Deutsch Akademy: the best choice for learning

Learning in Deutsch Academy

In my previous entry on this topic, I shared with you that I am very happy learning German language in Deutsch Academy. Today I want to get into more details about. I had two levels so far: A2.1 and A2.2 in two months April and May. In each we had different teacher and different classmates. At first I was bit stressed but not after long I realised that changing the context is always helpful! My contact with two different teachers gave me wider perspective and now I am really thankful that I met them both. Claudia and Vera, if you reading this: THANK YOU ladies, you rock it!

A2 level is very important and my advice to everyone is not to miss it and jump in B level. The fundament of German is definitely in A level!

Menschen book

Our Deutsch book and workbook is Menschen. I had A1 level back in Bulgaria with the same one and I really like it! Pair of books for each level costs 20 euro and you can buy it from the office right before the course beginning. Menschen is well developed and modern system for language learning. Every lesson has different topic, words and grammar. The vocabulary consist of great everyday use words, verbs and constructions.

Even I’m grown up, I’m really happy to learn with pictures and Menschen books are full of funny illustrations which are very helpful in better memorising. After every three lessons we had 45 minutes test to recap the knowledge. The test is divided in 3 parts: words, structure and communication. The same evaluation system is in the tests in workbook. If you have learned well the material then the test is not a problem at all. ūüôā Unfortunately one month is not enough to do ALL the exercises, but that’s also fine. I think is very useful for every student to do his/her own recap of the level.

Gartenbau kino

Kino experience in Vienna

Recently I had the chance to visit movie theatre for first time in Vienna. The word in Deutsch is the international “kino”. In the last years mostly of the salons are located in malls. It is comfortable yes, but it’s far away from authentic movie experience. My boyfriend knows my criteria and he surprised me with reservation in Gartenbau kino. This is an old school movie theatre, located in old building, refreshed by famous architect in 1960. It is very easy accessible by U3, station Stubentor. The cost of the ticket is 9 euro and the program is changing daily. We choose late projection at 20:30. Inside there is caffe bar for drinks and light snacks (no popcorn unfortunately). The sound system is amazing and the screen is so big! The entire salon is wide and spacious, with nice amphitheatre.

Isle of dogs

The movie we watched was the newest Wes Anderson – Isle of dogs. Honestly, this was one of the best shoots I have watched in last few years! It’s just amazing how good is done, it is a real masterpiece! The genre is stop motion animation with adorable characters, interesting story and beautiful details. Some of the most famous Hollywood actors are participating as voices: Edward Norton, Bill Murey, Scarlet Johanson. The language of the movie is English and Japanese plus subtitles in Deutsch. I don’t want to tell you the story so you can be intrigued to watch it but in few words, Isle of Dogs is telling about how strong is the relationship between human and dogs. Our 4 paws friends are loyal, intelligent and sensitive and we can rely on them in hard moments and situations.

After the movie you can have drinks in some of the many locals nearby or you can just walk through the beautiful Vienna city centre.

Trip to Slovenia part 2: Piran

Camp Lucija

Very near to the camping there is Mercator supermarket where you ca find all type of products you need on very reasonable prices. Very close to the camp there is also Pharmacy. Everything works till late – 8:30-9:00 in the evening. You have several options for beach in Lucija camp. The first one is on the platform at the end of the camping. There is enough space on it and the entering in the sea is quite easy thanks to stairs. Over there you can also find showers as well. If you prefer you can continue ahead where you enter zone with grass. There is also surf camp and bar for beer and drinks. The overall atmosphere is chill and easy.

 

Piran

Piran is another small village on Adriatica coast. It is 8 km from Lucija. You can take the bus from the big bus station across the camp. Station number 5, every 10 minutes, billet costs 1,20 euro in one direction. Don’t bring your pet with you – we had problem with this on the way back from Piran and we had to take a taxi. Between Camp Lucija and Piran is Portorose. This is the commercial and mainstream part of the region. We didn’t like it because we prefer more sophisticated and authentic places. BUT when you enter in Piran, you understand what really beautiful Adriatica village means! It’s stunning! I can compare it only with Amalfi and Positano! The harbour is small but perfectly organised, the architecture follows best mediterranean traditions, the people are smiley and positive. You can walk through the little streets and enjoy the maritime chill atmosphere. Oleanders, roses, olives and figs fill the air with divine smell. There is small beach with platform and stairs to the sea. You can also step to the top of the village and enjoy breath taking view to the port and the see. A lot of restaurants, bars and cafes fill up the small streets. You can find also some very nice small shops for handmade clothes and accessories. The prices are normal, but not cheap.

Trip to Slovenia

Long weekend destination: Slovenia

Austria is the country with the most bank holidays in Europe! This means that people have a lot of opportunities for short trips in nearby locations. Slovenia is a perfect choice for long weekend with family and friends. It’s five hours drive from Vienna.

Rent a car

If you don’t have own car you can rent one. We did it online in one of the biggest rent a car companies. The bad thing about this particular destination (Slovenia) is that you have to paid extra money. All the Balkan countries are in a list of “dangerous” ones and that’s why there is a fee. For country like Italy or France you don’t need to pay extra. The option for second driver is also extra paid. We (4 person plus dog) had great BMW from Thursday morning till Sunday afternoon for 280 euro, diesel included.

Camp Lucija

Our destination was Cam Lucija. The autobahn is more than perfect and fast and the driver can really enjoy the road. No extra documents or taxes are needed for crossing Slovenian border. Camp Lucija is located in perfect part of land on Adriatic sea. The beautiful blue colour of this sea is amazing and comparable only with Capri, Italy! Surrounded by olive trees and oleanders, the camping is really nice. On the one side is located little charming harbour for boats and yachts. You can feel the Mediterranean spirit – Italy is so closed to this place not only geographically but also in architecture, temper and language. Almost all the local people speaks fluent Italian. The camp is very clean and well maintained.

There are two sectors: more and less expensive. Honestly there is no dramatically difference so it’s up to you. For 3 nights we paid 90 euro in the less expensive zone. If you want to have electricity you can pay additionally and have it. We used only solar energy (coming from two four sided solar batteries) during our stay …. (to be continued).

Albertina

Visit Albertina

In Vienna are located one of the best galleries and museums in Europe! Here you can find rich cultural calendar with expositions of worldwide famous artists. Modern and contemporary artists and well known classic masters – every location has it’s very own mix of art exposing. One of the most significant and preferable art locations in town is Albertina. The beautiful building located in 1st district is home of beautiful resident collection and guest exhibitions.

Keith Haring exhibition

It’s worthy to go in Albertina till 24.06 to visit the exhibition of modern artist Keith Haring. He was friend with Andy Warhol, Grace Jones and many other important figures of the contra culture in USA in the 70/80s. Keith Haring is an artist with very well recognisable style and lot of energy – he loved to use every single possible place to draw on. New York subway, night clubs and graffiti walls were often his canvas. The current exhibition “Keith Haring , The Alphabet” follows the most important symbols and characters in his oeuvre in the years. The war in Vietnam, the American dream, the rising influence of mass media among masses. All of these topics you can find coded in Haring’s symbolistic figures of barking dog, red monkey and phallic shapes. One of the most iconic American images as Statue of Liberty, Mickey Mouse and Dollar sign $ are interpreted with controversial and meaning. All important messages that the artist is showing us, are blooming into vivid colours and hilarious scents.

Additional information

There are some another current exhibitions in Albertina. “Monet to Picasso” is¬† nice and short revue of these two masters. Another highlight is the photographic exhibition¬† “Director’s choice”. Part of the historical heritage of Albertina are the State rooms. They are showing typical Austro-Hungarian empire style of interior.

The regular entrance ticket price is 12,90 Euro. Albertina is easy accessible by U-Bahn РU1, U2, U4 (station: Karlsplatz/Oper), U3 (station: Stephansplatz).

Vienna is a dog friendly city!

Dogs are family

I am sure that all of you who has a dog will agree with me – dogs are much more than pets, they are family! No matter the breed or the size, all the dogs bring joy and make us better and more responsible humans. I brought my dog from Bulgaria. Her name is Romy and she is adopted, mix breed. Fun fact: I named her after the Austrian actress Romy Schneider even before I knew I will be living in Vienna!

Dog friendly city

When I became a dog owner, I start to notice so much more things around. For example in the country where I am coming from, Bulgaria, the streets are not very clean, with lot of trash spread on the ground. Well, except is not cool at all it was big problem for Romy eating all kind of stuff she finds. Here in Vienna is absolutely the opposite- it is so clean everywhere! The streets, the sidewalks, parks and gardens. There are also a lot of bins where you can throw your trash. Not only this BUT you can also find dispensers for free poop bags. Normally they are located in front of the dog playgrounds.

Rules

All of the great and positive things come with some rules also. It is really important to be strict in following the signs for where it is and where it is not allowed for dogs. Some areas are strictly prohibited, for example the gardens around historic monuments. In these cases it is preferably to pass quickly and with the dog on leash and with muzzle if possible. Other very important rule is when you are travelling with your 4 paws best friend in U Bahn. Then you have to buy one ticket for 1,20 euro, valid for one direction and the dog should wear a muzzle 100%.

