Every time that I visit the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, New Jersey, I have goals. I want to have a nice Japanese lunch (and it’s difficult to pick between the tendon bowl and the ramen). I want to do some grocery shopping (the shabu shabu beef makes darn good Philadelphia cheese steaks). Finally, I want to select a few different Japanese candies to try. Preferably matcha flavored sweets. It can be especially difficult to know what exactly you are getting with some of the sweets if you can’t read Japanese. So I wanted to share a few of the treats that I’ve picked up over the course of several trips to Mitsuwa.
Central Philadelphia is great for traveling on foot. And, no, it is not just because public transit coverage is spotty. (Not the whole reason, anyhow.) In addition to being relatively flat, you can literally walk through time. From the Art Museum to the Liberty Bell. Across cobblestones and concrete sidewalks. Through streets where the likes of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and countless other founding fathers walked during colonial times. I’ve put together a Philadelphia walking tour to explore the culture and the history — and get a bite to eat, too!
Using music to learn the German language can be a great tool but it is not always easy. Sometimes it can difficult enough to make out the lyrics of songs in your own language. Recognizing the lyrics of a German song? It can be a whole other challenge. But with legendary German electronic music band Kraftwerk the challenge is not so great. With clearly delivered lyrics, catchy rhythms and songs that aren’t too quick, Kraftwerk are actually a great way to learn and practice the German language.
There is a chance you have already seen a film by this month’s German film feature Christian Petzold. The director and screenwriter has worked four times with actress Nina Hoss, whose work has been previously highlighted. He has nearly as many television films to his name as full-length feature films. While Petzold has not been as prolific with his work as some, the films he makes are weighty, serious ones that leave you with something to think about.
It is simply amazing the lengths that some people will go to to escape. To escape persecution, fascism, war — the list of reasons, sadly, seems to have no end. It is difficult to comprehend what one human will do to another. Author Greg Mitchell focuses on a very specific period of history that is well known for escape attempts: the Berlin Wall in his latest book, The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill.
When you read the word “Zeppelin,” the first thing you think of might be a famous classic rock band. Admittedly, “Whole Lotta Love” has its merits. But what I’m talking about is taking a ride in a dirigible, not a stairway to heaven. No, I’m talking about taking a ride in a Zeppelin. And in Friedrichshafen, Germany you can still take a ride in what is really a unique form of transportation.
Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (or Graf Zeppelin, in German) of Germany is noted as the pioneer when it comes to Zeppelins. In the late 19th century he started designing the rigid airships. By 1910, the first Zeppelin had been flown commercially. During World War I, they were used by the German military. The airships crisscrossed the world. They flew from Europe to America, South America and even Asia. They were a wonder of their day.
Whether you’re in the car driving, working out or just hanging out at home, music is the soundtrack of our lives. That’s why each month I feature a different musician or band whose German language music will excite and educate you. There’s no better way to learn German than to not feel like you’re learning German. The best part about music is that there is always something for everything. From hip hoppers like KIZ to Wien rock’n’roller Voodoo Jürgens.
Each month I highlight different individuals working in German films. This means directors to actors, to screenwriters and filmmakers. As a German learner myself, I know how important it is to train your ear to hear and comprehend the spoken language. This year, I’ve featured 11 different directors and actors who work in German film. There is quite a range. From established and highly respected filmmakers like Volker Schlöndorff to relative but notable newcomers like actor Ludwig Trepte, there is no shortage. So what are you waiting for?! Let’s take a look back at 2016!
Looking for some festive music for your holiday party? Or just some tunes to listen to while you wrap gifts? Perhaps you just want to put on some music and get into the Christmas spirit? The reason doesn’t matter. But now isn’t the time to slack off with your German language practice. May your days be merry and bright with these German Christmas songs! Learn the carols and make new traditions and memories that will last a lifetime! Here is ten of the most popular and beloved German Christmas songs.
For those of us who aren’t fluent in German, sometimes you need a good challenge. A good kick in the pants, so to speak. Vienna’s Voodoo Jürgens is just that challenge. It’s like the days before digital, when you sat down with your liner notes (whether vinyl or CD) and poured over the lyrics. But instead of deciphering the lyrics of your childhood, sometimes you just have to translate Wienerisch, the Viennese German dialect to Hochdeutsch.
Or, you can simply enjoy good music because it’s good.