Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Surfing the Net in German

A glossary of German words you might come across when surfing German websites.

General internet terms:
der Webbrowser  - the web browser
im Internet surfen - to surf the Internet
die Website - the website
die Web-Seite - the web page
die Web-Adresse - the web page address
404 nicht gefunden - 404 Not Found (nb all the error codes are the same as for English)
der Domain-Name - the domain name
der Inhalt einer Webseite - the web content
der Webmaster, oder die Webmasterin - the webmaster m/f (nb I've never come across 'Webmeister' on a German site; I'm beginning to think that it is an English-speaking affectation by people who drink too much Jägermeister).
die Webgestaltung - the web design
der Webdesigner, oder die Webdesignerin - the web designer m/f
etwas ins Netz stellen - to post something on the Internet
über das Internetvia the Internet
das (auch der) Blog, oder das Internet-Tagebuch - the blog
das Forum - the bulletin board

Common menu items:
das Menü  -the menu
das Hauptmenü - the main menu
die Hauptseite - homepage
der Hypertext-Link - the hyperlink
suchen - to search
suche - search
(and you might get '
Die Suche nach etwas lieferte keine Treffer' - the search for (something) didn't come up with any results. Otherwise you will get die Ergebnisse - the results)
ausdrucken - to print out
der Kontakt - the contact details
die Hilfe - help
über uns - about us
über diese Website - about this website
das Impressum - the  (website) credits

Signing on and Registering:
Anmelden - to sign on
Der Benutzername - the username
registrieren - to register
bitte nur Buchstaben, Zahlen, Binde- und Unterstriche - only letters, numbers, dashes and underscores please
Benutzername verfügbar - username available
Schon vergeben. Bitte wähle einen anderen - already allocated. Please choose another
Das Passwort (auch das Kennwort) - the password
Schutz mit Passwort (auch das Kennwort) - password protected
zu kurz - too short
mindestens 5 Zeichen - at least five characters
wiederholung - repeat (password)
Angemeldet bleiben - remember login details
Passwort vergessen? - forget password?
geändert - changed
das E-mail - the email address (or more specifically die E-Mail-Adresse)
die Stadt - the town/city
die Postleitzahl - post code
männlich - male
weiblich - female
Ich habe die AGB gelesen und bin damit einverstanden -I have read and agree with the terms and conditions.
Die AGB müssen akzeptiert werden - the terms and conditions must be agreed to
schicken - to send (a form)
abmelden - to sign out

e-mail terms:
die/das E-Mail - the e-mail
etwas per E-Mail senden - to send something by email
etwas mailen - to e-mail something (informal)
jemand etwas mailen - to e-mail somebody something (informal)
I have
also seen jemand etwas e-mailen - to e-mail somebody something (informal)
Von: - from
An: - to
Gesendet: - sent
Betreff: - subject
die angehängte Datei - the e-mail attachment. Also der Attachment.
unerwünschte Werbe-E-Mail - unsolicited commercial email, i.e. der Spam
virenfrei - virus free
NB when saying e-mail addresses, it is acceptable to say @ as 'at'. Otherwise,
der Kringle (= squiggle, curl, kink, loop, ring) could be used.

On-line shopping terms:
kaufen - to shop
das Angebot - offer
das Sonderangebot - special (bargain) offer
der Einkaufswagen - shopping cart
in den Einkaufswagen - add to shopping cart
zum Einkaufswagen - go to shopping cart
die Menge - quantity
die Größe - the size
weiter einkaufen - carry on shopping
zur Kasse gehen - go to the checkout
der Sicherheitsserver - secure server
bezahlen - to pay
das Konto - the account

Navigation terms:
weiter - forward, next
mehr - more
zurück - back
hier klicken - click here
öffnet im neuen Fenster - opens in new window
Fenster schließen - close window
das Überlagerungsfenster oder das Dialogfenster - pop-up window
das Aufklappmenü oder das Pop-up-Menü - pop-up menu
der Cursor auch die Schreibmarke - the cursor

Some hardware terms:

die Computer - the computer
die Maus - the mouse
der Bildschirm, der Monitor - the screen
die Tastatur - the keyboard
die Wagenrücklauftaste - the carriage return (enter) key
der Drucker - the printer
das (auch der) Modem - the modem
der Router - the router
die (auch der) Firewall - the firewall
or if that's too obvious, also
das Zugangsschutzsystem
der Anschluss - the telephone line, connection, interface, data-link
der Computeranschluss - specifically the computer connection
das Breitband - broadband
das drahtloses lokales Netz - wireless local area network

And hopefully you'll do it all without encountering der Absturz - systems crash!

Monday, 17 December 2007

Frohe Weihnachten!

Yes, I've brought this one out again. But it took me ages to do :¬)
The source image before I got Photoshop onto it came from Kerrang! magazine by the way.

p.s. That's the German rock group Rammstein in case you didn't know (and why should you?).

