Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Pod Post

Here's my nifty little podcast...

I decided to do it in's me talking more and more about soccer. It's kind of dorky. It's called Bundesliga (German soccer league) Today.

Here is the Podcast:

and here is the translation/the written words (my german is pretty bad, so the speakers out there, don't make fun.)

Hallo, es ist Bundesliga Heute und ich habe eine wunder sprechen zu heute. Es ist ein shoenes tages in die ruckrunde des Bundesliga. Die scheissen bayern ist immer zweite, und Wolfsburg ist nummer eins an der tabelle. Hertha Berlin is dritte mit hamburg, schalke, und Dortmund nichts so weiter. In Hertha gegen Hoffenheim, die neues verein an der bundesliga hat kaput, mit Hertha eins zu null gewinnin. Immer scheissen Bayern gegen Schalke und unterschieden. Hertha is in der champions league qualifier aber es ist immer besser in der champions league mit keine qualifier. In der torjager tabelle, grafite ist eins, mit drei und zwonzig tore fuer vfl Wolfsburg. In zweit platz, ist Helmes fuer leverkusen, Gomez fur Stuttgart und dzeko fur Wolfsburg. In funfte platz ist vedad ibsisevic wem ein torjagermeister in die hinrunde. Hat ein schoenes tag, und ein schoener tabelle!

Hello, it is Bundesliga Today and I have a wonderful speech today. It is a pretty day in the back round of the Bundesliga. The crappy Bayern is always second, and Wolfsburg is number one on the standings table. Hertha Berlin is third, with Hamburg, Schalke, and Dortmund not so far. In Hertha against Hoffenheim, the new team in the Bundesliga has broken, Hertha wins one to nothing. Always crappy Bayern went against Schalke and tied. Hertha is in the champions league qualifier but it is always best in the champions league with no qualifier. In the goal scorers standings tabel, Grafite is first, with 23 goals for Vfl Wolfsburg. In second place, is Helmes for Leverkusen, Gomez for Stuttgart and Dzeko for Wolfsburg. In Fifth place is Vedad Ibisevic whom was a goal scoring leader in the front round. Have a pretty day, and an even prettier standings table.

edit: it's taking forever to load...hopefully all works out.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Dilatory - dil⋅a⋅to⋅ry 
/ˈdɪləˌtɔri, -ˌtoʊri/
tending to delay or procrastinate; slow; tardy.
intended to cause delay, gain time, or defer decision: a dilatory strategy.

Germany's Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck

The German economic system is very dilatory. The system slows growth, punishes wealth and expansion, as well as rewards the least performing.

With the exceptional amount of government control in Germany, surprisingly there is no minimum wage. It is set by the unions, of which there are an absurd amount of. Unions in Germany do not only account for Steel workers and Car companies but for every occupation under the sun.
Angela Merckel was ready to propose a minimum wage for all workers (including dog sitters and independent hot dog stand vendors) in Deutschland until the economic downfall hit. Germany's unemployment rate is regularly very high (now 8.3%, has been 12% for several years) but she saw the proposed minimum wage as not being very dilatory to the unemployment rate, as minimum wage increases are generally followed by unemployment rate increases as a direct positive correlation.

Part of Germany's economic problems stem from the rebuilding of Eastern Germany, as the enormous influx of cash that is necessary to rebuild the country contributed to inflation as well as the influx of brainwashed (although we all are, to some degree) former Soviet citizens as part of Russia's imperialism in the West. This has contributed to the continued growth of parties such as the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (Social Democrat Party Germany) and Die Linke (the Left) which use dilatory policies of slow growth as a means of attempting to soften economic lows.
And to answer a question which was asked way too long ago:
L.C. Jones said...
What did Jesse do??? I'm not overly familiar with German history and Jesse's successes...though I would assume he must have been successful while there..???!!!

This was written in regards to my post about Jesse Owens disproving Hitlers racial theories at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.
Jesse Owens was a young black man from Alabama. He ran track at Ohio State University. Hitler championed the Olympics as proving Germany's Aryan superiority. Jesse Owens won four gold metals and notably beat Luz Long a phenomenal German long jumper.
Here is Jesse Owens at my beloved Olympiastadion, home of Hertha.

And this is the street named after him, outside the stadium

Thursday, April 23, 2009



occurring twice a year; semiannual.
occurring every two years; biennial.

