Learn German and German History
Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Learning the German language is not difficult if you find a program that suites your needs. The Internet offers a great many courses. Most of them come with CD’s that you can listen to on your way to and from work. Sitting in traffic can be very monotonous and listening to CD’s has two benefits; one, the time goes faster, and two, you are learning something new

Why do you want to learn German? Whether it’s for business or pleasure, to speak another language is of great benefit. We often hear that it’s not necessary to learn German as many Germans speak English. It’s true, most younger people speak some English, but the older people do not.

Which part if Germany would you like to visit? How about the Weserbergland? If you’ve never heard of the Weserbergland, you’ve heard of its most famous city – Hameln.

In the year 1284, a man with a flute and very colorful dress, appeared in the city. He said he was a rat catcher, and would get rid of the town’s rat problem. We know him as the Pied Pieper. An agreement was made to pay him 100 Thaler. The rat catcher then played his flute; the rats came out of all nooks and crannies and followed him into the river Weser, where they all drowned. When the man wanted his money, the city fathers refused to pay him, deciding that it had been too easy, and not worth the money promised. The rat catcher was very angry over this. The following Sunday, when all adults were in church, he played his flute, only children could hear. They followed the sound of the flue, and were never seen again.

The rat catcher can still be seen today, walking through the medieval part of the city, dressed in colorful clothes, playing the flute. Now he is being paid by the city of Hameln; his playing brings in the tourists.

Near the city of Detmold are two remarkable sites, one called the Externsteine, an area of unusual rock formation. It was a sacred to the druids of the 8th century, who had a Neolithic astronomical observatory on top of the rocks.

The other is the “Hermann Denkmal,” (memorial) who was known to the Romans as Arminius. In the year 9 AD, Arminius annihilated three Roman legions, led by the centurion, Varus. When Varus saw that all was lost, he committed suicide, together with his officers. The German barbarian killed not only the soldiers, but also woman, children and animals. They left them where they fell and moved on. It was three years later when another Roman centurion, Germanicus, came upon the bones of the fallen Romans, and buried them. He was trying to exact revenge, but could never engage the Germans successfully. They knew their territory and would hide in the Teutoburger Forest. After this, the Romans withdrew to the Rhine and pretty much left the Germans alone.

The area also boasts dripstone caves; one of the most remarkable being Schillat Cave. At Bad Pyrmont you can enjoy a healing session of gas therapy from a steam cave, or a mineral water bath in the springs of Brunnenplaz Square.

And all the while, when meeting people, you can practice your newly acquired German vocabulary, which you learned with the help of Learning German Language.

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Reform of 1996 and beyond
The German spelling reform of 1996 led to public controversy and considerable dispute.
Some state parliaments (Bundesländer) would not accept it (North Rhine Westphalia and Bavaria). The dispute landed at one point in the highest court, which made a short issue of it, claiming that the states had to decide for themselves and that only in schools could the reform be made the official rule—everybody else could continue writing as they had learned it.
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