• 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
Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia
File photo: DPA

Wolf spotted in North Rhine-Westphalia

Camera traps have spotted a wolf for the second time in a month in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state environment ministry reported on Friday. READ  

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay
Paraguayan police on patrol in an area known to contain EPP rebels. File photo: DPA

German ranchers murdered in Paraguay

The Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed that two Germans living in Paraguay were kidnapped and killed earlier this week. READ  

AfD braces for busy conference weekend
"Vote AfD!" reads the flyover message. Photo: DPA

AfD braces for busy conference weekend

As leaders of the Germany's anti-Euro upstart party Alternative for Germany (AfD) prepare for its party conference this weekend, the potential for chaos is rising. READ  

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos
Snow in Oberharz. Photo: DPA

Sudden dose of winter causes traffic chaos

UPDATE: Two people were rescued from avalanches as a blast of winter has taken Germany by surprise, while snow and ice accounted for several traffic accidents across the country on Friday. READ  

BND collects 220 million phone records a day
Photo: DPA

BND collects 220 million phone records a day

Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) collects 220 million pieces of information about foreign phone calls and SMS every day, Zeit Online reported on Friday. READ  

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers
Photo: DPA

U-turn on minimum wage for foreign drivers

Germany temporarily hit the brakes Friday on applying its new minimum wage to foreign truck drivers transiting the country in a move welcomed by Poland, which vigorously opposed the system. READ  

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Crises make Germany EU foreign policy leader

Foreign policy think-tank the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) gave Germany top marks in its annual check-up of EU member states released on Thursday. READ  

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years
Photo: DPA

Prost! Beer sales hop up for first gain in 8 years

New figures released Friday by federal statistics office Destatis are numbers breweries can drink to, as German beer consumption saw its first year-on-year rise since 2006. READ  

Germany has thousands of uni spots open
Photo: DPA

Germany has thousands of uni spots open

New research published by Spiegel on Friday shows that there are thousands of university placesa unoccupied across the country, while certain hot spots cope with too much demand. READ  

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'
Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp at a press conference. Photo: DPA

Borussia coach admits to 'downward spiral'

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp admits feeling the pressure as his side resume their fight to stay in Germany's top flight on Saturday at fellow Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
The rise and spread of Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Photo: DPA
Politics
The Local's report from Pegida's largest ever demonstration.
Sponsored Article
Top-notch tech boosts bilingual schools
National
Six stories that will rock Germany this year
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Photo: DPA
National
What were your favourite news stories of 2014?
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,536
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd