Saturday, March 28, 2015

Zum Lesen: Kinderbücher vom Hans Wilhelm

Dinosaurier Geschichten
Waldo, der Hund
Die Bremerstadtmusikanten
Der kleine Riese

und mehr!

Scroll through these well loved stories which are no longer being published.

Tier Namen!

Wei heißt das Tier?


Who should host the 2024 Olympics? Boston or Hamburg?


Boston (nicht LA, DC, oder San Francisco, und auch nicht Tulsa, Dallas, Philadelphia, New York, oder San Diego) oder Hamburg (nicht Berlin) - zwei Bewerberstädte im Vergleich

Hamburg hat sich im Bewerbungsverfahren gegen Berlin durchgesetzt. 

Um die Olympischen Sommerspiele nach Deutschland zu holen, muss sich Hamburg unter anderem gegen die US-Metropole Boston behaupten.

Weitere Notizen zum Thema:
Andere Länder dürfen ihre Angebote bis 8. Januar 2016 anmelden.

Erwartet sind Angebote aus diesen Ländern und Städten:

 Roma, in Italien
 Paris, in Frankreich
 Nairobi, in Kenia
 Doha, in Qatar
 Casablanca, in Morokko
 Kuala Lumpur und Bangkok, in Maylasien und Thailand
 Skt. Petersburg, in Rußland
 Budapest, in Ungarn
 Kiev, in der Ukraine
 Istanbul, in der Türkei
 Baku, in Aserbaidschan  
2017 wird die Entscheidung in Lima, Peru staatfinden.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Searching for wild animals in Berlin


Fernsehen:  9 1/2    (Innerhalb von 10 Minuten kann man etwas lernen.)


THANKS, MR. FELKER for finding this photo on the Burgau Gymnasium website! 

Do you recognize your partner?   I'd love to put a caption on this photograph.  We could certainly use this photo in  our Display box, right?        Besides Frau Kreutzer, who is missing?  Only 15 of 18 of our exchangers are featured.  

Amerika- Austausch 2015

Im April 2015 ist es wieder soweit: der Schüleraustausch nach Rhode Island, USA findet statt. Vom 2. bis 23. April fliegen wir, eine Gruppe von 18 Schülern aus der EP und Q1 mit Frau Kreutzer und Herrn Breuning nach North Kingstown. Dort werden wir für 3 Wochen auf die North Kingstown High School gehen und in Gastfamilien wohnen. Wir alle freuen uns schon sehr und hoffen auf eine tolle und ereignisreiche Zeit in Amerika.
(Lisa Schuhmacher, EP)

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Case for Free-Range Parenting

The Opinion Pages | Contributing Op-Ed Writer  -- New York Times


Credit Rebekka Dunlap
BETHESDA, Md. — ON her first morning in America, last summer, my daughter went out to explore her new neighborhood — alone, without even telling my wife or me.
Of course we were worried; we had just moved from Berlin, and she was just 8. But when she came home, we realized we had no reason to panic. Beaming with pride, she told us and her older sister how she had discovered the little park around the corner, and had made friends with a few local dog owners. She had taken possession of her new environment, and was keen to teach us things we didn’t know.

When this story comes up in conversations with American friends, we are usually met with polite disbelief. Most are horrified by the idea that their children might roam around without adult supervision. In Berlin, where we lived in the center of town, our girls would ride the Metro on their own — a no-no in Washington. Or they’d go alone to the playground, or walk a mile to a piano lesson. Here in quiet and traffic-safe suburban Washington, they don’t even find other kids on the street to play with. On Halloween, when everybody was out to trick or treat, we were surprised by how many children actually lived here whom we had never seen.

A study by the University of California, Los Angeles, has found that American kids spend 90 percent of their leisure time at home, often in front of the TV or playing video games. Even when kids are physically active, they are watched closely by adults, either in school, at home, at afternoon activities or in the car, shuttling them from place to place.
Such narrowing of the child’s world has happened across the developed world. But Germany is generally much more accepting of letting children take some risks. To this German parent, it seems that America’s middle class has taken overprotective parenting to a new level, with the government acting as a super nanny.

Just take the case of 10-year-old Rafi and 6-year-old Dvora Meitiv, siblings in Silver Spring, Md., who were picked up in December by the police because their parents had dared to allow them to walk home from the park alone. For trying to make them more independent, their parents were found guilty by the state’s Child Protective Services ofunsubstantiated child neglect.” What had been the norm a generation ago, that kids would enjoy a measure of autonomy after school, is now seen as almost a crime.

Today’s parents enjoyed a completely different American childhood. Recently, researchers at the University of Virginia conducted interviews with 100 parents. “Nearly all respondents remember childhoods of nearly unlimited freedom, when they could ride bicycles and wander through woods, streets, parks, unmonitored by their parents,” writes Jeffrey Dill, one of the researchers.

But when it comes to their own children, the same respondents were terrified by the idea of giving them only a fraction of the freedom they once enjoyed. Many cited fear of abduction, even though crime rates have declined significantly. The most recent in-depth study found that, in 1999, only 115 children nationwide were victims of a “stereotypical kidnapping” by a stranger; the overwhelming majority were abducted by a family member. That same year, 2,931 children under 15 died as passengers in car accidents. Driving children around is statistically more dangerous than letting them roam freely.

Motor development suffers when most of a child’s leisure time is spent sitting at home instead of running outside. Emotional development suffers, too.

