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February 2007 - Nr. 2


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Yo! Germany Raps

New Website Brings German Pop and Hip Hop
into US Classrooms

  TWIG - For those of you still getting your Teutonic rock fix from Falco (Rock me Amadeus) and the Scorpions (The Winds of Change), TWIG regrets to inform that your taste in music is doof (lame) and probably also völlig uncool (totally uncool). Luckily, the Goethe Institute in San Francisco and the American Association of Teachers of German offers a new way to get hip on the sly. The website "Step into German" now features free music videos from Germany’s freshest rappers, cutest pop kittens, and darkest black metal brooders. There’s no excuse – its time to get with the Zeitgeist and update your Plattensammlung.

Visitors to the site can watch Hamburg dub dude Jan Delay walk the streets of Berlin accompanied by a pachyderm as he lisps and lopes through Für Immer und Dich (For Ever and You) or catch the Türkish-German singer Muhabbet bounce through the arabesk R&B number Ich will nicht geh’n (I Don’t Want to Go). For those of the gothic persuasion, singer "Der Letzte Einhorn" (The Last Unicorn) leads the Berlin folk-metal group In Extremo through Der Wind (The Wind).

The site is aimed at teachers and middle and high school students of German, and aims to teach language through pop music. "We knew that if we wanted to really reach kids, there were two topics we could pick: sports and music," says the Goethe Institute’s Peter Zygowski, who helped design the site. After Step into German launched a soccer-focused site in 2006 to tie in with the World Cup, it took the next logical step and started contacting German labels about putting clips online. "The labels were actually really happy to work with us", says Zygowski.

One artist in particular is going to great lengths to reach a new audience and promote language learning at the same time. In a program sponsored by the Goethe Institute, the Erfurt-based singer Clueso will tour the United States in March, leading workshops in which students will create their own hip-hop tracks in German. Teachers can even apply for their own workshops at

Beginning January 15, students can play a quiz game on the website to win prizes including an iPod and iTunes gift certificates. For the artistically inclined, StepintoGerman will also sponsor an online music video contest. Students can send clips of themselves rocking out in German, and the best clips may win a trip to Colorado to see Clueso in concert.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"



Clueso’s US Tour

Radio Goethe (German music for the adventurous listener)


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