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Monday, April 20, 2015

Musik Monday - MfG by Die Fantastischen Vier

Musik Monday is back!  And this week is one of my favorite songs.  I have about 10 songs on my phone, and this is one of them.  It's so clever and fun to listen to and sing along with/mess up many of the lyrics. 
Die Fantastischen Vier (Fanta 4) have been around for a while - officially since 1989 to be exact.  They are a German hip-hop group that was the first to really reach the top of the music charts in 1992.  Their music employs a lot of comedy, but later in the group's career, some of their songs became more serious.  Fun fact: they voice the Penguins in the German-dubbed Madagascar films.  

The group is still making music, but this song is from 1999.  The song is MfG, which is an acronym for "Mit freundlichen Gruessen," which translates literally to "with friendly greetings"; it's a way to end a letter before signing your name, like "sincerely yours". *Warning: Some adult themes*

If you know the German alphabet, it might sound a little like random letters being rapped then a chorus of actual words thrown in.  It's not random at all though.  First, the title itself is "text speak" and a way that people shortened words to make things quicker and easier.  The other letters in the song all go in groups of 3 as well, and each group of 3 stands for something.

Going even further into the song, each line of 3 acronyms is its own grouping.  The sets of 3 all have something in common.  I took a Deutsches Popmusik class when I studied in Heidelberg and we had a worksheet where we had to try to fill in each group of 3 letters while listening to the song.  Then, after we reviewed those, we tried to figure out what each acronym stands for.  Some were easy, because they're used in English as well as in German.  Others we knew because of learning German.  But the remaining ones were total guesses if we put anything down.  We started seeing patterns though, which is extremely interesting.  I'd urge anyone to try to figure out what the acronyms are before looking at the chart in this link.  I'm a bit of a nerd, but it's kind of like a puzzle and really fun:

While some groupings immediately make sense (i.e., EDV, IBM, and WWW are all computer related), some require a little research or additional knowledge to understand.  For example: KMH, ICE, Eschede refers to the Inter-City Express trains (ICE) known for their speed (KMH), one of which crashed in a town in Lower Saxony (Eschede) in 1998.

This is a great tool for teaching adults who are beginning to learn German.  It could also be useful for high school students, but there are some PG-13 themes in the song that a teacher might not want to explain to younger students (or their parents).  Most of all, it's a fun, clever song.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

My Ritter Sport Ranking

A list from Gawker has been going around the internet this past week titled, "Ritter Sport Varieties, Ranked".  I love Ritter Sport chocolate. Every time someone is visiting from Germany, I always request a bar or two.  When I came home from studying abroad, at least 3 pounds of my luggage was Ritter Sport.  I didn't go to the main headquarters in Waldenbuch, Germany, but I've been to the mini-museum in Berlin.  The former is on my list of places to visit.  So, I decided to do my own list*:

26.  Rum Trauben Nuss – Milk chocolate with rum-soaked raisins and hazelnut pieces (Crimson Red Wrapper)
25.  Trauben-Nuss – Milk chocolate with raisins and hazelnut pieces (Carmine Red Wrapper)
24. Schoko-Duo – Plain milk chocolate and white chocolate (Royal Blue Wrapper with chocolate bar on outside)
23.  Ganze Mandel – Milk chocolate with whole almonds (Dark Green Wrapper)
22.  Haselnuss – Milk chocolate with hazelnuts (Green wrapper)
21.  Karamell – Milk chocolate with caramel filling. (Orange wrapper)
20.  Voll-Nuss – Milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts (Brown Wrapper with Hazelnut-Pattern)
19.  Knusperkeks – Milk chocolate with a butter biscuit (Brown Wrapper)
18.  Noisette – Hazelnut-flavored milk chocolate. (light green wrapper)
17.  Edelbitter – Plain dark chocolate, 71% cacao (Pink Wrapper)
16.  Dunkle Vollmilch – Plain medium dark chocolate, 40% cacao (Azure Blue Wrapper)
15.  Nugat – Milk chocolate with hazelnut-nougat center (Midnight Blue Wrapper)
14.  Neapolitan – Milk Chocolate with neapolitan wafers, made with a hazelnut cream filled wafers and praline. (medium dark orange wrapper)
13.  Karamel Nuss - Milk Chocolate with butter caramel cream dropped hazelnuts and crispy rice (Golden yellow wrapper)
12.  Knusperflakes – Milk chocolate with corn flakes (Golden Yellow Wrapper)
11.  Alpenmilch – Special milk chocolate with high alpine milk proportion (Sky Blue Wrapper)
10.  Vollmilch – Plain milk chocolate (Royal Blue Wrapper)
9.  Olympia – Milk Chocolate with yoghurt, honey, and glucose. (Gold Wrapper)
8. Halbbitter – Plain dark chocolate, 50% cacao (Burgundy Wrapper)
7. Marzipan – Dark chocolate with marzipan center (Red Wrapper)
6. Erdbeer Joghurt – Milk chocolate strawberry and yogurt filling (Light Pink Wrapper)
5. Dunkle Voll-Nuss – Dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts (Dark Brown Wrapper with Hazelnut-Pattern)
4.  Cappuccino – Milk chocolate and cappuccino cream (Amber Wrapper)
3. Feinherb à la Mousse au Chocolat – dark chocolate filled with chocolate mousse (Bistre Wrapper)
2.  Joghurt – Yogurt (White Wrapper)
1. Pfefferminz – Chocolate with peppermint filling (Caribbean Green Wrapper)

Flavors I have yet to try:

  • Weiße Voll-Nuss – White chocolate with whole hazelnuts (White/Cream Wrapper with Hazelnut-Pattern)
  • Williams Birne Trüffel – dark chocolate filled with Poire Williams pear brandy mousse
  • Cocos – Milk chocolate with flakes of coconut in the center (Silver Wrapper)
  • Kakao-Keks – Dark chocolate with cookie center. (Brown Wrapper with cookie background)
  • Kakao-Mousse – Whipped Cream Cocoa in Alpine Milk Chocolate. (Brown Wrapper)
  • Voll Erdnuss – Milk chocolate with whole peanuts (Orange Wrapper)
I really, really want to try the coconut one.  Guess I have a bit of taste testing to do!

Bottom line, Ritter Sport chocolate is amazing and if you're in Germany, you should eat as many flavors as possible...and bring some back for me!

*Note: I know not all the flavors are here, specifically seasonal ones.  I used the list of varieties on Wikipedia, like the original post.  Also, not all the flavors are available as the typical 100g bars; some only exist in mini or cube form.