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5 Easy Books for A1 (Beginning) German Learners

5 Easy Books for Beginning German Learners Cover NEW

Amended: This post now includes 8 Easy German Book recommendations for A1-level learners,
3 from adult literature and 5 from youth literature.


If you are an A1 German learner, then that means you are at the beginning level of German. You're a beginner. It stays that way for a while, so you might as well enjoy it! The A1 level is key for you because it gives you the basics of German grammar. A1 is the foundational level for all other levels. I frequently tell people:

Think of the A1 level l…

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How Learning German Can Change Your Life: Part 2

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Assertiveness, old German ladies, and "gut."

Do you hail from the middle of the country? Nothing kicks the Midwest out of you like German, as Laura F. wrote in response to last week's post:

Growing up in the Midwest, one of the principles I absorbed was that it is terrible to hurt other people's feelings. In my early adulthood, I was really too agreeable for my own good. In Germany, living in their culture and using their language, I learned to be more assertive. It was in German that I firs…

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How Learning German Can Change Your Life: Part 1

How Learning German Can Change Your Life Part 1 Cover NEW

For some people, German truly changes their lives. I know it did for me--I had never actually learned to speak a foreign language before and it opened up a whole new world of experiences, literature, travel, media, music, and more. Learning to put that verb alllll the way at the end of the sentence helped me think in larger, more encompassing thoughts, which changed how I planned what I wanted to say.

A lot of my clients have had life-altering changes by learning German and I want to share a fe…

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The 5-Day Weekend, Courtesy of the Reformation

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2017 is a huge year for Germans: they get an extra national holiday, Reformationstag. It's the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door, which turned out to be a pillar event of the Reformation movement.

An extra national holiday means that everybody gets an extra day off work. Everything's going to be closed, however I suspect a lot of churches might have more visitors than usual.

So how does this make a 5-day weekend for Germans? Here's how:

Saturday and S…

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Krank sein, ein Elfchen

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An Elfchen is a German poem that contains only 11 words. The form is 1-2-3-4-1. Because if its simplicity, it's a fantastic way to practice your vocabulary.

Or, if you're sick and can't seem to shake off the crud of the decade, it makes a very succinct blog post.

Krank sein: ein Elfchen


hatte Halsschmerzen

mehr Tee trinken

bitte wieder gesund werden!


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7 "Fantastisch" German Products You Can Get Here in the US

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One of the best parts of German culture is the Apotheke, the pharmacy! Not because of the prescription drugs, but because of the products you can buy there. And the freebies--don't even get me started. I once bought some facial care products and make-up and they gave me a HANDBAG. A HANDBAG!!! I still have it. Die Tasche ist fantastisch! I even got a tea candlelight holder one year and since it was Advent/Christmas, the candle holder was in the shape of a star. Ja, das habe ich auch noch.


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Sorry, There is no Oxford Comma in German.

Sorry There is no Oxford Comma in German Cover NEW

Discussions begin, lawyers are called, and lawsuits are filed. All of it is about a comma. (See what I did there?)

The Oxford comma is so important to people that spouses actually have discussions about it. They've talked about everything like where to live, how to manage their finances, and how many kids to have, but years later they find out only one of them uses the Oxford comma. [Cut dramatic music.] It's like now the real stuff of marriage has come to the forefront:

to use the Oxford comm…

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Why You Should Stop Asking “Wie geht’s?” All the Time

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Es war einmal…that I called my German Landlord to ask to get something fixed in the apartment. Although I was in a fantastic mood that day, it only took about 20 seconds for that phone call to change my German speaking habits forever…here’s why:

Nicole: Hallo, Herr Müller!

Herr Müller: Hallo, Frau Warner!

Nicole: Wie geht’s Ihnen denn?

Herr Müller: Ach ja, wissen Sie, nicht so gut. Am Wochenende habe ich im Garten gearbeitet und etwas hat mich am Fuß gestochen! Die Stelle ist angeschwollen—e…

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Found at...ALDI - Two Traditions: Ghost Feast and »der Todestag«

Found at ALDI Two Traditions Ghost Feast and der Todestag cover NEW

If you've been hanging around this blog for a while, which some of you have, you'll know how excited I get when it's German week at ALDI. Apparently it just was, but I missed it, as there was no more regular Frischkäse when I arrived, only the Meerrettich kind, which I don't like. Schade.

This week I did a huge Einkaufstour and went to ALDI and filled up the cart. Käse, Champignons, Paprika, Toilettenpapier, Taschentücher, Bratwürste--ich habe echt alles eingekauft.

When I reached the check-ou…

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How do you say "staycation" in German?

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Americans take a staycation und die Deutschen machen Urlaub auf Balkonien!

Although Germans are legally entitled to a minimum of four weeks of vacation per year (many have five, and some six), not everyone takes off to the mountains, to another city, or to another country. Many Germans have Urlaub zu Hause, or more aptly put: Sie machen Urlaub auf Balkonien!

When you take the word "Balkon" and add the "-ien" ending to it, it sounds like the ending of places that you'd like to take a vacation i…

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