Author Archives: Lorraine808

About Lorraine808

New to Vienna and new to German language. Follow my blog for insider information about Deutsch Akademie!

What I like most about the course books

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So, with each course you take at DA you’re required to get 2 books. #1 is a course book & the #2 is a work book. you need both to do the course… costs €19 for both. not so bad price. in college i remember some books costsing upwards of a small fortune.

anyway- for me the work book has been so helpful for my vocabulary. at the end of every chapter gives a vocabulary page you can fill in. this includes vocab from the chapter but also random helpful words you use in everyday life. for example, “Komisch!” = Odd!

I like how, the actual course book gives really thick juicy text articles that take a while to get through. They make example blog type inserts that are perfect for our level, but also include words that are more advanced to help expand our vocabulary. here’s a photo of what I’m talking about…

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but overall the lay out & grammer instruction are good. i would have to sat that this book is a little imcomplete to describe the lesson completely. For example, if you bought this book and tried to learn the text without an insteuctor… i feel like you would not get very far 😳😁😒….

 

 

What happened at coffee house conversations…

I was cruising around online when I stumbled upon a cool website that listed cool things to do in Vienna in October. I was lucky to find this random meet up called coffeehouse conversations. You can preselect dinner or just drinking coffee while you talk to a local Viennese person. I selected $16 sacher torte & cappucino 😊

I was thinking how cool of an opportunity to talk with someone who’s lived in Vienna for all of their life, or at least a really long time. I was curious to see their perspective on the city and ask down-to-earth questions about their life. I totally recommend anyone looking for something to do on a Thursday night, to find a local coffeehouse conversation in your area. it’s hosted by a guy (totally forgot his name), but apparently it’s a trend in many cities. The person I met and talked for two hours was a lady about my same age but born in Austria and living in Vienna since 13 years. The organizer gives you a menu of questions to ask each other. Some questions like, “if you were a fruit, which one would you be and why? “

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I had a lot of fun and I even met another American, who is here studying… And we’ve decided to have coffee this week on our own. you never know what can happen when you go out in this city! 🌍⭐️🎒

Read a book!

With the advice of a friend, i took it apon myself to buy my first german language book. i had to buy something i could understand, so i went into the book store … “Thalia”…. equivalent to US’s barns&nobel and walked straight to the little kid section. there you find colorful and big text size pages. i was so happy to be buying my first all german story.

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I wasn’t sure what the title meant… because I didn’t know what ‘Kleeblatt’ was. but the rest i understood. and that’s exactly how im going to get thru this book. understand 6 out of 7 words. this way i build a vocabulary using context. as long as i have a story line to follow ( a fairly easy one with no seriously twisting plots ) then it should all come together like a puzzle. im already on page 11 out of about 150. just a nice easy breezy read. so far each page is taking me at least 1 minute to fully digest. which is actually great because an american english book with about 250 pages takes me 1 week in total to read. i mean, if i stick with german language books, #1 my german will improve #2 i dont spend nearly the same money as english books #3 return to my childhood state of mind 😊👍🐥

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.

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