10 Questions with Karin Awve


Lehman: Hello.


Awve: Hi


Lehman: Can we ask you some questions?


Awve: Certainly can.


Lehman: Perfect. Okay, first off, where should people go when visiting Germany and why?

Awve: When visiting Germany there’s so many places I don’t think you should limit yourself to just going to the big cities like Berlin or Munich. I think you should go off the beaten path and visit the smaller villages, go on a bike ride, go hiking and visit local restaurants. 


Lehman: What’s a word in German that has no exact English translation? 

Awve: I would probably say gemutlichkeit, gemutlichkeit for me translates as-translates to “hospitality” or a feeling of being at home. I think that’s a great word. And Germans are really known for gemutlichkeit. 


Lehman: Do you have any favorite German phrase? 


Awve: My favorite phrase, I have a couple that I say in class almost all the time. The first one is hed das dach, which means raise the roof. It’s a little outdated, but it’s how I roll. And my other one is frische hande. Because I’m a little obsessed with clean hands.


Lehman: Why did you learn German?


Awve: I have heritage. My online Oma and Opa came up from northern Germany and I decided to learn about my culture and my family. 


Lehman: What’s your favorite song and can you sing it? 


Awve: I have lots of modern favorite songs, but they’re a little screamy so I can sing a traditional song for you. It goes like this. Du du liegst mir im Herzen. Du du liegst mir im Sihn. And that’s enough. I don’t need to sing the whole thing.


Lehman: What is the funniest language mistake you have witnessed?


Awve: Mostly, it’s pronunciation, where kids kind of really mess up a word and it’s something that we can all laugh with each other like the word umgebung. Lots of kids say the umgabung and it sounds really funny and the whole class has a good laugh.


Lehman: Would you say that German is a helpful language when living in the US? 


Awve: I would. I think that German is super practical in the world of business in the world of science, travel of course. I think you can couple German with just about any career that you want to and it can just make you more marketable.

Lehman: Have you had an impromptu conversation in German in Milwaukee?


Awve: I bumped into people pretty often, especially if I’m out with students or I’m out with my family. Not just local festivals and stuff but I’ve been at stores and at the mall. And I hear people t

alking and one of the things I tell my students all the time is go pretend you’re German. It’s like the power of language where no one understands what you’re talking about. So it’s kind of cool.


Lehman: What’s your biggest German pet peeve?


Awve: My biggest pet peeve. I had a pet peeve. What was it? My biggest pet peeve? Hang on. I can’t think of one right now. Hang on pet peeve. Pet peeve. Pet peeve. Oh, I think it’s when everybody assumes you say “Oh, I speak German” and right away people flashback to Germans history which is a little bit darker, with World Wars and stuff and a lot of people can’t think past that to Germany today. 2020/2022 So it’s a pet peeve when people are very minded or very limited to how they think about stuff.

Lehman: And lastly, what’s something you always travel with? 


Awve: Something I always travel with? Um, well I always have to have an adapter when I’m traveling in Europe because you know, the electrical current. The currents and stuff are different. So I always have that. I always have a journal to keep notes with. And I always have my water bottle because Germans at least when I travel in Europe and in Germany and Austria, Germans like a lot of mineral baths or mineral water and I kind of like no bubbles in my water. So I always have a water bottle. 


Lehman: Okay, great. Thank you so much


Awve: Have a nice night. 

Lehman: You too.