Auf Wiedersehen und Danke schön!

goodbye

Nuremberg in Numbers:

Twenty-four: the number of weeks I was living in Germany.

Three and a half: the number of months winter lasted.

Eight hundred and sixty-four: the number of hours I worked.

Five: the number of wonderfully dedicated people who came to visit me.

Nine: the number of days I have left.

 

It has been a long journey, but it’s finally coming to an end. I feel like I’ve been here so long at this stage, that I’m pretty much a part of the furniture. However, I feel like a piece of furniture which is living in the wrong house. I have been put there for a while until my old home is ready for me to move back into it again, and every day for the last one hundred and seventy two days I have been looking forward to returning to my proper abode. I’ve been waiting (not always patiently) to come home.

Now, I am on the final stretch. The road before me is smooth and I can just about see the finish line up ahead. It hasn’t always been this way though. There were times along the way when I thought I would never reach the end. I felt tired and alone and I just wanted to sit down in the middle of the path and cry. Cry so hard that my tears formed a river beneath me and carried me the rest of the distance I needed to travel.

But looking back now, I’m glad I walked this route. It wasn’t something I was looking forward to and it definitely isn’t six months I would like to repeat again, but I feel a great sense of accomplishment, knowing that I can do this (and have done it!) on my own.

Despite the fact that winter here lasted what seemed like an eternity and was the coldest in Germany since way back when, I don’t want to paint a picture completed covered with thick, dark clouds, because I feel that would be unfair. Unfair to a city which, I’ll openly admit, is beautiful. The buildings here have been rebuilt and there is a wonderful mix of the old and the new. Riverside cafés, pretzel stands and bakeries filled with assorted glazed pastries on every corner, market stalls specializing in every possible knick-knack, along with an abundance of fountains and statues all contribute to the character of the city.

Of course there will be people and things which I will miss: my work colleagues (i.e my work friends) and the crazy conversations we have together and the uncontrollable laughter which follows, the friends I have made in the apartment complex, the public transport system here (seriously, why can’t there be U-Bahns at home?), the regular restaurants which I frequent and their welcoming staff and last –but by no means least- pretzels! Trying to imagine a world without pretzels is just heartbreaking! Although for the past twenty years I have survived just fine knowing little of their existence, I now find myself wondering “without pretzels, what’s the point?” I figure I’ll just try and stuff as many of them as possible into my case (and face!) before coming home!

So, to sum up, Germany –and Nuremberg in particular- is a very picturesque place. There are some wonderful people here, some great sights and some DELICIOUS breads! This has definitely been an experience to remember, something which has helped me to grow and become independent, and a reminder of how much my home, family and friends mean to me.

Thanks for all the memories, I’ll never forget them.

I guess all that’s left to say now is:

Auf Wiedersehen, Deutschland!

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Proverbial Nonsense / Sprichwörtlicher Unsinn

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Proverbs are short and popular sayings, which are in widespread use and express a basic truth.

Usually proverbs are of unknown origin and are often metaphorical.

Proverbs exist in all languages, although when translated they often make little or no sense.

Here are some examples of German sayings translated into English:

  • Jemandem auf den Keks gehen (to get on somebody’s nerves) = to walk somebody on the cookie
  • Aus allen Wolken fallen (to be taken by surprise) = to fall from all the clouds
  • Schwamm drüber (no hard feelings) = sponge over
  • Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof (it’s all Greek to me) = I only understand train-station
  • Mit ihm ist nicht gut Kirschen essen (He’s not an easy man to deal with) = it’s not good eating cherries with him
  • Man kann nicht über seinen eigenen Schatten springen (a leopard can’t change his spots) = you can’t jump over your own shadow
  • Trautes Heim, Glück allein (home, sweet home) = cozy home, luck alone

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sprichwörter sind kurze und beliebte Sprüche, die in allgemeine Benutzung sind und eine Grundwahrheit ausdrücken.

Normalerweise sind die Ursprünge von Sprichwörtern unbekannt und oft sind sie metaphorisch.

Sprichwörter existieren in alle Sprachen, obwohl wenn übersetzt, ergeben sie oft wenig oder gar keinen Sinn.

Hier sind einige  Beispiele von deutschen Sprüchen, die ins Englisch übersetzt wurden:

  • Jemandem auf den Keks gehen (jemand zu nerven) = to walk somebody on the cookie
  • Aus allen Wolken fallen (sich völlig überraschen) = to fall from all the clouds
  • Schwamm drüber (Vergiss es!/Lass es doch!) = sponge over
  • Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof (ich verstehe gar nichts) = I only understand train-station
  • Mit ihm ist nicht gut Kirschen essen (es ist nicht einfach ihm zu behandeln) = it’s not good eating cherries with him
  • Man kann nicht über seinen eigenen Schatten springen (man kann nicht die Persönlichkeit ändern) = you can’t jump over your own shadow
  • Trautes Heim, Glück allein (das Heim ist den besten Ort) = cozy home, luck alone

Frohe Sommersonnenwende alle!

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*ACHTUNG: Tut mir leid für jeder Fehler mit meinem Deutsch. Ich bin nicht eine Muttersprachlerin!*

Am 21. Juni 2013 feiern wir die Sommersonnenwende oder den längsten Tag des Jahres. Auch ist es den Anfang des Sommers für die Leute auf der Nordhalbkugel. Hier gibt es Information über das Ereignis und einige lustige Aktivitäten, die man tun kann daran teilzunehmen.

Erstens ist es wichtig zu bemerken, dass es zwei Sonnenwenden pro Jahr gibt- die Sommersonnenwende und die Wintersonnenwende. Eine Sonnenwende ist ein astronomisches Phänomen, wobei die Sonne erreicht entweder ihren höchsten oder tiefsten Punkt am Himmel im Verhältnis zum Himmelsäquator. Der Begriff stammt von den lateinischen Wörtern sol (die Sonne) und sistere (stehen bleiben).

Die Sommersonnenwende findet während des Sommers einer Halbkugel statt, was bedeutet, dass Europa, Nordamerika, Asien und Teile von Afrika den Anlass zwischen 20. und 22. Juni feiern, während zwischen 20. und 23. Dezember jedes Jahr die Menschen in Australien, Südamerika und Antarktis ihre Sommersonnenwende begehen.

Auch ist es als den längsten Tag des Jahrs bezeichnet (für die Leute auf der Nordhalbkugel), weil das Ereignis kommt am Tag mit der längsten Zeit von Tageslicht vor. Es ist gleichzeitig den kürzten Tag des Jahres mit dem wenigsten Sonnenlicht für die Menschen auf der Südhalbkugel.

Für die von uns, die haben gedacht, dass den Winter nie enden würde, ist 21. Juni einen sehr besonderen Tag: es ist den Sommeranfang! Also, als Mittel das Datum zu feiern, haben wir eine kurze Liste von einigen lustigen Sommersonnenwende-Dingen zu tun erstellt. Schau mal, wie viele machen Sie heute und vergiss nicht, das zusätzliches Tageslicht (und den Sonnenschein) zu genießen!

1. Im Freien kochen / grillen

2. Einen Baum pflanzen

3. Camping gehen

4. Ein Futterhäuschen machen

5. Schwimmen gehen

6. An der frischen Luft sitzen und ein Buch lesen

7. Einen Drachen fliegen lassen

8. Eis essen

9. Eine Bergwanderung machen

10. An den Sonnenuntergang schauen

Sounds like…

how-do-you-express-anger-in-german-if-everything-sounds-angry

The German language is not exactly renowned for sounding romantic. It is actually renowned for sounding the exact opposite: unromantic.

My work colleagues and I went out last night, and this topic came up in conversation.
Colleague #1: “So, how do you find the German language to speak?”
Me: “It’s not easy… there are a lot of difficult sounds to try and master”
Colleague #2: “Like what?”
Me: “Well, you’ve got the shhh, zzzz, cchhh, tssss and *general guttural sound*”
Colleagues #1 and #2: *look at each other and then start laughing*
Colleague #1: “Oh my goodness, you’re right! And those sounds come up all the time in German. In some words you even have a few of those sounds put together- that must be really hard!”
Me: *nodding emphatically* “YES!! It is hard! Like trying to pronounce… eh…”

And that was it. I couldn’t think of any words! How pathetic is that? I struggle most days with German words that I cannot pronounce, and yet when it comes to giving an example of one measly tongue-twister, I am utterly stumped!

However, since then I have thought of several and I am also looking for more suggestions from you guys out there. Here are just some I’ve come across:

Streichholzschächtelchen (little box of matches*)
Ausschließlich (exclusively)
Schlittschuhlaufen (skating)
Eichhörnchen (squirrel)
Geschwächt (weak)
And even the very basic
Szene (scene)

*By the way, before anyone gets all “Ooh, but how often do you need to say ‘little box of matches’ in German, really?”, I know it’s not something you’re going to need to say every day, I was just including it for the purpose of demonstration.

Also here are just two links pertaining to Germany and the German language itself, which I find very funny ~No disrespect intended, it’s just a bit of fun~
Sarah Chalke (Elliot from Scrubs) speaking German
Dylan Moran on Germany

Bis später!

Homeward bound

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Ok, so as promised, today’s post will pertain to my trip home!

For those of you who don’t know me that well (shame on you!), I’m an Irish girl who’s currently living in Germany. I think that’s pretty much all you need to know!

Oh, and I love my family, boyfriend, friends and home country very much!

So, as I was saying, I’m flying home this evening so I can spend a few days at home over Easter (because who wants to eat a load of chocolate on their own!). This means that from this evening until next… *consults a calendar* Thursday (ooh, that’s a week!), I will be out of office, so to speak. I know what you’re thinking; “But Claire, how ever will we survive without your captivating mix of language and life related blog posts until then?!”, to which I say “Breathe. It will be ok. If you are anything like me then you’ll be spending the next few days gorging on vast amounts of chocolate, and will not notice much going on outside of the fridge”.

I am über excited (who says I’m not improving my German here!) about being home again. I am, of course, dreading the travelling again. Let’s do the math here:

Travelling = hard work

Hard work + Claire = Grumpy Claire

*

Hard work = stress

Stress + Claire = even Grumpier Claire

*

Stress = sweating

Sweating + Claire ≠ attractive

Do you see why travelling + Claire ≠ excitement? Now being home + Claire = EXCITEMENT OVERLOAD!! It’s just the travelling part I dislike.

And why? Well because it’s long and tricky and tiresome and there are too many suitcases and not enough aisle space and there are people everywhere and it’s loud and uncomfortable and it seems to go on forever…. like this sentence!

Some people love travelling. They think it’s better than the actual destination. To these people, I say this: [click here por favor]

I would just prefer to be able to click my fingers and *poof* be in the place I wanted to be in. Even when I’m at home this happens- e.g. I’ll be in my house and it’ll be late and my boyfriend will text and I’ll want to be able to just *click* and be out at his. I think this is probably to do with the fact that I am inherently lazy.

Digression aside, I just think travelling would be so much easier if there was no actual travelling involved. To myself, I say this: [one more time with the clickety click]

So to sum up: I’m going home, I don’t like travelling , I’m good at basic math and, as always, memes are fun! ^^

Peace out! xx

I’m not dead, I swear!

…Although I could be, judging by my lack of posts lately! Sorry to have gotten so lazy, but it was the weekend (and I don’t work on weekends) and then I just decided to elongate my weekend that little bit further! 😛 Oops! Anyway, I know this is totally unforgievable and I’m a bad person etc. etc. but I’m just hoping these pics tie me over for today, and then I’ll go back to being a diligent little blogger tomorrow, I promise! 🙂 Two are for the German-speakers out there, and the other two are just a little language humour!

Enjoy & viel Spaß!

Einstein  mistake2

ha

motivation

Ireland (sham) rocks

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As the Irish representative in Germany I wanted to write briefly about St Patrick’s Day, which is celebrated this Sunday, March 17th. Although currently residing in Nuremberg, I will be sporting green this weekend in honour of my country’s patron Saint. Some of the festivities associated with St Patrick’s Day include:
– Wearing green, white and orange clothing and hats
– Painting shamrocks on your face
– St Patrick’s Day parades, including colourful floats, music and dancing from all over the world
– Dying the rivers green (Chicago is famous for doing this every year)
– And of course, having a pint of Guinness!
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated not just in Ireland, but also in countries such as America, Argentina, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Russia, New Zealand and Australia. It has become a worldwide event, with people who have never even been to Ireland dressing head to toe in green. It is a day to celebrate all things Irish and I’m looking forward to seeing what Germany has to offer come this Sunday. As they say in Ireland, “Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!” (Happy St Patrick’s Day!)

* * * * * *

Als die irische Vertreterin in Deutschland wollte ich kurz über dem St. Patricks Tag, der diesen Sonntag am 17. März gefeiert wird, berichten. Obwohl ich im Moment in Nürnberg wohne, trage ich dieses Wochenende wohl grün, um den Namenspatron Irlands zu ehren. Einige der Feierlichkeiten, die mit dem St. Patricks Tag verbunden werden, sind:
-grüne, weiße und orange Kleidung und Hüte tragen
-sich Kleeblätter auf das Gesicht malen
-St. Patricks Tag Umzüge, bunte Festwägen mit Musik und Tänzen aus aller Welt
-Flüsse grün einfärben (Chicago macht das jedes Jahr und ist dafür bekannt)
-und selbstverständlich, ein Bier (z.B. Guinness) trinken!
Der St. Patricks Tag wird nicht nur in Irland gefeiert, sondern auch in Ländern wie Amerika, Argentinien, Kanada, Großbritannien, Japan, Russland, Neuseeland und Australien. Er ist mittlerweile zu einem weltweiten Ereignis geworden, an dem sogar Leute, die noch nie in Irland waren, von Kopf bis Fuß grün tragen. Es ist einen Tag um alles Irische zu feiern und ich freue mich schon zu sehen, was Deutschland in dieser Hinsicht zu bieten hat.
Wie man in Irland so schön sagt, “Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit!“ (Einen schönen St. Patricks Tag!)

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