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Germany’s Youth Word of 2016 Posted by on Nov 30, 2016

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Guten Tag! You may remember last year I wrote about the Wort des Jahres (Word of the Year) and the Unwort des Jahres (Un-word of the Year – an offensive/negative word of the year) for 2014. These are published towards the end of each year by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS) – the Association…

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How To Use The Umlaut RIGHT Posted by on Nov 30, 2016

The German keyboard layout

The Umlaut is  used a lot in German. The a, o, and u become ä, ö, and ü. They sound different, and give words a different meaning. When do you use it though? And how? How do you pronounce them? Any exceptions? You read it all here! Why Umlaut? First of all to avoid confusion: In German, Umlaut has two meanings: it refers to the letters ä, ö,…

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Zeit für eine Geschichte – Weihnachtsmann-Edition Posted by on Nov 26, 2016

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Christmas is coming! And with it comes the Weihnachtsmann (“Christmas Man” – Santa Claus) to Germany. Today, he arrived at the Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) in Leipzig, Germany. Here is a little story of his arrival, plus some vocabulary to train your German, much in the spirit of the Zeit für eine Geschichte series I made last year. Click here for that.…

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Black Friday – But Not The One You Think Posted by on Nov 25, 2016

This is not a Black Friday sale, but a bank run at the städtischen Sparkasse (municipal Sparkasse bank) in Berlin in 1931. (Image by Georg Pahl at Commons.wikimedia.org under license CC BY SA 3.0 de)

Black Friday is known in the United States as a day of ridiculous discounts and jaw-dropping, long lines at stores. This day was exported to other countries as well, including European countries. Mostly online stores offer great discounts here as well. Black Friday is called “black” for the great profits (the “black numbers) companies make…

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Der Blaue Engel – The Label You Can’t Miss Posted by on Nov 24, 2016

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If you have ever received an envelope from the German government or agency, there is a good chance it had this on it. Also if you bought recycled Küchenrolle (kitchen paper), there is a good chance it is there. Even some electronic devices carry it. What? The Blauer Engel (Blue Angel) label. What is it? And what does it…

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