German Cities with Different Names in English

by Kate Müser

A native German speaker might struggle with the pronunciation of Connecticut, Tucson or my birth city, La Jolla. And I often hear them say Chicago with Tsch- rather than Sch-.

And, thanks to all the Germans who helped build the US, we have borrowed a whole number of Germany-inspired city names, like Germantown, Tennessee, or Carlsbad, California.

But the German language doesn’t contain alternative deutsche terms for US cities. Sän Diego? Nüjork? You won’t see those written anywhere.

English, on the other hand, has its own collection of anglicized references to many – though not all – German cities. Usually the English versions conveniently avoid the most difficult letters in the German language: Ä, Ö and Ü.

Here is a closer look at some of the German cities that have gotten revamped names, or pronunciations, in English.

By the way, this video was suggested by my YouTube viewers. If you would like to see a video on a particular topic, leave a comment below the video and let me know!

©KateMüser

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Kate Müser, who grew up in Pleasanton, California, was surprised to discover that she feels even closer to her home state now than she did when she first moved to Bonn, Germany, over 13 years ago.

She is the creator of the successful YouTube series #thoseGermans and the portrait series #germany24. Visit Kate’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/katemuser and her website, justkate.de.

For over a decade, Kate has been a TV, radio and online journalist at Deutsche Welle, where she currently hosts the video series Meet the Germans with Kate and the TV show PopXport.

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O’zapft is! Find Your Oktoberfest in California

This Saturday, September 16th, it’s official: It’s Oktoberfest Time!

At 12 noon (CET), Munich’s mayor will tap the first Oktoberfest-beer-barrel and exclaim “O’zapft is” !  And the ‘world’s largest beer festival’ can begin!

But you don’t have to fly to Munich to get into Oktoberfest mood. We have quite a few choices to celebrate Oktoberfest here in California, too. If you live in Northern California or Southern California, you for sure will find some Oktoberfest festivity even close by your neighborhood.

We highlighted a few ‘Oktoberfests’, that we thought might peak your interest.  Check them out below!


Souther California

PHOENIX CLUB – Anaheim SoCal

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The Phoenix Club in Anaheim features Orange County’s oldest and most authentic Oktoberfest.  OKTOBERFEST 2017 will take place every weekend Sept 22-Oct 29!

Join the party and enjoy authentic delicious German food (including Schweinshaxen and bread dumpling), Great selection of Imported German beer on tap, Polkas and Prosts in our 12,000 sq. ft. Festzelt and an acre of Biergarten. “We will have you Partying like a German!”

Traditional bands play every day!  Our Schuhplattler perform Saturdays and Sundays. The special events on the first weekend include the Official Keg Tapping Ceremony and the Opening Parade.

SHOOTING GALLERY: Our Phoenix Schützen (traditional air rifle club) will have their rifle range open to the public on Saturdays (6:00 PM) and Sundays (1:00 PM) Oct. 1 – Oct 29.

PONY RIDES: Our Neighbors at the Del Rio Stables and Equestrian Center will host $5.00 Pony Rides for the kids all Sundays in October.·         

Choo-Choo: Sundays are family days, free choo-choo rides noon to 4pm, free balloon artist one noon to 4pm

ADMISSION:  $10  -Adults on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Phoenix Club members with card $5 –  under 18 enter FREE!

WHEN: Sept. 22 – Oct 29, 2017

WHERE: 1340 S. Sanderson Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806

Special Music Entertainment: Various bands will perform. The local band The Express Band, Alt Rosenheim Schuhplattler and Goassischalzer from Bavaria, Germany; Musikapelle Rottenbuch from Bavaria, Germany and Odenwäder Dirndljaeger from Bavaria, Germany


Oktoberfest at JEANETTE’s EDELWEISS in Newbury Park

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Jeanette’s Edelweiss is starting Oktoberfest the original way. Like in Munich also here Oktoberfest is rung in by the official tapping of the first beer keg. Instead of the mayor of Munich it will be the Consul General of Germany, Joerg Neumann, who will perform the traditional ceremony on Saturday, September 16 at 4pm.

