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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....

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Die Deutschen und ihre Bücher: 3 Fakten

  1. Bücher sind den Deutschen wichtig! Und vom 7. bis 13. Oktober gibt es, wie jedes Jahr, die Frankfurter Buchmesse. Dieses Jahr ist der Ehrengast Brasilien.
  2. Die Deutsche Jugend liest gern: 16% der Deutschen zwischen 12 und 19 Jahren lesen täglich in einem Buch. Im Durchschnitt lesen die Deutschen 8,9 Bücher im Jahr und am liebsten lesen sie Krimis (54%).
  3. In Deutschland herscht für Bücher eine Preisbindung – das heisst, dass die Käuferin im kleinen Büchergeschäft den gleichen Preis bezahlt, wie...

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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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Amerikaner Cookies

"Amerikaner" means "American" and it is also the name of a most fabulous cake cookie that's available in many locations all over Germany.

They are beautiful, delicious cookies about the size of the palm of your hand and they make a fantastic sweet snack or as part of Kaffee (coffee and cake at 3 p.m. in Germany. What a delicious tradition.)


Here is a recipe for these cookies, known as black-and-white cookies here in the US. I made them for one of my German classes and they loved them. I...

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

German Directness Pt 2 Catholic or Protestant.png

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...

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German Directness, Pt 1. Have you gained weight?

German Directness Pt 1 Have You Gained Weight.png

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...

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How to Make German Pancakes - Pfannkuchen

How to Make German Pancakes Pfannkuchen.png

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 whisk...

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How to Write an "Elfchen" (German Cinquain Poem)

How to Write an Elfchen German Cinquain Poem.png

An "Elfchen" is similar to a Haiku in that it has a set form, however it is unique in that it has 11 words, the lines having 1-2-3-4-1 words, respectively.

It always has this form (replace each number with a word):


one two

one two three

one two three four


The first word is the topic and the final word is often a commentary or a summary word. Here’s one I wrote for my student’s Valentine’s Day (Valentinstag!) lesson last night:



grosse Gefühle