Happy holidays

If you happened to be on the verge of moving to Germany and had to pick a place to live, what would be your checklist to go by? Cost of renting? Climate? Food? Hospitality? These are certainly all important factors. But if you fancy as much time off work as possible, here’s a little secret that might help you decide. Read more

Smelly Pee Season

Dear Brits in Germany, relax, take a deep breath, you’ll live! Those of you who’ve lately noticed a certain physiological phenomenon to do with body fluid evacuation and were about to consult their doctor for fear of a rare, deadly disease, let me tell you a story about a fellow hypochondriac. One day in May, several years ago, my English husband approached me, doom-faced, and mentioned, in confidence, that his urine smelled funny. He was sure he wasn’t going to last much longer on this earth. I laughed. Wicked wife that I am. Here’s why… Read more

How to become a German

It’s happened! My valuable source of English quirkiness is henceforth lost. I regret to inform you, dear readers, that Mr K, formerly known as ‘My English Husband’, has now reached the ultimate stage of naturalisation. On Wednesday, 6 April 2016, at 11:49 hrs, he bought a Jack Wolfskin all-weather jacket. Meanwhile he has received a ‘welcome-to-the-club’ letter from Angie. Read more

Raven mothers

The other night I went out with a new German friend who had not long returned after living in the US for several years. When I asked her how she found life in Germany, she said the most difficult thing to do here was being a mother. I was intrigued and asked her to elaborate… Read more

The name

At times, the smallest word can make a world of difference. We’ve looked at the indefinite article before (‘Ich bin ein Berliner’). Today, let’s look at the power of the definite article. Not thrilled? Wait ‘till you meet Birgit! Read more

You can say ‘you’ to me

When my English husband first learned German, he told me time and again of his dilemma to choose between the formal Sie and the informal du when addressing someone. To his great disappointment, I was unable to offer him a clear-cut set of rules. Let’s look at some examples and try to find out more… Read more

Magnum in distress

As most of you know, in Germany films are dubbed (see “An mein Ohr kommt nur Wasser und O-Ton”). So on TV and in most cinemas, Daniel Craig and Jennifer Lawrence speak German while their lips form English words. But of course, this being Germany, voice-overs are not services purchased randomly for each film project. No, there is method in this madness. Read on and see for yourself what this entails and why Herr Lehmann is not just a good book. Read more

Germans are everywhere

During my time in Australia, some of which I spent travelling around the country, I realised that there’s no escape. I was picturing a secluded part of the world, literally the furthest away from my home country, where I would be left in peace and have a chance to immerse myself into a different culture, completely unfettered by my roots, for a while. But no! Read more

Mogelpackung

Last week, we looked at ‘squeaky bum time’ as a potential candidate for a loan word in German. The beautiful German word ‘Mogelpackung’ would be an excellent choice for a loan word in other languages. What exactly is a Mogelpackung and what does it have to do with citrus fruit? Read more

Gobbledegook

Learners of German have quite a cross to bear. Not only are they studying a language with complicated grammar and tons of irregularities and exceptions, but they are also incessantly told so by pitying native speakers of that language. Now here’s something new. Even German has a silver lining! Read on, and I’ll let you in on a big secret. Read more