Monthly Archives: December 2016

The importance of feedback

Feedback is the cheapest, most powerful, yet, most under used tool that we have at our disposal. Feedback is powerful as it helps people get on track, it serves as a guide to assist people to know how they and others perceive their performance.

Working without feedback is similar to setting out an important journey minus a map or signposts. You may have a great sense of direction but this may not be sufficient to keep you on track.

The first reason for creating this this post is because I actually trust in the power of feedback and the people from Deutsch Akademie proved to know how to treat it. Even though our feedback is asked on a regular basis via e-mail or face to face in the office.

Usually I tend to provide my feedback whenever is necessary or I am asked, and I encourage you to do so.

The second reason is that recently, the circumstances made me to offer a direct feedback in the Deutsch Akademie offices. It was not a big situation, but in my opinion was the right thing to do, and I am really happy I did it.

I would like to congratulate  Deutsch Akademie team on how they handle feedback. They had a really open approach, I felt secure and trusted, but more important I found understanding and support. After my feedback, several times I was asked if things improved or if I am satisfied.

I was really impressed by their interest of helping me and the multiple follow up sessions: Once again, they proved I made the right chose when deciding to follow their classes.

In the end, I encourage you to actually give feedback, it will help both you and the school. untitled-1

 

 

New Year’s Eve Austrian traditions

There is a dazzling variety of customs across the European continent on New Year’s Eve, but today I will tell you some things about New Year’s Eve traditions in Austria.

German people call New Year’s Eve “Silvester,” in honor of Pope Sylvester I, who died on December 31, 335. According to the legend, non-believers who were around him choked on fish bones. Some superstitious people therefore state that one should avoid fish that night, or at least eat it very carefully.

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If in Vienna for this time of the year, make sure to enjoy one of the bellow mentioned traditions:

  • Watch “Dinner for One” is broadcasted on 31 of December and is the most frequently repeated TV program ever.
  • Eat a small marzipan figurine
  • Give Lucky charms (ladybugs, little pigs, four-leaf clovers as a gift to your dear ones
  • Punch is a must have party drink
  • Bleigiessen, looking into the future by melting lead. More details about this tradition you can find in my previous post.
  • Join one Silvester parade in Vienna city center or Prader
  • At midnight dance the famous traditional Danube Waltz with your loved one
  • When wishing all the best for your German friends, use the “Frohes neues Jahr” (Happy New Year) expression.

Looking forward for this special night full of interesting events and traditions.

Photo credit: Holycitysinner.com

New Year’s Eve tradition

This is my first year when I am spending the New Year’s Eve in Vienna. Considering that I do not have any free days and on Monday I will go to work, I don’t have so much of a plan in regards to it. Buuuut, recently I found out about a very interesting tradition which takes place in Austria. I am speaking about the molybdomancy, meaning the usage of molten metal and the interpretation of it.

The method originates in ancient Greece and it became a common New Year tradition in the Nordic countries, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The procedure is as follows: tin is melted on a stove and poured into a bucket of cold water. The resulting shape is either directly interpreted as an omen for the future, or is rotated in a candlelight to create shadows, whose shapes are then interpreted.

On internet, you can even find guides on how to interpretate the shadows and you will know how your year is going to look like.

i don’t know about you, but I will definitely try it. I am not sure about the accuracy of our interpretation, but most definitely will be a nice thing to try together with my friends.

In German, this tradition is called Bleigießen, and you can find the materials on every New Year market or in Libro or Muller.

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Opera Live Outdoors

Right across our building from Karlspaltz, is situated the Wiener Staatsoper – with a history dating back to the mid-19th century. It is an important place to see while you visit or live in Vienna. I totally recommend to go to a show there or try one of the guided tours they offer.

With the occasion of the New Year, the opera and ballet performances from the Wiener Staatsoper are broadcast live on a video screen outside the opera house. The audience can thus enjoy the performances in a relaxed atmosphere in the open, and naturally with free admission. In the afternoon before the performances and after the broadcast a potpourri of special moments will be shown on the outdoor screen. With some hot tea and warm clothes you can enjoy a magic atmosphere.

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According to Wien Staatsoper website, the following performances are going to run in the next couple of days:

Wed, 28th December 2016
19.00 – 22.00 

Die Zauberflöte

Thu, 29th December 2016

19.30 – 21.45
Hänsel und Gretel

Fri, 30th December 2016

19.00 – 22.15
Raymonda (Ballet)

Sat, 31th December 2016

19.00 – 22.30
Die Fledermaus

Sun, 1st Januar 2017


11.15 – 13.30
New Year’s Concert  – Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
19.00 – 22.30 Uhr
Die Fledermaus.

Make some time, and enjoy one of this performances in an exquisite atmosphere.

My Christmas present

As already mentioned in my previous post, 2 billion people on Earth are celebrating Christmas, and one of them am I. I am not going to tell you which or how many presents I received, and how delighted I am about them, but I will speak about one in particular.

One of my Christmas presents is a book for learning German :D. Since August I started learning German, in December I just finished the B1.1. level. Because I also started to work since October, I do not have so much time, and my time for German is limited to the one spent in classes, so I plan to have a break after the B1.2. module… and, my present is the perfect gift I could have. My plan is to have one month break, in which I will repeat and consolidated everything I learned until now. I will revise the grammar and vocabulary, and I will also try to improve my communication skills.

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I am very excited about my new book, it looks really interesting with lots of exercises and grammar explanations. I am that kind of person who needs a very good knowledge of grammar and rules.

I am looking forward to do the exercises, but in the meantime I will try to teach my boyfriend some German, so… wish me good luck and I will keep you posted.

Even if you are in vacation, don’t forget to do some exercises or read a couple of articles.

Wish you a very pleasant evening,

Ivona

Lebede si o plimbare pe malul Dunarii

Pentru cei care locuiesc in Viena, este bine stiut ca pe malul Dunarii se gasesc mandre lebede gata de a fi admirate si fotografiate.

Cum traditia Craciunului este una imbelsugata, iar pe mesele romanilor se afla bucate care mai de care mai imbietoare si gustoase, corpul nostru se resimte si are nevoie de o plimbare asa ca… hop top si noi pe malul Dunarii la plimbare.

Vremea de astazi a fost una placuta, iar lebedele ne-au facut deliciul oferindu-ne un show garantat. Plimbari scurte, jucat intre ele, sau mici conflicte spre incantarea spectatorilor. Data viitoare voi sti sa iau putina mancare de acasa, iar succesul de a sta aproape de mine o sa fie unul garantat.

Daca esti in Viena in aceasta perioada, ai chef de aer curat si o scurta plimbare, profita de ocazie si fa o vizita lebedelor de la statia de metrou Handelskai.

Distractie placuta!

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Merry Christmas!

Around 2 billion people worldwide celebrate Christmas every year. It has become one of the biggest holidays of the year in many countries, as it is now often celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike.

And because every country has specific Christmas wishes, find bellow how people greet for Christmas around the world.

Arabic – I’d Miilad Said Oua Sana Saida

Bulgarian – Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo

Chinese – [Mandarin] – Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan

Chinese – [Catonese] – Saint Dan Fai Lok

Finnish – Hyvaa joulua

French – Joyeux Noël

German – Froehliche Weihnachten

Greek – Kala Christouyenna

Hungarian – Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket

Indonesian – “Selamat Hari Natal”

Iraqi – Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah

Italian – Buone Feste Natalizie

Japanese -” Shinnen omedeto, kurisumasu omedeto. The first part is translated “Happy New Year. Kurisumasu omedeto means Merry Christmas. Japanese people generally add the expression gozaimasu to indicate humility.

Korean – Sung Tan Chuk Ha

Latvian – Prieci’gus Ziemsve’tkus un Laimi’gu Jauno Gadu

Romanian – Craciun fericit

Russian – Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva s Novim Godom

Serbian – Hristos se rodi

Slovakian – Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce

Spanish – Feliz Navidad

Turkish – Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun

Ukrainian – Z Rizdvom Khrystovym!

My sincere Christmas greetings for all Deutsch Akademie employee and students!

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Saint Nicholas in Deutsch Akademie

As you have already seen, yesterday I prepared my shoes for Saint Nicholas. I was a good girl and I received some interesting and nice things. In Romania, Saint Nicholas is bringing only sweets, but as I am in Austria, I received some other things also. I am not going to tell you about my personal presents, but… I will tell you about how a school can organize something nice and small, and also, bring a smile on their students faces.

Saint Nicholas visited us in Deutsch Akademie. It was a surprise for most of us… I follow the facebook page and I knew that they prepared something from us. In the morning, the little game started :D. As probably you already know, on the Deutsch Akademie facebook page, you can find relevant information regarding classes, German phrases and words and any other useful information.

In this morning, they had a nice post about a ruffle which took place during the day. I recognize that they made me curious, and I did not knew what to expect for. In a way or another, I was invidious for my colleagues which are attending the morning classes. What if I was not able to meet Nicholas in the evening? Or, what if they would have a game only for a limited period of time?

It was not the case, Saint Nicholas came to the evening class as well. During the class, at some point we received a visit from Nicholas, each one of us got something sweet or a fruit. We enjoyed our sweets and smiled. For me, it was somehow a remember that small things matter the most.

Thank you dear Saint Nicholas!

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New season, new location…

Once again we have Stammtisch. Until now, everybody should know what Stammtisch is about, but if this is your first month in Deutsch Akademie, or you are just thinking about taking a class here… than you should know that the school really cares about their students, and that besides learning during the course, you can also go to the Stammtisch.

But, what the Stammtisch is about? In fact, is about a evening out in the city. With this occasion, you can interact with your colleagues in a friendly environment, you can meet new people from who learn in Deutsch Akademie or you can also bring your friends, and enjoy a great Wednesday evening. Lots of surprises are prepared by the Deutsch Akademie employees, and the girls from the office, take really good care of any aspect.

But what is new with December Stammtisch? Location! Right, the location was changed. Tomorrow we will see each other at Centimeter, close to Rathaus. Centimeter is a well known restaurant in Vienna, and the location near Rathaus makes it even interesting. You can first make a visit to the Rathaus Christmas market, which will going to lighten up your soul, and after you can practice your German with so many other people whose purpose is to learn this difficult/ interesting/ nice language.

I hope there will be many of you tomorrow to the Stammtisch. I am sure that everybody did everything in their power in order to have a magic Stammtisch evening.

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Did you prepared your shoes?

December 6 marks the feast day of Saint Nicholas Day, and for the me the beginning of the Christmas season. It is a common practice for both children and grownups, to put out their shoes the night before St. Nicholas.  With enthusiasm and curiosity, in the morning, we discover the gifts which Nicholas had left to us.

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Widely celebrated in Europe and not only, St. Nicholas’ feast day, December 6th, kept alive the stories of St. Nicholas goodness and generosity.

In Germany and Poland, boys dressed as bishops begged alms for the poor—and sometimes for themselves! In the Netherlands and Belgium, St. Nicholas arrived on a steamship from Spain to ride a white horse on his gift-giving rounds. December 6th is still the main day for gift giving and merrymaking in much of Europe.

In the Netherlands St. Nicholas is celebrated on the 5th, the eve of the day, by sharing candies (thrown in the door), chocolate initial letters, small gifts, and riddles. In Romania, St. Nicholas is bringing a lot of sweets to the children which behaved well during the year, and a small stick to the ones less good. Dutch children leave carrots and hay in their shoes for the saint’s horse, hoping St. Nicholas will exchange them for small gifts.

Did you prepared your shoes? Do you celebrate St. Nicholas in your country? Tell us what traditions and how you celebrate this full of happiness day?

 

 

 

Happy National Day, Romania!

Happy National Day, Romania!

On 1st of December it was Romania National Day. In 1918, so 98 year ago the 3 big provinces: Moldova, Transylvania and Muntenia decided to unite under the name of Romania.

Back home, officials are taking this celebration really serious and they are preparing all kind of events: military parades, cooking competition, dancing and singing concerts. For us is an important day, and I was very surprised when some other colleagues of mine, from other Balkan countries, did not knew when their National Day is, or that of them is not of such a big importance and not learning about it in school. But, because I don’t want this to be a historic post, I will translate for you a couple of know expressions that we have, and maybe I will be able to put a smile on your face.

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Romanian best known expressions:

  • A Romanian doesn’t have “unusual ideas”… he has “a curly mind” (Minte creață).
  • A Romanian will not look at you “confused”… he will “stare like the crow at the bone” (Ca cioara la ciolan).
  • A Romanian is not “a drunkard”… he’s “a blotting paper” (Sugativă).
  • A Romanian hasn’t been “scammed”… he “took a spike” (A luat țeapă).
  • A Romanian won’t “call it quits”… he’ll “stick his feet in” (Își bagă picioarele).
  • A Romanian is not “stupid”… he’s “a Venice bush” (Tufă de Veneția).
  • As a Romanian you don’t “fool yourself”… you “get drunk with cold water” (Te îmbeți cu apă rece).
  • A Romanian doesn’t just “keep quiet”… he “keeps quiet like the pig in a corn field” (Tace ca porcu-n păpușoi).
  • A Romanian is not “nervous”… he “has a carrot (in the ass)” (Are un morcov în fund).
  • A Romanian won’t say that something is “cool”… he’ll say it’s “concrete” (Beton).
  • A Romanian won’t tell you to stop “wasting time”… he’ll tell you to stop “rubbing the mint” (Freca menta).
  • A Romanian is not “crazy”…he’s “gone on a raft” (Dus cu pluta).
  • In Romania, things are not “far away”… they’re “at the devil’s mother” (La mama naibii).
  • A Romanian will not have “the impostor syndrome”… he will “feel with the fly on his cap” (Se simte cu musca pe căciulă).
  • You don’t “drive a Romanian nuts”… you “take him out of his watermelons” (Îl scoți din pepeni).
  • A Romanian doesn’t simply deem an effort “useless”… he says it’s “a rub on a wooden leg” (Frecție la picior de lemn).
  • A Romanian is not “extremely tired”…he’s “cabbage.” His life is not “chaotic”… it’s “cabbage.” And his room is not “a complete mess”…it’s also “cabbage” (Varză).
  • A Romanian doesn’t “suddenly get it”… his “coin drops” (Îi pică fisa).
  • Nor will he “lie to you”… he’ll “sell you doughnuts” (Vinde gogoși).
  • A Romanian won’t “try to fool you”…he’ll “throw vapours at you” (Te aburește).
  • A Romanian hasn’t just “screwed up”…he “threw his boogers in the beans” (A dat cu mucii-n fasole).
  • A Romanian won’t “lose temper”…his “mustard will jump off” (Îi sare muștarul).
  • A Romanian is not “surprised”… his “face has fallen off” (I-a picat fața).