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Dictionaries

Andrea Miquel
Berlin, am 29. Februar 2016

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Wörterbuch = words book, a.k.a. dictionary. German makes sense, right? 🙂

Probably you had never thought before that a dictionary can become your new best friend, but truth is that when you learn a new language you hear and read words all the time which you absolutely have no idea what they could mean. So having a dictionary nearby can save you from more than one situation.

Sometimes google translate, although the most popular solution, is not enough to get the proper or more accurate translation. In my opinion, it is worth it to have a backup resource, like a traditional paper dictionary, or a good app on your smartphone that allows you to look up words and also check their gender and a few examples of use.

What I also recommend is to get, if you have the chance, one visual dictionary like the one you can see below. This was a birthday present and it’s very useful. It depicts all the vocabulary you can imagine and also some example sentences where words are used. It has many different categories and it’s not as boring as reading a word list. Pictures help memorising and also makes it more clear to understand the precise meaning.

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Check out in a book store if you can buy one in your own language, it’s a good resource that you’ll use for sure.

Cheers,

Andrea

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Weekly markets

Andrea Miquel
Berlin, am

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When it’s warm and sunny on the weekends, the last thing you want to do is stay at home all day. Trust me, you start appreciating the good weather more than you ever imagined when you live in Berlin.

The most natural thing to do on those days is to go out and walk around, go to a park, or maybe take the train or bus and go on a excursion outside the city. Although if you’re feeling kind of lazy and want to stay around your neighbourhood, probably the best option is to visit some weekly flea markets.

There are many street markets around Berlin, and very diverse depending on the area where they are being held. From my experience I can only talk about the ones I’ve just visited next to my place.

Wochenmarkt Kollwitzplatz (Prenzlauerberg): It’s a bit small but has a good mix of food and crafts stalls. You have a good offer of vegetables and Biofood if you’re into healthy nutrition. The location is nice, Prenzlauerberg is a beautiful neighbourhood to explore on foot.
Opening hours: Thursdays 12:00 – 19:00h / Saturdays 09:00 – 16:00h

Wochenmarkt / Flea Market Boxhagenerplatz: Tired of the poor quality of the food at the supermarkets? If you want to grab some fresh groceries, this is your place. Farmers sell their products every Saturday in this square in Friedrichshain. On Sundays though, there’s a flea market with second-hand stuff. A small Mauer Park market, but without tourists 😉
Opening hours: Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 – 15:30h

Hope you enjoy the market tip!

Cheers,

Andrea

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Places to study

Andrea Miquel
Berlin, am 26. Februar 2016

10_Places_to_studyI consider myself a very distracted person. When it comes to get down to serious work I lose my concentration very easily. Consequently, I need a very quiet place to focus just on reading and studying.

As probably as many of you at the moment, I live in a shared flat, which is super nice to have fun and enjoy the company of the flatmates but not really the best environment for studying. That’s the reason I’m writing this post. Where do you guys settle for studying or doing homework?

On one hand, the cafes are very tempting in Berlin: there’s a wide offer, they have comfortable places to seat and big tables, and it’s easy to find one with not too many people inside. The disadvantages are that it is still noisy, probably they’ll have Wi-Fi and you’ll spend some time checking your smartphone, and if you’re on a budget you’ve probably realised that coffee is far from cheap in Germany.

On the other hand, the city has many public libraries, called Stadtbibliothek, that you can access for free and enjoy reading in silence, use their desks and look up for more information on the dictionaries and support materials that they offer. As a withdraw I could mention that maybe you need to use public transport to get there, and if you’re feeling lazy this can make you lose your motivation.

In my opinion, libraries offer you better conditions for the studying process, but this really depends on every person, how do you feel about it and what suits your needs.

I have been going to the Heinrich-Böll-Bibliothek in Greifswalder Strasse 87, the one you can see on the picture above. Just in case anybody wants to visit it, it’s located straight out of the S-Bahn station Greifswalder Strasse, just behind Kaiser’s supermarket.

Cheers,

Andrea

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Berlin under the snow

Andrea Miquel
Berlin, am 25. Februar 2016

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The unpredictable weather in Berlin has its positive aspects too. Personally, I love seeing the city covered in white, because it’s a picture you won’t get to see during other seasons. It’s a nice excuse for going outside and discovering new places – or places you already know that look completely different under a layer of snow.

For instance, Tempelhof airport changes its huge flat surface from deep green to bright white. Ok, maybe it doesn’t sound too appealing put this way, but I have been there after the big snow storm in January and it was quite impressing. Everyone was walking around, building snowmen (yes, even tiny ones like in the photo), walking their dogs, starting snowball fights, etc. If you have some time out it’s a nice place to go and take some pictures.

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Another typical winter-postal picture is the one that you will find almost in every park: children and not-so-young folks riding those vintage wooden sleighs down the hills. It’s the popular entertainment activity when the snow comes, and it certainly looks fun. So fun that I was on the verge of sliding down the hill with a plastic bag as well.

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In any case, make sure to wear a pair (or two) of thick socks and waterproof shoes, otherwise you will get soaked to the bones. Or just check that there is some nice cafe around to drink something hot after being outside, like this Biergarten turned into winter mountain hut for the cold season.

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Cheers,

Andrea

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Fotos vom 2. Stammtisch im Februar

Vanessa Kley
Berlin, am
Liebe Teilnehmer,
wir hatten wieder einen lustigen Stammtisch-Abend mit euch im Café Berio. Überzeugt euch selbst von der guten Stimmung und schaut euch die Fotos an. Danke an alle, die gekommen sind und bis zum nächsten Mal.
 
Euer DeutschAkademie Team
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Why learning German

Andrea Miquel
Berlin, am 24. Februar 2016

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I’m not going to talk about facts and figures because you can find them everywhere on the internet, but you probably know that German is a very important language in Europe. So it doesn’t matter if you are a European citizen or you aren’t but you aim to live in this continent, it can be helpful for your career to speak German.

Besides the rational and professional reasons, there are other motivations to learn a language. In my opinion, the most important outcome of learning German is the opportunity to talk to local people. Of course English is widely spread and you can communicate with people using it, but you are losing so many things on the way!

A language is an important part of the culture, and by studying and understanding it you get to know the reasons behind many costumes and traditions in that country. And moreover, as you might have experienced when trying to speak German, we all feel insecure using a language we are not used to, so local people might feel also uncomfortable like you when they have to speak in English.

Give it a try and I’m sure people will appreciate it and will be more open to help you and handle a conversation!

Cheers,

Andrea

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2. Stammtisch im Februar

Vanessa Kley
Berlin, am
2. Stammtisch im Februar
 
Liebe Teilnehmer,
heute Abend ist es wieder so weit! Wir treffen uns zum DeutschAkademie Stammtisch im Café Berio am Nollendorfplatz. Kommt doch einfach vorbei und bringt eure Freunde mit. Es geht um 20 Uhr los. Wir freuen uns auf euch!
 
Euer DeutschAkademie-Team
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Eindrücke vom Kulturprogramm im Februar

Vanessa Kley
Berlin, am 23. Februar 2016

Liebe Teilnehmer, hier ein paar Eindrücke vom Kulturprogramm am vergangenen Freitag im Museum für Film und Fernsehen. Leider durften wir in der interessanten Ausstellung keine Fotos machen. Wir hoffen, dass ihr Spaß hattet und vielleicht den ein oder anderen Film-Tipp mit nach Hause genommen habt.
Euer DeutschAkademie-Team

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