Advent Calendar – “1”

advent-1Hello everyone,

it’s the first of December and that means, it’s the first day of our

German is Easy – Advent Calendar

From today till Christmas, you’ll get a neat little bit of German every day. Grammar, slang, idioms and other cool stuff.
A few weeks ago I asked you to send me your questions and suggestions and you came up with loads of cool topics and ideas. Unfortunately not all were a good fit for the calendar. Some would have been a bit too extensive and for others, I just didn’t have anything to say. Like, “my favorite German comedian?”. I don’t even know what a “German comedian” is. So, I took some of your suggestions, and mixed in some of my own ideas and I think the result is really, really cool and you’ll never want Christmas to come (insert “even more” if you’re a Christmas hater.
But wait, there’s more. You don’t only get a cool infusion of German every day, you can also win a little something every day! 
From all the comments on the day’s post, I’ll pick one who gets a little surprise that’s related to either learning German or deep sea fracking (haven’t decided that yet). Oh and if your question made it into the calendar, then you’ll win something, too.
So yeah, stay tuned and check in every day because it’s going to be awesome.
(By the way, you’ll get an email everyday. Hope that’s not too annoying. )

And today we’ll start with one of the cutest winter poems ever about three sparrows.
Viel Spaß :)


Die Drei Spatzen


In einem leeren Haselstrauch,
da sitzen drei Spatzen, Bauch an Bauch.

Der Erich rechts und links der Franz
und mittendrin der freche Hans.

Sie haben die Augen zu, ganz zu,
und obendrüber, da schneit es, hu!

Sie rücken zusammen dicht an dicht,
so warm wie Hans hat’s niemand nicht.

Sie hör’n alle drei ihrer Herzlein Gepoch.
Und wenn sie nicht weg sind, so sitzen sie noch.


In an empty hazel bush
three sparrows are sitting, belly to belly

The Erich right, Franz left
and in the middle the cheeky Hans

Their eyes are closed, completely closed
and above it, it’s snowing, uhhh.

They squeeze up real tight
none of them has it as warm as Hans

They’re hearing all their three little hearts’ beating.
And if they’re not gone, they’re sitting there still.


So cute.
This poem is by Christian Morgenstern, a somewhat well-known poet from the early 20th century and it’s a good example of his style – cute, light hearted and full of language wit. If you liked this one, you should check out more of his works. Which brings us to today’s give-away.

You can win one hard copy of Christian Morgenstern’s book with children’s poems. It’s called “Liebe Erde, liebe Sonne: Ein Kinderliederbuch” and it’s about the seasons of the year; and in addition to the poems, it also has really, really lovely illustrations.
Just leave a comment with your own little winter poem in German. It doesn’t need to be fancy or anything, just a little something :). I won’t pick a winner until two weeks from now, so you can take your time.
Oh and if you’re not sure if it’s worth the effort (or if you end up not winning) … the book is also online (legally), so you can check it out here at his homepage 

So, this was day 1 of our Advent Calendar. If you want to win the book, leave your own winter poem in the comments. I hope you liked it and see you tomorrow!

for members :)

Leave a Reply

newest oldest
Notify of

Hallo Emanuel! I was waiting for this Advent Calendar :). You wrote “The Erich right, Franz left and in the middle the cheeky Franz” But it should be “the cheeky Hanz”, no?


Here is my favorite Christmas poem (maybe just poem) of all time. It’s in English, but I think it will appeal to your sense of humor. I’ve attempted to translate it into German, and although it does still rhyme, that’s only because the same word comes up twice.

It’s called “A comparison of logs and dogs” [Ein Vergleich von Scheite und Hunde]

” Both are popular at Christmas, though it is not generally considered cruel
to abandon a log, and dogs are rarely used as fuel. ”

[ “Beide sind zu Weihnachten beliebt, obwohl es nicht als grausam betrachtet werden,
ein Scheit zu verlassen, und Hunde selten als Kraftstoff verwendet werden.” ]

Chuck Gleaves
Chuck Gleaves

The poem reminds me of a Mother Goose nursery rhyme my mother used to recite to us. The north wind doth blow, And we shall have snow, And what will poor robin do then, Poor thing ?

He’ll sit in a barn, And keep himself warm, And hide his head under his wing, Poor thing!


So much phony dialect/colloqualism, but it helps keep the meter…

In der schönen Winterzeit,
ha’mer nie und nimmer Streit.
Denn wer so was anfangen möchte,
dem wird nichts b’schert so viel er beichte.


Mein Haus wohl geschmückt
Weihnachten bald hier
Wohl ausgedrückt
Zum Kühlschrank! haben Bier

Ano Menschkind Königin
Ano Menschkind Königin

Ooh Boy, Gedichte! Lass mich ein machen! Mich selbst!

Fremder Winter

Das tropische Land, dass ich mein stolz nenne,
Da gibt es keinen Schnee,
Weiß nicht ob es 1 gutes Ding ist,
Oder tut es uns voll weh?

Frost und kalt sind nicht unbekannt,
Als ich in die Decke kuschele, deutlich klar.
Doch wie schön es wäre, wenn ich nen Eisbär
Oder einen Schneeflocke sehe, in dieses Land gebrannt!

