The inside of a German Hetzer. Took this a few months ago but I’m not sure I ever posted it. For the record, this would’ve had a crew of 4 men, crammed into a space what has a huge-ass gun taking up most of what little room there is. For the record it was about 110 degrees in there when I filmed, hence the heavy breathing. :P
It feels like I’m checking my phone every two seconds. I
left the voicemail over two hours ago and she had yet to call back. As if guilt
wasn’t eating me away before it’s now devouring me. She’s the first person I’ve
ever truly fell in love with. We did everything together. Went everywhere
together. Told each other everything and kept each other’s heads held high.
Hey! So I've studied German for 7 years in school, and I have an intermediate level, I can express myself roughly but nothing too fancy. I want to find resources to become an advanced speaker (I'll soon move to Germany for a year). I was wondering if you knew resources for people who already have some strong basic knowledge of the language (duolingo bores me to death). I hope this does not bother you, I've looked through your blog, and I didn't find a similar question. Have a nice day!
Hi! Sorry for taking so long to reply as I was away. This is a bit out of my area as I’m not advanced in German, but I will try to help you as much as I can.
Next, you may want to read and watch things extensively in German or try to get as close to immersion as possible. Try reading the news/ things you like every day in the morning or whenever you have some time, read novels you like, and watch shows in German or German videos on Youtube. You can also listen to podcasts every day as well as listen to music. Try to summarize what you have read/watched. You can make anki/memrise decks of all of the vocabulary you learn as that will make a great difference in your advancement of German (or find some premade ones on the sites).
As for speaking, try to practice speaking at least 10 minutes a day. I have a speaking printable here with a few ideas, but if you can read novels out loud, talk to yourself, or find someone to practice with, that would be great. Try to learn some German idioms and find a language exchange partner on something like Tandem/Hello Talk/ Discord.
When you’re calmly writing your story and then suddenly you combine three nouns into one word just like you can do in German even though you’ve been writing in English for the last couple of hours. Great way to start this chapter off. Can’t wait till I’m doing things like writing “ist” instead of “is” which I know is coming up ahead for me tonight.
I’ve been learning foreign languages for a long time and over the years I’ve come up with a kind of routine that I use to become conversational and eventually fluent in my target languages.
I thought I’d share it with you guys because it’s kind of unconventional and I don’t see advice like this given often.
It’s split into 3 stages. Here we go:
First stage: getting acquainted
Basically in this stage you want to get down the basics of the language. Learn common phrases, work through the grammar, and learn as much vocabulary as you can. The end of this stage might come when you finish the Duolingo tree, finish working through a language book, or finish any other course you were using.
Second stage: absorbing the language
Here, you want to come into as much contact with your target language as you can. Watch Youtube videos, watch TV shows, read books, listen to podcasts… anything involving the language. Try changing your phone’s default language as well as following some people on social media who speak it. This is also the time to practice pronunciation and speaking (I recommend reading aloud from a book). This stage will end as soon as you can confidently understand most of what you hear/read in a variety of topics.
Third stage: using it yourself
This is when you actually start speaking the language. Because you’ve now had so much experience with the language, it will be a lot easier to use it yourself. Find a language partner and speak with them as often as you can. Keep speaking with people, reading books, watching movies, etc. and eventually you’ll be fluent!
Well, there you have it. Feel free to implement any of this into your own language learning if you like it. Above all, have fun with your target language and don’t take it so seriously!
On September 24th 61.5 million German voters will decide on the central decision in their democracy: who should represent them in Parliament and eventually govern the country? Elections to the German Bundestag (like our House of Representatives) are held about every four years, with the last election having been held in fall of 2013.
In grade school, most Germans are taught about the five principles in the Basic Law which stipulate that the members of the Bundestag be elected in “general, direct, free, equal and secret elections”. “General” means that all German citizens are able to vote once they have reached the age of 18. The elections are “direct” because citizens vote for their representatives directly without the mediation of delegates to an electoral college. “Free” means that no pressure of any kind may be exerted on voters. “Equal” means that each vote cast carries the same weight with respect to the composition of the Bundestag. “Secret” means that each individual must be able to vote without others learning which party or candidate he or she has chosen to support.
Where Do You Vote?
Germans have the options of voting at polling stations for example in community centers or schools, or sending in their vote by mail.
So. Many. Parties.
Germany has a lot more political parties than the United States. This is due to the fact that the German electoral system uses a proportional system, which means that all parties get a share of the available seats that reflect their share of the popular vote. However, not to have too many political factions which would make the decision making process nearly impossible – and Parties can get pretty specific as to what they stand for – Germany implemented the “five per cent clause” which means a party needs at least five percent of the votes cast to be represented in the Bundestag.
