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What does "schräg" mean?

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You probably enjoy those lists of German words that can't be translated into English as much as I do.

They go around the internet again and again, but have you noticed they're usually the same words?

This word, schräg, never shows up on one, and it deserves to be on every list.

In this episode you'll learn all about the word schräg.

You'll learn what it means, how to pronounce it, and how to use the word schräg.

Und machen Sie Ihre Hausaufgaben! (Do your German homework.)

New Homework!

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How Does German Culture Compare to US Culture?

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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…

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Nicole reads aloud: "der Kobold in der Mühle" from the Brothers Grimm

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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…

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What is the German National Anthem?

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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…

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How to Pronounce and Use hätte in German

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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…

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What is A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 in German learning?

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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…

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Jein = ja + nein

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"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…

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11 German Words for Holy Week and Easter (Karwoche und Ostern)

11 German Words for Easter Holy Week

Christian Holidays are often public holidays in Germany, so these are good words to know whether you're non-religious, atheist, agnostic, or religious.

The schedule carries over into school and school breaks, too. One of my clients is currently on Osterferien, Easter Holidays, and doesn't have school this week or next.

This week is Karwoche, or Holy Week, and in a non-pandemic year there would be much singing of the Bach Passions: the Matthäus-Passion (St. Matthew Passion), the Johannes-Passion (S…

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What is the Plusquamperfekt?

What is the Plusquamperfekt

The Plusquamperfekt is a form of the past tense in German.

It's generally reserved for high intermediate and advanced learners at levels B2 and C1.

If you're not there yet, I recommend you save this blog post for later.

The remainder of this blog post is in German, as is the explanation video.

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Das Plusquamperfekt ist sehr hilfreich, wenn Sie über zwei verschiedene Ereignisse reden wollen, und beide bereits passiert sind.

Es kann viel Spaß machen, wenn Sie das Plusquamperfekt bilden und auch beim Spre…

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How to Give a German Learner a Seat in "die gute Stube"

Give a German Learner Gift

The email delivery on this gift is so fast.

Trying to send gifts this year is a challenge. We can be really grateful for all the fantastic people working hard to get our packages to their destinations, that's for sure.

Sometimes sending them is a different story, however. Yesterday I stopped at the Post Office to send off a package and as soon as I approached the door I realized it wasn't the best time. It was 11 a.m. and the line (physically distanced, of course) was all the way to the front …

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