#quantoèbellaberlino, the photocontest dedicated to the most beautiful pictures of Berlin

Berlino Magazine and Berlino Schule organize a photo contest to show the beauty of the German capital.

The contest #quantoèbellaberlino gives you the chance to win a German course during Berlino Schule’s Summer School, which will take place from July to September.
The topic of this year’s contest is Berlin’s beauty: every corner of this amazing city leaves all the people open-mouthed and breathless. Just go for a walk near Hackescher Markt or go to the Kreuzberg district and you will be enchanted. The pictures in the competition must capture characteristic corners or little-known landscapes, which can fully express the magical beauty of the city.

How to take part in the #quantoèbellaberlino photography contest

Follow the instructions:

– Be sure to “like” Berlino Schule and Berlino Magazine on Facebook

– Upload the photo using your Facebook account, making sure that the privacy for the viewing is set to “EVERYONE”

– Provide a title for the picture followed by the hashtag #quantoèbellaberlino

– Tag in the caption of the photo both Berlino Schule and Berlino Magazine

Here an example:

How we choose the winners of #quantoèbellaberlino

All the posts will be reviewed by the team of Berlino Magazine and it will then share every photo within 24 hours from the publication on the album #quantoèbellaberlino – Contest fotografico on Berlino Magazine’s facebook page.
The deadline for entries is July 1st 2018, 00:01 a.m.
Our team will select the winner (aka the picture that will have received the highest number of likes on the page of the magazine – shares do not count, but they definitely help!) on 02.07.2018 at 12:00 p.m. In case of a tie, the picture uploaded earlier will win. We will only consider one photograph for each person.

Prizes

First prize: Summer School in Berlino Schule

Berlino Schule’s Summer School is the study holiday you’ve been waiting for.
The winner of the contest #quantoèbellaberlino will have the chance to attend a super intensive course of two weeks, five hours per day (from Monday to Friday). The school is located in Friedrichshain, one of the most beautiful, lively and safe district in Berlin.
Summer School will take place from July 2nd to September 7th 2018, as follows:

2 July – 13 July
16 July – 27 July
30 July – 10 August
13 August – 24 August
27 August – 7 September

There will be morning (9.15-13.30) and evening (14.00-18.15) classes.

Second prize: A dinner for two

The second prize is a dinner for two people at the restaurant MedEATerranean TRIP, in Gabriel-Max-Strasse, 19 – 10245 in Berlin. During the dinner two glasses of wine are also included.

Third prize: Beer, beer, beer!

The third prize is a taste of handcrafted italian beers accompanied by an appetizer, at the italian pub Birra in Prenzlauer Allee, 198 – 10405 in Berlin ( here our article about the pub’s history).

Accommodation:

Berlino Schule has entered many agreements with apartments tenants and hostels, all over the city to make the search for an accommodation easier for its students.

For further information send an email to: info@berlinoschule.com

Good luck to everyone – we look forward to your submissions!

You cannot live in Germany if you don’t understand the importance of the word “Bitte”

German is notoriously not one of the simplest languages around. Some words, though, are more important than others to live in Germany.

Among articles, cases, separable verbs and extremely long words it is hard for those who either need or simply want to learn it (it’s been proved the latter are 0,01% of the world population). Most people give up immediately, without even really starting, standing up from the Volkhochschule (VHS) chairs right after learning that together with a noun they need to memorize also the correct article. Even more give up after learning that there are no proper rules to know if a noun is feminine, masculine or neuter.

 

Approaches vary.

Some manage to overcome the first obstacles and they are content with a very limited vocabulary sufficient to survive without losing their mind. A rare few are brave enough (and to them my admiration!) to try and assimilate everything they can of this multi-faceted language. Nevertheless, there are such direct and common words that it is impossible not to learn them even just by walking among Germans for a few hours. The most famous of them is without any doubt the word “Bitte”.

Now I will describe you a common scene. A mother and her child enter a café and go to the counter. You are there, with your hot and sweet coffee, waiting to finish it, get out and have a smoke, when the child, encouraged by an over-excited mother, asks the barista, “Could I have a glass of water?”

A reasonable barista would just take a glass, fill it with water and pass it to the child, dismissing him in ten seconds. Considering that baristas are not always reasonable, this specific one exclaims, “What is the magic word?”

Disaster!

 

The child is dumbstruck. He really doesn’t know the magic word. He looks around, speechless and disoriented. His mother is tomato-red from the embarrassment. She knows the magic word, but she cannot give him a hint so she stays silent.

Recognizing the awkwardness of the situation, the barista tries to help him, “Pl…?”

Faced by this insistence and inability to prepare a glass of water without asking weird questions, shyer kids would tearfully close themselves off, give up drinking for the next few years and regret the good old days when attaching themselves to their mother’s breast was sufficient to quench their thirst. The bolder ones would maybe try to make a joke, to tease and make fun of the barista.

In both situations, the barista could do nothing but raise the white flag and say with an endearingly fake smile, “Please! The magic word is please!”

 

A scene like this one would be unheard of in Germany.

If you were to tell it to a German they would say you are delusional or maybe simply too cynical.
German kids understand the use of the word “Bitte” even before they are born. It’s one of the first genetic upgrades to happen in the belly. So natural that when first the nurse spanks the newborn baby, he glares at her with an implicit dry “Bitte?!”. When a German child asks for an ice-cream or a glass of water he adds his nice “Bitte” automatically. He does not realize that he is using a “magic word” that could create tension, embarrassment and guilt in mothers concerned with the right way to educate their children.

A multipurpose word…

 

“Bitte” can be translated with both “please” and “you are welcome” and it is this important double translation that makes it one of the first words we learn, together with the frequency of its use.

One of those useless American universities between Massachussets and Alberobello did an even more useless study on German practices. According to it, the use of the word “Bitte” is the third most common practice after drinking Apfelschorle and ringing the bicycle bell, standing at a solid 87.5%. I heard personally someone using the “Bitte” before starting a violent fight, complete of kicks and punches. I cannot imagine the same thing happening in my city of birth, Neaples, and the mere idea of someone starting a fight with the equivalent of “Bitte” makes me laugh.

…and with many variations

Very important for Germans is not only the use of the word “Bitte”, but also of its most common variations: “Bitte schön” and “Bitte sehr”.

Cashiers are definitely professionals of the use of the word “Bitte”. They are so used to it that it is likely that they are all having therapy for excessive politeness. Even their voice tone is such that the “Bitte” always comes out the same with every client. Last week a LIDL cashier managed to repeat it one thousand times in one shift and as a reward they received a new conveyor belt on which the shopping slides wonderfully.

Servers are instead specialists of the “Bitte schön”. It is often used together with its big brother “Danke schön” with which clients thank them for the service. At this point, a dialogue ensues, which resemble closely the tweeting of birds in love one can find in Tiergarten. This is part of living I Germany and it is not rare to find servers so experienced that they can express different emotions just by lengthening the “ö” and transforming it in something resembling a “Bitteschööööööön”.

Last but not least is “Bitte sehr”, a slightly more refined, elegant variation, fitting of a Mitte habitué or a gentleman who gives his seat to women on buses. Usually foreigners use it when they want to show they have at least a B1.1 in German.

One can never go wrong by using the “Bitte”.

 

It’s one of those wild cards like “ganz” that you can use freely without looking completely inept. The way one abuses this word is the same of such words as “genau” or “super!” or weird expressions like “Keine Anhung” or “auf jeden Fall”. You will find yourself using them when you expect it the least. And in the end, it doesn’t matter if you cannot get the intonation or the sentence structure wrong. The only thing is, whatever you do, you always remember to use “Bitte”.

FOTO © FRECH CC BY-SA 2.0

 

10 German words you need to know

Those who study or studied German in the past know that it is not an “impossible” language, but even an enjoyable challenge, as it tests us daily. Mark Twain, the American writer known for his troubled relationship with German, which he did not like, but found extremely stimulating, used to say, “My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years. It seems manifest, then, that the latter tongue ought to be trimmed down and repaired. If it is to remain as it is, it ought to be gently and reverently set aside among the dead languages, for only the dead have time to learn it.” Here we give you 10 German words that have no direct translation in English. It is thanks to these very words that we can better learn German culture. Every single word helps us not only to improve our vocabulary, but also to deepen our knowledge of a new world.

1. Sehnsucht
For those who study or studied literature and specifically German Romanticism this word has always been a subject of discussion. It comes from Old High German and it meant “sickness of the painful craving”. Nowadays it is sometimes translated with “nostalgia”, but in fact it is a nostalgia caused by the unknown something, the Romantic undefined. Nostalgia is the pain of going back, Sensucht instead can be both the pain caused by the craving for something in the future and towards something in the present.

