Sorry! Search is currently unavailable while the database is being updated, it will be back in 5 mins!

International Women's Day

This Wednesday, March 8th, is International Women's Day. In the federal states of Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Internationaler Frauentag has been an official holiday since 2019, meaning that offices, stores, and schools are all closed. However, the holiday has existed since the early 20th century as part of the women's rights movement.


The word for gender in German is das Geschlecht, so "gender equality" in German is die Gleichstellung der Geschlechter (note the genitive construction!). 


Ein Zeichen dafür, dass Frauen in Deutschland

A sign that women in Germany,

trotz der rechtlichen Gleichstellung

despite legal equality,

noch immer in bestimmten Aspekten des Lebens benachteiligt werden.

are still disadvantaged in certain aspects of life.

Captions 26-28, Gleichberechtigung - Internationaler Frauentag am 8. März

 Play Caption


What does gender equality look like? Getting the right to vote, which women have had in Germany since 1919, was certainly a watershed moment.


Was regelt das Wahlrecht in Deutschland?

What does the right to vote control in Germany?

Caption 29, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest

 Play Caption


However, today's work is focused on women around the world being free from violence, oppression, and discrimination. In Germany, there are also questions of political representation and equal pay. 


Wir wollen eine Gleichberechtigung, keine Diskriminierung.

We want equality, not discrimination.

Caption 39, Integration von Nationalitäten - Hessen miteinander

 Play Caption


Here, there's still room for improvement in German politics and offices. However, there are some structures that support women in their work and family life. The noun die Elternzeit is used to describe time taken off by any parent of a new baby.


Da kannst du nur hoffen, dass dein Mann Elternzeit nimmt.

Then you can only hope that your husband takes parental leave.

Caption 48, Großstadtrevier - Nicht mit mir

 Play Caption

Of course, some older traditions still carry forward a slightly misogynistic viewpoint, as beautiful as the costumes may be:


Sind die Bollen rot, bedeutet das, dass die Frau unverheiratet ist.

If the balls are red, it means that the woman is unmarried.

Schwarze Kugeln sind das Zeichen für eine verheiratete Frau.

Black balls are the symbol for a married woman.

Captions 7-8, Cettina erklärt - Sitten und Bräuche

 Play Caption


Further Learning
Be sure to watch Cettina's video about Internationaler Frauentag on Yabla German!

Permitted or Forbidden?

In the German language, there are a number of words that can be used to describe whether something is allowed or not. Generally, each adjective is also the participle of the related verb.

For something that is allowed, permitted, or approved, there are the adjectives erlaubt (verb: erlauben), gestattet (gestatten), gewährt (gewähren), and zugelassen (zulassen).


Was ist bei Bundestags- und Landtagswahlen in Deutschland erlaubt?

What is allowed in the national and state elections in Germany?

Caption 19, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest

 Play Caption


Das dürfen wir nicht gestatten, König.

We must not allow that, King.

Caption 31, Deutsche Sagen - Die tapferen Weiber von Weinsberg

 Play Caption


Einen kleinen Einblick gewährt er uns aber trotzdem.

He grants us a little glimpse, but nevertheless.

Caption 10, Der Papst - Hier wohnt der Papst

 Play Caption


Nun, die politischen Umstände in Nordafrika

Well, the political circumstances in North Africa

haben das erst mal nicht zugelassen.

didn't allow that at first.

Caption 66, Terra X - Ohne Kohle und Atom - Geht uns der Strom aus?

 Play Caption


Some words that have the opposite meaning are verboten (verbieten) and untersagt (untersagen)


Du weißt, dass Handys in meinem Unterricht verboten sind.

You know that cellphones are banned in my classroom.

Caption 31, Die Pfefferkörner - Gerüchteküche

 Play Caption


Schulen wurden geschlossen, Spielplätze gesperrt,

Schools were closed, playgrounds closed off,

der Kontakt zu anderen Menschen wurde untersagt.

contact with other people was prohibited.

Captions 12-14, Cettina erklärt - Auswirkungen des Coronavirus

 Play Caption


In general, the adjectives gestattet and untersagt are used in more formal contexts than erlaubt or verboten. The adjective zugelassen can also be translated as "licensed" or "registered."


61,5 Millionen Kfz sind in Deutschland zugelassen.

