Sunday, January 31, 2016

Germany wins EU-Handball Championship AND Women's Tennis OPEN


Because of injuries, Germany was considered an outsider in this tournament.
Score:  34-33 in Overtime.
Final against Spain:  Less of a nail-biter.  Germany wins.
Now, they have qualified for the Olympics!

2.  Angelique Kerber beats Serena Williams to win final of Australian Open

Germany's Angelique Kerber has beaten American Serena Williams to win the final of the Australian Open. This makes her the first German woman to win a Grand Slam since Steffi Graf won her last one in 1999.

Angelique Kerber, the sixth-ranked woman's player going into the Australian Open, pulled off a major upset on Saturday, beating the world No. 1 and defending tournament champion, Serena Williams of the United States, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.  The 28-year-old German choked back tears as she accepted the winner's trophy, the first Grand Slam title of her career.

"My dream (has) come true on this night," Kerber told the capacity crowd of 15,000 at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena. "My whole life I was working really hard, so now I am here and can say that I am a Grand Slam champion - and it sounds really crazy," she said
Williams, 34, who failed in her bid to win her seventh Australian Open and equal Steffi Graf's record of 22 Grand Slam titles, was gracious in defeat.  "Congratulations, you did so well. You played the best in the tournament," Williams said to Kerber as she addressed the crowds after the match. "You truly deserve it."

In Graf's footsteps
Kerber became the first German woman to win the Australian Open since Steffi Graf did so in 1994 and the first to win a Grand Slam title since Graf won the French Open in 1999.

Any fears that Kerber might be overawed by playing in her first Grand Slam final were quickly erased. She broke twice in the first set as Williams made 23 unforced errors.

In the second set, Williams cut down on her errors and looked more like the top women's player, taking the match into a third and deciding frame. Both suffered early breaks in the third set, but the tide seemed to swing in Kerber's favor in a marathon sixth game, when the German finally converted her fifth break point to take a commanding 4-2 lead.

She extended that to 5-2 and was serving for the title at 5-3 before Williams fought back to make it 5-4. Kerber, though, wasn't to be denied. Williams hit a forehand volley long on match point for her 46th unforced error of the match to hand the German the victory.

HIER:  Footage of the EU Handball Championship - Germany V. Spain

Die weisse Rose: Hans und Sophie Scholl

hinrichten:  executed

Links to films:

Weisse Rose 1982 film:

Another new version of Die Weisse Rose from German TV. (45 minutes)


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cro und Traum --- auf Englisch; Dream!

Songtext ?  Verstanden?  

Danke, Sommersprosse!

Whenever you feel my side...
All the girls wanna be like her...

Sometimes I only dream of you..
I would do anything for you.
You've got what I need...

No matter where I go, I think of you.

Baby let me know that you're alive.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Erich Ludwig Kirchner - Die Brücke - the Beginning of Expressionism

The tragedy of avant garde artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

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The German painter who was a pioneer of Expressionism was also a victim of Nazi attacks on Modern Art

The annual World Economic Forum that concluded yesterday makes its home in Davos, Switzerland. Turns out, Davos was also the home of a pioneer of modern art, whose creations -- and struggles -- aren't widely known. Margaret Brennan means to correct that:

You may not be familiar with Germany's Kirchner, but his work helped to change the course of modern art. Andrew Robison, curator of a recent exhibit of modern German prints at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, said that while Kirchner may not a household name, it should be.
"He should be just like Picasso," he told Brennan, "because Kirchner in many ways, in the first part of the 20th century, parallels Picasso in being the dominant artist for his country.

"If you think of his early works, then you think of nudes -- nude women, nude men, in the studio, posing. But not posing in an academic sense -- lying on a sofa, sitting in a chair. You think of going out to swim. Did a lot of swimming. Skinny dipping. Always went swimming nude."
Kirchner's daring depictions of prostitutes and the street life of Berlin and Dresden in the early 1900s illustrated a frenetic, modern world.

The style, known as Expressionism, was pioneered by Kirchner and a small collective of artists who called themselves Die Bruecke (German for "The Bridge") -- a link from classical art to the avant garde.

The art was frantic. They worked extremely fast -- sometimes taking just 15 minutes to capture a scene. The images distorted physical reality for emotional effect.

"The idea was to move quickly, capture it quickly," said Robison. "Capture life while it's on the run, you know. And that sense of joy, sense of love of life is very much characteristic of Kirchner, certainly until the First World War."

That's when Kirchner's life took a dark turn. He joined the German army, but found life in uniform too rigid, too constrained. A mental breakdown got him discharged. A morphine and alcohol addiction would haunt him for life.

He sought help at a sanitarium in the Swiss Alps. The cold, dry air in Davos, Switzerland, was considered therapeutic.

Kirchner's health improved, and he later moved into a house in Davos, which doubled as his studio.
The calm lifestyle in Davos, up in the mountains and far away from city life, was healing for Kirchner. It marked an artistic rebirth, showcased at the Kirchner Museum in Davos.
Majestic mountain views inspired him, and the unusual color choices exploded off the page.
"You can see that he is painting the mountain in purple color, and we have blue mountains, we have the colors of autumn over here and we have a very colorful depiction of the city," said museum director Thorsten Sadowsky.

"Summer in Davos" by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
Kirchner Museum
The Nazis confiscated or destroyed 600 pieces of his work, and rich clients stopped buying.
"Now he's being called un-German," said the National Gallery's Andrew Robison. "His works are being removed, some are being destroyed. They're being cleaned out of Germany so that in his own country his work will not be known. That was for him an enormous problem."
He was, said Robison,"diminished, totally."

In March of 1938, the Nazis invaded nearby Austria, and Kirchner felt besieged.
"The Nazis were 12 miles away from Davos," said Robison. "Kirchner is sitting there in his mountain house with his paintings and his drawings, his prints, his sculpture and so forth, and he got more and more this idea, 'My God, they're 12 miles away and they've destroyed my art in Germany and now they're coming for me.'"

It was better to destroy his own artwork, Kirchner thought, rather than let the Germans do it. "Not only his art; he would destroy his art before they had the chance, and he would destroy himself," said Robison.

He tried to persuade his long-time girlfriend, Erna, to commit a joint suicide. She refused, but couldn't stop him.

"And then he went outside of the house and she heard two shots, and that was it," said Robison. "Shot himself in the heart."
Kirchner was just 58 years old.

He and Erna are buried side by side near their former home. But his artistic legacy has only grown.
One of his surviving paintings -- a street scene in Berlin -- sold in 2006 for $38 million dollars.
And in Germany, a country whose rejection tortured him, Kirchner is now revered as one of its greatest modern artists.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Use Relative Pronouns with Ease!


10 Ways German Relative Pronouns Can Make Simple Sentences Sound More Advanced

It doesn’t take Einstein to deal with the German language’s relative pronouns.
The laws which govern the usage of German relative pronouns are much simpler than the laws of physics.
You might think building sentences is one of the easiest parts of learning German.
Once you know where all the words go, you’re good to go, right?
Well, not exactly.
Building a basic sentence is quite easy once you have a good lexicon. But when you’re ready to progress and lengthen your sentences, things can get ever so slightly tricky. To turn a simple sentence into a complex one a requires various clauses to be strung together. And how do we do that? Well, for that you need to have mastered relative pronouns…

What’s a Relative Pronoun?

The idea of relative pronouns is an easy one to understand: They’re just the words which join two clauses together. If you want to add on an extra clause to a sentence, you’ll be joining it up with a relative pronoun.
The extra clause also has a special name too—it’s a relative clause. Nice and easy to remember!
In most cases, relative pronouns are the definite article. So that’s der, die, and dasHow do we know which one to use? We need to look back at the noun which was used in the previous sentence. Here’s an example:
Der Hund, der schwarz ist.The dog which is black.
As der Hund (the dog) is a masculine noun, the relative pronoun we need also has to be masculine. So we just repeat the der. However, as the below examples show, it isn’t always quite so straightforward…

10 Examples of German Relative Pronouns in Action

1. Der Mann, der fuhr, ist mein Vater.

Translation: The man who drove is my father.
An easy one to get us started with, this first example is exactly like the above one involving the dog. Since Mann (man) is masculine, we just use der. 
One thing to note in this sentence is the positioning of the verbs. In German if you ever follow a verb with a comma, you must follow the comma with another verb. This is the “verb comma verb” rule.

2. Das ist der Typ, der Musik spielt. 

Translation: That’s the guy who plays music.
Again, Typ (guy) is a masculine noun so the relative pronoun is der. 
There’s some more verb action to note in the example: Verbs in relative clauses always have to be sent to the end of the clause.
This is a very strange thing for native speakers to comprehend as our verbs are stuck in one place. If we were to literally translate the above sentence into English it’d read “That’s the man who music plays.” Sounds weird! But, verbs get sent to the ends of clauses quite a bit in German, so make sure you know exactly where your verbs in your spoken and written German should be placed!

3. Mein Onkel ist ein Mensch, auf den man bauen kann.

Translation: My uncle is a person on whom you can rely.
For this relative clause, we need to use the masculine relative pronoun because Mensch is a masculine noun. So that’d be der right? Ah, not in this case!
In this example, we need to use the accusative case because the expressionauf jemanden bauen (to count on someone) requires it.
Case rules in German also apply to relative pronouns. Here’s a quick review of the two most basic cases in German, the nominative and accusative, in case you need a little refresher.

4. Sie ist ein Mensch, dem man nicht helfen kann.

Translation: She is a person whom you can’t help.
Above we tackled the accusative case and relative pronouns. Now, we have to struggle with the dative.
Helfen is one of those verbs that requires the dative case. As with the above example, we just have to place the dative masculine relative pronoun (dem) in the place of the nominative one (der). So, that’s how der becomes dem. 
5. Die Frau, deren Handy ich benutzt habe.
Translation: The woman whose cell phone I used.
Okay, so now things start to become trickier.
Before when we were changing cases, we could look at a table of definite articles and it would double up as a table of relative pronouns. But now that we’re dealing with possession, we need to introduce some new words to our lexicon. Namely: Dessen and deren.
These are the genitive relative pronouns. Dessen is used for masculine and neuter antecedent nouns. Deren is used for feminine and plural nouns.
Notice that these possessive relative pronouns correspond to the owner, such as die Frau (the woman), and not to the object in possession, das Handy (the cell phone).
So, looking at the example above, we need to use the feminine formderen as it refers back to Die Frau (the woman).

6. Das sind die Männer, mit denen ich Schach gespielt habe.

Translation: Those are the men with whom I played chess.
Okay, I confess, there’s another word you need to add to your German vocabulary: Denen. But, once you’ve mastered slipping dessen and deren into your language, you’ll have no problems whatsoever with this useful word.
If your relative clause involves a plural noun in the dative case, then you’ll need to use the dative plural relative pronoun, which is denen.
In the example above, we need the dative case because mit (with) always takes the dative. In this way, the dative plural relative pronoun, denen, refers back to the plural die Männer (the men). One of the most common mistakes made by German learners is using the dative plural definite article, den. Be wary of this pitfall!

7. Was er uns gesagt hat, war nicht wahr.

Translation: What he told us wasn’t true.
Don’t think your relative clauses should be left for the end of a sentence—here’s a sentence which starts off with a relative clause. And it also shows that you don’t need to use der, die, or das—or one of their many different counterparts—as a relative pronoun.
It’s also possible to use wo (where), was (what) and wer (who / whoever). Whichever word you decide to use though, always remember to send that verb to the end of the clause!

8. Wer den Kaffee getrunken hat, muss den Direktor sehen.

Translation: Whoever drank the coffee has to see the principal.
Here we have wer as our relative pronoun. When you’re translating a relative clause which begins with wer it’s worth bearing in mind that it doesn’t always have to be translated literally as “who.” More often than not, wer at the beginning of a sentence is actually translated as “whoever.”

9. Ich möchte irgendwo arbeiten, wo ich kein Auto brauche.

Translation: I’d like to live somewhere where I don’t need a car.
All is explained below…

10. Weißt du, wo wir hingehen müssen?

Do you know where we have to go?
Examples 9 and 10 both show wo as the relative pronoun. As you can see, unlike with der, die or das, it doesn’t change its form, no matter what the case of the relative clause may be. Easy, huh?
From all the above examples, you can see that relative pronouns and relative clauses aren’t all that scary.
They just involve a bit of time getting used to altering them to fit the case of the clause and knowing where exactly the verb needs to go.
Now go forth and use all this exciting relative pronoun knowledge to boost your German!

Information about Attending a German University

There are different requirements at every Uni.  I've put together a list of helpful websites
at - and particularly recommend those under
the "General Requirements" and "Applying" sections.  They're really rather comprehensive.

