did you know?

Komma nach der Gru√üformel?

komma-nach-der-grusformel

The answer is NO!

With great astonishment I found out that in german you should NEVER put a comma after the salutation in your letters and e-mails.

I remember I was in a german course and the topic was writting e-mails (formal or informal). And someone asked “should we put a comma after the salutation?” I thought “what a detail…so unimportant!”

How mistaken I was.

Many of us were so amazed and so sure we saw commas in our correspondance and we promissed to go back home and check it out. I did that the next day with many of the e-mails I received at work. Surprise! I couldn’t find any comma. Not even a single one but in the e-mails that I sent…

Since then, when I end my e-mails I alwas put a comma after the salutation… then I remember and delete it. ūüôā

 

Do you also want to make a business?

existenzgrundung

The ambition of making our own business is the dream of this century and of my generation. The main question that runs through our brain is:

How can I do something of my own?

Young people are very happiness-oriented nowadays … and they understand happiness as the freedom to work in something that gives them pleasure, that brings them further as an individual and that offers them the oportunity to learn continuously even from their own struggle and mistakes.

Long story short: I am one of them, I live in Germany and I decided to inform myself regarding entrepreneurship possibilities and support from the state.

In my search I came many times across the word Existenzgr√ľndung¬†that translates in english to business start-up. Yesterday I attended an exhibition organized by the IHK (Industrie- und Handelskammer) in M√ľnich. Here you can read more about it¬†ihkexistenz.de. There are many such exhibitions under different names in many cities around Germany. You just have to search for Gr√ľndermesse (Entrepreneur Fair).

Except of the many seminars and workshops held by different institutions of the state, banks, private companies and even universities there were also people which succeded in beeing self-employed and creating a business and wanted to share their experience. Actually all the 7 entreprenours that I met yesterday were women! Some of them realized even with 40 that their work in a company doesn’t offer them enough satisfaction anymore and they want to pursue a dream that was at the beginning only a hobby. It sounds easy but in reality it takes years to find out what we are good at and what is the need on the market that we can fulfill with our talents.

The most important conclusions that I reached yesterday and I want to share with you are:

♠ Information is power  Рonly like that you can put the puzzle together and understand how things work

‚ô• Get connected and stay in touch with people that share the same interests with you. They are the means to get information and even voluntary help.

One of the women entrepreneur presented us her “Fr√ľhst√ľcksSalon” where people can meet and share ideeas over a cup of coffee. If you live in Wiesbaden is probably a good oportunity.

 

Where to study german in M√ľnchen

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I have some experience with different courses in Germany and I want to share it with you. It may help.

1. Goethe Institut¬†– probably best known, not only in Germany but also international. Located at the moment (till beginning of 2017) in the M√ľnchen downtown, easy to reach by foot from Sendlinger Tor or Karlsplatz (Stachus).

Offers mainly good quality of courses (depends also on your luck what teacher you get) but a little too expensive. For example an evening course (Abendkurs) costs around 700‚ā¨. Some teachers prefer to work with a book, others more old style with papers made by themselves. I prefer this handouts to books because they concentrate on the essentials and are more easy to read after some time for a recap.

2.¬†DKFA¬†– Deutsch Kurse f√ľr Ausl√§nder

are courses offered by LMU (Ludwig Maximilian Universit√§t) and I find them the best deal. They are very good and cheaper than others. There are so many courses to choose from that is difficult to give an average price of a course. Check it out here¬†better. The courses are intended for people who want to study in german and need a certificate. That’s why I found the level of the people attending classes very good. Most of them are preparing an exam and are interested to learn quick and efficient. All teachers work with papers (no books) and the quality of the handouts is very good.

3. Volkshochschule

They offer different courses including Integration courses and even a bairisch course. Prices are decent. Around 300‚ā¨ pro course.

This is all what I experimented until now and, as I said, from all of them I would recommend the ones in DKFA because of the quality/price ratio.

Whatever you choose you can actually not be wrong. If you want to learn german you are already in the right place.

Good luck!

 

Deutsch perfekt

image

What to read when trying to improve your german? Novels, magazines, newspapers… There is enough choice but the difficulty of the articles may not fit your level.

We all ¬†tried to read a book with the dictionary. Each time you find a new word you search it immediately in the dictionary. After 2 such tries you quit… is too stressful and is not the right way to do it. At least for me was not an option, I don’t have the patience. I always prefered to read something even over my level of understanding and try to guess the meaning of the words from the context.

