Landeskunde und Kultur
12 Reasons to Visit Germany--Whether You Speak German or Not!
1. Experience the opposite of urban sprawl:
Germany is about the size of the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin together and they have a population of around 82 million people. To contrast, in the US we have about 300 million on a huuuge plot of land, so it’s much more densely populated. Germany is growing in diversity, so you will likely run into folks of many different backgrounds.
2. Speak with your hands and feet.
Most Germans, in particular in big cities like Hamburg, Bremen, Stuttgart, M…
Aufräumen ist nicht putzen!
Picking up is not cleaning!
So what's the difference between aufräumen and putzen?
Many German learners want to know what "to clean" is. The verb "to clean" in German is putzen. However putzen is something very specific in German--it may not be what you think!
For Germans, putzen is the actual process of cleaning, and nothing else. Americans think of cleaning as vacuuming, putting away books that might be laying about, doing the laundry, and any other amount of things. However putzen does not…
Sagt man "Viel Glück" oder "Viel Erfolg"?
Wishing someone "good luck" in German often goes one of two ways--either "Viel Glück!" or "Viel Erfolg!" Which one you use depends on what you want to say.
If you'd like to wish some one "good luck," then go with "Viel Glück!" It really is like wishing them luck--because you're unsure how the result may turn out.
However, just like in English, it's also possible to say, sarcastically, "Good luck with that!" Then you also use "Viel Glück!" and if you want to add extra emphasis to the fact that …
Visit the German Settlement Cemetery in Hudson, Wisconsin
Last week you learned about the German Settlement in St. Croix County and the bake house/smoke house that is still used for bread baking demonstrations. Not far from there is the German Settlement Cemetery. Be sure to visit it when you head out for the bread bake. It's set beautifully and is a peaceful reminder of where so many of us have come from (another place) and connects you with another time.
As the sign implores, it's a place to "Reverently read the old gravestone names of those pione…
Karneval / Fasching / Fastnacht
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…
Persian Ware Presentation on 2/12 in Richfield, Minnesota
Persian Ware, Made in Germany
Between 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…
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."
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…
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 i…
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 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…