Berlin

Blog 12 by Ale

Moin, Moin!

Hamburg is located only three hours (two hours if you use the ICE train) from the capital of Germany. You can go there by train, flight, car or bus and I recommend a three-day visit to this beautiful city that has lived the history of this country and where memory is present in every corner.

I had a three-hour glimpse at tourist sites, but three days of living in Berlin as a local, going to one of the biggest markets in Kreuzberg, visiting a Flohmarkt and touring the Neukölln area.

By the way, speaking of tourist places, I walked from Alexanderplatz to the Brandenburg Gate along Bundesstraße, where the neoclassical architecture is in all its splendor and I was in Bernauer Straße, knowing a little (really very little) of the traces of the wall that divided Germany for 30 years.

I’m more than sure I didn’t know 2% of what a tourist should know in Berlin, but I’m sure I’ll come back to do it and change 3 hours running for 3 days going through it a little more in detail.

Ciao,

Ale

Getting lost in the city

Blog 11 by Ale

Moin, Moin!

If you ask me for my favourite hobby, I will have to tell you that since I arrived in Germany, my favourite hobby has been getting lost in the city. One of my professors at the university recommended exploring the city.

Usually, when you live in a city and have obligations and responsibilities, daily life becomes monotonous and you don’t see it’s charm and beauty, but when you move to a new city, all you do is exploring and getting acquainted and the best way to do so is by getting lost.

By getting lost in Hamburg I have managed to see places that I might not have planned to visit, because they are not very well known or famous. But to lose yourself means not only taking the wrong direction of the S/U-Bahn or Bus intentionally, it is to be able to sit in a café or in front of the Alster river or the Rathaus (city hall) and contemplate (without thinking about the time) about where you would like to go next or return to.

Ciao,

Ale

Questions and verbs with prepositions

Blog 10 by Ale

Moin, Moin!

To continue with the theme of the previous blog, I want to say that I found this part very funny. See photo attached, because I think it will help you to understand it better.

As already mentioned, the elaboration of questions with verbs with preposition will depend on whether you ask for a thing or for a person.

When asking for a thing you should use “WO” and if the preposition starts with a vowel you should add an “R” before the vowel, for example:

  • Worauf freust du dich?
  • Wofür interessiert ihr euch?

But if you ask for a person, the question should start with the preposition of the verb and then add “WEN” (accusative) or “WEM” (dative), for example:

  • FÜR wen interessierst du dich?
  • MIT wem treffen sie sich morgen?

I really hope that learning German will be fun for you and as I have said in the previous blogs, everything becomes more natural with practice.

Ciao,

Ale

Verbs with prepositions

Blog 9 by Ale

Moin, Moin!

This is a topic that I liked very much during my course last week. I’m going to split it up into two blogs so that I can explain it better. In this blog, I will refer to the verbs with prepositions, which belong to the cases dative and accusative. How do you know that? The preposition will give you the signal!

Verbs with dative preposition (mit / von). Keep in mind that the question is “To whom?” (Wem?)

  • Träumen VON… / Zufrieden sein MIT… / Sprechen MIT… / Sich unterhalten MIT…

Verbs with accusative preposition (für / über / auf / an / um). In this case the question is “Who?” (Wen?)

  • Sich interessieren FÜR… / Sich ärgen ÜBER… / Lust haben AUF… / Sich freuen ÜBER oder AUF… / Sich kümmeren UM… / Denken AN…

For example:

  • Du träumst von einem großen Haus. ( von + dat )
  • Sie sprechen mit ihren Kollegen. ( von + dat )
  • Ich freue mich auf das Essen. ( auf + acc)
  • Ich habe Lust auf den Besuch meiner Eltern. ( auf + acc )
  • Wir ärgern uns über die unhöflichen Leute. ( über + acc )

Now I’d like to talk about how to elaborate a question with these verbs. The question varies depending on whether you ask for a thing or for a person. But this will be the subject of the next blog. I hope it will be of great help!

Ciao,

Ale

My trip to Lüneburg!

Blog 8 by Ale

Moin Moin!

In this blog I want to tell you about the city of Lüneburg, which is not often recommended to foreign tourists, but is a must see in my eyes.

Lüneburg is a town with typical German constructions which put you in another time. If you are lucky and go on a day without rain you can walk through the streets, take lots of pictures and if you feel like it, you can take your snack and have a picnic by the river Ilmenau and get to know the water tower. I encourage you to go on a Sunday if you prefer the streets to be a bit emptier. This way it’s also easier to take good photos.

Ciao,

Ale

Why I also use the DeutschAkademie app

Blog 7 by Ale

Moin Moin!

When I was taking a break from my course, I didn’t want to lose my rhythm. I wanted to keep practicing and expanding my vocabulary. So, I downloaded the DeuschAkademie app on my phone and opened it daily to practice. Obviously, I supplemented it with other online exercises on my laptop and conversation groups in libraries.

It’s a very easy application to use. In the beginning, you can find the menu and choose the Grammar you want to study. The grammar is structured according to course levels. My favorite option is to practice the level I’m at, because I can see what I’m lacking in and can review it.

Ciao,

Ale

A glimpse at the German grammar

Blog 6 by Ale

Moin Moin!

In German something very interesting happens when using attributive adjectives, because they must be declined depending on gender, number and case (nominative, accusative, dative and genitive).

Although it is a topic that I am not learning this month, I find it interesting to share with you a small chart where we can have a look how to conjugate adjectives in each of the genres and then some examples.

  • Ich höre das traurige Lied. (Accusative + Neutral)
  • Das ist eine blaue Tasche. (Nominative + Female)
  • Auf meinem roten Schrank stehen Bücher. (Dative + Male)
  • Ein schönes, aber altes Haus wird verkauft. (Accusative + Neutral)
  • Spielst du mit deinen kleinen Kindern? (Dative + Plural)
  • Das ist ein neuer, teurer und guter Wagen. (Nominative + Male)

Just remember that this is not a topic to be scared of or run away from. It is something that with time and practice becomes natural, or at least that’s what they (all Germans and teachers) say. 😉

Ciao,

Ale

My class mates

Blog 5 by Ale

Moin Moin!

Although this is not my first month at the DeutschAkademie, I must say that the first day of the course is always a bit exciting, since you get to meet a new teacher and new people who also undertake the same adventure called “learning German”.

At the beginning of the level A 2(2) I joined a group where everyone already knew each other and the teacher, so that self-introductions were not necessary (although it is a relatively small group, because we are 9 people with our teacher Polina). There are two men, one from Spain and the other from Croatia, and we are six women from France, Greece, China, Cameroon, Kasachstan and Colombia. It is very interesting to learn about each other’s hobbies, interests and respective cultures and traditions through exercises and talks.

The course is really intensive, each teacher has a different methodology and different ways of approaching subjects, always with the support of books. This level I have seen each day a different grammatical theme, but I have also had the opportunity to practice each of the skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) in class. I certainly know that I will learn a lot this month at the DeutschAkademie, but the most important thing is to be able to practice what I learn.

Ciao,

Ale

Step by step into the German language

Blog 4 by Ale

Moin, Moin!

When I arrived in Hamburg, I realized how easy it was to live here speaking only English or Spanish. Many Germans speak Spanish fluently or have some knowledge of the language.  At home, living with my host-family, I speak Spanish to improve their level. On weekends, I meet a Colombian friend and we communicate in Spanish. I must say that although I was able to improve my English when I arrived in Germany, I didn’t want to. How come? Because I’m living in Germany and people here speak German. I also wanted to fully integrate into the culture and society. The best way to do that is by speaking the official language.

For me speaking is quite hard. In the beginning, I didn’t understand much of what people were telling me and maybe I didn’t have enough vocabulary to communicate properly. Anyway, I did my best and what I liked the most about doing so is that here in Hamburg (I haven’t been to other cities yet) people are very kind. They love to see that you are trying. But if you still feel embarrassed and are willing to go a little further to encourage yourself to speak German, I recommend you to attend at least one of the dialogue groups (free and unregistered) of the city libraries. In each area you will find several options and schedules that accommodate what you are looking for, and you can share experiences with other people while improving your German and gaining confidence. So, don’t worry and let’s speak in German!

Ciao,

Ale

In love with Hamburg

Blog 3 by Ale

Moin, Moin!

When I knew I was coming to Germany and more specifically to Hamburg, I did a lot of research. I read and saw many videos and photos of the city, but none of that would prepare me for what I was going to see, and what I was going to feel when I arrived and lived here.

Hamburg is charming in every corner. I´m sure that every little place has history. It is a city that knows how to combine  its architecture with the past, the present, and the future, It´s cultural, where many of its activities are around art, but more than anything, I must say that Hamburg wouldn´t be so captivating if it were not for the people who inhabit it. In Hamburg you find multiculturalism, human warmth, and friendliness, also you can find a smile or a friendly hand that will make you feel at home every day. 🙂

Even though I love Bogota because it´s my “Heimat”, I must say that I´m in love with Hamburg because even though it´s the second most populated city in Germany, it isn´t overwhelming, and it opens its doors to everyone. You only need to encourage yourself to walk through Hamburg, rain or shine, to discover something new. If you don´t find it attractive yet, I invite you to visit the Speicherstadt, the port, Planten un Blomen or sit for a while in front of the Rathaus, or in front of the Alster in the Jungfernstieg. To enjoy good atmosphere visit the Fischmarkt or  go up to the terrace of the Elbphilharmonie to have a 360° view of the city. 😉

Ciao,

Ale