Stop Motion Video and More German Idioms

posted in: Europe | 14
I’m so excited to show you my FIRST STOP MOTION VIDEO!

Since you can’t “like” the video from this blog, if you DO like it, please visit it on YouTube and give me a thumbs up. Some background about the video: Many of you know I like the art of quilling, which dates from the Renaissance and consists of rolling small strips of paper into cool, ornate shapes. You can see some of my quilling work on my art projects blog. So I had about 400 quilling pieces laying around, planning to turn them into something later, and used them to make this video. The stats: 348 separate still frames for a 58-second video. The music is in the public domain and is titled “Punchline” by Bryan Boyko. I tried several different musical scores, and it’s amazing how much the video changes depending on what music you hear when you see it. Try this: mute the video and put on something from iTunes or whatever. Cool, huh? This video took me about four sessions of a couple of hours each to do all the shots. I am so thrilled that it turned out as well as it did. I learned a lot about the process and I’m looking forward to doing more in the future. Stay tuned! While I was at it, I redesigned my photography website. Of course it includes the video, too. I’ll be adding to my main website more often, so I’ll keep you apprised of the changes. The German idioms post generated so much feedback that I am posting several more here: Schreck is German for fright or horror – you can see where the ogre’s name might have come from. German phrase: den Kopf zu waschen Literal Translation: to wash someone’s head English equivalent: to yell at someone; to read someone the riot act, as in, “I really washed his head but good!” German phrase: Rennsemmel Literal Translation: racing bun (bread) English equivalent: small, fast car like a Mini Cooper German phrase: das
Literal Translation: noodle wood English equivalent: rolling pin German phrase: ein Hühnchen
mit jemand rupfen zu haben Literal Translation: to have a (female) chicken to pluck with someone English equivalent: to have a bone to pick with someone, as in “I have a chicken to pluck with you!” German phrase: auf den Weckersenkel zu gehen Literal Translation: to go on the alarm strings English equivalent: to get on someone’s nerves, to be a pain in the ass, as in “You are really going on my alarm strings!” German phrase: der Schalk im Nacken zu sitzen Literal Translation: to sit the rogue in the neck English equivalent: to be a real rascal, as in “He really sits the rogue in the neck, doesn’t he?” Another observation: The German word for whirlpool, der
, also means “cowlick.” Can you imagine a German’s reaction to learning what “cowlick” means? Things are going well here in Bamberg, of course, with great weather and interesting work:

  • My friend, who gave me several of the idioms listed here in my blog, sent me a postcard from her vacation in Ireland. I love the stamp!
  • A student who is moving to Detroit brought me a bottle of wine and a book for teaching her about life in America! I have another student at present who is also moving to Detroit (local automobile-parts manufacturer Brose transfers people there), so I am using my class materials to write a text booklet about living in the USA.
  • And I bought a portable air-conditioner, which the Germans think is outlandishly extravagant. I’ve only needed it twice in the past two weeks, but it makes my top-floor apartment so comfy on the really hot days!
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    German Idioms

    posted in: Europe | 2
    In Memoriam: My college gang lost a beloved member this week: Kathy Franklin. She was smart and funny and one of the most creative and talented writers I’ve known. She will be missed, but we all know how happy she must be now. Thanks for adding your touch to our world, Kathy. We love you! And now for something completely different: I’m not presenting a photo tour this week. Instead, I wanted to tell you about some fun language points. I’m a collector of idioms, regardless of the language. For those of you who have forgotten your high school English, idioms are common phrases that mean something different than what the literal meaning of the phrase conveys. For example, to spread
    yourself too thin
    doesn’t REALLY mean you are spreading yourself anywhere, just like to get caught with your pants
    doesn’t REALLY (we hope) means you’ve dropped trou. Also, closely related to idioms are proverbs, axioms and sayings, such as A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. As you can imagine, teaching English idioms to non-native speakers here in Germany can be a challenge, but it’s also one of the most fun aspects of my job. Conversely, I get to hear equivalent idioms from my student’s language. I’ve collected many of them into a list here. I hope you find it as entertaining as I do: German phrase: Mir ist
    ein Stein vom Herzen gefallen.
    Literal Translation: A stone has fallen from my heart. English equivalent: That’s a load off my mind. (This is one of the most poetic expressions in German, which isn’t the most poetic language I’ve ever known.) German phrase: große Augen
    zu haben
    Literal Translation: to have big eyes English equivalent: dog-tired German phrase: Ich
    mache dich kalt!
    Literal Translation: I’ll make you cold. English equivalent: I’m gonna kill you. German phrase: Auf das
    falsche Pferd setzen
    Literal Translation: to sit on the wrong horse English equivalent: to bark up the wrong tree German phrase: Alles
    auf eine Karte setzen
    Literal Translation: everything sits on one card (think poker) English equivalent: to put all your eggs in one basket German phrase: Erbsenzahler Literal Translation: pea counter English equivalent: bean counter German phrase: um die
    Ecke denken
    Literal Translation: to think around the corner English equivalent: to think outside the box (almost wrote “bun”) German phrase: Sahnehäubchen Literal Translation: small hat (like a maid’s cap) made of cream English equivalent: cream of the crop; icing on the cake German phrase: das i
    –Tüpfelchen zu fehlen
    Literal Translation: to be missing the dot on the i English equivalent: it’s missing something but I don’t know what German phrase: den
    Loeffel abgeben; ins Grass zu beissen
    Literal Translation: to give away the spoon; to bite the grass English equivalent: to kick the bucket; to buy the farm, etc. (The movie “The Bucket List” is called “The Best is at the End” in German because the bucket idiom doesn’t translate literally.) German phrase: wie
    Olga im Aldi
    Literal Translation: like Olga (Russian woman) in the Aldi supermarket English equivalent: to go hog wild More language of interest: In German, thunder is Donder and lightning is Blitzen (any Christmas songs come to mind?). In addition, Germans have one word, Gewitter, that means both thunder and lightning together. Many German holidays fall on Thursdays or Tuesdays, which I used to think wasn’t as smart as moving them to Mondays, like in the USA, so we can have three-day weekends. However, I’ve come to learn that many people take the intervening Friday or Monday off work and make a four-day weekend! They call these extra days off the Brücketage, or bridge days. Interestingly, Google translator translates this German word as

    weekends read more

    German Labor Day – May 1st

    posted in: Europe, Germany | 2

    Germany’s (all of Europe, in fact) equivalent of Labor Day: May 1st. Banks and most businesses are closed, including the supermarkets. However, cafes, bistros, restaurants and especially beer gardens are in full swing. See my photos of Bamberg's samba band and speech event plus join me for a famous Rauchbier (smoke beer).