“We are depriving them of opportunities to learn how to take control of their own lives,” writes Peter Gray, a research professor at Boston College. He argues that this increases “the chance that they will suffer from anxiety, depression, and various other mental disorders,” which have gone up dramatically in recent decades. He sees risky, outside play of children among themselves without adult supervision as a way of learning to control strong emotions like anger and fear.

I am no psychologist like Professor Gray, but I know I won’t be around forever to protect my girls from the challenges life holds in store for them, so the earlier they develop the intellectual maturity to navigate the world, the better. And by giving kids more control over their lives, they learn to have more confidence in their own capabilities.

It is hard for parents to balance the desire to protect their children against the desire to make them more self-reliant. And every one of us has to decide for himself what level of risk he is ready to accept. But parents who prefer to keep their children always in sight and under their thumbs should consider what sort of trade-offs are involved in that choice.

At a minimum, parents who want to give their children more room to roam shouldn’t be penalized by an overprotective state. Cases like the Meitivs’ reinforce the idea that children are fragile objects to be protected at all times, and that parents who believe otherwise are irresponsible, if not criminally negligent.

Besides overriding our natural protective impulses in order to loosen the reins of our kids, my wife and I now also have to ponder the possibility of running afoul of the authorities. And we thought we had come to the land of the free.

Clemens Wergin is the Washington bureau chief for the newspaper Die Welt.

Emmy Noether, Mathematician

Danke, Alli.  Ich besuchte selbst die Georg-August Uni in Göttingen, und bin stolz, dass Dr. Noether dort eine Lehrstelle als Professorin fand.  --  From Agnes Scott College:  Biographies of Women Mathematicians

Emmy Noether

March 23, 1882 - April 14, 1935

Written by Mandie Taylor, Class of 1998 (Agnes Scott College)

Traditionally, people consider mathematicians to be men. However, throughout history, there have been many women mathematicians who have contributed just as much as their male-counterparts, and their contributions to mathematics have not been forgotten. One of these women mathematicians was German-born Emmy Noether.

Emmy Noether was born in Erlangen, Germany on March 23, 1882. She was named Amalie, but always called "Emmy". She was the eldest of four children, but one of only two that survived childhood. Her brother, Fritz also made a career of mathematics. Her father was Max Noether, a noted mathematician of his time. Her mother was Ida Amalie, for whom Emmy was named.

As a child, Emmy Noether did not concentrate on mathematics. She spent her time in school studying languages, with a concentration on French and English. Her mother taught her the traditional skills of a young woman of that time. She learned to cook, clean, and play the clavier. At the time of her graduation from high school, she passed a test that allowed her to teach both French and English at schools for young women.

At the age of 18, Emmy Noether decided to take classes in mathematics at the University of Erlangen. Her brother, Fritz, was a student there, and her father was a professor of mathematics. Because she was a woman, the university refused to let Emmy Noether take classes They granted her permission to audit classes. She sat in on classes for two years, and then took the exam that would permit her to be a doctoral student in mathematics. She passed the test, and finally was a student in good standing at the University. After five more years of study, she was granted the university's second degree to a woman in the field of mathematics; the first had graduated one year earlier.

Now that Emmy Noether had her doctorate in mathematics, she was ready to find a job teaching. The University of Erlangen would not hire her, as they had a policy against women professors. She decided to help her father at the Mathematics Institute in Erlangen. She began doing research there, and helped her father by teaching his classes when he was sick. Soon, she began to publish papers on her work.

During the ten years Emmy worked with her father, Germany became involved in World War I. Emmy was a pacifist at heart, and hated the war. She longed for a Germany that was not at war. In 1918, her wish was granted, as the war ended. The German monarchy was removed and the country became a republic. Noether, and all women in Germany, were given the right to vote for the first time. Even with the new rights granted to women, Noether was not paid for her work teaching.

During this time, Felix Klein and David Hilbert were working on further defining one of Einstein's theories at the University of Gottingen. They felt that Emmy Noether's expertise could help them in their work. They asked her to come and join then, but since there were no women on the faculty, Noether was unsure if she would be welcome. Many of the faculty did not want her there, but in the end, she came. She worked hard and soon was given a job as a lecturer. Even though she still was not paid for her efforts, for the first time, Noether was teaching under her own name. Three years later, she began receiving a small salary for her work.

During her time at the University of Gottingen, she accumulated a small following of students known as Noether's boys. These students traveled from as far as Russia to study with her. Noether was a warm person who cared deeply about her students. She considered her students to be like family and was always willing to listen to their problems. Her teaching style was very difficult to follow, but those who caught on to her fast style became loyal followers. Noether's teaching method led her students to come up with ideas of their own, and many went on to become great mathematicians themselves. Many credited Noether for her part in teaching them to teach themselves.

Peace-loving Noether was soon to wish for peace again. In 1933, Hitler and the Nazis came into power in Germany. The Nazis demanded that all Jews be thrown out of the universities. Noether's brother, Fritz, who was also a professor at the time, accepted an offer to teach in Siberia. Even though friends tried to get Emmy a position at the University of Moscow, she opted to move to the United States, where Bryn Mawr College offered her a position teaching. [The appointment of Noether was made possible by a gift from the Institute of International Education and the Rockefeller Foundation.]

Teaching at a women's college was very different for Noether, where, for the first time, she had female colleagues. Anna Pell Wheeler, another mathematician, was the head of the department at Bryn Mawr, and became a great friend of Noether. Wheeler understood about how Emmy had had to struggle to have a career in mathematics in Germany, and also about the difficulties of being uprooted from her homeland and family. Noether kept up her charismatic teaching style, as a caring and compassionate teacher, even while occasionally lapsing into German if her ideas weren't getting across to her students.

