Saturday, April 7, 2012

April A to Z Challenge Letter "G" = Germany #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2Z


Welcome to day seven of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.
Today's letter is "G" and my topic is = Germany.

 My friend Patricia who runs/owns the blog; BookExhibitionism is from and lives in Germany and she's going to tell us a little about it.


Hey everyone!

My name is Patricia and I'm the blogger behind BookExhibitionism. Don't ask about the name. I still think I was drunk when I chose it. ; ) 

Last month Amy asked me if I wanted guest-post something here for the April A to Z Challenge. What a hard decision! Hahah. Then she said that the post should be about Germany, because she was doing a few themed posts and Germany starts with a G. Oh, and I'm from Germany.

I thought about this post a lot. I wondered if I should write something about German stereotypes and cliches (I love almost all of them) or about how Sauerkraut is not our favorite food, even though I ate only that for one whole week to win a bet*, or about how hard it is to find good books here.
Todesfluch (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5.2)

It's not that we don't have great authors - We have. Or that our translations suck - They just aren't the original*. But Germany is rather small in comparison to the USA, which means that there are fewer people who'll buy your books. 

Additionally our books are more expensive. 

The publisher "Piper" for example makes us pay 23 USD for the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels. And those are paperbacks.




Godspeed - Die Reise beginnt






But the more I thought about all of it, the more I realized that I don't want to talk about these things. It isn't that there is nothing remarkable about Germany, it's just that I have no idea what's interesting or not.

Maybe the fact that there are few people who admit they are proud of being German. I suppose that's not a surprise after Hitler, but it still saddens me.

The publisher "Dressler" actually cut the Hitler scene from Across The Universe in our copy. Apparently we Germans are too stupid to understand that Elder's assumption that Hitler was a good leader was.. wrong.

So, instead, I'd like you to tell me the best, funniest, worst, whatever, German cliches you know of!


I can't do an exclusive Giveaway, but everyone who leaves a comment here enters my AprilGiveaway over at BookExhibitionism
You can either win one of the books below or a copy of either Ruby Red or ArcadiaAwakens
In case you didn't know: Kerstin Gier and Kai Meyer are German authors. ; )


* I'm horrible when it comes to bets. I don't think there was ever one I accepted and lost.. Not OCDish at all. Har.

* I hated Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega books when I read them in German and loved them when I read them in English this year.


Okay, so that was totally awesome. 

Thank you so much, Patricia. You rocked my socks off!

Please remember to leave comments and questions for Patricia and you can find her at any of the links below.



57 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me, Amy. <3

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  2. That's such an awesomem blog post, Patricia! I have to say that I only realized you were from Germany, too, a few weeks ago. It's like we've been posting on each other's Memorable Mondays for so long (at least that's what it feels to me like) and then I notice: Oh. Wait. Another German blogger writing in English.

    I like your blog post over here a lot. I didn't even know that they cut out a scene in Across The Universe in the German edition. But overall, I prefer to read books in English anyway if the original is in English. I totally agree with you on most things you said. It is kind of that that a lot of people over here still identify our homecountry with the Third Reich. Nevertheless I have to say, that I'm not a person who identifies herself with her country or feels a need to be proud of the country anyway. I love living here and of course the culture influences my personality and my life, but still it's not that I think that being German is such a big part of me. Does that make any sense to you? Well, I hope it does.

    Oh, and by the way: Kerstin Gier and Kai Meyer are AWESOME authors. I love, love, loooooooove Kai Meyer books a lot. Already finished the Arcadia series. In German, of course. It's amazing!

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    1. Haha, yeah! I think I knew you were German from an early point on because I stalked you or because it said something like "I'm from Germany" in your sidebar or something like that, though.

      Anyway, about the rest: It does make sense to me. And I don't think people need to feel like being German is a big part of their personality or anything like this, I just find it sad that we're not really able to say "I'm German and I'm proud of that" without getting some raised eyebrows and people wondering if we're Nazis. It's our own fault, too, not just our ancestors' fault, so it's even crappier imo. *g* So in short, I'm not saying that we have to feel like this, I'd just like us to feel like we're allowed to do so.