Das weiße kalte Wunderland,
Ein weicher, nasser, eisiger Sand
Worauf ich kenne…. na, geht, die Augen werden schlecht!
Bis gleich, gehe gerade ins Bett. Gute Nacht!

Ich will etwas für meine Mühe :)


Sankt Niklas
Gott grüß euch, liebe Kinderlein,
ihr sollt Vater und Mutter gehorsam sein,
so soll euch was Schönes bescheret sein.
Wenn ihr aber dasselbige nicht tut,
so bring ich euch den Stecken und die Rut’.

Oldie but a goodie!


The poem has reminded me of the movie “my name is nobody”. There was this fable with the little bird, which fell from the tree. It was lucky because it fell into the snow. But it was so cold, freezing. It made “Peep! Peep!” And luckily a cow came by and took pity for it. The cow turned around and, oh what happiness, what glory, took a dump. The dung was warm and the bird wasn’t cold anymore. Nevertheless, the bird wasn’t really happy. It stank so horribly. Again, it made “Peep! Peep!” And a wolf came by and saw the misery. The wolf picked up the little bird extremely carefully, cleaned it delicately, so that no dirt would remain on the bird. The wolf blew away the last feces, its breath was gratefully warm like a summer breeze. The bird was happy, made “Peep! Peep!”. Then the wolf ate the bird.
It’s no poem, but maybe someone wants to translate my poor, very free translation back into German, if you can’t come up with an idea.


Leider bin in schlecht bei der Dichtung… Aber danke für den Post! :)


bin ich*


I think that Christian Morgenstern wrote a poem that was a favorite of mine. A man involved in a car accident concludes it couldn’t have happened because cars weren’t allowed there. It ended with “So schliesst er messerscharf / Nicht sein kann, was nicht sein darf.” (that’s all of the poem I remember after all this time). Such respect for the rules seemed touching in some sense.

Es ist mir Wurst.
Es ist mir Wurst.

Gene, Gene machte eine Maschine. Joe, Joe machte die gehen. Art, Art furzte und explodierte die ganze Maschine.

[Gene, Gene made a machine. Joe, Joe made it go. Art, Art left a fart and blew the whole machine apart.]

(translated loosely from the 4th grade)


Hallo, I have been following your blog for a while now and it has helped me learn the basics of German, thanks for that. I found a few more sites to help me along the way. As I am studying German to move to Berlin I got referrals from this site which also led me to Duolingo and Tandem. These platforms really helped me! Good luck with your studies everybody :)

Jeanne Trubek

2015 haben wir in Boston drei Meter Schnee in vier Wochen gekriegt. Ich habe mein erstes Gedicht auf Deutsch geschrieben.

Schnee Gedicht

Wir müssen uns an den Schnee gewöhnen
Es gibt nichts anders was wir tun können
Wir beeilen uns die Bürgersteige zu räumen
Dann trinken Wein mit unseren Freunden


Ich esse immer Schokolade,
Obwohl ich keinen Hunger habe.
Langsam aber sicher,
Werde ich bestimmt dicker.

True story.


I think this is the poem I relate to the most! Chocolate is too tasty to pass up.

Here’s my try for a wintery poem:

Ich bin nicht alt
Aber ich bin kalt!
Hier sitze ich in der Ecke
Und trage eine Decke.


Stop killing kittens… lol. Every time I read your blog, I am so impressed with your knowledge of American colloquialism. Now I really want to know if your accent is flawless too. Keep up the awesome blog, love it!

Soon Wei Long
Soon Wei Long

Im Kurs hab´ ich ein Elfchen geschrieben. Jetzt mache ich ein Gedicht!

Hier in meinem Land
Die Sonne scheint
Mit Eis in einer Hand
Bin ich allein

Ein heißes Weihnachten
Mit keinem Schnee
Ich brauche jetzt zu trinken
Ein kalter süßer Tee


License revoked – yet I’m still driving…

Happy Adventageous Days, Emanuel !

In an empty shrub of yum,
sit three sparrows tum to tum.

Erich right and Franzi left
und Hansel nestling in the cleft.

All eyes are shut, totally so,
and way up there, it’s snowing, whoa!

Tightly packed and smooshed together,
as warm as Hans was no one ever.

The three all hear little hearts a-beating,
And if still there, they’re still there sitting.

Charlie Joe
Charlie Joe

Vier kleine Katzen, zwei schwarz und weiss, eine nur weiss und eine nur grau.
Sie wissen keine Weihnachten. Sie wissen nur Futtern und Liebe, Spass und immer noch Schlafen.
Sie sind wirklich zwei Dinge. Sie sind nur zwei Dinge. Sie sind Mörder und Babys.
Wann sie nicht einen blaue, grune und rote Kolibri getötet haben, dann liegen sie als Babys in meinen Schoß.
Sie weinen fur Liebe und machen mir lacheln. Und auch weinen, fur die Kolibris.

Charlie Joe
Charlie Joe

Jawohl. That explains the inaccuracies and the missing good German, umlauts etc. It’s a true story. I had a Kolibri that came for hummingbird food and fell victim to the wildest of the four. Real life is dark then because it hurt when I found my kolibri splayed out on the floor but I couldn’t actually blame my cat. I guess it was my fault for leaving the hummingbird feeder at the wrong window. It would be great if you could correct it for grammar!