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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Hello and welcome to Culture Class: German Superstitions and Beliefs, Lesson 2 - Clinking Glasses and Bread and Salt When Moving In. I'm Eric, and I'm joined by Jennifer.
Jennifer: Hallo! I'm Jennifer.
Eric: In this lesson we’ll talk about two common superstitions in Germany. The first superstition is about bad luck. What’s it called in German?
Jennifer: Verhalten beim anstoßen
Eric: Which literally means "behavior when clinking glasses." Jennifer, can you repeat the German phrase again?
Jennifer: [slow] Verhalten beim anstoßen [normal] Verhalten beim anstoßen
Eric: One of the reasons I want to go to Germany is the beer!
Jennifer: Yeah German beer is very famous. And it’s important to know how to behave while drinking.
Eric: Right. One of the most important things to do is to maintain eye contact while clinking glasses.
Jennifer: If you don’t, it's believed that you‘ll have seven years of unsatisfactory love-making.
Eric: Where does this superstition come from Jennifer?
Jennifer: Eye-contact is very important for Germans.
Eric: If you can’t keep eye-contact during business conversations or in private situations, it will be seen as quite disrespectful.
Jennifer: And that applies to drinking with friends too.
Eric: So look your friends in the eye while saying cheers...
Jennifer: ...or you might regret it.
Eric: The second superstition is about good luck. What’s it called in German?
Jennifer: Brot und Salz beim Einzug
Eric: Which literally means "Bread and salt when moving in." Let’s hear it in German again.
Jennifer: [slow] Brot und Salz beim Einzug [normal] Brot und Salz beim Einzug
Eric: In Germany, it's believed that you should give a bride and groom bread and salt when they first move into their own home after getting married.
Jennifer: This way, they’ll never go hungry.
Eric: Bread has been an important staple food throughout German history.
Jennifer: And salt used to be a very precious commodity.
Eric: So giving a new couple bread and salt is seen as a blessing and greeting.
Jennifer: And it’s a housewarming gift that’s not too expensive.


Eric: There you have it - two German superstitions! Are they similar to any of your country’s superstitions? Let us know in the comments!
Jennifer: Auf Wiedersehen!

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Wednesday at 06:30 PM
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Have you ever heard about these beliefs?