• Germany's news in English
 

'Racy' song upsets Kiwis in national German exam

Published: 20 Nov 2012 17:20 GMT+01:00

The exam was staged at schools across New Zealand last week, the news portal stuff.co.nz reported on Monday.

It included a song by the acappella group Wise Guys. The five-man group has often been invited on international tours by the Goethe Institute, has played at several major church gatherings, and is generally considered mild stuff in Germany.

The Year 12 students - aged around 16 and 17 - were played the song Relativ in their exam, something which in itself appears to have been an innovation.

The lyrics are from a man's point of view, running through a list of comparisons, claiming to be relatively smart compared with Heidi Klum, but relatively stupid compared with Steven Hawking - relatively tall compared with a piece of gravel, but relatively small compared with a cliff.

He then talks about liking the object of affections, "relatively a lot", but being incapable of expressing his feelings.

He continues to talk about how the person he is singing to is, "nicer than my neighbour, and I expect that in bed with you, quite a lot would be possible."

It was this line which reduced some students to laughter - and others to tears as they failed to work out what was happening. One teacher told stuff.co.nz she thought the song was "totally inappropriate" for Year 12 students - although she also said she had had difficulty understanding the song herself.

The New Zealand exam authority's deputy chief executive Richard Thornton said the song had been chosen because "it was felt it would engage the candidates" and had been chosen with 16- and 17-year-olds in mind.

Further national language exams are due soon in Spanish and French - with teachers across New Zealand wondering what their students should expect.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:42 November 20, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
>One teacher told stuff.co.nz she thought the song was "totally inappropriate" for Year 12 students

oh please. talk about somebody having her knickers in a twist...

this is all really pretty tame. There are much grittier things going on in the heads of typical 16-year-olds. Let alone the fact that many of them have already actually had sex.
21:03 November 20, 2012 by lucksi
For the next exam, they are going to translate "Bück Dich" oder "Du hast" by Rammstein I guess
02:52 November 21, 2012 by crastin
This is something that is so embarrassing about Anglophone cultures.... grow up. Why can non-Anglo cultures talk about sex like any other topic and we approach it like it is always a horrible secret.

Sad.
06:27 November 21, 2012 by grimbax
Oh my god, are you f... serious? This song is so sweet and baby pooh innocent that you could torture people with it if you use it like these sesame street songs at guantanamo.

The whole song contains children talk like "I like you a little" , "I like to walk with you hand in hand"... Thats so lame. How should anyone learn a language if you serve them infantile contents that noone wants to hear. The music is not bad though.

Come on, this is not a news! There should be more important things to write about!
15:04 November 21, 2012 by MaKo
Because in my German language education I was made to listen to and sing a song about a kitty cat and her kitty cat husband and their lost umbrella, I am feeling vaguely ripped off right now.
17:08 November 21, 2012 by herr_james
as the original article suggested, before being cut and pasted here, more students complained about the low quality of the recording used in the exam, and the backing vocals on the track contrasting with the main lyrics while being sung simultaneously. this is also why people thought it innapproriate for a translation/comprehension exercise.

@iseedaftpeople & @crastin you are aware germany banned rammstein's last album cover for portraying a spanking, right?

@grimbax nz allows a wide range of opinions in a (fairly) open society. those who might have said "yeah, that song was a bit of a joke" aren't gonna make the news, obviously.

@mako - tell me about it. freizeit stomp, anyone?
18:20 November 23, 2012 by Cincinnatus
How far education has fallen. Is it any wonder that the world's stoners far outnumber the world's productive citizens. Certainly kids probably talk to each other more about sex than anything else. But - is that the reason to inundate them with MORE sex talk? It appears that education propaganda has taken the low road to becoming another form of entertainment rather than education. The inmates are running the institution.
Today's headlines
EU-US trade talks prompt German ire
Photo: DPA

EU-US trade talks prompt German ire

In much of Europe any mention of TTIP might receive a blank stare, in Germany the proposed US-EU free trade pact is likely to prompt a volley of angry words. READ  

Auschwitz expert slams Nazi justice record
Photo: DPA

Auschwitz expert slams Nazi justice record

Oskar Gröning, 93, a former Nazi known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz", goes on trial in Germany on Tuesday in what could be the last Nazi war crimes trial while an expert calls the country's judicial record 'miserable'. READ  

Turkish Airlines: married pilots are safer pilots
Photo: DPA

Turkish Airlines: married pilots are safer pilots

The general manager of Turkish Airlines has urged single pilots to marry, after the Germanwings tragedy blamed on a pilot with psychological problems. READ  

Germany and Greece
'It hurts when Germans call Greece a failed state'
Thanasis Glavinas outside one of the German parliament's buildings. Photo: Private

'It hurts when Germans call Greece a failed state'

With the war of words – and cashflows – between Greece and Germany showing no sign of dying down, The Local meets one young Greek who's come to see what the Germans have to teach about running a country successfully. READ  

Interior Minister wants quicker deportations
'Loitz doesn't need any asylum seekers' reads the graffiti. Photo:DPA

Interior Minister wants quicker deportations

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière called on Friday for state governments to speed up deportations of failed asylum applicants, in the latest round in a war of words between the federal government and the states. READ  

VW CEO survives despite departure rumours
Photo: DPA

VW CEO survives despite departure rumours

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has dodged a broadside from company chairman Ferdinand Piech which many thought would unseat him from the troubled car maker. Instead, the steering committee has offered him an extension to his contract. READ  

Bayern doctor quits in spat with Guardiola
Tension on the touchline: Guardiola, Schweinsteiger and Müller-Wohlfahrt Photo: DPA

Bayern doctor quits in spat with Guardiola

The resignation of iconic club doctor Hans-Willhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt on Thursday evening threatens to unleash internal chaos at Bayern Munich after their Champions League humiliation at the hands of FC Porto. READ  

Deutsche Bahn flirts with drivers' strike deadline
An InterCity train in Hannover's main train station. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bahn flirts with drivers' strike deadline

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn has until 3 pm on Friday to respond to demands from the Train Drivers' Union (GDL) for a "reasonable provisional result" in talks over pay, conditions and union representation. READ  

Liberals: Data retention unconstitutional
Deputy leader of the Free Democratic Party Wolfgang Kubicki. Photo:DPA

Liberals: Data retention unconstitutional

The deputy leader of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), Wolfgang Kubicki, called the government's plans to store communications data 'unconstitutional' and said he will fight the proposals in court. READ  

Germany honours Warsaw Uprising fighters
Leszek Zukowski (c) participated in the Warsaw uprising. Photo:DPA

Germany honours Warsaw Uprising fighters

Germany on Thursday awarded its highest honour for the first time to Poles who fought the occupying Nazis in the ill-fated Warsaw Uprising of 1944, one of World War II's bloodiest episodes. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,296
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd