The glitter revolution

Living in Germany is great. I’ve talked to quite a few expats in recent times, most of whom confirmed that they have made a conscious choice of living here based on the standard of living, quality of life, benefits for families, social security and so on. There’s plenty to love about this beautiful country. However, one thing strikes many foreigners about Germans. What annoying quality might I be talking about? Read more

Musical hat-trick

Hat-trick (noun): three points, goals, etc. scored by the same player in a particular match or game; three successes achieved by one person (‘to score a hat-trick’). Word origin: late 19th cent.: originally referring to the club presentation of a new hat (or some equivalent) to a bowler who took three wickets successively in cricket. (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/hat-trick?q=hattrick, retrieved on 4 Oct 2019) Read on to learn more about the hat-trick I’m referring to. Read more

This is it

I’ve joked about it a few times and now it’s been reality for a good year already: my English husband officially became my English-German husband. After an eleven-month trekking trip through the jungle of application deadlines, waiting periods and scraping together of long-forgotten pieces of paper, Mr K is officially Herr K. For those of you with a Brexit-induced interest in self-Germanisation, here are some of our experiences… Read more

The Mouse

Every country has its famous kids’ TV programmes. When I was in Gymnasium, one of my German teachers told the teenage class, much to the latter’s incredulous amusement, that his favourite TV programme of all times was Die Sendung mit der Maus, a kids’ show. Learn more about this ominous mouse and why it’s still all the rage today… Read more

Fresh fruit salad

One, two, three, four, Mary at the cottage door. Five, six, seven, eight, eating cherries off a plate. Thus goes an English nursery rhyme. But who picked the cherries Mary is innocently eating here? And do Germans pick cherries too? Read more on cherries and other proverbial fruit… Read more

Advent adventure

As my fellow observer of the German culture Adam Fletcher writes in his new book How To Be German – Part 2, Christmas is serious business in Germany. And it all starts with the run-up to Christmas, which is Adventszeit (Advent season). There are certain things any self-respecting German should do. Here’s a bit of Adventiquette… Read more

Troubled transport

The other day I was working in Mainz, and a colleague on my team asked me if I had ‘mit der Bahn gekommen’. Indeed I had. But what do Germans mean when they say Bahn? And where do ice trains come from or go to? Come and join me on a railway journey through the land of trrrävelling… Read more

Mushy speak

Among the many things that can cause confusion – generally in this world, but in particular to persons like many of yourselves, dear readers, who live in a country where the main language is not their mother tongue – are words that sound the same but mean something entirely different in two languages. Here’s why you should never bring a ‘gift’ to a German home. Read more

Don’t Fräulein me!

Recently, I watched Season 5 of Homeland. (In British English, it used to be “Series 5” – and while people still say this, the American version of Staffel is slowly taking over.) This latest series of Homeland (and in my personal view best one yet) being based in Berlin, I was flummoxed by a few rather striking blunders. Here’s what Homeland doesn’t get quite right about Germany. (Spoiler alert!) Read more

Gendering German

It’s not easy to be English these days. First the Brexit shock, then being kicked out of EURO 2016 by a country that previously didn’t even exist on the European football map. Now you poor lads and lasses really have to take a lot of grief from your German and Icelandic friends. But cheer up! After the match is before the match, as Sepp Herberger once remarked. So let’s keep playing and look at a particular linguistic oddity in football. Read more