Friday, 10 September 2010

Occupational haphazard

Every job has its own peculiar vocabulary or uses more common words in a different way. And, of course, many jobs involve tools that you may not be able to name in your own language. I regularly follow the BR Alpha careers series Ich mach's
Mehr als 350 Berufe im Dualen System, dazu kommen Lehrstellen bei Behörden und der Bahn, außerdem locken Fachschulen mit ihren Abschlüssen: Doch welche Ausbildung in Betrieb und Berufsschule ist für wen richtig? "Ich mach's!" bringt es auf den Punkt.
The latest podcast was Siebdrucker/in and one of the words I heard used was die Rakel. I imagined this would be spelled Rackel and when I couldn't find that in my Oxford-Duden I tried Rachel. I don't often get caught out on spelling but I was this time. I found the correct spelling by looking up Siebdruck in Wikipedia. Apparently Rakel comes from the French racle. In screen-printing - Siebdruck - it's has a rubber edge and is used to press the ink through the screen - in other words, it's a squeegee. In other forms of printing die Rakel is metal and I think it's sometimes called a doctor blade and makes sure there's not too much ink on the roller.

The previous podcast from Ich mach's was Binnenschiffer/in and there were a few words that stood out for me. To unload a ship is löschen. Upstream is zu Berg and downstream is zu Tal. An example of usage is Am 23.03.2010 waren wir mit unserer Harmonie auf der Elbe zu Tal. Es war ziemlich windig - The example is from YouTube.

I couldn't listen to the sound of diesel motors all day so it's not the job for me but inland shipping is important in Germany and involves the best part of 5000 vessels.

Monday, 6 September 2010


Remember Monty Python's Flying Circus? There's a computer programming language that get's its name from this famous BBC TV series. Python is not named for a snake but the programme. I've let learning something of this language distract me from learning German this last week so I decided to see what there is in German about the language. The Python wiki lists German language resources and I also found a useful blog Having looked at this again just now I find Monty Python gets a mention as well:
Python ist eine moderne, objektorientierte Programmiersprache. Sie wurde von Guido van Rossum entwickelt und nach der berühmten Comedy-Truppe "Monty Pythons Flying Circus" benannt (und nicht nach der - ebenfalls berühmten - Schlange)