Updated: Jun 28, 2022
As I wrote in my first Keepy-uppy auf Deutsch post, I have an intermediate level of German, learnt during my year and a half in Stuttgart and Munich way back in 1989-91. I'm keen to improve my level with the hope of one day adding German to my working languages. Some of the activities I did in May were:
Over the next few posts, I'll go through the handful of German podcasts I've discovered, but my weekly staple and favourite is Easy German:
Easy German 288: Mit der Monsterkarre in Spanien (10 May, 2022, 35 mins). Manuel and Cari host this episode from Spain and introduce us to their team who contribute to not just production and editing of their podcast and videos, but also the linguistic aspects. Makes you realise how much work goes into it all!
Easy German 289: Tun wir genug? (14 May, 2020, 35 mins). Inevitably Manuel and Cari talk mostly about the war in Ukraine and Putin's propaganda. Lighter moments come in the form of the Eurovision Song Contest and the Easy Languages Teams get-together in Barcelona. I found out there are 11 'official' teams (which have their own YouTube channels) and another 28 'projects' (see https://www.easy-languages.org/our-languages).
Song/Artist of the Month
No, it's not Nena's 99 Luftballons or Falco's Rock me Amadeus (although I admit they are catchy...). This month's award goes to:
Vivaldi's Die vier Jahreszeiten, by Anne-Sophie Mutter. Not technically her song, but her interpretation of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons doesn’t fail to enthrall! Watch and listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RKmN3gOZ3E
The series I've been watching this month was recommended by the Easy German podcast team:
Das Letzte Wort - German tragicomedy, not my usual genre, but even though it sometimes falls into the farcical, the actors and dialogue make up for any silliness. It won best comedy series in the 2021 German TV awards.
Intermediate German Short Stories, published by Verblix. - Five stories, 8 pages each: 'Ein Rundgang durch Kassel', 'Neue Stadt - neues Glück', 'Karneval in Köln', 'Wintermärchen in München' and 'Neustart in Würzburg'. I've just finished it and didn't find it too taxing, so the next book I choose should perhaps be a little more challenging.
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 (as you can see from the pic, our Beagle Roxie often wants to join in!) Downward dog anyone...?
BodyKiss - Oberschenkel abnehmen - Bein Workout. 7 minutes alternating between jumpy (not my favourite) and slower exercises to catch your breath. It's over quick enough...
Mady Morrison - Yoga 15 min. Leg stretch | Flexibility routine for hamstrings, butt and hips | Post running stretch. Gentle static poses set to relaxing music: walk the dog, deep lunge, runners stretch, lizard pose, wide-legged forward bend, Goddess pose twist (this gets spine cracks every time!), standing forward bend, butterfly forward fold, one leg stretch, seated figure four stretch, cow face pose, straddle forward fold and lying twist. All this in just 15 minutes!
Mady Morrison - Yoga beweglichkeit, Dehnung, Entspannung | Hüften öffnen & Rücken mobilisieren | zur Ruhe kommen. Gentle workout of shoulder and neck rolls, cat/cow, wrist stretches and rolls, thread the needle, hip openers, yogi squat and spine twists - all accompanied by Mady's soothing voice. Ready for a busy day!
Mady Morrison - Yoga für Rücken, Brust und Wirbelsäulen. I don't know if I overdid the spine twists in yesterday's yoga session with Baruc or whether it's all the weeding I've been doing lately, but I woke with what seemed to be a pulled muscle in the middle of my back. Mady had the answer though, with this one targeting back, chest and shoulders. Warmed up muscles and a few loud cracks later, I already felt better. Cheaper and less scary than a chiropractor!
I'm continuing my weekly German Skype sessions with Mira, whom I 'met' on the MyLanguageExchange platform (https://mylanguageexchange.com/). We don't have a particular structure to our calls: sometimes we just chat about our week; at times I will ask her about vocab or grammar that has come up from the Deutsche Welle Learn German course, or from a podcast. Mira also pointed me to Die Sprachzeitung 'Presse und Sprache' monthly magazine, which summarises German press articles in simplified language (https://www.sprachzeitungen.de/deutsch-als-fremdsprache-lernen/ich-suche/deutsch-deutsch-presse-und-sprache.html).
Deutsche Welle (DW) https://learngerman.dw.com/de/nicos-weg/c-36519718. I'm doing one lesson per week of DW's free German course. This month I've learnt about all about time: not enough time, time management, punctuality and now or never. Grammar included:
- nominalisation: kochen - das kochen; lesen - das lesen, fernsehen - das fernsehen.
- nominalisation with prepositions zu and bei: Ich habe keine Zeit zum kochen; beim Fernsehen esse ich gerne Chips.
- subordinate clauses with the conjunction während - Karl spricht mit Anna, während er putzt. Während er putzt, spricht Karl mit Anna.
- indirect speech: using question words and the 'ob' and 'dass' conjunctions.
- Die Qual der Wahl: the 'agony' of choice which leads to decision fatigue!
Word/phrase of the week
Viel um di Ohren haben – to have a lot on your mind/plate; up to one's ears/neck/eyes; busy as a beaver; slammed; snowed under; swamped; busy as a bee; all tied up; have one's hands full; have a lot of irons in the fire; bite off more than one can chew... More here: https://englishbyday.com/busy-idioms/
And as a result of the above:
Hundemüde - dog tired (something both Roxie and I often feel...)
Let me know what activities you're doing in German and please share this post with anyone you think would find it of interest. Bis bald!