According to the German Research Institute the following parties are likely to be represented in the next German Bundestag, as they are expected to satisfy the five per cent clause:
CDU/CSU (the Union parties): a political alliance of the two parties
representing conservative Christian-democratic policies, political home
of the current Chancellor Angela Merkel and part of the governing “grand
SPD: the center-left social democratic party promoting “socially just”
policies, the other member of the currently governing “grand coalition”
Die Linke: “the left” party – a democratic socialist and left-wing populist party
BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN: the green party which traditionally focuses on topics such as environmental protection
FDP: the “free democratic” party - a (classical) liberal political party
AfD: a right-wing populist and Eurosceptic party newly founded in 2013
First and Second Vote
Voters actually have two decisions to make when they go to their polling booth. This part can get tricky.
The first vote is for the representative of your district. There are 299 electoral districts in Germany and the winner of each district gets a seat in the Bundestag.
The second vote is debatably the more important vote, which is cast not for a person but for a party. The number of seats a party gets in the Bundestag is based on what proportion they get of the second votes. Since the first votes for district representatives take up 299 seats of the Bundestag, the remaining 299 seats are filled up by representatives of each party until each party is proportionally represented.
And now it’s going to get really complicated (also for Germans, believe it or not): In case a party gets more directly elected candidates by the first votes than proportional seats by the second votes, these candidates nonetheless remain part of the new Bundestag. This is called an “Überhangmandat”. The other parties then get seats added proportionally which makes the Bundestag even bigger. The last four years, because of this phenomenon there were in total 631 Members of the German Bundestag instead of the legally foreseen 598.
“Coalition” is not a word used in American politics. Coalitions are alliances formed by different parties in the Bundestag to end up with a group that makes up more than 50% of the seats. Traditionally the party with the most votes tries to form a coalition first. Typically coalitions have been comprised by two parties in the past, but in the future coalitions of three or more parties could be a reality. Why do this? Due to the voting system which is a proportional and not a majority one, this is in most cases the only way to create a majority in the Bundestag which is necessary to pass laws. The coalition parties tend to negotiate a coalition agreement at the start of their cooperation which lays out their policy goals for the coming legislative period. Though the majority party within the coalition typically has more sway in what stance the coalition will take on certain issues – such as who the Chancellor will be – the smaller party benefits from the coalition by typically receiving several Minister positions (think Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, etc.) which are filled with members of their party. They might also enforce some stances on their core political issues as long as they can get the “bigger” coalition partner to agree in the negotiations.
German elections are general, direct, free, equal, and secret
Germans vote in person or via mail
There are a bunch of parties to choose from representing the full political spectrum from far left to far right
Two votes: a first vote for a specific candidate representing your
district and a second vote for your party determining the number of
seats per party
A Coalition is formed after all votes are in to create a group that holds more than 50% of the Bundestag seats
Got more questions? Shoot them to us in the comments below!
die Qual der Wahl - when you can’t decide between options (lit: the torment of choice) den Löffel abgeben - to die (lit: to pass the spoon) mit dem ist nicht gut Kirschen essen - he is not easy to deal with, you shouldn’t upset him (lit: it’s not good to eat cherries with him) Schmetterlinge im Bauch haben - the fluttery feeling in your stomach when you have a crush (lit: to have butterflies in one’s stomach) blau machen - to skip class/work (lit: to make blue) sich aus dem Staub machen - to flee, to bolt (lit: to make oneself out of the dust) sich von jemand eine Scheibe abschneiden - to be more like someone (lit: to cut a slice off of someone) Geh doch dahin wo der Pfeffer wächst! - Piss off! (lit: Go where the pepper grows!) hinter schwedische Gardinen - behind bars (lit: behind Swedish curtains) das Affentheater / der Affenzirkus - a charade (lit: monkey theatre / monkey circus) jemanden etwas auf die Nase binden - to convince someone of a lie (lit: to bind something on someone’s nose) kein Schwein - nobody (lit: no pig) hundemüde sein - to be exhausted (lit: to be dog tired) jemandem Honig ums Maul schmieren - to butter sb up (lit: to smear honey around sb’s mouth) das Tohuwabohu - chaos dasselbe in Grün - the same thing with a different appearance (lit: the same in green) einen Korb geben / bekommen - to reject someone / to be rejected (lit: to give/receive a basket) auf den Keks/Zeiger gehen - to annoy (lit: to go on the cookie/clockhand)