2. Weltschmerz
Literally “the pain of the world”, Weltschmerz is that pain one feels when the real world cannot fulfill our expectations. The term was coined by German writer Jean Paul and instills a pessimistic world view.

3. Torschlusspanik
The literal translation of the term is “closed door panic” and it means that specific anxiety caused by a deadline and the knowledge of the passing of time and the need to act. The closed door is an opportunity and it stands for a missed chance that we could later regret.

4. Fernweh
How to translate this word? We could define this feeling as “nostalgia towards faraway lands”, in which this land is not our own birth land (in which case we would use Heimweh). Fernweh means the desire to pack and leave to discover faraway places to bring in your heart always.

5. Zweisamkeit
When one talks about loneliness, one thinks about a single person, isolated by others. Robert Musil in his “The Confusion of Young Törless” writes about coupledom and affirms that “to be in a couple is nothing more than a double loneliness”. Even spending most of the time with a partner, isolated from the rest of the world, means living in solitude. And yet, the two elements of the Zweisamkeit don’t complain because they feel complete.

6. Backpfeifengesicht
The meaning of this world is much more familiar than you would think. Do you know the kind of people you feel like slapping in the face just by looking at them? From today you can call them with the German term, instead of calling them “faces to slap”.

7. Feierabend
If you are ew in Germany and you just found a job, you will often hear your colleagues saying, “ich mache Feierabend” and you will wonder how come that they go partying every night without inviting you, while you go back home completely knackered. Feierabend in fact means that moment of the day when you can relax and dedicate yourself to something that is not work.

8. Reisefieber
Literally “travel fiever”, it means that anxiety that you feel before travelling, connected to packing and preparing the necessary documents. Not everybody suffers from this, but some will see themselves in the subject who suffers from Reisefieber and arrives at the airport three hours in advance after repeatedly weighing their luggage and checking their documents.

9. Vorfreude
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing said, “To look forward to pleasure is also a pleasure.” Vorfreude means exactly the foretaste of a pleasure that we are waiting for: it means to enjoy our dreams and expectations.

10. Waldeinsamkeit
Solitude of the forest”, it is that feeling you feel when you walk on your own through a forest. Waldeinsamkeit is a term very dear to the ascetic monastic and to German Romantic traditions that encouraged the reconciliation of man and nature.

Foto di copertina © pixabay.com CC BY SA 2.0

Summer School d’allemand

Vous en pouvez plus de passer votre été à rien faire ?  Vous aimerez profiter de ces mois de vacances pour améliorer votre niveau d’allemand, qui est aujourd’hui une langue de plus en plus importante dans le monde du travail ?
Vous aimerez bien passer quelques semaines à Berlin, ville célèbre pour son offre culturelle et artistique mais aussi pour les possibilités de divertissement nocturne ?

La Summer School de Berlino Schule est l’expérience d’étude-vacances qu’il vous faut.
Vous aurez la possibilité de fréquenter des cours super-intensifs de 5h par jour (du lundi au vendredi) durant deux semaines dans le quartier de Friedrichshain, un des quartiers les plus vivants et internationaux de ville. Un cours à la Berlino Schule coûte 268€ et accueille un maximum de 15 élève par cours. Cependant, si vous vous inscrivez à deux (ou plusieurs) cours vous ne payerez que 250€ par cours !

En plus Berlino Schule propose à ses étudiants plusieurs activités comme des tours guidés pour connaître la ville, ainsi que des activités du soir. Le but de ces activités est que les élèves se retrouvent dans une situation de « full immersion » qui leur permettra de découvrir la culture et langue allemande.
Vous ne pouvez pas vous rendre à Berlin ? Aucun problème !

Si vous ne pouvez pas fréquenter la Summer School à Berlin, ne vous inquiétez pas ! Nos enseignants sont disponibles pour vous donner de cours sur Skype. Contactez-nous pour planifier un cours d’essai.

Logement
Vous aimerez bien fréquenter la Summer School, mais la seule pensée de devoir trouver un logement à Berlin vous désespère ? Aucun souci ! Berlino Schule va vous aider : nous avons des accords avec des propriétaires d’appartements, ainsi qu’avec des hôtels et des auberges de jeunesse.
A cause de la forte demande cette solution ne sera parfois pas possible, mais ne vous inquiétez pas : nous vous aideront quand-même dans vos recherches ! Le prix du logement pour deux semaines est à partir de 270€.

Quand
Les cours de la Summer School débutent le 3 juillet et se terminent le 7 septembre. Ces seront divisés en blocs de deux semaines : du 2 au 13 juillet, du 16 au 27 juillet, du 30 juillet au 10 août, du 13 au 24 août, du 27 août au 7 septembre. Il y aura des cours matinaux (de 9.15h à 13.30h) et durant l’après-midi (de 14h à 18.15h).
Veuillez trouver ci-dessous la liste complète des cours.

Cours d’allemand : Tous les niveaux
Berlino Schule propose de cours pour tous les niveaux, à partir du niveau A1.1 (débutant) jusqu’au niveau C1.2 (niveau avancé). Si vous n’êtes pas sûr de votre niveau vous pouvez demander un interview (ou bien un colloque sur Skype) avec un de nos enseignant qui pourra déterminer votre niveau et vous permettre de vous inscrire dans le bon cours – tout cela gratuitement !

Opportunités de travail après la fin des cours
Vous aimerez bien vivre à Berlin ? Si vous obtenez le niveau C1 avec succès nous pouvons vous mettre en contact avec des entreprises qui travaillent dans le domaine du service à la clientèle. Tous les contrats respectent la loi (8,50€/h minimum) et peuvent être tant pour un travail à temps plein comme mi-temps.

Important :
1. Les 268€ couvrent exclusivement le prix du cours de langue. Le vol depuis votre ville de départ et le logement NE sont PAS inclus.
2. Aucune limite d’âge
3. Nous prenons soin des étudiants mineur EXCLUSIVEMENT durant les heures de cours.
4. Les élèves qui s’inscrivent à deux (ou plusieurs) cours payent que 250€ PAR cours.

 

COURS PAR DATE

JUILLET
Cours Matinaux (9.15h -13.30h)

A1.1: 2 JUILLET – 13 JUILLET
A1.2: 16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET
A2.1: 2 JUILLET – 13 JUILLET
A2.2: 16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET
B1.1: 2 JUILLET – 13 JUILLET
B1.2: 16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET

Après-midi (14h – 18.15h)
A1.1: 16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET
B2.1: 2 JUILLET – 13 JUILLET
B2.2: 16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET
C1.1: 2 JUILLET – 13 JUILLET
C1.2: 16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET

AOUT
Cours Matinaux (9.15h -13.30h)

A1.1: 30 JUILLET – 10 AOUT
A1.2: 13 AOUT – 24 AOUT
A2.1: 30 JUILLET – 10 AOUT
A2.2: 13 AOUT – 24 AOUT
B1.1: 30 JUILLET – 10 AOUT
B1.2: 13 AOUT – 24 AOUT

Après-midi (14h – 18.15h)
A1.1: 13 AOUT – 24 AOUT
A1.2: 30 JUILLET – 10 AOUT
A2.1: 13 AOUT – 24 AOUT
B2.1: 30 JUILLET – 10 AOUT
B2.2: 13 AOUT – 24 AOUT

SEPTEMBRE
Cours Matinaux (9.15h -13.30h)

A1.1: 27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE
A2.1: 27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE
B1.1: 27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE

Après-midi (14h – 18.15h)
A1.2: 27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE
A2.2: 27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE
C1.1: 27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE

 

COURS PAR NIVEAU
A1.1
2 JUILLET – 13 JUILLET (Matin)
16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET (Après-midi)
30 JUILLET – 10 AOUT (Matin)
13 AOUT – 24 AOUT (Après-midi)
27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE (Matin)

A1.2
16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET (Après-midi)
30 JUILLET – 10 AOUT (Après-midi)
13 AOUT – 24 AOUT (Matin)
27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE (Après-midi)

A2.1
2 JUILLET – 13 JUILLET (Matin)
30 JUILLET – 10 AOUT (Matin)
13 AOUT – 24 AOUT (Après-midi)
27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE (Matin)

A2.2
16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET (Matin)
13 AOUT – 24 AOUT (Matin)
27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE (Après-midi)

B1.1
2 JUILLET – 13 JUILLET (Matin)
30 JUILLET – 10 AOUT (Matin)
27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE (Matin)

B1.2
16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET (Matin)
13 AOUT – 24 AOUT (Matin)

B2.1
2 JUILLET – 13 JUILLET (Après-midi)
30 JUILLET – 10 AOUT (Après-midi)

B2.2
16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET (Après-midi)
13 AOUT – 24 AOUT (Après-midi)

C1.1
2 JUILLET – 13 JUILLET (Après-midi)
27 AOUT – 7 SEPTEMBRE (Après-midi)

C1.2
16 JUILLET – 27 JUILLET (Après-midi)

Nos enseignants et leur méthode
Tous nos cours sont tenus en allemand par des enseignants avec beaucoup d’expériences certifiées. Cette méthode se base sur la conviction que nos élèves ont besoin d’une vraie immersion linguistique pour qu’ils puissent assimiler la langue de façon la plus efficiente possible. Cependant, nous essayons toujours de ne pas mettre nos élèves trop sous-pression : nos enseignants répètent tous les concepts dans chaque module. L’élève ne doit donc pas se sentir « submergé » par les nombreuses notions de la langue allemande.

Où se trouve la Berlino Schule
Le centre de langue se trouve au 29, Gryphiustraße. Nous nous trouvons à Friedrichshain, un des quartiers les plus jeunes et sûrs de Berlin. La gare de métro la plus proche est celle de Ostkreuz, mais vous pouvez aussi descendre à Samariterstraße ou bien Warschauer Straße.
Près de la Berlino Schule il y a plusieurs restaurants dans lesquels vous pourrez goûter des plats typiques de partout dans le monde ou bien boire un verre après la fin des cours.

Pour s’inscrire ou pour plus d’informations
Ecrivez-nous par courriel info@berlinoschule.com
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240€, two months classes: the evening German courses starting in March at Berlino Schule

To adventure in the maze of the German language means also to crash against rigid rules and complex grammar structures that could initially put you off wanting to learn this language.

That is why it is important to rely on the right people: Berlino Schule continues offering German courses taught by qualified teachers who have been teaching for years in a stimulating environment. The courses will take place in classes of maximum 15 participants. An attendance certificate will be granted on request at the end of the course.

Evening German courses starting in December at the Berlino Schule

Evening German courses are starting on 12th and 13th March at Berlino Schule and they will last 8 weeks, for a total amount of 48 hours: classes will take place 2 days a week (Mo & Wed or Tue & Thu), 3 hours per day.

A1.1 (German for beginners). The evening German course for beginners (A1.1) will start on 13th March and classes will take place 2 days per week, Tuesday and Thursday, 3 hours a day from 19.15 to 21.40 (an hour coincides with a 45-minutes didactic unit, as established by the Common European Framework of Reference). The course is targeted to whoever wants to learn the fundamentals of the German language. The price of the course is 240€ euros.

A1.2 The evening German course A1.2 will start on 12th March and classes will take place 2 days per week, Monday and Wednesday, 3 hours a day from 19.15 to 21.40 (an hour coincides with a 45-minutes didactic unit, as established by the Common European Framework of Reference). The price of the course is 240€ euros.

A2.2 The evening German course A2.2 will start on 12th March and classes will take place 2 days per week, Monday and Wednesday, 3 hours a day from 19.15 to 21.40 (an hour coincides with a 45-minutes didactic unit, as established by the Common European Framework of Reference). The price of the course is 240€ euros.

B1.2 The evening German course B1.2 will start on 13th March and classes will take place 2 days per week, Tuesday and Thursday, 3 hours a day from 19.15 to 21.40 (an hour coincides with a 45-minutes didactic unit, as established by the Common European Framework of Reference). The price of the course is 240€ euros.

C1.1 The evening German course C1.1 will start on 12th March and classes will take place 2 days per week, Monday and Wednesday, 3 hours a day from 19.15 to 21.40 (an hour coincides with a 45-minutes didactic unit, as established by the Common European Framework of Reference). The price of the course is 240€ euros.

Prices and enrollment

A 20€ enrollment fee is going to be added to the price of every single course the first time you attend a course at Berlino Schule every year. Moreover, it is possible to enroll in a course that has already begun prior consent of the school and the condition that the class is not already filled up.

Where

At Berlino Schule/Berlino Magazine, in Gryphiusstr. 23, in Friedrichshain, one of the best, safest and most lively Berlin neighbourhoods, in addition to being two minutes away from the East Side Gallery, the longest Wall segment still standing and one of the main touristic attractions in Berlin.

Course calendar

Berlino Schule offers courses for everyone: intensive, evening and conversation ones. The whole language offer is available on the official school website.

Consult here the complete German courses calendar of Berlino Schule.
Contact us here for info and to enroll: info@berlinoschule.com or consult the berlinoschule.com website.