Oktoberfest Season at Jeanette’s Edelweiss will be from 9/16/17 – 10/29/17 and Jeanette’s Edelweiss Polka Band will play polka and authentic German Oktoberfest tunes. Live Oktoberfest Tunes and International Music with Festmeister Hans & Accordion Diva Gigi will be part of it as well. Prepare yourself for lot’s of dancing, fun & Oktoberfest games and the following seasonal events:

Every FRI & SAT – 5 pm: Munich style Oktoberfest Party with Fun, Games and Live Music by the Jeanette’s Edelweiss Polka Band featuring Festmeister Hans.

Every Sunday 4 pm: Family Fun Oktoberfest. Kids Oktoberfest with Gigi & Festmeister Hans. Games & Fun for the family.

Every Thursday 5 pm: Oktoberfest Party!

Besides Oktoberfest entertainment be ready for a real German culinary feast. Jeanette’s Edelweiss features authentic German cuisines by renowned German Chef Rocco Suckert from Cologne, Germany. Everything from German brats, Schnitzel, Sauberbraten, Ham Hocks, Rouladen and of course Pretzels and Gingerbread hearts can be yours! And you’ll have the choice of 12 imported German beers on draft.

WHEN: Sept.16 – Oct. 29, 2017

WHERE: 2160A Newbury Road, Newbury Park

Admission: FREE  – But Advanced Reservations are Recommended!  Reserve your table: info@JeanettesEdelweiss.com (or 805-498-7300).


EL CAJON Oktoberfest – San Diego County’s oldest and most traditional Oktoberfest

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The German American Societies of San Diego invite to their yearly traditional Oktoberfest! Two weekends full of authentic foods and original entertainment.

Come and enjoy authentic German food, such as bratwurst, ox-on-the-spit, potato salad, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, red cabbage, pretzels, and a variety of German pastries. There will be  a great selection of German beers and liquors, and soft drinks and water, to enjoy with your friends and family!

Listen to the original group “The Guggenbach-Buam”, who came all the way out from Baden-Württemberg, Germany. These talented, entertaining musicians dress in traditional clothing, and play a variety of German music, just as you would hear in the beer gardens in Bavaria. Enjoy songs such as the chicken dance, polkas and waltzes, and all the famous beer-drinking tunes. 

Watch traditional folk dancing performances, compete in our numerous games and contests, check out vendor and craft booths, and treat your kids to their own Kids’ Zone! Bring your family and friends to El Cajon and experience a real German Oktoberfest!

Admission:   $10 Friday and Saturdays; $5 Sundays.

WHEN:  Sept. 29, 30 and October 1 & October 6, 7 and 8, 2017

WHERE: German American Societies, 1017 S. Mollison Avenue, El Cajon, 92020


NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

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Oktoberfest at ESTHER’s GERMAN BAKERY in Palo Alto

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Esther’s German Bakery is celebrating  its 10th annual Oktoberfest !

Oktoberfest – Kick off is around noon on Saturday, September 30th.

Outside on the front patio you’ll see the food tent serving the Oktoberfest menu and plenty of tables for trying the seasonal Oktoberfest beers.  If you like more shade, check out our ‘Biergarten’  in the back.

For entertainment Esther’s German Bakery will have a favorite local German band playing festival songs from 3:00 – 8:00pm. Traditional German beer games are on the plan all night long. Come and meet some neighbors and celebrate Oktoberfest the traditional way!

On Sunday, in case you missed Saturday’s main event, the bakery will be hosting their Hangover Brunch. Both the front patio and back biergarten will be open. It’ll be back to the daily menu then, but you’ll still have plenty of seasonal beer choices and tasty German treats, and German music will of course welcome you inside. Make it an Oktoberfest weekend!!!

WHEN: Oktoberfest Day is on Saturday Sept.30 with the ‘Hangover Brunch’ following Oct. 1, 2017

WHERE: 987 N San Antonio Rd, Los Altos, CA 94022

Entrance: Free


SCHUG WINERY – SONOMA – The Oktoberfest serving wine!

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Beer is not your thing, but you love wine? Try the Oktoberfest (Wine-Fest) at Schug Winery in Sonoma. Owned by a German family, Schug Winery is proud to invite to an Oktoberfest of their own kind. The winery was founded by Walter Schug, who came to CA in the 60’s to make wine European style.

