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!
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.
For all those of you who like sports, you happen to be in the right city. No matter if it’s raining, snowing, foggy or freezing, the weather it is not an excuse for Berliners to go out for a jog.
The great number of green areas and huge parks spread around the city makes it easy to feel close to nature and to enjoy practicing sports without feeling the buzz of living in a capital. I like this atmosphere and to find people of all ages (young children, moms jogging with their babies, elder people doing aerobics…) united by the will of leading a healthy lifestyle.
I’m lucky to live next to Volkspark am Friedrichshain, a considerable big park with different playgrounds, football fields, basketball courts, tennis table facilities, a small lake, beach volleyball courts…it even has an open-air cinema! I recommend you to have a walk around it if you have some spare time during the weekend, specially when it’s sunny, like in the photo.
If you can’t afford a gym membership, now you have no excuses to go out and get in shape 😛
I’m sure you have found some differences between the gender that nouns have in German and in your mother tongue. This can be a little bit confusing, so you really need to learn at the same time the translation of every word as well as the “definit Artikel” that goes along with it. Just because the more grammar you learn the trickier it gets, it is essential to learn words and articles properly since the very beginning.
In my case, writing down every word next to its article many times helps me memorising them, but I know this can be very boring and it doesn’t work for everybody. An old technique is the post-it game, because it’s more visual and you learn unconsciously as part as your daily life.
It is very very simple, as you can see in the picture. Just get yourself a pack of post-it notes, write the name of the object in German and stick it to the object itself. In this way, every time you sit down for a meal you know you’ll be sitting on “der Stuhl” and your plate will be served on “der Tisch”.
You can increase the number of post-its after every lesson to learn the new vocabulary. Well, in case your flatmates don’t get mad at it!
The Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, most known as Berlinale, is a famous film festival that takes place in Berlin every year in February in the city. I’m sure you have seen all the posters and advertisements all over Berlin. And if you haven’t, you’re not paying enough attention to your surroundings 😉
It started on the 11th -last Thursday- but don’t be disappointed, you might still have the chance to attend it. The festival finishes this Sunday, so if you don’t have plans for the weekend yet, I’m giving you a good cultural suggestion!
Tickets for the movies can be purchased three days in advance in the central ticket counters (in Potsdamer Platz Arkaden, in the Kino International, in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and in the Audi City Berlin) and online. Or you can either queue on the same day of the screening, but it’s usually very crowded and most likely that the tickets are sold out by the time you reach the box office.
So my recommendation is that you have a look at the program online and get your tickets beforehand to avoid undesired surprises. It’s a unique and very special event, don’t miss the opportunity to go if you can!
Yesterday in class we went through the different types of plural forms for nouns in German, and it’s not always as easy as it seems. There are some rules that can apply to some words, but also many exceptions, so the though reality is that you must learn most of them by heart.
What did we do in class to make this more fun and easy to remember? We played a domino game where you had to connect al the pieces like a puzzle and make them fit. And trust me, it must seem like a piece of cake explained this way but it is a small challenge that makes the learning process more engaging and memorable.
Here you have some of my classmates very focused on their task, I’m sure they didn’t even realise I took this photo of them 🙂
I will come back to you soon with more German-language issues. The positive thing about being a beginner is that every day you learn something new for sure!
Berlin is a fantastic city, but after visiting the must-see tourist attractions, you might be in the mood for escaping the city buzz and stroll around the beach. Yes, you are reading that right. The beach. Because as many other non-coastal cities, Berlin needs a place where its citizens can have a bath and enjoy the sun.
In summer, it is really popular to go there, and you need to buy tickets to access the beach facilities. Although in winter, you can walk through the wood and reach the shore beside this area for free. The views are amazing at sunset, as you can see on the picture above. Waking until the end of the platform, breathing in and soothing while you watch the huge body of water. If you happen to enjoy a nice winter day, with a hint of sun, it is more than worth the ride. In my case I was also lucky to find that the surface of the lake is still frozen, which was amazing.
For those of you who are interested in checking it out, the Wannsee lake is located in the metropolitan area, so you can easily get there taking the S7 or S1 S-Bahn lines. If you want to visit the shore of the lake in winter, exit the train station, cross the road and turn left, then take the first path on your right, passing by a hostel and walk straight until you see the lake.
Hope you like it in there as much as I did!
After the first week has gone by, I would like to talk a little bit about my first impressions of the course in DeutschAkademie. First of all, I was really impressed by the huge number of different nationalities than can be seen under one roof. For instance, just in my class we have people from Afghanistan, Israel, Canada, USA, Bulgaria, Spain, Syria and Romania. This is no doubt a reason itself to get involved in a foreign language course, because you have the chance to get to know international people and different cultures and ways to see the world (and who knows, maybe make some life-long friends to visit in the future!).
Moreover, what I see really interesting is that learning Deutsch is connecting very diverse people with completely different backgrounds. No matter what our main reason is, but we are all there at our own sweet will to learn this challenging but rich language. And that is a good starting point to get to know each other and share experiences and also lending a hand when someone needs it.
So this first week has been mainly for introductions and knowing a bit about our lives, but this has come through a lot of speaking between us and we already have had fun! And to my own surprise, I found myself handling a short conversation on a bus just yesterday, where I could use all the sentences and knowledge we have been going through our lessons. That was a very rewarding feeling that boosted my motivation to keep improving.
I encourage you all to put yourselves in new situations to practice all that you’ve been studying every day. You might end up with a smile on your face and proud of your good job 🙂