About

aboutcatHi,

my name is Emanuel. I am 32 years old and I love languages and talking about them… one could say that I am a language

- nerd -

This passion developed when I was in Finland and I was confronted with foreign languages every day. Before that, I actually thought I sucked at languages. My grades weren’t great, I was glad when I could opt out French and I couldn’t even describe the way to Berlin Brandenburger Gate in English properly without breaking my tongue and using my hands like a mime.
But I think when you really want to learn something, you can learn it very quickly. And it is never too late… I mean, I was already 54 when I was in Finland.
Anyway… I have been teaching German for 72 years now and I really like explaining things, I like German and I like English too … and I really honestly believe that German is easy.. at least easier than people think.
I’ll do my best to convince you…

10 rndaom facts about me

  • I usually eat my main meal of the day at around 10 pm…
    I know…
    it’s a bad habit
  • I love running in winter. In summer I tend to exhaust myself too quick and then I just stop and walk. In winter, I run with reasonable speed without stopping … and I love a low standing sun in combination with snow
  • I love cats
  • I think swim instruction as it has been done the last decades is the opposite of what it should be
  • I love yawning… it is one of the most enjoyable things for me. Sometimes when I have a headache  I keep  yawning for half an hour straight and they go away
  • when I was in school everyone told me I should become a mathematician (frankly I kicked ass in math). I never considered it and I don’t regret it.
  • I can’t count…

A word on language

All the explanations here in English because I want the page to be useful for as many people as possible (and I don’t speak Chinese and China won’t let this be found anyway).
Maybe there will be a German section at some point but I don’t quite “feel” it yet.
I’ll do my very bestest to write understandable and correct but I am not a native speaker so there will certainly be a decent amount of weird phrasings or grammar glitches. Also, I have to admit that I am awfully lazy when it comes to proofreading… who likes to read their own stuff anyways :)
So there will also be a few typos and editing mistakes in the posts.Sometimes I even make mistakes in the German examples… for my shame I have to say.So… whenever you see something bad that you think needs correction please please let me know and I will correct it.

Pay for free stuff

“What? Why should I pay for free stuff?”

Well, it is free but it is a lot of work, too. I want to continue and expand this with more cool stuff to come but I also need to make a living.
Adds suck, pay-walls are complicated … and suck and exclusive memberships are… well… exclusive… and, of course they suck. I really want to keep it free.
And that is why a donation would be freaking AWESOME!!!

It has taken quite a while for me to donate online myself… the laziness:).
It doesn’t have to be much. A dollar can make all the difference if enough of you pitch in.
So please… if you like this page… think of it not as “free of charge” but as “free for charge”.
You pay whatever you think it’s worth or what you can afford. I know… sounds like a very hippie-like approach and many people tell me it won’t work… up to you to prove them wrong! :)

By the way…
tausend Dank to everyone who has donated so far. It means a world to me.

 

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257 responses to “About

  1. Hey, I just wanted to thank you for the guide you’ve provided here. Your explanations are presented quite clearly and descriptively and I’m finding it a pleasure just to go through your words of the day! I see there are no comments so I hope this goes through! I’m studying in Switzerland, and although the dialect is it’s own beast, learning High German is part of my daily routine and I’ll definitely add this source to my learning material. I hope you continue on with your posts.

    Have you considered writing a book?

    Cheers,
    Turi,

    Like

    • Vielen Dank :) for the nice comment…
      I actually did think of writing my own language learning book at some point but that is quite an endeavor and there is no need to rush. I have a lot to learn yet and this is blog one way to practice for me… and to refine the explanations. The article about zu and um zu for instance. It is quite long and pretty comprehensive and I have to add more things that I havn’t thought of… anyway… I am glad you find it helpful and entertaining and I’ll do my best to keep it that way.

      Viele Grüße in die Schweiz und viel Erfolg mit Deutsch

      Emanuel

      Like

  2. Hello,

    The Top 100 Language Lovers 2012 competition hosted by the bab.la language portal and the Lexiophiles language blog has started and your blog has been nominated in the category professional language blogs. Congratulations! The nomination period goes until May 13th. Feel free to spread the word among other bloggers writing about languages or to suggest one blog yourself.

    Please email me so I have your contact details (stefanie [at] bab [dot] la) and send you information about the status of the competition and the badge.

