• 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
July asylum applications hit 'all-time record'
An asylum seeker reception centre in Trier. Photo: DPA

July asylum applications hit 'all-time record'

More people applied for asylum in Germany in July than in any previous month on record, the Ministry for Immigration and Refugees announced on Friday. READ  

This Week in History
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after WWII
Germans fleeing from eastern Europe after the Second World War. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The 1,000s of Germans massacred after WWII

Seventy years ago on Friday, a munitions depot exploded in the Czechoslovakian town of Ústí nad Labem. For the thousands of Sudeten Germans who lived in the town, the event was a death sentence. READ  

Minister seeks to rid laws of 'Nazi language'
In the center, Nazi lawyer Roland Freisler, who wrote laws that are partially still in existence today. Photo: German Federal Archive / Wikimedia Commons.

Minister seeks to rid laws of 'Nazi language'

Germany has made great efforts to purge legal system of remnants of Adolf Hitler's regime, but some laws still bear traces of the Nazi past. The Justice Minister wants to change this. READ  

Treason investigation of Netzpolitik halted
Netzpolitik published documents outlining the internal spy agency BfV's spy programmes and budget. Photo: DPA

Treason investigation of Netzpolitik halted

Update: Federal prosecutors announced on Friday they are suspending investigations of treason against 'digital rights' website Netzpolitik for 'the greater good' of upholding freedom of the press. READ  

Newborn baby found in Munich airport toilets
Munich Airport. Photo: DPA

Newborn baby found in Munich airport toilets

A newborn baby was found in a toilet in Munich airport on Thursday. Police so far have no clue as to who or where the mother is. READ  

Brit arrested in Munich for meth smuggling
Photo: BVZ/Zoll

Brit arrested in Munich for meth smuggling

A 50-year-old British woman is being held in custody in Munich on suspicion of attempting to smuggle two kilos of crystal meth out of Munich airport disguised as sweets. READ  

Start-up helps new Berliners slash red tape
Hate waiting in line at the Bürgeramt? There's a company that lets you pay to get the perfect appointment. Photo: DPA.

Start-up helps new Berliners slash red tape

Why waste time jumping through the hoops of German bureaucracy when you can pay someone else to take the hassle off your hands? A new Berlin company is offering to do just that - and it's got city officials fuming in the process. READ  

Michael Jackson shrine may have to beat it
A fan visits the makeshift Michael Jackson memorial in Munich. Photo: DPA.

Michael Jackson shrine may have to beat it

A memorial set up in Germany by some of Michael Jackson's most ardent fans the day after his sudden 2009 death has come under threat in a strangely emotional turf war. READ  

Ai Weiwei in Germany as UK slammed over visa
Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei arrived at Munich airport on Thursday, greeted by his son and son's mother, filmmaker Wang Fen. Photo: DPA.

Ai Weiwei in Germany as UK slammed over visa

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei arrived in Munich on Thursday on his first overseas trip since he was arrested nearly four years ago, after Britain denied him a six-month visa because he did not declare a supposed "criminal conviction" on his application. READ  

'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Regulations for women's parking spaces differ from state to state across Germany. Photo: JG-NF / Wikimedia Commons.

'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?

Frankfurt Airport is one of many places in Germany to offer women their own 'bigger and nicer' parking areas. Is this sensible practice or plain sexist? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
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

7,287
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd