Friday, 4 June 2010


For the last few weeks I've been putting books in boxes and have even let several hundred go to charity shops. I've kept my German books but most are already packed. Not much time for reading - or blogging just now. We've been almost nine years in our current house and it's surprising how much we've collected that we now don't think we'll need. We're going to move in mid-July. The house we are moving was let until earlier this week and now we've got it back we are busy stripping wallpaper and decorating.

I don't know much about moving house in German speaking countries nor the vocabulary I need to talk about it. So I've done the usual and looked online. I found a series of checklist that can be viewed online and printed or else download as PDF files. The link to find these is and as it says at the start of this page:
Einen Umzug zu organisieren ist nicht so einfach. So ein Umzug erfordert nämlich geschick in der Planung und in der Ausführung. Besonders nützlich und deshalb beliebt sind unsere Checklisten, mit denen Sie Umzüge einfach und bequem planen können. Umzug leicht gemacht!
The checklists cover viewing the new home; organising the move; telling banks, insurance, etc. about your new address; notifying the authorities. The same site also offer Umzugtipps.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Hypocrisy - a joke

There are three words for hypocrisy in German - Scheinheilichkeit, Heuchelei, Hypokrisie. All three are feminine nouns. The first is about pretending to be virtuous, the others are more about dissimulation (disguising intentions or attitudes). I found an amusing little joke about this "Fritzchen, kannst du mir den Begriff Heuchelei erklären?"  Beware, some of the other jokes on the site lack taste and users' comments can be oppressively sexist. Nevertheless, joke sites do give you little snippets of language in a playful manner that can make learning fun.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Germans and Americans Talk

Cornelia's DaF-Blog recommends 'Germans and Americans Talk', a project from the University of Texas. This is a series of interviews covering a range of themes highlighting some cultural differences. Most of the interviews are available as audio files with transcriptions and English transcriptions. There are also some vocabulary sheets. Cornelia points out that some of these are a little dated and she also brings us up to date on the use of du rather than Sie in workplaces in Switzerland and discusses the use of credit cards. It's worth reading what she has to say in Germans and Americans Talk - Interkulturelle Vergleiche and she gives a link through to the Unversity of Texas project.