Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sayings in German that annoy me

...and probably shouldn't!

Yes, this is completely ridiculous, but the following sayings always invoke a slight ping of annoyance* when I see them.

  • Hallo zusammen This is a common greeting for a group and the spirit of what it means is "hello everyone." However, the direct translation is "hello together," and people often write it as such in English and I think, no, no, no as it doesn't make sense in English.
  • Words that have an English origin but are used incorrectly in German: oh, let's see: Handy (a cell phone; normally it's an adjective in English meaning "useful"); public viewing; and so on

*I don't say anything about it, though, besides here, as really, does it matter in the long run? I'm sure I use German in silly ways too. I also feel annoyance when people use the redundant English expressions like Jewish rabbi; advance notice; new technology (oh, how we've debated this one in my family); circle around, and so on.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A German giggle at "German week" at Aldi USA

Grocery stores in Germany, especially discounters like Lidl and Aldi, offer special shopping weeks devoted to different countries, and feature foods from or in honor of those countries. For example, during Italian week, one can buy prosciutto, pastas, and sauces.

For myself and many other American expat bloggers too, we've had some good giggles at what's on offer during American week. I took some pictures and gave a commentary of some offerings here as well as here. The food is usually a hollow stereotype of what we eat, bizarre and way off (seriously, "sandwich sauce" with sauerkraut in it?!) but is usually good for a laugh. My favorite is the bizarrely named "McEnnedy" brand, which seems to be a cross between McDonald's and Kennedy, from what I can tell, and those are Irish and Scottish type names anyway.

Apparently German media has had a giggle about what Aldi stores in the US offered; Stern wrote an article called "German Week bei Aldi USA - Was die Amerikaner unter deutscher Küche verstehen" ("German Week at Aldi USA - what the Americans understand about German Cuisine"). I was delighted to read this in order to see things from the other side.

The general tone of the article was bemusement at the cliches that were present in the choices of food to sell that week; the author admits that there is no denying that Sauerkraut and sausages are a big part of the cuisine here. However, there's some consternation about other items because they're from other countries in Europe and not Germany, such as a Norwegian cream cheese that even has a Norwegian flag on it, or French pickles. I don't blame them! That's way off.

Just like the American sauce is off...we don't have "American sauce," or anything like it, Aldi, but hey, it's all in good fun :)