    For further information on the Top 100 Language Lovers 2011 competition, visit http://www.lexiophiles.com/english/top-100-language-lovers-2012-nominate-your-favourite-now

    Best wishes,
    Stefanie for the bab.la and Lexiophiles team

    Like

  3. Hallo! Ich habe den Blog durch diese Language Lovers Competition entdeckt und ich habe ihn in einem Tag durchgelesen! Ich bin jetzt traurig ich habe nichts mehr zu lesen, aber bin auch gespannt was noch kommt! Ich glaube dein Blog ist super, sehr witzig und ich habe auch sehr viel gelernt, das ich bisher, in den vielen Buechern die ich über die deutsche Spreche gelesen habe, nie gefunden habe! Vielen vielen Dank und bitte mach weiter so!!!

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    • Wow, alles an einem Tag…. Das ist viel :). Danke danke danke für das Kompliment… ich werde mir große Mühe geben in Zukunft.
      Dein Deutsch ist übrigends fast perfekt. Der einzige Fehler war ‘Spreche’ statt ‘Sprache’ aber das könnte auch ein Tipfehler sein. Du schreibst wie ein Muttersprachler !!!

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  4. Danke! Wenn man schreibt ist es einfacher weil man mehr Zeit zu denken hat… :) Mein Deutsch ist weit weit weg von perfekt!!! (Ich glaube das ist gerade falsch was ist geschrieben habe, oder?)
    Ich glaube dein Blog ist perfekt um sich eine “natürlichere” Art von Reden zu verschaffen. Übrigens bist du zweisprachig?!

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    • ‘Mein Deutsch ist weit davon entfernt, perfekt zu sein’ ;)… deins war aber auch ok, und könnte auch von einem Muttersprachler stammen.
      Danke für das Kompliment. Ich bin nicht zweisprachig, aber Englisch ist meine erste Fremdsprache und ich mag Englisch sehr sehr gerne.
      Ich schreibe in etwa so wie ich rede… das ist auch das einzige was ich wirklich kann, denn ich lese nicht gerne in Englisch. Meine Quellen sind Youtube Videos und die Simpsons :)

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  5. Hi once again, I was hoping you could write a blog on the difference between bestimmt, sicher and gewiss. I was studying about expressing probability with future tenses using wohl and I was wondering what the difference between all these words meant? Ihre Website hilft mir wirklich. Vielen Dank!

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    • Hi Lisa,

      so in sentences that express your expectations about the future all three words you mentioned mean pretty much the same. Gewiss is a little out of date and I don’t think many people use it in spoken German nowadays. Anyway

      Es regnet bestimmt/sicher/gewiss bald.

      Here all 3 express that your are quite certain.

      The overlap between them is large but each of them comes from a totally different background. That is also the reason why I can’t do a what-is-the-difference because it would be too long or not comprehensive.

      Bist du sicher? Ja, ja ich bin sicher.

      Here you can’t use either of the 2 others because here we are not talking about assumptions but rather about a measure … kind of.
      Oh… and as a one word answer there actually is a difference between sicher and bestimmt.
      Kommt Thomas zu meiner Party?
      Bestimmt.

      Here bestimmt is an assumption, while sicher is a statement based on knowledge. So if the person says bestimt, he or she assumes that Thomas will come, while if the person says sicher, he or she knows that Thomas will come. So sicher is a bit more certain than bestimmt maybe. However adding something to the one word answer changes everything.

      Sicher/ bestimmt kommt er.

      With the right intonation, this sicher can sounds just like bestimmt … so not a bit more certain.

      Oh and what both have in common is that they have consoling potential and are often used that way.

      Wird meine Katze wieder gesund?
      Ganz sicher!

      I hope this helps a bit, although it was not that structured :)

      Like

  6. Vielen Dank noch einmal! Sie haben meine Frage beantwortet.

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  7. Hi again, I have two more burning questions that are keeping me up at night and I am hoping you can answer them because I really need my sleep! The first is: Why is the following sentence “Ich habe zugenommen” with haben instead of sein? To me it is an obvious change of state and there is no direct object, so I would have thought it would be with Sein.
    The second question is pertaining to: “Ist es draussen kalt?” Can I also say “Ist es kalt draussen?” or am I being a typical English speaker and translating verbatim? What is the rule with having the “kalt” after “draussen”?
    Many thanks!