10 German words that every language should have

They say that the language of a nations reflects its culture and mentality, even more so if there are words that can’t be directly translated in other languages.

 

These are precisely the most interesting words to study or observe with attention because they allow us to really grasp a different culture and norms. So here are 10 beautiful and intricate German words to learn:

#10 SCHILDERWALD

A forest of road signs. So many road signs that you’ll get confused by all the directions indicated and get lost.

#9 KOPFKINO

To have a mental movie going on. Well, to whom did it never happen? Imagining in our head the best and worst scenarios we would say.

#8 LUFTSCHLOSS

In English we would say “to build castles in the air”. Something desired, but far away from reality: a project or idea that can be hardly achievable.

#7 SCHNAPSIDEE

That crazy idea that you will get in a moment of absolute euphoria, at times caused by an excessive consumption of alcohol. Genius ideas that might reveal to be a total disaster or an acclaimed success.

#6 AHNUNGSLOSIGKEIT

The lack of knowledge, opinions, awareness. According to the context it might indicate being naive, ignorant or ingenuity.

#5 FINGERSPITZENGEFUEHL

An immediate awareness and empathy with our surroundings, that allows us to respond promptly and diplomatically.

#4 STREBEN

The origin of the term resides in the German romantic period, when this word indicated the detachment from everyday life to reach that intangible level of perfection. Today the term indicates the effort and determination required to fullfill one’s ambitions.

#3 GEBORGENHEIT

Most of the dictionaries translate this term simply as “certainty”. In reality there are many more nuances that go over and across the meaning of this word: an incredible combination of certainty, protection and intimacy derived from relations with others, in particular your family.

#2 VERSCHLIMMBESSERN

Making a situation worst in the attempt of making it better. Like trying to fix that bad haircut at home on your own..

#1 WANDERLUST

The desire to leave. That uncontrollable itch that makes you want to travel and explore the world, see new places and make new experiences.

————

Are you getting intrigued by the German language or wish to refine your vocabulary? Then take a look at the German courses that Berlino Schule organizes! 

10 indispensable dialectal terms if you are in Bavaria

A rich region, cities full of history, gorgeous forests, and beer flowing to rivers. These are just some of the reasons why a visit to Bavaria is a must. As a nice article by The Local recalls, Bavaria is a bit of a world in itself and, as such, it has its own specific language: Bairisch (or Boarisch, in Austro-Bavarian).

Incomprehensible to the profane – even those not fasting from Hochdeutsch, the German standard – Bavarian dialect is an indispensable element to live fully in Munich and the surrounding area. Here, there are newspapers and television broadcasts in Bairisch, which are sometimes hard to understand even for a northern German, and certain terms, at least the basic ones, can be useful for getting in touch with locals more easily. We chose ten of them, just to give you an idea.

 

Medieval greetings: Grüß Gott and Servus.

The Bavarians have their own way to greet each other. Forget the Hallo and Guten Tags that you learned in school and unlock the religious Grüß Gott, literally “greeting God”, but translatable as “good morning” or “hello”. Or, if you want some other feudal suggestion, you can use Servus, literally “slave”. A greeting formula that can be used even to say goodbye to someone.

 

Buam and Madln, ladies and gentlemen.

Sometimes you can find these two terms on the toilet door, and if you miss the pictures, you may get confused. So, better to know that Buam is used for men, Madln for ladies.

Dirndl and Lederhosen: the traditional clothes.

You will have seen them a thousand times, at the Oktoberfest or any in any stereotyped representation of Bavaria, but you never remember the precise name. Well, the Dirndl is the typical gown of the Bavarian (and also Austrian) ladies, while the Lederhosen (which, strictly speaking, is not a dialectical term) are the traditional leather pants worn by the young.

Fesch, or “attractive” or even “fresh”

It is the equivalent of the German standard hübsch. You could, for example, hear it in conjunction with Madl in a phrase like Ja mei, was für ein fesches Madl ! : “What a beautiful girl!”

 

Schmarrn, if someone says nonsense.

The Schmarrn (or Schmarren) is originally a dish (similar to a pancake) but, figuratively, it is also used as a derogatory expression, to mean “nonsense”, when someone is saying something unwise or fake .

 

The equivalent of oder: Gell.

As you may know if you have been living somewhere in Germany, Germans usually used “oder?” or more colloquially, “ne?” at the end of the sentence to stimulate the response of others. It is the equivalent of our “or not?”, “is not it?” Even in this case the Bavarians stand out, and their particle for this function is “gell”.

