• Germany's news in English
 

'Racy' song upsets Kiwis in national German exam

The Local · 20 Nov 2012, 17:20

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
Banks jack up ATM fees for non-customers
Photo: DPA

Banks jack up ATM fees for non-customers

8 minutes ago

Germany's big private banks are increasing fees for customers at other financial institutions to withdraw cash from their ATMs, making ordinary people pay the price for a bankers' spat.

Berlin mayor christens brand-new U-Bahn trains
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller smashes a bottle of Berliner Weisse beer against the metal skin of a new U-Bahn train to christen it. Photo: DPA

Berlin mayor christens brand-new U-Bahn trains

1 hour ago

The first of an all-new model of Berlin U-Bahn trains was christened on Wednesday evening by city mayor Michael Müller in a typically Berlin ceremony.

Migrant crisis
Biggest EU nations want refugees shared fairly
A man leads migrants in a chant in front of police lines at Budapest's Keleti railway station on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Biggest EU nations want refugees shared fairly

2 hours ago

Germany, France and Italy called for an overhaul of laws on the right of asylum and a fairer distribution of migrants throughout the European Union, Italy's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

The Local List
7 ways Germans get English totally wrong
Don't let their confidence fool you: Germans aren't always the best at English. Photo: DPA.

7 ways Germans get English totally wrong

17 hours ago

As much as English-speakers might feel insecure about their Deutsch skills when faced with Germans' comparatively widespread grasp of English, Germans themselves often mess up English - in some pretty hilarious ways.

Mannschaft step forward to welcome refugees
Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger at a press conference earlier this week. Photo: DPA

Mannschaft step forward to welcome refugees

17 hours ago

Germany's World Cup-winning footballers have condemned xenophobic attacks on the thousands of foreigners pouring into their country and led calls to help the refugees amidst the ongoing crisis.

Islamist vigilantes face trial for 'Sharia police'
Islamic fundamentalist preacher Sven Lau. Photo: DPA

Islamist vigilantes face trial for 'Sharia police'

19 hours ago

State prosecutors in the Ruhr city of Wuppertal said on Tuesday that they have brought charges against notorious Islamic fundamentalist Sven Lau, who was behind a short-lived 'Sharia police' vigilante force in the city.

Are you a typical expat living in Germany?
Expats love German schools, but they're not so sure they receive a good welcome. Photo: DPA

Are you a typical expat living in Germany?

21 hours ago

A new survey is full of revealing facts about expats in Germany, why they came here, what they love and what they loathe. So how do you measure up?

Lufthansa pilots 'could strike at any moment'
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots 'could strike at any moment'

22 hours ago

Airline pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) said on Wednesday that talks with Lufthansa had failed to reach an agreement and that their members could walk off the job at any moment.

Builder on speed blasts pepper spray at refugees
Emergency services in Massow on Tuesday evening. Photo: DPA

Builder on speed blasts pepper spray at refugees

23 hours ago

A man was arrested in Brandenburg on Tuesday evening after he attacked refugees with pepper spray while he was high on amphetamines. Eight of his victims were taken to hospital for treatment.

Ex-Chancellor Schmidt rushed to intensive care
Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt was taken to hospital on Tuesday. Photo: DPA.

Ex-Chancellor Schmidt rushed to intensive care

1 day ago

Helmut Schmidt, German Chancellor in the 1970s and early 1980s, has been taken into intensive care at a Hamburg hospital after suffering from a vascular obstruction in his right leg.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

Features
'Berlin is kind of like the best American city'
Features
How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
Sport
German named 'arse bombing' world champ
Travel
Retiree finds parked car after three-week search
National
Ten ways Germany puts Britain to shame
Business & Money
German gadget clamps down on Nutella thieves
Society
Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
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
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
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

6,953
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd