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Famous People Speaking German: Sandra Bullock

Famous People Speaking German Sandra Bullock

After the Grammy Awards last night one of my German students Facebooked me and proclaimed, "Sandra Bullock speaks German!" Apparently Sandra Bullock's mother was a German opera singer and Bullock grew up in Nürnberg and studied ballet and vocal arts and even sang in her mother's opera productions.

What makes perfect sense and is astounding at the same time is Bullock's German accent--perfectly representative of the area she grew up in.

Here's a video of Bullock accepting a Bambi award, an inte…

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How to Create the Weil Sentence Structure

How to Create the Weil Sentence Structure

The Weil sentence structure is a tough one for English speakers. We say "because I said so," but the Germans say "weil ich es gesagt habe," or (translated directly) "Because I so said!"

It's the exact opposite way in German. The verbs go all the way at the end.

Although Germans are, at least in the media, losing this construction faster than the ice caps are melting, there is one almost-guaranteed compliment you will receive when you can say this properly. A German will hear it and say to you,…

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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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How to Pronounce the "Ich-Laut" in German

How to Pronounce Ich-Laut German Instructional Video

Use this Instructional Video to Learn How to Pronounce the "Ich-Laut" in German!

The Ich-Laut can be tough for English speakers to pronounce because it's not a part of English...or is it?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we *do* have the Ich-Laut in English--it's just hidden!

In this video on how to pronounce the Ich-Laut, I show you where to find that hidden "ch" sound in English and then I guide you through a couple of exercises to help you pronounce this sound in German.

The most important factor is…

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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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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 d…

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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.)

Amerikaner

 

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 hop…

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