Noether's death in 1935 surprised nearly everyone, as she had told only her closest friends of her illness.

Emmy Noether made many contributions to the field of mathematics. She spent her time studying abstract algebra, with special attention to rings, groups, and fields. Because of her unique look on topics, she was able to see relationships that traditional algebra experts could not. She published over 40 papers in her lifetime. She was also a teacher who was able to inspire her students to make their own contributions to the field of mathematics.

April, 1995


  1. Angier, Natalie. "The Mighty Mathematician You've Never Heard Of," New York Times Science section, page D4, March 27, 2012 (print edition). Available online March 26, 2012.
  2. Noether, Gottfried. "Emmy Noether," in Women of Mathematics, A Biobibliographic Sourcebook, Louise Grinstein and Paul Campbell, Editors, Greenwood Press, 1987.
  3. Noether, Emiliana Pasca. "Emmy Noether," in Complexities: Women in Mathematics, Bettye Anne Case and Anne Leggett, Editors, Princeton University Press (2005), 30-37.
  4. Morrow, James. "Emmy Noether," in Notable Women in Mathematics: A Biographical Dictionary, Charlene Morrow and Teri Perl, Editors, Greenwood Press (1998), 152-157.
  5. Olsen, Lynn M. Women in Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1974.
  6. Perl, Teri. Women in Mathematics, Lives of Women Mathematicians, plus Discovery Activities, World Wide Publishing, 1993.
  7. Slachman, Virginia. Portraits for Classroom Bulletin Boards - Woman Mathematicians, Dale Seymour Publications, 1990.
  8. Noether, Emiliana P. "Emmy Noether: Twentieth Century Mathematician and Woman," AWM Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 7 (Nov.-Dec. 1976), 1-6.
  9. Smith, Martha K. "Emmy Noether's Contributions to Mathematics," AWM Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 7 (Nov.-Dec. 1976), 6-10.
  10. Profile in the "Emmy Noether Lectures," Association for Women in Mathematics.
  11. Kimberling, C. "Emmy Noether," American Mathematical Monthly 79 (1972), 136-149. [JSTOR, subscription required]
  12. Kimberling, C. "Emmy Noether and her influence," in Emmy Noether: A Tribute to her Life and Work, James W. Brewer and Martha K. Smith, Editors, M. Dekker, New York, 1981.
  13. Kimberling, C. "Emmy Noether, Greatest Woman Mathematician," Mathematics Teacher 84 no. 3 (March 1982), 246-249. (Available at the Houghton Mifflin web site under section 10.1 in the drop down menus.)
  14. Srinivasan B. and J. Sally. Emmy Noether in Bryn Mawr: Proceedings of a Symposium, Springer-Verlag, 1983.
  15. Dick, Auguste. Emmy Noether, 1882-1935, translated by H.I. Blocher, Birkhäuser, 1981.
  16. Dictionary of Scientific Biography
  17. Van der Waerden, B. L. "The school of Hilbert and Emmy Noether," Bull. London Math. Soc. 15(1)(1983), 1-7.
  18. Weyl, H. "Emmy Noether," Scripta Mathematica, 3(1935), 201-220.
  19. Emmy Noether, mathematician, Clark Kimberling's web site contains a list of publications about Emmy Noether.
  20. Emmy Noether, from Wikipedia
  21. Einstein, Albert. "The Late Emmy Noether," letter to the Editor of the New York Times, May 1, 1935.
  22. MathSciNet [subscription required]
  23. Author Profile at zbMath
  24. Mathematics Genealogy Project
  25. Biography at the MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive.
Photo Credit: Photograph used with the permission of Professor Emiliana P. Noether

Saturday, March 21, 2015

10 Best Ads - 2013 (Deutschland)

Which one stands out for you?

10.  Hornbach Home Improvement:  "No One Feels it Like You Do"  (Englischer Werbespruch?)
  9.  Deutsche Bahn Sparkarte 25% sparen
  8.  Herbaria Herbal Tea  (!)
  7.  Hornbach "Es gibt immer was zu tun...Keiner spürt es so wie du."
  6.  RaboDirekt "So direkt kann Banking sein"
  5.  VW (safety spot)
  4.  Hornbach SuperStores (Englisch  Yippi-yai-yai-yippi-yea)
  3.  SMART Fortwo  "So gut im Gelände, wie ein Geländewagen in der Stadt"  Open your mind
  2.  SMART Fortwo (Musik: The perfect look) "Ein Facelift,das jeder gerne hätte"  Open your mind
  1.  SMART Fortwo  "Fast so vernünftig (affordable), wie die Öffentlichen (public means)
                                                               Nur ohne die Öffentlichkeit (just without the public)"


Might you want to work for die Deutsche Bahn?

Gleis 7 = Track #7

Es ist ok...

Werbespot = an advertising spot
Do you feel this one was successful?

Du bist ein Ausflug ins Blaue! Ein romantisches Lied vom Chima

Du bist ein Ausflug ins Blaue!


