Kultur 6 – Pheebe

In the first article, the author talks about how Martin Luther affected Germany as a whole. First of all, the article mentions that even though Germans are not particularly religious, Lutheranism has shaped the German language, mentality, and how they live. The aesthetics, such as architecture and furniture styles, and the music, such as orchestra, are all influenced by Martin Luther. One of the interesting facts is that Germany has the second-largest book market after America because Luther translated Bible into German and wanted everyone to read. Even though he had made many positive impacts in Germany, the author ended the article with negative qualities ascribed to Germans. He insisted on separating spiritual and worldly authorities, which attributed to German’s legendary obedience. The rigid moralism makes Germans hard to deal with sometimes.

The second article talks about Bild Zeitung, which is a very popular primary source of news for Germans. However, it usually contains a lot of sexual and “twisted” politician news. It is mentioned in the article that the motto of this paper is actually Bild Dir Deine Meinung, which can be translated as “we form your opinion so you don’t have to.” Even though it includes many disturbing facts and news, it is in fact extremely popular in Germany. I personally can kind of understand that because at my home country, we have a kind of magazine that has all the “gossips” and paparazzi shots of famous celebrities. Many people in fact enjoy reading it and it is one of the most popular magazines in the country. However, I always consider Germans as more serious and conservative comparing to people from other countries.

The next article talks about how in Germany, people usually have their door closed. In order to reach the person behind the door, one must knock “loudly.” In contrast, people mostly keep doors open to show a welcoming feel in America. I think it is pretty interesting to know about this because it could be useful for people going study abroad or travelling. However, I am not sure if the article is a little bit exaggerated or not.

Th last article is about how Germans have MANY different garbage cans for different kinds of waste. I personally find it extremely confusing, but I believe that it is a good thing that Germans are doing recycling with a very serious and careful manner. This reminds me that when I first came to the states, I could not believe that people actually dump their leftovers into the trash can. In my country, people do recycling for leftovers. Usually 75% of the leftovers are used to feed pigs and 25% are used to as fertilizers for farming. Overall, I believe that if people all over the world can do recycling like the Germans, we’d definitely have a more environmentally friendly place to live in.

 

 

AMD 6 – Pheebe

For AMD 6, I decided to read about “Denglisch.” In the article, it mentions that German words have many cases of English loanwords and they started become common in the early 20th century. Some English loanwords that we have learned are “Kaugummi” for chewing gum and “Fernsehen” for television. After World War II, German language was directly influenced by US pop culture. Therefore, German now has words like “Hippie,” “Groupie,” and “Western.” The article gave several examples of English words/expressions that can be used in an unfamiliar sense in German such as “Handy,” “Fotoshooting,” and “Beamer.”

I think that it is very interesting how different languages influence each other. This is also one of the reasons that I thought German is easier to learn when the person knows/speaks English. Throughout the semester, I found myself identifying a lot of German vocabularies similar to English words and it has helped me learn a lot actually. Even though English is my second language, learning German has not been too difficult for me this semester (except the gender and grammatical stuff). In addition, I believe that this is an advantage for Germans to learn English since there are many words similar to each other.

The article also mentions some adoptions of German language from English idioms. For example, “Das macht Sinn” means that makes sense and “Was passierte in 2005” means what happened in 2005. A lot of advertising in Germany nowadays also uses many English terms. I think it is very interesting how much English has influenced not just German, but also the rest of the world. Nowadays, people usually learn English as their second language because it is an “international language” that most people know. Not only German, my first language is also influenced by English. For example, “Mcdonald’s” in Chinese is “Mai Dang Lao” and “Disney” in Chinese is “Di Shi Ni.” Also, I just want to say that the articles mentions there is a book titled “I like you – und du?” which is really cute!

 

 

Kapitel 5 Kultur – Pheebe

In the first article, the author talks about the dilemma German mothers face: working while still having to take care of their children. There is an example in the article, which is about how a German mother was accused of being a “bad mother” when she tried to sign up for afternoon classrooms for her child because she has to work. I was a bit upset when I saw that because I personally think that it is a mother’s own freedom to do whatever she thinks is best for herself and her kids. This actually relates to my personal experience. I lived with my grandparents from second grade till eighth grade because my parents work in China and they only come home every one or two months. However, I don’t think they were “bad parents” for leaving me in Taiwan for school because they were working hard and wanted to give me the best I could have.