 

I mog di, or “I like you”.

f you are talking to a Buam or a Madln really fesch and want to declare it, you will need to use these simple words: I mog di, “I like you”. It will not be too hard to remember, given the similarity with the Hochdeutsch, Ich mag dich.

When you leave: Pfiat of.

Probably, in your opinion, you will be accustomed to the classic Tschüß or Hello. In Bavaria, they use as usual a formula that has a religious etymology: Pfiat of, which literally meant “God Protect You”. Anyways it is a nice way to say hello, right?

 

Give your consent: freilich.

Those who live in northern Germany, you will be used to give your consent or approval after a question by using terms like natürlich – of course – or selbstverständlich – obviously, of course. In Bavaria you will need to reset on freilich. A bit of patience.

 

Maß, the Bavarian beer unit.

To what do you think it equates to? One liter, of course. Do not try to get a beer below the Maß, or you might as well not drink at all.

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Are you getting intrigued by the German language or wish to refine your vocabulary? Then take a look at the German courses that Berlino Schule organizes! 

5 German expressions that you won’t forget easily

Are you studying the language of the devil and you don’t know to which saint to turn to anymore? No panic! We put together an exhaustive list of common German expressions that you will hardly forget. So close your grammar books and follow us!

 

1. Arschgeige (r. Arsch = ass, e. Geige = violin); literal translation, dipstick / dipshit/ arsehole

The typically German mastery of composing and using of composite words is known throughout the world. Our teutonic hosts have invented all sorts of these, both when sober and under the influence of susbstances. Arschgeige belongs to the second group.

2. Arschbombe (r. Arsch = ass, e. Bombe = bomb); literal translation, cannon ball

We continue the list of composite words with “ass”. And no, it is not referring to the effects of lactose on your flatmate, but to the jumping in the water in a cannon ball.

3. Arschloch (r, Arsch = ass, s. Loch = hole); literal translation, asshole / twat and so on

Yes, if you hear someone calling you an Arschloch you have every right to get mad.

4. Ich habe die Nase voll davon; literal translation, my nose is full / I’ve had enough

From the ass to the nose. This nice and colorful expression is used to describe situations, people, places, things, cities, etc. of which one has had enough of. It is a highly versatile and effective expressive.

5. Null – acht – fünfzehn; literal translation, zero – eight – fifteen

Did you know? Even with numbers you can say so many things in German. Especially if their combination refers to a heavy machine gun used by the German army in World War I. Surely you will have seen it in some documentary or vintage movie, but what you may not know is that in 1914 the infantry’s army’s automatic weaponry was about 12,000 more than the one in the other armies. The Germans were so fond of using the model number as an expression to indicate not an erotic position, but a mediocre person. Evidently the gun did not work very well.

 

Cover Photo: © Nina Helmer CC BY-NC ND 2.0


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Brad Pitt nominated as testimonial of the German language in the world. Here’s why.

Throughout his career Brad Pitt has been called a lot of things, but surely he missed the title of being “a promoter of the German language”.

When not busy with the big screen or with humanitarian actions, the actor added another talent to his extensive curriculum. We are talking about the nomination to the tile of Sprachwahrer for the year 2014, an initiative promoted by the notorious German newspaper “Deutsche Spachwelt”. The award was given to someone that has demonstrated its dedication to the language, giving it value and merit. We can therefore define them as “language promoters”.

The actor, that has distant German origins, is in fact one of the most famous German scholars as well as a regular visitor of the country. We recall Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” of 2009 that was shot in the studios of Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam. Estimator of the Teuronic art, he expresses with enthusiasm his passion for the language by saying “I like German, I even find it beautiful and melodious” as reported in Kölner Express.

The title is, however, very controversial and amongst the other formidable contenders we remember: Monika Gruber, the German cabaretist famous for her politically correct linguistic manipulation, Heike Diefenbach and Michael Klein with their battle fought with words and petitions, working towards an ideological and free scientific language. Last but not least Johannes Singhammer, vice-president of the German Parliament, appointed for his tireless actions in promoting the German language.

Amongst the winners of the previous editions we remember the Deutsche Bahn (the German railway), Loriot (a famous German comedian, in 2011) e pope Benedetto XVI (in 2005).

Photo © Red Romero Ramos CC BY SA 2.0


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How to memorize 18 German words without getting a headache

German continues to be a source of inspiration in many ways. The fact that it is still a cryptic language for many is not a novelty.

