Monday, December 30, 2013

Dinner for One

So there may not be a German Christmas Movie Tradition, but there sure is one for New Years!

Every New Years Eve an old black and white British comedy sketch from 1963 called Dinner for One or The 90th Birthday, is played on German TV. It features comedians Freddie Friton and May Warden. It is pretty funny. What makes it extra interesting, is that it is not dubbed and is played in English. I also have yet to notice any subtitles either. I think it is a pretty cool tradition.


Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I have watched A Christmas Carol about four times this Christmas season. Not all the same versions of course. I had no idea there were so many. Anyway I got a good dose of Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge.

You know his famous line of 'Bah Humbug.' Well its German!

der Humbug - nonsense, bull shit

Isn't that cool! All this time I thought it was just some random phrase that Charles Dickens (the author of A Christmas Carol) invented.

I had always thought this since we don't use the word Humbug in English in any other situation. Just in reference to this story and maybe for fun around the Christmas season. Out of this context it has no other meaning. It makes more sense that is has a meaning in some other language. And that language happens to be German!

Germans may have Humbug but they don't have scrooge. Outside of the context of this famous story we call people who are greedy and don't want to share scrooge. I am not sure which word I like better. Scrooge or Humbug. But it doesn't matter because I get to use! A little Christmas present from the German language to us.

                                       .               .                .

It Christmas Eve today!! It is the day Germans celebrate Chirstmas and get to open their presents. I discussed this back in 2011 so here is a link to that post if you are interested.

Frohe Weihnachten!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Weihnachts Lieder!!

On this last Media Monday before Christmas, how about some Christmas Music!!

First off here is O' Tannenbaum.
Ernst Anschütz, a organist from Leipzig wrote the modern song we know in 1824. He based it on a 16th century folk song. It wasn't intended as a Christmas song but gained popularity as such in the early 20th century (info from wikipedia).

O'Tannenbaum sung by Nana Mouskouri

Next is Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht, probably one of the most Famous Christmas songs of all. The music was scored by Franz Xaver Gruber and the lyrics were written by Joseph Mohr in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria  in 1818. Appropriately sung here by the Vienna Boys Choir.

Those were the only Christmas song that I know to be originally writen auf Deutsch. I wasn't happy with just these two so I did some searching and found a few Christmas Songs from Rolf Zuckowski.

Rolf Zuckowski a German Musician and Music producer from Hamburg. He is known for haveing written many song for kids and has a whole bunch of Christmas songs too. He seems to be German equivalent of Raffi. Raffi is a US Americans song writer, he wrote hits in the 80's like "Baby Balooga in the Deep Blue Sea. . ." and also has a Great Christmas Album. Which I still listen to each Christmas.

Well, most kid songs I can't get into these days, specially German kid songs. Though luckly I found one that is not bad. Lasst Uns Froh und Munter Sein (Lets be Happy and Jolly) by Rolf Zuckowski.

Have a Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Visiting Cards

I learned about these the other day.

die Visitenkarte - Business Card

I know what Business cards are. A lot of people have them now a days. I didn't know where they came from. I never really thought about it before.

Apparently back in the day, when someone came to visit someone, they handed one of the servant their 'Visiting Card'. The servant then brought it to whoever the guy wants to visit. That person reads the card to see who is there and then decides to visit with them, more or less. Wikipedia has a nice explanation.

It is cool that in German they still call them Visiting cards even though they no longer have the same function as they once did.  By keeping the name Visitenkarte, the history of their use has been preserved in most Germans' pop culture knowledge.

Friday, December 20, 2013


I am ready for Christmas. All my gifts are bought and wrapped.

das Geschenk - gift

das Geschenkpapier - wrapping paper

einpacken -  to wrap (a pressent)
note: there are other words for 'wrapping', I just chose one here.

die Weihnachtsdeko - Christmas decorations

der Weihnachtsbaum - Christmas Tree

Just waiting on the Weihnachtsmann to get here.

der Weihnachtsmann -  Santa Clause (the Christmas Man)

Thursday, December 19, 2013


It is interesting how new words pop up. This one popped up the other day.

die Narbe - scar

We all have little scars from falling off bikes and skinning are knees as kids. We can also have much larger scars from serious accidents.

There are even scars that we can't see, emotional scars. Emotionale Narben. It more likely that one would say emotionale Wunde, auf Deutsch instead of emotionale Narbe. However it is still correct and can be used.

emotional - emotional

die Wunde - wound

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


This is a word I like. It just sounds cool to me.

die Theke - counter, bar (in a store)

I have never actually heard someone use this word. Though I have seen it used in signs and advertisements a few time. For example at the movie theater. You buy your popcorn at the Theke.

Für jeden das Richtige - An der Theke! --- The right one for everyone - at the counter!
The word Apotheke has Theke in it. Though I am not sure it is actually connected. Apotheke comes from the Greek word apothēkē which means 'store house.' I haven't been able to find out the origin of Theke. If anyone knows, please share.

die Apotheke - Pharmacy