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Tiger
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Joined: 23 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Stickywicket  Reply with quote

Tell us if you want, where about you live in Germany?  What happened, if anything in the reunification of Germany?  How did you learn English so well?

Love your posts! Share if you want!
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Tiger
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Newkirk: "Who's on the air today?"
Kinch: "Klink and Burkhalter."
Newkirk: "Turn it up a bit, they're my favorite comedy team."
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stickywicket_chrissie



Joined: 14 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The village I come from is very „Bullfrog, North Dakota“-like, but the nearest bigger city (more of the „Crabapple Junction“-type ;) ) is Hannover (Hanover), which might be known internationally (if it is at all...) for hosting the world fair EXPO 2000 and many other trade fairs like the CeBIT as well. Roughly, you can say that I live in the northwest of Germany, so every escaped prisoner who was helped by the heroes and picked up by a British sub would have had to cross our federal state Lower Saxony to reach the North Sea (they always forgot to mention in the show that the coast is at least 500 kilometres or about 350 miles away from Hammelburg ;) ).

In 1989, when „the Wall fell“, I was too young to fully grasp what was going on and as a child growing up in the western part of Germany you usually didn’t notice too much of the division of Germany. My father had (and has) got relatives in the former German Democratic Republic and visiting them was always very complicated (he never took the chance of taking us along) and my grandmother was always scared like heck that my grandfather might forget to keep his mouth shut and say anything that would have prevented their return to West Germany. My mother grew up near the Inner German border and knew what it was like when you go playing with other children and some of them are pulled out of the river on the other side and are never seen alive again. Staying at our uncle’s place, who still lives near the former Border, we were never EVER allowed to go outside on our own. Several of my friends came across the Border only shortly before the reunification and only came to realise later how very lucky they had been to „have made it“. Of course, even children felt the tension that was building up during the weeks before the 9th November, but how do you explain something like the Monday Demonstrations - and how everybody was afraid they might be ended following the Chinese example - to a little child? So what I remember most about the Reunification itself was how our neighbours , we had only just got to know, came over to our house and how everybody were crying and embracing each other.  

Quote:
How did you learn English so well?


Aww, that’s very kind of you to say, it doesn’t feel like that at all :)
In Germany it is mandatory to start learning a foreign language in fifth grade (the latest) and at most schools, English is the „first second language“. In many parts of eastern Germany it is still Russian and there are also possibilities to start with another language, Latin or Ancient Greek being the most favoured among them. However, I cannot claim to have learnt too much at school, I guess I really started to learn English while watching „The Monkees“ and reading „Harry Potter“ and „Lord of the Rings“ ;)

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Love your posts!


Love your forum! :)
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Michel_LeBeau
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Joined: 10 Jun 2009
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Location: Las Vegas NM

PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would you know if Hupke is a very common name in Germany?  My maternal Grandmas family came from to the US around the Kiel area.  They left Germany just prior to WW1, rather hurriedly and secretly as my maternal GGF was on the Kaisers General Staff.  He and his family traveled through France to Spain across to Morocco and came across via a tramp steamer.  Mom told us stories from her childhood where her GF has said he was afraid that the German Secret Police were going to come over looking for him.


My maternal Grandpas family (Flammang)  immigrated from Luxembourg also about the WW1 period.

I was in Rhein-Main in Dec of 1990 on my way to Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm.  I had the fantastic opportunity to go outside the base and have dinner and it was fantastic as was all the wursts and other food I sampled during the 5 days I was there with a broke aircraft.  I was a combat deployable Lockheed Field Rep on the F117.  We were considered combatants and dressed in  BDUs and were armed in the combat zone.

I think your posts are also, as Newkirk would say very Ricky-ticky!!
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Tiger
HEAD OF THE UNDERGROUND


Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 222



PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, even though you were young, you witnessed history.  I too, love The Monkees (Peter Tork!!!) and I LOVE Harry Potter.  I think it is so remarkable that you used the series of books as a learning device!!!

Have you seen the movies?  Who is your favorite character?  

Thank you for loving our forum but without great people on here, we would be nothing!
_________________
à bientôt,


Tiger
_______________________________________

Newkirk: "Who's on the air today?"
Kinch: "Klink and Burkhalter."
Newkirk: "Turn it up a bit, they're my favorite comedy team."
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Tiger
HEAD OF THE UNDERGROUND


Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 222



PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michel, you are a hero!  Hogan would be proud of you serving in Desert Storm!