Let me preface this by saying when we were discussing how to keep your language when you aren't able to speak to people regularly, I always think of soccer as the way i keep up. Soccer forces me to watch German language soccer programs and keep up with it on websites like and

That being said, I immediately had something in mind when I heard the word biannual. I know it seems that all my posts have to do with soccer but still. Germany's Bundesliga plays on a single table which means there are no conferences and all teams play each other twice, unlike the NFL where teams only play half the league. So back to the word. The teams biannually...or twice a year. There is what's known as a Hinrunde and Ruckerunde, essentially front round and return round, or back round. This is the same as Mexico's Apertura and Clausura league structure in FML, except there is no trophy for winning the Hinrunde or Rueckrunde, just a total one. There is a winter break between the two rounds lasting from early december to mid February. For example if Hertha Berlin played Bayern Muenchen (the kings of German fussball) at home in the Hinrunde, they would play in Muenchen in the rueckrunde. They play twice each year, making it a biannual event.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

 /daɪˈæfənəs/ [dahy-af-uh-nuhs] Show IPA
very sheer and light; almost completely transparent or translucent.
delicately hazy.

My first thought was the castle of Neuschwanstein in Southern Germany (not far from Austria, really).

Meaning New Swan Rock this castle is a product of King Ludwig, this castle is perpetually in mist and haze, so far up in the Alps. It has inspired Walt Disney (the Disney castle is based off of Neuschwanstein). The man who commissioned the castle is an epic hero and mysterious figure in Bavarian history.
King Ludwig was the patriarch of the Bavarian state. His eccentricity bankrupted the state (as he built castles all over, among other things) but he has been loved and admired by the Bavarian people as a father figure. He was great friends with the composer Wagner, who often played concerts in one of Neuschwanstein's fantasy rooms.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

German Music - a short culture entry

Ever since learning German, I have always had an interest in German music. It can be pretty good at times, but you always get looks listening to it, I figured I would go over a few major German artists.

Die Aertze - Hailing from Berlin, die Aertze is hands down one of my favorite German artists. Translated as "The Doctors", they have been in the music scene forever. Them and "Die Toten Hosen" (or, the dead pants) have regularly been one of the top punk-rock bands. Die Aertze has regularly called themselves "the greatest band in the world" (never more obvious in the song "Rock-n-Roll ubermensch), and this sort of arrogance is not lost in their music. My favorite songs include "zu spaet" (too late), "ist das alles" (is that all), and "Gabi gibt ein Parti" (Gabi throws a party).

Bushido - Known as the German Eminem, Bushido is the bad-boy of German music. His music isn't bad, his lyrics are, at best, offensive. Similar to Eminem's Slim Shady, Bushido also raps under the name Sonny Black. He is from Berlin as well and is of Tunisian and German descent. He is noted for alleged racism against Turks, an issue not uncommon in Germany, especially Berlin. He derides the allegations, as he works often with minorities in his Aggro Berlin record label. He has also been described as homophobic.

Wizo - To the roots of punk rock, Wizo is as good as Die Aertze in my book. They are politically left and quite outspoken about it. One of my favorite songs is named "Kopfschuss" which is German for "Headshot", about the a German anarchist who was assassinated. Quadrat im Kreis or "Square in a Circle" is excellent as well. They were the first German punk rock band to be signed to an American label.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


To Purfle is to
to finish with an ornamental border.
to decorate (a shrine or tabernacle) with architectural forms in miniature.
Also called purfling. an ornamental border, as the inlaid border near the outer edge of the table and back of a stringed instrument.

I would rather not go back to Germany's war-like past, but the first culturally related item regarding "Purfling" is Germany's addition of an ornamental border in the form of the Sudatenland, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

Germany invaded the Sudatenland and the rest of Czechoslovakia in order to add ornamentation around the borders of Germany. Germany began purfling further when it added Poland, sparking the ire of the rest of the world in 1939, bringing war upon the addition of what it considered it's lands. In early April, Germany began invading Denmark and Norway and began turning what was once ornamentation (Poland), into part of the cloth, interning thousands of Jews at Auschwitz. Germany then overran BeNeLux into France during mid-Summer. Those who believed the ornamentation should be left alone and de-purfled, fought back and overturned Germany at Normandy, then Paris, and Brussels.

Purfling is no longer in the German targets, it is now a patchwork of cloths with the European Union.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


When thinking of the word whipsaw, defined by as  –noun
1. a saw for two persons, as a pitsaw, used to divide timbers lengthwise.
–verb (used with object)
2. to cut with a whipsaw.
3. to win two bets from (a person) at one turn or play, as at faro.
4. to subject to two opposing forces at the same time: The real-estate market has been whipsawed by high interest rates and unemployment.
–verb (used without object)
5. (of a trailer, railroad car, etc.) to swing suddenly to the right or left, as in rounding a sharp curve at high speed.