In general, a high school diploma is not considered equivalent to an Abitur; American
students will need proof that they're competent enough to skip the "gen eds," and go
straight into the major-focused track.  This can be done with a significant number of AP
credits, a year or two of college, possibly high enough test scores.  Each University
should also have a Studienkolleg attached to help you complete your gen eds or attain a
sufficient enough level of German, after you have been "accepted" on a provisional basis.

As alluded to above, the requirements to get accepted to a Uni are different from the
Visa requirements.  For that, you need the money in your bank account (!).  You
will be able to find specific info on the German Embassy's site.

Good luck!  And if anyone has any other specific sites to share, please let me know.
This is such a common question these days, and I would love to expand our resources on
the GAI's webpage.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Anne Grossardt
Director of Language Services
Tel: 651-222-2979  Fax: 651-222-6295

NOTE:  GAI = German Academic Institute (I believe)

MORE Advice:  The first stop for foreign students at most universities is the Akademisches
Auslandsamt or Internationales Buero. Google those together with the university name, you should land at the right place for information.

MORE on international opportunities from Eckhard Kuhn-Osius --German Department  --Hunter College, CUNY:  
There are some social service opportunities in Germany. One could look into a “Freiwilliges soziales Jahr” or “Freiwilliges oekologisches Jahr,” which would offer an official status of some sort -- (without needing to attend school).

Saturday, January 16, 2016

European Anthem: An die Freude, Beethoven

Ode to Joy

Was sagt der Hund? Die Katze?

31 Animal Sounds in German: Can You Meow, Buzz and Chirp in Deutsche?    (FluentU)

1. Cow — muh (moo)

Classic cow mooing sounds exactly the same when spoken, but the spelling changes a bit. In German you would spell it as muh, and in English you spell it as “moo.”
It’s also worth mentioning that a German cow is called eine Kuh, with a group of cows called eine Herde. If you need to use the moo sound in a sentence, as a verb, the word muhen is what you’re looking for.

2. Cow — blöken (bleating)

Bleating isn’t exactly a cow sound that people are used to practicing themselves, but it’s an essential part of a cow’s vocabulary. The word blöken represents a low bleating tone.

3. Dog — wau wau (bow-wow)

In order to give off the bow-wow sound of a dog, simply remove the b’s and replace them with w’s. That turns it into wau wau. The word dog is also helpful to know when matching up animal sounds, so you can say dog with the German word der Hund. As a bonus tip, a pack of dogs is called a Hundemeute.

4. Dog — wuf wuf (woof woof)

A woof has a similar sound in German and English, but the spelling changes to wuf wuf.

5. Dog — knurren (growl)

A growl noise isn’t reserved just for a dog, so you can use it for anything from wolves to bears. Knurren is the proper sound to represent that fierce growl. The interesting part about this word is that it works for both the verb and the sound.

6. Dog — jaulen (howl)

Once again, a howl is also possible from other animals, but the sound comes out as jaulen in German. You’ll notice that this word works as a verb as well.

7. Dog — bellen (bark)

The bark sound is possibly the most common noise you hear come out of your lovable dog friend, and in German you would hear a dog use the sound bellen. Although bellen works as a verb, it’s somewhat interchangeable with the bow-wow or woof woof noises.

8. Dog — kläffen (yap)

If your dog’s in distress she may give out a yap, and a German pooch would use the kläffen sound. Once again, the kläffen sounds fits in a sentence as a verb.

9. Cat — miau (meow)

Meow sounds exactly the same in German as it does in English, but you spell it as miau. A cat, or eine Katze in German, can be found in a group of cats, which is considered a clowder in English; however it has no direct translation in German.

10. Cat — schnurren (purr)

Since cats generally only make two sounds, the second one is a purr. The purr sound is spelled schnurren in German.

11. Bee — brummen or summen (buzzing)

What does a German bee sound like? A buzz is what you would call it in English, but the words brummen or summen work equally well for those black and yellow flyers in the heart of Germany. To talk about a bee in German, you would say eine Biene, while a bee colony is called a Bienenvolk.

12. Bird — tschilpen, zirpen or zwitschern (chirp)

Birds are fun for learning, because they produce a wide range of unique sounds. To start, a chirp has three options for you when trying to make the sound in German: tschilpen, zirpen or zwitschern. To say or write about a generic bird, use der Vogel. A flock of birds is called a Vogelschwarm.

