How Does German Culture Compare to US Culture?
Frequently, very frequently I find myself confused by living in the US again.
The culture is simply so different from German culture, which is where I began my post-grad school life.
I couldn't put words to all of it, but then a friend of mine asked me recently, "Of all the places you've been, where did you have the most culture shock?"
It took me weeks to sort out my answer.
After considering the 21 countries and perhaps 18 states I've visited, I've finally got my answer.
In this episode w…
Nicole reads aloud: "der Kobold in der Mühle" from the Brothers Grimm
It's a 'scary' time of year and to go along with it, here is your Brothers Grimm fairy tale in a video.
You might not know Der Kobold in der Mühle, however it's every bit as eery as the other fairy tales.
What does Kobold mean?
A Kobold is a "house spirit," a German folk being who takes care of household tasks and sometimes causes mischief.
Britannica.com has a fantastic description of a Kobold that includes this important information:
"...mischievous household spirit who usually helps wi…
What is the German National Anthem?
The German National Anthem is known as the Nationalhymne or Das Lied der Deutschen, "The Song of the Germans."
In today's episode of the podcast for German learners you'll hear:
the current national anthem
a bit of its history
the German National Anthem sung in German (by yours truly!)
It's really important to note the specifics of this Anthem because there is a strong connection to German history, one that is to be remembered and respected.
Besides, wouldn't you like to im…
How to Pronounce and Use hätte in German
Knowing how to pronounce hätte correctly in German is one thing. Using it correctly is another.
In today's German lesson you'll learn both how to say hätte correctly and how to use it in a few specific phrases.
Imagine how confident you'll feel knowing exactly what to say and pronouncing everything correctly. This will be a step up for your German.
Plus you'll learn how to say "shoulda, woulda, coulda" in German, which uses hätte, and will surely impress your German friends the next time they…
What does "wäre" mean and how do you use it in German?
This episode will take the fear out of using wäre in German.
All it means is "would be," but would be has nothing to do with reality. It actually has to do with things which are unreal.
Something that isn't true now, but would be nice or would be nuts or would be fantastic.
This grammar topic is known as the "Konjunktiv II." We'll use only the present tense today.
If this is brand new for you, it's best to take it one step at a time. The first step are the very straight-forward sentences (or…
What's the difference between meinen, bedeuten, and heißen?
Synonyms in German function differently--they overlap differently--than in English.
Well, of course they do, right? Because it's a different language.
A lot of German learners - A1, A2 and B1-level learners confuse the verbs meinen, bedeuten, and heißen because in English they all mean "to mean."
bedeuten = to mean
heißen = to mean (also means "to be called," which you'll hear as well today)
meinen = to mean
The good news is, there are ways to tell them apart and you'll learn them in…
What is A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 in German learning?
In this 5th episode of the GermanWithNicole.com Podcast you'll learn what these designations mean for German learning.
You've surely seen this alphabet-number combination on German learning materials and maybe you've seen or taken a German language assessment test and received one of these combinations as a result. “You can take a class at the A2 level.”
But what does it mean?! And why should you care?!
Hint: Understanding these combinations will make your German learning life sooooo much eas…
Fun, Guided German Listening Practice
If you're looking for listening practice at your level of German, you can now find it in Stube Radio.
Stube Radio consists of real German news articles (but not THAT kind of news) recorded by Frau Warner. There is a PDF transcript for you to download and keep (if you like).
What Stube Radio ISN'T
The most important thing for you to understand is that Stube Radio ISN'T news articles based on the horror-show of the day.
It's not some super bored dude reading off the news at a very slow tempo…
Jein = ja + nein
"Jein" is definitely one of the best words in the German language.
It's one word for both yes and no.
ja + nein = jein
Knowing the word "jein" in German opens up a whole new world for German learners and their eyes get really big and their ears perk the first time they hear the word.
"Jein" also has several uses; for starters, "jein" allows you to give two simultaneous answers to one question: ja und nein - yes and no.
This is perfect for difficult answers.
When it's impossible to give a simple answer…
5 Top Tips to Help You Speak German More Easily
Erfolg hat drei Buchstaben: t u n !
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Success has two 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.
Most people simply try to talk about everything all the time. That won't help you. Why? Because you know a TON of English/whatever your native language is, however in a foreign language …