In the late 18th Century, the heavily militaristic Prussian empire (which would eventually unite the German speaking peoples under a singular German reign in the midddle-to-late 19th century) whipsawed the Polish state in three partitions in unison with the Russian and Austro-Hungarian states.

This initial domination and expansion of the Prussian state led to the unification of Germany and a new hunger for power eventually culminating in World War I and successively WWII.
This is the partitions of Poland.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Soccer Again

From the my last post, I was asked to translate the German parts.
Here is the full song, originally by Frank Zander about Hertha Berlin and with that, sung right before and right after every match played by the Hauptstadtclub (the Capital city club)

Nur nach Hause, nur nach Hause, nur nach Hause gehn wir nicht,

only at our house, only at our house, only at our house, we don't leave

Alle warten voller Spannung auf das absolute Spiel,

All wait with tension for the absolute play

denn die Jungens von der Hertha haben alle nur ein Ziel

when the young men from Hertha all have only one goal

:Heute wollen sie gewinnen für das blau-weiße Trikot,

Today they will win for the blue-white uniform

sowieso ohoh ohoh, und sowieso ohoh ohoh.Nur nach Hause ...

so how so, ohoh oh oh, and so how so, oh oh oh, only at the house

It's similair to the Arkansas fight song. Here's a youtube video of it being sung at the Olympiastadion. These are mostly Ultras that stand in the Ostkurve (the East Curve, it's the cheap seats...ten euros!). It is also my favorite place to stand. In this Youtube, they are NOT at the Olympiastadion, I can't really tell where they are playing but it is a smaller team.

You can kind of see the different scarves worn by all the people.

However, my blog post today is about a topic that doesn't pertain to just Berlin, but to the entirety of German football, as well as most European nations. It is the structure of the leagues. (I apologize for a second blog post in a row about soccer, but Hertha Berlin just took the top spot in first league Bundesliga this weekend, which is somewhat of a rarity.)

The structure of the league makes it all one entity. It is fairly foreign to Americans, but if there were an equivalent, it would be that all the minor league baseball leagues (triple-A, double-A, single- A, Class A short season, and Rookie) were all owned by Major League Baseball. The significant part of this, is that there is what is known as "promotion and relegation." If a team finishes in the top two places of the second league, it moves to the first league. This goes down all the way to the 7th league, if there is one. (there is in English soccer, for sure) To put it in perspective, say the Northwest Arkansas Naturals finished at the top of double A where they are now. They would move to triple-A. If they won it all there, they could be facing the New York Yankees. It gives the prospect of a small-town playing with the big leaguers, which is what happened when TSG Hoffenheim found a big time investor several years back. Hoffenheim is a town of 3,000 which now plays amongst the Munichs and Berlins of Germany.

With promotion comes relegation. The leagues all have a fixed number of 18. As two come into the league, the bottom two must leave. As you can see with the table below,

Hertha Berlin 40
1899 Hoffenheim 39
Hamburg SV 39
Bayern Munich 38
Bayer Leverkusen 36
VfL Wolfsburg 33
VfB Stuttgart 32
Borussia Dortmund 31
Schalke 04 30
Werder Bremen 27
Koln 25
Hannover 96 21
Eintracht Frankfurt 20
Arminia Bielefeld 18
VfL Bochum 17
Energie Cottbus 17
Karlsruher SC 17
Borussia M'gladbach 13

If the season were to of ended today, Borussia Mochengladbach and Karlsruher SC (Berlin's sister club) would be sent down to the 2nd league. Two members of the 2nd league would come to the first league. This makes for very exciting promotion and relegation races.

Other things to note about this situation:
  • The top three in the league go on to represent the UEFA Champions league which pits Germany's clubs against top teams from leagues across the continent. The winners (and qualifiers) stand to gain large amounts of advertising money, more fans, and international respect.
  • The fourth and the fifth teams in the league go on to represent Germany in the UEFA Cup, which is a similar competition of lesser standings.

I began thinking about promotion and relegation today, when FC Union Berlin (in the 3rd league, similar to the Naturals/Travelers) increased it's lead on first place in the Bundesliga 3, with the good chance of getting promoted to the 2nd league and perhaps one day playing against Hertha Berlin in the first league. Hertha is easy to like/follow in the states, because it is such a big club with international recognition and some games on tv. But, FC Union Berlin represents the east side where I lived and is more of a working man's club, which I identify with.

