German linguistics

Are you interested in German linguistics or teaching or taking a course on the subject? I just posted a list of German linguistics resources to the site Pages. Take a look if you are interested.

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Top 10 career paths in Germany

In the process of developing a teaching unit for next semester on Studium und Beruf, I came across the latest statistics of the German Federal Statistics Office (Statistisches Bundesamt) on the most popular career paths among young Germans and compiled them into two charts.

The first chart shows the most popular majors at Germany’s universities. Students graduating from secondary school may study at a university if they fulfill entrance requirements and pass the qualifying school-leaving exam (Abitur). About 30% of secondary school graduates qualify for and choose this path.

The second chart shows the most popular choices among Germany’s 345 officially recognized career training programs (Ausbildungsberufe). The remaining 70% of secondary school graduates participate in Germany’s duales System or dual system of education, in which trainees attend a vocational school (Berufsschule) part-time while also gaining practical experience through on-the-job training.

Both lists are broken down by gender, which can offer some basis for further discussion in the classroom. Some reading and interpretation questions for students follow each chart.

Die beliebtesten Studienfächer

Fragen zu Grafik 1

1. Was ist das beliebteste Studienfach an deutschen Hochschulen?

2. Was studieren Frauen öfter als Männer?

3. Was studieren Männer öfter als Frauen?

4. In welchen Fächern lernt man Sprachen?

5. In welchen Fächern arbeitet man viel mit Zahlen?

6. Wie interpretieren Sie die Informationen in dieser Grafik? Sehen Sie Trends?



Die beliebtesten Ausbildungsberufe

 Fragen zu Grafik 2

Verstehen Sie, was für Berufe diese sind? Schlagen Sie die Begriffe im Wörterbuch nach, wenn Sie sie nicht verstehen.

1. Welche Ausbildungsberufe sind unter den beliebtesten für Frauen und Männer?

2. In welchen Berufen sitzt man wohl am Schreibtisch?

3. In welchen Berufen hat man viel Kontakt zu Menschen?

4. In welchen Berufen arbeitet man wohl mit Computern?

5. In welchen Berufen arbeitet man an Maschinen?

6. Wie unterscheiden sich die Berufe von Männern und Frauen? Gibt es Trends?


Posted in Culture, Teaching German Tagged with: , , ,

More free German Christmas ebooks

Yesterday I posted some links to free German ebooks with a Christmas theme. Today a few of the twelve books I posted about are no longer free. But here are a few more that are free today that were not yesterday. Get them while they don’t cost you anything!

Der Weihnachtsteller – Kulinarische Weihnachtsgeschichten – Christmas stories and poems with a culinary theme.

München Manhatten – Weihnachtsspecial – A short story gift from the author in her München Manhattan series. Susanna has just one wish for Christmas: that her best friends finally will end their feud. But is a reconciliation even possible after all that has happened?

White Christmas. Kurzkrimi - Free download only on the first four Sundays in December this year.  Karo Rutkowsky, private detective and sucessful cleaning woman, solves her cases with attitude. Not always legal, but thorough.

Tödliche Festtage – 18 short crime stories for Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. Christmas stories: Ein Laster voller Geschenke, Invasion der Weihnachtsmänner, Rutenklaus, Eisige Zeiten, Rumkuchen, Strip a Claus, Niko klaut‘s, Der Stiefel, Der Baum und Blutiger Schnee.

Weihnachts-Bowle – by 19th-century German author Otto Julius Bierbaum

These books are free at the time of posting, but may not be so for long. If you are interested, grab them now!

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Free German Christmas books to download

In my search for Christmas-themed German language texts, I stumbled across several free downloadable ebooks. The following German Christmas ebooks are free as of this posting and can be downloaded from Amazon. They are in Kindle format, but you don’t need a Kindle to read them. You can also read them on a Kindle app for your mobile device or the Kindle reader for PC.

Traditional German Christmas texts

Weihnachtsgedichte – Contains 50 German Christmas-themed poems by both traditional and contemporary German-speaking authors.

Adventskalender 2013 – Vorfreude auf Weihnachten - A German Christmas poem for every day from December 1 to 24. Authors include Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Christian Morgenstern, Clemens Brentano, Gottfried Keller, Heinrich Heine, Joachim Ringelnatz, Johann Wolfgang von Goehte, Rainer Maria Rilke, Theodor Fontane, and Theodor Storm.

Weihnacht! - by Karl May – This Karl May novel first appeared in 1897. The story takes place partly in Germany, partly in the Wild West of the United States and describes the experiences of the famous Karl May characters Winnetou and Old Shatterhand. The title of the story comes from a Christmas poem that May originally composed for a magazine. The poem is woven into the story at various points.

Weihnacht-Abend – by Ludwig Tieck – The great Breite Straße Christmas Market in Berlin in 1791 forms the background of Tieck’s novella. A poor young girl watches the

A Christmas Carol - by Charles Dickens – German edition.  The same traditional Dickens Christmas story, translated into German.

German Christmas stories for children

Der Weihnachtspullover – 24-page illustrated children’s story. Oh no, Grandma can’t make it for Christmas this year. But grandson Yann has an idea. Maybe he can change something with the sweater Grandma knitted for him and a few magic words? This story is one of a series all with the same premise: Grandma in Germany knits her yearning to see her grandson Yann in France into sweaters. When Yann puts on one of these sweaters and says a magic spell, he experiences unusual things.

