Task: An assigned piece of work often to be finished within a certain time; something hard or unpleasant that has to be done; duty, function, subjection to adverse criticism, reprimand.

Job: A piece of work; a small miscellaneous piece of work undertaken on order at a stated rate; the object or material on which work is being done; something produced by or as if by work; something that has to be done; a specific duty, role, or function.

Orient: To cause to face or point toward the east; to set or arrange in any determinate position especially in relation to the points of the compass; to ascertain the bearings of; to set right by adjusting to facts or principles; to acquaint with the existing situation or environment; to direct toward the interests of a particular group.


MerriamWebster: a contingent event or condition: such as an event (such as an emergency) that may but is not certain to occur trying to provide for every contingency; something liable to happen as an adjunct to or result of something else, the contingencies of war.

A contingency plan, also known colloquially as Plan B, is a plan devised for an outcome other than in the usual (expected) plan. It is often used for risk management for an exceptional risk that, though unlikely, would have catastrophic consequences.

Planning – another definition

Definition: Planning is the fundamental management function, which involves deciding beforehand, what is to be done, when is it to be done, how it is to be done and who is going to do it. It is an intellectual processwhich lays down an organisation’s objectives and develops various courses of action, by which the organisation can achieve those objectives. It maps out exactly, how to attain a specific goal.

validity. Validität.

The validity of a plan (validity) cannot be taken for granted and taken for granted. A plan is merely an abstract depiction or model of the reality to be expected in successive steps, which moreover still has to be designed over time. Therefore, as for all models, the planning reflects a simplified image of the expected future reality.

Die Gültigkeit einer Planung (Validität) kann nicht als gegeben und selbstverständlich angenommen werden. Eine Planung ist lediglich eine abstrakte Abbildung oder ein Modell der in aufeinanderfolgenden Schritten zu erwarteten Realität, die zudem im weiteren Zeitablauf noch zu gestalten ist. Daher gilt wie für alle Modelle, dass die Planung ein vereinfachendes Abbild der erwarteten künftigen Realität wiedergibt.

Planung. Vorwegnahme.

Wikipedia in German defines Planung as: Planning describes the human capability or activity of thoughtful – or thought-anticipation – of actions that appear to be necessary in order to reach a goal.

Die Planung beschreibt die menschliche Fähigkeit Fähigkeit oder Tätigkeit zur gedanklichen Vorwegnahme von Handlungsschritten, die zur Erreichung eines Zieles notwendig scheinen.

Definition of Plan

MerriamWebster online states four definitions for the term plan. Duden, the famous German dictionary, offers almost the exact same definitions. We’re interested in the second definition: “a detailed formulation of a program of action.”

1. A drawing or diagram drawn on a plane: such as a top or horizontal view of an object, a large-scale map of a small area.

2. A method for achieving an end, an often customary method of doing something, a detailed formulation of a program of action.

3. An orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective.

4. A detailed program (as for payment or the provision of some service), i.e. pension plan.


From Merriam-Webster: a usually short narrative of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident. Synonyms: story, tale.

The artful placement of an anecdote is key to being persuasive in the American culture. Stories are convincing. They speak to our experience. Storytelling. Great leaders in business, politics, culture know how to speak to the imagination of their audience. Listen to former President Bill Clinton speak at the funeral service for Aretha Franklin:

The Byzantine official Procopius wrote three historical works in Greek. In the first two, he dealt with wars and public works projects, but the third was something of a departure from this kind of history. Referred to as “Anekdota,” from the Greek a-meaning “not,” and ekdidonai, meaning “to publish,” it contained bitter attacks on the emperor Justinian, his wife, and other notables of contemporary Constantinople. 

Clinton’s nominating speech at the 2012 Democratic Convention nominating Barack Obama for a second term as president is considered a masterpiece in persuasion. It is full of fascinating anecdotes.

German language aggressive?

An American woman in Germany: “This video was so fun to make! German gets made fun for sounding aggressive (but it’s not if you watch this video!), but little did we know, French had some unexpected funny moments too for sounding so short 🙂 Watch and see what I mean.”

YouTube comments:

“The German guy was so friendly and seemed so huggable! I really liked him. I’m learning German so I know sometimes there’s a stereotype about Germans being grumpy but I know it’s totally not true.”

“As a German I actually laughed at some German words for the first time. Because every time I watch comparison video they speak German way too aggressively but here the pronunciation is true to the original, which actually makes stuff like gums vs. Zahnfleisch funny to think about.”

Longer! Longer! Longer!

Christoph Waltz, an Austrian who often makes jokes about Germans in a rather gratuitous way, puts Jimmy Fallon to the test with a quiz on the definitions of long German words, like Bezirksschornsteinfegermeister.

YouTube comments:

“For non German speakers: The reason our words are so long is that you can basically string as many words as you want together and it would still count as long as it makes sense.”

“Can we just appreciate Waltz’s unwillingness to go along with Jimmy’s horrid fake laugh? He just stares at jimmy until he stops lol. An absolute icon.”

“You know you’re German when you don’t think the words are long at all.”

More False Friends

Deutsche Welle – Languages borrow words from each other all the time. But if the meaning gets changed along the way, things can get pretty confusing. Meet the Germans presenter Rachel Stewart takes a look at some more English words that have been given a new meaning in Germany.

Rachel is on a mission to investigate the idiosyncrasies of daily life in Germany. Every two weeks she explores a new topic – from beer to nudity to complicated grammar.

Rachel moved from the UK to Germany in 2016. As a relative newcomer she casts a fresh eye over German clichés and shares her experiences of settling into German life. You’ll find more from Meet the Germans on YouTube or at dw.com/MeettheG