Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sandra Bullock bekommt in Berlin einen Bambi Preis

Frau Bullock accepts the Bambi Award in Berlin

Interessant, das Frau Bullock ihre Rede (speech) als ,,Sprache" (language) nannte. Aber sie scheint lieb zu sein.

Eine Ehre in Köln für Poldi, 2012

Wie lange spielt Poldi in Köln? Vielleicht hilft es, wenn die ganze Stadt ihm zujübelt.


--> Was bekam Poldi, das kein anderer Athlet je bekommen hat? (= What did Poldi get, which no other athlete has ever gotten?)

Und welche Farbe hat er dieses Jahr?

Schau mal!

Angela Merkel bekommt eine Überraschung!

Am Aschenmittwoch 2012 in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern...
--> Wie hättest du reagiert? (How might you have reacted?)

Are You German? You'll Know You Are, When . . .

Danke, Lauren. Manches hier ist lustig; manches ist aber wirklich merkwuerdig...


Was findest du interessant? --> Auf welcher Seite schreiben sie ueber Schnappi?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

OSCARABEND '12: Sandra Bullock spricht "Griechisch"

Hier, zum dritten mal, und jetzt mit dem TON dabei...

Und, die Übersetzung? (--The translation anyone?)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Auto-Arbeiter werden kassieren (Ka-Cheng!)

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (= FAZ = General Newspaper of Frankfurt)
Jetzt kassiert die Arbeiterklasse

25.02.2012 · Die Beschäftigten (= Employees) in der Automobilindustrie erhalten ( = receive) in diesem Jahr Prämien (= Premium / Bonuses / this year) in bislang einmaliger Höhe ( = in unheard of sums). Die Prämien würden an die Marke von 10.000 Euro heranreichen (= These bonuses will reach EURO 10,000), bestätigte (= confirms) ein IG Metall-Bezirksleiter. -- Von Georg Meck


These big bonuses will not land only in the pockets of those industry chiefs and engineers on a company's top rung. Instead, every employee, right down to the cashier in the cafeteria is slated to receive the same record-breaking bonus.

-->Is there anything particularly good about running a business (or an industry) in this manner?

Do Deutsch Commercial

Please let me know if you see this commercial on the airwaves! A colleague forwarded it, saying that the German Embassy sponsored the spot in his area.

--> Do you think the commercial will work?

On the same YOUTUBE page was this Do Deutsch SONG. What do you think?

--> Verstehst du dieses Lied?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"You Speak German Well... for an American"

Wrestling with the reality of speaking well "for an American"

Huffington Blogpost February 19, 2012 5:05 PM
Commentator Morgan Rotondi ruminates on the state of language education in America versus Europe by analyzing a comment she's received: "You speak German well ... for an American." Even if meant as a compliment, she didn't take it that way. The U.S. needs to re-assess its values in education. We cannot simply assume English is the "world language," or that English will indefinitely remain vital in global discourse.

Contrary to popular belief,
the above-mentioned phrase is decidedly not a compliment, regardless of the intentions of the speaker. These words can be said in English, in German, or with any variety of well-meaning tones of voice. The phrase remains the worst sort of backhanded compliment: an unintentional one.

The unsaid statement behind the phrase is, "I'm surprised you can speak a foreign language well, because most Americans can't." My immediate reaction is to refute such a claim: What the hell does my Passport have to do with my knowledge of German? Since when does citizenship determine foreign language proficiency? Unfortunately, when my righteous anger died down, I came to a terrible realization. They might be right.

My Massachusetts public education first exposed me to foreign languages in the 7th Grade, when I was 13 years old. We had a trimester of French, Spanish, and German, giving each of us a taste of the language so we could better decide which introductory language course to take in the 8th Grade. In most European countries, students start learning a foreign language when they are eight years old. For most U.S. eight-year-olds, learning a foreign language is not even an option. Only 24% of public elementary schools in the United States offer foreign language courses, according to the Center for Applied Linguistics. Among those schools that do offer foreign language instruction, 79% focus on introductory exposure rather than overall proficiency.