    Like

    • Hi Lisa, the question regarding zunehmen had me think for a while. You are right. It feels very much like a change of state. However, that is not the focus. The focus is that you take something to yourself… but that would be a poor explanation as it merely expresses merely my native perception of the word which could very well be due the the very fact that we use haben…. so I started thinking if there were a fail prove answer.
      I could say, that nehmen goes with haben so all prefixed nehmens will use haben as well, but there might be an exception somewhere, so this doesn’t qualify.
      But I finally realized that zunehmen can take an object… Ich nehme 10 Kilo zu. 10 Kilo is a acc object. It is not mandatory but neither is coffee for trinken.
      So zunehmen can take an object and is thus using haben.

      The second question was easier… both are perfectly fine. I honestly can’t tell a difference and the second version does not sound any less German than the other. It would be slightly different for the statement.

      Es ist draussen kalt.
      Es ist kalt draussen.

      The latter is the better (by far). The former is not the default. Why not? Because Germans like their place info ALAP (as late as possible). So putting it in front of kalt shines a spotlight on drausser and the listener might infer that the speaker intends to make a contradiction between draussen and the inherent oposite innen. So it sounds a bit like:

      Es ist draussen kalt, aber drin nicht.

      This certainly depends also on diction and melody and sometimes a speaker might just accidentally say the draussen first.

      Waiting for more questions :)

      Like

  8. Great blog – am currently learning German and struggling a little but reading the examples here has helped with the learning. Thanks so much and keep it up ! ^^

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  9. Hi Emanuel, Deine Seite ist wirklich super…. weiter so! Mein Mann ist englischer Native Speaker und er liest Deine Seite mit Begeisterung!

    Ich wollte dich aber auf einen kleinen Fehler hinweisen, weil er auf Deiner “About” -Seite ist, wo sicher viele Leute zuerst hingehen, wenn sie Deine Seite besuchen!

    Es soll heißen “I’ve been teaching German now FOR five years”. “Since” benutzt man, wenn man auf einen Zeitpunkt in der Vergangenheit hinweist (since 2007) und “for”, when es sich um eine Zeitspanne handelt.
    Ich hoffe, du nimmst mir diesen Hinweis nicht übel ;)

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    • Nee garnicht :)… dieser Fehler passiert mir leider immer noch zu oft. Ich weiß das zwar eigentlich in der Theorie, hab’ sogar andere schon berichtigt, aber das deutsche seit ist einfach zu stark in meinem Kopf :)

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  10. I’m an English teacher, so I’ll let you know of any really terrible grammatical flubs ;) (Basically just stay away from semi-colons and you can’t mess up too terribly). Honestly, though, because you write the blog more as though you were speaking to readers face-to-face than lecturing in a highly proper textbook I have yet to come across anywhere that your writing or punctuation is confusing. I’m actually enjoying reading how you express yourself in English as much as I’m enjoying learning German – your words have a different cadence to them than an English native speakers’, and it’s neat to read.

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    • A teacher, oh god, the pressure is on now :). But I hate semicolons. I find them superfluous… at least to me in German they are. Make a point if you want to make a point hahaha….. Seriously though, I am glad that there are no major fuck ups in there and it is nice to hear that it is an enjoyable read…. I am really really curious as to what the different cadence is… not that I would want to purge it, but being aware allows for switching it on and off to a degree…. anyway, thanks for your comment :)

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      • I think a lot of it comes from the fact you usually don’t use contractions (‘I’m’ instead of ‘I am’) or where you say things a bit longer (and probably more properly) such as ‘there are no’ whereas a native speaker might more likely say ‘there aren’t any’. I definitely don’t think it’s a bad thing, though – we native speakers are awfully lazy speakers (which transfers to our typing) and it’s not necessarily a good thing, haha.

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        • That’s interesting :)… my being a German native definitely shines through there… if you pay close attention, you can certainly pick up a lot about how it would be in German… for instance:

          “There aren’t any”… just doesn’t exist in German. We say “There are no” (using kein/e/r/n/m)

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  11. Why the word “fuck” It seems to me that the word is used by many people to emphasize that they are contemporary or with it or sophisticated. I hate the word, and don’t understand why so many people seem to find the need to be coarse. The use of the word coarsens your otherwise outstanding remarks.

