Aaaah… full panic! It is three o’clock on a Friday afternoon. All the cargo that is being sent to me from Sweden to Polarstern is missing some mysterious export declaration number, it is stuck in customs and can’t be loaded it until the right number is on the right document. Sven, an extremely helpful technician at Gothenburg’s University is in contact with a German company that hopefully can help us obtain the missing numbers… all of a sudden I get an e-mail from him saying that they need a detailed description of all the goods and its intended usage – in German. Now. I did two years of German back in high school – and I’ve brushed it off a bit lately with Duolingo since I know I’ll spend most of the winter on a German ship… But I’m not quite at the point where I can describe oceanographic instrumentation on the fly. I start with google translate – while desperately calling everyone I know who speaks German. No Nadine, No Mirjam… but Stefanie finally saves my day and makes sure that the text that google translate has produced isn’t just garbage. The document is on its way through cyberspace to the German company – and I’m back to correcting my student’s lab reports. Luckily, they are not in German!