Not unlike their German language music colleagues Rammstein, language does not limit the appeal of Die Toten Hosen. In the German-speaking world, they are major rock stars and they are pretty well known in the rest of the world, too. For nearly 40 years the quintet from Düsseldorf has won rock and punk fans over with their catchy tunes. Their lyrics range from the socially and politically aware to the mundane observations on everyday life. This month, let’s rock out and learn the German language with the music of Die Toten Hosen!
Bavarian-born actor Maximilian Brückner seems to have portrayed every role imaginable. He has brought to life everything from seemingly radical theologians to closeted athletes fighting bigotry. Whether it is classical drama or comedy, Brückner’s talent knows no boundaries or limits. So this month, let us learn German with the films of actor Maximilian Brückner!
In recent years, Austrian rockers have become all the rage outside of their native country. But long before the likes of Bilderbuch, Wanda or Voodoo Jürgens, der Nino aus Wien was making quite the impact with his German music with a touch of his Viennese dialect (Wienerlied). With his knack for carefully crafting songs and his straightforward delivery, Nino’s music is the kind you turn on and put on repeat. At times it is somber, others it is fun and catchy. Part of his appeal is his casual, everyman approach. Half the time, he appears seemingly bored on stage while performing. But then he opens his mouth or strums his guitar. But it is always worth hearing. So this month, get to know der Nino aus Wien and learn German with music.
While the last name of Bousdoukos may throw you off, make no mistake about it: Adam Bousdoukos is a German actor through and through. Since making his acting debut in the mid-90s, Bousdoukos has chalked up more than 50 acting credits to his name. He has appeared on screens both big and small in roles both dramatic and comedic. So this month, let’s learn German with films starring actor Adam Bousdoukos!
With a flashy stage show and intentionally provoking lyrics, Rammstein is famous the world over with their hard rock and metal music. The leather-wearing, fire-spitting performances are nearly as notable as their lyrics, which are often dark and violent. Despite that, Rammstein thrill fans with hard-hitting guitar riffs and equally hard-hitting rhythms. So this month, let’s learn German with the heavy metal music of Rammstein!
With more than a dozen English language credits to her name, you may already be familiar with German actress Veronica Ferres. Perhaps you have seen her in 2015’s Pay the Ghost with Nicholas Cage and 2014’s Casanova Variations with John Malkovich. Veronica Ferres is a prolific actress with many titles to her name. She has made a name for herself in both films and on television as well as a number of theater productions. So this month, let’s learn German with the films of actress Veronica Ferres!
Most rock fans will best know Till Lindemann as the leather-wearing, shock provoking, letter “R” rolling frontman of German metal band Rammstein. But under the guise of Lindemann, Till joins forces with Swedish death metal’s Peter Tägtgren (of the bands Hypocrisy and Pain). With his side project, Till wears leather, provokes for shock effect, and rolls his Rs. Some habits are hard to break.
In late November 2019, Lindemann (the band) will release its sophomore full-length. But unlike the band’s 2015 debut, this one features lyrics in the German language. So this month, let’s raise those devil horns high and learn German with the music of metal duo Lindemann.
International filmgoers largely got to know David Kross for the first time with his starring role as an impressionable youth in a post World War II Germany in the 2008 English language adaptation of author Bernhard Schlink’s novel The Reader (or Der Vorleser in German). Since then the young actor has performed the impressive task of balancing roles in both English and German language films. Hollywood audiences may know him from Steven Spielberg‘s War Horse or Race, the 2016 Jesse Owens biopic. But Kross has a strong German language resume, too. So this month, let’s learn German with the films of actor David Kross!
When Vienna, Austria’s Wanda burst onto the music scene in 2014 it was seemingly out of nowhere. But before the end of that year, the band had a huge hit on their hands with the infectious single “Bologna.” Today, the band has four albums under their belt — all of which went to the top of the charts in their home country and most broke into the top five in Germany. So this month, let’s tune up our German skills and learn German with the music of Wanda!
To say that actress Johanna Wokalek is accomplished is an understatement. The award-winning actress has made a name for herself in film but also on the stage in both theater and opera. She’s portrayed everyone from a woman impersonating a man who becomes pope to an international terrorist. With all of that range and variety, Wokalek is the perfect actor to help guide German learners. So this month, let’s learn German with the films of Johanna Wokalek!
While every month I highlight a different musical act that performs in the German language, I can’t say that I’m always a big fan of each month’s artist. This month is a little different. Einstürzende Neubauten is, without a doubt, the first German band that I ever really discovered and have been my favorite band, regardless of language, for many years now. While it’s often easy to label musicians as “rock” or “pop,” it’s a little more difficult for Neubauten. At times their music can be noisy and bordering on performance art while other tracks can be decidedly mainstream. But it’s always on their own terms. That means, among other things, unconventional instruments. This month, let’s learn German with the music of Einstürzende Neubauten!
German filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is a unique case. His debut full-length feature film won countless awards internationally, including an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. With the acclaim, came Hollywood and off he went. Where some filmmakers are prolific, Donnersmarck is far more selective. So this month, let’s get to know Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and practice German with film!