61.5 million motor vehicles are registered in Germany.

Caption 2, Richter Alexander Hold - Richtig parken

 Play Caption


Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and search for the verbs and the adjectives that are derived from them. Pick a place and write some sentences about what is allowed or not allowed there. Some examples are Glasflaschen sind im Freibad nicht gestattet or Handys sind während der Prüfung verboten. 

Last Week's Election

As you may know, the parliamentary election in Germany took place on Sunday, September 26th. On a national level, the SPD (Social Democratic Party) took the lead this time, whereas the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) suffered losses. The significance of this election in particular lies in the fact that Chancellor Angela Merkel had decided not to seek re-election, meaning that the SPD now will appoint the next Chancellor rather than Merkel's CDU party. 




The word for "the election" in German is die Wahl, which can also simply mean "the choice." As you can see below, die Stimme means not only "the voice" but also "the vote" in German. 


Sie zählen die Stimmen nach dem Ende der Wahl.

They count the votes after the end of the election.

Caption 4, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

 Play Caption


The related verb for die Wahl is wählen


Parlamentsmitglieder, die von den Bürgern und Bürgerinnen gewählt werden, nennt man Abgeordnete.

Members of parliament who are elected by citizens are called representatives.

Captions 38-39, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

 Play Caption


When it is a matter not of an election, but a vote, you will likely see the noun die Abstimmung and the verb abstimmen


Unmittelbar vor der Abstimmung des Bundestages über längere Atom-Laufzeiten haben Aktivisten am Donnerstag Morgen das Dach der CDU-Zentrale in Berlin besetzt.

Just before the Bundestag's vote on longer running times of nuclear power plants on Thursday morning, activists occupied the roof of the CDU headquarters in Berlin.

Captions 2-4, Atomkraft: Streit um AKW-Laufzeiten

 Play Caption


However, at this time, we are talking about electing political parties. It's worth remembering that die Partei refers only to a political party, or for example, parties in a negotiation. It does not refer to a birthday party or retirement party. That would be die Feier or die Party.  There is actually a satirical but genuinely leftist-oriented political party whose official name is die Partei


Welche Parteien wurden in Deutschland zweitausendsieben zur Partei „Die Linke“?

Which parties became the party "Die Linke" in Germany in two thousand seven?

Caption 25, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

 Play Caption


You can find other relevant vocabulary in a number of videos on Yabla German:


Im Jahr neunzehnhundertneunundneunzig nahmen die Regierung und das Parlament ihre Arbeit in Berlin wieder auf.

In nineteen ninety-nine, the government and parliament resumed their work in Berlin.

Captions 21-22, Bundesländer und ihre Rezepte: Bundesland Berlin

 Play Caption


In Deutschland gehören der Bundestag und der Bundesrat zur... Legislative.

In Germany, the Bundestag and the federal council belong to the... legislative.

Captions 15-16, Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Einbürgerungstest

 Play Caption


Wenn Abgeordnete im Deutschen Bundestag ihre Fraktion wechseln, kann die Regierung ihre Mehrheit verlieren.

If representatives in the German Bundestag change their parliamentary group, the government can lose its majority.

Captions 31-32, Bundesrepublik Deutschland Einbürgerungstest

 Play Caption


Further Learning
You can listen to Deutsche Welle's news report from the election or take a look at how the election played out in Berlin. If you are up for a challenge, try out the Wahl-o-mat, which determines the political party that your views are most aligned with. For thorough information on German politics and history, have a look at our series with questions and answers from the actual German citizenship test. 

Zählen and zahlen

Sometimes it's good to just set the record straight, and with that intention, let's take a look at zählen and zahlen. Short and sweet: zählen is "to count," and zahlen is "to pay."


Sie zählen die Stimmen nach dem Ende der Wahl.

They count the votes after the end of the election.

Caption 4, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest - Part 6

 Play Caption


Das macht zusammen vierzig Euro fünfzig. Zahlen Sie bar oder mit Karte?

All together that is forty euros and fifty cents. Will you be paying in cash or with a card?

Caption 7, Nicos Weg - Folge 16: Zahlen, bitte!