Summer Night Concert in Vienna

Wow, talk about an event that could gather the whole city! The Vienna Philharmonic put on a free performance yesterday. If the opportunity to listen to one of the best orchestras in the world is not enough to spark you interest you have the added bonus of the Schönbrunn Palace gracing the backdrop illuminated in a myriad of colors.

It was really crowded and a bit hectic as you might expect for a free show but the crowds were surprisingly well maintained by security. They even used giant traffic signals to guide the hordes of people. It was my first time so I stood down on the ground level closer toward the stage which gave a nice yet obstructed view of the screens. Next year, however I think I will opt to sit hillside near Café Gloriette where many people sat on blankets while sipping wine during the show.

der dachstein

This 1 day trip is one of the trips we would cherish forever with memories of Austria. A wonderful place for the entire family.

We were 3 families of total 9 people. So we rented a 9 seater mini van from Vienna International Airport car rental center. We started early in the morning and left airport at 8 am, since it was a 1 day trip for us. It took us around 3-4 hours to reach the foothill of der dachstein.

We went in peak summer. But der dachstein is one of the snow clad mountains in Austria as the peak is at around 3000 meters. One of the families was leaving Austria and there was a cute girl who wanted to play in snow before leaving Austria. So we decided to make it to der dachstein.

From the base we had to take cable car to reach the top. There was a snow storm when we started our cable car ! There was only snow to be seen around us everywhere.

There is an attraction called sky walk, basically a view point where you can see breathtaking views of the mountains and villages.

There is a suspension bridge from where you can get again marvelous views. But it was totally snowy for us. But that’s what we wanted too.

Once you cross the suspension bridge there is an ice palace. We had to be careful walking inside the cave. It was very skidding. The ice made statues and things in the cave were beautifully lighted and was again awesome. But it was very freezing to us that we had to leave soon. By the time we reached to our cable car point the clouds got cleared and we got those splendid views of the mountains and villages.

After we reached the base we drove to¬†Amusement park Ramsau Beach. We played lot of games there like volley ball, football, table tennis. It was a total fun packed day for all of us. We wrapped up the day with a delicious dinner at the cafe “Waldcaf√© Lifst√ľber“. The trip back was quiet and sleepy for many. We managed to reach back to Vienna airport at 11 pm. We caught the last train from airport to Vienna as well.

Our trip in Austria

We made a trip in Austria for 4 days and it was lot of fun. We took a rented car from Vienna airport for means of transport. And used airbnb to book houses for accomodation.

Day 1 – Hallstadt :

We rented a car from Vienna International airport in the morning. And started our trip first towards Hallstadt. We wanted to see the salt mine. It was already afternoon when we reached Hallstadt. So we took the tour in salt mine. It was wonderful. Then headed to Liezen where we had booked a house in airbnb. The house was pretty and the host was very friendly.

Day 2 – Kaprun, Zell am See :

We left Liezen and drove through the country side to Kaprun. We quickly moved to Zell am See and thought of taking the cable car up to the mountains in Schmittenhöhebahn. It was already evening after getting down from Schmittenhöhebahn. Then we had drive to Innsbruck. On the way to Innsbruck we wanted to cover Krimml waterfalls. The waterfalls was a splendid view from the distance and was more beautiful when we neared it. It was almost 7 PM when we left Krimml waterfalls to Innsbruck. It was raining and it was a beautiful lonely drive in the mountains to reach Innsbruck. We reached around 10 PM.

Day 3 : Innsbruck : Swarovski Kristallwelten :

We had booked the house just for sleeping. We are out in the morning to Innsbruck city. We had a tough time finding a parking place and finally took the parking place in a mall as we could not find a parking place on the road. We approached the tourist center and they told either we can spend the entire day in Innsbruck town or we can spend the entire day in Swarovski Crystal World. We spent half an hour in Stadtturm in Innsbruck and took the 360 degree view of the town. Then we reached Swarovski Crystal World. What a marvelous place. It deserves a complete day for the entire family. Was awed being there. Sheer amazement awaits.

Day 4 : Villach, Bled :

From Swarovski Crystal World the 4th day plan for us was Lake Bled in Slovenia. So we wanted to stay at Villach. It was a 4 hours drive to Villach. Again we reached our airbnb house only at 10 pm. The navigation system in the car so accurate. It was a difficult address to find. In the morning we then realized we were in the middle of mountains. A stay we would never ever forget would be this only. Above the house was mountains and there were grasslands everywhere. We fell in love with the place that we decided to relax at the house for a while before going to Bled. Bled was just in the border of Slovenia. Only a shorter drive was needed.