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Stenciling 101

EDIT: I have noticed a lot of people coming to this page from google, perhaps hoping for genuine advice on stencilling. If this is you, do not read any further!

I have an olive-green ex-German army shirt. It only cost a fiver and has natty schwarz-rot-geil! epaulettes, but it could do with jazzing up. What easier way, I thought, than adding a Rammstein logo onto one of the breast pockets? That's assuming Das Management, Pilgrim GmbH, don't sue the (army) shirt off my back for copyright infringement (ps logo on the right used without permission, but if Emu sends me a solicitor's letter I am totally and utterly prepared to back down immediately and take myself off-line indefinitely).

So I bought some black fabric paint, gave my shirt a good wash, and set about creating a stencil (in fact, the one above).

First thought; print it out on paper and cut out the spaces between the lines with a craft knife.
But the 80g paper in our printer proved too absorbent for the fabric paint, and a splodgy mess looked the likely result.

Okay, so try gluing the printed paper to cardboard and then cutting out the areas between the lines.
But cutting through the thickness of the cardboard was quite hard work and resulted in untidy edges.
I gave up long before tackling all those lines.

Therefore, how about painting the design on free-hand? Well, it looks a simple design, but you've got to get the measurements right to preserve the cross symmetry, and I wasn't sure my (shaky) hand/eye co-ordination was up to it. So, here's an idea that has been used by people transferring designs onto parchment and cloth since the time of the Book of Kells;
prick through the design, printed on paper, at key points;
paint over the design onto the shirt, letting the dye go through the pin-holes; then with a paint-brush just join the dots by hand.

Well, it nearly worked. The weft of the cloth dragged the paint on the brush, and the cotton absorbed it unevenly. But - and I think that this is at least partial justification for a couple of hours craft-work - if you see the result from a distance of over ten metres, in poor light, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference from official Rammstein merchandise. If you weren't wearing your glasses.

And the moral of the story is, save your self a lot of effort and just buy a patch from the Rammstein on-line store.

At least then you can sleep at night without being fearful of Rammstein's lawyers shutting down your shirt.

I wonder though if potato-prints would work?

p.s. Great respect goes out to the graffiti artist Banksy. I can't even do a simple R+ logo stencil in the comfort of my own living room, and you've brought stencil art and satire to the streets of the world whilst forever looking over your shoulder for the rozzers. Du bist der Hammer!
Link to Banksy's website.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Stille Nacht

'Tis the season etc. etc.

Music: Franz Xaver Gruber, 1818
Words: Joseph Mohr, 1816/1818

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Halleluja,
Tönt es laut von fern und nah:
Christ, der Retter ist da!
Christ, der Retter ist da!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.

Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Christ, in deiner Geburt!

Listen to it here on Youtube

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Wie buchstabiert man das? How do you spell that?

Das Alphabet The Alphabet

The German alphabet, with approximate pronounciations, and the phonetic code from the Buchstabiertafel 
(used to avoid confusion on a bad phoneline):

- ah (!) - wie Anton - AHN-tone
- bay - wie Berta - BARE-tuh
- tsay - wie Cäsar - SAY-zar
- day - wie Dora - DORE-uh
- ay (!) - wie Emil - ay-MEAL
- eff - wie Friedrich - FREED-reech
- gay - wie Gustav - GOOS-tahf

- hah - wie Heinrich - HINE-reech
- ee (!) - wie Ida - EED-uh
- yot (!) - wie Julius - YUL-ee-oos
- kah - wie Kaufmann - KOWF-mann
- ell - wie Ludwig - LOOD-vig
- emm - wie Martha - MAR-tuh
- enn - wie Nordpol - NORT-pole
- oh - wie Otto - AHT-toe
- pay - wie Paula - POW-luh

- koo - wie Quelle - KVEL-uh
- air - wie Richard - REE-shart
- es - wie Siegfried - SEEG-freed
- tay - wie Theodor - TAY-oh-dore
- ooh - wie Ulrich - OOL-reech
- fow (!) - wie Viktor - VICK-tor
w - vay (!) - wie Wilhelm - VIL-helm

x - icks - wie Xanthippe - KSAN-tipp-uh
y - ipsilon (!) - wie Ypsilon - IPP-see-lohn
z - tset - wie Zeppelin - TSEP-puh-leen

ä - eh - wie Ärger - AIR-gehr
äu - oy
ö - er - wie Ökonom - UEH-ko-nome
ü - euh - wie Übermut - UEH-ber-moot

ß - ess = s tset or scharfes s

Ones to be careful of are marked with a !, as these sound like different letters in English, or vary greatly. The ordering and divisions in the un-accented letters are there to reflect the pauses in a well known spelling rhyme. In a dictionary, ä would come after a, ö after o, ü after u, and ß wouldn't have its own entry as there are no words that beign with it. (Note for trivia fans; there is no ß in a German Scrabble game, as all the letters on the tiles are upper case and ß is always lower case).