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    • Hi Don,

      I do agree with what you say and I really try to stay away from “language”… my input is mostly DVDs and youtube so I get to hear fuck a whole lot in pretty much all contexts. So what goes in comes out :). However, I often catch myself writing fuck for emphasis and genuinity but then I remove it. Might be that some did slip my sensor though… if you refer to the fuck in “fuck-ups”, is that bad language, too?

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  12. I just wanted to leave a comment, to let you know that for the past few months I have been reading every single one of your posts! I live in Montreal, Canada and have been learning German for almost a year now. Thanks so much for running this blog! :)

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  13. I’m an Italian Foreign Languages student, and I just wanted to thank you for the amazing and useful work you’re doing. I’ve been learning German for a year and I can’t even yet formulate a phrase, your blog is really giving me three or four hands!

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  14. Dear Emanuel, I came across your blog only recently. I want to thank you for your great blog because so far it has been greatly helpful to me and has introduced me to many useful German phrases as well as grammar rules. Would you be so kind and explain, in a future lesson, how to say “I want you to know that…” in German? (and ‘I need you to…’) Also I meant to ask you, what is your first language and how many languages can you read/write/speak? Thanks! :D

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    • Hi Manni,
      thanks for your feedback. It is always great to hear that it helps people :).
      As for your question… since that would be a translation of an English expression I don’t really know how to frame it as a topic but I can give you a short answer:

      I want you to know… would literally be
      Ich will, dass du weißt…
      However, in many occasions Germans would use a different phrasing… “you should know”:
      Du solltest wissen….
      A variation of that is:
      Du musst wissen….
      which is a little more urgent maybe and thus a good match for “I need you to know…” and oh… for this (I need you to know) there is NO literal translation.
      Ich brauche dich zu wissen… is nonsense in German and noone would understand :)

      As for the languages… German is my mother tongue and English is my second language. I can also speak and write French, but not as fluent as English. I have a basic knowledge of Finnish and I was able to read and write in Finnish 4 years ago but I never managed to actually talk.
      And finally I was able to hold conversation in Italian and I can read it fairly quickly but I never use it so it will slowly go to sleep …

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  15. Thanks so much for a great site! I love your style of writing and approach to teaching. I am American and honestly thought you were too, your English is amazing. Your article on adjective endings was awesome and hilarious. Such good advice! Please keep teaching us, I look forward to more words of day!

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    • Ha then youtube has taught me well :)… honestly though, I am really incredibly vain when it comes to my English so your compliment made me grow about 2 inches and pad my shoulder for half an hour ;)

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  16. This is great. Ich bin eine Austauschschulerin und ich wohne jetz in Deutschland fur ein jahr. Dein blog ist ganz toll! Ich kann noch nicht so gut Deutsch weil ich bin in deutschland seit nur 2 Monate. Dein blog ist seeehr nutzlich. Und du sprichst Englisch wirklich gut!
    Ich werde diesen Blog ab sofort benutzen!

    Woo! Korrigier mich bitter wenn du hast zeit. :) Und ich hab auch einen Blog auf WordPress uber mein austauschjahr hier in Deutschland. Du kannst das anschauen wenn do mochtest! :)

    Like

    • Also du hast ein paar Schreibfehler (bitte, du, möchtest / moechtest, jetzt, fuer, some words should be capitalized) aber sonst ist der Text ziemlich gut.

      Hier noch 2 andere Fehler:
      …, weil ich erst seit 2 Monaten in Deutschland bin (verb final because of weil, only as the opposite of already is erst … I have written about this so check it out:)
      … du sprichst wirklich gut Englisch. (Englisch sounds much better as the final word for reasons I don’t want to discuss right now … but I will when I talk about word order)
      Viel Spaß bei deinem Austauschjahr und viel Erfolg mit dem Lernen.

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  17. hello bro! im german teacher in Turkey. You should a contact page.i’ll credit you in my website wwww.esakademi.com and you should create a pdf file of your all works if you’ve already done this let me to know where it is. I would also to share it on website. Take care!

    Like

  18. Gruesse aus Graz! I’d like to nominate you for the Liebster Blog Award! You’ll have to follow me back to my blog to pick up the questions that go with the nomination, but congratulations on being one of my (and doubtless many others) favorite reads! I always look forward to a new post :)

    Like

    • Oh cool… that sounds great :).

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    • Hey so I read the rules on your blog and I fear I have to be a Spielverderber because I can’t follow them…
      I don’t really follow blogs (save 3, 2 of which I read occasionally and the last one hasn’t posted anything in 7 month)… so who would I nominate… and then where would I post the answers and the random things… I don’t want to make it an extra post since people get an Email whenever I post stuff and I feel kind of responsible to make sure it is what they signed up for… so basically I am being totally sceptical German about it :)

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      • well goodness no need for all of that! This is a pretend universe, I am confident we can bend the rules as need be. Please put aside your natural cynicism, or at least re-direct it (I hear the OeBB could really use some improvement) and try to enjoy the moment ;) I promise not to tell anyone that you haven’t followed all of the rules, I didn’t either, if that makes you feel better. Just thought you deserved a thumbs up, you’re free to accept and play along as you wish!

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        • hahaha… alright then I gratefully accept of course and I do appreciate it (just as I am happy to see your liking my posts all the time :)…. I added some random facts to my about page … but what is OeBB??

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          • huzzah! The OeBB is the name of the train system here in Austria. While my only experience has been pleasant, I’ve heard many tales of misadventure from others. Apparently they could use a little more German organization ;)

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          • Hah… I don’t know about that… S-Bahn in Berlin is a neverending story of failure and mismanagement with people waiting for 60 minutes in cold in the middle of the capital because… the doors were frozen and that is just one example. it is funny actually. At some point this year (in February I believe) they seriously did announce that they would finally return to their emergency schedule after… THEY HAD BEEN ON AN EMERGENCY EMERGENCY SCHEDULE for months with several lines completely without service :)

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  19. I have a question.
    Why do people say.. “2 Tagen” or something similar when the plural of Tag is TagE.
    Wann benutzt man am ende “N”?

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    • This is an ending for accusative case… In 2 Tagen is accusative and that’s where the n comes from. Most nouns don’t get such endings but unfortunately some do… I would say, just pick ‘em up along the way based on flow… it is really frustrating to study those on purpose

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  20. Vielen Dank für diesen Blog!! Ich komme aus den USA, und seit 2 Jahren unterrichte ich mich. Ich hatte ein bisschen Hilfe auf LiveMocha.com (FB für die Menschen, die eine neue Sprache lernen wollen). 2011 war ich 25 Tage in den “DACH” Länder, aber ich wusste nur ein bisschen Deutsch (ich sprach nur Deutsch in Europa. Es war für mich wichtig). Ich kenne eine Bekannte, die in Leipzig mit ihrem Mann lebt. Von Zeit zu Zeit kann ich mindestens mit ihr schreiben. Ich habe Die Presse app auf meinem iPhone, und ich kann täglich laut lesen. Ich habe eine sehr starke Empfehlung für zdf Videos (Heute Show, Bella Block, Tatort, Soko, Die Erde usw.) und arte.tv, wo man viele interessante Dokumentarfilme finden kann. Ich höre 1-2 Std. täglich zu, und es ist sehr gut für meine alte Ohren! Ich lese viele Bücher auch. Sie sind sehr gut für meine Vokabeln. Seit Februar finde ich fast 2000 neue Wörter, die ich einprägen will. Ich werde alles diese Wörter nicht sagen, aber ich werde sie hören. Patricia Koelle schreib sehr klar, und ich genieße ihre Bücher. Sabatina James (e.V.) schreib sehr gut Deutsch: Sterben sollst Du für Dein Glück und Nur die Wahrheit macht uns Frei. Sie hilft den Frauen, die unter Scharia leben muss. Jetzt schrieb ich manchmal in Deutsch auf FB, und ich muss sehr vorsichtig mit meinem Deutsch sein, um die dumme Fehler nicht zu machen (Regenbogen vs. Regenboden)!!!! Leider kann ich nicht mit jemandem sprechen, deshalb spreche ich mit der Luft, wenn ich laufe.
    Semicolons; These separate two independent clauses where you leave out the coordinate conjunction. I am really tired of studying; tomorrow I will do something else. You may use it in a list to separate major points, where you have commas in between: In Alaska, there are brown bears, which are very dangerous, and I try to avoid; wolverines, which I have seen twice, and that pound for pound are the most ferocious animal on the Earth; caribou; and wolves. It took me a long time to remove the comma after an adverb that began a sentence, because we always put one in. Likewise, starting a sentence with a year number is something we just don’t do in English. The main thing is not to argue with the language but accept it for what it is.

