You have been learning German, on your own or with an instructor or class. Now you want to put what you have learned to the test and try speaking German in Germany (or Austria, or Switzerland). Ready or not, you had better be ready! I wanted to share a few of the things that I learned on my most recent trip to Germany. Here are five lessons that I learned from trying to speak German in Germany. Continue reading →
My week-long self-imposed German challenge is over. So how’d I do? I made it — but only just. The whole reason I challenged myself was because life has gotten really busy. But as we all know, if you don’t use it you lose it. After years of hard studying, I’m sure as hell not ready to give up all I’ve learned without a fight. Even with making special time in one week to take on the challenge, it was still tough to accomplish my task.
The German Challenge is half over! How about that? As I write this, I’m mid-way through my self-imposed challenge to do 30 hours of German practice in a week. There have been positives and negatives and I wanted to share those, as well as how I’ve been spending my time.
It’s time to get serious and work a little harder on learning German. I can personally admit that, for a variety of reasons (read: life and work) I haven’t been working as hard as I once was. But I’m going to jump start my German skills as 2014 winds to an end with a week long self-imposed and created challenge. Maybe you’ll join me?
Learning a foreign language is difficult. You simply cannot cut corners. There’s no secret trick. But there are things you can do to work smarter and not harder. I’ve put together a list of five simple things that I’ve found have helped me as I continue to tackle German. Continue reading →
I love Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre. Really. I do. I watched his television shows religiously thanks to the power of that wonderful thing we call the internet. I read all of his books that I can get my little not-in-Germany hands on. I even — and I cringe admitting this — wrote him a fan letter. Unfortunately it was not long after I started taking learning German seriously so I can imagine how nonsensical and incomprehensible it was. (I never got a response.) But, man. His writing can be tough for a German language learner. Continue reading →
When I was taking regular weekly German lessons, I think the turning point in my experience was when my tutor encouraged me to try reading novels. Admittedly, she suggested a children’s book — The Island of Blue Dolphins — which she provided by way of a copy in English and a copy in German. It took me quite a while to get through that first book but it gave me the confidence and the motivation to keep trying. In the past couple years I’ve probably read a dozen or so books in German and I love it. It’s a great way to get some German reading practice and it just has a different feel to surfing German language websites. But depending on where you live, access to German language books can be difficult and potentially expensive. Or so I thought until I found Onleihe. Continue reading →
When I started reading Heinrich Harrer’s Sieben Jahre in Tibet I didn’t know the “seven years” referred to how long it would take me to read it. Maybe it wasn’t quite that bad but between resuming German lessons and life in general, it took me much longer than I had anticipated to finish the book. Initially when I started reading the book, I got borrowed an English language translation from the library. During the check out process, the librarian mentioned he didn’t realize the film was based on a book. Never a good sign. Continue reading →
While I’m not sure I believe in having my own bucket lists or setting New Year’s resolution for myself I realized recently that I have been falling off. I have been neglecting certain things that are important to me and it is time to recommit. Believe me, I’m the least likely person to go looking for personal inspiration. But it’s so easy to fall into a lull or think my actions aren’t making a difference. So recharge, reinvest and recommit! Continue reading →