Thursday, June 28, 2012


Yesterday was the feast day of Die Sieben Schläfer von Ephesus. The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus is a Christian Legend that dates back to early Chrstianity. Seven young Christians hid in a cave to escape percecution and slept for 300 years. There appears to be many versions of this story but the main theme is the same. Seven guys sleep for a very long time. Kind of like Rip Van Winkle who fell asleep for only twenty years up in the Catskill Mountains.

This day is an important day in the Farmers Almanac. It is called a Lostag in German. (I couldn't find a direct translations of this word). It is a specific Calendar day, in this case 27th of June, that farmers have used to predict the coming weather. Kind of like Groundhogs Day. It is said that what ever the weather is on Siebenschläfertag, it will stay for the next seven weeks!!

NO!!! It was pouring down rain yesterday!! SO seven more weeks of rain!!! I really hope this isn't true.

In researching this day I found this cute guy.

der Siebenschläfer - the edible dormouse, Glis glis
It is a large dormouse that was at one point raised for food, hence 'edible' in it's English name. I prefer it's German name, Siebenschläfer, which refers to the fact that it is a hibernating animal and sleeps through the winter.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Here is a new word that my co worker shared with me. She too is a fellow North American living in the German Hauptstadt.

das Unkraut - weed

das Kraut - cabbage, herb (Herb is usually in the plural die Kräuter)

hahhaha! Isn't that funny! The non-herb! It makes them sound so less pesky. In stead of noticing all of the weeds in a garden, you would notice all the non-herbs. Doesn't that just sound better?

German's Unkraut combo word reminds me of a some Spanish words. (that is Spanish from the Americas) The word for herb is la yerba and the word for mint is a combo word, la yerba buena, the good herb. Cute huh?

And for those of you wondering, because I was wondering too. Unkraut is not used to mean Weed, you know the other kind of herb.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Here is a word I find fun to use.

hautnah - very close, 'skin close'

die Haut - skin, dermis, hide

nah - close

It is so close that it is 'Skin close'. . .  we don't have a word like this in English, 'skin close.' Though it makes sense, at least to me. To convey this we would have to say something more like "it was so close that it grazed my skin" but we don't have a word for very close with 'skin'. Do we?
I like this word it sounds playful to me. It always makes me think of 'skin to skin' for some reason, like two people were snuggleing and they were skin to skin. They were hautnah.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sportfreunde Stiller

In honor of the Europa Cup! Today's post is about Sportfreunde Stiller.

Sportfreunde Stiller's Webpage

The band comes out of a town in Bavaria called Germering, near the Bayern Capital Munich. The band was formed in 1996 and originally named it 'Stiller'. After the trainer Hans Stiller of the local team SV Germering. Peter Brugger and Florian Weber (left and middle in the photo) played on this team for a few years (The third Band member is, Rüdiger Linhof). Later they had to rename the band since the rights to the name 'Stiller' belonged to a band in Hamburg. They then changed the name to 'Sportfreunde Stiller.' Which is translated to 'Friends of sports Stiller.' This is often used in the names of Sports clubs. This was a nice choice considering their football/soccer back ground and orgin of the name 'Stiller.'

The association with Sports and Football /Soccer is the main theme of this groups music. Their first album in 2000 was called 'So wie einst Real Madrid.' The Single 'Independent' from their second album is on the sound track of the  FIFA '03 computer game. There are a few other songs that have the names of Famous German players in them as well.

In 2006 the year of the world cup in Germany. They released their album ' You have to Win Zweikampf' the first single was ' '54, '74, '90, 2006.' The years that West German won the World Cup and 2006 the year they were hoping for. For the 2010 world cup in South Aftrica, the song was changed to ' '54, '74, '90, 2010.' However Germany didn't win this one either.
Here is the only link to the video I could find, and it can't be viewed in Germany! go Figure! The Video for this song is cool. It is worth watching.

Here is a live version from 2006.

This guys can rock. It is cool how they have found a very unique niche in the German music scene. I would think they wouldn't get very far with a sports theme but they have. Their music is being sampled on TV during the Euro Meister, The Europa Cup. It has me humming this song all day long.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quer Stapel

So as I mentioned in the previous post we did some moving last week. Many friends helped. This time they were almost all German. My Brazilian friend and I were out numbered! It was a great opportunity to learn some new German words.

quer - across, crossways, diagonally, at right angles

Basically the way this word seemed to be used was in turning an object the other way. For example when stacking boxes, if they wanted you to turn it long ways or vise versa as you were stacking it, they would use quer. I can't remember using it in a sentence, I would just say, 'quer' and gesture if I caught someone in the moment.

