Feb. 20th, 2015 07:40 pm
sister_luck: (Default)
I am only following the instructions:

Ask me for a letter and I'll give you one. Then you can fill out these questions on your own blog.

I was given the letter S by [ profile] frenchani - let's see how challenging this is going to be.

Read more... )


Jun. 22nd, 2013 08:05 pm
sister_luck: (Default)
Without much ceremony, here are some pictures taken several weeks ago in Mainz:

Karneval und Kirchen )


Jun. 6th, 2013 09:23 pm
sister_luck: (Default)

Street art version of iconic children's book gangster Räuber Hotzenplotz. Instantly recognisable to most Germans.

The kid calls him Hotzenkotz. It's a lovely series of books by German author Otfried Preußler - a variation on the Kasperl und Seppl adventures from the German versions of the Punch and Judy puppet shows. Apart from the big bad robber who has seven knives and a sword in his belt and the two boys the stories also feature their Grandma and of course policeman Alois Dimpflmoser who is very pompous and slightly useless. Oh and of course, a wizard, Petrosilius Zwackelmann. (Sadly, only two female characters in the first book, Grandma and the Fairy Amaryllis.)

The kid loves the books and the illustrations, but also the old and new film versions and of course, the CDs with the stories that he listens to before he falls asleep. We usually read him a story and then it's time for a CD.
sister_luck: (oops)
When it comes to - for want of a better word - social justice issues it seems like Germany always lags a couple of years behind the US and the UK. In the past couple of years I've seen German bloggers complain about children's books with language that is now considered derogatory but was widely accepted when the books were first published, like Neger, i.e. negro, but the discussion has only now become mainstream with a publisher going through several beloved classics and - with the approval of the writer's descendants - changing some of those words to more acceptable terms.

Rambling )
sister_luck: (oops)
The kid has got a picture book entitled "My favourite vehicles" or some such - its four parts deal with the police, the fire brigade, car mechanics and trains. The pages set in the car repair shop feature a woman called Maja fixing an engine and doing an oil change. There is also Tina, a police officer who shares a car with her partner Tom. All other characters with names are male.

When Tom finds out on the police radio that there is a bank robbery, Tom and Tina set out to catch the bad guy. And then suddenly Tina is still in the pictures but the text makes no mention of her. It's Tom who finds out from the police helicopter where he has to block off the street. Tom is the one who takes the hand-cuffed thief to the police station and it's Tom who recovers the stolen money. Tina just stands there, probably thinking about what she is going to cook for dinner. The chapter concludes with the lines "What an exciting day. Well done, Tom!"

It's good that the kid can't read because I've taken to changing the text and including Tina in all the excitement and praise.

To me it looks like the writers/illustrators made a conscious decision to include women but when the text was written the old stereotypes prevailed.
sister_luck: (television)
So, Thursday and Friday we actually went to a real-life totally old-fashioned multiplex cinema. In the Netherlands. When my colleagues ask me about where I went on holiday I'm going to say that I spent two nights in Holland.

Last time I went to the cinema was the local shoebox, which is very cozy, but as I was herding a bunch of kids, it wasn't actually much fun. The film was a German A Knight's Tale only with Goethe instead of knights - slight hyperbole, I know. And I won't tell you about the time before that, because it's honest-to-god embarrassing how long I went without seeing the inside of a cinema. That new Bond film has been delayed for an awfully long time, hasn't it?

First, let me just celebrate and squee the experience of going to a moviehouse to see a film (yes, I'm mixing BE and AE to my heart's content) and the excitement of not knowing whether you'd still get tickets and didn't just drive roughly 35 km in vain. We got the tickets and thus I saw Cabin in the Woods on Friday the 13th with lots of Dutch people, a surprisingly high numbers of which were girls probably lured by the male actor hunks, and some Germans who'd come even further than we did, judging from the licence plates in the parking garage.

On to the films - spoiler-lite: )
sister_luck: (oops)
Two examples, both from this week:

Number one came up in a worksheet given to three of my pupils by their Chemistry teacher. It was pretty horrible for various reasons but the clincher was that it was titled "Englische Chemie" and featured the phrase noble steel. What's that you may ask? It's a direct translation of Edelstahl which is our word for stainless steel, more or less. I don't teach Chemistry, don't ask me. Yes, Edelgase are noble gases, but it doesn't work the same with steel.

Number two happened when the American edition of The Hunger Games trilogy was edited to conform to British English standards for its publication in the UK. With modern word processing that's easy right? You just search for labor and replace it with labour and so on. It's great and automatic and you end up with words like elabourate and evapourate.


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