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  1. #21
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Wow. So many questions. Many of them directed at Germany rather than Europe, but I'll try and do my best.


    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Why are you so good at English?

    When I was studying Spanish in Spain a Brit student said she had been a nanny in Germany in her youth but she didn't need to speak German because everyone in Germany speaks beautiful English.

    Is this true?

    And did you notice the terrible run on sentence just now?
    Ehm, ... thanks!
    Run on sentences don't bother me because some German writers have a tendency to overindulge in that respect. Ever tried reading Thomas Mann? That man could fill an entire page with just two sentences, one on a good day.

    The answer for Europe: Coexisting with so many neighbors that all speak different languages requires a certain level of foreign language skills. As a rule of thumb, the more exotic your native language is the more you will depend on English as a backup. That's why the Dutch and Skandinavians tend to be so good at it (well, being in the same language family probably helps too).
    Here in Germany kids go to one of three types of school depending on their skills and ambitions. One offers English, the other has complusory English classes and offers a second foreign language on a voluntary basis and the third type has compulsory English plus one other language (usually French or Latin) and allows you to later add a third foreign language. So 2/3 Germans among the younger generation have had compulsory English classes for at least a few years. Only those who graduate from the third type of school are allowed into university where some lectures might be given in English and a lot of the text books are in English. My parents and brother and sister were all relatively bad at English back at school but had to brush up on their skills once they went through university. Often there isn't even a German word for some of the terminology used in cutting edge research.

    But don't let that fool you. There is a reason I can still make a living as a translator for English and Spanish. What I just described are the offical standards and how things are on paper. But there are a lot of people who do struggle with English. Only the other day I witnessed a Chinese couple at the post office trying to get a letter mailed to Hongkong. The lady at the counter just gave them a blank stare and told them in German that she spoke no English. She wasn't apologetic about it either, just stating it as a matter of fact in a sucks-to-be-you kind of way. As somebody working with customers in a city filled with tourists (I live in Heidelberg, we have had tourists here ever since the invention of tourism!), that was suprising. Oh well, after all, we too are only human /rant

    Short answer: Most will speak some English, enough to get by and among the younger generation, mainly college students, proficiency is almost a status symbol (in the "I don't own a tv but watch the cool series online in English as soon as they come out" or even "I refuse to watch a movie if it isn't in the original English version"-hipster style)


    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Reunification of the two Germanies: It seemed like that turned into a longer and more costly undertaking than initially anticipated. How's that going now? Are the two halves integrated fairly seamlessly, or are there still big cultural or economic divides between them?

    Oh. That's enough material for a few pages, volumes even. Short answer: There are still visible differences but they are slowly getting less and less important. It will take a lot of time. People born on the day of reunification are now in their early twenties. Let's see how they develop. I think the reunification was badly managed and rushed into (after all, there were elections to be won) and I still have to pay extra taxes (the so called Solidaritätszuschlag or solidarity tax for the reconstruction of the East) for those damn East Germans twenty years later!

    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    Serious question for the bleeding heart part. Do you believe pacifism and submission is better than the use of violence?
    Ha ha. Trick question. I am not a strict pacifist, merely of the opinion that violence should only be used as a very last ressort in very special situations and that it is used way too often and usually for all the wrong reasons. I do reject your implied premiss though that pacifism (or a lack of a hawkish attitude) equals submission. That seems like a false dichotomy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    Do you send people links to TED talks on scientific and/or sociopolitical topics?

    Also, is Sweden actually a paradise on Earth?
    I post them on FB or my blog but only very rarely send them to people who haven't previously expressed a certain interest in the issue at hand

    I have only been to Sweden as a tourist. Apparently there is something the Swedes call Bullerby Syndrome: the idealization of Sweden by Germans. So I might be biased.

    Let's just say there are definitely worse places to live, but of course they too have their share of problems. However, if I had to leave the country and pick a new home based solely on quality of living, I would pick Sweden or Norway. Icelanders and Danes are usually way up there on the list of the world's happiest nations. These tend to be open, welcoming, solidarious and tolerant societies. Add to that a high standard of living and gorgeous landscape and you've got yourself a nice place to live. Remember there was a special design prize awarded for the creation of Norway?/Douglas Adams reference

    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    Why do I always have to eat:
    Oh god, I had to eat these every single f*cking day for as long as I went to school. Cheese on one day, mortadella on the other. An additional apple on one day, a mandarine on the other. I still occasionally have nightmares from that stuff. But stay abroad long enough and you will jones for some of that tasty whole grain bread. The secret probably lies in the right balance of healthy food and junk food.

    Thank your Mum or girlfriend or whoever makes you eat healthy!
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

  2. #22
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Your English is wery good. Are you really from Boston?

  3. #23
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    The answer for Europe: Coexisting with so many neighbors that all speak different languages requires a certain level of foreign language skills. As a rule of thumb, the more exotic your native language is the more you will depend on English as a backup. That's why the Dutch and Skandinavians tend to be so good at it (well, being in the same language family probably helps too).
    Here in Germany kids go to one of three types of school depending on their skills and ambitions. One offers English, the other has complusory English classes and offers a second foreign language on a voluntary basis and the third type has compulsory English plus one other language (usually French or Latin) and allows you to later add a third foreign language. So 2/3 Germans among the younger generation have had compulsory English classes for at least a few years. Only those who graduate from the third type of school are allowed into university where some lectures might be given in English and a lot of the text books are in English. My parents and brother and sister were all relatively bad at English back at school but had to brush up on their skills once they went through university. Often there isn't even a German word for some of the terminology used in cutting edge research.
    Yea I rather think its school . "Coexistance" was never one of the little mans forte's. Most people where I live would call a trip to Castrop-Rauxel the journey of their lifes, meaning they never travelled for more than 5 miles away from their homes. I doubt the usual proletarian does have an intrest in coexistance, for them it is more like "live and let live".