The next article talks about how Germans do not really say “Entschuldigung” as much as Americans would. This reminds me of an article we read previously regarding German cyclists and how pedestrians just have to watch out for them. However, I feel like this article is a little bit exaggerated , but I do get the meaning! The article about the sex shops is actually pretty interesting and funny. The author mentions that Germans are more “open-minded” and not as conservative as Americans when it comes to sex stores. I think this kind of “free” culture is actually pretty cool. The next article about the toilet lady is also very funny. When I was reading it, I could picture a lady standing in the bathroom waiting for people in my head. However, I personally find that a little bit weird and creepy because I probably would not want someone to be “waiting” when I am in the bathroom. The last short article about German flirting is also fun. I found it surprising that the author, in his own experience, says that the German men are generally more shy than women. But it is cute that men would only smile or make eye contacts with the women then wait to see if the women would go up and talk to them!

AMD 5 – Pheebe

For AMD 5, I decide to continue using DuoLingo because I think there is a lot of interesting challenges on this website and I would like to keep trying them. So I spent time doing some lessons and wrote down what I did not know before. For the two words “Männer” and “Frauen”, I was actually able to guess them correctly since we have learned “Mann” and “Frau”! I just felt like the “er” and “en” would make them plural and I was right. I actually also did a quick practice of the different verbs for different subjects: “ich bin”, “du bist”, “er/sie/es ist”, “wir sind”, “ihr seid”, and “S(s)ie sind”. A few days ago, Professor Marquardt mentioned that it would be a good idea to review these since we will be learning something that will require us to use them. After that, I also learned a few daily phrases. For example, “bis später” means “see you later” and “bis bald” means “goodbye”. Other phrases like “es tut mir leid!” meaning “I am so sorry!” and “In Ordnung” meaning “alright” are also used quite often. There were other ones and I think all of them are very useful in daily life. 

After that, I just kept on clicking the challenges and went by them fairly quickly because the website made them easier to understand and learn for sure. An advantage of DuoLingo is that when you get a question wrong, it will appear again before you completely finish the level. Therefore, it is a great way to make sure that you actually get what you did wrong. Another advantage is that when the question asks you to translate and you do not know what the words mean, you can hover your mouse over the words and see what each word means then translate! I think this is very nice because there is no way we would know every single word before we translate the sentence. The last thing would be that the website is super colorful and cute and makes learning a language more fun! I encourage people to give it a try and I believe I will continue using this in the future.

I am currently already 13% fluent in Deutsch according to DuoLingo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMD 4 – Deutsche Musik – Pheebe

For AMD 4, I checked out the “Beispiele” page on this blog and found out about listening to Deutsche Musik for my AMD. I went on Spotify and searched “German Pop” because I really wanted to hear what German pop music sounds like and what they are about. Spotify came up with a German pop music playlist and I just randomly played a song. Interestingly, the song was called “Frei,” which I recognized meaning “free” so I was honestly really excited. It is like a chill Hip-Hop song with a bit of rapping. So I looked up the lyrics and they are shown below:

[Part 1]

Du willst flieh’n aber wagst nichts
Du bleibst steh’n und du fragst dich
Was geschieht, wenn du abbrichst
Alles stehen lässt, etwas sagt: „Bitte mach’s nicht!“
Tausend mal versucht, doch der Mut fehlt
Laufen bis zum Zug, doch der Fuß quält dich
Du musst umdreh’n, und zähle
Geb’n alle völlig, unmöglich

[Hook]
Sag, was soll noch passieren, dass du sagst: „Scheiß auf alles, ich bin raus.“
Sag, was soll noch passieren, dass du sagst: „Hallo Welt, ich komm’ auch.“
Das alles ist zu klein um dich herum, du willst raus
Du brichst aus
Was du brauchst ist, was du willst ist, du willst
Freiheit – du willst frei sein
Freiheit – du willst frei sein

