Wednesday, 11 August 2010


In many parts of Germany and Austria it's not enough to speak standard German - Hochdeutsch - you may also need some understanding of the local dialect. It's more than just variations in accent, some words are different. Listening to regional radio broadcasts or watching TV can help tune the ear but speaking probably needs the experience of living in a place for some time. I came across an interesting Austrian article on the subject of the need for migrants to learn dialect as well as standard German - Der Dialekt als Hindernis beim Deutschlernen in

Wer in Kursen Deutsch gelernt hat, scheitert dennoch oft im täglichen Umgang mit Menschen, die Dialekt sprechen. Experten empfehlen daher die Einbeziehung regionaler Dialekte in die Ausbildung von Migranten.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

TV licensing in Germany

I was surprised to learn that in Germany you have to pay for a fee for every TV and radio receiver. The licence fee is paid monthly and not annually as in Britain. There has also been some uncertainty about whether to include PCs and smartphones capable of receiving broadcasts. It's all going to change in 2013 - Die Rundfunkgebühr in Deutschland soll auf eine neue Basis gestellt werden - according to a report I read today Ein Haushalt, eine Rundfunkgebühr You can also see a video report on the same subject.

You may come across the initials GEZ in relation to the licence fee. This is explained fully on

Die Gebühreneinzugszentrale der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten ist eine Gemeinschaftseinrichtung der ARD-Landesrundfunkanstalten, des Zweiten Deutschen Fernsehen (ZDF) und des Deutschlandradio. Ihre Aufgabe besteht darin, die Rundfunkgebühren einzuziehen.

Monday, 9 August 2010


Looking for reading material to help you learn German? Try Focus magazine which makes all its past issues freely available online - Focus Archiv