As someone who values foreign language education, I have a huge problem with these figures. But am I just biased on the issue? Europeans come into contact with foreign languages much more often than U.S. citizens, simply by living in a part of the world where so many countries with different cultures, languages, and dialects of language coexist. Of course someone from Luxembourg is going to need to speak multiple languages; Luxembourg has three official languages and borders Belgium, France, and Germany. And isn't English a so-called "world language" anyway? To achieve international success in either business or science, a strong grasp of the English language is crucial. At least, that's what my U.S. upbringing has led me to believe.

I cannot disprove the usefulness of English as a first language; on the contrary, I can only confirm from various traveling experiences that my knowledge of the English language allowed me to communicate when I otherwise could not. And yes, from my hometown in Massachusetts the nearest non-English speaking country is Canada, in the Quebec province, and that's quite a trip. So why should U.S. citizens bother to learn a foreign language when "everybody speaks English anyway," when opportunities to use foreign language skills are few and far between?

Studies have shown that learning a second language benefits students in other academic subjects. Students in the U.S. who study a foreign language statistically perform better on standardized tests than those who do not in core areas such as math, reading, and English language literacy. Even problem solving skills are positively affected. If enhanced academic performance is not reason enough, let's look at the "global dominance" of the English language. In terms of global population, the percentage of native English speakers is on the decline. With a worldwide decrease in native English speakers, it is only natural that other languages, like Mandarin Chinese, will grow in proportion to their native-speaking populations. While I'm not suggesting we all begin learning Mandarin, I am suggesting that the U.S. needs to re-assess its values in education. We cannot simply assume English is the "world language," or that English will indefinitely remain vital in global discourse.

Personally, learning the German language has shaped and enriched the person I am today. Since moving to Dresden, Germany I have met so many wonderful, patient people not only willing, but excited to help me learn German. Even after all the embarrassing mistakes, misunderstandings, and unintentional backhanded compliments, at the end of each day I've learned something, and it's not always language-related. Learning a foreign language has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, a learning experience from which all people, regardless of citizenship, can benefit.

Karneval 2012

Rate mal! (=Guess! How long do you think the Rosenmontag Parade lasts in Cologne?)

This is a small float that can easily fit into a single frame. Can you see the hardworking folks in the yellow wagon trying to make sure all the parade attendees receive their special Kamelle (= specially packaged sweets, or other giveaways, just for this parade)?

One can see here that the streets of Cologne are reasonably full during this parade.

Wer kann es hier im Foto sein? (Recognize anyone in the following photographs?)

Can you see how these extra tall costumes are designed?


Not every costume dates back several hundred years.

The position as Funkemariechen (Majorette) is hotly contested among the the girls in each of the many dance troops --festive green/orange costumes here -- which practice all year for these celebrations. Some groups can't just select a single Funkemariechen, so they plan their routines around the number of Funkemariechen they finally do select.

Wie alt sind diese Personnen? (Care to guess the ages of the 3 royal figures below?)

Was könnte man mit diesen zweiseitigen Kostümen meinen?Can you imagine the symbolism intended in these two-sided costumes?

HIER: Bunt und modern.

Ist er süß? (= Isn't he adorable? Here he seems to have been entrusted with an important job of giving away flowers along the route, a favorite.)

Der Affenanzug gefällt mir sehr!
(Love this caged costume with the ape -- near bottom! Have you figured out how these double-decker costumes work? Have you ever seen anything quite like them here? Are you tempted to build one next year for Halloween? --Or any other occasion?)

"Kamelle!" This is the word you hear all day long during the parade. Part of the allure of this parade are the giveaways. Everyone takes home bushels of free stuff. Most are edible, and most of these are sweet (think Gummibären, some in unique shapes, and chocolate bars). All are specially packaged to publicize the organization which sponsors it. And most floats can't seem to give away their Kamelle fast enough --See Photo.
Other favorites are flowers wrapped in plastic, frisbees, small soccer balls, small packs of tissues... I recall one year having received a tightly wrapped 1-pound sausage -- which first landed on my head, and also a mini-stapler -- complete with refills.
Ohne Zweifel, (without a doubt) das Kölner Dreigestirn in vollem Ornat ist ein „Hingucker“ (= the Royal Trio from Cologne in full Carnival attire is "Eye Candy.")