[Part 2]
Okay, warte kurz, schau, ob die Zeit steht
Wird Zeit zu gehen, Zeit, dass du’s einsiehst
Das alles engt dich ein, ist zu klein, du willst (Freiheit)
Doch warte nicht zu lang, sonst ist’s vorbei
Der erste Schritt ist der schwerste, pack dich an den Eiern
Heute Party beim Nachbar, lass die andern feiern
Morgen Termine, gegen Vier, lass die andern machen
Wer zuletzt lacht, lacht am besten, lass die andern lachen

[Hook]
Sag, was soll noch passieren, dass du sagst: „Scheiß auf alles, ich bin raus.“
Sag, was soll noch passieren, dass du sagst: „Hallo Welt, ich komm’ auch.“
Das alles ist zu klein um dich herum, du willst raus
Du brichst aus
Was du brauchst ist, was du willst ist, du willst

[Bridge]
Freiheit
Frei sein (okay)
Freiheit (hey, yeah)
Frei sein
„Die, die sind so schlecht.“

[Outro]
Freiheit – du willst frei sein
Freiheit – du willst frei sein
Freiheit – du willst frei sein
Freiheit – du willst frei sein

I already did a quick google translate so I know there is a swear word. However, I think it is also part of learning a language! I can now be more aware of the word and not to use it inappropriately. Looking at the lyrics, I cannot believe that I actually understand a lot of the words. However, it is pretty hard to understand when they sing it though. In the beginning of the song, they use words like “Du willst” and “Du bleibst” and these are the kind of grammar that we have already learned. Also, looking at the end of the song, there is a word “freiheit” that I was interested in because we have learned the word “freizeit,” which means free time. Therefore, I was guessing the word has something to do with “free” and it turned out that it means “freedom”! And I know that the last sentence “du willst frei sein,” without using any translation or dictionary, means “you want to be free.” It is actually super exciting for me to understand a lot of the lyrics. I have listened to other songs such as “Guten Morgen Freiheit” (I’m wondering why the songs are all about Freiheit..), “Wenn sie tanzt”, and some songs that have English names. Overall, it is a very fun experience for sure!:) and German pop music is pretty different from American pop music in my opinion. Below is the song “Frei”:

 

Kapitel 4 Kultur – Pheebe

In the first article, the author mentions how Germans go to places by bike a lot. I think it is very different from the United States. However, in my home country, people do go to places by bike (not a lot but fairly common). It is usually pretty crowded in the cities and when people want to go to a close place (i.e. school or shopping mall), they would ride their bike. When I first came to the United States, I actually noticed that all my friends drive to school. People here usually just drive everywhere even when the place they are going is pretty close. The author of the article also mentions that people should be careful on the bike path. I think this is a very useful information for people not from Germany. When visiting, people can be more aware and careful about walking on the path.

The articles on crossing red lights and never getting a free ride make me think that Germans really care about their “rules” no matter if the person there is a foreigner or not. This is also a very important message for the tourists. When going to Germany, tourists need to be more cautious about not breaking the laws and “rules” they have. The article about German logic really throws me off because I am not quite sure why they have such different thinking. However, this reminds me of my german friend in high school. Her and I sometimes could not communicate “properly” because of how our thoughts were very different, but these things became funny memories for us. The “Einbahnstrasse” article is really funny. One of the things it mentions is that there is actually a support group for messy people in Frankfurt! But honestly, the “Einbahnstrasse” signs would definitely be very confusing to everyone.

I have never been to Germany, but I would really love to go someday in the near future. After reading all these things about Germany so far, I feel like I am ready and will be more ready to travel after this semester ends! (Even though we have honestly read a lot of negative things about Germany, but they are definitely fun to read!)

AMD 3 – Flash Cards

For AMD 3, I spent time using the flash card program online that we learned about during our first computer session. I think it is a very good time to use it since our test is on Tuesday and the content for chapter 3 is more challenge in my opinion.

An advantage of the flashcard program is that I can categorize the vocabularies as difficult or easy based on what I personally know. I think this is a very good design because everyone has difficulties with different words. Except using it on my laptop, I also downloaded it on my phone so I can use it when I am on the bus or even when I am waiting at a restaurant. This helps me utilize my extra free time very well. I think one thing about learning new vocabularies is that a person has to keeps practicing and learning in order to truly know the vocabularies instead of just memorizing them all the night before test. Another really good feature of the flashcard program is that a vocabulary shows up several times when I try to move it into the “easy” pile, which relates to what I just said about how learning vocabularies is about practicing again and again. Last thing that I really like is that I can make the program pronounce the vocabularies. I personally learn vocabularies better if I knew how to pronounce them (It was the same way for me when I learned English as a kid!) However, there are many vocabularies for each chapter and I think it would be very nice if I could save my progress and came back to it whenever I want instead of starting the program all over again.

