Day 11: Word of the Day: Freundlich

If I was to describe my homeland and its people I would use the adjective “Freundlich”. I am proud to be an Australian for its open minded, warm, fun and friendly culture. The working culture is characterised by a “work hard, play hard” sentiment but we generally love to be hospitable, engaging in social circles and making outsiders feel welcome. How would you describe your culture? Most commonly used adjectives I have learned are: warm, kalt, stark, groß, klein, einfach, schon, heiß. Here is a picture I took in the last week of my time in Sydney before moving to Munich. I would describe the culture and environment as “warm und freundlich.”

April

Day 10: Word of the Day: Die Heimat

Australia is known for its year-long warm weather. Although we have four seasons our winter is not as profound as it is in Germany where it can drop to minus 20. I miss Sydney for its coast. We have over one hundred beaches, Bondi, Manly, Cronulla are the one you have mostly heard of. We are a multicultural land which makes for diverse food and traditions. One of the exercises of your German course is to describe your homeland. It’s weather, food, nature, people. So a tip from me is to build a vocabulary of adjectives (describing words). What would you like your classmates to know about your homeland?

Die Heimat [Hi-Mat] Noun

The land in which where you were born and raised.

April

Day 9: Word of the Day: Kommode

Any resident of Munich can attest to the challenges of finding accomodation. If you decide to settle, the fun part begins with purchasing of furniture. I found it so appropriate that our class today covered furniture and prepositions. Giving direction and instructions was the focus of our lesson today. As an example “Die Lampe steht auf den Boden”. This sentence is packed with vocabulary and grammar! I’ve taken my labeling to the next level adding nouns to all my furniture to further embed today’s lesson.

April

Day 8: Word of the Day: Lebensmittel

Practicing German becomes real handy when you’re purchasing your groceries. You learn all sorts of new nouns. Today in class we learned how to say some of the basic essentials in a creative and engaging way. The aim of the game is to fill your grocery trolley with fruits and vegetables. So around the room, the first player would state their item, the second would add an additional item plus the first and so on. By the end of the room the last person would need to recite all the fruits and vegetables with articles in our trolley. I enjoyed the game so much that I’ve taken it to dinner events outside the classroom. Give this a go as it’s a great way to practice memory building.

April

Day 7: Word of the Day: Die Sehenswürdigkeit

Learning a new language in the country itself is a prime advantage. I have grown really fond of Munich and its surroundings. The word is like to focus on today is Sehenswürdigkeit. Schloss Neuschwanstein has such a rich history and beautiful architecture. One fun fact about the palace is that it was one of the many homes of King Ludwig of Bavaria. He paid it out of his personal fortune rather than public funds.

While learning a language I’d encourage you to discover it’s history. It makes it even more compelling and has motivated me during times when it feels too difficult. What’s one of your favourite sites of Munich? Here is a picture I took of the Town Hall in the centre of Marienplatz on my first week of arriving in Munich.

April

Day 6: Word of the Day: Schön

A few days ago you saw the state of my kitchen. It was littered with labels. As my learning journey continues I found myself replacing certain nouns in English with the German noun. I no longer was translating the term in my mind. This is a great sign! At first you’ll be translating words until they become natural. One advice I’d like to share is to learn the word WITH the article. Start early with that, because as you start to encounter new grammar you’ll soon realise the grammar goes hand in hand with the article. For example; declension of adjectives only make sense with the article. A beautiful day translates to schönen tag. But a beautiful weekend translates to schönes Wochenende. You thought that was easy? You have not see anything yet. How would you describe the course so far? Think about the contents you are learning from your workbooks perhaps and describe the feeling each day.

April

Day 5: Word of the Day: Üben

Half way through my beginners classes I found I was catching on fairly well. I understood the theory, and knew a lot of volcabulary however was not applying it in a speaking environment. So I decided to gather around fellow learners in a regular meet up where we would strictly speak German. We met at cafes or restaurants and intended to order and interact in basic German conversation. It didn’t matter if part of the dialogue were wrong. It was simply a forum to practice and gain confidence. I truly recommend finding at least a tandem partner, and going out there to practice wth the world. Your bank, cashier, dentist, bar staff. Don’t be hard on yourself if the conversation goes all in all sorts of directions. An opportunity to practice.

April :)

Day 4: Word of the Day: Wiederholen

Repetition is your best teacher. I made a choice to enroll in an intensive beginners class just under a year ago. It comprises of three hour lessons over four weekdays which can be quite overwhelming. I really encourage you to attend every single class. One missed class leaves a big gap in learning and you don’t want to get left behind. Seek to understand the theory so you can practice alone in your own time. Then repeat! Here is an example of an activity that encourages repetition. Repetition is the best teacher. 

Wiederholen [Vee-der-ho-len] Verb

The act of repeating. E.g Bitte höre, sehe, lese, spache. Immer wiederholen!

April

Day 3: Word of the Day: Sprachen

Focus on what really matters and don’t get bogged down on words that you would never use in a dialogue at first. You can start by picking up all the greetings, introductions and how to present yourself. This is why i chose “Sprachen” as my word of focus. Practice different ways to say Hello, Good bye, How are you, My name is, I am…, and so on. Greetings in another language are sure to help break down barriers. Today in class we had a speaking exercise which involved asking where certain furniture items should be placed and the partner responding with instructions.

April

Day 2: Word of the Day: Die Sinne

I’m afraid I can’t tell you the secret formula to successfully learn a language. Everyone who has become fluent in a secondary language has had to go through the same journey. I am fortunate to have German all around me. So what did I do? I soaked my brain every day. I activated all “die Sinne” and kept at it consistently. Remembering words by seeing, listening, reading and reciting. Joining a class, getting a tutor or a tandem partner is a good first step. Then the rest is up to you to apply. Here is my kitchen (the place I actively spend the most time at home). You see what I mean by brain soaking?

Sinne [Sin-neh] Noun

The way in which the body perceives an external stimulus by way of sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste.

April