Overlooking the Sonoma Valley you’ll be sipping Federweißer and enjoy plenty of traditional Oktoberfest entertainment. Get ready for Polka and accordion music, raffles for adults and children, a photo booth, Bean Bag Toss and more, while indulging on German specialties like Zwiebelkuchen, German cucumber salad, potato salad, German apple strudel, sausages, and of course fresh pretzels.

Children will love the Arts & Crafts tables and will go home with a free pumpkin! Special: Polkageist West is lined up for our live music.

WHEN: Sept 30 from 11am- 3:30pm

WHERE: 602 Bonneau Road in Sonoma, CA 95476.

Entrance: $50 (kids 12 and under free!)   – Ticket link : http://www.schugwinery.com/


OAKLAND NATURE FRIENDS – Oktoberfest 2017

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Die Naturfreunde Oakland invite to their yearly Oktoberfest in Oakland on October 1st, 2017!

It’s their biggest festival of the year!  So, get ready for fun Oktoberfest entertainment while taking in stunning views of the Bay area. Authentic German food, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase throughout the day.

Entertainment:

MUSIC & DANCING: The Bajuk Trio with the Schuhplattler Dancers performing a variety of German and Austrian folk dances. Music starts at 1pm. Let your dance out!

OTHER ACTIVITIES: horseshoes | board games | candy roulette | playground | or just lounge in our alpine-style sun chairs soaking up the wunderbaren views of the SF Bay!

ADMISSION: $15 per adult (free for kids under 14). (Discount code “earlybird” available for a limited time.)

BUY TICKETS online or show up early to ensure entry!

PLEASE BRING CASH: Cash is the preferred method of payment. We do not accept debit cards or checks at the Oakland Nature Friends Club on the day of the event. There is no ATM on the premises.

PARKING: Parking in the ONF lot is free but fills up quickly so arrive early. However, there is plenty of additional parking on Joaquin Miller Drive. We provide a free shuttle bus service (1PM to 5PM every 15 minutes) that will drive guests from the intersection of Butters and Joaquin Miller (near the fire station) to the festival grounds and back again. 


MORE OKTOBERFEST:

Placerville Oktoberfest – Sacramento

Come Dance Zee Polka at the 7th Annual Placerville Oktoberfest on Historic Main Street Placerville

Placerville, CA, September 8, 2017—Come dance zee polka at the 7th Annual Placerville Oktoberfest on historic Main Street in Placerville on Saturday, September 16th from 3-8pm—presented by the Placerville Downtown Association.

WHEN: September 16th, 2017

Entrance : FREE


Oktoberfest at GACC – German American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco 

For the fifth time the German American Chamber of Commerce will bring Germany’s most famous fest to the Bay Area.

Enjoy a night of delicious German food andOktoberfest beer, provided by Ludwig’s German Table.   Blow Musik! will set the right tone with their traditional Bavarian polkas and our headliner Bayern Maiden will rock the house once more!

WHEN: September 28th, 2017, 5pm-10pm
WHERE: Fort Mason, San Francisco

Admission: Buy your ticket online 


Oktoberfest at Old World Huntington Beach

WHEN: Sept. 10 – Oct. 29, 2017

WHERE: 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach

Admission: $7-$25 tickets online or at the door


Oktoberfest at Alpine Village Torrance

WHEN: Sept 8 – Oct 28, 2017

WHERE: 833 W Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90502

Admission: $10- $60 tickets online or at the door


Images: Copyright ©All Images are property of the respective organization, Phoenix Club, Jeanette’s Edelweiss, German American Societies of San Diego, Esther’s German Bakery, Schug Winery, Oakland Nature Friends.

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German Language Instruction for the Youngest Learners

Research shows, that the earlier you start with introducing a second or third language to your child, the easier it will be for her or him to learn it.

Especially if those languages are spoken at home as well, your child will just grow up using these languages instinctively and will automatically pick up the vocabulary and intonation of each one.

From what I have experienced, this effort of raising children with more than one language, is even more successful if the child can connect one parent to one particular language. It will make it so much easier for the child to switch back and forth between languages since there is also a visual distinction.

