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Archive for the 'Wort des Jahres' Category

Finanzkrise & Notleidende Banken

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

The word Finanzkrise has been used in the past months to describe the state of the World economy.

But generally it is used to refer to any form of crisis in the finance markets.  It is, for example, used to describe the inflation of 1929 but also the situation in the Netherlands in the 1630s.

It was selected by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache to be the “Wort des Jahres” (Word of the Year) in 2008.

Coupled with this is the “Unwort des Jahres” of the same year: Notleidene Banken.

This term is ironically used to talk about the banking situation in 2008, as many banks had to be “rescued” by their relevant national governments.

Previously many banks had been making large profits and even after the crisis were still paying their managers high bonuses, whilst at the same time accepting state help.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Teuro

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

“Teuro” was selected by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache as the “Wort des Jahres” (Word of the Year) in 2002.

Teuro is a so-called “Portmanteau” and is made up of the words “teuer” (expensive) and “Euro”.

It refers to the feeling that people have in Germany that things became more expensive after the Euro was introduced at the beginning of 2002.

Part of the problem is caused by people dividing by 2, whereas the exact exchange rate was 1.95583.  But in many areas – eating out being one of the most common examples – the prices were noticed to have gone up considerably.  It is often commented, that the prices were almost the same figures in Euro as in DM – just with a different currency sign.

Another factor is that price rises since 2002 go much faster, as increasing a price by 1EUR is a lot more than increasing by 1DM.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Das alte Europa

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

“Das alte Europa” was selected by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache as the “Wort des Jahres” (Word of the Year) in 2003.

Das alte Europa (“old Europe”) was a phrase used by Donald Rumsfeld in reference to the countries France and Germany who were against the war in Iraq at the time.

Today it can refer to Western Europe to distinguish it from the Central or Eastern European countries.

The phrase was also used by Karl Marx to refer a Europe with a ruling elite – as was the case in most countries in the 19th Century.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Klimakatastrophe

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Klimakatastrophe was selected by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache as the “Wort des Jahres” (Word of the Year) in 2007.

Klimakatastrophe is a word that became popular in 2007 to describe the effects of climate change.  Whether it be natural disasters, global warming, or melting icecaps – they are all grouped as part of the Klimakatastrophe.

Although environmental issues have played an important role for the last 20 years in Germany, a number of events in the past few years and media coverage such as the film Eine unbequeme Wahrheit (An Inconvenient Truth), have served to highlight the them even further.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Fanmeile

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Fanmeile was selected by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache as the “Wort des Jahres” (Word of the Year) in 2006.

The word Fanmeile is used to describe an area where fans of a large sport event can gather to watch it on large screens.  It became popular when such areas were set up for Euro 2006 in major German cities.  These areas were intended for people without tickets for the matches, but ended up also being events in themselves.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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