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Paper, paper everywhere …

How would you translate the German word “Zettelwirtschaft”? Piles of paperwork? Paper chaos? Bits of paper everywhere? You don’t know the word? Deutsche Welle explains it nicely.

Getting away from a bad conversation

You’re having a conversation with someone, but would like to get away gracefully. What can you say? On the phone I might say something like: “I should let you go.” “I hate to interrupt, but I simply must take a bio-break.” “Let’s discuss this another time. I’m too busy at the moment to give itContinue Reading

Financially speaking

Have you ever seen the abbreviation p.a.? As in the sentence: Sales increased by 5 per cent p.a. The abbreviation p.a. is short for per annum and is a Latin phrase meaning per year. You might know that I’m not a big lover of abbreviations, as I find they can often confuse people. I’d ratherContinue Reading

On genius and madness

“No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.” Aristotle

Germans’ love affair with potatoes

Germans eat tons of potatoes every year, according to this Deutsche Welle article (and slideshow). Whether fried, baked, sliced, grated, rolled, as dumplings or shredded, mixed with onions and deep fried. Did you know that over 5,000 varieties are grown today?

A rhyming riddle for you to solve

Here’s a rhyming riddle for you today. “I come in different styles. I can help you walk for miles. I come in a pair. I’m something you wear.” Scroll down the page for the answer.             “A pair of shoes”

How to sound like a Londoner

            Cockney rhyming slang is a type of slang in which words are replaced by words or phrases they rhyme with. As I learnt from this article in The Guardian, “brown bread” is Cockney rhyming slang for dead, “china plate” for mate, and “bubble bath” for laugh. How good areContinue Reading

Small but tricky

Germans have that lovely little word bitte. But how on earth can it be translated? Darf ich bitte das Buch haben? May I have the book, please? While handing the book over to you, the person might say: Bitte schön. Or Bitte sehr. And you would reply: Thank you. In German, when you say Danke orContinue Reading

The name game

People love hearing their own names. So when socialising, try and use people’s names as often as you can while talking to them. It’s a great way to build trust and to make people feel valued. And it’ll help you remember their names better! 😉 But, of course, you shouldn’t overdo it!

Salu … What?

After the salutation (or greeting) in a letter or email, we always start our text with a capital letter. It looks like this … Dear Michael (with or without a comma here) Many thanks for …. It’s different in German. Perhaps that’s why so many people don’t do it! 😉