    Your English is great. Weiter so. One minor thing that most Americans miss–all right is two words. I like your style, and I will be coming back.
    Mike Smith AKA Boreal Blog

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    • Hey Mike, tausend dank für deinen langen, schönen Kommentar. Ich habe mich sehr darüber gefreut :). Dein Deutsch ist schon ziemlich gut… man merkt zwar manchmal schon noch, was deine Muttersprache ist aber das ist überhaupt nicht schlimm… ausserdem, so motiviert wie du bist, bist du bestimmt bald perfekt. 2000 neue Wörter… das ist soooo viel. Das ist auf jeden Fall genug um dich normal zu unterhalten.
      Ich stimme dir auch zu, was die Sprachen angeht… die sind halt einfach so wie sie sind und man muss das so hinnehmen… Deutsch und Englisch sind ja quasi noch Zwillinge im Vergleich zu manchen Sprachen der Indianer (native americans). Das sind völlig andere Welten…. viel Spaß auf jeden Fall beim lernen und Deutsch lesen und ich hoffe du findest hier auf dem Blog noch was, was dich weiterbringt. Gruss und frohes neues Jahr über den Teich…

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  21. Hey Emanuel,

    Danke schön fur diese nützliche Site! Ich lerne Deutsch in meiner Freizeit und habe auch Deutsche Freunde mit wem ich oft Deutsch schreibe und die mir auch dabei helfen. Aber deine Posts haben mir auch bestimmt sehr viel geholfen und manche Sachen sehr gut erklärt! Es würde mich freuen (kommt dir das bekannt vor? :) ), wenn du mal etwas über das Wort “schon” schreiben könntest. Ich weiß “schon” das einer der Bedeutungen “already” ist aber ich verstehe noch nicht genau was das Wort in anderen Fällen heißt. Zum beispiel: “das ist schon okay” oder “glaub ich schon”. Es hat den Anschein dass man in diesen Fällen auch das Wort “wohl” benützen kann aber ich bin mir da nich ganz sicher. Auf jeden Fall, vielen dank ! :)

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    • Hey Jurgen, freut mich, dass du die Seite hier hilfreich findest :). Dein Deutsch ist schon ziemlich gut … dickes Kompliment! Schon steht schon auf der Liste… und es ist nicht wirklich dasselbe wie wohl… aber keine Sorge; wohl kommt auch bald dran

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      • Hey Emanuel,

        Schön dass schon und wohl noch dran kommen. Ich warte dann mal geduldig ab! :) Ich habe übrigens noch eine andere Frage (vielleicht kannst du mir das hier erklären wenn es nicht zu schwierig ist?). Ich frage mich was man damit meint wenn sie “ja” in der Mitte eines Satzes verwenden? Ist das einfach eine Verstärkung der Aussage oder hat es wirklich eine Bedeutung? Vielen dank im voraus!

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        • Ja, das ist eine Art Verstärkung… oder besser eine Bestätigung. Es ist ein bisschen so wie doch, aber ohne die Erwartung einer Bestätigung (ja does not seek affirmation the way doch does, ja has more self confidence)
          Aber es ist nicht so, dass ja alles super stark und entschlossen klingen lässt… wie bei vielen anderen Partikeln auch klingt es auf jeden Fall “casual”,
          es ist auf keinen Fall die Art von Verstärkung, die “I did do that” ist…. nicht mal annähernd.

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  22. Hi Emanuel, I am Sonia.I am from India. I have been learning German for the past 4 Years.And I am in love with it. But I must admit, it is really difficult. I just feel there is still a looooong way for me to go, as far as German is concerned. But I am determined. And I find your Blog really helpful. It is funny and very innovative. Thanks a lot for helping all of us out with the language.

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    • Hey Sonia, thanks for your comment… Just keep going and try to read a lot in German… reading really helps. And keep in mind that German and Indian are related languages as crazy as it sounds :)…

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  23. Hallo Emanuel,

    Ich habe Deutsch gelernt, vor 45 Jahren als ich in der Uni war. Ich versuche jetzt mein Deustch zu verbessern. Ich habe dein Blog neulich gefunden und muß sagen dass es sehr sehr nützlich und interessant ist. Vielen Dank.

