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German Connection 2013

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  • Message 1. 

    Posted by jane c (U2234970) on Monday, 7th January 2013

    Welcome to anyone and everyone interested in/ living in/ with connections to Germany.

    Those of us regular contributors to this ongoing thread (now the 6th edition thereof) who live in Germany are only too happy to help MLers with info and advice about most aspects of the country.
    Many who regularly post here do not actually live here at present but share their experiences and knowledge with us as well.

    We are not an inwardly-focussed clique. On the contrary, all issues of trite and tremendous nature are discussed.
    We have also been known to enthuse [at length] about methods of baking. Ahem.

    Welcome once again to all.

    jane c.

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Miladou bloody but unbowed (U3518248) on Monday, 7th January 2013

    Bookmarking.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by oldbloke2 (U2285767) on Monday, 7th January 2013

    Did anyone see the report on the discounters and supermarkets on, I think, zdf?

    Interesting that Aldi stocks about 800 - 1,000 different items, and rewe and edeka stock up to 50,000* - possiblly well behind a flagship Tesco.




    (*no self raising flour though. Sorry jane. Yes, I have cleared away and washed up).

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Monday, 7th January 2013

    Hello Jane.

    I'm here.

    Not a sniff of cooking/recipes in the air.

    Here's to another great thread. I muchly enjoyed the last one!

    Congratulations.

    susukifluff

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Bearhug (U2258283) on Monday, 7th January 2013

    Hello y'all.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    I can't quite believe that my daughter is going to have all of February and March off...the annual long student holiday in Germany.

    Her summer term finishes some time in early or mid July (and she started her first term in Germany last October) so surely these students have far longer off than UK ones? I can't quite get my head round it. She on the other hand can and is totally 'up for it' as she would say !

    s.fluff

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by notjenniferaldrich (U8555450) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    Well done, Jane, I was wondering how long we could get away with the old thread!

    As a somewhat fickle attendee of this august gathering, may I nevertheless extend a warm welcome to old and new denizens.

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    Not too sure about HAVING to have a new thread? Do we? The Threadbreakers Thread now has over 11,000 posts.....though it was removed to The Bull after the first 2000 (which is perhaps understandable because I think it started out in DTA).

    I'd be interested to know the reasoning behind it.

    Anyway: not complaining! I'm just glad this one's alive and thriving.

    s.fluff

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Bearhug (U2258283) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    Not too sure about HAVING to have a new thread?  
    Not any more, but until a few months back, it was a rule that threads were closed when they reached 2000 posts (because of inefficient programming of the system.)

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by notjenniferaldrich (U8555450) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    I can't quite believe that my daughter is going to have all of February and March off...the annual long student holiday in Germany.

    Her summer term finishes some time in early or mid July (and she started her first term in Germany last October) so surely these students have far longer off than UK ones? I can't quite get my head round it. She on the other hand can and is totally 'up for it' as she would say !

    s.fluff 
    They do have terrifically long breaks, but the summer semester begins around Easter and goes on theoretically until late July, I think. The university system is based on two semesters, summer and winter, rather than the three-term system in UK. The idea is that students use this vacation time for internships, study or work, as the case may be. German schools and universities place far more responsibility for acquiring education on the individual or, in the case of early school years, the family. When my now very mature offspring were young, it was expected that mothers, who did not usually work outside the home, spent at least a couple of hours in the afternoon supervising homework and carting their sprogs to sports/music instruction, which was largely given in private clubs outside school hours. The school PE lessons were extremely basic athletics and keep fit stuff - virtually no team games or performance sports like tennis. Things are changing under the influence of the more school-like Anglo-American system of bachelors and masters degrees. Not a patch on the good old Diplom to my way of thinking, and am devoutly thankful that my engineer daughter just slipped in to the last batch of Diplom-ees.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    Hi notjennif:

    Actually I've been counting up on my fingers and toes and realise that students in the UK probably don't have much less in the way of holidays, i.e.:

    In the U.K.

    Approx 4 weeks at Christmas

    Approx 4 weeks at Easter

    Approx (depending on the university) 9 -10 weeks in the summer.

    ************

    In Cologne at least they seem to have:

    Approx 2 weeks at Christmas

    Approx 8 weeks in the Spring

    Approx 9 - 10 week in the Summer

    Swings and roundabouts I suppose !

    s.fluff

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    There was an interesting article in Sat/sunTelegraph on Brit students in Germany. Can't find it on;one though

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Dunlurkin NL (U2675855) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    I was surprised to hear that one of my favourite pieces for massed pipes and bands - Highland Cathedral - was written by two Germans www.youtube.com/watc...

    I first heard it under the Menin Gate at a Last Post ceremony. Real shivers down the spine stuff.


    Dunlurkin

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    Lovely tune but this isn't the music of Scotland. It was composed by German musicians Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb in 1982. It was composed for a Highland Games held in Germany.

    Well it is very good.

    There have been other quite reasonable German composers in the past I think.

    My brain is providing "dudelsac" as the German for "bagpipe".

    Is that correct? Are there German bagpipes?

    Beethoven's Bagpipe Concerto Number 3 in D very flat?

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    There was an interesting article in Sat/sunTelegraph on Brit students in Germany. Can't find it on;one though   Ah thank you. My dear old Mum (who gets the Telegraph) would have had it but it's probably in the recycling bag by now.

    I'll google it and see what turns up. (I find the daily papers sometimes very difficult to navigate when you want a specific article).

    ....mmm interesting.

    Many thanks,

    susu

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Tuesday, 8th January 2013

    Ah thank you. My dear old Mum (who gets the Telegraph) would have had it but it's probably in the recycling bag by now 

    Is it shredded? If not could it perhaps come out of the rebag?

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    Ah thank you. My dear old Mum (who gets the Telegraph) would have had it but it's probably in the recycling bag by now 

    Is it shredded? If not could it perhaps come out of the rebag?  
    Last time I asked her to do that she was practically on her hands and knees on the pavement going through the whole week's worth of papers...in the rain!

    No. A step too far I think. She's 87. I'll have a goggle myself and see if I can find it. Thanks anyway.

    susu

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Dunlurkin NL (U2675855) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    There's this but it seems to be dated today (or I am missing something).

    www.telegraph.co.uk/...



    Dunlurkin

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    Thanks Dunlurkin. I don't know if it is the one Ol was talking about, but I've just read your link and it's fascinating.

    Of course my daughter is based at a university in the UK and for her this is just an erasmus year....so is different to her having actually enrolled at a Germany uni for the full three years (or however long it takes).

    I have heard that UK students go abroad to study more than ever....mainly because it's cheaper presumably...or perhaps a European uni might provide a course better suited to their requirements.

    Thank you.

    s.fluff

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    There's this but it seems to be dated today (or I am missing something).

    www.telegraph.co.uk/...



    Dunlurkin 


    Yes that's it. Danke.

    I had contacted the author and he siad it often took a few days for such pieces to appear online.

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    Many thanks Ol and Dunlurkin: I'll forward it to my daughter.

    There are some interesting comments at the bottom of the article. It's obviously not quite as easy as some young people might think to either (a) get into a European university and/or (b) come out with the exact qualification they need.

    Interestingly my daughter doesn't know of any UK students who are studying there full time.....but that's only Cologne of course. She does have friends from India (2) and China (3) who are studying at Cologne full time...but that's only amongst the small group of people she knows. Cologne has a massive student population.

    I wonder when and why UK school leavers begin to think outside of the box so to speak. A foreign university was certainly never mentioned at my daughters' school which had a fairly good department helping pupils decide on the right university for them. (They did however seem very very keen on the girls trying for Oxford and Cambridge: something to do with that school seeming to perform well in the league tables perhaps ! )

    Anyway...thanks both of you. Fascinating.

    susukifluff

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    PLUS....no need to traumatise dear old mum now!

    (I think we'll have to start getting The Telegraph; it would save everybody loads of time ! )

    susu

    (PS: many thanks for contacting the author; that was really over and above the call of duty. Thank you)

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by jane c (U2234970) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    And now for something entirely different.

    Have just seen latest figures concerning the financial ausgleich
    between the German federal states and realize, not for the first time, that Iknow far too little about the topic.

    Can anyone point me to a website - or a *book* even (!) - that will help me to autodidact?

    Why is Bavaria in the position of being able to shoulder so much of the burden? And does this help explain the clout of the CSU?

    Why is Berlin by far the most needy state?

    jx

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by oldbloke2 (U2285767) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    There's this but it seems to be dated today (or I am missing something).

    www.telegraph.co.uk/...



    Dunlurkin 
    Interesting and informative but, as far as I can sse, nothing the attentive reader wouldn't have learnt from this thread over recent months.

    PS Did I miss the quote from the UKIP expressing shame at young Brits scrounging a free education at foreign taxpayers' expense and in not only a foreign country but the leader of the EU pack to boot! (; Of course such a welcome situation is only possible due to the EU.

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by nepete (U11290337) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    Can anyone point me to a website - or a *book* even (!) - that will help me to autodidact? 

    Hi jane - for startes, have a look at the wikipedia entry (German version), which is quite good. At the bottom of the wiki-page, you'll find some useful links and also "suggested reading"
    Why is Bavaria in the position of being able to shoulder so much of the burden? And does this help explain the clout of the CSU? 

    Because it is a loudmouth who was for decades a recipient of the monetary flow and now that it is in the "black", it wants to get off the roundabout.
    Also, their per capita contribution was never near what Hessen and HH have / had to pay.
    That's CSU solidarity for you (and anyone else).

    Though they are right of course, the amount of money allocated to Berlin (per capita) is scandalous. We are absolutely broke, not least because of the property scandal of dubious fame which delivered my and the next wto generation into debt bondage - and now that we were just about to climb out of that hole, they are trying to build an airport!!1. < rant over >

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    Why is Bavaria in the position of being able to shoulder so much of the burden? 

    IIRC they have a motor works and a Court brew house. And much other industry

    Why is Berlin by far the most needy state? 

    Because for half a century it was cut off and lost its manufacturing, and its role as national centre of administration and finance.

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by oldbloke2 (U2285767) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    I'm sure you are aware of the alleged health risks in discussing such tricky economic issues, jane?

    www.youtube.com/watc...



    (PS Still funny ever if you've all seen it no end of times before).

    PPS Glad you enjoyed the March of the Mods. I actually wanted to post the Joe Loss version but it wouldn't play. Good luck in bad luck, so to speak.

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by jane c (U2234970) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    Never seen it before, ob. Thankyou ! [thinks - does oldbloke have shares in Utube?]

    Thanks to nepete - will follow up the wiki thingies tomorrow, when I have a bit of time (pensioners, you know!)

    jx

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by nepete (U11290337) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    (pensioners, you know!) 
    te hee - (you're not the only one.....some of our friends run a tighter schedule after retirement than while they were working full time...)

    P.S. I have a "Dienstreise" tomorrow: leave house at 5:30 a.m, return at 11:30 p.m. - but will be happy to discuss any aspects of Länderfinanzausgleich after that.....

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Wednesday, 9th January 2013

    Dienstreise 


    I knew the words but had to look up the meaning.

    Is there a so named position?

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 30.

    Posted by notjenniferaldrich (U8555450) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    Work finished, Friday lunchtime passed. I now declare the weekend open, and God bless all who sail in her!

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by notjenniferaldrich (U8555450) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    P.S. On my way back from Dienstreise (ie service - in my case - or work trip)


    Tnank goodness we can have long, long threads now. But why didn't they so away with the accursed flea at the same time, dammit.

