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How much time should I spend learning German?

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Time is the most precious commodity we have—and once it’s been spent, it’s gone forever. When you’re learning German, you of course want to know how much time you need to put in to really learn it! It’s vital that you use the time that you have wisely. Thus I say:

Think in terms of learning sessions,
not in minutes of study time.

This helps you break down the work you need to do related to the time you have available. Schedule the work that needs to be done, not the time you think you should sp…

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How to Say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year in German!

How to Say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year in German! Cover NEW

When the calendar turns to the holiday season, it's time to talk about holiday greetings! This year Christmas and Hanukkah even take place at the same time. So here you've got all the holiday greetings you need for this week & next!

But wait! It's still Advent--it isn't even the Christmas season yet!

Advent! - die Vorweihnachtszeit

In the US we fever and shop and practically race our way to Christmas and Advent is often left up to the church calendar. However in Germany it's also cultural--Ad…

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Haben Sie «Vitamin B»?

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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

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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

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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 Cover NEW

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 simply reflects the German spelling ("sch") as opposed to the English ("sh").

Here are the flashcards for general terms on "Das Judentum in Deutschland." (Judaism in Germany) This PDF …

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How I Learned German in 6 Months

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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» in German and English

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The W-Fragen in German are question words.

They are also known as 'open-ended questions. In English the W-Fragen also begin 'w':  who, what, when, where, why, and how.

You begin learning the W-Fragen at the A1 level in German.

(These questions are different from the ja/nein Fragen or 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…

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Fünfzehn Synonyme für Geld

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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?

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"Viel" oder "Viele"? Gute Frage!

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 eve…

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