Saturday, 27 February 2010

Exercise Tool

Want to design your own exercises. It's quite easy thanks to the University of Nottingham.

To go straight to the illustrate page click here

eating disorders and healthy diet

Discuss the causes of eating disorders and the importance of a healthy diet. Now there's a good topic for any one learning German.

What immediately comes to mind is which has a section on Gesund Essen. Following through to the Empfehlungen you'll find plenty of recommendations and links to other information sources.

What comes to mind with eating disorders - Essstörungen - are anorexia - die Magersucht - and bulimia - die Ess-Brech-Sucht. The latter illustrates some confusion about how to write words in German. It used to be Eß-Brech-Sucht but the ß has been replaced by ss and it is sometimes written as a single word without hyphens i.e. Essbrechsucht, or else as Ess Brechsucht. The easiest place to go for background reading is Wikipediaörung and that will also give you information about that wonderfully German sounding expression Binge Eating (note the capital letters). A further sources of information is Onmeda where you can look up all manner of things to do with health and illness. Bulimie and  Magersucht are both to be found via the Krankheiten A-Z  page.

Germany seems to have clubs and associations for everything and eating disorders is no exception. Take a look at BFE Bundes Fachverband Essstörungen e.V. They have a useful quick check page which, I think, will help with the discussion over the causes of eating disorders, so take a look at Test: Bin ich essgestört? and there are also Links für Betroffene und Angehörige. The following quote is from the BFE site

Essstörungen gehören in der westlichen Gesellschaft zu den häufigsten psychosomatischen Erkrankungen – mit mehr oder weniger deutlichem Suchtcharakter. Essstörungen äußern sich durch ein gestörtes Verhältnis zum Essen und zum eigenen Körper.

The numbers of people affected are much higher than I had expected. The figures for Germany are:  anorexia 100,000 people (90% young women) - bulimia 600,000 - binge eating about 2% óf the population. Warum sind Kinder aus sozial benachteiligten Familien fast doppelt so häufig betroffen wie Kinder aus der oberen sozialen Schichten?

Friday, 26 February 2010

Comment is limited

The Badische Zeitung has changed its discussion rules and it will no longer be possible for me to contribute to their online discussion using my online identity which they regard as a Fantasiename. But Jeckyll is who I am online. As it happens I've never joined discussion on Badische Zeitung so perhaps I'm being unreasonable complaining about feeling disenfranchised. It's almost as though free speech is being denied. Not that it really is, but I'm good at the irrational.

Their arguments are much more rational and set out under the heading Kommentieren Sie unter Ihrem richtigen Namen! But Jeckyll is my real name in the electronic world. First name and surname are for the paper world. I hope others don't follow their example. And yes, you can still use whatever name you like to comment on this blog and tell me what you think.

Giant Iceberg

Sydney (dpa) - Eine Jahrhundert-Kollision hat in der Antarktis einen gigantischen neuen Eisberg geschaffen. Der 78 Kilometer lange und bis zu 39 Kilometer breite Koloss brach von einer schwimmenden Gletscherzunge ab, nachdem ein anderer Rieseneisberg dagegen gekracht war.

Nothing to do with global warming this time. What influence is this likely to have on the ecosystem? Some seem to think it might influence the weather thousands of kilometers away but others suggest that's unlikely. To see the full report, from which the quote above is taken, go to Neuer Eisberg nach Jahrhundert-Kollision

Thursday, 25 February 2010

24 x Deutschland

Making sense of German political structures is a little bit easier thanks to a set of 24 articles with accompanying diagrams.

To see the accompanying article visit Bund, Länder und Kommunen and to access the others go to 24 x Deutschland The images are published under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.


I seem to be passing on information from other blogs this evening. This one comes from and points to the grammar theory available on Individual sections are available for download or print and the quickest way in is to go to the contents page Inhaltsverzeichnis zum Theoriebuch


Once again a useful tip on Cornelia's DaF-Blog under the heading Kontrovers. This points to Deutsche Welle articles and accompanying 5 minute audio pieces which present different topics from two different view points. Its always useful to get the main points and counter-arguments on any theme and learn how to express agreement and disagreement. I'm publishing this without checking in detail so do let me know what you think of Kontrovers.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Richard, who goes to the same German conversation class as me, plans to put his German to the test by sitting the AS exams this year. So we're going to focus our discussion each week on one of the exam subject themes. Next week we'll talk about addictions - alcohol, smoking, drugs, dieting and eating disorders.

The issue is very topical - ganz aktuell. American actress Lindsay Lohan, who narrowly avoided an untimely death because of  her drug and alcohol addiction, has just given an interview in London. She said that her heavy misuse had not helped with any of her problems. To read about this in German see Lindsay Lohan bereut ihre Sucht öffentlich in

I need to revise some vocabulary if we're to talk sensibly next week, so I've looked back at my old notes to find some words we might want to use.

addicted tosüchtig nach
the yearning fordie Gier nach
to consume (put away)einverleiben
compulsive behaviourdas Zwangsverhalten
to become a slave tosich versklaven lassen von
to go to pieces/ruinzu Grunde gehen

My notes had the last as zugrunde gehen but that changed with the new Rechtschreibung. If you want to say "go to ruin by means of" then you would have to add an. Which leads on nicely to what preposition to use following an adjective, noun or verb when talking about addictions.

dependent onabhängig von
to lead toführen zu
to resort togreifen zu
to get free ofloskommen von
addicted tosüchtig nach
necessary tonötig für
access toder Zugang zu
a surplus ofein Überangebot an
to have a tendency toneigen zu
the sale and possession ofDer Verkauf und Besitz von

Perhaps you could add your opinion as a comment, preferably in German. Was kann man für Süchtige tun, um ihnen zu helfen? Hilft Aufklärung und Warnung? Sollen die "weichen" Drogen legalisiert werden? Ist der Konsum von Alkohol ist ein größeres Problem als der Konsum von Drogen?

Monday, 22 February 2010

Deutsch Kurse im Internet

I've tried to provide a range of resources on Jeckylls Heft and courses were going to be the next big entry. But I've been beaten to it so take a look at this entry in I might yet do something that is more suited to those with English as their first language.


I've only just caught up with Stefan Niggemeier's post about Curling He's right. Nearly every time I see the Winter Olympics on TV it seems to feature curling. Of course, I've only seen this on BBC but the commentators do use a foreign language. Freezing the red doesn't make a lot of sense to me. They're doing it on ice - why isn't everything freezing?

But do have a look at what Stefan has to say. He's very amusing .... and a prolific blogger.

Switzerland in 60 seconds

Thanks to Cornelia Steinmann's DaF-Blog I now know Schweiz Tourismus has a series of over 70 excursion videos on Youtube. To see what she says - it's in German - visit Ausflugsvideos: die Schweiz in 60 Sekunden.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Archbishop's bones found in Magdeburg

Yet another grave in Magdeburg Cathedral has revealed its secrets. This time it looks like they are the mortal remains of an archbishop - sterbliche Überreste eines Erzbischofs. It's not yet clear which archbishop - any one of half a dozen possible candidates. The grave was constructed as part of building that predates the present cathedral. The bones may be those of Wichmann von Seeburg (around 1115-1192) but if I heard correctly when watching MDF1 TV news from 19 February there's speculation this could be Adalbert who was the first archbishop (in office 968-981).

Information and photos:

I previously wrote about graves in Magdeburg Cathedral back in January

Shop for new words

TV shopping channels are a great source for new vocabulary. The television shows communicate in fairly simple language and they are backed up by slick websites. Adverts and sales media are always useful for language learning. Because they seek to generate sales they readily get their message across ... not that I've ever been tempted to buy.

Take a look at HSE24 for a range of products. Click on TV if you want to see any of the programmes. Have you noticed how shoppen has replaced einkaufen in modern German? Do you shop online or buy from TV shopping channels?