Here are a few pictures of my time going to FC Union games.

Union is a religion!

(Yes I felt weird taking a picture strangely close to a guys derrier, but it's a great picture.)

Kind of a great stadium, it's the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, or Stadium Near the Old Foresters House. Half is terraced by grass/dirt stands, and the other half is normal stands.
These are the Ultras for Eisern Berlin (Iron Berlin). They are displaying what's known as "tifo" short for the Italian word tifosi, which is any sort of organized display during a football match. It often includes flags, banners, smoke bombs, flares, or anything else to show organized allegiance to the team.

Sorry for the ramble on today, but I've been pretty excited about the results lately.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ha Ho He, Hertha BSC

I have decided to write about a pivotal part of the German culture, fussball. More specifically, my favorite team Hertha BSC.

Hertha was formed in 1900 in Berlin. Named after the Greek goddess Nerthus, Hertha has always been at the forefront of German football.

Similar to college football here, the pre-game festivities include plenty of beer and other vendors around the Olympiastadion, the 1936 stadium which Jesse Owens disproved Hitler's racist theories in the Olympics. The history of the stadium is very important, as fascist architectures and statues circle the stadium. A swimming pool from 1936 still exists on the grounds, as well as the track.

Scarfs are very popular throughout Europe. A scarf shows your allegiance to whichever team, as well as personal style. Here is a picture of me wearing my Hertha Berlin scarf on the back end of the Olympiastadion.

As the game is about to begin, the crowd begins singing:
nur nach Hause nur nach Hause, gehen wir nicht Alle warten voller Spannungauf das absolute Spiel denn die Jungens von der Herthahaben alle nur ein Ziel. Heute wollen sie gewinnenfuer das blau-weisse Trikot sowieso und sowieso
Hertha has had money problems for years and years, but it is finally reaching it's potential as Germany's Hauptstadt club. It ranks third out of the 18 bundesliga eins teams, behind annual powerhouse Bayern Muenchen and new money, TSG Hoffenheim.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A girandole \ˈjir-ən-ˌdōl\ is a "1 : a radiating and showy composition (as a cluster of skyrockets fired together) 2 : an ornamental branched candlestick 3 : a pendant earring usually with three ornaments hanging from a central piece"

Further definition can be found here.

When I think of a girandole and German culture, my mind instantly switches to the European Union flag:

An interesting aspect of German culture is it's willingness to display the E.U. flag at what appears to be at or above the level of the German national flag. I have many non-digital pictures of this as I was interested in Germany's strive to be simply a member of a greater European community rather than a nationalist blowhard which it has in the past. Here is a picture of them flying at what appears to be the same heighth.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Reconcile oder Versoehnen

Reconcile is to:

rec⋅on⋅cile  –verb (used with object)
1. to cause (a person) to accept or be resigned to something not desired: He was reconciled to his fate.
2. to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable: to reconcile hostile persons.
3. to compose or settle (a quarrel, dispute, etc.).
4. to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent: to reconcile differing statements; to reconcile accounts.
5. to reconsecrate (a desecrated church, cemetery, etc.).
6. to restore (an excommunicate or penitent) to communion in a church.–verb (used without object)

To versoehnen or reconcile is to win over friendliness with one or another. It is important to reconcile after vicious fights and anger. It is important to reconcile with other ethnicities, genders, as well as age.

Racism is a virulent part of German history. While certainly not as overt as football matches in Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Serbia, racism and the denial of equal pay is a severe problem.

I took several pictures while living in Berlin. This next two were taken while roaming around the Garden houses in the Southeastern section built somewhat similarily to Levittowns as a means of therapy for the Germany Worker.

As well as this one:

It is unfortunate that the German people have not reconciled completely with race issues. It does not only span white German vs. Black but White German vs. Turkish, which is divided along socio-economic and religious lines. It is important to reach for versoehnen, or reconciliation.


My name is Adam Loos. I am 21 and a student at the University of Arkansas majoring in Political Science and International Relations with minors in Communication, Anthropology, and Latin American Studies. I hope to learn to teach others the beautiful German language. My first time on the European continent was a three week stay in Munchen, Berlin and Quakenbrueck. I returned in the Spring of 2008 to live for four months in the eastside of Berlin by myself. It was an epic experience which I hope to enrich other people's lives.