Another word I learned was stapeln.

stapeln - to arrange something in a pile, to pack closely

der Stapel - pile, stack

This is what they did with all the stuff! It was packed into the rented moving truck, from top to bottom, front to back. It actually was a little nerve racking for me when we drove through Berlin! The truck was so full! Though the guys had done a great job with the stapeling and we had no problems getting back to my apartment!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Back with a new word for you!

Umziehen - to move (house)
[and to change (cloths), another topic another time]

Well this isn't really a new word for me but I will share it with you because it is one of my excuses as to why this blog has suffered this month. A full time Job (yeah!) and a new roommate (Yeah!Yeah!) happened around the same time and well that all took priority over a daily dose of Deutsch. So a quick Entschuldigung and now on with de' Deutsch!

Umziehen is a tricky word I find. It changes it's base and the 'um' keep running around in the sentence. Umziehen changes to umgezogen in the past tense. So wierd! ziehen to zogen! It makes me think of fog and zombie at the same time:  zog and fombies maybe. . . so with this word you have to remember the stem change when using it in past tense. You can't just add the ge- to it and be done with it. Not always the easiest thing to remember when your learning this word, but it makes it more fun to use it! Just say it out loud, um ge zogen! heheheh

The 'um' prefix is detachable. (There is a proper name for these kinds of verbs, you learn it in school, but I have forgotten it.) woh! Check out my English, Forget just changed to Forgot! Ok German doesn't seem quite so out there anymore. . .  Back to 'um', it is a detachable prefix and so often gets put at the end or near the end of the sentence. Like a kid that doesn't want to hold mom's hand the whole time. It often breaks away but doesn't do too far.

Here are some examples:

Ziehst du um?                                         Are you moving? 
Sie sollen nach Berlin umziehen.          They should move to Berlin. 
Ich ziehe um.                                          I am moving. 
Er ist zu mir umgezogen.                       He moved in with me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Here is a quick little post.  

zustimmen - to agree, concur

I find this a interesting and logical word. It includes the word Stimme which can mean voice or vote. So it can be thought of as 'putting/ adding your voice to something' or 'giving something your vote.' I like words like this, that is, a word that gives you clues to what it means, so long as you are familiar with the root word.

die Stimme - voice, vote

Monday, June 4, 2012

die ärtzte

I have been avoiding these guys for a while, not because I don't like them, but because it is die Ärtzte and they are "Die Beste Band der Welt!" The pressure is on!

The Band was first formed in 1982 by Farin Urlaub and Bela B. after their other band Soilent Grün, named after the scifi movie Soylent Green, broke up. Farin Urlaub which is his alias. Is a fun name because it sounds like "Fahr in Urlaub" 'Go on Vacation.'

Die Ärtzte went through a few different Bass players. The first was Hans Runge aka Sahnie until he left after their second album. Then Hagen Liebing, aka 'The Incredible Hagen', who was never officially a member of the band despite playing with them for a few years.

The group broke up in 1988. Both Farin and Bela B. started new separate acts but after a couple of years with no real success they decided to come back together and reunite die ärtzte.

This time they again brought on yet another bass guitarist, Rodrigo González. He had been the lead guitarist with Bela in his Band Depp Jones. The band he had started in the break between the active years of die ärtzte.

Die Ärtzte in the 80's pushed some buttons and some limits. In 1987, three of their song were banded. The German Federal Centre for Media Harmful to Young Persons, Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien'' or BPjM banded the songs, 'Geschwisterliebe' (Sibling Love; a song about incest), 'Claudia hat 'nen Schäferhund' (Claudia has a German Shepherd) and Lullaby. They were placed on the List of Media Harmful to Young People better know as the Index.

Being put on this list meant that these songs could not be played on the Radio or sung in Concerts. It severely limited their ability to promote the albums these songs were on. To get around this die Ärtzte would play the music to the banded song and let the crowd sing the lyrics!

Here is Geschwisterliebe, uncensored.

Even though these guys have been around for 30 years, I only really know them from the last couple of years so. Here is an acoustic version of one of their older one, 'Zu Spat'

There are quite a few good one that I don't know what to share next. Maybe it is just best for you to go and listen to them yourself and find out which song of their you enjoy most.
But here is one more, Unrockbar.

Their newest album is out, 'auch'! It has been plastered all over Berlin. I can't wait to hear what new songs they have on it.