Thursday, February 16, 2012

Achtung! I Speak A Little German.

I have thought of learning a new language.  But I never really thought in my lifetime I'd get to learn one.

It happened in 2006.

I got a scholarship for a one year training in Germany regarding sustainable urban development.  Part of the training would be a 5-month course on the German language.

The one year training was scheduled from March 2006 to February 2007.  But due to some unavoidable circumstances, my visa was not processed on time.  Therefore, I will be able to leave for Germany only in April 2006.  So, to compensate for the time that I will not be able to attend the first month of the German language course in Germany, InWEnt (now GIZ) enrolled me in Goethe Institut in Manila for a 5-week intensive course on Basic German before I left for Germany.

I was in a class with three other Filipinos (all men) who also applied for the same training program.

Week one of the language course started with pronunciation of vowels and consonants.   And how to read German words.  So by the end of the week, we were already reading German write-ups though we don't yet understand most of it, hehehe...

I had difficulty in one particular pronunciation (zwei) as it seemed like a tongue twister to me.  My tongue just won't seemed to follow the instructions of my brain, hehehe... I was already about to cry on the day our teacher asked me to repeat pronouncing it over and over again.  But, eventually, I got the hang of it and finally was able to pronounced it.

Then, we kind of memorized the German articles, nouns, pronounce, verbs, etc.  We were given some conversational sentences.  Then the proper sentence constructions.   We have classes everyday.  With different lessons every day.   Methods of learning the language include reading comprehension to check on our understanding of the German words, listening skills training where we get to listen to audio recordings of German conversations and write down every thing we hear to check if we hear the words right.  We also have something like out-of-a-kindergarten lesson - matching the German words with the images.   We do short letter compositions.  Most of the time we do oral reading and make short conversations so we will be at ease saying the German sentences.  The most common exercise we do is ask and answer these questions :

(Image source :

Wie heisen Sie?  -  translated literally as "What are you called?" or in plain English "What is your name?"

Wo wohnen Sie?  -  Where do you live?

Sind Sie verheiratet?  -  Are you married?

Haben Sie Kinder?  -  Do you have children?

We also include in our conversations our age, where we go to work and our family.

It's a bit difficult learning a new language, but when you are with good classmates and good teachers, the learning process can be fun and you'd get to learn fast.  :-)

Thanks so much to our teachers Ms. Jocelyn Mariano and Ms. Fe Benavidez.  For their patience in teaching us the Basic German language in only 5-weeks which in regular course is scheduled for 15 weeks.  :-) 

I will be making a new series in my blog which I will call "Ich Spreche Ein Bisschen Deutsch." (I Speak a Little German.).  The posts I will write will be about the German language and my experiences while learning the language as well as my experiences with the German people.   

1 comment:

  1. ESL Language Schools-ESL Language Schools for juniors is situated at Zug, which is not far from the main town and the lakeshore. This school offers excellent facilities to the students. The huge campus is divided into two sections, one for outdoor sports activities like football, basketball, handball and volleyball.


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