      But maybe that's not even true. Maybe most people don't react like that, maybe the world has realized already that we're not all Nazis, and I'm just being paranoid.

      I still have to read Arcadia Awakens, to be honest. I never picked his books up because I did not like the covers and am not a huge YA reader anyway. I will, though, once the German paperbacks hit the shelves.

      Thank you for your great comment! <3

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    2. I think thats COMPLETELY not out fault. Hitler did horrible things in the past and we're in a time that isn't much related what has been done in his time. I don't think we have to pay for things a person did way before we were born.

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    3. I think it's our fault for letting it happen. Hitler could probably have happened in any country, yes, that is not our fault. BUT.

      I think if we don't stand up and say, "Fuck this, I'm a German, I don't love everything about our country, and especially not the history, but I'm proud to be a part of a country that has a sort-of working health and educational system, that allows foreigners to live and work here*, that does publically acknowledge things that do not work, that is always in the top five to ten list when it comes to who donated the most to countries like Japan last year etc. I am proud to say that we have a gruesome history and worked past it and is forever trying to make up for it." That is stuff to be proud of. And I think it's our own damn fault for not saying as much.

      *with exceptions, and yeah, not everything's great on that department either, but we do have Asylrecht

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    4. I'm sure every country has some history they'd rather forget. Slavery in the US, for instance.

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    5. That's probably true. I'm glad that we have our Holocaust Awareness projects from Elementary School on, though. I don't want to forget, not ever, I just wish it never happened.

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  3. I'm getting a little bit angry when I hear about Hitler etc. I'm so sad that we are all accused to be racists, since a turkish girl accused all germans to like Hitler and be, like inside of course, a Nazi. There are other things that bother me really much but I don't want to write this down here, but all I can say is: I don't like germany at all. Especially the political situation is bothering me...

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    1. Who isn't? I think it's close to impossible to not feel SOMETHING about this, because it's an ambivalent thing.

      Hmm.. PM me about your reasons, please! I think every country is struggling with this 'stuff' these days, more or less. I'm glad to live here, anyway. I have the right to be sick, to vote, to go to school, to marry whomever I want to or not, to be a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, a buddhist, an atheist. I am allowed to drink alcohol, to smoke, to have a baby or have an abortion, to be bisexual, to go to therapy and not publically announce as much, to be a soldier or not. There are great things about Germany that we don't notice anymore because we're used to them. :)

      What sucks is that we ourselves don't give us enough credit.

      At the same time there is something that really bothers me and I think it might be what you're talking about. My school was Anti-Rechts. But instead of really dealing with it, they just ignored it. They simply said being a Nazi is a bad thing and to be honest, if I had been a Nazi, I wouldn't have stepped up and said as much. Why would I, too? To have people up in my ass about how evil I am?

      It's not like there are no Nazis here anymore. Every country has their rednecks, and Germany has, too. I would know, being half-Asian. But there are people who try to deal with it.. and all they do is making it much worse.

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  4. I am so glad to have come across this post! I read Ruby Red last year, and while I liked the premise, I just didn't "feel it." I wondered if was because of the translation to English from German. That is the only German author (whose work was translated) that i have read. I'd be interested to give another German book a try. And I still want to read Sapphire Blue! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity:) Oh and if I won, I would pick Velveteen, that books looks bad ass:)

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    1. I think that could very well be the reason. I mean, it could also be that the book was just nothing for you but so far I have never come across a book that wasn't better in it's original.

      The thing I really liked about Kerstin Gier's Edelstein trilogy was that the timetravel element really worked out in the end, so I hope you'll enjoy the sequels more than you liked Ruby Red!

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  5. we all have things in our heritage and country we are not proud of---we just go on and do better---great post

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  6. I love all those comments over here. Honestly. In my opinion, it is not right to feel personally guilty for what happened over 60 years ago. Nevertheless it were our ancestors who did that and so we should try to do the only thing that would be appropriate: Remember the victims and to our very best to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again. We should speak up if anyone says something against people that are different. Because, for real, every human being is in some way different from the other one and that is what makes everyone special and beautiful.
    Of course it is not our responsibility because we weren't alive at that time, but it is our responsibility for the world of today to do things better.