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    The London Underground has just celebrated the fact that it came into being 150 years ago.

    I only know about Cologne, of course, but was very impressed with their system, i.e. trams that go along the road, dip down into tunnels then reappear on the road. Brilliant. (Along with the slightly terrifying inspectors ...can't remember what they are called ...who get onto the train in mufti, whip off their jackets and reveal their uniform or at least badge and check tickets.)

    Does Germany have a nationwide system of over/underground trains I wonder?

    susukifluff

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    But why didn't they do away with the accursed flea at the same time, dammit. 

    Dammit seems not to be posting but I think the flea stops spammers and controls idiots!

    IIUC The Script used to have s post stacking function but I think no longer unless anypne knows better hopefully?

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    I only know about Cologne, of course, but was very impressed with their system, i.e. trams that go along the road, dip down into tunnels then reappear on the road. Brilliant. 

    No disrespect to Koln but London had one in 1906 - and US even earlier. The London one is still in the middle of Kingsway, but half of it now takes cars from Waterloo bridge.

    en.wikipedia.org/wik...

    (Along with the slightly terrifying inspectors ...can't remember what they are called ...who get onto the train in mufti, whip off their jackets and reveal their uniform or at least badge and check tickets.) 

    I bet they have a nice long name? Transportrevenuesecuritycovertticketinspectors?

    Does Germany have a nationwide system of over/underground trains I wonder? 

    Yes. Das Womblebahn.

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    (Along with the slightly terrifying inspectors ...can't remember what they are called ...who get onto the train in mufti, whip off their jackets and reveal their uniform or at least badge and check tickets.)


    I bet they have a nice long name? Transportrevenuesecuritycovertticketinspectors? 


    ....can't think for the life of me....but I think it is fairly long! My daughter, naturally, being a law-abiding person, ALWAYS buys her ticket! And so she should. Actually....thinking about it I'm pretty sure she gets her ticket free as she's a student.

    Anyway, the lack of barriers, the one flight escalator (which are so cool; they only start moving once you step on to them) and the pleasant stations were a joy. Not that I don't like the London underground. I used it for many years as a commuter and never minded too much the nose in the armpit, stamping on toes and the pushing and shoving that happens every rush hour.

    susu

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by nepete (U11290337) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    Does Germany have a nationwide system of over/underground trains I wonder? 
    Hi susu - only nationwide system atm is the DB - the national railway company.

    Then we have a number of cities which have an S-Bahn (mostly above ground, but modern lines are also often underground)
    en.wikipedia.org/wik...

    ...and then, some (large) cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich etc have full underground systems. Other cities have metro lines which run underground, like Bochum, Frankfurt etc. - but all of these are municipal (local) systems

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    Thanks nepete.

    Diverging slightly, who runs the ICE train we took from Frankfurt to Cologne? It was very nice (even though we were in 1st class by mistake and got booted out p.d.q. ! ), very fast and - as would be expected - bang on time.

    s.fluff

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by nepete (U11290337) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    Hi susu - (how rotten to kick you out of the 1st class carriage - no Christmas spirit in these people, I tell you : - )

    The ICE is run by the national rail company (Deutsche BahnI)

    ICE in Modern ´German stands for
    Inter City Express.

    I'm glad it was on time - since they decided to run the DB as a private business, neither punctuality nor reliability of services have improved, to put it very politely.

    P.S.Question to all you native speakers: would you rather say
    neither punctuality nor reliability of services /have/ improved
    or
    neither punctuality nor reliability of services /has/ improved ?8?????)

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by Bearhug (U2258283) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    ICE are DB.

    Their website is also available in English. www.bahn.com/i/view/...

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by Bearhug (U2258283) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    P.S.Question to all you native speakers: would you rather say
    neither punctuality nor reliability of services /have/ improved
    or
    neither punctuality nor reliability of services /has/ improved ?8?????)  