We reached Bled lake. A pretty cool place. There is a lake and an island in the middle of the lake with a church. We walked around the complete lake. We took an electric boat ride. And we rowed a boat too. After getting the authentic Bled Cheese Cake we started our journey back to Vienna. Most of this part of the drive was only in Autobahn (Highway). So we managed to reach in the night at 10 PM at Vienna International airport.

Wow. What a trip. All the memories keep lingering now and then. Austria – What a beautiful country.

AtInnsbruckCityTower

AtBled

Learn with fun at Deutsch Akademie

DeutschAkademie Рmit spaß zum Erfolg!

Appropriate to the name we are learning Deutsch with fun for sure from day 1 ! Our group has 12 people. And we have been learning with lot of group activities which are sheer fun. I have mentioned below a couple of activities/games which kept us engaged in learning.

Shopping conversation :

We had an exercise for how to carry out conversations in a shop. The whole class is split into pairs. In each pair of students one will have to act as a shop keeper and the other will be a customer. Well this would have been a normal conversation. But a model of the shop is set up by the instructor. She has brought plastic vegetables, fruits, beverages and other groceries in plastic. There was also a cashier desk with a mock card swiper, scanner to scan the groceries. It was real fun. We had a lot of laughter throughout the session.

Finding a word :

There was another game in which one person is made as a seeker who is made to step out of the class and the other persons in the class are shown a word. Those in the class should help the seeker to find the word. But those in the class should not give the exact word, but only clues. It was real fun that the word given to us was “thief”. Some gave very weird but funny clues that the whole class was laughing for a while.

Apps I use to help my Deutsch learning

For an English speaker learning Deutsch requires few apps to be used for translation, grammar, vocabulary. I am using few apps which helps in my learning.

linguee.de

I got to know about this app from a Deutsch Akademie staff who did the preliminary tests before joining the course. I use this app to translate English words to German. The beauty of this app is that it gives a lot of sample sentences. I referred this to a batch mate and she likes it very much.

duden.de

Our instructor has provided this to us to refer to any Deutsch word for its meaning and grammar. Recently I asked a question about the deklination for the adjective rosa. My instructor mentioned that it is rosa only for any case and any gender. On checking duden.de it is mentioned as “indeklinables Adjektiv”.

Promt online translator

I use this website http://www.online-translator.com/ and the corresponding mobile app to translate unknown sentences. You can scan images with Deutsch words or you can speak in the mike in the mobile app to translate it to English.

Google translator

I mostly do not use this often. But for translating PDF documents from Deutsch to English this is far better than nothing. It provided similar features like PROMT. Both PROMT and Google Translator are free apps.

Vocabulary Trainer

When I was learning ice skating in Kagran I came to know about an app for improving vocabulary on a daily basis through a friend. This is the website https://www.languagecourse.net/. There is a mobile app too which I use mostly during commuting. This is very effective indeed.

Reverso

When I wanted to check the conjugation for the verbs I came across this website http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-german.html. When I downloaded the corresponding app i started loving it. The killer feature of this app for me is that you can listen to the sample sentences in both Deutsch and English. You can upgrade to a Premium version with a cost which would make the app advertisement free, provide you a way to learn and remember your search results for a longer period of time.

Duolingo

I started my Deutsch learning with this cool app. This is a very popular app for learning Deutsch, at least to get started. I love the flash cards too.

Instagram

There are a quite a number of accounts who share Deutsch things to ease the learning. Just search for the word Deutsch and/or German and you will find lot of them to follow.

Pinterest

I find this very interesting with pictures. You will get suggestions based on your history of the searching.

Youtube

There are a number of Youtube channels through which you can learn German. I personally like “German with Anja” and “German with Jenny” a lot. I am a patron of both of them ! There are many other channels too like “Learn German”, “Learn German with GermanPod101.com” and so on. Once you are in a channel you can look for related channels and sky is the limit !

Menschen

If you buy the books from Hueber https://www.hueber.de/menschen you can use this app to scan the pages to listen to the audio of that exercise. Usually it makes sense to use this app if you practice exercises with Hueber books. The books will provide CD, DVD for both course book and exercise book. But on the go, you can easily use this app without having to carry CD, DVD everywhere.

DeutschAkademie

And last but not the least the free app from Deutsch Akademie itself. You can practice a lot of grammar and exercises.