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The Lernen to Talk Show: Episode 39 – A Visit to a Gymnasium!

August 29, 2012

Back in April I went to visit a high school outside of Cologne as a part of the American Consulate’s MeetUS program. It gives Americans living in Germany a chance to visit schools and to give students a chance to meet real live Amerikaner. I had a lot of fun doing it, and as a special bonus, the class agreed to all be guests on the Lernen to Talk Show! One small disclaimer though, before you watch this episode. You’ll notice on the blackboard behind me there are some less than flattering words on display. LET ME EXPLAIN! As a start to my talk, I asked the students to share some of the stereotypes they think of when they think of the United States. They had no qualms being critical, making their (mis)conceptions ganz klar. (I guess it’s easier when your face isn’t being shown on video!) Once they were finished, I wrote down some of the stereotypes that Americans tend to have about German culture. We all had a good laugh and left the the classroom a little more open minded and iconoclastic. And now, without further ado, Episode 39!

0:17 – I’m bad at counting.

0:27 – I’m not sure if the term Schüler is accurate for describing these kids. They are students at a high school, which is called a Gymnasium, not to be confused with a Grundschule. I know for sure that kids in grade school are called Schüler, and students at a university are called Studenten… but what’s the best noun to describe high school students?

0:50 – It’s real hard to hear what these kids are saying on the video, so I’m kind of ballparking it here with the translation.

1:11 – Spiegelisch = “mirrory”. I don’t know what English word I was trying to approximate here… I meant that he would be spending a year in the USA, much like I spent a year in Germany.

1:36 – He shoots, he misses.

1:45 – Throw me a bone.

3:12 – Sorry, I couldn’t hear what he was saying here! “Alle Sportartigen”?

4:00 – If anyone can offer good translations for the subtitles I missed, please put them in the comments! I can add them later.

4:06 – Maybe it is an action movie?

4:18 – I started this sentence before I realized that I didn’t have a way to finish it… Please! Recommend some German movies for me to see!

4:26 – I also like adding superfluous syllables to people’s names.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Daniel permalink
    August 31, 2012 18:57

    3:14: “alle Sportarten liebend” – but that’s very clumsy to my ears. Just say “Sportfans”! Much more easier! 🙂

  2. Daniel permalink
    August 31, 2012 18:58

    Oh, and Fritz Lang was Austrian, wasn’t he?

  3. nostrovatus permalink
    December 10, 2012 16:22

    Das Experiment, by Oliver Hirschbiegel. Anything from Haneke. Fatih Akin. And of course, Wim Wenders. Goethe’s witz… Hilarious! I got your back…

  4. June 29, 2013 19:25

    I think the moment when you get the Goethe joke is pretty priceless.

  5. shteo89 permalink
    July 2, 2013 14:27

    Das Leben der Anderen is a pretty good movie, and 13 Semesters.

  6. Jacob permalink
    July 6, 2013 21:33

    Das Wort “Schüler” bei 0:27 stimmt. Man sagt Schüler zu Kindern in der Grundschule und auf dem Gymnasium. Wenn man die beiden untersceiden will, kann man auch “Grundschüler” und “Gymnasiasten” sagen.

  7. Norbert permalink
    August 1, 2013 17:54

    You like to know some german movies?
    O.k. let’s go:
    – “Die Brücke” by Bernhard Wicki, Germany 1959 (war)
    – “Das Boot” by Wolfgang Petersen, Germany 1981 (war)
    – “Spur der Steine” by Frank Beyer, (ex-) DDR 1966 (social/political drama)
    – “(T)Raumschiff ‘Surprise’ – Periode 1” by Michael “Bully” Herbig, Germany 2004 (Sci-Fi-comedy)
    – try to find some episodes of the periodical TV-Series “Tatort”, especially some episodes with Götz George as “Hauptkommissar Schimanski” (crime)
    – the 7-episodes TV-series “Raumpatrouille” (aka “Orion”) with Dietmar Schönherr as “Commander Cliff McLane”, of the mid 1960s; the german Star Trek… LOL (Sci-Fi)
    – “Iron Sky”, a german-finnish-australien Sci-Fi-nazi-parody from 2012: weired (wiered?) and funny (the whole crew -from the director to the best-boy- must have been drunken!)
    – you like Fritz Lang? O.k., look for “Die Nibelungen”, Germany 1924 (history/saga-drama)
    – “Münchhausen” by Josef von Báky, Germany 1943 (fantasy-comedy)

    If you like to know more about my examples, look at the IMDB or at Wikipedia. And if you like to get more examples, just ask!


    • Norbert permalink
      August 2, 2013 20:06

      Television (for private households) was founded in Germany in the mid 30s as a part of the Nazi-propaganda-machinery by preparing the Olympic Games in Berlin 1936.
      TV-sets were very expensive and only for rich people… a common TV-set costs a years-wage of a common worker. But they were “Fernsehstuben” -let’s say: TV-rooms- like cinemas for the common people. No problem, because, there was only one program; the program of the “Reichsrundfunkgesellschaft” (German/”Reich’s” Broadcasting Company)
      (Trial broadcastings were made since the mid 20s.)
      Later, after WW2, TV starts in the early 50s again nearly at zero, what means the nation-wide broadcasting equipment and the TV-sets.
      Germany’s first TV-station after WW2 was hosted in the greatest former “Flak-Hochbunker” (“Flak” = Anti-Aircraft-canon – “Hochbunker” = a bombshelter high OVER the ground) in Hamburg by the former NWDR (NWDR = Nordwestdeutscher Rundfung = North-west German Broadcasting).
      Soon after TV-sets becomes available by it’s prize for greater parts of the german people since the end of the 1950s there was created a word in the German language with a new meaning: “Straßenfeger” (Strassenfeger).
      “Streetsweepers” were TV-shows who makes the streets desert and makes the livingrooms overcrowded (Just like Orson Welles’ radio-show “The war of the worlds” in 1938 – but without panic!)!
      Now for long word’s short sense:
      If you are interested in such streetsweepers look for the German TV-adaptions of the crime-novels of Francis Durbridge and Edgar Wallace.
      And try to get a copy of “Die Gentlemen bitten zur Kasse” by John Olden and Claus Peter Witt, Germany 1966, a semi-documentary Straßenfeger over the great train robbery in England 1963, when £ 2.6 million (equivalent of £ 46 million today) were stolen without any person was seriously hurt.


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