But even if your child grows up in a mono-lingual household, you now have so many options to introduce your youngsters to a wealth of languages and give them, too, the gift of understanding other cultures early on.

For many of us German expats it is a given that we want our children to be able to speak our native German. We want them to be able to communicate with family and friends still living overseas. But sometimes it’s hard if all the pressure of passing on this cultural heritage just rests on you!

California is fortunate enough to have many German language schools among its wealth of  language schools all together. Many of them offer classes already for three-year olds. And a few even offer Mommy-and-Me classes that one can attend as soon as the baby is born!

In the following find a few examples of schools, that offer these early language courses; but please feel free to browse our list of various schools under our “Resources” tab.

Learning German for the Youngest all around California


Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool is offering “Mama und Ich” classes starting this September 2017. The classes are instructed by Ilka Sternberger, Director at Tivoli, who is also a certified as a Lactation Specialist UCLA, and Postpartum Doula DONA .

These classes offer parenting information and support, meditation for the Mamas, German children songs and verses, movement and seasonal finger games. Sessions will start on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. All classes are held at: Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool in Mar Vista (3170 Stoner Ave., LA, CA 90066).  Two classes are offered weekly. The 3-4pm baby class is for newborns to age 15 months and the 4:15-5:15pm Toddler class is for age 16 months to 2 plus years.

If you are interested in joining our next session please rsvp to ilkayan@aol.com.

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WanderKind School in Glendale offers a bilingual nature immersion program preschool program for 2-5 year olds and an after school program for 4-7 year olds. Whether children are enrolled full time or part time they will always experience friendship, joy, free play and creative expression. Two mornings and two afternoons a week are spent at Brand Park immersed in a forrest school curriculum. While outdoors teachers guide the children utilizing English and German. The rest of the time we learn, get messy and play in the indoor/outdoor classrooms of the school and focus on German language immersion.

Contact Dr. Franziska Reff at 415-812-6675 or wanderkindschool@gmail.com .

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GermanSchool campus in Newport Beach just started with a “Vorschul-Klasse” for children ages 4-6years. This particular class will playfully engage the children with the concepts of the German language through music, songs, rhythm and dance. Children will learn numbers, the days of the week, the calendar, seasons and much more through fun songs and plays. As it is tradition at the school, also the youngest members will learn how to introduce themselves and will be able to hold up a small and simple conversation by the end of the year.

GermanSchool campus offers a variety of German language classes for children, 4-17 years old, focusing on guiding the older students through the various  exams available. From Deutsches Sprachdiplom to AATG testings for high schoolers.

Contact GermanSchool campus at (949) 285 0829 or email at principal@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com

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German Pacific School of San Diego offers classes for students ages 3 to 18 at its four different locations in San Diego County: Poway, Clairemont, Carmel Valley and La Jolla. For this school year 2017 /18, registration has already closed. But if you are still looking for German classes for your child(ren). There are just a few spots at each location left. Most classes are full.

Contact Wiebke Elbe (germanpacificschool @gmail.com) to inquire about availability or to get on the waiting list.

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GASA – The German-American School Association of Southern California, Incoffers classes for children ages 3 to 5 years at its Kinderland School and has Parent & Me classes for children 1-3 years old that are currently offered only in Anaheim Hills.

Founded in 1954, GASA maintains several schools in the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego area.  The various schools offer classroom-based German language programs to children ages 4 – 17 years in its Saturday Schools.

Contact the school at office@gasaschool.org or at (562) 693-0223.

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German Language School of Marin (NorCal) has a Kindergarten class that accepts children starting as young as 3-years-old at the Santa Rosa campus and as young as 4-years-old at the Novato campus.

In Kindergarten, children approach the German language in a playful, hands-on way. Through simple poems, circle games, songs and rhymes, story books, and art projects, the children intuitively learn basic vocabulary and grammar. Lessons revolve around themes like family, animals, colors, food, clothing, body, nature, months, weekdays, seasons, and holidays. To support learning on Saturdays, basic homework for our Kindergarteners include poems and songs that they can practice and memorize throughout the week.

Contact the school at (415) 897.9771 or email: info@germanschoolmarin.com

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GASPA – German American School of Palo Alto offers a Parent & Me class  for children ages 0-3, for the first time this year. The “Froggy Group” is for parents and their children. Come to play and sing with your child in German!  Classes start September 16th, from 9am-10:15am.

Since 1965 GASPA has been offering the ever popular Saturday morning program for students ages 2.5 to 18. Students 2.5 years or older must be accompanied by a parent in class until age 3. Saturday classes are already in session since September 9th, 2017. All classes are at the Campus of Alto International School , 475 Pope Street, Menlo Park.

Contact the school at (650) 520-3646 or email: contact@gaspa-ca.org

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Kleine Schule Oakland in the Bay area offers parent-toddler classes for kids from 18 months up to 5 years. They take place once a week for 1 1/2 hours.  The school welcomes to a space where you can have a lot of fun while learning the German language. You may not even realize how much you are learning because you’ll be so busy playing, singing, reading, crafting, experimenting, baking and making friends. Nature plays an important role; sometimes we even take the class outside and meet up in the nearby forest.  The school also runs a daycare program fromMonday to Friday 9am-3pm.

Contact Runa for more information at kleineschuleoakland@gmail.com

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Let us know if you heard of other German programs for the Youngest German Language learners and send us an email at californiagermans(AT)gmail.com

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5 Ways Elections in Germany are Different from US Elections

5 Ways Elections in Germany are Different from US Elections

by Kate Müser

Last year I had to register to vote in the state of New York, since that was the last state I’d voted in, which felt odd since I only lived there for 10 months. But given the absurd campaign in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, filling out my absentee ballot became all the more important to me.

I held out hope that some miraculously competent third-party candidate would pop up on the ballot – that is, until it turned up in my mailbox.

In Germany, politics are not like grocery shopping: Germans apparently appreciate choice, and, anti-Aldi-style, there are more political parties than the average German could name without googling. Admittedly, I had lost touch with just how few choices there are in the US.

Nearly a year later, it’s Germany’s turn to head to the polls. The result will eventually be the most powerful person in Europe and – considering the current global political climate – potentially even the world.

But Americans might be shocked to find out that no chancellor candidates will appear on Germans’ ballots, since the chancellor is chosen later by the ruling coalition formed post-election by the leading parties.

Instead, national elections consist of a local candidate for the federal parliament, the Bundestag, and a nod to a party of their choice. It seems fairly unspectacular for a vote that will help shape the future of Europe.

In fact, “unspectacular” can apply to elections in Germany in general. There is no mudslinging, no late-night Twitter rants, practically no merchandising, no big televised rallies – and only recently have the top chancellor candidates started holding debates.

Germany’s big 2017 election on September 24 is only weeks away, but if you were to visit Germany now, you’d be hard pressed to notice it.

In this video, I’ve gone into 5 big ways that German national elections are different from those in the US. Both systems have plenty of pros and cons – but not much in common.

©KateMüser

Image: Pixabay.com

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Kate Müser, who grew up in Pleasanton, California, was surprised to discover that she feels even closer to her home state now than she did when she first moved to Bonn, Germany, over 13 years ago.

She is the creator of the successful YouTube series #thoseGermans and the portrait series #germany24. Visit Kate’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/katemuser and her website, justkate.de.

For over a decade, Kate has been a TV, radio and online journalist at Deutsche Welle, where she currently hosts the video series Meet the Germans with Kate and the TV show PopXport.

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Last Days of Summer. Catch’em While You Can!

First day of September…and summer is over. Well, not officially. While the real change of season is still a few weeks away, I am sure you can sense a slight change in the air already, too.

Come Labor Day, and summer is clearly turning into just a warm memory. Schools are back in session, most of us are back at work and beaches are blissfully empty.

Pretty soon it’s Oktoberfest time rather than beach time. Yes, Oktoberfest season starts in California already as early as September 8th!

Before saying good-bye to summer 2017, treasure these last few nights of warmth and sunshine.

Should you spend time at Universal Studios this Labor Day weekend, don’t leave the theme park before you have seen the magical light show at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is really mesmerizing!


Image & Video Credits: ©CaliforniaGermans


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