    I think back then english was made mandatory in school for Western Germany to get closer to western civilisation.

    Furthermore english is not to tough to learn if german is your first language. Since english is a very universal language you can even say what you want with wrong grammer, so basic communication should always be possible. I am not so good at history but I think english originated from saxonies old german, is that right ?

    Another thing it is for example with french. The pronouncation alone does kill my tongue. I had latin in school and I did some years courses in french at University cause my gf is part french. I still dont know how the things I am able to talk about are actually written, its a bit more complicated. Italian on the other hand is easy again, especially if you had latin. Italian is very structured in its grammar, as opposed to french which has a lot of "traditional phrases" you just have to know and cant logically deduct. English on the other hand is nearly free of grammar, what makes it universally easier to learn.

    A lot of years ago before WWI I think there was a world conference to decide whether german or english should become the language for scientific articles in the future and english won by 2 votes. It's said under germans that they won because 3 germans were too lazy to go to the vote . I think nowadays english would win anytime and thats actually the right choice. I just hope that german doesnt die out over the years or is influenced to heavily by the english language. it wouldnt bug me to speak english all day, especially in business it is far more easy to say things in english, especially when you are in engineering; but german has its advantages too. I for example think of english being purely unromantic, I could never speak in another language than french or german to my gf about certain things.


    I have only been to Sweden as a tourist. Apparently there is something the Swedes call Bullerby Syndrome: the idealization of Sweden by Germans. So I might be biased.
    What thats a syndrome ? I thought in Sweden there live only hot big boobed icecold blondes who make your Butterbrot everyday and exist only to serve you ! Besides that the salaries are insanely high for engineers and rumors have it that they are building the Enterprise in Sweden !

    Thank your Mum or girlfriend or whoever makes you eat healthy!
    Ya that would be nice, unfortunatly I left my mothers home 10 years ago and my girlfriend is too lazy to make my Butterbrot, so I have to do it alone. So you could say, it is destiny that makes me make my Butterbrot :/.

    Which brings me to another question: why do modern german woman refuse to work for their men as slaves ?
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  4. #24
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    Your English is wery good. Are you really from Boston?
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
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  5. #25
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    Which brings me to another question: why do modern german woman refuse to work for their men as slaves ?
    Show me the right guy and we can negotiate.



    Naaaaah, not really.


    I do think German women do have a harder time in some respects than, say, the French, because there aren't enough kindergarden's for everybody, actually only for a small fraction. So mothers are expected to stay at home (don't even get me started on fathers staying at home!). There are very few women in executive positions, etc. There are other western countries that are ahead of us in that respect.

    Whether that is due to cultural preferences or simple socioeconomic pressure is yet another question.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

  6. #26
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Show me the right guy and we can negotiate.



    Naaaaah, not really.


    I do think German women do have a harder time in some respects than, say, the French, because there aren't enough kindergarden's for everybody, actually only for a small fraction. So mothers are expected to stay at home (don't even get me started on fathers staying at home!). There are very few women in executive positions, etc. There are other western countries that are ahead of us in that respect.

    Whether that is due to cultural preferences or simple socioeconomic pressure is yet another question.
    Ya thats true, especially from France we could learn a lot in terms of successful family models integrating having children and making a career for woman. In Germany people rather talk about politics or work their asses of all day / play WoW allnight; somehow dealing with real practical people problems has never been a too great deal. I mean take the french, they have an automaton in their showers which you can refill with shower gel of different flavours and an extra gel for the hair. I mean how ingenious is that and why on Earth did noone ever had the idea around here ?
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  7. #27
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I know how you feel about firearms. Does your position apply to 17th century blunderbusses?

  8. #28
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Greetings Yankies!

    This is your chance to ask all those things you always wanted to know from my kind. I am obviously standing on the shoulders of giants here and will try to make them proud. When I noticed I too belong to an often misunderstood minority on the forum that was a call to put my services at the disposition of the community, to foster an environment of multiculturalism and mutual understanding and all that.

    So, whatever is on your mind - shoot!

    Or rather, don't shoot 'cause that would be excessive use of violence...not cool, man!
    What happens to ass pictures in the assthread after they've been taken down by ass-owner? What happens to an ass deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  9. #29
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I know how you feel about firearms. Does your position apply to 17th century blunderbusses?
    What part of "no firearms" don't you get, you monster?
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

  10. #30
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEGERdeMAIN View Post
    What happens to ass pictures in the assthread after they've been taken down by ass-owner? What happens to an ass deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-- And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over-- like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?
    Woah. Maybe I should have introduced a quota of questions per person.

    Butt pics that are taken down by the butt's owner evaporate and vanish into thin air (in very rare cases into thick air) unless some perv has downloaded them beforehand.
    I have no idea what "an ass deferred" means but will answer as soon as I posess that information. Do you mean neglected?
    I can't speak for all European asses, but given the lack of sunlight in these parts, they seldom dry up like raisons. Speaking strictly for myself now, it doesn't dry up or get sore or crust up or get sugar coated or any of those things (you have some strange fetishes, my friend!), it certainly doesn't sag (you can play drums on it) and so far it hasn't exploded either. Instead it get's the respect and admiration of its peers that it deserves.

    Any more questions?
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

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