Was habe ich im Juni gemacht? Weiter lesen...
Easy German continues to be my go-to podcast. This month I listened to:
Easy German 258: Kinder kriegen in Deutschland (22 January, 2022, 39 mins). Manuel and Cari talk to Cari's friend Ursula about having children in Germany, from pregnancy to birth and beyond. Vocab includes Mutterpass (maternity record), Kreissaal (labour ward), Kaiserschnitt (Caesarean Section), Hebamme (midwife) and Elternzeit (parental leave).
Easy German 285: Dumm wie Brot (30 april, 2022, 32 mins). Cari relates her experiences of Greek hospitality and pick-pocketing in Berlin. Listener questions are answered and Cari and Manuel unpick the saying 'Dumm wie Brot'.
English equivalents: dumb as toast/dirt/a thumb/a fence post/a dog/a knuckle/as they come/a brick/shit/a box of rocks/bucket of nails...
Easy German 296: Bis zu Geburt zurückscrollen (11 June, 2022, 27 mins). Another of Cari's bikes has been stolen, and Manuel explains how he sorts his photos. The usual Das nervt and Das ist schön features. Vocab of interest: 'Mahlzeit' (enjoy your meal, but literally 'mealtime'), 'etwas aufknacken' (to crack open, but also break into, rob etc.), 'der Popel' (bogey/snot) and 'das Bauchgefühl' (gut feeling/intuition).
Another podcast I've recently started to listen to is:
Zeit Online: Was jetzt? News summary, around 10 mins per episode. Pretty challenging content and language for my B1/2 level, but good to push myself. Ideally, I would look up tricky vocab but realistically, that's not going to happen. Hopefully I'll still absorb some of it...
Song/Artist of the Month
Ich und Du, by Anna Depenbusch and Mark Forster. I'm a sucker for a duet with delicious harmonies, and this song ticks that box. Listen and watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeBgIXlefrM.
And while we're on the subject of Anna Depenbusch, prize-winning singer-songwriter and storyteller from Hamburg, I just have to include her gorgeous Eisvogelfrau rendition which you can enjoy here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs9ysIGpNNM&list=RDEMFX0qMzZLI2IHBZ-I61QomQ&index=5.
In contrast to French, Spanish and Italian, there doesn't seem to be much choice on Netflix when it comes to German language fare (or maybe I just haven't looked hard enough - any recommendations?). This month, I opted for the 2021 true crime documentary:
Dig Deeper: The disappearance of Birgit Meier (2021, 1 season, 4 hour-long episodes). German docuseries about the sudden vanishing of Birgit Meier from her home in 1989. Thirteen years after her disappearance, her brother reinvestigates the case and discovers the many incidents of police incompetence and false suppositions. Compelling series, with a mix of interviews and dramatization which really brings the story to life. I'm not surprised it won the 2022 German Camera award for best cinematography.
Mord am Morgen, by André Klein. The first episode of the Baumgartner & Momsen mystery series for German learners. Kommissar Harald Baumgartner and his colleague Katharina Momsen try to solve the case of an unidentified body found in an abandoned house. The book has a glossary and comprehension exercises.
I've continued with Deutsche Welle's Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten, with audio and text, summarising the main events of the day in simplified language (https://learngerman.dw.com/de/langsam-gesprochene-nachrichten/s-60040332)
Working out, language exchange, alles andere...
Some of the German workouts I've done this month
Ergotopia - 7 Minuten Bauchmuskeltraining für Anfänger - Effektive Übungen für zu Hause ohne Geräte.
3 rounds, 4 exercises which change with each round, 30 seconds each, 30 seconds rest after each round. So, a total of 12 ab workouts in just 7 minutes: Greifen wechselseitig (on back, legs up at 90º, reaching arms to left then right foot); Russian twist; Tippen (on back, knees bent, toe touches on floor); Hoch/Tief (raising knees off ground in table top position); Greifen links; Greifen rechts; Pumpen (on back, legs up at 90º, pumping arms up and down); Wippen (on back, alternate knees to chest then straighten); up and down (full sit-ups with knees bent feet on floor); Fahrrad fahren (on back, cycling legs); Bergsteiger (mountain climbers); Plank. I certainly felt it the next day!