13. Bird — gack gack (cluck cluck)

Various birds make the cluck cluck sound, but it may fall into the duck or goose families. This is an interesting one, because it looks and sounds nothing like the English version. Go with gack gack for the German cluck cluck.

14. Bird – pfeifen (whistling)

Do you hear that whistle? It’s a German bird speaking to its friends in the trees, yet your ears might deceive you because the sound comes out as pfeifen.

15. Bird — gurren (coo)

Coo is mainly reserved for doves, but quite a few birds have similar tones. If you spot a dove flying away from a wedding in Germany, you’d say that it’s making a gurren sound. To mention a dove in German, say eine Taube.

16. Rooster — kikeriki (cock-a-doodle-doo)

The rooster is a mainstay on farms in many countries, but how does that pesky bird wake people up in Germany? The Germans hear it as kikeriki. Ein Hahn serves as the best way to talk about a rooster in German.

17. Duck — quaken (quack)

Ducks are birds too, and their famous quacks comes out as quaken in German. Many duck species exist, but your best bet is to use eine Ente when referring to our duck friends.

18. Crow — krähen (crow)

Crows, the blackened scavenger birds, have a signature sound that goes like this: krähen. A crow is called eine Krähe when speaking in German. With one of the scarier group names, a collection of crows is called a murder, which comes out as Krähenschwarm for the Germans.

19. Cuckoo bird — kuckuck (cuckoo)

A cuckoo bird provides a fairly recognizable sound, yet the pronunciation adds a “k” to the end in German, pronounced kuckuck. Luckily for you, the actual cuckoo bird is spelled the same as the sound, except you capitalize the first letter: der Kuckuck.

20. Chicks — piep piep (peep peep)

A peep peep noise may be produced by baby birds, such as chicks or finches. You don’t have to worry about this one much, because the sound is the same. However, the spelling turns to piep piep. Also, Jungvögel is the proper way to say baby birds.

21. Goose — schnattern (gaggle)

Geese make funny noises, and that doesn’t change in Germany. A gaggle sounds like schnattern. Say or write eine Gans when referring to an individual goose.

22. Owl — schreien or rufen (hoot)

When walking around at night you may have the privilege of hearing from those stereotypically wise owls. A hoot is represented as either schreien or rufen. Eine Eule is the best term when talking about an owl, and although most owls live solitary lives, a group is called a parliament. The direct translation for that in German is Parlament.

23. Parrot — krächzen (squawk)

Ein Papagei (a parrot) may let out a loud krächzen (squawk,) but strangely enough a group of parrots is considered a pandemonium, so that comes out to Pandämonium in German.

24. Frogs and toads — quaken (croak)

When hearing a quaken (croak) in a lake, you can expect a frog or toad to be nearby. Not only that, but you can call them by their proper names in German: ein Frosch (a frog) and eine Kröte (a toad).

25. Horse — wiehern (neigh)

Ein Pferd (a horse) lets out a beautiful wiehern (neigh).

26. Horse — iaah (hee haw)

You may also hear the goofy-sounding iaah (hee haw).

27. Pig — schnauben (snort)

Ein Schwein (a pig) provides another combination of sounds that makes it entertaining and useful while learning about German. To start, the snort sound is presented as schnauben.

28. Pig — quieksen (squeal)

Pigs squeal when they’re afraid, so to represent that you can use the quieksen sound.

29. Pig — grunzen (grunt)

Since pigs make so many noises, it’s worth mentioning that many of these sounds can be used for other animals as well. That stated, the grunt we often hear from pigs sounds like grunzen, which is useful as a verb as well.

30. Pig — grunz grunz (oink oink)

Make a quick modification of the grunt sound and you have the classic pig grunz grunz (oink oink).

31. Big cat or bear — brüllen or brummen (roar)

The roar is not only reserved for one animal, but while wandering around in the forest or in the mountains you may have the chance to hear a lion, bear or tiger let one out. In that case, the German sound for roar is either brüllen or brummen. Also, a lion is called ein Löwe, a tiger is ein Tiger and a bear is ein Bär.
From a dog’s bark to a lion’s roar, we’ve touched on some of the most common German animal sounds for you to have fun with your kids, joke around with your friends and even talk to animals. Just don’t start making the noises while at work!