Wie mit der Concorde
Von Paris nach New York
Mit dem Raumschiff
Von hier bis zum Mars
Wie auf Dromedaren durch die Wüste
Mit dem Floß auf dem Mekong
Wie ein blinder Passagier fahren
In der transsibirischen Eisenbahn

Refrain:   Du bist ein Ausflug ins Blaue
                Eine Reise um die Welt
                Das Ende einer Odyssee
                Zu mir selbst
                Du bist ein Ausflug ins Blaue

Deine Sehenswürdigkeiten bleiben keinem verborgen
Für dich gibt es keine Beschreibung
Kein Navi, kein Plan
Mit dir brauch' ich kein Gepäck
Nur ein bisschen Wind im Rücken
Und wir fahr'n
Keine Ahnung wo die Reise hin geht
Aber ich glaub ich komm' an


Doch jede Reise hat ein Ende
Irgendwann ist man daheim
Dann bleiben nur die Bilder
Doch ich würde gern auf Reisen sein

Refrain x 2


Here's an article from guest blogger and German language learner and tutor (from the UK, now living in Berlin, Natash Douglas!  "When she gets round to it, she writes a blog about her travels and experiences."

9 Cool German Grammar Lessons Learned from Listening to Chima

It’s pretty much impossible to go one day without hearing music. It’s everywhere: playing in shops, blasting out as someone’s ringtone or booming from a tricked-out car. It gets us psyched for adrenaline-filled action scenes in movies, and it melts our hearts as our favorite television characters confess their undying love for one another.

But what if you could use music to help you learn German?

Listening to music is great for your language skills: it helps with pronunciation, vocab, idioms and overall fluency.
You know how you’ve had the chorus of “Let it Go” stuck in your head for weeks? Now imagine you’d had the German version in your head all that time. You’d be totally prepared next time your German teacher brings up that one time you forgot to hand in your homework: “lass es los, lass jetzt los…”  --FIND the German version of this Disney hit on DEUTSCH-HEUTE -- thanks to FluentU: 

But it’s not just vocab that you can learn from listening to German music. Read on to learn more about the many benefits of listening to German music.
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

9 Cool German Grammar Lessons Learned from Listening to Chima

Every German song has a whole load of grammar built in – grammar lessons are always just waiting to be learned!
Grammar can seem pretty dry at times: a whole load of rules and concepts to be learned when really all you want is to be out there speaking the language. But it’s important. And it certainly doesn’t have to be boring.
We’ve taken a look at the lyrics to Chima’s “Ausflug ins Blaue” and come up with some grammar lessons you won’t likely forget any time soon. Not if you learn the words to the song, anyway.
Nigerian-born Chimaobinna Enyiakanwanne Onyele (known to most people simply as Chima) is a singer from Frankfurt. He became well known in Germany in 2012 with his hit single “Morgen,” and his song “Ausflug ins Blaue” is a great one for belting out at the top of your voice and annoying your little brother. It’s also a great one to put on your getting-ready-to-go-out playlist (you know you have one), and it has a fabulous video to boot.
Check it out!
And here are the lyrics, so you can start singing along already.
If you want to view the lyrics while watching this video, “Ausflug Ins Blaue” is available on FluentU. FluentU provides interactive subtitles in German and in English (which can be toggled on and off at will), so you’ll be singing along in German faster than ever.  
With FluentU, you can practice key vocabulary and grammar in the Ausflug Ins Blaue” video before or after watching by checking out learn mode. You’ll even get to review your newly-learned language with vocab lists and multimedia flashcards!
FluentU is bound to make your Chima experience that much more educational.
Now, let’s get into the grammar.
Here are 9 fascinating things you can learn from “Ausflug ins Blaue.” Some are, admittedly, more useful than others, but all of them are interesting. And that’s just from one song. Imagine how much you could learn from a whole album!

9 Cool German Grammar Lessons Learned from Listening to Chima

1. You go nach cities, but zu planets

Keep this in mind in case you end up planning a trip to Saturn any time soon:
Wie mit der Concorde
Von Paris nach New York
Mit dem Raumschiff
Von hier bis zum Mars
Knowing which preposition to use is a challenge in any language, but one of the best ways of getting it to stick is by learning examples. The first four lines of “Ausflug ins Blaue” contain a great little lesson on just that: you travel nach New York, but zum Mars (to New York, to Mars). This rule can be extended to other cities:
  • ich fahre nach Berlin (I’m going to Berlin)
  • Billigflieger nach Moskau (cheap flights to Moscow)
  • Busreise nach Budapest (coach trip to Budapest)
And likewise, the zum Mars rule extends to other planets, too:
  • ein Flug zur Venus (a flight to Venus)
  • Weltraum-Forscher planen bemannte Reise zum Jupiter (space researchers plan manned mission to Jupiter)

2. Most planets are masculine

With the exception of die Erde and die Venus, all the planets are masculine.
Good to know, right?
So that means der Merkur, der Mars, der Jupiter, der Saturn, der Uranus and der Neptun. But die Erde and die Venus. Venus totally makes sense to be feminine: she was a Roman goddess of love and beauty, after all. And the Earth is weird anyway.

3. Contractions don’t always have to be painful

Want a good tip about how to sound properly German? Never say zu dem” or in das” or in dem.” These words work like “don’t” and “can’t” in English: they contract to make a single word. However, the Germans use their contractions even more than we do.
Here’s a useful list of the most common German contractions:
an + das = ans
an + dem = am
auf + das = aufs
bei + dem = beim
in + das = ins
in + dem = im
von + dem = vom
zu + dem = zum
zu + der = zur
In “Ausflug ins Blaue” these contractions turn up several times. Take the title, for example: that “ins” is a contraction of “in das.” Then we have “zum Mars” (from zu dem) and “nur ein bisschen Wind im Rücken” (from in dem).

