Tedesco Lessons


Summer Living in Germany

Summer has arrived, which in Germany means that life moves outside. The Biergärten are open, the Freibäder (open-air swimming pools) are busy with swimmers and sunbathers alike, and the smell of Bratwurst and barbecues fills the summer air.

Not everyone has the luxury of having a garden attached to their house, which is why many Germans like to have a Schrebergarten (garden plot or allotment), often with a small hut or house built on it, which they visit for the day or for a vacation.

Ich hab' ja auch so 'nen kleinen Schrebergarten.

I also have such a little garden plot.

Caption 3, Ausbilder Schmidt: Klimabotschafter

If you have neither a garden nor a Schrebergarten, there are many beautiful Seen (lakes) in Germany. Nothing beats a hot summer’s day of lazing by the water, swimming, and riding a pedal boat. Peter Fox sings all about the fun to be had at a German lake:

Und der Mond scheint hell auf mein Haus am See

And the moon shines brightly onto my house on the lake

Caption 18, Peter Fox: Haus am See

When dinnertime comes around, Grillen (barbecuing) is the way to go. Since the laws are more relaxed in Germany, people barbecue in parks and on beaches without any trouble from the authorities, just as long as the litter gets disposed of! 

Wir grillen, die Mamas kochen und wir saufen Schnaps

We barbecue, the mamas cook and we guzzle schnapps

Caption 29, Peter Fox: Haus am See

See not only means "lake" but also “sea,” as in der Ostsee (the Baltic Sea). However, the most common word for sea is das Meer

Du wirst bestimmt irgendwo am Strand sein. -Ja, genau. Am Meer.

You will surely be somewhere at the beach. -Yes, exactly. At the sea.

Caption 50, Konjugation: Das Verb „sein“ 

If you do go to the See or the Meer, you should know that there are two words for “swimming” in German, schwimmen and baden gehen, which literally translates as “to go bathing.” While schwimmen is something you would likely do in a Schwimmbecken (pool), baden gehen is mostly used for swimming in lakes or the sea:

Man kann baden gehen, man kann Freunde treffen draußen.

You can go swimming, you can meet friends outside.

Captions 15-16, Jahreszeiten: Der Sommer

Of course summer isn’t all fun and games. If you are stuck in the city, it can get hot and sticky. Rappers Culcha Candela, while singing about how unbearable it can get, offer a solution.

Feuchtes Tuch auf 'm Kopf

Wet cloth on the head

Ich werd' sonst noch bekloppt vom Hitzeschock

Otherwise I'll just go nuts from heat shock

Captions 29-30, Culcha Candela: Sommer im Kiez 

Extremely popular all over Germany, Eisdielen or Eiscafé (ice cream parlors) are hives of activity during the summer months. 

Kaum scheint die Sonne, zieht es die Schleckermäuler an die Eisdielen.

The sun is scarcely shining and it draws [those with a] sweet tooth to the ice-cream parlors.

Caption 1, Eis: Eiskalte Leidenschaft

And of course, summer is the time to think about vacation, den Sommerurlaub or die Sommerferien. Der Urlaub is a vacation where you go away somewhere, but die Ferien means a break from school, college, or work. Both can bring good memories:

Ich ging früher im Urlaub immer reiten.

I used to always go horseback riding during vacation.

Wir gingen immer in den Sommerferien.

We always went during summer holidays.

Captions 16 and 19, Konjugation: Das Verb „gehen“ 

Schöne Sommerferien!


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