How baby songs become language

By Michael Seifert All newborns could learn any complex spoken language in the world. However, cultural differences are already apparent in the first sounds that babies make. This is proven by the long-standing research findings of Professor Kathleen Wermke from the University of Würzburg, which she recently summarised in the book “Babygesänge. How crying becomes speech”. The head of the Centre for Pre-Linguistic Development and Developmental Disorders and her team have observed, for example, that French babies actually cry with an accent. Their melody line runs from low to high, while babies of German-speaking mothers cry with a falling melody,… Read More

Doing a doctorate in Germany

The awarding of a doctoral degree by a university is known as a doctorate. It takes place as part of a specific procedure lasting several years, during which doctoral candidates demonstrate their ability to carry out independent academic work. Once the examinations have been successfully completed and all formal requirements have been met, the university or faculty responsible awards the academic degree of “Doctor”. The doctorate involves writing a scientific paper, the dissertation, and defending it in a type of examination. Many universities also offer structured doctoral programmes that include special courses and supervision structures. An alternative option is a… Read More

What to do in accidents involving wild animals?

It happened at 6.40 a.m. on the country road to Reusten: a shadow, a bang and hair from a deer in the radiator grille. The driver looked around. But there was no sign of an injured animal anywhere. He drove on to work and only called the police from there. Such accidents are not uncommon. Around 300,000 wild animals, from hares to wild boars, are hit or run over every year in Germany. What should drivers do if an animal runs into their path? Experts say: brake and hold on to the steering wheel, risk a collision instead of swerving… Read More

Payment card: data is only estimated

It already exists in the Ortenau district in Baden. It is also due to be introduced in the Zollernalb district at the beginning of April: the payment card. Depending on the specific version, asylum seekers and tolerated persons will no longer receive cash from the authorities. However, this does not apply to refugees from Ukraine, as they receive citizen’s benefits. With the new regulation, the federal and state governments want to make it no longer possible to transfer money to the home countries and possibly use it to pay smugglers. Those who fall under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act will… Read More

tünews provides facts about the elections on 9 June

Citizens have a lot to decide this year. On Sunday, 9 June, as every five years, there will be local elections in Baden-Württemberg as well as European elections. Many refugees are now German citizens. They can go to the polls or vote by post. Since 2014, 16 and 17-year-olds have also been allowed to vote in local elections in Baden-Württemberg. They can have a say in who should represent their interests on the municipal council, local council and district council in the 1101 towns and municipalities and 35 districts in Baden-Württemberg. In the elections to the European Parliament (European elections),… Read More

Cannabis legal for adults

Adults have been allowed to smoke weed in Germany since 1 April—if they comply with certain rules. The Bundestag and Bundesrat have decided that the possession of 25 grams of dried cannabis is permitted in public. At home, anyone over the age of 18 may even possess 50 grams. Smoking is also permitted in public, but not within 100 metres of schools, daycare centres, youth centres or sports facilities. Smoking pot is also prohibited in pedestrianised areas between 7am and 8pm. Young people are still not allowed to smoke or possess marijuana or cannabis. Dealing also remains prohibited. Anyone who… Read More

“April, April”

Always on April 1, people in Germany make an effort to “send other fellow human beings into April.” They tell or write then invented story or fantasy information to mislead the listeners or readers. These so-called April Fools’ Day hoaxes occur in the office, in the family, at school, but also in newspapers or on the news. The hoax is usually resolved with a shout of “April Fool’s Day.” There is no clear reason for the April Fool’s joke and why it falls on April 1. What is clear, however, is the fun associated with these April Fools’ Day pranks.… Read More

The clock goes forward at Easter

Next Sunday, 31 March 2024, Central European Time (CET), which is officially valid throughout Europe, will be changed to “summer time”. Anyone who is still awake in the early morning will set their clock forward from 2 am to 3 am. This means sleeping one hour shorter. This time change is based on Directive 2000/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 January 2001. tun24032007 Blick zum Stiftskirchenturm mit der Uhr. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Oula Mahfouz. 001724      

Ukrainian film “20 Days in Mariupol” wins Oscar

The documentary “20 Days in Mariupol” by director and videographer Mstislav Chernov has won an Oscar in the “Best Documentary” category. This was announced during the live broadcast of the 2024 Academy Awards ceremony on the evening of March 11. This is the first Oscar for Ukraine. The film depicts the events at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, when Russia began destroying peaceful towns in Ukraine. In particular, the film shows the first days of the siege of Mariupol, which was surrounded and shelled by the Russians. The only team of journalists stuck in the besieged city of Mariupol—reporters… Read More

Low turnout in Iranian elections

“This time there really was a boycott”: this is how exiled Iranian and women’s rights activist Mina Ahmadi commented on the elections in Iran at the Women’s Film Days in Tübingen at the beginning of March. The figures also show this: At around 41 per cent, the turnout in the first elections after the mass protests in autumn 2022 was lower than ever before—even though religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had declared voting a religious duty. Workers, students and women are “very sceptical of the regime”, said Ahmadi in Tübingen. Around 25 million of the approximately 61 million eligible voters… Read More

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