Learning German is for many an impossible task due to, amongst other things, the many consonants placed close to each other and the rigid pronunciation of words. The structure of the sentences, the syntax, still puts the most talented Germans in crisis. The Germans themselves often admit that they do not know the meaning of a term and therefore use the famous Richard Porson’s saying that “life is too short to learn German.”

German words

To make the whole thing even more grotesque is the (in)famous German morphology with its endless composite words, one of which has even entered the Guinness Book of Records as the longest word in the world: Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften (companies that provide legal assistance). And if long words were not enough, then there are those that in a few syllables contain a myriad of different meanings, impossible to synthesize in English in one word. Here is a list of the most bizarre and astrus ones selected by the site Fluentu!

 

18. Ohrwurm= earworm [for instance when you hear a song on the radio and can’t get it out of your mind throughout the whole day]

 

17. Fernweh= longing for a distant and unknown place

 

16. Kummerspeck= literally, grief bacon, in context it is having an emotional belly [or the need to eat to console your belly following a disappointment]

 

15. Innerer Schweinehund= inner pig/dog [it is that very powerful animal that lives within us that we must overcome when we have to do unpleasant things, like paying taxes and going for a jog at 6am before work]

 

14. Fremdschämen= feeling shame for someone else

 

13. Torschlusspanik= panic of the closed door [it is commonly employed to address a woman whose biological clock is ticking]

 

12. Treppenwitz= staircase joke [it occurs when the right joke comes to your mind when it’s too late, as if you have a pleasant meeting on the stairs and you have no time to say the right thing]

 

11. Lebensmüde= life tiredness

 

10. Weltschmerz= pain of the world

 

9. Weichei= soft egg [N.B. never say that to a waiter in Germany, for the actual meaning of the term is to address someone that is cowardly and has “soft balls”]

 

8. Backpfeifengesicht= face you would like to slap

 

7. Erklärungsnot= need to explain [have you been punished and didn’t even have the time to realize it? Then claim your Erklärungsnot!]

 

6. Sitzfleisch= seat meat [a character trait, to have big shoulders. For the German collective imagination it is like having a sac of meat on your seat due to an excessive state of boredom]

 

5. Purzelbaum= tumble tree [Somersault! Roll on the floor as if you were a piece of tree trunk]

 

4. Dreikäsehoch= three, cheese, above [a term for children employed towards that kid in the class that is taller compared to others, as tall as three pieces of cheese on top of another]

 

3. Zungenbrecher= tongue twisters [read about hilarious German tongue twisteres here]

 

2. Schattenparker= shadow parker [are you trying to be smart and park your car in the shade to protect it from the heat? This term is not actually meant as a compliment, but more as an insult]

 

1. Kuddelmuddel= unstructured mess

 

If you read until here and now your head is fully of screws and you are thinking that the German language is like a witty mosaic, an unstructured mess, then this is the word that you need right now.

 

Do not be discouraged, German is a very charming language and with some commitment everyone can succeed in mastering it. And studying German is also a good way to overcome the sense of Lebensmuedigkeit and stop using google translate which, let’s say it, never gets it right. And additionally to be taken for a Schattenparker that doesn’t commit does not please anyone. In the end, there are surely other Weltschmerz that are worse than learning German. After a thousand Kummerspecken overcome thanks also to the strength that you have gained by experiencing the Torschlusspanik, you can go out with your German friends and also take their order when you go to the restaurant. And this time without any of them feeling Fremdschämen for you.

You can finally be totally proud of having overwhelmed your Innerer Schweinehund. It is the same feeling of when, as a child, you felt so powerful after succeeding in a new intent. When you felt that you stood out like a Dreikäsehoch. You have gone a long way and now you have your Sitzfleisch. After a thousand nights spent on a thousand absurd Zungenbrecher until they become actual Ohrwurm. You will not be considered a Weichei anymore, and surely this time you will be able to talk to your new neighbors without fear of falling into any Treppenwitz. Except if it’s your girlfriend, in that case you’d risk a proper Backpfeifengesicht. Be careful not to combine any Kuddelmuddel or to use your Erklärungsnot!

If after all this you still want to stay and do not experience any sea sickness or Fernweh, there is nothing left to say or do than return to your inner child and gain thousands of well earned Purzelbaum!

Cover photo: © Alexandre Normand CC BY SA 2.0


Want to learn German in a vibrant environment? Look no further and check out the German courses that Berlino Schule organizes by clicking here!