    My first instinct is has, but the then I stopped to think about it, and I wavered. But I would say, "Neither Tom nor Dick has completed it."

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by nepete (U11290337) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    Thank you Bearhug!
    Could you also give me your first instinct's opinion on :

    punctuality and reliability of services have not improved (or has not improved, respectively)??

    (You have heard about the Chinese proverb that if you save someone's life you're responsible for the person ever after ? : -))

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by jane c (U2234970) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    "has" gets my vote.

    But I wouldn't mark "have" as wrong. I was a nice teacher, me.

    Recovered from the business trip, then, nepete? My mind is still battling with the Länderausgleich and does not yet have anything intelligent to contribute or ask.

    Talking of which, the only other federal system of government I'm familiar with is the US. But I haven't a clue whether they have a similar set-up. My guess is "not" based on the US emphasis on self-reliance when it suits them.

    What other European countries have a federal system I wonder? (Answer: google, jane, google. don't be lazy)

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 39.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    neither punctuality nor reliability of services /have/ improved
    or
    neither punctuality nor reliability of services /has/ improved ?8?????) 



    ....ooerr...not sure. But doesn't that sentence have a double negative (or am I thinking of maths) that shouldn't be there, i.e. shouldn't it be 'neither punctuality or reliability of services...whatever?

    What do I know. But I can think of somebody who will know..................!

    s.fluff

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by jane c (U2234970) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    "have" in the second instance.

    "Neither" and "nor" introduce aposites, i.e. parts of speech that are equal in value and interchangeable.

    If you see what I mean.

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 45.

    Posted by Sparticadet-fluff (U15496961) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    "Neither" and "nor" introduce aposites, i.e. parts of speech that are equal in value and interchangeable.

    If you see what I mean. 


    ....ah! Yes. Thanks jane c.

    s.fluff

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    punctuality and reliability of services have not improved (or has not improved, respectively)?? 

    Clearly "have" as there are two subjects.

    P.S.Question to all you native speakers: would you rather say
    neither punctuality nor reliability of services have improved
    or
    neither punctuality nor reliability of services has improved ??????) 


    has, because it is a reordering of

    "punctuality has not improved. Neither has reliability.".

    But "punctuality and reliability have not improved" because then there are two subjects.


    How goes it in German?

    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by nepete (U11290337) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    "has" gets my vote.

    But I wouldn't mark "have" as wrong. I was a nice teacher, me. 


    oh jane, I always knew you were a good 'un!!! Actually, I just wanted to know for "personal use" - I have no ambition to be grammatically perfect.

    Länderfinanzausgleich:

    Germany is the only country I know (.....and I'm not an economist) where such a system is in place *without* the involvement of the central / federal government.
    Afaik, a lot of transfer payments are effectively taking place between the individual states of the US vie the national insurances (unemployment, pensions, medicare) + some infrastructural payments.
    Back to Germany: in the constitution (basic law) you'll find in $72 the principle that living conditions (i.e. level of welfare, infrastructure, safety etc) shall be comparable in all parts of Germany.
    To ensure this, there are horizontal equalisation payments (Länderfinanzausgleich) and vertical equalisation payments (Bundeszuweisungen).
    The former are calculated on the basis of fiscal revenues, the latter taking into account the actual fiscal income.
    (in other words: the fist (horizontal) payment depends on how much the states "earn", the vertical payment is for the benefit of those states who are still too poor *after" the horizontal payments have been made).

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by nepete (U11290337) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    But "punctuality and reliability have not improved" because then there are two subjects.


    How goes it in German? 


    Same in German - but that's not how my brain works - I don't translate sentences from one language to the other.

    Probably an effect of having grown up bilingually (not English - German, I hasten to add)

    Report message49

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 49.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Friday, 11th January 2013

    nepete you would certainly pass for native English in writing.

    In fact I don't recall any posters here whose English is clearly non native.

    Report message50

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