 Play Caption


Although you might be able to come up with a mnemonic device that you find helpful, simply remembering that Ich möchte zahlen means "I would like to pay" may be enough to help you sort it out. At the same time, you might still find that you get flustered mid-sentence trying to remember which verb is correct. It doesn't help that the noun die Zahlen means the "the numbers." It is the plural version of the noun die Zahl:


Der Adventskalender hat vierundzwanzig Türen, und auf jeder steht eine Zahl.

The Advent calendar has twenty-four doors, and each one has a number on it.

Caption 11, Eva erklärt - den Adventskalender

 Play Caption


In English, "to count" can also mean "to matter." Zählen is also used to mean "to count," "to count as" or "to number among." Take a look at these examples: 


Beim Blocken zählt jede Sekunde.

When blocking, every second counts.

Caption 37, Olympische Spiele - Beachvolleyball

 Play Caption


Sie zählt mit zu Deutschlands erfolgreichsten Sängerinnen.

She is counted among Germany's most successful singers.

Caption 2, Cassandra Steen - Geheimnis für positive Energie

 Play Caption


And one final note: you probably have wondered what the difference is between zahlen  and bezahlen. The truth is that they are often interchangeable, but there are some instances where zahlen is wrong. For example, when you speak about paying a person for a service, you would generally use bezahlen and not zahlen


Further Learning
Look up the meanings of the related verbs anzahlen, zurückzahlen, and auszahlen, and search Yabla German to find them used in a real-world context. Some words related to zählen are die Volkszählung ("census") and der Stromzähler ("the electricity meter").

Freedom of Choice

If you are fortunate enough to live in a constitutional democracy, I'd like to remind those of you who are eligible voters to be sure and make your voices heard. If you are too young to vote, please encourage your friends and family to make their votes count! Here are some examples of references to democracy in Yabla videos.



In einer Demokratie ist eine Funktion von regelmäßigen Wahlen...

In a democracy a function of regular elections is...

nach dem Willen der Wählermehrheit den Wechsel der Regierung zu ermöglichen.

to allow the change of the government according to the will of the majority of voters.

Captions 10-11, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest - Part 6

 Play Caption


Weil es geht hier um Freiheit und Demokratie [weil es hier um Freiheit und Demokratie geht],

Because it is about freedom and democracy here,

die tagtäglich gefährdet ist [sic, sind], und wir müssen dafür kämpfen,

which are in danger on a daily basis, and we have to fight to ensure

dass Freiheit und Demokratie uns erhalten bleiben.

that freedom and democracy are preserved for us.

Captions 17-19, 25 Jahre Wiedervereinigung - Ampelmännchen wird Einheitsmännchen

 Play Caption


Es hat uns über ein halbes Jahrhundert Frieden, Freiheit,

It has brought us more than a half century of peace,

Gerechtigkeit, Menschenrechte und Demokratie gebracht.

freedom, justice, human rights and democracy.

Captions 15-16, Angela Merkel - Neujahrsansprache

 Play Caption


Ein Ort lebendiger Demokratie soll es werden,

It should become a place of living democracy,

ein Haus für jeden, der Politik hautnah erleben will.

a building for everyone who wants to experience politics next to their skin [idiom, up close].

Captions 16-17, Berlin - Hauptstadt des vereinten Deutschland

 Play Caption


Was ist kein Merkmal unserer Demokratie?

What is not a characteristic of our democracy?


Censorship of the press.

Captions 3-4, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest - Part 3

 Play Caption


Warum gibt es in einer Demokratie mehr als eine Partei? [Wahlen]

Why is there more than one party in a democracy? [Elections]

Weil dadurch die unterschiedlichen Meinungen der Bürger und Bürgerinnen vertreten werden.

Because the various opinions of the citizens [male] and citizens [female] are thus represented.

Captions 18-19, Bundesrepublik Deutschland - Einbürgerungstest - Part 3

 Play Caption


Ja, das ist ein  krasser Einschnitt in unsere Demokratie,

Yes, this is a crass break in our democracy,

Marktdiktatur kann entstehen,

a market dictatorship can arise,

ganz viele Sachen, die einfach sehr negativ sind für uns.

quite a lot of things that are just very negative for us.

Captions 10-11, Deutsche-Welle-Nachrichten - Massenprotest gegen TTIP

 Play Caption



Further Learning
Watch the above videos in their entirety on Yabla German and learn more German words related to politics. And don't forget to vote in upcoming elections and to remind your friends and family to do so too!