1. Stammtisch im März

Liebe Teilnehmer,

pünklich zum Frühlingsanfang und zu Beginn unserer März-Kurse würden wir uns freuen, wenn ihr wieder an unserem Stammtisch, am Donnerstag, den 10.03., teilnehmt. Treffpunkt ist die Cocktailbar «Knutschfleck» am Alexanderplatz. Ab 20 Uhr geht es los! Wir freuen uns schon auf euch!

Euer DeutschAkademie-Team

Knutschfleck 1.KW März

Kulturporgramm im März

Liebe Teilnehmer,
im März führt uns das Kulturprogramm ins Deutsche Technikmuseum. Wir werden uns während der einstündigen Führung durch das Museum ausgiebig mit dem Thema «Vernetzung» auseinandersetzen und können uns im Anschluss noch frei im Museum bewegen. Meldet euch einfach bis zum 17. März bei uns im Büro an. Wir freuen uns auf euch!

Euer DeutschAkademie-Team

Deutsches Technikmuseum

Aufwiedersehen

16_Aufwiedersehen_04Yesterday was the last day of this intensive course in February. Through it we have learnt many things that sounded like come from another planet when we landed in Berlin.

Some advantages are, for instance, being able to handle short conversations (like introducing yourself and talk about your background and what do you like or do), getting around in the public transport and ordering in a restaurant, inviting people for dinner, proposing plans, talking about past situations that recently happened… And step by step you realise you understand more things every day, more than you think you do actually.

But the biggest outcome of the whole course is also getting to know great people, both classmates and teachers, which make your experience more memorable. Our class met yesterday evening for having dinner all together, each one of us bringing some food speciality. Food and language unite people, and that’s applies all over the world, no matter where you are 🙂 And in the end, having these nice memories is what makes your day.

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So if you’re still indecisive about moving to Berlin and study German, I wouldn’t doubt it any second more. Even if you come alone, you will always have a small family with the people you meet at the academy.

Hope you had fun reading my posts. See you again around Berlin!

Andrea

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Talking about cool bars and hangouts in Berlin, you definitely cannot miss this place! The Monkey bar is located on the top floor of the 25h hotel in Berlin (Budapester Str. 40) next to the Zoologischer Garten.

Just the main hall itself it’s nice to see, as depicted in the photos below. But then when you take the lift and go up, what you find in the bar it’s just amazing. You have a panoramic view of the whole zoo, with huge windows and the sitting places facing them. It’s bright and very nicely decorated, the atmosphere of the place is very cool.

You can go there any day of the week to have a coffee or a cocktail, and they also offer snacks and small dishes (I had falafel myself and it was a big plate and it tasted really good). But if you are in the mood for a big meal, you should also check out Neni restaurant, which is at the opposite end of the corridor where the lift is. I can’t talk about the restaurant from my experience because I haven’t been inside (yet), but it is always fully booked and I heard very nice opinions about it.

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If you have still some days left after your course finishes, or you are staying in the city longer, I think this is a must-do that should be crossed on your list as soon as possible.

Cheers,

Andrea

Trennbare Verben

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During the last days of the A1.1 course it got a little bit trickier (but also more interesting!). One of my favourite grammar topics so far are the trennbare Verben, verbs that always go with a preposition before the verb on the infinitive form, but that you have to split when conjugating them.

This can seem like a big headache, because the preposition goes at the end of the sentence, therefore you don’t know the exact meaning until you hear the very last word. But that challenge is what makes it interesting too. Also, these verbs that we have learnt are most of them about transportation and getting around, so it has been a very useful lesson to understand most of the warning signs and spoken messages when using the public transport in Berlin.

Did you know about the existence of these verbs? I can’t wait to learn more on the next level!

Cheers,

Andrea

Shopping time

13_Bikini_Berlin_01Until today I have been recommending you activities and places to visit related to culture or exercising, so maybe it is time to talk about more trivial stuff: shopping time!

When it comes to decide where to go shopping, although every neighbourhood has its own shopping malls and big stores, there are two main commercial centres: Alexanderplatz and Kurfürstendamm straße. DeutschAkademie has two locations, each of them right next to these areas.

Alexanderplatz is more about huge department stores and shopping malls, all of them gathered around the main square, that’s why it’s so convenient. You don’t have to walk far to find everything you need.

On the other hand, Kurfürstendamm straße has a wider variety of shops, but most of them are located in ground floors, facing the street. The disadvantage is that you have to walk more and when the weather is not nice probably is not comfortable to be carrying many bags.

But what I really like about this area next to Zoologischer Garten is the shopping Centre Bikini Berlin. It was refurbished recently, and the inner wall was replaced by a huge glass window that allows you to see the zoo (the monkey’s area) from the main hall. Moreover, the stores that you can find have been delicately chosen to meet the standards of good design, innovation and amazing visuals. The whole place runs under this desire of being innovative, magic and to offer an extraordinary shopping experience. They even have a garden on top, from where you can also see a panorama of the zoo and find more shops.

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On the whole, I think they accomplished their goal to offer a different and out of the ordinary experience. Even if it’s just to see the place and have a coffee, I would 100% recommend you to visit it before you leave Berlin!

Cheers,

Andrea

Dictionaries

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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

Weekly markets

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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

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

Berlin under the snow

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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