4. Verb placement

Germans are kind of picky about where you put your verbs. There are various different rules that you have to learn, and although eventually it comes naturally, it can be hard at first. The key is exposure: listen to German, read German, write in German and be strict with yourself about sticking to the rules.
The two most important rules of German verb order are listed as #5 and #6 on this list.

5. The verb is always the 2nd idea in the clause

Some people say it should be the second word, but that’s simply not true.
Take the sentence I just wrote: “some people say it should be the second word.” The first idea in that sentence is “some people.” Then comes the verb.
It’s the same in German: manche Leute sagen… So far so good. But in German this applies even when the first idea isn’t the people doing the verb. So if you wanted to say “on the weekend I learn German,” you’d have to move the verb to the second place: “am Wochenende lerne ich Deutsch.”
Of course, I say “always,” but I’m exaggerating a little there. Really that rule should read ‘The verb is always the 2nd idea in the clause unless rule #2 applies’.
9 cool german grammar lessons learned from listening to chima 9 Cool German Grammar Lessons Learned from Listening to Chima
Want to learn German with music videos?
Try German immersion online with FluentU!

6. Some words send the verb to the end of the sentence

They get sent to the end of the sentence, much the way the dunce gets sent to the back of the classroom.
Coordinating conjunctions (words like because, although, since) send the verb to the end of the sentence, and you have to ignore rule #1. For example: “I speak German” – ich spreche Deutsch, but “because I speak German” – weil ich Deutsch spreche.
There are only a limited number of words that do this, so it’s quite easy once you learn them. Here’s a list of the worst culprits:
als – when (talking about the past)
bevor – before
bis – until
da – since, as
damit – so that
dass – that
falls – in case
indem – while, by doing
nachdem – after
ob – whether
obgleich / obschon / obwohl – although
seit / seitdem – since (time)
sobald – as soon as
sodass / so dass – so that, in order that
solang(e) – as long as
trotzdem – regardless, all the same
während – while, during
weil – because
wenn – if, whenever
Don’t worry – it may take a while to get used to, but listening to German songs is one way to help yourself. For example, Ausflug ins Blaue” has some good examples of the verb taking the second place in the sentence. Take a look: 
Für dich gibt es keine Beschreibung
Mit dir brauch’ ich kein Gepäck
Jede Reise hat ein Ende
Irgendwann ist man daheim
Dann bleiben nur die Bilder

7. Using hin & her correctly makes you sound really German

Hin and her are little grammatical particles which tell you where things are. Hin tells you that movement is happening away from the speaker; her tells you movement is happening towards them.
So, the line Keine Ahnung wo die Reise hin geht’ in Ausflug ins Blaue” means something along the lines of “I have no idea where we’ll end up” (literally “no idea where the journey is going to”). In this sentence the hin emphasizes that the movement is towards a destination different than the current location (even though the speaker doesn’t know where exactly).
Two other useful hin/her phrases are:
Schau mal hin!Look (over there)!
Komm mal her! – Come over here (from there)!

8. Auf etw. sein is a great construction

In “Ausflug ins Blaue” the phrase Doch ich würde gern auf Reisen sein” means “but I would like to be traveling,” or “but I would like to be on the road,” and is created using the construction auf etw. sein. And there are loads of great phrases that use this construction:
auf Draht seinto be on one’s toes
auf Ehemannsuche sein – to be husband-hunting
auf Dienstreise seinto be on a business trip
auf 180 sein – to be in a rage
auf Arbeitssuche sein – to be looking for work
auf Erfolgskurs sein – to be tipped for success

9. Learn phrases to help you remember adjectival endings

Every German student knows that adjectival endings are a nightmare. But it’s not all about tables and rules. One of the easiest ways to learn your adjectival endings is to learn phrases that contain them. And what better way to learn something by rote than through song?!
Learn these lines from “Ausflug ins Blaue” and you’ll have a couple of variations down already — not to mention, you’ll keep yourself in good humor! With a few more songs under your belt, they’ll all start to come more naturally.
Wie ein blinder Passagier fahren (masculine, nominative)
In der transsibirischen Eisenbahn (feminine, dative)

Originally from the UK, Natasha Douglas is a Berlin-based writer and photographer. She has been learning German for over a decade, and is an experienced language tutor. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Why young foreigners choose Germany