    Actually I'd still never say I'm proud of Germany. But that has only to do with the word proud and how I understand pride. I just could never be proud of a country I think. I only think in terms of 'pride' and 'proud' when it comes to people or personal achievements.

    BUT: I like living here. Above all, the health care system is one of the best developped health care systems in the world. And I already read some other comments of you, Patricia, where you pointed out other great things about living here. The political system, for example, is really great, too. Of course there are still things that can be improved like how people can participate more actively. But above all, we are a democratic country and there are so many parties to choose from. We can call ourselves lucky for that. (And I'm choosing lucky instead of proud as a word, because I wasn't personally involved in creating this system. And I cannot be proud of someting unless I or someone I know and care for have been involved in something.)

    And - by the way, you should really read Arcadia Awakens. It's a wonderful book. A wonderful YA book for sure - but I love YA novels. Still I think you will like it, too.

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    1. Urgh! I wrote this superlong reply and it's GONE. I can't ever come up with everything I wrote there, damn it.

      So, first. yes, I agree. I actually hate the term being proud of something, if there is no real reason to be PROUD. It's like me telling you that I'm proud of your blog.. when I never participated, never did anything to make it what it is. But I can't come up with any better word. I suppose lucky is a better term anyway.

      And the rest, yes, yes and.. yes. I'll have to reply to the rest tomorrow. My sister just told me that she saw the Easter Bunny and I want to hunt that bunnyf-cker down.

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  7. I don't think I had heard of Arcadia Awakens before but it is on my TBR list now! I knew about Ruby Red, but was put off by the cover. The new cover on the pb looks so much cooler. I would love to win any of the titles you mentioned. Thanks for the chance!

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    1. I was a little put off by the first US cover as well. I mean, it's unique, but also.. a little mhe. *g*

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  8. ^^ i really appreciate seeing you here today.
    I think you should ( perhaps all of you why not) check the song " né en 17" by jean- jacques Goldman, jones and Fredericks... it's really a moving song but so well done

    all the best

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    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgJimKf5Bfc

      it will be easy to find a translation for you i think

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  9. Thanks for an interesting post! I'm loving how different all the A-Z Challenge posts are :)

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  10. i heard all germans are blondes with blue eyes and they like to drink beer all day long! right?

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    1. Definitely. *burps* I iz blue-eyed and blonde, though in disguise. I'm working for a secret Nazi organisation and wear brown contactlenses and a wig all the time..

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  11. What an interesting post--love the insights! Thanks so much.

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  12. I do think a lot of Americans still identify Germany with Hitler/Nazis/etc - that's definitely true. Yet I think we have probably way more skinheads and white power assholes compared to you guys.

    That and weird sex fetishes. And lederhosen. Which I probably spelled wrong.

    I find it fascinating that they cut that scene from AtU - especially since it's really kind of an important scene since we kind of figure out how much of an asshole Elder is just from reading it. How much is lost from that one chapter, especially in translation, I wonder?

    I'll be posting this blog post on my blog (so redundant!) later today (or tomorrow) about things being lost in translation - a thing I encounter a lot when I am doing translating. Great idea you gave me! And great blog post, my dear. <3

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    1. Shall I send you the scene and how they translated it for your post? :)

      I never really know about other countries and skinheads or stuff like that. Probably because I'm not in a position to judge. oô And nope, you've got it right. It's Lederhosen.

      Wait, we have weird sex fetishes? Okay, I just checked and I don't think any of my 400 sextoys can be considered weird.

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  13. omg really they cut the hittler scene
    omg
    german sounds difficult lol
    german and dutch sound notthing a like
    ok a few words excluded

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    1. Haha, I shall spend the next week leaving German comments over at yours, then. LOL No, don't worry. ;D

      I think German is a more straight-forward language than English, and at the same time more layered. Hard to explain. But apparently we Germans sound like we're about to kill eachother even when we're being nice and just chatting. oô LOL

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    2. where i was born (ostfriesland), german sound a lot like dutch!

