Fotos vom 2. Stammtisch im März

Liebe Teilnehmer,

es war wieder ein sehr lustiger und unterhaltsamer Stammtisch mit euch gestern Abend im Café Berio. Wir freuen uns schon auf den nächsten Stammtisch mit euch allen!
Vielen Dank an alle die vorbeigekommen sind!

Euer DeutschAkademie Team

Mauer Park Flea Market

I’ve now had several interactions with locals that recommended a visit to the Flea Market at Mauer Park on Sunday. When a classmate indicated a similar interest, I asked to join, and we met up for a rainy Sunday stroll through the event.

First things first, we went during terrible weather and it was still relatively packed. I cannot imagine how busy it might be during the summer, but based on pictures on Google images, I would suggest being ready for a crowd. Also, FYI, the ground was extremely uneven, and not paved, so ladies, no high-heels or wobbly footwear. Additionally, several people told me that Berliners usually don’t even arrive at the market until 2PM or later, so there might be a more limited quantity of items if you are an early bird.

Booths ranged from antiques and vintage clothing to handmade goods and even food items like spices and sweets. There were also several snack areas with all kinds of yummy foods and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. I would say that almost every type of shopping was represented and if you’re looking for something, you can probably find it there. For example, I purchased a Middle Eastern spice called Za’tar that I ‘ve been looking for since my arrival in Berlin. Conversely, the person I was with tried on a variety of hats at a “hat shop.”

Although the shopping is considered the main event, my favorite part of the day was the people watching. While at Mauer Park, I heard many different languages being spoken, and the ages and races of the attendees were extremely varied. Some people had on colorful costumes, and others were dancing or blowing bubbles. As a San Francisco native, this sort of “vibe” appeals to me, and I found myself smiling all the way home. If this type of event appeals to you, I highly recommend a visit to this weekly unique Berlin affair.

Moving to Germany?

A lot of people ask me why I chose to move to Germany and learn a new language. The answer is simple: I really enjoy the culture and people, and living in a country makes it a lot easier to learn the language. As a not-so-young person, (I’m 40 years old) this was a big life decision, but one that I don’t regret.

Although some people would never consider a move like this, with just a little motivation, the tactical pieces aren’t too hard. Just like in most cities, Craigslist offers a variety of options for housing, and as an American, you can easily visit for 90 days on a tourist visa. There are some challenges, like mastering the transportation system, and of course, figuring out new cultures and customs. Learning these things, as well as the language becomes a lot easier when you are experiencing it every day, though….and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you find yourself ordering your morning latte with ease.

Coffee Klatch: German Class Edition

During every class, there is a brief break with some free time. During one of those breaks, it was suggested that it might be nice to go for coffee after class one day. Without hesitation, I agreed, as I had always been curious about my classmates. Although we spend 3 hours per day together, all of that time is spent focused on learning German. Now we would have an opportunity to get to know each other outside of the classroom.

Finally, the day came where we were to go together. As soon as we sat down, each person recapped their country of origin; Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Morocco and Syria were all represented. Although we were from different cultures and backgrounds, several themes emerged. We all loved to travel, and many of us had plans for the upcoming Easter holiday. Additionally, each of us had our favorite new German foods or drinks to recommend. As everyone spoke in turn, it became clear that we were having a lot of fun learning about this new city and country.

Before we knew it, 2 hours had passed, and the group dispersed with promises to get together again. Lots of smiles and waves as we separated, with each of us knowing a bit more about these people we spend so many hours with each day. Hopefully we’ll get together again soon as I truly enjoyed our short time together.

Fotos vom Kulturprogramm im März

Liebe Teilnehmer,

Am letzten Freitag haben wir bei unserem monatlichen Kulturprogramm das Deutsche Technikmuseum besucht. Die Führung unter dem Thema „Das Netz“ hat uns gezeigt, wie wir auf der Welt miteinander vernetzt sind. Vernetzt sind wir nicht nur über die modernen Medien wie Facebook, Instagram oder über das Smartphone. Auch schon zur Zeit der Pferdekutschen und Oldtimer waren Städte und Menschen z.B. über das Verkehrsnetz miteinander verbunden. Auch Freundschaften vernetzen und sind ein wichtiger Bestandteil in unserem Leben.

Denken wir mal ein paar Jahre zurück, hättet ihr vor 10 oder 20 Jahren geglaubt, dass die technischen Netze uns in so vielen Lebensbereichen beeinflussen werden? So hat man 1960 das Telefon zur Kontaktaufnahme in einer Tanzbar genutzt oder musste zum Telefonieren zu einer Telefonzelle laufen. Heute nehmen wir das Handy in die Hand und können überall und zu jeder Zeit telefonieren, texten oder bloggen. Auch im Alltag und in vielen Berufen sind der Computer und die E-Mails nicht mehr wegzudenken. Möglich macht dies das gut ausgebaute Netzwerk von Telefon- und Sendemasten, welche für die Datenübermittlung zuständig sind. Auch beim Shopping oder in der Musikwelt werden Daten und Informationen übermittelt und sollen eine Botschaft weitergeben.

Auch wir an der DeutschAkademie tragen zur Vernetzung bei. Schülerinnen und Schüler aus der ganzen Welt lernen bei uns und mit uns. Es entstehen Freundschaften, und wir lernen eine gemeinsame Sprache welche wir täglich nutzen um uns im Supermarkt, im Restaurant oder mit unseren Freunden verständigen zu können.

Wenn ihr ein Teil dieses Netzes sein möchtet, dann folgt uns auf Facebook oder unserem Blog unter
Viel Spaß mit den Fotos vom Museumsbesuch!

Euer DeutschAkademie-Team

2. Stammtisch im März

Liebe Teilnehmer,

habt ihr Lust auf nette Gesellschaft, gute Unterhaltung, ein spannendes Quiz sowie leckeres Essen und Getränke? Dann kommt am Mittwoch, den 23. März vorbei! Vor dem langen Oster-Wochenende treffen wir uns zu unserem Stammtisch in der 3. Kurswoche. Diesmal wieder um 20 Uhr im Café Berio am Nollendorfplatz! Wir freuen uns auf einen lustigen Abend mit euch!

Euer DeutschAkademie Team


Upscale Grocer in Berlin

So let’s say you want to cook something really fancy and you need the best ingredients, but you don’t know where to go in Berlin? Well then, Frische Paradies is the place for you. Although Berlin seems to have a lot of the “regular” grocery stores, fresh ingredients are somewhat tough to find. Instead the expectation is that you would go to a specialty store for the best ingredients. Enter Frische…a store I can only describe as a transcendental foodie experience.

When you first enter the store, you’ll see the cash registers (or Kasse) to your right. Behind these registers are small refrigerators with truffles, and other very expensive rarities. Straight ahead is the veggie and fruit section. To your left is the fresh fish area and further on you’ll find additional pasta and meat areas, (although no fresh butcher.) Throughout the store there are various stations where you can sample the goodies, including meats, cheeses, breads and even wines! The quality of the products is extremely high end and VERY expensive. With that said, when dealing with seafood and meat, higher quality is arguably better.

This past weekend I picked up some fresh mussels from Frische and the taste was outstanding. As you may know, mussels are minimally cooked, so freshness is synonymous with safety. This is a great example of where Frische is your best option. Conversely, when you leave the store, there is a lesser quality grocery store next door. I would recommend using Frische for your more necessarily “high quality” items, and then make a quick stop next door for your basics. Using this technique, you can guarantee that your dinner guests will be impressed, and you won’t break the bank.

Rice In: Onigiri sushi in Berlin

After you have tried all of the schnitzel, bread, cheese and roulade that Berlin has to offer, you may be ready for something a bit lighter! Enter my very favorite onigiri spot near Boxhagener Platz, Rice In .

At first glance, this restaurant isn’t much to look at. The tables are small and the service is sparse, (it’s usually just one very busy server). But, once you look past these shortfalls, you will be surprised at how fun and delicious onigiri is.

Basically Onigiri is just sushi (white) rice that is formed into a triangular shape wrapped with a strip of nori (edible seaweed). Inside you can request any number of foods, like kimchi, salmon or even tamago, (egg). The triangle comes wrapped in its own individual plastic, which you open by pulling a few tabs at the top and sides. That makes these snacks great for grabbing on the go and taking on a picnic or even to class as you can easily order them to take-away. So, stop by Rice In and try one of these fun and delicious treats. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

Fotos vom 1. Stammtisch im März

Liebe Teilnehmer,
die Stimmung beim Stammtisch in der Karaokebar Knutschfleck am Alexanderplatz war mal wieder sehr ausgelassen. Es gab kulinarische Berliner Spezialitäten, eine große Cocktailauswahl und Gesangs- und Tanzeinlagen. Vielen Dank für euer Kommen und bis zum nächsten Mal.
Euer DeutschAkademie-Team

Traveling Berlin with your new German language skills

German can be an intimidating language to learn, if only for the mere length of the words. But, the great part is, once you have a core set of nouns and verbs in your arsenal, German becomes a very manageable and logical language. For example, airplane in German is a basic combo of the words for “flight” and “machine” and dentist is simply “tooth doctor.” It seems that Germans prefer to just cobble words together to describe the thing that they are naming…which makes it easy for the rest of us.

Knowing this makes me a lot more confident of a learner. Even when I encounter a long word or a sentence, I can often find at least a few parts that I recognize. Once I have those in mind, I review and insert, and I can sometimes  figure out the basic idea.

My most recent experience with this technique came when I was trying to purchase a ticket for the train. I knew that I wanted to go one-way, but there were two tickets that looked like the right ones, so I took both words and broke them down:

Einzelfahrschein: I know that Ein means one…and Fahr means travel.

Kurzstrecke: I know that Kurz means short, but I have no idea what Strecke is?

From this I deduced that the Einzelfahrschein was what I wanted, since the trip I needed to make was actually about 20 minutes, and definitely wasn’t “short.” So, even though I wasn’t sure what the word was, I was able to figure out enough pieces of the puzzle to make my decision. My advice to anyone trying this technique is to be patient when you encounter a new word. Have fun with it, and try to recognize any of the pieces that you do know. I promise, once you start making your deductions and have a few successes under your belt, your confidence will grow and learning German will start being fun!