German Term for the Day: die Hundstage

From 23 July to 23 August, we will get to experience the Hundstage (the dog days of summer), which are supposed to be the hottest and most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

In Greek and Roman astrology,  this period was associated with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.

The Dog Days of Summer

Easter Egg Decorations in Germany

We have just returned from a visit to my hometown in Franconia (northern Bavaria). In those rural parts of Germany, where traditions and customs are still more present, we passed by some interesting Easter decorations in the middle of the villages.

Our first stop was in Zeilitzheim to buy some wine from Wein von 3.

Our second stop was in Schonungen, where we rented a vacation apartment at Ferienwohnung Gräf for two days.

Another stop was in the village of Hambach, where I grew up, and we went to visit my parents’ grave.

This tradition is a beautiful spring marker, and I hope there will always be enough volunteers to continue this.

What Goes into the Biomüll?

When you first arrive in Germany,  your new residence comes with quite a few new rules. Among them is the business of how to separate the trash.

Biomüll Tonnen

Some of you care to do so, so here is the list of waste items for the brown container (German: Biotonne):

  • kitchen waste – anything raw or cooked
  • vegetables and fruits (no citric fruits though)
  • cheese, fish, meat, bones, and cold cuts
  • egg shells and nut shells
  • milk, flour, and cereal products
  • dry goods having gone past the expiration date (without the packaging)
  • oils and fats (solidified)
  • coffee grounds, filter bags, tea bags, and tea leaves
  • paper towels, paper napkins, and tissues
  • newspaper used for wrapping
  • lawn cuttings
  • shrubs, fallen leaves, and bark
  • other organic waste, such as  hair, feathers, cat litter, wood shavings, and sawdust (only from untreated wood)
  •  hay, straw, and pots made of peat and cardboard

 

German Word for the Day: die Waldeinsamkeit

Waldeinsamkeit (lit: forest solitude) stands for the feeling of being alone in the woods, but it also implies our connection to nature and the universe.

Erst im Wald kam alles zur Ruhe in mir, meine Seele wurde ausgeglichen und voller Macht.

– – Knut Hamsun

It was only in the forest that everything came to rest, my soul became balanced and full of strength.

German Lesson: der Schießstand

Many German learners have a difficult time differentiating the sound difference between the diphthongs ‘ie‘ and ‘ei‘. If the learners have an Anglo or ESL background, I advise them to read only the second diphthong vowel in English. That way, it comes out as the proper German pronunciation.

The word ‘Schießstand’ [ʃiːs] means shooting range.

If mispronounced as ‘Scheißstand’ [ʃaɪz], then you are talking about a shitting range. Whatever that means.

Schießstand

Schießstand

This sign is in Oberursel, pointing towards the shooting range, and if you proceed, you will also get to the animal shelter in the forest.