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    3. I have the deep urge to stalk you now or at least convince you to be at one of the Buchmessen next year so I'll get to hear you talk. :'D

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    4. oh jeez :> my first stalker
      i can't speak plattdeutsch at all :/ just understand it. well it's enough to confuse the people where i live now (black forest), but everyone from the north would know i've never learned it right :(

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  14. Supremely epic! I love Germans! :D I really want to read Ruby Red and Arcadia Awakens. That's coolio!

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  15. i love Germans. I love Germany. I love Frankfurt airport. I love German beer, strudel, and cute German boys.

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    1. Oh, don't we all love cute guys? *g* And now that you've said strudel I'll probably bake some. Evil you! ;D

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  16. German's OCD? Naw... German-Americans will mow 5 acres of grass so that their lawns are perfect, right up to the edge of the forest. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

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    1. ROFL What?? :'D

      And wow, you're ambitious! Good Luck!

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  17. I love german covers. They are really beautiful.
    Great post.
    Happy reading!!

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  18. I've travelled around Europe pretty much but never to Germany (although I'm familiar with their airports!). I have the same problems with books: some of them, if I happen to read them in my own language, are kinda horrible. same goes for tv series and movies!

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    1. Oh God, TV shows. I recently watched Game of Thrones in German and almost cried because of the bad translation. ;_;

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  19. Oh wow, I wasn't aware that Kerstin Gier and Kai Meyer are German authors. It is really great that you read books in Germany though why you didn't like that particular series by Patricia Briggs maybe explained by the concept of lost in translation, I guess.

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

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    1. It definitely all came down to the translation. Anna's character felt flatter and irritated me. The translation made the book, especially the reading atmosphere, feel inconsistent to me, and that is simply a no-go. Even worse for me was that Charles felt like a hulk. I mean, he's a bad ass in the original, too, but in the German translation he seemed so.. coarse. Someone else told me that they felt the same about the novels, especially about the inconsistency, so.. *g*

      Thanks for stopping by! <3

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  20. I know, I know, I'm German myself, but I would like to show you the way to one rather funny vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuDtACzKGRs
    We actually dealt with advertising in an international context and out lecturer showed us this vid, saying it mainly conained American stereotypes about Germans (based on what her husband said, I think. He's American.). The first time I watched it I was simply stunned, the second time I finally could laugh about it. (By know I even like the song. Somehow.) So there're some weird stereotypes. :D

    What about the pride topic - I'm not proud to be a German but I wouldn't be proud of being anything. I mean ... I didn't do much to be German, y'know? xD But I like being German and I like Germans and I think when it comes to things like punctuality I'm the perfect stereotypical German. ;) (Next to the fact that I'm somehow blonde und somehow blue-eyed. Fortunately it's a rather dirty blonde and the blue has to share the place with some green and grey and even yellow ... and I have some Polish roots. Somewhere. At least that's what the surnames tell me. xD Anyway, being a walking stereotype would be a little too painful.)

    Anyway, I don't think there's something to be ashamed of in being German. (Not that it's anybody's fault to be German anyway.) Yes, there are still Nazis and I think (or rather fear) there ever will be, as there will always be racism (all over the world!) as long as humanity can't find a perfectly balanced way to educate people equally about what happened and about what matters. Well ... humans, perfect? See the problem.
    Especially now, when people are still emotionally attached to that time, even if it sometimes is not really ... reasonable? (Like my grandfather hating Americans - all of them - because one of his cousins was raped after the war by an American soldier and her mother was forced to watch. The thing is, yes, many soldiers did that and though I would never ever say that there are actual "good" reasons for that, there was something that they probably saw as a good reason back then. (Which doesn't make it okay, definitely not.) Still, what could that girl have done? I don't know how old she actually was, but she must have been a young girl; even if she was a convinced Nazi, she was born during that time, raised with the ideology. What is a children that is utterly dependent of its parents and what it's told supposed to do against that? Of course later there would have been the chance for a change of mind, though being raped definitely doesn't help. My grandfather himself wasn't even two years old then, so he just knows about it because he was told about it. But it stayed with the family and rooted that deeply that he still today rants about Americans and simply won't let anybody (or rather me) talk to him about it.
    Jeez, I could talk hours about that topic. ^^' Btw, I'm not trying to reduce the guilt of some - probably many - people back then, for doing too much or nothing at all (though I can see why you wouldn't do anything, at least if it was because of fear not only for your own life but the lives of the ones you love). But it just wasn't everybody and it's definitely not everybody today. "German" and "Nazi" are no synonyms; the Germans are a funny people just every other, too! Which I probably don't have to tell you, ahem.
    Anyway, I'm going shut up now. ;)