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  24. Hallo Emanuel,
    Ich liebe Deutsch aber jetzt mein Deutsch ist sehr sechlect und ich habe nur ein bisshen Deutsch. Aber ich mochte besser Deutsch lernen. Ich habe eine Idee für Deutsch Intensive Kurz aber ich weise nicht wo kann ich das nehmen.
    Let’s talk in English. Your blog is great, German is easy,wow, what a nice term to use. I live in Switzerland and want to learn German but the routine German courses do not attract me at all. These courses are too expensive and too slow. I want to get A1.1 and A1.2 in shortest possible time. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks and till then take care

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    • I’d say just learn a lot of vocabulary (especially verb) and once you are ok start reading… there are plenty of easy language books (mostly crime stories for some reason)… initially it will be hard because you will see tons of new words but as you read on it will be less and less and that helps you build a basic vocab for the every day. Then, also, read out loud. That will train your “speech muscles” and your brain will learn correct German sentences and forms (like the ge-forms) on the fly.
      If you want to be able to talk quickly, I think a 3 weeks intensive course is the best choice because you will just be forced to say stuff. But if you are ok with a somewhat slower but more sustainable build up than learn words and read :)… and don’t do too much online. Use a paper and a pen and a real book. Being online will distract you…

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  25. Learning vocabulary through reading has made a huge difference in my ability to comprehend German videos. There are scores of good documentaries, serials, news, etc. that make you hear the flow of the language. I guessed on books and found Patricia Koelle really good. If you like crime stuff, Verbrecher and Schuld by von Schirach are good, too. After awhile, you start seeing patterns and roots of words. Documentaries where they are translating into German are perhaps the easiest to understand. I am amazed at the grammar I pick up, but it is the vocabulary that allows you to understand the gist of what is going on. I totally agree with reading aloud, especially getting -ei and -ie right. Read aloud, read silently, then look up everything you don’t know. And memorize. Oh–read this blog. The nuances are superb. For adjective endings, the U of Mich German site has a really nice way of teaching it. But it was on this blog where I learned why that saying anything was better than nothing!!

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  26. thanks a lot, sounds nice
    I have another idea regarding learning German in the fastest way: one month of EXTRA SUPER INTENSIVE COURSE. In one month a student has to deal with the target language from all angles, reading, writing, listening and speaking.
    The course is designed to have B1.2 of German which means, covering basic grammar(cases like nominaive, akkusative, dative; tenses; verb conjugatons; nouns; pronouns, articles mastering tips etc). After basic exposure to grammatical items, main focus will be on pracitce.
    A teacher will focus only on one student at a time, even homework which a student needs to do is under a teacher’s supervision which means ensurly maximum learning in a minimum time, and confirming that a student may not get distracted in other activities.
    On a daily level, a student’s perfomance is checked, and his/her speaking is recorded in order to show the difference in the end of the course.
    Teaching target language in a student’s mother tongue is also one of the techniques of this course, especially vocabulary, so that the new words may get real clarity.
    I am very passionate about it but not getting a full dedicated teacher who can provide full attention. May be online teachers can help. Any suggestions.
    thanks a lot

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    • Wow, that sounds pretty intense… I am sure such a course exists but I am also sure that it is SUPER-expansive. And I am not so sure about the constant assessment. Anyway, I wish I could tell you that this and that person does such a thing online but honestly, I don’t know very many online teachers to begin with. I did a quick Google search and this looks alright :

    • http://www.learn-german-via-skype.com/language_levels_of_the_common_european_framework_of_reference.htm#b1
    • But they talk about 80 lessons for each level of the European level thing and 10 lesson would cost 350 and 50 lessons an insane 2000 €.
      In either case… you need to have some patience though. As in sports you will plateau, no matter how hard you try. Stuff needs time to sink in and there might be days where you just CAN’T focus anymore. If you want maximum success, then go to a German speaking city and refrain from English or any other language completely… even in your free time. So no Emails no Facebook and so on… this is something Benny from Fluentin3months suggested and I think this helps a great deal
      Good luck anyway and if you find something, please share it with us here :)

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