Note that 'umlaut' is a word invented by phoneticists to describe the letters with dots above them and is not used in common conversation; so if you are spelling out a word with an umlauted letter, you'd say e.g. for ä,  'eh'  not 'ah umlaut'.

The way to type the extra letters on a non-German keyboard is to hold down the 'alt' key and tap three digits on the number-pad according to the following table:

ß = ALT+225
Ä = ALT+142
ä = ALT+132
Ö = ALT+153
ö = ALT+148
Ü = ALT+154
ü = ALT+129

NB 'Num Lock' must be 'ON'.

I've created a pictorial alphabet on THIS (click here!) webpage

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Frankfurt Christmas Market - in Brum!

This evening we went to what is billed 'the largest authentic market outside of Germany and Austria' and is to be found this month until the 23rd in the centre of Birmingham. It's not so bizarre as you might first think - after all, Birmingham is twinned with Frankfurt am Maine - but it is slightly incongruous when you first hear Bratwurst being ordered in a brummie accent.

The market has over ninety open-air stalls, selling everything from wooden toys to lacework, candles to glassware. And of course warming Glühwein or frothing Weizenbier to wash down the Pretzels mit Käse and garlic bread (Knobibrot - served from inside a giant make-shift garlic bulb!).

The market was busy, despite the weather, and the stalls spilled their coloured lights into the rainy night whilst people enthusiastically tried new foods, or inspected traditional German craftwork. The wintertide smells of roasting chestnuts, freshly backed gingerbread, and sacks of cinnamony spices mingled with the fairground odours of candyfloss and waffles. Catched snippets of the stall-holders speaking German mingled with the chatter of excited Brummie children gazing wide-eyed at stalls laden with chocolate. I bought a large stollen cake, which looked like it had about 10,000 calories in it, and we had a couple of cups of scalding hot Glühwein and Kirschwein.

Perhaps the market wasn't exactly the same as a traditional German Weihnachtsmarkt, but with your eyes half-closed and a sprinkling of wishful thinking, you could almost think you were in Köln or Berlin (vielleicht!).

Just, with a nasal Black Country accent.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Happy First Birthday Knut!

Still as cute as ever!

And you can sing along to his song as well.

Knut, der ist ein Kuschelbär
Doch hat keine Mama mehr
Trotzdem ist er frech und froh
Und der Star im Zoo

Kleiner Racker ganz in weiß
Und vier Pfoten, kuschelweich
Alle haben den Knut so lieb
Schön das es dich gibt

Knut, Knut
Kleiner Eisbär aus dem Zoo
Knut, Knut
dir geht’s richtig gut

Knut du bist ein Kuschelbär
Du wirst immer putziger
Laufen kannst du auch schon gut
Weiter so, nur Mut
Nuckelfläschchen in den Mund
Trinke fein, das ist gesund
Danach musst du schlafen gehen
Kleiner Knut schlaf schön

Knut, Knut
Kleiner Eisbär aus dem Zoo
Knut, Knut
Geht’s jetzt richtig gut.

Knut du süßer Kuschelbär
Dich zu mögen ist nicht schwer
Streichelt man dich auf dem Bauch
Dann freust du dich auch

Deine Zähnchen sind noch klein
Kräftig beißen das muss sein
Dann wirst du bald groß und stark
Ja das ist doch klar

Knut, Knut
Kleiner Eisbär aus dem Zoo
Knut, Knut
Dir geht’s richtig gut.

Knut, Knut
Kleiner Eisbär aus dem Zoo
Knut, Knut
Dir geht’s richtig gut.

(c)Kitty Und Knut

And if you can't get enough of sweet songs about cuddly Knut, I think this is supposed to be the official Berlin Zoo song: Knut der kleine Kuschelbär - Knut geht's gut

(the lyrics are on this site)

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag, Knut!

Karlheinz Stockhausen (August 22, 1928 – December 5, 2007)

The electro-acoustic pioneer and influential avant-garde guru (he makes an appearance on the Sgt Pepper's cover) Karlheinz Stockhausen died today in Kürten, North Rhine-Westphalia, aged 79.

In tribute, here is a snippet from a performance of his work Helikopter-Streichquartett (helicopter string quartet).

Anybody who can even come up with the idea of a performance where each of the quartet are in their own helicopter flying over the concert hall, let alone putting it into action, immediately gets my respect. Though perhaps not if I've got my Greenpeace hat on.

Without Stockhausen, would there have been the likes of Kraftwerk, electro-rave, or Flake Lorenz? His work may be somewhat hard to 'get', but enough musicians 'got' it to help them push their own creative boundaries.