- What is a “Merkel Diamond?”
The “Merkel Diamond” (“Merkel-Raute,” in German) is a hand gesture made by resting one’s hands in front of the stomach with the thumbs and fingertips touching in the shape of a rhombus. It is the famous signature gesture of the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. I use the Merkel Diamond (AKA: “The Triangle of Awesomeness”) to rate things — movies, TV shows, food, beverages and even personal experiences — on a highly sarcastic, 1-5 scale of quality.
- What is “Denglish?”
Denglish is the accidental combination of Deutsch (German) and English words. This term can also be applied to those glorious mishaps occurring when expressions from one of these languages is translated directly to the other without benefit of cultural context. (My wife is fluent in Denglish.)
- What is a “Gymnasium?”
A Gymnasium is a type of school in Germany providing advanced secondary education from 5th grade through 12th, though some states require an additional 13th grade before graduation. The primary focus for Gymnasium students is achieving the Abitur. The Abitur is kind of like a diploma, only it requires a series of insanely hard exams and serves as the main criteria for college admissions. Basically, without it, you don’t get to go to college. The Gymnasium system is hardcore, with high expectations and even higher stress levels, which is why it’s so good at weeding out the weakest students and retaining only the best and brightest little shits in the country.
- What is “Culture Shock?”
Culture shock is a feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, language or set of attitudes. Posts in this category describe my new and often painful experiences functioning in Germany. (I am the poster child for culture shock.)
- What’s the deal with your wife?
On a daily basis, my wife rattles off some of the funniest shit I’ve ever heard in my life. Sometimes the things she says are funny because she’s German (and Germans are hilarious), but most of the time they’re funny because she’s a huge dork and can’t help but act dorkishly. This is why I often use the term “Denglish” to title posts in which I quote something she has said, even though the term is being applied loosely at best.
- Will you ever post pictures of you or your wife?
Haw haw! …No. Just imagine Shannon Elizabeth from American Pie (minus the fake hoots), married to that kid Taylor Ball from Still Standing.
- Can you speak German?
Ich lerne momentan Deutsch. I took a beginning German class at Portland Community College, bought a book called German Phrases for Dummies, then purchased Mango Passport German. I have also completed my German integration courses (A1, A2, B1 and B2) here in Germany. I try to stay sharp with the very fun and completely awesome app, Duolingo. So now, I’d say I can speak German about as well as a preschooler with a learning disability. Also, I regularly make my wife angry enough to swear in her native language, which totally counts as extra credit.
- Why are you such a dick to your German wife?
There’s being a dick, and then there’s being a dick. I make sarcastic observations about our cultural and linguistic differences because they make her laugh, and although I maintain this blog for the benefit of all humankind, really, I write it just for her.
- Why is your website titled “Oh God, My Wife Is German,” and not “Oh My God, My Wife Is German?” Because the expression “oh my god” sounds more like surprise to me. I wanted the tone to be something closer to grim resignation. :)
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