Na klar!- Of course! Lackeys Learn German

Lackey's German Text Book

Among the sounds of “good morning” and “how are you?” you’ll hear Lackeys (employees at Groundspeak) sharing a “Guten Morgen!” or “Wie geht’s?” when passing in the hallway. Is this because we have suddenly become fluent in German? Sadly, no, but we are trying! 18 Lackeys met twice a week for eight weeks to learn how to better understand and communicate in German. The Founders of Geocaching.com sat next to Lackeys who answer emails from around the world and other Lackeys who commonly communicate with German geocachers.

German language lessons at Groundspeak make sense. More than ten percent of geocaches located around the world today can be found on German soil. To see the incredible growth of geocaches in Germany, watch the YouTube video on this page. The video ends in 2009 when there were more than 118,000 geocaches in the country. Two years later, there are now more than 180,000 active geocaches in Germany.

After eight weeks of lessons, Lackeys moved from, “Mein Name ist….” (My name is… ) and “Wie bitte?” (Beg you pardon) to mostly understanding “Jeremy und Bryan kommen per Fahrrad vorbei.” (Jeremy and Bryan are coming by on their bikes).  Lackey Annie Love recently met some German geocachers in the Groundspeak lobby with some freshly learned language skills: “Woher kommen Sie?” (where do you come from?)

Understandably Lackey’s are not fluent in German… yet. More German language classes are in the works.

As the global geocaching community grows, Groundspeak Lackeys strive to understand the local languages, culture and most importantly how to best serve local geocaching communities. You can choose to read the main sections of Geocaching.com in any one of eleven different languages. Geocaching unites more than five million geocachers around the world, regardless of whether they say “Hello” or “Hallo” or “Ahoj” or “Hej” or “Hola” or “Ciao” or “Bonjour” or “Olá” or “Witam” or “Tere,” we all say “Geocaching.”



  • Geoborkis

    Thumbs up! – Daumen hoch!

  • Nordhesse

    Tolle Sache! Viel Erfolg!


  • Riepichiep

    Wonderfull – and perhaps to add some motivation: Not only in Germany, but the very active caching community in Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg speak german – at least most of them.

  • zansquare

    wow, is it possible to make video like this with caches in czech republic? please 🙂

  • RebeccaD

    Maybe we can help you by learning our language 😉

  • Roland Dieterich

    The original version of this was done by user GarenKreiz from France. As far as I know he is happy to share the Python code to generate such a video. Of course you also need a list of all caches (plus date placed and coordinates for each). A bunch of pocket queries will give you that.

  • -jha-

    Vorsicht! Achtung: Vergraben verboten!

  • that’s together with Austria and Swiss we bring it to 15% if All Caches World Wide … and thats a big Story.

    13% Germany 0.52 Cache /qkm (1qkm = 0.3861qmi)
    1,3% Austria 0.21 Cache /qkm
    0,9% Swiss 0.3 Cache /qkm

    even Austria and Swiss has more Cache like France =)

  • Let me quote on of your greatest composers of the last century:
    (Frank Zappa, A Token Of My Extreme, found on Joe’s Garage)
    “L. ron hoover: Yes, but if you want a really good one, you’ll have to learn a foreign language…
    Joe: German, for instance?
    L. ron hoover: That’s right… A lot of really cute ones come from over there!”

  • Jörg (DWJ_Bund)

    Nach den USA ist der deutschsprachige Markt (Deutschland, Östereich, Schweiz, …) der zweitgrößte Markt für Groundspeak. Da ist es sicher sehr hilfreich, auch in der gleichen Sprache mit den Benutzern und auch möglichen Beschwerdeführern aus Jagd, Waldbesitzer &Co. direkt kommunizieren zu können. Bisher laufen so einige Nachfragen, Beschwerden oder gar Strafanzeigen bei der Infoplattform geocaching.DE auf und das ist bei GC-Caches eben eine Baustelle von Groundspeak

  • Ich komme im Juli zum Abfragen nach Seattle 🙂
    (I will come to Seattle in July to do a test with you …)

  • cezanne

    It appears totally inappropriate to me to reply to an English text on a US-website in German. Even if some people at Groundspeak start to learn German (my appreciation goes to them for their effort), it is not a good idea in my opinion to write a rather complex comment in German only. I am sure that you had a more than a crash course of a few hours in English.

    Even if Germany has a high cache density, geocaching is still an international activity and English is the natural language of geocaching and should be used whenever possible and when we wish to make mutual understanding as easy as possible.

  • Jörg (DWJ_Bund)

    I very appreciate that groundspeak will now start to communicate also in other languages and that they took the time to learn. And I have personally told this Bryan and Thomas last week on our meeting in Kassel.

    Well, cezanne, all other communication with Bryan or or other persons from groundspeak is done in english. I really dont know, why you place this note here… What’s your intension?

    Kind Regards

    Jörg (DWJ_Bund)

  • tvchick :)

    Ich denke wirklich it’ s
    ehrfürchtig, wenn ich Pufferspeicher oder trackables mit Text in anderen
    Sprachen finde. Er erinnert mich, wie sehr International und folglich
    Universalgeocaching ist!

    (Ich übersetzte dieses von Englisch unter Verwendung eines
    on-line-Aufstellungsortes. Ich hoffe, dass er sinnvoll! ist)

  • Blackblogbox

    Hi guys, nice effort to learn german. That is really nice of you guys. But do you really want to know what “Oberweserdampfschifffahrtkapitänsmützenschirm” means? 🙂 English is alright for me. Here is another suggestion: Use local artist for creating the souvenir pics. (The german ones f.e. are looking a little bit too much like an american would think they should. For a german that design feels – you know – like from 1940+.) It would give a nice participation opportunity

    for locals. What do you say?

  • Sturmreiter

    No, it’s not really reasonable, I am sorry. But don’t worry, with a little imagination and even fewer knowledge of English, one gets the idea quite well.

  • cezanne

    What I intended should be obvious: This blog is read by many people all over the world. This is not a personal communication between you and whomever. In your private communications you are free to use any language that finds mutual consent, but this is a public blog. Why in the world does it make sense to write your first message in German? Just because it is easier for you or why else? Imagine what chaos resulted if everyone here would write in his native language.

    Moreover, it is quite naive to expect that it ever will work out that complex issues like law suits are handled in German by Groundspeak lackeys. It is much easier for people in Germany to deal with these issues in English as they typically have learnt English in school for several years and have not only attended a crash course.