Quote by Mark Twain in German

“Je mehr Vergnügen Du an Deiner Arbeit hast, umso besser wird sie bezahlt.”

(The more you enjoy your work, the more you get paid.)

– Mark Twain

German Term for the Day: Logopädische Praxis

I’m having fun with this ad by a speech therapy clinic right here in Oberursel. At first, the wrong spelling of Praxis (clinic) got me off track. Then I noticed the spelling for Logopädisch (logopedics) having gone wrong too.

I’m just glad they work on speech correction. They would never win a spelling bee* contest.

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

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.

German Christmas Tradition: St. Barbara’s Blossoming Twigs

Following my mom’s custom of cutting twigs on St. Barbara Day (4 Dec), I get apple twigs from our neighbor’s garden. With permission, that is. And tradition has it that I’m usually a couple of days late with the cutting.

My mom’s cherry twigs would sit in a hollow space between the kitchen cabinet and the ceiling. Back then, the kitchen was the only warm place in the house, but the twigs with their tiny white blossoms would thrive. When I was a child, they looked like tiny snowflakes from my vantage point.

This year Christmas, I got a few pink apple blossoms again and it always seems like a little miracle. Blossoms in winter.

My older post tells you more about how to care for them, the custom’s origin and meaning etc.: http://www.pension-sprachschule.de/anything-german/a-german-christmas-tradition-barbarazweige/

Barbarazweige and its first blossom

If everything is timed properly, the blossoms come to full bloom at Christmas and this means good fortune for the coming year, and shriveled ones brings back luck.