Die kleine Schneefee – 11-page short fantasy story for children. Sarah is wishing hard for a white Christmas, but it just won’t snow. But when she encounters the snow fairy Lisa on the way to school, she gets an unexpected opportunity.

Benni Grünfink feiert Weihnachten – For children ages 4 to 10.  A day before Christmas Eve everyone is looking forward to the big celebration. Benni Grünfink, a little bird who lives in a garden at the edge of a small town, and he 8-year-old Lenimari and her little brother Tikko, who have have moved with their parents to an old farm, are drawn into a breathtaking series of events.

Pauwdies – Der magische Adventskalender - For children ages 8 to 10. When Paolo opens the first door of his mysterious Advent calender, he encounters an unexpected obstacle. His Advent calendar is inhabited by a tiny, furry creature. It is Kasmir, a being from another world — a world full of magic and fantastical creatures. Paolo and his sister Lara are about to embark on an exciting adventure.

German Christmas books for adults

Mein Weihnachtsbaum, meine Familie und ich –  A humorous Christmas story. Like every year, Manfred meets his friend, the Christmas tree, at the busstop. He is back, well rested from his spa treatment, and it seems as everything is the same as usual. But then there is a problem.

25. Dezember – Weihnachtsgeschichten für Mutter und GroßmutterSeven bittersweet Christmas-themed stories to get mothers and grandmothers in a Christmas mood.

O du fröhliche, gabenbringende Weihnachtszeit. Wie Kinder Weihnachtslieder (miss-)verstehen – Amusing childhood memories of misunderstood Christmas songs. German speakers of all ages remember misunderstood and missung songs of their childhood. The lyrics of German Christmas carols are followed by people’s childhood memories of the songs.

Other not free, but cheap German Christmas books

Weihnachts-Märchen – Stimmungsvolle Klassiker und Neues entdecken – 74 classical and modern Christmas stories, including Grimms’ and Andersen’s tales, stories by Charles Dickens, Theodor Storm, E.T.A. Hoffmann, and many others.

Geschichten zum Advent - Four short stories: “Die Kalenderkinder”, “Die Adventslichter”, “Die neuen Weihnachtsbäume”, and “Der Krippenschnitzer”. Each story takes 5 to 10 minutes to read aloud.

German Christmas Traditions – This book in English about the Christmas celebration in Germany includes descriptions of traditions and customs from decorating your home to baking cookies (Weihnachtsplätzchen) to visiting Christmas markets. Also discusses St. Nicholas Day, the bringing of gifts, Christmas ornaments, traditional holiday dinners, and more.

Christmas in Germany – This book in English describes a wide range of German Christmas foods, drinks, and customs. It covers the tradition of Advent, the best Christmas markets in Germany and their history, the origins of the mistletoe kiss, the history of St. Nicholas, how to cook season favorites and what they mean, the tradition of hanging ornaments, and more.

I hope you find something you like!

Posted in Books, Products, Resources Tagged with: , , ,

Buying German foods outside of Germany –

I’m always looking for places that will deliver German products to my door.  I first discovered Germanshop24 in 2009. I had been looking for Mon Cheri, which was oddly difficult to find. But Germanshop24 had that and lots more. I ended up ordering several boxes of Mon Cheri and added on some Kinder Schokolade and Haribo goodies for my family, some Vanillezucker, and a few Maggi products. At that time, delivery took a few weeks, and I waited impatiently for my package to arrive. However, the business has been growing and expanding over the past few years, and Germanshop24 now has a distribution center in California. Delivery time to anywhere in the U.S. or Canada is now only 3 to 5 work days. If you just happen to live in the vicinity of Sacramento, where the warehouse is located, you can opt for local pick-up at checkout.


A glimpse of the Sacramento distribution center

I continue to get my chocolate-cherry-liqueur-goodness fix through Germanshop24 each year when Mon Cheri becomes seasonally available again. Back when I first found the website, its amateurish appearance and the sometimes awkward English made me question whether it was a legitimate business. So I e-mailed using the contact information to get a feel for what was behind the site. The person who replied was very genuine and helpful, an experience that is consistent with every shopping experience I’ve had with Germanshop24 since. The customer service is responsive, communication is quick, and the process from ordering to delivery is transparent.

To see what the site currently offers, you can download their current catalog (which is regularly updated), browse the site (which you can navigate by category), or use the search feature. The inventory always includes some non-food products like body lotions and stuffed animals, and seasonal items like St. Martin’s Day lanterns and Christmas pyramids and ornaments, incense smokers, and music boxes. Right now there is also a decent assortment of Christmas chocolates, cookies and cookie mixes, stollen, and seasonal Haribo candy.

Germanshop24 seems to cater to North America, but they will also deliver to Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Cuba, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Phillipines, the Russian Federation, South Afrika, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and anywhere within Europe. Payment is accepted via PayPal. Shipping costs can be steep. But the items are reasonably priced and they also regularly offer percentage-off discounts. Currently the discount code black2013 will get you 10% off your entire order. It expires on 12/1/2013. However, you can check the site or subscribe to its newsletter to get current codes regularly.

Have you ever used Germanshop24? What were your experiences? Have you had positive experiences with other sites that deliver German products internationally? Share them below!


Another glimpse of the Sacramento distribution center

Disclaimer: If you click through to Germanshop24 from my site and you end up ordering something, I will receive a small commission for the referral. If you don’t want that to happen, then copy or type the link to directly into your browser.

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