German Of The Day: Bildungsurlaub

That means educational or vocational training leave. You know, like that yoga course you took for your job?

Yoga

What? Your boss freaked out at the suggestion? Well, everybody does it here in Berlin. Yoga to go with the times, people.

A yoga course can be considered vocational training, a Berlin court has ruled, paving the way to doing the “Downward-facing Dog” or “Greet the Sun” on company time in Germany’s capital.

The state labour court for Berlin-Brandenburg has ruled a worker has the right to paid leave so they can attend a five-day adult education course entitled “Yoga I – successful and relaxed at work with yoga and meditation”.

The judge ruled that under Berlin’s Educational Leave Act, even a yoga course fulfills the far-reaching criteria of “professional development” which would promote an individual’s “adaptability and self-assertion”.

“Yoga I – erfolgreich und entspannt im Beruf mit Yoga und Meditation.”

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German Of The Day: Naivität

That means naivete, as in being gullible or simple-minded.

China

Here’s an example: Industry Leaders Accuse Europe of Naivete with Respect to China – China’s aggressive approach in extending its economic power is causing concern among European companies. They demand a tougher approach from Brussels – and a convincing vision.

Good luck with that, European industry leaders. “Europe” doesn’t have time to deal with little issues like that at the moment, nor will it have any time in the near future. It is too occupied with self-inflicted problems like uncontrolled migration and Brexit (and the ensuing financial crisis) and placing the next batch of non-elected and unaccountable EU eurocrats in power. But once all that is taken care of, who knows? That little Chinese issue might just get tackled, too.

Die aggressive Vorgehensweise Chinas bei der Ausdehnung seiner Wirtschaftsmacht bereitet europäischen Unternehmern Sorgen. Sie fordern eine härtere Gangart von Brüssel – und eine überzeugende Vision.

German Of The Day: Unsicherheit

That means uncertainty. You know, like economic uncertainty?

Export

German exports fell by 1.3% in February compared with the month before, the Federal Statistics Office said on Monday. The figure represents the biggest drop in export revenue for a year…

Economists say that uncertainties surrounding Britain’s exit from the EU, the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China as well as weakening demand for industrial products are weighing on economies across the world.

“Die Ungewissheit aufgrund der vielen ungelösten Konflikte schlägt sich in den Auftragsbüchern nieder.”

German Of The Day: Enteignung

That means confiscation or dispossession. You know, like confiscating private property?

Greens

And the German Greens hold this to be denkbar – another cool German word meaning conceivable or possible.

After all, the world must be fair and if rising property rents in cities like Berlin – caused by city governments like Berlin (Social Democrats and Greens for decades) – are creating hardship for the 85 percent (!) of Berliners who don’t own property – the government does everything it can to discourage owning property here – then the government that created this mess will simply confiscate the private property of those currently developing new housing and… And what? Give it to the poor? Been there, done that. We all know how that turns out. And who foots the bill. Robin Hoodlums never learn. They have no intention of learning.

Thousands took to the streets of Berlin on Saturday in protest against rising property rents and called for properties of large-scale landlords with more than 3,000 houses to be taken over by the government.

“Das Grundgesetz sieht Enteignungen zum Allgemeinwohl ausdrücklich vor.”

German Of The Day: Abkühlung

That means cooling or cooling off.

Cooling

You know, like German growth predicted to stall during 2019 in significant Abkühlung?

Germany’s economy could experience a “significant cooling” in 2019 and could see sharply lower growth this year, the country’s leading economic institutes have warned in a report compiled for Germany’s economics ministry.

Forecasts for German growth were revised significantly downwards in a ‘Joint Economic Forecast’ collated by several prominent German economic research institutes and published Thursday, with economists predicting a meager 0.8% this year.

This is more than one percentage point lower than a prediction for 1.9% made in a joint economic forecast in fall 2018.

“The long-term upswing of the German economy has come to an end.”

Germany Is NATO’s Biggest Freeloader

That was a Washington Post headline, not mine.

NATO

There’s a German word for freeloader, by the way. Sounds worse in German, too.

As Nato commemorates its 70th anniversary in Washington this week, Germany seems to be labouring mightily to reassure the 29-member alliance that it will never threaten anyone militarily again — because it is in fact its own worst enemy.

How else can you qualify an ally that has announced it won’t be meeting its own pledge to increase defence spending to 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product by 2024, even when it has formally committed to a target of 2 per cent, like everybody else?

Eines kann man Donald Trump nicht vorwerfen: Dass er mit seiner Meinung hinter dem Berg halten würde.

German Of The Day: Litfaßsäule

That means advertising column.

Pillar

Take a good look. They won’t be around much longer. They’re going to a better place – the same place the LPs, dial phones, typewriters and carrier pigeons went.

They have been an integral part of the city’s furniture for so long, Berliners admit to taking them for granted.

But concrete advertising pillars, known as Litfaßsäule – or Litfaß columns – after the man who invented them, around 3,000 of which dot the German capital, are under threat. A low-key, grassroots protest has sprung up in an effort to save them from destruction and sparked a trend involving writing messages on the pillars, as well as poems and heart felt tributes.

It takes two or three people to group hug a Litfaßsäule, and that has also become another way of highlighting the reluctance to let them go.

“I’m certainly still more drawn to a catchy poster on the Litfaßsäule, than I am to something that flashes up on my mobile phone which I’m likely to swipe away in annoyance.”

German Of The Day: Migrationshintergrund

That means migrant or immigration background.

Migrationshintergrund

You know, like almost half of the unemployed in Germany have Migrationshintergrund? 46 percent, to be exact, sort of (answering this question at the employment office is not mandatory so the number will actually be higher). Back in 2013 it was 36 percent. Kind of a high percentage, don’t you think? But the talking heads in government and media don’t worry about something like this turning into a larger problem than it already is because they have been told, officially like, that “they can do it.”

Die entsprechende Quote liegt demnach bei 46 Prozent. Ende 2013, vor Beginn der verstärkten Migration nach Deutschland, hatte der Wert noch bei 36 Prozent gelegen.

German Of The Day: Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei

That means the “fat” (good) years are over.

Fat

Merkel Doesn’t Want to Tell Germans the Good Times May Be Over – The leaders preparing to take over when Merkel steps aside are worried too. They say voters could be caught unawares by an economic shock in the middle of the political transition from Merkel’s rule. Two senior party officials this month voiced concerns that such a double whammy could shake up the political map ahead of the next election. They asked not to be identified questioning the chancellor’s approach.

One shouldn’t undermine the economic upswing by talking it down.

Deutsche Sprache Schwere Sprache

German is a tough language to learn.

German

For example, nearly half of the migrants who took the German language course offered by Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees last year (93,500 from 202,000 participants), failed. That failure rate of 45% is up from 40% the previous year.

And this was after 600 teaching units forty-five minutes each. Are they stupid? Of course not. But maybe the people who think “integrating” them would be easy. This just shows you what a mammoth task the integration of such a large number of people will be, should it ever succeed at all. If they can’t even speak the language, how can anyone expect them to be integrated? But maybe nobody really does anymore.

Die Durchfallquote bei den Deutschprüfungen am Ende der Integrationskurse ist vergangenes Jahr auf 45 Prozent angewachsen. 2017 lag sie noch bei 40 Prozent. Das zuständige Ministerium will die Kursqualität anheben.