Overall, I think the flashcard program is very helpful for learning new vocabularies and studying for tests. I will definitely continue using it throughout the semester to benefit my learning.

Kapitel 3 Kultur – Pheebe

I found myself relating to the article about how Germans are obsessed with organic products. I am the kind of person who cares a lot about health and what I eat so even though sometimes organic food can be a bit more pricey, I would still purchase some. (And I LOVE organic Yogi tea mentioned in the article). As my mom always says, “you get what you pay for.” However, I found out that most Americans are not willing to pay for the pricey organic food. In contrast, the article mentions that fully 70% of Germans say they would never touch gene-manipulated food. This number is quite large and very surprising. I always thought that Germans are more “eat whatever do whatever” kind of people, but I do think that this is a good habit. However, this would only work if they can afford it.

Another article talks about German’s obsession with beer. I have a friend who is currently studying in Germany. He told me how over there he basically drinks beer more than he drinks water and he has gained weight (with a big belly) from that. The article also introduces all kinds of beer. Even though I do not know beer very well, it is still fun to learn about all the different kinds.

The last article I read was about public drinking rules. As mentioned in the article, I personally do not think that a public ban is a suitable solution. If we restricted people not to do certain things, people tend to keep doing it or do it secretly. This is kind of like dealing with high school students in the United States. I think that as long as the German public drinkers are not influencing or harming others, they should not be banned drinking in public. Also, I just want to mention that the “World’s Funniest Joke” made me laugh!

AMD 2 – Deutsch Duolingo – Pheebe

I decided to try out duolingo for my second AMD 2 because I have heard others talking about it a lot regarding learning a new language. Honestly, I was not very excited about trying this at first, but I have to say that duolingo is the cutest and most user-friendly language learning app/website I have ever used.

I started out with this little questionnaire asking if I would like to start as a beginner or with higher levels. I thought I might as well start as a beginner and see since I have only started learning Deutsch this semester. As I went through the little “challenges” to achieve my “xp” (like a game) goal, I realized that I was able to answer almost all the questions without any hesitations because I knew the answers by heart. This amazes me so much. I have no clue that I understand a lot only learning. There were only a few words that I did not know, but I was able to guess the answers by how they are spelled or sound. For example, “Brot” means bread, “Mädchen” means girl, and “Wasser” means water. One of the features that helped me learn more easily is that they provided pictures above the vocabularies. This shows that the website does want to help people learn, instead of just quizzing people without any additional guidance. Another feature is that when I was asked to translate a german sentence into english, I was able to hover over every word in the sentence with my mouse to understand the meaning before translating.

Overall, I think duolingo is a very helpful tool to help people learning Deutsch or other languages and I really encourage everyone to try it out and see how cute and useful it is. After Deutsch 101, I can definitely see myself using duolingo even for other languages I might want to learn. I honestly want to see how good I am when my “German Fluency” on the profile gets to 100%.

Kapitel 2 Kultur – Pheebe

Out of the four articles, I found it funny and interesting that two articles actually identify one of my best friends from German in high school. She complained a lot during school, from the smallest things to all kinds of different things, but she was very sincere and straightforward about her complains so I did not mind at all. By saying that she was “straightforward,” I mean that she was “brutally honest” as well, which is related to another article. There were a few times she asked if I gained weight, got a bad haircut, or have not work out in a long time. Honestly, I actually prefer having friends like that instead of those who do not speak out what they are thinking in front of me.

However, even so, german culture is actually the total opposite of my own culture. Kids in my country are often taught not to complain, at least in front of others. They are also taught to be “polite” in front of older people, meaning they are not supposed to reject older peoples’ requests like what was mentioned in the Brutally Honest article. Another thing that I found very funny is about how Americans say “we should get together sometime” means “I hope I never see you again” because this is so very true in the American culture. Overall, I enjoy reading these articles because they give me different aspects of the German culture rather than what “tourists” might describe.