Home » Posts tagged with » German Language

Book Review: Deconstructing Karl Kraus

Book Review: Deconstructing Karl Kraus

It has to be an event when a writer who is “arguably America’s greatest living novelist” (so says the dust jacket blurb) goes to great lengths to present a revered and particularly difficult Austrian author to an American reading public in a meticulously produced annotated dual-language edition.  The result is an unusual and unusually challenging […]

Sneak off, You Arse Violin!

Sneak off,  You Arse Violin!

The Viennese pride themselves in being a culture of misanthropic complainers. A society of the dissatisfied, oblivious to the fact that many Austro-expletives – dialect or otherwise – are utterly endearing, cringingly funny or so shamelessly graphic you can’t resist a chuckle. A lazy person is an “Owezahrer”, literally someone who pulls you down.  The […]

Love in the Time of Globalisation

Love in the Time of Globalisation

A woman irons a shirt, telling the camera: “The Austrian Republic dictates how much money I must earn – €1,187 – so my husband can get his residence permit back.” She then tells us the staggering amount of clothes she must press this month to meet this quota. And many are far worse off in […]

Out of Sync

Out of Sync

With all the rave reviews, the film Brokeback Mountain had been a must-see when I finally caught a German-language version in a Vienna cinema. A German-dubbed western is an unsettling experience. Phrases like “I reckon”, and “I just can’t quit you!” spoken in lazy western drawls are more than lost in translation; they are just […]

More Spanish learn German

More Spanish students are learning German, according to the Goethe Institute of Madrid, an institution globally promoting German culture and language. Registrations for German classes increased by 60% in 2012, on top of a 40% increase the year before, an Institute spokesman reported. “Never before, has the German brand had such renown,” Goethe Institute staffers […]

Viennese Swearing

Viennese Swearing

      “Und aamoi dazuagschissn”, 3 Apr. by Robert Sommer In the interviews course director Martha Kellner undertook with journalists, there was much laughing. “Swearing in Vienna” was the subject of her course at the Volkshochschule [Adult Education College] in Meidling. The course was aimed at migrants “with advanced knowledge of German”. […] The […]

When Immigrants Were Welcome

When Immigrants Were Welcome

Since anyone can remember, residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo have been feeding the pigeons that swarmed the city’s central market Bascarsija. It didn’t matter to the hungry birds whose hands – Muslim, Croat, Serb, Roma or Jewish – dispensed the corn and bread in this multi-ethnic city. What mattered were the crumbs, and […]

Cursing in style

Cursing in style

A new “integration” course called Schimpfen in Wien (Swearing in Vienna) is being offered by the Volkshochschule Wien-Meidling. Course Instructor Marcha Kellner teaches her students what Viennese swearing is about and, more importantly, how to do it with style. The German language contains a number of animal-related swear words ranging from Angsthase (scared rabbit) to poultry: […]

Politically Incorrect: of “Neger” and “Dirndl”

Two recent debates in Germany have made world headlines, and for once, neither is about Nazis or the Oktoberfest. The first was a proposal that classic children’s books be censored of anything not corresponding to present-day standards of political correctness. Thus, words like “Neger” (“Negro”) and “Mohr” (“Moor”) would disappear, as well as references to […]

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone