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German Club

Talks will usually be given in German but there will be regular reprises in English, so we hope people of all levels of fluency are encouraged to come along.

Membership of the 3Ls Association is a requirement at a cost of £10 per annum and then you are welcome to join the German Club itself for which the subscription is £10 per annum.

 

President: Daniel O’Sullivan

Email:  dingerone48@gmail.com

Tel:  01360 319630

 

A Look Back at the 2020-21 Session

As we come to the end of our 2020 -21 session, it seems a good time to take a look back, and at the same time, look forward to our coming 2021 – 22 session.

Thanks to COVID-19 and lockdown we have been unable to have face to face meetings in Strathclyde University and have had to use the University’s Zoom facility.  The Committee thought long and hard about how this would go down with the membership, and how we could build up a skillset ourselves in Zoom, so that we could help and advise the membership on how it would be used.  Our concerns were however unfounded, and the vast majority of us, like the “Silver Surfers” we are, took to Zoom like a duck to water!  But the one downside of Zoom is that it is difficult to recreate our get togethers after the presentations for tea, coffee, and biscuits and mingle for a natter.  Zoom breakout rooms have helped in trying to reproduce the social aspects of our Club meetings but I for one look forward to when we can all get back to meeting in the flesh again.  Every cloud has a silver lining though and as you all know the Club waived its fees for the 2020 – 21 session. However, they will have to be reinstituted for the next session.

We managed a full series of presentations this year, given by our friends in the Goethe Institute in Glasgow and the CLLs German Language teachers.  In October, Kristen Sauer from the Goethe Institute took us on a fascinating journey through the canals of the Spreewald in Brandenburg, describing its culture, history, and landscape.  The area is beginning to open up to tourism, including the addition a cycleway, Die Gurkenradweg, named after its most famous vegetable, the gherkin!

Dr Sabine Schlüter, the Goëthe’s Depute Director in Glasgow, talked to us in November about the town of Rungholt on the North Frisian coast, otherwise known as Germany’s Atlantis! Rungholt no longer exits since it was submerged overnight by a great storm in January 1362 but it is surrounded by myth and legend and is immortalised in the poem by Detlev von Liliencron, „Trutz, Blanke Hans!“, written in 1883.  Sabine also discussed recent archaeological studies in the area around Rungholt, and its place in literature and music.  It is said that when the sea is calm, you can still hear the bells of Rungholt ringing in the deep… Spooky!  Sabine kindly emailed her great powerpoint presentation to our president.

In December we had our particularly challenging but unforgettable Weinachtsfest, but we tried.

Unfortunately, in the New Year we could not have our usual New Year lunch because of COVID-19 restrictions, however, our old friend and 3Ls German teacher Juliane Mildschlag, gave us a very interesting talk on Deutschland im 20. Jahrhundert: die Rolle der Frau im Wandel.  (Germany in the 20th Century: the Changing Role of Women.).  Juliane took us through the changes and the history of the role of women in Germany from the last century right up to the present day, highlighting some very famous German women.

In February another 3Ls German teacher, Maria Zomak, gave us another interesting talk on, Scenes from Good Bye Lenin, the now modern classic German movie which was set in East Berlin just a year after reunification in 1989.  This movie is well worth a watch and can be viewed on Amazon prime or can be bought from Amazon as well.  Maria’s talk was a follow on from her previous talk on growing up in West Berlin.

Just last month Katrin Frahm gave us a delightful talk on Deutsche Märchenstraße (A Trip Along the German Fairytale route).  Katrin took us along the 600km from Hanau to Bremen pointing out the towns and villages associated with fairy tales collected by the well-known Brothers Grimm.  The town of Hamelin and its Pied Piper, Alsfeld with the Little Red Riding Hood House, and Bad Wildungen and its Snow-White Museum. This is definitely going to be the route to take once we get out of lockdown and are allowed to travel freely within Europe.

In April we have the final talk of this years session, which will be given by Andrea Wieler Goodbrand and is on Bilingual upbringing for bilingual and non-bilingual families.  Prior to Andrea’s talk we have our all-important AGM.  This is where we need your help.  The committee is always looking for new blood, and we would like to ask members to volunteer to join the committee.  It’s always good to get new people, who can give us some fresh ideas and take the club forward.  You don’t have to worry about speaking German because the committee meetings are held totally in English and if you want to see and hear what the committee meetings are like, why don’t you email our President and ask him to send you an invite when he sends committee members the login details.  That way you could observe one, and you will see then that it is not as onerous as what you might think.

We’ve had many new members this year and it is good to see that German is still a language that people feel is worthwhile learning, particularly after events a few years ago.  I won’t mention the B word.  So let’s look forward to our next session in the hope that we can all come together for our talks and lunches out!

Bis Bald!

 


 

 

 

We have been living through strange times – a pandemic, lockdown, self-isolation, shielding, and if you have been lucky enough to get abroad, return to quarantine. For many of us time has weighed heavily on our minds and we have turned to the TV for amusement. BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime video have been a godsend but we’re getting to the end of our favourite box sets now and are beginning to itch for something new and a bit more challenging. Well, now is the time to discover German TV, and, at the same time improve your German! What more could be better?

So, what do you need? If you subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime video on your smart TV you’ve already started. Both have subtitled German TV Series available such as Dark, on Netflix, a superb science fiction series set in Germany, and Dogs of Berlin, warning, not for the faint hearted. On Prime video, gritty Krimis such as 4Blocks, and Beat, are available. Both providers also have subtitled German films as well.

Using your computer, you have a much larger access to German TV. Like UK TV, German TV also has a presence on the internet, and they make many of their programmes available for viewing over the internet, similar to the BBC iPlayer and STVPlayer. Many of the programmes are subtitled, which if you are watching a fast paced German Krimi is very useful! Occasionally some German TV stations’ live streams are blocked e.g. Sports such as football and international films, but there is an enormous amount of programming that is available to watch on “catch-up”. So don’t be surprised, when searching, to be confronted with something like Dieses Video ist an Ihren Standort nicht verfügar, in other words you can only view this in Germany (or Austria or Switzerland). This is known as geo-blocking. There is a way round geo-blocking by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) but they can be complicated to set up and because of their nature they can be slow connections. Even so, there are still lots available and plenty of choice without a VPN.

Examples range from crime series like Tatort to cooking series such as Kochem mit Martina und Moritz, (the German TV equivalent of Fanny and Johnny Craddock). Comedy with Jan Bohmermann on Neo Magazin Royale to documentaries, science, films, music, and of course, the inevitable Politics and News programmes. German TV will have something to please every taste.

Here are web addresses of some stations for you to explore: ·

I’m sure you will be able to find something of interest.