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    1. OMG, Shiku!! XD

      What was that? I can't even! The horrible thing is that we own a beer-boot! >_< XD XD

      "Anyway, I don't think there's something to be ashamed of in being German. (Not that it's anybody's fault to be German anyway.) Yes, there are still Nazis and I think (or rather fear) there ever will be, as there will always be racism (all over the world!) as long as humanity can't find a perfectly balanced way to educate people equally about what happened and about what matters. Well ... humans, perfect? See the problem."

      Amen.

      I'm sorry about your grandfather and his cousin. I can see how that would affect a person and I think that.. well, he's old. Let him have his hate. Probably sounds horrible, but I think sometimes it's not worth it.

      I really agree with your points. It's not our fault where we are born, and being raised with this ideology definitely affects people.

      I feel like my answer doesn't even come close to your brilliant answer but I'm still on painmeds, so I hope you'll be able to humor me. ; )

      Hah, Germans and funny? Nah. Those rigid bastards have no funny bone in their bodies. ;P

      You really should have written more. I love it!

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    2. I think this is the latest reply I'm ever going to make. xD At first I was busy, then I forgot it. I found the link again now, though - and, well, yeah. The vid is somehow horrible. xD But the more often you watch it, the better it gets!

      I think I have to leave him with it - he just won't listen. He's not the only "case" in our family. It's even somehow funny: his mother survived two world wars and wasn't racist or anything (at least in our time now, she never talked much about the wars). My other great-grandmother experienced "only" one world war and even though she's no Nazi, she's racist. But again, she was a young girl when Hitler was elected; my grandfather's mother was already a grown woman.

      And never mind; it's actually a good thing it doesn't has to be discussed, that there's a mutual understanding. ;D
      But yes - funny! Or I know too many funny Germans and too few ernest ones. xD Equal seeks equal, right? (Or however you say that in English.)

      Glad you liked it and I didn't annoy you! :D Sometimes I really talk too much. xD

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    3. Yeah, a record! ;D So, sort of like Madagascar 3? ;)

      No, you don't annoy me at all. Talk more! Come one! Talk to me, get to know me, let me get to know you, I dare you! *makes weird Vampire Diaries reference, and runs away*

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  21. Hey, the German version of Across the Universe translates to The Journey Begins, right? I can't belief they make you pay that much for books.

    I honestly don't know any German cliches. (Um...is that bad?). Ooh I read that Arcadia Awakens is a lot better in German than it is in English. Do you know if that's true? I'm dying to read it, but I'm considering learning German first so I can read the German version ;)

    BTW I love your reply on Pia's comment :). But what is Asylrecht? It sounds like some kind of rule or right.

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    1. *believe (And I really can't although now that I think about it, translations are usually more expensive, also depending on the quality of the book even if it's a paperback.)

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    2. I'm so sorry that it took me so long to reply! Yes, it does mean that! I'm impressed! Did you learn a little German in school or is Google Translator not trying to fuck with all of us for a change? :'D

      Asylrecht. Recht means "right" as in, I have the right to.. It's about letting foreigners live in our country even if they don't work here or speak the language. If you come from a country that might kill or imprison you or your family members for e.g. religious reasons, you are free to live here, to get a certain amount of money and a place to live. It's not perfect, but I think it's incredible that we have this. In short: Right of asylum. :)

      I haven't read Arcadia Awakens yet, but the original is ALWAYS better, because things get lost in translation. For example.. In English people always say something like "You better do that or else." and sometimes pseudo-sassy protagonists respond "Or what?". Well, this doesn't work in German because we have ALWAYS explain what might happen if they don't do what we want them to. XD It sounds silly, but it really makes a big difference.

      I do think that, if you are interested in learning another language, reading a novel helps you a lot, so go for it! :D It's how I learned English, actually.

