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The Last Day of the Course

Today was the last day of the German course. We had a short test and were learning more about genitiv. It won’t be my favorite 🙂
In the test I only had a few mistakes, mostly because it is hard to remember all these words. This is why I started to watch TV, I recognize the words there and I remember them easier then.

I really liked the course, it is very detailed, our teacher answered all our questions and was patient with us. The location was excellent, easy to reach, close to the Mariahilferstraße.
It is great that I see every day that I improve. I speak better, I understand the people more. Even my husband noticed that.

The course is over so this is my last post, have fun and good luck with German!

(This is a double rainbow over Vienna yesterday)

Online Deutschkurs

Deutsch Akademie offers us a free tool to practice wherever we are and whenever we want. This is the online course, which is available through their website:

http://www.deutschakademie.de/online-deutschkurs/english/

It offers more than 20.000 grammar and vocabulary exercises, forums where teachers answer our questions and clear explanation of grammar rules. The exercises are organized according to different levels and the course book so it can be a great supplement for the course.

When you click “practice German” it offers you three choices depending on what you would like to do. You can select by your level or by grammar topic. It is really easy to use and can be very helpful to improve your German.
When the questions appear, you choose the solution and it immediately shows if you made a good decision or not.

I find practicing crucial. I started to talk but I am still very slow and shy – this is what can be improved by practicing on a daily basis. Watch TV, read a book, use the online course and you will improve day by day.

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

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 🙂

 

 

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.

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 🙂

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Why did I chose to learn German?

When I married to a handsome Austrian man it became clear that, some time, maybe not in the very distant future I will have to learn German. Just to be able to communicate with the family or raising kids together.
Well, we were living in California, so I wasn’t very motivated. I wanted to show him that I’m interested in his culture so I started an on-line course but, I didn’t get further than the basics.
The city where we lived was founded by a Swiss man though, and a lot of German people moved there to find their luck during the gold rush. It has a huge German community (from first generation Germans to German descendants), they have an official beer fest, most of the women own at least one dirndl (sometimes more) and Heidi is a really common name. The local Turnverein offers German lessons and they are sold out fast.

When my husband got his new position in Vienna, I was shocked. I knew that without speaking the language I won’t find a good job and I didn’t want to sit at home. So I decided to learn German in all my free time but, I was too worried so I drove to San Francisco instead 🙂 It calmed me down, our moving date seemed far enough. We had only two months left…

So I came to Vienna with a very basic knowledge (level A1.1)
which of course wasn’t enough for anything. We started to look for courses. I wanted something very intensive where I can feel motivated and we practice a lot. My husband found DeutschAkademie, it had really good reviews so we decided to give it a try.
I had to write a test to see which level I could fit in. In March I started A1.2. I knew most of the things already but I couldn’t use them, I recognized the words but they didn’t come to my mind in everyday situations, I mixed up the articles and the “Personalpronomen”.
Our teacher was wonderful. Patient over all 🙂 We were practicing a lot, we were forced to talk, create sentences, use the proper articles.
I absolutely loved it! Slowly, my German started to improve. First I was too shy to talk, what if I mix up the articles or use dativ instead of akkusativ? Well, who cares? Just talk as much as possible and it will get better.

Last week we visited my mother in law again and we could have our first real conversation! I was very proud of myself – also my husband. Hard work really pays off 🙂

Find someone who can support you while studying:

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Hello from Vienna

Hi Everyone,

My name is Krisztina, I’m 34, and coming from Budapest, Hungary. I am a personal assistant. I know, it’s not a very exciting job, but at least interesting 🙂

I moved to Vienna in February with my husband (he is from Graz), because he’s got a new assignment here. We lived in California before, so it took me some time to get used to the Central European weather again 🙂

I love Vienna, I think it is a wonderful city with a rich cultural heritage. I also love that Austria takes green energy seriously and works on making the supplies sustainable.
I started at DeutschAkademie in March with level A1.2 and this month I’m already at B1.2. Time flies… and I really see the progress! My mother in law came for a visit and we could finally talk – she only speaks German.

I would like to show you my journey with this exciting language and my favorite places in Vienna.Roses at Volksgarten

Урок №13

В среду мы проводили тест по оценке полученных знаний за наш курс, то есть за предыдущие две недели. Тест был небольшим, около пяти маленьких заданий, время на выполнение было неограниченным.  И каков же результат? Мы получили обратно наш тест с исправленными ошибками, оценок нет. У меня огромное количество исправлений, тесты других учащихся я не видела. Angela (наш преподаватель) сказала про результаты моего теста положительно. Она сказала, что выполнить данный тест без ошибок на нашем уровне А 2.1 невозможно. Все же количество ошибок в моем тесте меня абсолютно не порадовало. А это мотивация не расслабляться, а продолжать учиться и стараться еще больше!

Дальше было обычное занятие. Мы говорили о питании, любимых блюдах, национальных различиях в кулинарии. Также мы читали текст про то, в каких странах сколько потребляют мяса, овощей, алкоголя. По статистике в Германии мужчины пьют в 4 раза больше чем женщины. А женщины в свою очередь пьют либо пиво 50%, либо вино (тоже 50%). В Украине же женщины пьют обычно вино или шампанское, а пиво – это достаточно редкое явление. Коду, к примеру рассказала, что в ее родной стране (то есть в Сенегале), алкоголь и курение запрещено. И если кто-то заметит, что девушка пьет или курит, то это настолько необычное явление, что про эту девушку расскажут по новостям по телевидению. Вот так вот!

До завтра! 🙂

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