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Krank sein, ein Elfchen

krank sein ein Elfchen cinquain poem

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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This Video Proves that Germans Have Humor

This Video Proves that Germans Have Humor

Q: How many Germans does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: One. We are efficient and don't have humor.


That's simply not true! Have you been to a German wedding where a guest prepares a game for the bride & groom to play? Usually it's something along the lines of "How well do they really know one another?" Or a guest prepares a kind of comedy show with funny skits for the other guests to enjoy. Germans do have humor, it's simply different than what we expect.

If you still don't…

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7 "Fantastisch" German Products You Can Get Here in the US

7 Fantastisch German Products You Can Get Here in the US

One of the best parts of German culture is the Apotheke, the pharmacy! Not because of the prescription drugs, but because of the products you can buy there. And the freebies--don't even get me started. I once bought some facial care products and make-up and they gave me a HANDBAG. A HANDBAG!!! I still have it. Die Tasche ist fantastisch! I even got a tea candlelight holder one year and since it was Advent/Christmas, the candle holder was in the shape of a star. Ja, das habe ich auch noch.


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Sorry, There is no Oxford Comma in German.

Sorry There is no Oxford Comma in German

Discussions begin, lawyers are called, and lawsuits are filed. All of it is about a comma. (See what I did there?)

The Oxford comma is so important to people that spouses actually have discussions about it. They've talked about everything like where to live, how to manage their finances, and how many kids to have, but years later they find out only one of them uses the Oxford comma. [Cut dramatic music.] It's like now the real stuff of marriage has come to the forefront:

to use the Oxford comm…

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Why You Should Stop Asking “Wie geht’s?” All the Time

Why You Should Stop Asking Wie gehts All the Time

Es war einmal…that I called my German Landlord to ask to get something fixed in the apartment. Although I was in a fantastic mood that day, it only took about 20 seconds for that phone call to change my German speaking habits forever…here’s why:

Nicole: Hallo, Herr Müller!

Herr Müller: Hallo, Frau Warner!

Nicole: Wie geht’s Ihnen denn?

Herr Müller: Ach ja, wissen Sie, nicht so gut. Am Wochenende habe ich im Garten gearbeitet und etwas hat mich am Fuß gestochen! Die Stelle ist angeschwollen—e…

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Found at...ALDI - Two Traditions: Ghost Feast and »der Todestag«

Found at ALDI Two Traditions Ghost Feast and der Todestag

If you've been hanging around this blog for a while, which some of you have, you'll know how excited I get when it's German week at ALDI. Apparently it just was, but I missed it, as there was no more regular Frischkäse when I arrived, only the Meerrettich kind, which I don't like. Schade.

This week I did a huge Einkaufstour and went to ALDI and filled up the cart. Käse, Champignons, Paprika, Toilettenpapier, Taschentücher, Bratwürste--ich habe echt alles eingekauft.

When I reached the check-ou…

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How do you say "staycation" in German?

How do you say staycation in German

Americans take a staycation und die Deutschen machen Urlaub auf Balkonien!

Although Germans are legally entitled to a minimum of four weeks of vacation per year (many have five, and some six), not everyone takes off to the mountains, to another city, or to another country. Many Germans have Urlaub zu Hause, or more aptly put: Sie machen Urlaub auf Balkonien!

When you take the word "Balkon" and add the "-ien" ending to it, it sounds like the ending of places that you'd like to take a vacation i…

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Reformation Year 2017: in Kürze

Reformationsjahr 2017

This year is the Reformationsjubiläum, the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, which was a key event for the Reformation. This day now symbolizes the beginning of the Reformation and the far-reaching effects that have reached around the globe. All year long there are activities all over the world to celebrate this anniversary, most especially in Germany.

They're celebrating the life and work of Martin Luther: the man who lived secretly unde…

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What's it Like to Have German Health Insurance?

Whats it like to Have German Health Insurance

A lot of folks in the US ask me what German health insurance is like. As a former resident of Germany (2003 to 2008) and a participant in their public health insurance program (there is also a separate, private system, which I know nothing about) here are 7 differences I noticed:

1. It has a different name.

It’s not “health insurance.” It’s Krankenversicherung, or illness insurance. Krankenversicherung is a protection against financial devastation, it’s no guarantee you’re going to be healthy.…

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How to Live Like a German

How to Live Like a German Everyday Life

and make German a part of your everyday life.

Sometimes it amazes me how quickly people can pick up German words and sentence structure, even though they've never been to Germany and haven't learned German before.

Clients come to a lesson and they have no idea what German bread tastes like, but they can talk about German breakfast: das Brot, die Marmelade, der Kaffee.

It can be a source of frustration, however, to learn German, but only to have all these North American elements around us:  sp…

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