Thank you!!!
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à bientôt,


Tiger
_______________________________________

Newkirk: "Who's on the air today?"
Kinch: "Klink and Burkhalter."
Newkirk: "Turn it up a bit, they're my favorite comedy team."
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Karl
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Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 254


Location: No. Central Illinois

PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So... I take it Stickie Wicket you were on the Communist side, correct?  I'm curious.  Generally, how is the relationship between the former Eastern dwellers with the Western dwellers since the reunification? I would suspect the Easterners would not have as high a standard of living as the Westerners.  Does this cause any social animosity or jealousy?

Sadly, in the US, a foreign language is not a requirement for high schools, let alone grade school.  Years after I completed my Bachelors Degree, I took 2 semesters of German language at the local Junior College.  My company was discussing a joint venture, with a German company, Claas.  I readied myself to speak with my German counterparts once the business relationship was established.  For that reason and for the reason that my forebears came from Bavaria, I hope to one day travel there to see my cousins.  Great-great grandpa emmigrated in the 1850's

I would love to acquire some German language books, even if they are children's books to practice my 2nd language.  Can you make any recommendations?
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stickywicket_chrissie



Joined: 14 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Michel_LeBeau, the story of your family sounds more than exciting!
I’d say „Hupke“ is neither common nor really uncommon, you’ll come across the name now and then. The most famous German „Hupke“ at the moment is probably the district mayor of the inner district of Cologne.

Your posts about your collection of recipes are awesome!!! I have to admit though, they overwhelmed me a little, so I haven’t answered to any of them individually yet. It’s always interesting to see parts of your own culture from a different point of view ;)


Quote:
it was fantastic as was all the wursts and other food I sampled during the 5 days


...and I had been wondering how an American would get enthused about German Sauerkraut of all things...
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stickywicket_chrissie



Joined: 14 Oct 2009
Posts: 92



PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think it is so remarkable that you used the series of books as a learning device!!!


Many people of my age did, actually. If you ask them how they learnt to speak English, the answer „Well, I read Harry Potter...“ is quite common :) It definitely reads like a book (or several books of course...) that were written for somebody who did not necessarily have the opportunity to study language and literature at university before reading it (or them). In addition, the German translation was usually released about half a year later...

Yep, I did see the movies :) I have to admit, though, the excitement about the movies subsided somewhat with every new one that came into the theaters.

My overall-and-always-and-all-the-way-up-and-down-favourite character has to be Ron. There are many characters I really like but they are no competition for him. He also was the first one who was completely accepted by me in the films ;) IMHO Rupert Grint portrays him simply perfectly (even though he tends to be degraded to comic relief in the movies and all his best lines are given to Hermione).
Then, I love the whole Weasley family. How can you not like Gred and Forge? ;) Arthur Weasley’s attempts in trying to understand the Muggles‘ ways are so hilarious sometimes, they tend to make you think about your own habits again which you otherwise had never given another thought to. (After all, what exactly *is* the function of a rubber duck!?)
And then there are Lupin and Sirius. (I mean Lupin and Sirius, not Lupin AND Sirius. I won’t say a word against anybody who considers them their own true pairing, it simply doesn’t work for me with those two...) Yes, I really loved Sirius, can’t explain why since everybody seemed to dislike him (I’m referring to „book-Sirius“, though. Nothing against, Gary Oldman, he did a wonderful job, it just wasn’t Sirius for me, which is fine, because you cannot match everybody’s imagination in a movie).
And Snape! I had my troubles with him during the first book, but from then on was convinced of his ... how do you say this? Positive qualities? IMHO Snape and Lupin are the most tragic characters (next to Harry) in the series. (Have you read all of the books? Just asking, I don’t want to spoil you ;) )
Speaking of Teachers, I really admire Prof. McGonagall!
And how cool is Hermione??? And don’t Ron and her simply make a perfect couple?
Also, I can so understand the kids‘ affection for Hagrid!
Oh, and I love Oliver Wood! (Although the Scottish accent of „movie-Oliver“ might have helped a little on that matter...) It always cracks me up when in „Prisoner of Azkaban“ he is so devoted to his Quidditch that he won’t get how an assumed mass murder searching for Harry might be a reason for just a little extra precaution.
Whoops, I better stop before being thrown out due to too much „off-topicness“ ;)

So, what about you, then?

Oh, you’re a Peter fan? You belong to an endangered species ;) Right now, I couldn’t really say who I love best. When I started to watch, it used to be Micky who was then succeeded by Mike. The only one I never really got as mad about as everybody else did was Davy, lol...

