German Of The Day: Nichts klappt

That means nothing works. Or how about “failed State?” That means failed state. You know, like the failed city-state of Berlin?

Palmer

When the prominent Mayor of Tübingen Boris Palmer (Greens) has to come to Berlin for business he says to himself “Watch out, you are now leaving the functioning part of Germany.” He just can’t deal with the mix of crime, drug dealing and bitter poverty confronting him here on the street. “I don’t want to have these conditions in Tübingen,” he says.

Don’t worry. You never will. And you’re right, of course. Nothing works here in Berlin. But isn’t that the point? Oddly, for whatever the reason (decades of SPD-Green-Left Party mismanagement at city hall? Half the population being on welfare?) nobody in Berlin seems to care. And sheesh. In all fairness, this guy has clearly never been to an American city.

Berlin, ein „failed State“? Irgendwie schon, so Tübingens Oberbürgermeister Boris Palmer. Die Mischung aus Kriminalität, Drogenhandel und bitterer Armut auf der Straße verunsichere ihn als Baden-Württemberger nachhaltig.

Advertisements

German Is A Tough Language To Learn

Even if you’re, well, a German cop-to-be in Berlin.

Police

And the English language is at fault. Sort of.

Germany’s cops are bombarded with countless criticisms today, but this one definitely stands out – it emerged that police cadets in Berlin, many of whom have immigrant backgrounds (some 40 percent), have difficulty using… the German language.

Many cadets attending Berlin’s police academy have “fundamental difficulties” writing in German without spelling or punctuation errors, revealed Tanja Knapp, the newly appointed head of the institution. She said it was really disappointing to learn that these cadets are unable to produce written texts. And since after every stakeout or chase you have to write a report, that’s discouraging news.

Part of the problem is that too much emphasis is placed on learning English, Knapp said. Over the years, Berlin has evolved into a truly international city where English is sometimes spoken more frequently than German.

“Of course, it makes sense to be able to speak English to the capital’s many tourists,” Knapp said. “But if the basic required level of German is too low, then the focus should be on German.”

Berlins Polizeischüler sollen künftig weniger Englisch- und dafür mehr Deutschunterricht erhalten. Es gebe bei vielen Polizei-Azubis „grundsätzliche Schwierigkeiten“ mit der Sprache.

German Of The Day: Amerikanische Verhältnisse

That means American conditions. And it’s usually meant in the negative sense.

TK-Maxx

You know, like when forty people in two rival groups start a mass brawl during a Black Friday sale at a TK-Maxx in Osnabrück? That’s right. They may not celebrate Thanksgiving in Germany but they certainly know how to enjoy Black Friday festivities here now. And they seem to be really good at it, too.

The police had to come in with twenty cop cruisers and a few ambulances to haul the injured away. But the savings were tremendous!

Die Polizei rückte mit 20 Streifenwagen an und musste die Situation entschärfen. Außerdem wurden bei der Schlägerei mehrere Menschen verletzt, sodass auch mehrere Rettungswagen im Einsatz waren.

German Of The Day: Kindergeld

That means child benefit payments. The “Kindergeld” benefits consist of monthly payments for each child in a family, starting at €192 per month per child for the first two children. Payments are then staggered depending on the number of children.

Kindergeld

The funny part is – hardy, har, har – these German Kindergeld payments are also going to parents of children who don’t even live in Germany but in other EU countries (€600 million per year). It’s another big scam, in other words. This has raised some concern here in Germany, believe it or not, and attempts have been made to restrict this.

So the really funny part is – hardy, har, har, har, har, har – is that the unelected officials over at the EU Parliament’s Sozialausschuss (Social Committee) have just ruled that Germany has to keep on making these payments anyway or else face disciplinary action from the EU. Wow. When Brussels says “social” (something for free), they mean it. You wanted Europe, Germany. Now you’ve got it. And you can bet there will be more good stuff like this to pay for in the future.

Deutschland, Österreich und Dänemark hatten gefordert, dass das Kindergeld für Ausländer an das Preisniveau des jeweiligen EU-Landes angepasst wird. Der Vorstoß ist im Sozialausschuss des EU-Parlaments gescheitert.

German Of The Day: Tagesschnellsten

That means the fastest of the day.

License

It took an eighteen-year-old kid from North Rhine Westphalia a mere 49 minutes to lose his brand now driver’s license. Thrilled by the thrill of it all, I suppose, he and some buds got caught by the cops doing 95 in a 50 kmh zone. Now that he’s had his driver’s license revoked he also gets to pay a big fine and go back to his driving school again for some more expensive retraining. At least he’s earned a lasting reputation with his friends (and everybody else who’s ever known him) for not being the fastest. When it comes to being fast, I mean.

Mit im Auto saßen den Angaben zufolge vier Freunde des 18-Jährigen. Die Polizei bezeichnete ihn in einer Pressemitteilung ironisch als “Tagesschnellsten”.

German Of The Day: Unerklärlich

That means inexplicable.

Islamophobia

You know, inexplicable like of all places on earth it’s inexplicable that Islamophobia and xenophobia could be on the rise in Germany. But it is. What could possibly be behind it?

Prejudice towards Muslims and foreigners is rising in Germany, a study has revealed.

More than 44 per cent of Germans believe Muslims should be banned from immigrating, compared to 36.5 per cent in 2014, the Competence Centre for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research found.

The poll found more than one in two (55.8 per cent) said the number of Muslims made them feel like strangers in their own country, while 43 per cent gave the same answer four years ago, the Die Welt newspaper reported.

“We want a leader who governs the country with a firm hand for the good of all.”

German Of The Day: Vorsitz

That means chair (of a company). Or chairman. Or chairwoman in this case.

Vorsitz

And chairwoman of the CDU is what Angela Merkel now no longer wants to be.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Monday took her first concrete steps to move away from political life, saying she would give up leadership of her conservative party while vowing to finish out her term as chancellor until 2021.

Ms. Merkel made her announcement, in a meeting of conservative leaders, after two disastrous results in regional elections that saw her party and its allies slump to near-record lows.

“Zeit, ein neues Kapitel aufzuschlagen.”

German Of The Day: Überziehungskredit

That means overdraft credit. You know, when money is withdrawn from your bank account and the available balance goes below zero?

Credit

Sure comes in handy. Take this lady here. Please. She glanced at her banking app during breakfast one morning and was rather surprised to discover that the grocery store chain Rewe had just booked 8,590,000,000.42 euros from her account – with a friendly “Rewe says thanks!”

After some quick calculations she realized that a mistake had been made. Accidents will happen, folks.

Bank zieht Frau vermeintlich acht Milliarden Euro ab.

German Of The Day: Beschönigen

That means to whitewash.

Merkel

And as Angela Merkel herself says, there is nothing to whitewash about her party’s decision to refuse reelecting her man Volker Kauder as CDU party whip. They elected the Merkel critical Ralph Brinkhaus instead.

The natives are getting restless. The AfD keeps growing in popularity. Her coalition partner SPD is still dead and getting deader by the minute. Now her own party members are trying their hand at open rebellion. Other than that, though, everyhing is looking just fine.

“Das ist eine Stunde der Demokratie, in der gibt es auch Niederlagen, und da gibt es auch nichts zu beschönigen.”