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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Good morning crew,

More than half of our upcoming European trip will be spent in German-speaking countries, and since I took two years of German in high school, I decided to brush up a bit and act as the interpreter for the group. How hard could it be to pick up after nearly 30 years?

I figured this would be smarter than trying to learn basic French or Italian from scratch. So for the past few months I have been rehearsing some common words and phrases.

Two of the most important words are 'bier' and 'bitte'.

Bitte (pronounced BIT-eh) means please, and like your mother should have taught you, please is the magic word in any language.

Bier is the German word for beer. It differs from the English in that it is spelled with an 'i' and it has a soft sound on the end; like BEE-uh.

With these two words you can form important sentences like; "Bier, bitte." If a more detailed statement is required you can embellish with, "Ein bier, bitte." Or more likely, "Zwei bier, bitte."

If you drop the 'bitte' and add a question mark it becomes a question, as in "Bier?"

To which the correct response is, "Ja." This means, "Bring me more beer."

It is a subtle and nuanced language.

Other everyday interactions you can mostly fake. For example you can ask, "Where is the toilet?" by replacing the 'W' with a 'V' and adding a 'T' to is, so it becomes, "Veer ist the toilet, bitte?" Notice the addition of 'bitte' from our earlier interaction.

Slowly but surely I have building my vocabulary. Fortunately, the abundance of German words used in everyday English has given me a head start. So I already know words like; Bratwurst, Wiener Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, Oktoberfest and Gesundheit.

As long as I never set foot outside of a bar or restaurant, I should be able to practically pass for a native.

Laugh it up,


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"Verizon has purchased Yahoo and plans to merge it with AOL. Verizon said its goal is to become the RC Cola of the internet." -Conan O'Brien


"A new study finds that Americans have on average become several inches shorter in the past 100 years. But scientists say it's mainly because we're all looking down at our phones." -Jimmy Fallon


"Some sad news today in the world of technology, because it was announced that the last company to commercially produce VCRs, Funai Electric of Japan, will discontinue selling VHS cassette tape players this month. For those of you who don't know what a VCR is, it's that large digital clock underneath your great-aunt's TV." -James Corden


Three guys are debating which of their languages is the most pleasing to the ear.

The Italian says, "Consider the phrase, 'I love you.' In Italian, it is: 'Ti amo'. What a lovely sound!"

The French guy says, "True, but in French it is 'Je t'adore'. An even more beautiful sound!"

"Unt vat's wrong vit: 'Ick leiber dick?" asks the German.

*-------------- Guaranteed to Roll Your Eyes --------------*

At the Olympics a man walked up to a competitor who was carrying a very long pole.

"Excuse me, are you a pole vaulter?"

"Nein, I am not a Pole, I am German, but how did you know my name ist Walter?"

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