Monthly Archives: June 2017

End of the Third Week

Time flies, today we arrived at the end of our third week. The next one will be the last for B1.1, then we can start B1.2. I will definitely continue and take a break in August maybe.

I see how much we could improve in a few weeks. Now we can ask help and recommendations in a store, talk about different opinions or write a complaint letter, even a presentation.
Every class we practice a lot and talk more and more. We were even learning about one of my favorite topics – pets.

Our group is great and every day we know a little bit more about each other by talking about exciting topics. I never thought that learning German can be fun 🙂

German is a very difficult language if you want to speak it well. I started to read a book, the “Little Prince”, and it is a very good practice. When I was learning French, My teacher recommended it to us because of its simple language. It was a great idea and it works with German as well.
I also started to watch a show, with subtitles of course, the Vorstadtwiber, it is very funny and entertaining. It is like “Desperate Housewives” in the USA, but a little bit more dirty 🙂 It is very popular now in Austria and about five rich women who live in the fancy part of Vienna.

I can recommend to practice and try to talk even more from now on, because at B1 you already have the knowledge to have conversations so don’t be shy!

This is us yesterday in the Parliament

Konversation Kurs, warum nicht?

Im Mai habe ich den B2.2 Kurs beendet.

Dann war meine Frage: “So, was kann ich jetzt machen weiterzugehen?”

Ich hätte zwei Möglichkeiten: entweder an einen Grammatik Kurs oder an einen Konversation Kurs teilnehmen.

Man könnte auch mit dem C1 beginnen…… aber ich habe wirklich nicht darüber gedacht. Natürlich gibt es Leute, die diese Niveau probieren, aber meine Meinung ist, dass es vor einer ÖSD Prüfung zu früh ist.

Nach einem Monat kann ich sagen, dass ich wirklich froh über diesen Kurs bin. Der Lehrer Jan war vorbereitet und benutzt verschiedene Verfahren. Im Foto könnt ihr meine Gruppe, die am Stammtisch teilgenommen hat, sehen. Gestern war es der letzte Tag, aber wir treffen schon morgen, um Deutsch mit Brettspiele (wie “Tabù” oder “der Agent) aufzusteigen!

Jan hat uns diese Methode vorschlagen, und wir können nicht darauf warten, diese Tätigkeiten entgegenzutreten!

Vokabeln, Verben, Redenwendungen, Konversation Fähigkeiten… wir kommen!

 

A Special German Class – Our Visit in the Parliament

Two weeks ago on Thursday we had a day off because a religious holiday, Corpus Christi. It was up to us to decide whether we want to have an extra class on a Friday or just do something special together. We chose to visit the Parliament House on the Ring and we didn’t regret it.

First, a few words about the Austrian political system:
Austria is a democratic republic. It has 9 counties (one is Vienna) and people have the right to vote from the age of 16. Vienna is the capital so the ministries, the Parliament and a lot of important authorities are here. There are 183 representatives who are discussing the law. They belong to 5 main parties: the SPÖ, ÖVP, FPÖ, Neos and Die Grünen. The president choses the ministers, the chancellor and the secretary of the state.

Since December 2016 the president is Alexander Van Der Bellen who is the first green president ever in Austria. The elections didn’t go smooth though. Van Der Bellen won in May but the votes were counted too early so they had to repeat it in December – and he won again.

The building of the Parliament was completed in 1883 and has a Greek Revival style designed by Theophil Hansen. In front of it there is a statue of Pallas Athene, the Greek goddess of wisdom and knowledge. In the tympanum we can see Emperor Franz Joseph wearing a Roman toga.  The interior has the Greek style, too, with the statues, the columns, and the paintings. The doorknobs and the stairs are decorated with snakes, it means wisdom.

The guided tour through the building took about an hour and it was very interesting. We saw where the politicians are working, speeches are held and laws are made. It was in German but our guide tried to speak a little slower – it helped a lot. If you want to schedule a visit, hurry up, in the middle of July they will close, due to renovations, and will only reopen in 2020. Till then, they move to the Hofburg.

Talking About Pets

Today’s German class was really fun, we were talking about our pets. Everybody was excited about it and of course, the old topic came up: dogs or cats? These animals are the most popular pets and they have very different characters.

Dogs are known to be faithful to you while cats seem more independent and less loving. In my whole life I considered myself as a “dog person”, but we have a cat for a year now, and my opinion is changing 🙂 Though I still think a dog is a perfect choice and a wonderful friend, a cat needs less time and effort. And our cat is a sweetheart, greets me when I come home, talks to me, purrs a lot, he is really affectionate! I think I understand “cat people” more now 🙂

I got my first pets, two little tortoises, at the age of 10. I was overwhelmed with joy. I wanted to prove my mom that I can take responsibilities. I was feeding and cleaning them regularly. Unfortunately, they didn’t live long, tortoises are very sensitive little animals and my room was too cold for them.
Then I got a lovely guinea pig called Cinderella who was my beloved company for long years while studying or watching TV.
Then, after 18, I had guinea pigs again. You cannot forget to feed them because they remind you with their sweet “oink oink” and I think they are a perfect choice for young adults who don’t spend too much time at home. Guinea pigs feel the best with another guinea pig so they never can bored. In German, guinea pig is “Meerschweinchen”. What a lovely word 🙂

I think having a pet is wonderful. They become our friends for their whole life and love us unconditionally. And of course they are sooo cute and entertaining 🙂

Our cat

Verliere keine Zeit!

Wie ich schon erzählt habe, fahre ich einmal oder zweimal pro Monat zu Hause zurück.
Das heißt, dass ich zwischen den Zug und den Bus entscheide, den Ticket kaufe … und dann die ganze Nacht ich da drinnen zu schlafen probiere.
Dieses Mal kommt der Bus zu früh an, so ich sollte zwei Stunde in Triest bleiben, um auf einen Zug nach Görz zu warten.
Aber ich wollte keine Zeit verlieren, so ich habe mein GrammatikBuch aufgeschlagen.

So ich habe das Passiv bis das Aufgehen der Sonne mit einem Meerblick wiederholt.

Wie komischer Beginn des Wochenendes!

 

34th Donauinselfest

Europe’s biggest free open-air festival took place last weekend on the Donauinsel. International and domestic stars were creating a real party atmosphere for 3 days on 11 different stages. Different kind of music, sport, children- and family programs were also available to make sure no one is bored.
The festival had all together 2.8 million visitors (which is incredible, the city only has 1.84 million inhabitants!), and offered more, than 600 hours live program for the people.

One of the biggest hit was a Falco tribute. Falco was a Viennese singer, the first one who became popular and famous in America while singing in German. He was a special talent who died unexpectedly and too young. He had a legendary concert here in 1993, and it was re-enacted with the original band.

I visited the festival on Saturday evening with my husband. We wanted to go already in the afternoon, but the heat was incredible. It was very well organized. The drinks weren’t overpriced, we paid 5 Euro for a beer, which is acceptable in a Festival. We also had to pay 1 Euro for the plastic cups but we got it back when we took the cups back. This is a great idea, this way people don’t throw the glasses away and it is easier to keep the festival area clean.

We saw Mando Diao which is a Swedish rock band. I really like their music but they don’t make a very big show live. Then, we just joined to a random retro party with old Austrian songs what people were singing loudly with the singers 🙂

Going home was a little bit difficult because they didn’t let the subway overcrowded (It was running every 2-3 minutes). We had to wait in line a little bit but then we had a comfortable and safe way home.

 

Weekend Tip – Grüner See

Vienna is a wonderful city but sometimes we just need to get rid of all the people and go out in the nature. Austria is an especially beautiful country with well preserved and clean nature and breathtaking mountains. Well, let’s combine the natural treasures and the mountains – let’s go to Grüner See!

It is a small lake in Styria, surrounded by gorgeous mountains and lust forests. The name originated because of its vivid emerald-green color. The crystal clear water comes from the snow melt from the karst mountains and it’s really cold, only 6-7 °C. During the winter, the lake shrinks (it already starts in July), and the surrounding are is used as a county park.
It reaches it’s utmost beauty in May – June, when it is the deepest, about 12 meters.

It was very popular amongst divers but now, to protect the sensitive environment, it is not allowed anymore. For swimming it would be too cold anyway.

It is a 2.5 hours drive from Vienna. There is a short walk from the parking spot, then you can go around the lake on a well maintained path. It is also called as “the Caribbean in Austria”, because of the stunning green color of the water. A lot of Americans visit it, because some say that this lake is even nicer than Lake Tahoe, in Nevada. (Well, my husband told it and he is from Styria 🙂 ).
But judge it on your own, it really worth to visit 🙂

 

 

My Favorite Places in Vienna – Hundertwasserhaus

The Hundertwasserhaus can be found in the 3rd District, within a short distance from the Donaukanal on the tram line no. 1. It is in a quiet little street which suddenly becomes busy and full of tourists who are coming to visit from all over the world.
You cannot miss it, it is colorful with terracotta mosaics and has 250 trees or bushes on the facade.

Hundertwasser was an Austrian artist and architect with a beautiful, unique design. He brought the nature into Vienna what is already one of the greenest cities of Europe. His designs use irregular forms and incorporate natural features. He rejected straight lines and conventional architecture. The house has uneven floors (“it is a melody to the feet”) and a huge roof terrace covered by earth and grass. He accepted no payment for the design, he said that was enough that he prevented something ugly to be built that place.

He wanted to build just more human and environmental friendly buildings. For Hundertwasser, human misery was a result of the rational, sterile, monotonous architecture.
He campaigned for the preservation of the natural habitat and demanded a life in accordance with the laws of nature.

If you want to know more about him or his art, the Hundertwassermuseum, the Kunsthaus Wien is only a few minutes from it and definitely worth to see. Drink a coffee in the cafeteria and enjoy the view of the little garden and the building’s colorful facade with lush trees built in the walls.

 

Learning German on a Daily Basis

I really liked today’s class. We were learning about writing complain letters. As we order more and more things online, this can be a very important lesson 🙂 It also shows how to write a formal letter to a company or to an Authority.
DeutschAkademie gives us relevant information every day, it prepares us to be independent outside the class.

Actually this is what motivates me to learn every single day and practice in the weekends. To be independent. To be able to read articles, news, watch a movie or do a simple Google search in German. There are a few series in the TV in Viennese dialect. I would get closer to the famous Austrian humor by watching it. I would like to read books or stories which are only available in German.

Our teacher at the course in wonderful. She explains everything so clearly that it makes us understand the difficult grammar rules easier. She is also patient. Sometimes we ask the same questions all over again and she still answers and want to make sure we got it.

There are only 12 students in the class which makes an atmosphere where it is easier to learn. We practice and play grammar games a lot, it is good, because we use immediately what we have learned.

My Favorite Places in Vienna – Donauinsel

I’ve been running regularly for more than 6 years now. When we moved to Vienna, one of my first things was to find a great place for running. I checked on-line, and three beautiful places were recommended. First was the Prater, which is wonderful, but too far from my home. The second was the Schönbrunn, but it is always packed with tourists. (Don’t misunderstand me, I like tourists, but running around them can be a bit tiring). The third place was the Donauinsel. It’s a very narrow (only 70-120 m), 21 km long island. At the first time I fall in love with it. (And I also started to run on an island on the Danube).

The Donauinsel is not a natural island, it is the part of the city’s flood protection system. The works started in 1972 and finished in 1988. The Neue Donau is practically a long swimming lake, not a river. If you are on the island, you see the difference between the color of the water on the left and the right side. It can also be seen on Google Maps. It is a recreational area with a lot of restaurants, a water park and various activities on the water (windsurfing and boat rentals are also available).
You can lay under the Sun and tan from late spring till early autumn or just have a drink in the grass while watching the water. You won’t be alone, don’t worry 🙂 There are always a lot of people.

For running, it can offer different distances, remember, it’s 21 km long so it’s only up to you! I usually start at the Neue Donau station at U6, then head to the south. I’ve already met rabbits, baby swans and ducks.

This weekend there is a huge, famous and FREE festival, don’t miss it! I will be there 🙂 www.donauinselfest.at

This Danube is really “blue”

 

Swans with their babies

Our Class

Vienna is an international city, and you can see this in the Deutschkurs, too. People are from Romania, Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Ukraine and Hungary (me). Different cultures and habits meet every day. Last month there was a woman from Tanzania. I love to hear the stories from all over the world like what their motivation is, how their hometown is or how they met their loved one.

People are studying at the university, writing their PhD, or just trying to find a better job. German is not an easy language and takes hard work to improve.

This is the second week of the course, it started a week later, but at least we had some time to go over everything again. At B1.1 we practice and talk even more, German started to become the part of our lives. I don’t use English anymore in the city and that makes me feel more confident. Though last time we went to a spa the waiter in the restaurant didn’t understand my “school German” so I had to ask for help 🙂