German (Conversation)


Activity

Where and when

We meet in the afternoon every Friday in the Congregational Church.

Contact details

Sylvia Mountford 01858 465561


News

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German

May, and it may be Spring cleaning time for some of us but just be careful what you throw out.  A colourful, but chipped, old plate which had been hanging on a kitchen wall in Somerset for years, barely getting a glance was identified as a 16th century plate depicting a design ‘The Feast of […]

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German

In 1790, German scholar Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was puzzled; eighty years later so was Charles Darwin, both wondering if people blush in the dark.  Because blushing is a social response to shame or embarrassment they, and many experts, thought it might not happen when no-one can see your face.  But now German and Dutch scientists […]

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Is there anyone who hasn’t noticed the vast number of potholes in the roads?  Help may be on its way.  Ford engineers at the research centre in Aachen, Germany, are creating a virtual pothole map to warn drivers of hazards ahead.  On board sensors could adjust the car’s suspension to help reduce potential damage.  So, […]

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Post-Christmas bills, winter weather, world politics, dry January (?); 2017 has brought plenty of things to raise blood pressure but here are some instant fixes.  Turn up the heating to widen your blood vessels; rhythmic sighing once a minute helps to lower BP; even a fake smile reduces heart rate when you feel tense.  But […]

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The German language is notorious for its lengthy constructions, but the Austrian word of the year for 2016 really goes the distance.  At a magnificent fifty-one characters it is Bundesprasidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung.  Try pronouncing that!  It means ‘postponement of the repeat of the runoff of the presidential election’, marking the seven month period it took to elect […]

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It’s that time of year again – parties, dinners, drinks, perhaps a few pretzels.  Originating with German monks, their distinctive knots are a symbol of a monk’s arms crossed in prayer.  At an archaeological dig in Regensburg a pretzel was found which had been baked when George III was on the English throne.  That one […]

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You’ve heard of extreme skiing, and even extreme ironing perhaps.  Now a German man is trying to popularise a new challenge – extreme unicycling.  ‘I realised it would be possible, but very difficult’, said Lutz Eichholz, but he and some friends went up the Zugspitze and came down on unicycles.  However, it is not all […]

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If anyone ever needed an excuse to learn German it was a Chinese backpacker who went to report his stolen wallet to the police but, speaking neither German nor English, ended up in the Stuttgart office which handles asylum applications.  He unwittingly signed a form applying for asylum, had his passport and fingerprints taken and […]

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We were sad to learn of the sudden death of Dick Myrton, who started the Conversation group many years ago.  A few of us are original members who cherish the memory of his awful shaggy dog stories, told in slightly dubious German, which had to be reworded, then translated before the inevitable laughter.  My favourite […]

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Language teachers may soon be out of a job if a new device takes off.  The Pilot will involve speech recognition, machine translation and voice synthesis, using Bluetooth technology to send conversations from your smartphone to the earpiece.  French, Spanish, Italian and English will be followed by Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi and Arabic in the […]