Hold Tight to Avoid Beer Spillage

I’m in Hungary right now, so I won’t be watching the Turkey-Germany match.  I pass on a State Department warning to Americans living in Germany, as an email entitled "Hold Tight to Avoid Beer Spillage."  The pedant in me couldn’t help noting the misspelling of a certain Berlin public monument:

On Wednesday evening, June 25, Germany and Turkey will meet in the semifinal round of the 2008 European Football Championship in Basel, Switzerland. Various cities in Germany have set up viewing areas for the public to watch the live broadcast of this game. The "Fan Mile" in front of the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin is expected to draw up to 500,000 German and Turkish fans, Frankfurt am Main will host a public viewing area at the Rossmarkt, and Munich is setting up a large public viewing area at the Olympic Stadium where 30,000 fans are anticipated. Similar events are planned in other cities and spontaneous celebrations or demonstrations related to the match may occur throughout Germany.

Because of the high fan interest in this prestigious semi-final elimination game between Germany and Turkey, there exists the possibility that disturbances, including violent disturbances may occur before, during or after the match, which begins at 20:45. At a minimum, post-game celebrations will likely result in traffic congestion in larger cities. Crowds celebrating previous German and/or Turkish victories have blocked streets and rocked vehicles attempting to pass through them.

I’ll be pretty busy the next few days, but my hotel has Internet access, so I’ll try to post a picture or two.  I can tell you one thing about Hungarian already — it out-umlauts German by 8 to 1!

German Word of the Week: Bauernfängerei

The CDU/CSU has just released a White Paper, "Preserving Creation," that argues for quitting the current plan to quit nuclear energy (Ausstieg aus dem Aussteig, in German).  We just can’t do without it, says the CDU, since it’s still the cheapest CO2-free way to create energy. 

During a call-in debate on the paper this morning, each side accused the other of Bauernfängerei: simplistic demagogic argument.  "You can’t tell people this horrible energy source is compatible with Christianity! That’s Bauernfängerei!"  "The idea that energy costs will stay the same if we shut down out reactors is Bauernfängerei!"

Literally translated, it means "farmer-catching" or "peasant-catching."  You can see some in the following video of the North Minehead by-election starting at about 4:30:

Entartetes Deutsch

Since I surf the web from a German IP address, I routinely see banner ads for visa firms headlined "Leben Sie in den USA!" and from software firms that want me to download an "in zwei Minuten zu konfigurierende Leitungsverbesserung" (no, not Leistung, Leitung, I double-checked).  It’s not Chinglish, suppose, but it’s still mildly amusing.

German Word of the Week: Tante Emma Laden

From the Niederrheinstrasse in Duesseldorf:


Explanation for non-German-powered readers below the fold.

A "Tante Emma Laden" (Aunt Emma shop), is a "mom and pop store" in German.

I assume the delicious irony of applying this term to a series of heavily-barricaded automats bathed in morgue-like fluorescent light will not escape my readers.