Author Archives: Ivona Costan

From A1.1. to B1.1.

Here I am, preparing to start the B1.2. module. I started a couple of months ago from zero. I had no previous knowledge of German. I moved to Vienna deciding that I want to learn a new language an enjoy life in a new city. And here I am now, in the begging of 2017, setting as resolution to master German by the end of the year.


The first 3 months were really interesting, full of new vocabulary and wondering at each corner what the words in front of me mean. The last two months were a bit challenging, I was also working and going to classes from 6.15 pm, I had no time for myself or self-study at home but I did managed at the end of December to pass the test in order to go for B1.2..

During the Christmas we did not had classes, so more time for something else, but guess what… I felt strange because I was having no classes. Sometimes, I was actually missing the atmosphere, colleagues and teachers… it was strange to have a 3 weeks break.

Now, I plan to start fresh with the B1.2. level. and afterwords I will have a time to consolidate all my German knowledge.

It is a long road, but most definitely I know that I want to master this language as soon as possible.

In the meantime, good luck with your classes and don’t give up.

All the best,


2017 Resolution

At the beginning of the year, each one of us sets a set of new resolutions or things to do. As 2017 just began, we still have some time to set our goals and which are the necessary steps in order to achieve them.

I will tell you about one of my goals, in 2017 I want to achieve German proficiency, meaning C2.2. level and the certificate. Since I am also working, I assume it will be a long road, but I will work hard to achieve my desire.

I will continue my journey with Deutsch Akademie, and I know they will play the role of a friend who supports me while I am in need.

What are your resolutions for 2017 in regards of learning German?

list of resolutions on blackboard with three blank, numbered sticky notes

list of resolutions on blackboard with three blank, numbered sticky notes

Happy New Year

Deausch Akademie students are coming from all around the world. I hope you all had a wonderful night and celebrated with all your dear ones.

I wish you all a very sweet and prosperous New Year. May God pour his love and blessings on you.

Happy New Year!

Ein glückliches neues Jahr!

Kul ‘am wa antum bikhair!

Xin nian yu kuai!

Bonne année!

Felice Anno Nuovo!

Boldog uj evet!

Szczesliwego Nowego Roku!

La mulţi ani si un An nou fericit!


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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.


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.

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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.


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.


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.


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,


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!


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!


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!