Friday, May 21, 2010

Flowers and Foreign Languages

One of the things I was really looking forward to about Germany was the fresh flowers. I love having fresh flowers in the house, and Germans are very into nature and bringing it indoors. Cheeseball and I went to the Friday farmer’s market down the street from the house last week and while I was too intimidated to take any pictures while there, I got one at home that I just have to share.

german variety MLB daisies

How hilariously random is that!? Home run! American baseball teams! Clearly these must be the not widely known German variety MLB daisies. This is one of the things I love most about living in a foreign country. The delightfully random and funny ways that the familiar pops up amongst the foreign.

I’ve noticed a lot of English used in advertising. I haven’t yet figured out exactly what the incorporation conveys to the average German, but it must signify something. Sophistication? Affordability? Modernity? Really, I have no idea. There was a matratzen (mattress) store near the hotel with the giant letters emblazoned on the outside wall. Why? I don’t know. If, say, Mattress Warehouse had plastered on their window, I would not have had a clue what that even meant let alone why they picked a random other language for their advertising.

You also hear stuff on the radio like German German German hit music German German and German German German stau German German German stop and go and I love picking it out. Stau means traffic jam. And the random use of English for stop and go has had me wracking my brain trying to come up with random foreign language usage in English. There are things from other places like croissant or sushi. And then we implement some words like kindergarten or tsunami. I’m knocking out a mental list. What can you think of to add to it?

Back to the flowers. I’ve been busy tossing them up all over the house and they make me happy.


Sylvia said...

Haha, yeah we usea lot of English words in German. And it becomes more and more. We have always used a lot of foreign languages, like French too. I am not sure why.

I think the reason that English is becoming so popular is that everyone always thinks that America is simply the cool culture. I don't know.

Interestingly though, there are quite a few German words that are used over here. Gesundheit, Poltergeist, Blitz, ... now of course I can't think of any more... I'll let you know when I do. :-)

Jennifer said...

Huh, that's interesting.

And, great examples! My mental list was short and I'm totally stymied now. So, yes do let me know if you think of any more...