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.

Germany’s Oldest Christmas Market is in Dresden

Which town has the oldest Christmas Market in Germany? Among the many questions I get from expats around the area, this one is related to Christmas.

The town  is Dresden. Its Christmas Market, also locally referred to as Striezelmarkt, was the first one of its kind to be mentioned in 1434.

Meaning of Striezel (m): 1) In eastern and central Germany, a Striezel is a yeast dough bread, similar to Stollen (e.g. Weihnachtsstollen). 2) The term can also stand for ‘naughty boy’.

snowman

German Lesson: der Brunnen

Some expats new to the area asked about the meaning of the word Brunnen and Brunnenfest in general. The German word Brunnen stands for fountain, well, and natural spring. The town of Oberursel has more than 60 fountains.

For the Oberursel Brunnenfest, each year a new Brunnenkönigin (fountain queen) gets chosen. This years’s Brunnenkönigin, Nadine I. represented Brunnenfest 2016, and one part of her official duties is to inaugurate the next fountain for the year.

This year’s fountain was the Urselbachbrunnen, located at the ‘Haus am Urselbach’. (Urselbach stands for Ursel Creek)

Brunnen in Oberursel

One of the 66 fountains in Oberursel

There are 26 fountains belonging to the town of Oberursel, and about another 40 fountains are in private hands.

How to Greet in Northern Germany

This lesson on the northern German dialect was posted by a street food vendor at Maasholm Yachthafen (Maasholm Port).

Norddeutsch

Norddeutsch

 Very easy lesson to learn. Thanks to sanitario.