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Daylight Saving Time in Germany

Although daylight saving time has already begun this year in countries such as the United States and Canada, all of the European Union, including Germany, will change their clocks this coming Sunday. Of course, there are many countries in which this practice is not observed at all, and two years ago, the EU did actually vote to do away with it. This was expected to start this year, but there is still no consensus regarding whether to adhere to standard time or daylight saving time permanently.

 

For now, Germans will continue to turn their clocks back an hour, or "fall back," in the fall, and skip forward an hour, or "spring forward," in the spring, always wondering if it could be the last time. This is referred to as die Zeitumstellung, which makes sense as Zeit means "time" and die Umstellung can be translated as "the adjustment" or "the re-setting." The related verb is umstellen and the participle is umgestellt

In German, the word die Sommerzeit is used to refer to daylight saving time: 

 

Ist vielleicht wegen der Sommerzeit.

Maybe it's because of daylight saving time.

Ist das eine Stunde vor oder eine Stunde zurück?

Is it one hour ahead or one hour back?

Caption 29, Die Pfefferkörner - Cybermobbing

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Ich glaube, die Sommerzeit ist eine Stunde vor.

I think daylight saving time is one hour ahead.

Caption 33, Die Pfefferkörner - Cybermobbing

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You might right away wonder about the meaning of the word die Sommerzeit. Like in English, it does also simply mean "summertime."

 

Sommerzeit ist in Deutschland gleichzeitig Grillzeit.

Summertime is simultaneously barbecue time in Germany.

Caption 1, Grillzeit - Grill anzünden und los geht's

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Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit...

You not only flourish in the summertime...

Caption 5, Frohe Weihnachten - der Christbaum

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As you might guess, standard time is referred to as die Winterzeit in German. So, in order to be more specific about the time change, you can talk about either die Zeitumstellung von Winterzeit auf Sommerzeit (which will happen on Sunday) or die Zeitumstellung von Sommerzeit auf Winterzeit. 

 

Further Learning
In addition to checking out the conversation in the Pfefferkörner episode above on Yabla German, see if you can follow this basic description of die Zeitumstellung in Germany. If you're an advanced learner, have a look at this overview.

(Keinen) Bock haben auf...

The German noun der Bock means a mammal of the male gender, similar to the English word "buck," and is often particularly used to describe a male goat or "billy goat." However, the expression Bock haben auf or keinen Bock haben auf has a meaning quite different from what you might expect based on the direct translation of the noun!

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Blumio hat Bock auf gute Unterhaltung.

Blumio is keen on good entertainment.

Caption 6, Blumio - Rappen für gute Unterhaltung

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Oh, zerkleinern, das macht mir Spaß. Da habe ich Bock drauf.

Oh, chopping, that's fun. I'm up for that.

Caption 10, CHoE Rocker - Profi-Grilltipps

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Sie hat Bock auf Shopping, also in die Stadt

She feels like shopping, so it's off to the city

Caption 23, Cro - Bye Bye

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Ey, Nina, hast du Bock auf 'ne Wurst?

Hey, Nina, do you want to go out for a wurst?

Caption 6, Die Pfefferkörner - Cybermobbing

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The slang expression Bock haben auf is the equivalent of the expression Lust haben auf and may be translated in a variety of ways. Note that if a noun follows the preposition auf, then the noun case should be accusative. When you use the expression as a negation, just place the accusative case of kein in front of the masculine noun Bock

 

Jeder kann so seiner Wege gehen,

Everyone can go their own way

wenn er keinen Bock auf die anderen hat.

whenever they aren't in the mood to be around the others.

Caption 47, rheinmain - Szene Selig

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Jedes Mal, wenn du von deiner Arbeit,

Every time when you come home from your work,

von deinen Führungen, nach Hause kommst, bist du fertig,

from your tours, you are exhausted,

hast keinen Bock mehr auf irgendwas.

don't want to do anything.

Captions 28-29, 12 heißt: Ich liebe dich - Kapitel 4: Liebe auf den ersten Blick

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You may also use the phrase in the form of question, in which case auf becomes worauf:

 

Worauf hast 'n du Bock?

What are you up for?

Caption 29, Mario Barth und Paul Panzer - Männersache

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Further Learning
Read the Duden dictionary page for der Bock and scroll down to Wendungen, Redensarten, Sprichwörter to read other expressions related to this noun. You can also go to Yabla German and search for other examples using the noun der Bock to see other contexts where the phrase is used.

German Interjections

According to the third edition of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary, an interjection is a grammatical term "expressing emotion, viewed as a Part of Speech." Wikipedia describes an interjection as "a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling or reaction" that furthermore "partly overlaps with categories like profanities, discourse markers and fillers."

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In German too, some interjections are also standard nouns, but most are basically sounds that express emotion. Here are some examples of German interjections that are nearly identical to English: 

 

Ach, jetzt weiß ich, warum wir verschlafen haben. -Aha, warum denn?

Oh, now I know why we overslept. -Uh-huh, why then?

Caption 55, Die Pfefferkörner - Cybermobbing

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The next one is pretty easy, because even though it's spelled differently, it sounds the same:

 

Sonst gibt es keine Krone. -Autsch!

Otherwise there won't be any crown. -Ouch!

Caption 8, JoNaLu - Prinz Dreckspatz

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The more common expression of pain in German, however, is aua, which is similar in sound to the English "ow."

 

Bingo, wir sind im Geschäft!

Bingo, we are in business!

Caption 61, Rücksicht im Verkehr - Christophorus - Die Mission

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„Es ist schön, dass wir in Deutschland sind." -Bravo.

"It is nice that we are in Germany." -Bravo.

Caption 29, Deutschkurs in Tübingen - Die Konjunktion „dass“

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There are also many German interjections that sound entirely different from their English counterparts: 

 

Ich bin... was, "short"? -Ach, ich bin klein!

I am... what, short? -Oh, I am small!

Caption 15, Deutschkurs in Tübingen - Obwohl

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Na ja, wer's glaubt, wird selig.

Well, he who has faith shall be blessed.

Caption 12, Großstadtrevier - Von Monstern und Mördern

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Mensch, wo bleibt sie denn?

Man, where is she then?

Caption 25, Die Pfefferkörner - Eigentor

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
See this list of German interjections and find some of them used in a real-world context on Yabla German.

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