Author Archives: April

Day 16: Word of the Day: Der Feierabend

Thank you for following my journey of beginners German. As today is my last day I wanted to share one of my favourite and new found words, English doesn’t even have a word for it. It’s Der Feierabend. In a literal sense it means “celebration afternoon” but it’s actually used to state that it’s the end of the working day. Which is why I love the term so much as the word itself is such a clever combination. So in a figurative sense it means “it’s closing time” and is only used for employees. You would commonly hear the phrase “Wann hast du Feierabend?”. So on that note, as my blog comes to an end I’d like to wish you great success in your German learning journey. Schönen Feierabend and maybe we will cross paths in the hallways of Deutsch Akademie

April

Day 15: Word of the Day: Die Einladung

Writing and responding to invitations is an important and frequent practice. Today was a very useful lesson covering all sorts of vocabulary and skills to write and respond. Phrases useful for writing invitations are: Du bist eingeladen, wo treffen wir uns?, Die Party beginnt um 8 Uhr. In general knowing how to state time and place covers half of the skills required. But your skills in reading, writing, use of verbs and nouns will surely add value. So with that I’d like yo say “viel spaß” at your next event! Here is a text I received of a recent event:

April

Day 14: Word of the Day: Gesundheit

Today’s lesson had one of those “ah-ha moments”. The word Gesundheit is one of those German words that has crept into the English dialogue. But does anyone know it’s real meaning? Gesund means health and Heit means Hood, so the term literally translates to Health-hood. The term has been used to wish someone well after sneezing. It’s similar to saying “bless you” and I am sure there is a translation in almost every corner of the world. While the origins of this etiquette remains a mystery it seems polite that a sneeze be followed by wishing someone health, as it mostly is a prelude to illness. An activity I found to encourage health and fitness is otherwise known as “Wandern”. This is me hiking in Tegernsee, only 1 hour drive from the centre of Munich.

April

Day 13: Word of the Day: Das Wochenende

A lesson I enjoyed the most and found extremely practical was planning for events in the future. A typical question you would hear for this is “Was machst du am Wochenende / morgen / abend”. This is where all your verbs come in extremely handy. Commonly used verbs you could use to explain the events in the future, for example: kaufen, fernsehen, kochen, studieren, organisieren, party machen? A tip: build up the vocabulary of typical events as verbs, I’ve shared a few that I have used in rotation to describe my weekends.

April

Day 12: Word of the Day: Der Stammbaum

A theme you will learn in the beginners class is how to name and describe your family tree. I have a small family: Mein Vater, Meine Mutter, Meine Schwester. I miss them very much as they live in Sydney and we usually see each other for Christmas. Could you draw your family tree and describe each member in German? Some commonly used are also: Tante, Onkel, Eltern, Großeltern, Frau, Mann, Bruder, Kind. Try drawing your family tree using these nouns. Here is an activity we did in class today:

April

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