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Posts Tagged ‘Wort des Jahres’

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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Hartz IV

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Hartz IV was selected by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache as the “Wort des Jahres” (Word of the Year) in 2004.

Hartz IV is the name given to the financial support for the long-term unemployed.  The term derives from the name of the person who led the commission to reform, amongst other things, unemployment benefits.

The length of time that someone is unemployed before they stop receiving normal unemployment benefit (Arbeitslosengeld) and receive Hartz IV instead depends on a number of factors such as their age and the length of time that they have paid unemployment insurance (Arbeitslosenversicherung).

The amount of support that someone receives depends on factors such as the size of the flat that is considered to be large enough for them, any savings they may have, how many people are dependent on their income, etc.

For example, the allowance for food is set at 4EUR per person per day, which led to the publication of a so-called “Hartz IV menu” earlier this year.

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

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