Flooding in Regensburg. Photo copyright dpa / picture alliance
As you’ve probably heard by now, the rain Germany has been seeing in the past month has caused a lot of flooding. And it isn’t over yet.
“The clean-up has begun along the upper reaches of the Elbe River near Dresden. At the same time, further down river, beyond Wittenberge in Brandenburg, people are still waiting for the floods to reach their peak, hoping it will not be quite as bad as in 2002, and that the levees reinforced after that major flood will hold.” Read the rest of the article here.
Meanwhile in Berlin
The German government has ok-ed 8 billion Euros to help flood victims.
This is a preview of The Week in Germany: Flooding, Forgery, and Feminism.
Just say yes to German. If you dare. Photo copyright dpa / picture alliance
I once compared my experience learning German to dating a guy that I really want to like, but I just can’t seem to click with. We keep going out, because it seems like we should get along great, but he just doesn’t really do it for me. Everyone tells me he’s actually a really good guy, once you get to know him. I’ve never been a quitter. Ever. In fact, I once won a trophy for “Perseverance” in my 4-H Horse club back in my youth. I also won an award on my field hockey team for “most determined player.” Like I said, I’m not a quitter. But German, well, trying to learn this complex and challenging language has made me want to throw in this heavy, hyper-structured linguistic towel almost every other week, or sometimes every other day.
This is a preview of My Love (and Hate) Affair With the German Language.
Language is funny, isn’t it? I remember when I was a teenager, fighting my way through puberty with the help of a whole host of wonderously creative expletives that (I thought) only my friends and I understood. I was reminded of one of them a few months ago on a trip back to my hometown when I heard a young person shout “That’s shan, that is!”
It could mean anything, couldn’t it, but I know for a fact that ‘shan’ means (or at least meant, in my time) something equating to the adult use of the term ‘bollocks’ or ‘bullshit’. The origin of the term fails me- who knows where youth pick up this crap from? Lush, mint, ace, minging (and variations thereof): You’ve got to love the vivid colours of the slang used by the youth of Britain (innit?)
This is a preview of The Fun Side of German: Dead Trousers and Chest Warts.
Do you know what the German phrase “blaumachen” means?
Well, tell us and enter to win one of ten copies of the book “Easy German”!
“Easy German”, written in English, full of great little easy-to-follow German lessons. This book features grammar and everyday phrases, using language and building up the reader’s knowledge in simple stages.
Music can be a boon to language learning. Photo copyright picture alliance / Maximilian Schönherr
During my first year in Germany, German music became very important to me. Though I never could get into bands like Kraftwerk or Rammstein, other artists who sang in German were staples in my DIY, trial-by-fire, at-home German lessons. I had almost a decade of German study behind me, but it still took me hours to translate a song. Once I understood what was being said, however, that vocabulary, those turns of phrase, and their definitions were in my brain for good.
This is a preview of Learning German: Foreign Language Learning With Music.
“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” Ludwig Wittgenstein was completely correct in this statement, if I ponder back and realize the feeling of illiteracy I experienced during after my initial stay in Germany. In order to explore foreign soil, it is important to know the local language.
My German knowledge was confined to the formal greetings and very basic words. In my initial days, I was quite comfortable in university campus but when I had to step alone out of campus I was like a lost baby in the fair; I didn’t know how to ask, what to ask, or how to follow any instructions, verbal or written. I couldn’t read the boards, the names of shops, the caution notices i.e., literally anything. Now, that sounds adventurous!
Something as simple as saying the alphabet can trip you up in a second language. Photo (cc) flickr user james.swenson
Sometimes when you’re learning a foreign language, it feels like you’re doing everything backwards. When children learn a language they start small, maybe asking for a toy simply by saying “me doll!” While adults may resort to similar sentences in must-communicate situations in their adopted language, they often have the disadvantage of wanting to start with more complex subject matter.