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NAMES

Germans stay traditional with 2014 baby names

A pair of old favourites, Sophie and Maximilian, once again topped the table of Germany's favourite baby names for 2014, in a list dominated by traditional monikers.

Germans stay traditional with 2014 baby names
Photo: Shutterstock

The Society for the German Language reported on Wednesday that the top two were followed by Marie and Alexander in second place and Sophia and Paul at number three – all occupying exactly the same spots in the table as they did last year.

In fact, there were no new entries at all in either the girls' or boys' top 10 – belying an early prediction at New Year that Leah would make the cut for girls.

This year's list would even be familiar to someone who hadn't checked in the last 10 years, with boys receiving the same top three names in 2004 while Marie, Sophie and Maria were most popular for last decade's baby girls.

But there were some regional differences: north and east Germans' top 10 for girls included Charlotte and Johanna, while southerners and westerners liked Anna and Louisa.

Among boys, meanwhile, Finn, Jonas and Oskar were among the most popular names in the north and east, while southerners and westerners preferred Jacob and Leon.

2014 saw 438,491 girls and 459,301 boys named in Germany, a ratio of 48.8 percent to 51.2 percent.

Their parents chose from among 56,919 different names, of which 38,175 were given to only one child each – although on average, each name was given to 15.8 children.

The top 10 lists accounted for just 15.5 percent of names parents gave their children.

Germans' top 10 baby names in 2014

 

1. Top of the list were last year's champions, Maximilian and Sophie. Parents loved Sophie for girls across Germany, but Maximilian was most popular in the south.

2. Second place went to Marie for girls and Alexander for boys.

3. Sophia and Paul – a name particularly beloved of east Germans last year – rounded out the top threes.

4. Maria and Elias, both staples of the last 10 years of baby names, both came in fourth.

 

5. Emma and Luis slotted into fifth place. Luis is a relatively new arrival in the top 10 since 2010.

6. At number six, while Luka has been among the most popular names for years, Mia is holding onto a mid-table place it's held since  2009.

 

7. Hannah and Ben have both been top-10 contenders only for the last three or four years.

8. Emilia hasn't been in the top 10 before in the last few years, but Leon is an old favourite – although it hasn't come top since 2007.

9. Anna and Lukas – both fixtures of any gathering of Germans born in the last 20 years – come in ninth.

 

10. Last but not least: Johanna and Noah, both names beloved of northerners and westerners.

 

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EDUCATION

Schools around Germany reopen as Covid numbers sink

As coronavirus figures continue to fall around Germany, several states are again opening schools in full force. Here’s where - and when - in-person classes are resuming again.

Schools around Germany reopen as Covid numbers sink
Elementary shcool pupils in Hanover returned to the classroom on Monday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Julian Stratenschulte

On Monday, the countrywide 7-day incidence dropped to 35.1 per 100,000 residents, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The RKI reported 1,978 new cases in the last 24 hours, down from 2,682 a week before. 

In light of the lower numbers, many states have decided to end distance learning and alternating classes, and to return to regular classroom operations.

This marks the first time in several months – in some cases since November – that primary and secondary pupils have been able to return to full instruction.

However, mandatory face masks and coronavirus tests at least twice a week still apply to all pupils.

Where and when are schools reopening?

Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia is reopening schools with face-to-face instruction across the board on Monday.

Lower Saxony, Saarland and Hamburg are also returning to normal operation across class levels in most state regions. 

In Brandenburg, this initially applies only to elementary schools. The only exception is the city of Brandenburg/Havel, where the numbers are still considered to be too high. In a week’s time, the secondary schools are to follow suit. 

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the state with the lowest 7-day incidence nationwide (14.9 as of Monday), students began returning to classes on Thursday. 

Berlin, on the other hand, plans to stick with the alternating classes – where different groups of students attend on different days – until the summer vacations, which begin June 24th.

The capital’s mayor Michael Müller (SPD) recently pointed out that the incidence among students in the capital was higher than the average. 

Rhineland-Palatinate is also taking a cautious approach. Following the end of school holidays in a week, pupils will have two more weeks of rotating classes before everyone returns for face-to-face instruction.

From June 7th in Bavaria, if the 7-day incidence remains stable below 50, face-to-face teaching is planned everywhere. Previously this was only the case at elementary schools and some special schools. 

In Baden-Württemberg, elementary schools are to return to face-to-face instruction if the 7-day incidences remain stable between 50 and 100. 

From June 11th, this is also to apply to all students in grade five and above who are currently still in alternating instruction.

What’s the reaction?

Not everyone is happy with the way schools are reopening. On Monday the Federal Parents’ Council criticised the different approaches taken by the states. 

“It’s like it has been since the outbreak of the pandemic: each state does what it wants,” complained chairwoman Sabrina Wetzel in a statement. “We demand a uniform line on openings as well.”

For parents, the different regulations from state to state are difficult to understand, she said, adding that “it’s also unfair to the children”.

READ ALSO: German teachers call for uniform Covid rules in schools nationwide

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