Friday, May 23, 2008

3 Really Good Reasons for Learning to Speak German

#3. It makes it fun to watch your favorite DVDs in German.

This scene auf Deutsch (in German) from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is funny in any language.

#2. The Food.

Too artery-clogging, you say? Here's some good advice from the Joker (yes, the one from Batman): "If you gotta go... go with a smile."

German food is hardy, savory, pickled, warm and always accompanied by a starch and some sort of fabulous gravy or sauce. Let's not forget the amazing desserts: Apflestrudel, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (black forest cake - pictured below,) cheesecakes, hazelnut cakes and tortes of all kinds.

O.K., you don't need to speak German to enjoy German food, but it sure helps when ordering.

Note: Many restaurants will have an English menu so feel free to ask for "eine Englisches carte, bitte."

And the best reason to learn to speak German?

#1. The Beer.

German beer is highly diverse and an important part of Germany's culture. There are around 1,300 breweries in Germany, more than in any other country except the United States which has 1,500.

Especially during Oktoberfest, (a sixteen-day festival held during late September and running to early October,) it is important to know a few beer drinking songs. Here's one of my favorites:

Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken

Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken,
Drei Ecken hat mein Hut,
Und hätt er nicht drei Ecken,
So wär es nicht mein Hut.


My Hat Has Three Corners

My hat has three corners,
Three corners has my hat,
Had it not three corners,
It wouldn't be my hat.

(It's beer drinking music -- it doesn't have to be good.)

Remember if you are with a German that it is impolite not to raise your glass and say "Prost" before you take a sip.

(the beer, continued)

(and for you ladies... I sure hope he's old enough to drink)

(So, he's no Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he isn't German anyway.)

A note of advice: If you plan to impress a German with your newly acquired language skills, make sure you can speak more than just a few cute phrases. Unlike with the Japanese, just a little doesn't go a long way.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like (from the same series):

3 Really Good Reasons for Learning to Speak Japanese

Auf wiedersehen!


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