Gabi Fastner - 12 min. knackiger Po Training | ohne Geräte, auf der Matte. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymURLRpSmUo).
My German/Russian language exchange partner, Mira, introduced me to Gabi's workouts. There's a real mix of levels on her channel, so it's easy to pick and choose depending on where you are in your fitness and what you feel like doing on a particular day. This session is short but intense and got me nicely warmed up for yoga.
Ergotopia - 7 Minuten Oberkörper Workout für Anfänger - Einfache Übungen für Zuhause (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUAxY1ARjCo). arm circles (Kreise); caterpillar; high to low plank; reverse table top tricep dips; superman; chair with paddling arms; arm pumps; push-ups; palm-presses; cool down stretches to finish.
Gabi Fastner - 20 min. good morning Figur|Workout ohne Geräte, im Stehen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYuLA0pOK3A).
This workout started off slow and seemingly too easy. However, over the years, I've come to realise that high impact repetitive workouts are not necessarily good for you and can often lead to injury. Now into my second century, I'm aware of the benefits of regular movement throughout the day, with moves that oil our joints and muscles and open up the body. This one ticks those boxes and, actually, I could feel my muscles working.
Mady Morrison - 10 Minuten Yoga Quickie | Dein Energiekick mit Soforteffekt! | Drehungen & Körpermitte
Pushed for time today, so quickie in order. Mady has managed to fit in pretty much everything in this speedy Vinyasa flow!
Mady Morrison - Yoga Vinyasa Flow|Ashtanga inspiriert|dynamisch & kraftvoll|15 Minuten Mittelstufe
As the title says, this session has elements of Ashtanga, which is dynamic and quite challenging, so don't be fooled by the gentle seated spinal twists at the beginning! Strengthens and stretches the whole trunk, spine, inner thighs and hamstrings.
Mady Morrison - Yoga Energy Flow|wach & energiegeladen in 15 Minuten|perfekt für zwischendurchyoga für Rücken, Brust und Wirbelsäulen
Can you tell that I love Mady's sessions...?! Lots of heart-opening poses to release all that pent-up energy as well as the usual dogs, lunges, forward folds, shoulder stretches and an ab workout. A great 'Yoga-Snack', as Mady calls it!
Gabi Fastner - 20 min. good morning Pilates|ohne Geräte, im Stehen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bCl-m4hhSM&t=945s).
For my last German Wednesday workout of the month, I decided to try out a Pilates workout rather than yoga. I found this one got off to a very slow start (but then work was calling me, so patience was wearing thin). I'm well aware of the importance of posture and core strength, but I think that yoga, at least on this day, would have better suited my state of mind and body.
More German Skype sessions with Mira with an eclectic mix of new/forgotten vocab, including zusammenbinden (tie/bind together); Erben (heir, inheritors, beneficiaries); vernachlässigen (neglect, forget, overlook, abandon); Gewächshaus (greenhouse); and haargenau (exactly, precisely). It's amazing and reassuring how just an hour of conversation per week can bring out deeply-buried information! It's all there, filed away - accessing it is the tricky bit!
Deutsche Welle (DW) https://learngerman.dw.com/de/nicos-weg/c-36519718. I only managed two lessons of DW's free German course this month, which were about Geschichte.
- 'Über Heimat sprechen': when and how to use the präteritum and Perfekt.
preterite with regular verbs: using -(e)te
preterite with irregular verbs - change in vowel, e.g. geben - gab
preterite with mixed verbs: vowel change and -(e)te
Thomas Mann summary of his life with preterite
- 'Krieg und Frieden' (Persönliche Erlebnisse): more practice with the preterite, perfect and present tenses, with two of the video characters telling their stories of war, one in Syria and the other in Poland during the Second World War.
Word/phrase of the month
Hunde, die bellen, beißen nicht – his bark is worse than his bite; barking dog seldom bites; all bark and/but no bite; all bluff and bluster; all crown no filling; all foam no beer; all hammer no nail; all mouth and trousers; all smoke and mirrors... more here: https://www.powerthesaurus.org/his_bark_is_worse_than_his_bite/synonyms).
Let me know what activities you're doing in German and please share this post with anyone you think would find it of interest. I'll be changing the format and medium of these posts so keep an eye out on LinkedIn. Bis bald!