We are happy to announce that we have decided to somewhat expand our company homepage under http://mahler-uebersetzungen.jimdo.com/blog/


From now on it will include a blog section. The current idea is to regularly include our own shortish texts and possibly pictures. The texts will most often be in simple English and include a small list of vocabulary.

Happy Easter - Frohe Ostern!



So below you can see a few pictures I took some time ago here in our village. As you can see it is mostly a tree but includes the local protestant church. This tree is a somewhat special, mostly due to its location. Living in a small village we do not really have a town centre as such. The closest you get is a small stretch on and behind the main street where among other things the primary school and the biggest church (the protestant one) are located. The tree is a chestnut tree but although it is autumn there are neither pretty leaves nor actual chestnuts to be had. Indeed this tree is sick, suffering from “Pseudomonas syringae“ a bacterium which, according to the experts will finally kill it in five years or less. Most of its crown was cut down in an effort to safe it, however all hope is lost. The tree is to be felled and replaced with a new tree. So this might be the last chance I get to create a monument for this tree.

It is more than 120 years old horse chestnut tree has been classified as a natural monument since 1987. I did not know that and honestly for most of my life, I did not care. What I and the other kids did care about was that the tree was ideally suited for what we would call “bengeln”. This is a word I have never ever heard in any other context, but the process it describes is very simple: you stand under the tree and throw items, most often sticks or gym bags, straight up into the tree. This way you try to knock down more and fresh chestnuts. Never mind that there are more than enough chestnuts on the ground already or that you can't eat them, getting as many as possible down is the point. Great fun can be had by all, especially in the often necessary second round where you start throwing sticks and other gym bags up, trying to dislodge the gym bags which have become stuck in the branches in the first round.  ;-)

I supposed if you did not want that to happen you should not have had the tree planted between the primary school and the (school) gym. So although I have not done this for literally decades, I will probably always remember the “Bengelbaum”.

At least there will be a new tree planted when the old one has to go. It is supposed to be a littleleaf linden. While I try to stay open-minded and not be unfair to the tree before I've ever seen it, I currently have a hard time believing it will be anything like before.

Vocabulary list

chestnut                 Kastanie

Winterlinde             littleleaf linden

natural monument  Naturdenkmal

horse chestnut       Rosskastanie

sweet chestnut      Esskastanie

Meet Karl Wilhelm, the baby hippo – a tour through Karlsruhe Zoo

An interesting name for a hippo, certainly has an African ring to it, doesn’t it? ;-)

Recently Karlsruhe celebrated its 300th anniversary. This coincided with the happy occasion of the birth of a hippopotamus in Karlsruhe Zoo. So he was named after the city’s founder the Margrave of Baden-Durlach Karl III. Wilhelm (Charles William).

Now I was lucky enough to enjoy a guided tour in English of Karlsruhe Zoo, at a reasonable price ,check the website (German only, sorry). The 90 minutes just flew past, the guide, a very friendly and knowledgeable Canadian gentleman, also offers tours in French. The topic of the tour was habitats around the world. Side note: did you know that deserts are defined by (lack of) rainfall – not temperature? So Antarctica is a desert e.g.

We started our round at the elephants’ enclosure where we could see the two older and one younger elephant – unfortunately the younger elephant is kept apart from the older ladies as she is a bit too playful. One of the older elephants had been knocked over by her and because of the pachyderm’s arthritis they needed a crane to get her back on her feet. Consider that the next time you are struggling to get up in the morning.  ;-)

Next, of course “wee” Karl Wilhelm, one of the stars of the tour. Pictured here with his mum. Hippos actually do not feed on aquatic plants, they are nocturnal grazers. They leave the bodies of water they live in and feed on land.





enclosure  - Gehege

Margrave – Markgraf

to coincide –hier: zusammenfallen

hippo / hippopotamus – Nilpferd

habitat - ( natürlicher) Lebensraum

desert – Wüste

pachyderm – Dickhäuter

aquatic plant - Wasserpflanze

One of the elephants, no crane in sight :-)

Remember the days before the internet?


Some time ago I was looking for my new SIM card for my new mobile phone, since I was going to go to my phone provider and sort something out. After I had explicitly told them I only wanted a new phone and a new contract if I could keep my old SIM card and I was falsely given to understand that this would work.  This was not the case and I was greeted by a ridiculously high bill which I was going to question. Anyway I looked all the places the card could or logically should be, No luck. I started searching wider and wider and somehow ended up tidying up and sorting out about half of my book shelves and my night stand. I did something then which is quite rare for me: I threw things out. I am a great believer in keeping things since you never know when they might come in handy again. 


However most of the things I encountered and threw out were either complete magazines or magazine clippings and articles. Don't get me wrong, they were all about interesting things no doubt but do I really need half a cubic metre of 15 year old information on different possible careers? Articles about diving to the wreck of the Titanic in the 90s? The newest information on solar energy and endangered species available in 1998? The truth is that while we might still be far from a paperless office, thanks to the internet all this information and more is easily available with a bit of search effort and time. No need to sort through articles, cut them out and order them in thematically coded folders anymore. Especially if you try to keep up to date on certain topics, this is no longer the most rational way to do this. Both the world we live in (and others don't forget Mars :-) ) and the knowledge about these worlds might rapidly change at any moment.


So this is a loss I can very much live with, since it most likely is only either a temporary (if no internet resources are available) or perceived information loss. So my bookshelves now have more space for actual books and are easier to dust. :-)


The SIM card of course wasn't on any of the bookshelves either but in the last place I looked, where it did not belong. By the way, having tidied up the day before I spent a rather uncomfortable ten minutes searching for something totally different the next day. :-)  

Autumn is upon us!


How do I know that? Easy. My mother decided that today was the day that various plants had to be cut back without mercy in the garden. For the really big or hard to reach plants my parents will ask the professional gardeners to come with their equipment to handle for example the one apple tree. However, my mother decided to do as much as possible herself. My father was set loose on the lilac and the laurel with the pruning shears, I armed myself with secateurs and helped cutting the plant cuttings into smaller pieces, so that they could be dealt with. Neither my father nor I are horticultural experts as can be seen in this exchange:


A: “What about those two hydrangeas? Want me to cut them?“


B: ”Two hydrangeas? We only have one“


Followed by a lengthy discussion concerning the identity of various branches. Turns out it was one plant with two flowers. :-) Everything worked out in the end, nobody got injured and my mum's extra special peony, which she had received many years ago from a friend of a friend once again has enough light to strive and survive. All in all I count it as a success.







Secateurs                                            Gartenschere


Pruning shears                                    Astschere


Lilac                                                   Fliederbusch, die Farbe lila


Laurel                                                 Kirschlorbeer


Plant cuttings                                      Grüngut


Peony                                                 Pfingstrose


Hydrangea                                         Hortensie

Alex’s cooking scrapbook

As part of this segment I would like to share my ideas and experiences in the kitchen. 

My cooking is mainly to a fairly sensible budget and vegetarian. Also I love to combine elements of different cuisines.


“Mediterranean Maultaschen”

Maultaschen, or as they are often described “Swabian ravioli” are most easily bought ready-made and come in a variety of fillings. In this case vegetarian with spinach etc. Note we are neither from Swabia nor do we live in Swabia, but in Baden. :-)

4 portions

2 packs of Maultaschen (8 in total)

1 small onion or to taste

2 cloves of garlic or to taste

1 aubergine

1 long red pepper (not hot)

6 medium size tomatoes

Green pesto (Pesto alla genovese with basil, pine nuts, Grana Padano cheese)

Seasoning for the aubergine (cinnamon, ground cumin, parsley, salt)

Tomato purée triple concentrated

Olive oil

Chop the aubergine and mix with a decent amount of salt in a bowl to draw out the bitter liquids, let this go on for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile dice the onion and garlic finely and heat the olive oil in a pan. Cut the pepper into small pieces, remember to remove the seeds and the white or light coloured inner “ribs”.

Use half of the onion and all of the garlic and put into the pan at a low to medium heat ca. 100° C on induction, brown them gently. Also add the pepper.

Cut the Maultaschen into slices of about 2 cm and add to the pan. Drain the aubergine and wash off the salt, give the slices a good squeeze now mix with the seasoning (cinnamon etc.). Add the aubergine to the pan. Increase the heat to a medium level 140° C and let the Maultaschen slices brown, turn occasionally. After about 10-15 minutes they should be done.


Cut the tomatoes into 4-6 slices a tomato depending on size, heat olive oil in another pan add the remaining diced onion and stew until nearly transparent over a low to medium heat. Add the tomatoes and 2-3 tablespoons of green pesto and 2 teaspoons of tomato pureé. Stir well and let the sauce thicken.

Serve together and add herb quark to taste


Ingredients (for 8 pieces)

250 g spinach (fresh or frozen)

4 eggs

200 g Feta cheese

200 g flour

100 ml low-fat milk

1 pack of baking powder

1 tablespoon crushed thyme

Salt, freshly ground pepper

½ tsp mild curry powder

100 g of sweet corn (can)

250 g carrots

100 g smoked ham (optional)

Baking tin 26cm diameter


Wash/thaw spinach. Separate the eggs, mix egg yolks well with feta, flour, milk, baking powder, thyme and ½ teaspoon salt. Season with pepper and curry. Beat egg whites, mix beaten egg whites into the dough. Preheat oven to 200 ° (180 °) top / bottom heat (fan assisted).

Drain sweet corn. Peel and grate carrots, mix with sweet corn and half of the dough, put into the greased baking tin. Squeeze spinach, mix with the remaining dough and gently layer in the form on the carrot dough.

Optional cut ham into small pieces and spread on the quiche.

Bake in the oven about 45 minutes, 35 with fan oven.


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