This YouTube video gives a great explanation as to why English is considered to be a Germanic language, even though to most people it has more in common with French.
Some of you may recall back in August 2016 I embarked on an intensive German language learning home tuition experience with Sprachinstitut Treffpunkt-Online in Bamberg. There I spent two weeks living in the beautiful home of my native host teacher doing one-on-one lessons all day, Monday to Friday as well as going on leisure activities with my hosts at weekends. Continue reading “Learning German in a Teacher’s Home”
The Germans like to stick words together to make even longer words. Here is a German video which actually picks fun at that. It’s hilarious even if you don’t understand it!
Many German words can be a bit of a mouthful for foreigners to pronounce. Happily, we can take comfort from the fact that there are some English words that the Germans find challenging, as you will see in this video.
Moving to a new country presents many challenges, not least of all is having to learn a foreign language. Even in countries where English is widely spoken, as a matter of courtesy you should at least make the effort to communicate with the locals in their native tongue.
I am English but for over twenty years have lived between the Middle East and Germany. Whilst I am by no means fluent, I get by at a basic level in Arabic and reasonably well in German. I want to share here my tips for language learning novices. Continue reading “Tips for Learning a Foreign Language”
Well, that is week one of my two-week intensive German studies over, and it has been one of the busiest weeks of my life.
I am staying in the beautiful home of the teacher (actually, she is the school owner) and her husband, and each day comprises one-on-one lessons from 9am to around 4pm. Meals are taken with the family, and free time is also spent predominantly with them.
Being private tuition as opposed to class based lessons, the programme is tailored to my particular needs, and in my case it is a combination of grammar, phonetics and comprehension. Of course, I am finding the German grammar the hardest element to get to grips with, but also the fact that the entire day is pretty much solid German means I am feeling mentally exhausted quite often and on occasions emotionally drained too. The latter was a surprise to me – on Wednesday evening I just felt like jelly and incredibly homesick to the point where I thought to myself “why the hell am I doing this?”. I think this was the result of exhaustion from the intensive studies and the fact that it started to hit me that all my efforts to date really have only lightly scratched the surface of the vast sphere of the German language. My teacher came to the rescue and after half an hour or so I was back on track and ready to face yet another German social gathering, but I have to admit there are still occasions when I really feel I need to be alone but cannot without appearing rude. Continue reading “My German Learning Progress – Update”
I previously published a number of posts on everyone’s favourite subject – German language learning. It was my intention to embark on a combination of systematic and diligent self-study coupled with using various apps and other types of software to support my efforts. Here is an update on my progress… Continue reading “My German Learning Progress…”
My German learning progress has been rather sketchy over the last few months. Of course, I could blame it on work, travel, family commitments and the like but when I sit back and analyse it, that is utter rubbish as I still manage to find time to sit gawking at the telly. I suspect that is the case for many of us and sadly it is very easy to fall into the habit of staring aimlessly at some daft action movie than to challenge our intellects by studying a language.
In my defense however, my work has kept me overseas for extended periods of time, and therefore I neither need or even hear German that often, so the incentive to learn it has not really been there. Well, that is my argument and I’m sticking to it. However, my impending permanent move back to Germany has started to give me a bit of a kick up the rear end and I realise that I really do need to brush up on what I have learned already and start picking up new stuff.
So, in my panic, I came across another free learning resource which looks quite promising. It is a website called “Ich will Deutsch lernen” (i.e. “I want to learn German”) and is sponsored by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research). It takes your from total beginner to level B1, and includes lots of real video footage so you will hear native speakers conversing. It also includes a 45 episode “websoap” called “Schnitzel und Dolmades”. As with most of these sites, you need to register to access the full content, but given it is free that is no hardship. If you feel uncomfortable with registering, it is easy enough to create another free email account and use that along with a false name, etc.
I will be giving it a try over the coming days (well, probably weeks knowing me) and will write my findings and opinions in future posts. If you are interested in giving it a go, the website is here and I would be interested to receive feedback from anyone else who tries it.
I just found a very useful webpage along with its partner website for those of you starting to learn or already learning German, or indeed any other language.
It is by a guy called Gabriel Wyner who is an opera singer and to help him in his job he taught himself to speak German, French and Italian fluently and in just a few years and is now attempting to learn Russian. Mr. Wyner gives simple. no-nonsense advice for normal human beings, something where many formalised language resources compiled by language teachers and ‘experts’ fail..