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Cool German words - Spießer

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For the next few fun words, I first have to explain the word Spießer(n). It is a word maybe the rest of the world can do without, but no other is so entwined with the German condition. Ein Spießer is a narrow minded, petty person, obsessed with rules and "good social standing". In English it gets tranlated as bourgois and square, but this does not come close to the meaning. Just like every human being has a little Schweinehund inside, in every German lives a little Spießer. When Germany decided to take in more refugees in 2015 a lot of people worried if they will manage to recycle correctly. Peak Spießer.


Cool German Words - Kraftakt

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Kraftakt is a feat or something that required great effort to do. Literally it translates as an act of strength. My Kraftakt last year was getting our branch of the IWW back on track. In the next post I will describe everything we did last year, which included direct action, becoming a youtube star creating super pretty pamphlets and many many meetings and spreadsheets.


Cool German words - Zugzwang

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Zugzwang (move compulsion) is a chess term. It is the tactic of taking advantage of the fact that you cannot skip your turn in chess, you are forced to move into a bad position, leading to your defeat. It usually occurs in endgames, which I'm terrible in. Here is the most famous example:

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Black is forced to move from the promotion square, to the white square on 7th row, allowing the white king to move to 7th row and protect to the promotion square and then go on to promote the pawn and win.

It was promoted from a technical chess term to a term used in the real world. Zugzwang might mean if you force someone to act, when it is in their best interest not to act.


Cool German words - Frühlingsmüdigkeit

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Frühlingsmüdigkeit is spring tiredness. A chronic tiredness one experiences around March / April. There are two explanations

1. Vitamin D is depleted after the dark winter in March
2. Warm winds (Föhn) in April cause headaches, tiredness and lack of concentration

Here in Iceland there also is

3. A complete psychological inability of me to deal with snowstorms at a time of the year my inner clock tell me flowers should be blooming, leaves should be coming back and it should be warm enough to drink coffee outside in the sun.
Tomorrow is the official first day of summer and yesterday it was still snowing.

Fortunately, I had my first dose of vaccination last week and can hope to be travelling to Germany in the future. If I'm really lucky I make it there during strawberry season!


Cool German Words - Besserwisser

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Besserwisser (know - better) is one of those words the English language has adopted. If there was ever a need to have a word for people who think they know everything better, even than the experts and are not shy of loudly telling everyone, it is now. Iceland just shut down again. I do not have the energy to be a Besserwisser about it anymore, so I just go and edit my volcano pictures.


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