Monthly Archives: October 2015

SLFDHC …find out for yourself :)

I am almost coming to an end with my first course of German, tomorrow is the last day o course in A1.1. Now that I am here, trying to learn this language, which by the way, I heard that in a classification made by a linguist, it was the fourth most difficult language to learn.
Well, I won’t lie to you (a short parenthesis: what happened to that TV series “Lie to me”? It was pretty good :P)…..it all started really well with these classes, learning, having fun, getting to know new people…but as we go along things get harder and harder, you starting to learn more difficult things, like grammar and tenses, accusative and dative. It is really important to focus during classes, our teacher, probably the others the same, in the beginning he was using a few words in English, with the days passing he was starting the talk more and more in German, now he only speaks to us in German, so this is another reason why you will want to come to these classes after you slept just fine the other night and had a good meal before starting, you want no hunger or sleepy eyes to stop you from …..basically struggling to stay focused. So, eyes and ears on your teacher ( he also mimics a lot, because ..well you don’t know that much German 🙂 and fingers on your phone or a dictionary to quickly check that word that you already heard like five times today so it must be  important and frequently used, at least “Das ist meine methode”.
Another thing, don’t ever ever skip Hausaufgaben = Hausübung = homework. The homework is not for your teacher is for you and you want to keep up, things happen really fast, that’s why it is called and intensive course because it really is.
Last but not least: courage. Nobody expects from you to speak academically after one month of German, speak German with every chance you get: the grocery store, the restaurant, in classes, on street, with your friends, in the mirror, alone, in bed trying to fall to sleep. No worries
about accent, about fitting the words right in the sentences, about verbs…that will co me along with time…but ti2015-08-29 19.57.31ll then we still have things to tell to each other 🙂
So, recapitulation! Sleep-checked; lunch-checked; focused-checked; dictionary-checked; homework-checked; courage-checked; There you go….your technique: SLFDHC.
Bis bald!12190656_10153100271627601_766185386_o

Temporale Präpositionen

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So today we focused a little on the correct ways to denote time. for example, when you want to make plans & you need to ask ‘when are you going’? or ‘how long’?

Frage: Wann? am Wochentag, Datum, Tageszeit…. in der Jahreszeit, im Monat…. um die Uhrzeit

Zum Beispiel- Ich gehe am Montag nach Hause. Ich gehe im Sommer nach Hause. Ich gehe um 12 nach Hause.

Ab wann? ab zB- ich bin ab Montag im Urlaub.

Bis wann? bis zB- bis Freitag im Urlaub.

Wie lange? von…bis… zB- Der Kurs geht von 18:15 bis 21 Uhr.

Ich glaube, diese Fragen sind sehr wichtig für eine normale Konversation.

I actually had a break thru with my german language skills. we went out to an irish pub the other weekend and i was speaking in german (almost) the entire night!! we have some friends from northern germany and they spoke so clearly! it was great to have a conversation with clear, understandable german without the thick viennese or austrian slang dialect. not saying its bad, but wow, so much easier to understand!

I totally attribute my speaking break through to DA. without the hours of practice with my teacher, i would for sure not be in the same level i am now!

 

Work life balance

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D.A. is a german speaking school where you can take a variety of courses to help you along your journey to become fluent in german. But it is not the only speaking school in vienna. Actually it’s like one of 9 or so different schools you could attend. I was shocked when i started to do some research on where to learn german. Which is the best? What school offers the most education for its price? What times of the year can you attend? So many questions and so many different answers!!!

Well, DA offers a fall special price of €250 for 4 weeks & 3hrs a day instruction. It’s one of the most competitive prices out there. plus it’s kinda cool to go into the city center every day and check out what’s going on. i have to admit, i always look forward to walking around downtown vienna ☕️🎨

I unltimately chose DA because the good price and quality of instruction. for someone who works full time, you don’t have time for a university course… the DA time schedule is great. so i typcially work a full day, then leave my office around 5:30 & i’m in school from 6:15 – 9pm. it’s a really great schedule 😊

night life

image imageif you’re bored in vienna…. it’s your own fault! there is so much to do all over this city. one of the cool things about this school is they offer a get together one time each month. the event ‘Stammtisch’ is advertised all over with flyers & also by the instructors, and also online facebook. so you won’t miss it.

our class made the choice to go together as a group. it was a great opportunity to meet my class mates in a more personal way. very interesting because we are all new to vienna & have stories from all over the world. its amazing to hear what life is like in South India, or what it’s like to grow up in Western Spain. I thought how cool to meet all these different people. Normally you don’t just go for drinks with 5 people all from different backgrounds but all learning and wanting to speak German. if i told myself four years ago that: i would be sitting in a bar in Austria, speaking German for 2 hours with a girl from Nepal… i would have said …. ughhhh you’re crazy. but interestingly enough. it did happen. life can take you on many amazing adventures, if you let it.

Some Viennale and a bit of German

Time is running really fast, I told myself I was going to do so many things this weekend and here I am trying at least write this article. I haven’t yet seen a single movie from Viennale: Vienna International Film Festival  and I am not surprised at all, this is so me, trying to do everything, getting to do nothing. The movie festival I was writing about is very similar to one we have back home in Romania. That one is called TIFF: Transilvania International Film Festival, maybe you heard about it and as this one, happing here in Vienna, which I assume is more opulent than TIFF, it takes place throughout all the city in many theaters. You better find their newspaper or magazine, maybe Viennale Zeitung :), every festival like this one has some kind of presentation for the movies program and it is really useful because these are not films that you can seek on Internet, maybe some of them, but for others you will probably want to now a description so you can than be able to choose what movie do you wanna see.
I was curious what am I missing by not yet going to this event and I searched a little about the movies that are running today (26th october) and I saw that before noon there were like 3 movies with Charlie Chaplin, I very much like his movies, my favorites: “The Great Dictator” with that famous speech, worth seeing it, “The Gold Rush” and “Modern Times”. I just remembered now that wonderful song written by Charlie Chaplin: “This is my song” and performed by Petula Clark and probably by many others, this song, from what I now, was intended for a film, also written and directed by Charlie Chaplin: “A Countess From Hong Kong” this one I didn’t saw, anyway a great song that you should here, I get really nostalgic for some reason when I here it.
I was saying that I am going to try and write a longer text in German so…here goes nothing 🙂
“Gewöhnlich mag ich keinen Sport, aber im Sommer mache ich gern Ausflüge in die Natur. Ich bevorzuge die setzt mit see so kann ich schwimmen. Ich weiß nicht so toll schwimmen, aber genug um nicht zu entrinken. Normalerweise bin ich eine faule Person, ich mag mit meine Freunde sitzen und ein Weinglas trinken und philosophische plätschernden.
Andernfalls ich höre gern Musik und ich schaue Filme, vor allen Science-Fiction. Mein favorit ist “Mad Max” (1,2,3 und 4)”

See ya!

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Ein bisschen Deutsch :)

I was thinking maybe to write a bit about the things we are doing in class since the actually purpose of this blog is for us to share our experiences in Vienna but also at DeutschAkademie. We started with the simple things: alphabet, which by the way is very similar to the Romanian one. The first week we learned simple forms of recommendation, how to say “ I am called” or”my name is”, how to answer to simple questions, like: where you coming from? Where do you live? What is your age? What is your profession? What languages do you speak? I am going to write a few things about my self that I learned in the first week at DeutschAkademie:

Ich heise Delia, ich komme aus Rumaenien, ich wohne in Wien, ich bin neunundzwanzig Jahre alt und ich arbeite als Aerztin, ich bin ledig und ich habe keine Kinder. = My name is Delia, I come from Romania, I live in Vienna, I am 29 years old, I am doctor, I am single and I have no kids.” That’s pretty much what does this mean, I will have to apologize for not using a German keyboard, so that German “s” and the “umlaut” are missing, but the main thing I was trying to emphasize here is that after just one week, you can actually say some things about your self in German. I didn’t knew German at all before thIMG_20151021_221445831is course so for me this is a big deal, being able to say these simple things about myself.

Than you learn basic things like: how to name all the things you find in a house, from furniture, to fruits, vegetables, technology. In every lesson you learn new verbs, usually those most often used along with conjugation in present simple.

I don’t know how things work in other groups, but we have a test weekly and a dictation, usually we are told what to prepare for each of thIMG_20151021_221346767ese. This way we constantly know about our progress and if we are going up or down.

I heard that on B2 level you are already learning dialects, at this moment I find this very hard to do, who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised. Here is somethin
g which from what I know should be some Oesterreich
dialect: “ An glan mit hasa much” I am not really sure but I think it’s some kind of coffee with some kind of milk, I don’t if hot or cold, more or  less :). For my next post I am going to try a longer text in German, remember I am only in A1.1, don’t be to harsh on me.

Have a great weekend!

 

Halfway through A1.1

I can’t believe only two weeks have passed since I arrived in Vienna. It feels like it’s been much longer. I think it’s because getting accustomed to new things makes time feel like it’s passing slower. That would explain why time seems to pass by faster and faster as we age: because we get accustomed to more and more routine, until the brain gets bored of logging the same experiences.

    Well, routine, that is not something to find very often here in Vienna, you always have something to do, lot of things happen here to keep you busy.2015-08-01 17.53.03

   Wednesday, 14th october DeutschAkademie organized a party for all its students, which I attended. It was fun, and I took the opportunity of meeting a few people from other groups and share experiences over a couple of beers. Sometime during the course of the evening, the organizers brought to each table a framed paper canvas on which they asked us to draw the DeutschAkademie logo and improve on it in some small way. I ended up drawing the Prater ferris wheel, which is what I believed to be the figure in the logo’s background. Not much of an improvement on the logo, truth be told, but it was fun to make.

I met this really clever guy, also a student at DeutschAkademie, he made an application for android phone that helps doctor for staging cancer, it is actually called TNM staging cancer, that is probably not that interesting for you guys, but “fur mich” since I am a doctor too, well I find this quite usefull, especially for my colleagues specialized in oncology, they ussualy have to recall this staging for every existing cancer and that is not something easy to do.

Anyway it was fun attending this party, lot of fun and smart people there, must say I haven’t yet made too many friends and I’ll have to work on that. Hope for more party like this to come so that the process of making friends, meeting people will be much easier.

Right now, I’m excited about the Viennale film festival coming up next week, and this weekend my boyfriend and we were planning on either going to the Prater amusement park, or the Schonbrunn Zoo — weather permitting — which I just found out is one of the largest in Europe.  We didn’t got to do that though, we got lazy this weekend, hope that for next we’ll organize ourself better. 🙂

tools that help

imageI fully believe that you can get through a DA course without using any other tools than what they provide. i’ve decided to buy a English to German & likewise German to English dictionary to help with the course A 2.1. Surprisingly I’ve been using this dictionary on a daily basis. It even helps out our class lectures, when our teacher has a hard time describing a complicated German word… she frequently asks me to quickly look up what the English translation is. I use it mostly at home to double check my spelling. I would say learning a new language you definitely want to good dictionary handy.
another cool tool I found in the shelves of the bookstore called Thalia, (Austrians Barnes & Noble’s), is a circle chart you can use to help translate verbs into different tenses. I think it’s a great help tool for beginners who are trying to understand the different ways Germans conjugate their verbs. although size as A limiting factor, it doesn’t give you all the answers like an online program would… but for quick glance it really is helpful. Best of all these tools I’ve been using were really not expensive at all. The dictionary was maybe six euros in the chart was five euros. since I’m already paying almost €300 for the DA course… its a great find.

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good eats

image imageOne of the main questions I get from Americans, is “what do you eat in Austria”. And I’m tempted to tell them some crazy thing. just to see their reaction. But the truth is, I eat almost exactly the same as I did in America. Because I go to the grocery store and buy very similar products and cook the only ways I know how. salad with chicken, eggs for breakfast, occasionally hummus and vegetable sticks… that’s the on the honest answer to the question, what I eat in “Austria”.

now I know what they probably mean to ask is, “what’s a traditional Austrian dish”? I say in general, Austrians use a lot of meat, cheese and bread in their dishes. Most of the traditional dishes, are not exactly the perfect image of health and wellness but they really are tasty. because their dishes are traditionally heavier, it’s part of the dining experience to have a really nice after dinner ‘digestive’. Schnapps are very traditional here & you can choose from a variety of flavors.

I can’t talk about Austrian food without mentioning how great The quality of the products you can buy. Farm fresh and strict adherence to organic processing, Austrian food quality is definitely among the best in the world.

Die Adjektiv Deklination

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if you’re an english native speaker, this chart most likely is intimidating. yes, very intimidating. because in english, we say “the cat”, “the dog”, “the house”, etc… but the people of Germany & Austria decided to use different articles for different words and the articles will change sometimes depending on the sentance. let lone, if you’re speaking with someone with a heavy dialect, then of course, they have their own village way of speaking & you will never figure it our until you live in their village for a while. PHEW…  😟😧😬😮seriously this is complicated.

other than intense scary grammer, we have been working on a lot of grocery store situations this week in class. like listenening to conversations and having to repeat back what we heard & understood. here’s an example:

Was darf es sein?

Ich hätte gern Tomaten.

Möchten Sie normale Tomaten oder lieber Cocktailtomaten?

Die Cocktailtomaten sind heute im Angebot. Die kosten nur 2,80 Euro je kilo.

Dann geben Sie mir doch bitte die Cocktailtomaten.

Wie viel darf es denn sein?

200kg, bitte.

Möchten Sie sonst noch etwas?

Gemüse brauche ich nicht mehr, aber vielleicht noch ein Kilo von den Äpfeln.

Meinen Sie die da oder die hier?

Die da, bitte.

Sonst noch etwas?

Nein, danke. Das ist alles.

 

 

 

human thesaurus

when you’re first learning a language, you really don’t have a big pool of vocabulary to use to express youself. like for example, you want to say, “great! i’m excited”. but you don’t have a clue how to say “excited” or even how to say correctly that – whatever it is gives you excitement. one might just settle by saying,”cool”. which is international.

so i’m challenging myself today on my DA translation homework, to not translate words in english (because i already know all the words & it wold take me 5 seconds to do the homework) but im going to translate them to other descriptive words in german. this way i can learn more vocabulary.

sounds good right? well actually it’s really hard to do. can you find me 2 synonyms for “warm”? so i broke down and used a thesaurus to help me with the task of explaination. it’s amazing how many ways a person can express themselves. obviously more words are common than others. and some cultures use words differently than the dictionary intends. like i can look up the literal translation for a phrase or word and my teacher will tell me, “sorry, but actually we just dont really say that”. hmmmm, ok so it’s impossible to become fluent in a language sitting at home learning all the grammer charts & memorizing a dictionary.  image