Featured image of article: German III Students Learn About Celebrating Birthdays

German III Students Learn About Celebrating Birthdays

In addition to practicing vocabulary words, ordinal numbers, and grammatical particularities like the dative case, an important aspect of learning a new language is to become familiar with other countries’ social norms. To this purpose, students in Cindi Hodgdon’s German III class learned how birthday parties are being celebrated in German-speaking countries and what party games are typically organized.

One of the traditional German games is “Schlag the Topf” (“Hit the pot”) which dates back to the Middle Ages. One player is blindfolded and given a wooden spoon with which they have find — and hit — an upside down pot on the floor. The remaining party guests guide the player with calls like “heiß” (hot) and “kalt” (cold) or “kälter” (colder), depending how close or far the player is to finding the target. Once the pot is hit, the player gets the prize hidden beneath it.

The Venn diagram below shows where American and German birthday celebrations differ and where they overlap.

What a fun way to learn another language!