German Pronunciation Isn’t Easy!
READ TIME 1 MIN – While we’re counting down the weeks until this year’s Christkindlmarket opens (only 19 left!), we want to share a video that will already warm your heart and, hopefully, make you smile and giggle a little. We asked some of our lovely visitors to try and pronounce some of the German words connected with the Christkindlmarket – also referred to or known as „Christkringl Market”, “Kris Kringle Market” or just “the Christmas market” or “Holiday Village” at Daley Plaza. Our team has heard it all! Don’t worry though, we understand you – and we absolutely understand how difficult it is to get these complicated German terms right. It’s not a secret that the German language is not easy to learn with all its harsh sounds and single words that are longer than some English sentences. Even within Germany, there are so many different dialects and plenty of variations to describe typical German food and beverages. What is known as “Bratwurst” – the delicious sausage and a market classic – in most German states, can be referred to as “Rostwurst” in some parts of Germany. Whether you get your “Lebkuchen” (gingerbread) plain or enhanced with nuts and different flavors also depends on the region.
What most Germans have in common though, is their tradition of enjoying coffee and cake together with their close family and friends on Sunday afternoons. “Coffee and Cake” (Kaffee und Kuchen), however, does not always necessarily really mean that this is what will be served! The afternoon treat can be anything, from all kinds of hot beverages to different types of cookies, pies, and pastries. You might also get to taste some of the market classics that aren’t just seasonal favorites, like “Strudel.” What comes as a surprise to many: The Brits aren’t the only ones known for offering tea at casual gatherings – Germans are also big tea fans (as our tea vendor TeaGschwendner can confirm)! There are so many variations of fruit, black, green, and herbal teas available in Germany. When you come to a German’s home, be prepared to get invited to a cup of tea, any time of the day – even if the original invite might have been for “Coffee and Cake.”
If you have been to the Christkindlmarket and worried to order something because you had no idea how to pronounce it – fear not, you are not alone! And don’t forget – we love hearing all these variations and can’t wait to hear more of them at this year’s event.
If you’re interested in learning more about the German language and festivities, make sure to check out the websites, classes and events that our friends at Goethe Institute, DANK Haus, DANK Milwaukee, German International School Chicago and German Immersion School Milwaukee offer!