personal question?

What's disconcerting for people from the States, is that we don't ask this question unless we can tell for certain. For a German on the other hand, this question is simply a matter of fact and by no means a judgement.

Ask any American …

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How to Make German Pancakes - Pfannkuchen

How to Make German Pancakes Pfannkuchen

Germans have a wonderful affinity for pancakes, and their pancakes are more in the French crepe style. There is a restaurant in Ulm that specializes in pancakes, and I can highly recommend it.

If, however, you are nowhere near Ulm, here is a recipe from Germany converted into English units (or whatever it's called here in the States).

2 German Pfannkuchen

1 egg

1 pinch of salt

a scant 2/3 C milk*

2/3 C flour


Combine the egg, salt, and milk. Add the flour a spoonful at a time and w…

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