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    3. Haha, no, I speak Dutch. You could say it's my native language and I've noticed that there are a few similarities between Dutch and German. :). That title, for instance, I completely understand although it's written differently. If "Die" in German means "the" the title in Dutch would be "De reis begint". See? Similar :D. But I wouldn't be able to have a conversation in German.

      I actually got that Asylrecht was some kind of right (again the similarity between Dutch and German) but I couldn't find online what kind of right when I googled it in Dutch.

      I kind of like that. But doesn't that mean that you get a lot of criminals living in your country?(Besides the local ones that every country seems to have).

      I love reading books in their original language, because like you (said) wrote, the original is always better. The translation completely screws up the book sometimes. And I understand about the explaining what might happen. I think we do that too in Dutch, now that you mention it. It just doesn't sound as impressive or menacing when you don't explain.

      I actually learned basic English by watching American movies and later in school and through reading books.

      I love learning new languages, but I'm not very good about keeping up the learning or the speaking. I used to be able to have a simple conversation in Spanish because I was good at it in school, but I haven't spoken it in so long, now I can barely introduce myself in it. So now I've started learning it again. I could learn through reading books, I've actually done that with a Spanish book once, but I'd have to have a dictionary handy :). Hmm, I might try that again.

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    4. Okay, for some reasons.. I have apparently not answered? Shame on me! :(

      Yeah, Dutch and German really sound alike very often.

      Re: Asylrecht. Well, yeah.. no.. I don't know. I only live here, so I can't really compare my experience to anything else. I do think that several semi-unfair laws do push foreigners (and everyone else, too) into doing illegal things, but that doesn't mean they're criminals. Idk.

      Re: Translations. Haha, "Dutch and German people. More menacing than you." Or.. "The Netherlands and Germany. We finish our sentences." Oh, so many t-shirts. XD

      Spanish. I'd LOVE to learn that language. (Or any language, for that matter. Oh, boy..)

      BTW, I loved your comments. <3

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  22. I grew up in Germany, and I'm definitely proud of it! I really like those German covers. Awesome.

    :).

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    1. How cool is that?! I wish I lived somewhere else for a certain amount of time, too. Sounds so cool, though I'm sure it has it's downsides.

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  23. I don't know why my comment never came through T_T maybe because I did it from another device?
    Well, but it just said how I feel the same way as Patricia...not that I'm german and the language sounds too difficult to even think about hehehe but I live in a spanish speaking country, so most books come dubbed or translated...and I read ONCE a CHAPTER of a book that I had previously read in english and didn't like it one bit hehehe
    Anyway hehehe that's it XD love your post. Thanks to Amy hehehe for having you...

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    1. Alba, I can hear you! There are so many things that are different in English, or any language for that matter. But, hey, German isn't that hard a language to learn.. Though I'll admit that even native speakers seem to have issues with it. Which is just sad. oô ;D

      Thanks for stopping by! <3

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  24. I'm neither German nor live in Germany, but I understand the language and love ProSieben:) It shows all the best TV shows, that aren't yet available in my own country.

    I agree with you about translations - it's just not possible to translate a book so that it remains exactly the same as the author intended.

    BTW, isn't there a some kind of a law in Germany against favorable mentions of Hitler? I think that's why they had to remove it from the book...

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. Hey there!

      Wait, you can watch ProSieben in Lietuva? And you do understand German? Marry me! ;D

      I am not sure about everything related to this law (frankly, I feel horribly embarrassed about not knowing these things better than I do). There are many things forbidden when it comes to Nazi-stuff, but I know that if in context it is obvious the message is not favorable, it is allowed to say something like "Hitler is one cool guy."

      My problem with this is that I feel like authors themselves don't give readers enough credit as it is. They portray young adults like I would portray someone I really did not like. They are annoying, ignorant, stupid, self-centered hypocrites. Unaware of the fact that their abilities are not enough to finish the task in front of them. I won't even talk about how many authors explain everything 4000 times, because I'm sure there are people who read slowly and therefore need those 'recaps'.

      But for a publicist to go one step farther and actually cut scenes because the readers might be too dumb to get it? GAH!

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