Why young foreigners choose Germany
Apprentices from Spain, Sweden and across Europe are all heading to Germany where there is a shortage of workers. Photo: DPA
Published on: 20 Jan 2014 10:10 CET
On a snowy January day, the waiting room of the Malmö branch of the Swedish Public Employment Service is curiously quiet. A group of young people are inspecting their CVs ahead of a presentation entitled ‘The job of my life’.
Berlin and Hamburg are calling for a number of young Swedes who, fed up of being unemployed back home, are tempted by Germany’s apprentice programme. The scheme offers not only a salary, but free German lessons.
Germany’s apprentice scheme has been lauded for keeping youth unemployment low, and has been cited by Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg as something his own government should try to emulate.
In Sweden, almost 20 percent of those aged between 15-24 cannot find work. In Greece and Spain it is one in two. But at 8 per cent, Germany's youth unemployment rate is the lowest among EU countries making it a tempting location for the young and jobless.
In late 2012 Germany signed a deal with six EU countries - Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Slovakia and Latvia - to introduce Germany’s apprenticeship model to their countries.
It also made it easier for young people to find employers in Germany with the aim of setting up 30,000 exchanges. 
And its strong economy has turned Germany into an immigration country. The number of foreigners living in Germany grew at its fastest rate for 20 years in 2012 and now stands at a record level of 7.2 million.
But why Germany?
“Why not? There is nothing for me here in Sweden,” Molly Stigsson, 24, from Halmstad, western Sweden, tells The Local. "So many people my age are all fighting for the same jobs."
Stigsson studied journalism and photography but has struggled to find work since completing her studies. She admits that she’s been unemployed on and off for the past five years and wants to try something else.
“I’m applying for some baker and pastry chef positions as that's been a dream of mine. Going to Germany seems exciting to me,” she says, having ruled out going back to school in Sweden. 
Chef Robin Hermansson, 21, travelled from Linköping, southern Sweden, for his interview and says he has been out of work since last March.
“It’s tough to find work in Sweden for my profession. I’m here partly because of the job situation in my own country but also because this is an amazing opportunity,” Hermansson says enthusiastically.
Pitching the ‘Job of my life’ is Eures (European Employment Agency) adviser Annette Zellmer. She says that Germany is “desperate” for apprentices in part because of the country’s low birth rate.
Attracting Swedes to Germany is not a new idea for Eures. A previous apprentice scheme failed as only candidates who could speak German were able to apply.
Now the language barrier has been removed, with mandatory lessons included as part of the training. The move has seen an upturn in interest from job-seeking Swedes. 
Carpenters and bankers
“This is company-based education that lasts between two and half and three years. By coming to Germany, you can add to your reputation and develop further in your career,” Zellmer tells the young Swedes during the presentation.
The programme, which is funded by the German government until 2016, wants to find apprentices aged between 18-35 to work in industries as diverse as carpentry and banking.
Eures has calculated that there are 348 different occupations potentially available, with similar apprentice schemes for job-seekers from Portugal and Spain proving successful.
“Sweden looks very seriously at youth unemployment as the figure is quite high. Any chance to go abroad for work and education is encouraged as it’s a fantastic opportunity. Swedes adapt quite easily to Germany and have a good reputation there,” Maria Bergström, a Swedish Eures adviser, tells The Local. 
Removing barriers
Getting to grips with the German language is key for any wannabe apprentice. Following the failure of the previous scheme, Eures has pulled out all the stops with an estimated 600 lessons (each lasting 40 minutes) to be completed by August 1st by the candidates.
Under a special arrangement with Sweden, the first 400 lessons can be studied online from home, with the remaining classes to be finished in Germany. For most Swedes, it will be their first exposure to German. Indeed, many of those who attended the presentation in Malmö have never even been to the country before. 
“I’m a bit nervous about it as I don’t know any German at all but I am going to try to learn,” says Stigsson while Hermansson says “It’ll be fine... I think.”
And if any of the Swedes were under the impression they could cruise through the lessons when they move to Germany, such thoughts were swiftly extinguished by Eures’ German adviser.
“You can’t sit around and look out the window. When it comes to school exams you have to pass them,” Zellmer says matter-of-factly.
Funding for the language course is part of the modular programme, which also covers the cost of living. The most any apprentice can earn is €818 a month, but that amount may be reduced depending on accommodation costs.
While many expats to Sweden may be surprised to learn there isn’t a washing machine provided when handed the keys to a flat, in Germany you’ll have to do without a fridge and oven too when you move into an apartment.
“A typical German flat is basically empty but the employer helps the apprentices find furniture. And as part of the programme there is social assistance to help with things like opening a bank account and making friends. You are treated just like any other German apprentice,” says Zellmer.
Swedes who are successful and complete the first two phases of the programme, which includes the 600 language lessons, are then eligible for a vocational training contract with a German company combining work and studies, which can last up to three and a half years
One Swede eager to make the move is Zlatan Mukladzija Kemal. He took a six-hour train trip from Borås on the west coast in order to come to Malmö for his 30 minute interview.
“Had this scheme been around a few years ago I would have gone then,” Mukladzija Kemal, who has previously worked in the hospitality sector, tells The Local. After sitting through the one-hour presentation the 21-year-old is even more determined to fulfill his German dream. 
"I’ve been in Sweden most of my life and I’m a bit bored of it," he says. 
And unemployed skilled workers from other areas of Europe are also being sought out by recruiting programmes to plug shortages in the German workforce.
A scheme started in 2012 by the Chamber of Crafts for Munich and Upper Bavaria aimed to put Spanish semi-skilled workers in touch with Bavarian employers in need of labour.
"Given the high youth unemployment in Spain at the moment, there was this idea that there are a lot of people in Spain who could do the work, [and] we have a lot of companies that need to fill their vacancies," Elisabeth Kirchbichler, one of the coordinators of the program, told Spiegel in May 2013. 
Kirchbichler said that officials from the local chamber of commerce in Cordoba, Spain had given her over 1,000 job applications from Spanish people who wanted work in Germany.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Time to Add Language Learning to Teacher Preparation


March 17, 2015 1:45 AM

By guest bloggers Emily Liebtag and Caitlin Haugen
Today, Emily Liebtag, Manager of Curriculum and Instructional Design, VIF International Education and Caitlin Haugen, Executive Director, Global Teacher Education argue that preparing globally competent teachers should include learning another language. While this is not yet a widespread practice, there are some promising examples.