Das Dreigestirn wird gleichermaßen von seinem Ornat wie auch von den drei Personen, die es tragen, geprägt. Ein Dreigestirn trägt kein Kostüm, wie oft fälschlich gesagt wird. (=Actually, the Carnival Trio --in the bottom photo, just before the video -- isn't wearing "costumes" as is so often incorrectly said.)

Mit einem Kostüm verkleidet man sich, verwandelt sich in eine andere Person oder Figur. (= With a costume, one disguises oneself; transforms oneself into another person, or figure.)

Das Dreigestirn verkleidet sich nicht als Prinz, Bauer und Jungfrau, die Drei sind es dadurch, dass der Oberbürgermeister sie in dieses Amt proklamiert. (=The Carnival Trio, as Prince, Farmer, and Virgin, are there because the Chief Mayor thus proclaimed them so.)

Köln: The Best Karneval City Ever

Vienna Staatsoper 2012

Hier ein kleiner Blick zur Wiener Kultur
Let's take a peek into the culture in Vienna!

Hier: Ein Ball von einer Tanzschule: Eine POLKA? Ja in Schwarz und Weiß.

--> Kannst du dir vorstellen, jedes Jahr in solch einem Ball teilzunehmen (= to participate)?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Verstehen Sie Spass? (Candid Camera)

1. Magic Mirror

2. Achtung! Ihr Schuh

3. Der lebende Busch

4. Schließfächer (lockers -- installed as a courtesy; no charge)

PBS: How Germany Became Europe's Richest Country

Amid Eurozone Crisis, How Germany Became Europe's Richest Country


As European debt crisis negotiations approach the 11th hour on yet another bailout for Greece, Margaret Warner reports on some of the people behind the economic success of Germany -- Europe's richest country.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lass die Liebe regieren -- Schüler Video!



Und die Schule in Fayetteville, einige Schüler, und auch ein paar von den Kostümen kennen wir schon, oder?
-->Wo habe wir sie früher gesehen???

Schlag den guten Mann nicht!

--> Can you understand and explain all of the endings?
-->Ja? Dann, SUPER!

-->Wenn wir auch solch einen Film machen wuerden, wie wuerde der Film dann aussehen?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Where's the Beef -- auf Deutsch?

Check out segment 0:05-0:09 seconds.

Might you correct this commercial?

(Do I need to have my hearing checked?)

How would YOU say this???

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Zivildienst? oder Militärdienst?

Beide fallen aus!

Federmappen in Kindergarten?!

In Germany even the youngest pupils come to school "armed" to learn, with their pen and pencil cases, their own Federmappen. This photo comes from an article about the bilingual (German/Turkish) Albert-Schweitzer-Grundschule (Elementary School) in Hannover. Here, the pencil case looks enormous next to its pint-sized owner.

For interest, here are a few other pencil cases. Some cost $75.

--> Which one is most similar to Frau Julia's? (Her Federmappe is much cooler than the similar ones in the photo though, in oh-so-soft red leather. . . )

Otto v Bismarck spricht!

"Tucked away for decades in a cabinet in Thomas Edison’s laboratory, just behind the cot in which the great inventor napped, a trove of wax cylinder phonograph records has been brought back to life after more than a century of silence."

Adelbert Theodor Edward Wangemann represented Edison's invention in Paris at the World's Fair in the summer of 1889, to make sure that the new discovery reliably performed its technological magic. After the Fair, Wangemann brought the recording device on a tour of Germany, where he was able to impress- and record- many artists and prominent members of society with the "talking machine." We now know that he managed to record the voice of Otto von Bismarck, German Chancellor at the time, in his castle in Friedrichsruh, East of Hamburg, in Schleswig-Holstein, using this phonograph.

FIND THE ENTIRE NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE HERE --with photos and even brief --grainy!-- recordings from 1889-90. Artical is titled: Restored Edison Records Revive Giants of 19th-Century Germany by RON COWEN (Published: NEW YORK TIMES, January 30, 2012)

Per the article, other important finds include the first known recording of Chopin only recording of anyone born as early as 1800. Amazing! With today's technology, these old wax cylinders have finally been deciphered.