Evolving German Mischmasch Language

I’ve abused the German language for many years. Sometimes, I’ve spoken in a mischmasch of English and German, because it was more convenient. For example, my husband asks me for the whereabouts of something, then my reply is usually this: “It’s in the Einbauschrank!” The Einbauschrank is the built-in closet in the entry way of an apartment in Germany. At least around here where we live. You see, I don’t bother translating it. I use the local word.

The other day, I discovered this new word on a notice at the doctor’s office. “… zu spät sein sollten, wird der Termin automatisch gekänzelt.(In case you’re late, your appointment will be automatically cancelled)

Sprachnudel känzeln

There is a new platform called Sprachnudel (Language Noodle), which collects all the words not suitable for the Duden (Germany’s pre-eminent language resource).

Sprachnudel, the platform for Wörter der Jetztsprache (Words of the Present Language) sounds so much like Language Doodle. 🙂

New German term: Präsenzunterricht

Before the 2020 pandemic struck, there were neither homeschooling, nor online lessons, and all the learning for school age children was done in Präsenzunterricht (classroom teaching). Hence, there was no need for this term.

Now we need this term to differentiate between online lessons and classroom lessons.

Language does evolve around the change of times.

Ab sofort wieder Präsenzunterricht! (From now on again classroom teaching!)

Well, this could also mean the virtual classroom (in the global world), but not to most Germans. 😉

Homeschooling in Germany has Become Legal Now

“Der Schulzwang wird fallen wie die Berliner Mauer” (source: Bildungsvielfalt) stands for Compulsory education will eventually [sic] fall like the Berlin Wall. This has happened now.

Now, without further ado in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, homeschooling is suddenly the norm. Everyone in Germany is getting home schooled – without any bureaucracy.

1919 saw the beginning of Compulsory Education (Schulpflicht) in Germany. Over the years, there had been various appeals by individuals and petitioners to change the law.

In April 2010, a petition signed by 5400 people, was submitted to the German Bundestag asking for impunity for parents who teach their children at home. This petition was turned down in November 2011.

I had supported this petition back in 2009, and had published this post: Petition for Homeschooling in Germany

Homeschooling in German: der Hausunterricht or der Heimunterricht

Life in Germany in the Time of Corona

My favorite word right now is fiddlefart*. I’ve got so much time on my hands, and I actually work through my to-do list, but there is not much to show for. This gives me an early taste of what retiring might look like.

I’m on Day 5 now, and we are still free to move. But there are restrictions, and as time passes, there are more to come.

Outdoor facilities such as playgrounds, pools, etc. are closed. This photo shows the playground at Camp King, with a red and white barrier tape at Camp King.

This morning at the super market seemed a normal one. Searching for batteries, I turned the corner into another aisle, and was reprimanded by someone in a closely standing group of three: “Bitte Abstand halten!” (Keep your distance!). Sure, this makes sense. Not.

I just nodded, smiled, and approached the batteries from the other end. The group remained there, and continued talking without keeping distance. Ja, ja, the little policemen are out there. 🙂

Some customers kept the recommended distance while waiting in line. One lady though was almost breathing down my neck, and before I could turn around to say something, her husband pointed it out to her. She then retracted, but not without chiding him first.

I saw an appeal on social media about giving health care workers, and all others assisting in this time of crisis, a big shout-out by applauding. This is supposed to happen by the open window, or balcony, every evening at 9pm. So far I have not heard anything around here.

This coming Sunday, 22 March at 18:00, a Flash-Mob from your Balcony event is planned. We are supposed to hear: Beethovens Schlusschoral Freude Schöner Götterfunken (Beethoven’s final chorale on Ode to Joy).

More information in German here:
Hessischer Musikverband e.V.

These are interesting times.

* to fiddlefart (verb): to linger aimlessly; to look busy while accomplishing nothing.

Life in Germany in the Time of Corona

Day 2 of my self-imposed isolation has begun. It is not a complete isolation yet as I plan on making one last trip to the pharmacy to pick up medication, which wasn’t available yesterday.

It is eerily quiet in our neighborhood. Once in a while I get up from my desk to step on the balcony to make sure the birds are still singing. Very few cars come through our residential area.

Day 3 is almost over.

  • Just heard on the news that the town of Mitterteich in Bavaria is the first city in Germany to have gone on complete lockdown. The city is in the district Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate).
  • I enjoyed my last Korean lunch – sitting in a restaurant. As of today, some restrict their business to take-out only.
  • Every morning, I watch the Robert Koch-Institute (Germany’s public health institute) update at 10:00. For your information: https://www.rki.de/EN/Home/homepage_node.html
  • Many shops have closed or are in the process of closing. Playgrounds and parks are no longer accessible.
  • I’ve heard that our local supermarket is still out of toilet paper. 🙂

Last, but not least, there is a little German lesson.

die Ausgangssperre (curfew)

Other terms in English, depending on their restrictions, include: shelter at home, quarantine, lockdown;

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