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5 Top Tips to Help You Speak German More Easily

5 Top Tips to Help You Speak German More Easily

Erfolg hat drei Buchstaben: t u n ![1]

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


[1] lit. Success has three letters: do!

To be successful at speaking German, you need to speak, and trying to speak without any form or specific goal makes it more difficult. It’s important to give yourself a specific task or framework for speaking, otherwise you might flounder.

After all, can you imagine trying to cook a new meal without knowing what the ingredients are? Surely not!

Would you ever set out on a road trip witho…

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Haben Sie «Vitamin B»?

Haben Sie Vitamin B

Suchen Sie einen neuen Job?

Brauchen Sie neue Kunden?

Wollen Sie jemandem helfen, eine ganz neue Karriere anzufangen?

Dann brauchen Sie Vitamin "B".


"B" für Beziehung

Everybody knows you need vitamins, preferrably from fruits and vegetables, or from vitamin tablets. There are real B vitamins in Germany, like Vitamin B12, however they also have this special vitamin known as "Beziehung"...relationship.

This gets at the heart of all networking and elbow-rubbing and shmoozing that goes on al…

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Confession: My First German Teacher Was the Worst

Confession My First German Teacher Was the Worst

I have a confession to make:  my first German teacher was so bad, I blocked him from my memory.

For years now I've been working on this website, cultivating each page and making everything as genuine and transparent as possible. And then it hit me:  I have indeed had another German teacher (a professor, actually), from whom I learned exactly 3 words of German in 2 semesters at college:

ein Glas Limonade

Yep, das war alles.

So it's no wonder I'd blocked it all out. It was just that bad.

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Only in German: Schmerzensgeld

Schmerzensgeld Only in German

In German there are a few words that express something so specific, so perfect, that we really need them in English. Like Gemütlichkeit! We don't have a word or a specific concept just like that to describe feeling "comfortable, happy, and content" in English, and we also don't have the slang use of Schmerzensgeld that the Germans have--and sometimes we really need it.

The dictionary definition of Schmerzensgeld is "money for pain and suffering." As in the legal term, if you are wrongfully inju…

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Judaism & Hanukkah in German - Free Printable Flashcards!

Judaism Hanukkah in German Free Printable Flashcards

The holidays are in full swing all over the world and this year I've chosen to feature the holiday of Hanukkah. This year Hanukkah takes place from December 6 (today!) to December 14.

As a little gift to you for Hanukkah this year, here are some printable flashcards on Judaism and Hannukah auf Deutsch!

What's fascinating about many vocabulary words for Judaism and Hanukkah in German is how strikingly similar they are to the English words. "Kosher" is simply spelled "Koscher," for example, and …

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Are You a Lucky Duck or a Lucky Mushroom?

Are You a Lucky Duck or a Lucky Mushroom

A rabbit's foot, a horseshoe, a 4-leaf clover, these are all things Americans consider lucky. You can even be a "lucky duck" in English.

But mushrooms? Leave that one to the Germans!

Here is a short article, completely in German, with a free worksheet for you to download and work through.

First download the worksheet

Download this worksheet, which is based on this article. You'll read the article here on the blog and then use the worksheet to learn the vocabulary and practice a few easy sent…

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How I Learned German in 6 Months

How I Learned German in 6 Months

There isn't much of a secret to language learning because it's all about working with the language as much as possible over a length of time. However I can give you tips on how I learned to speak German fluently (and I mean--I could say anything I wanted or needed to say) within about 6 months. Konjunktiv II? Kein Thema. Polite discourse? Absolut! Telling someone off? That, too.

Don't get me wrong--learning German in 6 months was really tough. I started at an A2 level (the second-lowest level) …

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Quick Guide to the »W-Fragen«

W-Fragen Printable

The W-Fragen are questions that begin with the question words--in English:  who, what, when, where, why, and how. To contrast, yes/no questions in German begin with the verb ("Arbeiten Sie heute?" "Kommen Sie aus Bayern?").

In most books you usually see a list like this, it's just the German and English translations. But is that really enough? Take a close look.

German   English
was  what
wann  when
wo  where
wie  how
warum  why
wer  who

 

If…

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Fünfzehn Synonyme für Geld

Fünfzehn Synonyme für Geld

Für Geld gibt es im Deutschen gaaanz viele Wörter. Wie viele kennen Sie schon?

There are sooo many words for "Geld" (Money) in German. How many do you know already?


Nehmen Sie sich eine Minute und schreiben Sie so viele Wörter für Geld, die Sie kennen. Mit diesen drei können Sie anfangen:

Geld, Cash, Kohle ...

 Also, hier gibt's einige, sowie eine kurze Erklärung zu den jeweiligen Vokabeln.

Here are a few synonyms, as well as a short explanation to each of these vocabulary words.


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Viel oder viele?

viel oder viele

"Viel" oder "Viele"? Gute Frage!

viel oder viele.png

It depends on whether or not you're speaking about something that can be counted. For example:

viel Zeit - lots of time. Time in general cannot be counted. (You can count hours, but not time itself.)

viele Menschen - many people. People can be counted.

Erfolg (success) is another example of something that cannot be counted. Certain things, yes, like finishing a degree or obtaining your driver's license, can be counted, sure, however they are very specific e…

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