There is a magazine that was recommended to me long ago and that is specially made for people who want to learn german. Is called Deutsch perfekt and is made intelligent. It presents you articles in 3 categories: leicht (light), mittel (medium) and schwer (difficult). And the most important: it does the boring job for you Рsearching in the dictionary. All articles have certain words or even entire expressions explained right besides the text. They are even translated in 7 languages: english, spanish, french, italian, turkish, polish and russian! They have crosswords, grammar exercises with solutions and generally interesting articles about the DACH countries ( Germany D Austria A Switzerland CH).  You can check it out for yourselves on their webpage Deutsch perfekt.

Is published once per month and last time I bought one, in 2012 it cost 6.5‚ā¨ in Germany.

P.S.: for the ones which still prefer the dictionary, the best and mostly used digital one is¬†Leo¬†ūüėČ

 

1 Mai = Maibaum

IMG_2759

maibaum

When you think of waking up on Sunday, what do you dream of? Waking up late? with the smell of fresh coffee? or maybe breakfast (= das Fr√ľhst√ľck) in bed? or just relax and linger in bed until you get bored?

… but what about being woken up at 8 by the police ringing at your door?

This was our (hope) once in a lifetime, unique experience on Sunday 1 Mai, one week ago. First thought (= der erste Gedanke) that passed through my brain: who rings at this hour??? …Answer: the Police! Second thought that passed through my brain: what in the world could we have done so wrong? Answer: we parked exactly in front of the place where the Maibaum will be placed. What is Maibaum?!?? Answer: a tree (= der Baum).

(der) Mai = May (the month)

(der) Maibaum = the Maypole

Am vorletzten Sonntag wurde der Maibaum aufgestellt. 

The second last Sunday, the Maypole was erected.

In Germany and Austria the maypole (or Maibaum) is a tradition going back to the 16th century. It is a decorated tree usually painted in the Bavarian colours of white and blue and decorated with emblems depicting local crafts and industry.

source: Wikipedia

The folk festival of Maibaum is my favourite. I remember first time I attended such a celebration I didn’t have any ideea about what should be going on. I came in a small village (das Dorf) in Bavaria and I saw some people pushing up slowly a tree, traditional bavarian music was played by a band dressed in traditional bavarian clothing (Dirndl & Lederhosen) and people were sitting in the middle of the closed, main road of the village drinking beer (das Bier) and eating home-made (hausgemacht) cakes (der Kuchen (sg.), die Kuchen (pl.)) .

So, in the picture you see the Maibaum that costed us a fine of 15 Eur + 2h of sleep.

The Berliner are (not) in Berlin, the Krapfen are in Bayern

donut

 

Berliner = doughnut

(der) Krapfen = doughnut

Did you know that in Germany there are different words for doughnut?

Well…yes! In different parts of Germany they have different names. Take a look on this¬†doughnut map.¬†The funny part is that in Berlin they are called “Berliner Pfannkuchen” and shorter only “Pfannkuchen”.

Pfannkuchen = pancakes

Yes, I know is confusing (es ist verwirrend)…You may think “if I order this what do I get? Doughnuts? Pancakes? ” Anyhow, as a conclusion I can tell you if you ask for Pfannkuchen in Berlin you will get doughnuts, if you ask for Pfannkuchen in M√ľnchen you will get pancakes. In¬†M√ľnchen the doughnuts¬†are called “Krapfen”.

Remember John F. Kennedy’s speech in 1963 in Berlin?

John F. Kennedy‘s words “Ich bin ein Berliner” are standard German for “I am a Berliner”. Mentioned in Len Deighton‘s 1983 novel Berlin Game, an¬†urban legend has it that due to his use of the indefinite article ein, Berliner is translated as “jelly doughnut”, and that the population of Berlin was amused by the supposed mistake. This is wrong, when leaving out ein, the meaning only changes slightly. The normal convention when stating a nationality or, for instance, saying one is from Berlin, would be to leave out the indefinite article ein.

However, Kennedy used the indefinite article here correctly to emphasize his relation to Berlin.[5][6] Additionally, the word Berliner is not used in Berlin to refer to the Berliner Pfannkuchen. These are simply called Pfannkuchen there[7] and therefore no one from Berlin would mistake Berliner for a pastry.

                                                                                                                                    Source: Wikipedia, link

People wondered: in Hamburg he would have said: Ich bin ein Hamburger?