Lack of Language Learning Opportunities for Future Teachers
It makes sense that teachers would study another language to meet the needs of their ethnically and linguistically diverse students. Teachers who study world languages can better communicate with students and their parents, understand the difficulties and frustrations of language learners, and experience a window into other cultures. Multilingual teachers model global competence and prepare their students for working in the 21st century.
And what better place to be exposed to language learning than during teacher preparation?
Unfortunately, exposure during teacher prep is not common. One study found that teachers study languages at an alarmingly low rate, and if they do, it is because of personal motivation, not out of requirement. Over two-thirds of pre- and in-service teachers did not complete any language training at all, but 90% of them felt that their undergraduate education should have required language training. This is particularly problematic considering today's teachers are homogeneousand overwhelmingly monolingual—and the demographics in teacher preparation programs suggest this trend is likely to continue.
Leading supporters of internationalization from organizations and institutions of higher education—including unions—have long advocated that the study of world languages is a necessary element for developing globally competent teachers, but teacher education is still slow to change. There are a few programs, however, that are an exception.  
Promising PracticesThere are some teacher preparation programs that are embracing the need for language study. Teacher candidates at the University of San Diego (USD) are required to take courses that emphasize pedagogy for English language learners, including a course focused on first and second language development for teachers that explores world languages. 
Starting in the late 1990s, the Oklahoma State Board of Education began requiring teacher candidates to achieve language proficiency before completing their programs and teacher preparation responded. Lack of enforcement led to steady declines in foreign language study among pre-service teachers, but the state's policy can act as a model. 
The New York Univ. Dept. of Teaching and Learning responded to the rising demand for language savvy teachers by offering a Bilingual Education program designed to help prepare educators to work in multilingual settings. It includes a field experience in a bilingual setting. This program is innovative because it not only provides language learning options to future educators, but also strengthens the pipeline of available teachers.
International experiences such as student teaching or study abroad programs can inspire future teachers to pursue foreign language study and illustrate the importance of language learning. Gabrielle Malfatti, Dir. of Int'l and Intercultural Initiatives at the University of Missouri College of Ed., notes that students who participate in MU TeachAbroad programs return with a craving for a deeper connection to the host culture, which can be aided by language acquisition." Some student teaching abroad programs such as Bridge, provide language immersion opportunities specific to education. Many teacher preparation programs have started to offer international field experiences, but overall only 4% of education majors study abroad. This is certainly a catalyst for some, but presently it only applies to a very small number of future teachers. 
Teacher Educators Are KeyWe recently posed a question to the Developing Globally Competent Teachers LinkedIn group about language learning among pre-service teachers. It sparked a lively discussion, indicating there is a communal feeling that language needs to be considered in teacher preparation—and that teacher educators hold the key. Teacher educators can encourage pre-service teachers to pursue language study, and there are some examples of teacher preparation programs supporting their faculty in this endeavor.
Paula Cordeiro, Dean of USD's program, noted she actively seeks faculty who speak multiple languages and provides incentives for language learning. To support faculty and students who want to develop world language skills, Malfatti recruits native Spanish speakers to participate in monthly Spanish round-table discussions and hopes it will spark interest in other languages. Jayne Fleener, Dean of the College of Ed. at NC State University, is leading a major internationalization effort with multiple institutions in her state. She challenged other leaders to consider alternatives outside of coursework for credentialing language competency as a road to language learning for more teachers.
Malfatti sums it up well: "I know that foreign language fluency and cultural understanding are attained by those who take ownership of their cross-cultural learning, not necessarily by those who are required to enroll in a course." When all teacher education programs take ownership of ensuring their candidates are globally competent, we will see a demand—and drive—for language learning for future teachers and teacher educators alike. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

April 20: The Met!

Metropolitan Museum of Art --
(our confirmation notice will come separately...expected around 3/22)


Your plans and recommendations are so welcome!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My new packing method: Packing Light.

 GAPPers, we'll be taking the train from Frankfurt, which will be great, but it also really reinforces the need to PACK LIGHT! 

Don't invest until you check the Lufthansa regulations.  Post here anyone?  


Doktor Daisy ist im Haus

Mickey Maus Wunderhaus

die Beule = a bump
pusten = to puff -- blow

Wer moechte eine Spieldoktor-Sticker bekommen?
Who'd like to receive a play-doctor sticker?

das Geheimnis = a secret

Holen wir ein paar Mitmachsachen!
Let's fetch a few participation items.

eine Giraffe
ein  Sparschwien
ein Vergroesserungsglas

Tieralphabet A, wie Affe ...

Kennen wir Tiere?

Danke, Deutschdrang.

Here's where you can find a Brick in your Wall for learning German!

The amazing Deutschdrang website offers not only lessons and exercises in just what you were looking for, but also weekly lessons, which help you structure your learning.   WOW!


You'll be so glad you did!!

Thee - Thou -- Thine Old English to the rescue


Thanks to Deutschdrang for this slideshow.
Once at the link, click on the slides to enlarge them.

Or go here:


Guardian Reports on Both Sides of Berlin

Where you had no money worries
Equal pay for equal work.
For better or worse....the police had an eye on you ... you felt pretty safe...

2 minutes:  You can never forget the past...

The wall is open!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

G ist für GIFTMÜLL -- Super Infos zum Theme Umwelt

   Vom Spiegel ("Dein Spiegel")          der Speigel = mirror

Auf die Müllkippe muss diese Müll nicht kommen.

Wegzaubern   Magically make somethibng disappear!

Vielleicht hast DU mal die richtig Idee

11 Oddly Specifc German Words That Make Other Languages Jealous

Danke noch einmal, FluentU

Words like these would definitely come in handy in English. You know, when you want to describe a very specific scenario that everyone knows. Instead, we’re limited to giving the same long-winded explanations again and again.

