German working culture

The BBC came up with an interesting piece about German working culture.

German working culture expressions

Germany’s economy is very strong, yet German workers take more days off than those of any other country in Europe.  So it seems all to be about a good work-life balance.

Joseph Pearson’s analysis of popular words used in German workplaces like “Mahlzeit” or “Feierabendbier”  gives a good insight in how a healthy balance between work and play can be very effective to the outcome of a national economy.

What are your experiences with working in Germany?

Has your company a tradition in common lunch breaks or even Feierabendbiere with colleagues? What other typical working place expressions do you know? Would you say that German workers match the stereotype of hardworking robots?

Picture by Glenn Euloth , CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Elections in Germany

Germany is going to vote for a new parliament

In case you wondered what the upcoming elections in Germany are about, here are six charts that help you to understand what the Germans are voting on.

German voters will choose the makeup of their main legislative body, the Bundestag, which will in turn choose the next chancellor.

The Grand Coalition

After the  2013 election the two biggest parties, the CDU and the SPD built the governing grand coalition. The same is expected for this year’s election. Expected with fear, one should add, since a grand coalition stands for lack of courageous decision making and progress.

Who votes for what?

Historical divisions between the former east and the west still play a role in the way people vote. Also income profiles give strong hints about voting behaviour.

Germany also has a party which, similar to the voters for Trump, lean to conspiracy theories. They fight against the imagined fake news mainstream. The so called AfD (Alternative für Deutschland/ Alternative for Germany) will probably, for the first time, be part of the German Bundestag.

Which party would you vote for if you could take part in the German elections? Which subject are the most important to be taken care of?

For the advanced German speakers, you can use the Wahl-O-Mat to find out which party you should vote for.

Picture by Rolf van Melis CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Learn German through podcasts

Part 1: Marc-Uwe Kling


Picture by Argekultur

If you want to learn German, best way to do so is by being curious about those who speak it. So you should listen as much as possible to songs, TV-shows, radio and people on the street, in cafés or while shopping.

Another great access to german culture and language is the very vivid Lesebühnen (reading stage)-scene in Germany and in Berlin. There a numerous different groups such as Die Surfpoeten, Couchpoetos, LSD, Brauseboys or the Reformbühne Heim & Welt (to name just a few).

Marc-Uwe Kling is one of the stars of this scene. He’s most famous for his Kangaroo Chronicles. He’s part of Berlin’s Lesebühne Lesedüne, Poetry Slam Champion and winner of numerous awards for his stage shows.

On his Soundcloud account you will find lots of songs and audios of his readings. I highly recommend to listen to his stuff, it’s smart, witty and very German. Even if it is more for the advanced learner, even as a beginner you could give it a try. You might only understand bits and pieces, but they are worth it.