Quote:
Thank you for loving our forum but without great people on here, we would be nothing!


With the forum, I also meant you people, of course!!! I honestly hadn’t expected this kind of welcome as a German.
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stickywicket_chrissie



Joined: 14 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
you were on the Communist side, correct?


My family lived in Western Germany (Federal Republic of Germany), the Communists or, rather, the Russians had taken over Eastern Germany (German Democratic Republic). Lower Saxony (which is the federal state I live in) belonged to the British zone of occupation after the war.

Quote:
Does this cause any social animosity or jealousy?


Uh, a very delicate topic which could fill several hundred books... The easiest way to answer, of course, would be: Yes, there is! The reunification is by now means complete yet.
My generation may start to think about Germany as one nation again, several of my friends are former „East Germans“, but I would never think of them that way. In many heads, however, it is still „Western Germany“ and „Eastern Germany“.
Basically, people from East Germany are jealous of the western living standards, which largely aren’t that much better at all, while some of them are even longing for the „good old days of the GDR“ when the planned economy would secure their employment, as unemployment in East Germany is also a bigger problem than in West Germany (due to the after effects of the change from planned economy to social market economy). They just tend to forget about some other small facts which came along with the GDR... Some people from West Germany, on the other hand, think they were better off when „The Wall“ was still there, as the so called „Reconstruction East“ was and mostly still is financed by West German taxpayers‘ money. Fortunately this is not everybody’s opinion, but it can be heard now and then, nonetheless.
Salaries in the east are still way below the ones in the west, however, living expenses are lower, too. On the one hand there are large areas in East Germany with a lower standard of living and in some places the level of modernization leaves West Germany far behind. The equipment of many universities, e.g., is so much more better than in the west, plus the students don’t even have to pay fees, but usually none of the west Germans voluntarily matriculates at a university in East Germany, because it is East Germany (former Eastern Germany). There aren’t as many young people migrating from east to west as there were shortly after 1989 anymore, but the tendency to move can still be noticed. There are large rural areas which simply „die out“ with all the young ones wandering off.  That’s probably already more than you wanted to hear, sorry!


Quote:
Can you make any recommendations?


Way too many ;) Another tricky question...Well, the standard book which is always recommended is „Die Entdeckung der Currywurst“ (The invention/discovery of the Currywurst) by Uwe Timm. (Yeah, I know, the title sounds a little strange...) It is a novella, which is set during the last days of WWII. It is written in what you might consider „proper German“ and largely belongs to the list of required reading at secondary school in Germany.
How long has it been since you have taken German lessons?
What kind of books do you usually read?

Is your company specialized in agricultural machines, too, then? (If I may ask?)

Then I hope for your plans to work out and you will be able to visit your relatives one day :)
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Karl
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Joined: 23 Jan 2009
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Location: No. Central Illinois

PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too much information?  No, not at all.  I find the topic interesting.  

I had 2 semesters.... Hoo Boy!  I'm guessing 10 years ago.

The company I worked for, after forming a joint venture with Claas, within 24 months decided to sell it's agricultural machinery interests to one of Claas's competitors, Agco.  Agco makes farm machinery brands such as Massey Ferguson and Fendt.  Agco is what we call the 500 pound gorilla in the ag market, world wide.  The company I used to work for is Caterpillar.   In my opinion, Cat did not understand the agriculture market, nor did they have anyone in top management who did.  Caterpillar is used to making machinery as big as they can.  When they begain, they had one tractor that competed with the large four wheel drive tractors.  When they sold to Agco, we had 4 tractors in that category and 3 tractors in a smaller category in the neighborhood of just over 150 horse power and up.  They also had concept drawings of tractors in the sub 100 hp category, but they never developed beyond the concept stage.  This is where Cat messed up.  World wide, developing countries are mechanizing their farming techniques.  We're talking farmers who would be trading in their mules for a gasoline or diesel power tractor.  If they would have manufactured a line of small tractors down in the 30 - 100 h.p. range, they would have been set.  The profit is not as high on the smaller tractors, but they sure would have sold a bunch of them.  We're talking the difference in selling 2,000 large tractors/ year vs 100,000 to 200,000 small tractors world wide.  But... Cat doesn't know how to think small.  They didn't understand small is BIG($).

Cat entered the market in the 1970's or 1980's. They had a 10 year goal to dominate the agrictulre market, but missed the mark and decided to divest themselves of the whole thing.  9/11 and the subsequent down turn in the markets didn't help matters.

When Cat sold the factory I worked at, I was out of a job.  I now work for a State University.


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