That’s why sometimes it’s just easier for us to stick to the original German words, like Zeitgeist (spirit of the time) or Doppelgänger (look-alike or double).  [Super Wörter -- jetzt sogar auf Englisch benutzt.  --rsb]

Here are a few more examples that the English language should consider adding.

1. Weltschmerz    [Gutes Wort!  --rsb]

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Literally translated to “world pain,” Weltschmerz describes the feeling of having the weight of the world on your shoulders. You know those days where you watch some moving documentary on Netflix about starving children in some far-off place and suddenly you feel hopeless about the state of our plant? You have Weltschmerz.

When you read the news, see all the horrible things happening and feel deep resignation about your own inability to do anything about any of it? Weltschmerz. The next time your outlook is too dark and glum to bear seeing another photo exhibit on AIDS, just let your friends know you can’t. Du hast Weltschmerz.

2. Fremdscham

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                       [This image more closely resembles Schadenfreude, I think. -- rsb]
This feeling may arise when you see a Facebook friend post a long-winded rant about something that turns out to be a gag article from The Onion.

Or when you watch one of those clips from America’s Funniest Home Videos where someone gets hurt in a stupid way.
Some might feel Schadenfreude, a German word that is somewhat commonly used in English, which means taking joy in others’ pain. Instead of this though, you cringe and feel embarrassed for them, almost as if you made the mistake yourself. That’s Fremdscham, literally “stranger shame.”

One might feel this at a party when someone else insult’s the host’s cooking, only to have the host walk up right behind them. Ouch — that stinging feeling in your stomach? Total Fremdscham.

3. Treppenwitz

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English-language comedians have built dozens upon dozens of sitcoms entirely upon the premise of Treppenwitz, like in the Seinfeld episode “The Comeback.” Yet we still don’t have a good way to describe it.

Well, I’ll take a stab at it. You know those times when you get into an argument with someone and you want so badly to say a snappy comeback, but that snappy comeback doesn’t dawn on you until long after the altercation?
That’s a Treppenwitz.

The word literally means “staircase joke,” as in you don’t think of the retort until you’re on the stairs, leaving the scene. Then you kick yourself for not thinking faster. Shoot! Why didn’t I think of that? 

4. Mutterseelenallein      [Gutes Wort!  --rsb]

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This one might come the closest to representing the internet meme “forever alone,” but the imagery it evokes cannot be matched in English.

Mutterseelenallein literally translates to mean “mother’s souls alone,” as in no soul, not even your mother’s, is with you. You’re so alone that not even your mother can stand being with you. Cue the sad violin music.

5. Unwort

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Ever the clever linguists, Germans know that sometimes there are words that aren’t really words. They decided that those words deserve their own word to describe them.

That word is Unwort, or un-word. The term is generally used to describe newly created, and often offensive, “words.” There’s even a panel of German linguists that selects an “Un-word of the Year.”

6. Gemütlichkeit   [Gutes Wort!  --rsb]

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If you tell a German “oh, we have a phrase for Gemütlichkeit in English — feeling cozy,” they’ll instantly correct you.
For German speakers, it’s so much more than that.

The word describes the whole atmosphere of your surroundings. It’s not just the state of being on a soft couch that gives you Gemütlichkeit. It’s being on a soft couch. Under a warm blanket. Surrounded by family. With a cup of hot chocolate in your hands. And maybe a knit cap on your head. It’s the whole experience and feeling that you have of being physically warm, but also metaphorically feeling warm inside your heart.

7. Backpfeifengesicht

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In English, one might say someone has “a face only a mother could love.” In German, such faces might also deserve getting punched. Backpfeifengesicht, a “face that should get a slap that whistles across the cheek,” is a face that makes you want to smack that person.

8. Sprachgefühl   [Hmmm.  Auch oft negativ benutzt; was man nicht hat. --rsb]

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Some people just have a knack for learning languages, collecting five, six or seven in their lifetime. It’s like they have a sixth sense for knowing when to say der, die or das. There’s a German word for this: Sprachgefühl, or “language feeling.” According to Wiktionary, it’s the “instinctive or intuitive grasp” of a language.

9. Aufschnitte   --- >  [Gutes Wort!  --rsb]

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This translates to “cold cuts,” but it’s often used not only to describe the pieces of meat on the table, but the whole meal. Often Germans will have a meal of Aufschnitte where they sit down to eat a selection of breads with various fresh cheeses, smoked salmon and thinly sliced meat. It’s often a more convenient alternative to cooking for the whole family after a long day at work and driving on the Autobahn. What’s for dinner? Let’s just have Aufschnitte.

10. Streicheleinheit    [Gutes Wort!  --rsb]

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Many online dictionaries translate this word to be a noun for “caress,” but when you break down the word, it sounds quite technical.

The word comes from the verb streicheln – to stroke or pet — and the noun Einheit  a unit of measurement. So it literally means “a unit of petting.”

But the way it’s used in practice is more along the lines of what in English might be shortened to TLC — tender love and care. A German might say Wir alle sehnen uns nach Streicheleinheiten” – we’re all yearning for love and affection. And isn’t that the truth.

11. Sehnsucht   [Gutes Wort!  --rsb]

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This is another word that describes a complex set of emotions. It comes from sehnen, which means “to yearn or long for,” and Sucht, an obsession, craving or addiction.

Literally, it would mean something like “an obsessive yearning” for something, but that doesn’t quite capture it. It could be used to describe an inconsolable yearning for happiness and the unattainable. It could illustrate that you’re intensely missing something or someone. It may also express a longing for a far-off place.

Either way, it’s a pretty profound emotion to be boiled down into just two syllables.