Friday, July 31, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Groupies bleiben nicht zum Frühstück

Here is a sweet film (made for TV I believe) about a popular Berlin band named after a subway stop...

Let me know if you like it! -- rsb

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7 Zwerge: Das Lied / Der Song

Ein Zwerg . .

Alles verstanden?  Albern (goofey), nicht wahr?

The Body as Art in Dresden Exhibit

100 year old wax figures together with various art pieces on display --
(Danke, FluentU)

Teueres oder Billiges Mineralwasser: Was ist besser?

ZDF WISO  (Danke, FluentU)

Wortschatz = (Word bank/treasury)

Gesund  (health)
die Ernährung  (nourishment)
Varianten  (variations)
Kohlensäure (carbonation)
Marken (brands)
wesentlich höher (considerably higher)
Kalzium (calcium)
kaum mehr als einfaches Leitungswasser (hardly more than simple tap water)
nicht jedes Mineralwasser ist für jeden geeignet (not every mineral water is suited for each person)

auf das Etikette schauen (check the label)

Im Sommer passiert es schnell (in the summer it happens fast)
die Wasserflasche in der Sonne liegen (the water bottle lies in the sun)
Wir machen den Test.  (We take/make a test.)

Dann sammeln wir sie wieder ein. (Then we collect them again.
Das Ergebnis (the result)
deutlich unter der Grenze (substantially below the limit)
in Ordnung (fine; ok; in order)

Keimbelastung (presence of harmful bacteria)
der Schutz fehlt (protection is missing)
Einwandfrei  -   (impeccable)

Jedes Wasser hat seinen eigenen Geschmack (Each water has its own flavor)
Es kann Richtung bitter gehen.  (It can go into -- lean toward-- the bitter direction.)

Schmecken die Teueren besser?  (Do the more expensive ones taste better?)
Je sechs Gläser,    (Each receives 6 glasses)  
dreimal billiger, dreimal teuer  (3x of the cheaper; 3x of the more expensive)

Es ist salziger.  (It's saltier)
Die Auflösung  (The results)
Sieger ist Gerolsteiner.  (The winner is Gerolsteiner)
Es kommt auf die Marke an.  (It depends on the brand)

Differenzierung bleibt bei der Keimbelastung und beim Geschmack.   (Differentiations are in bacteria count and taste.)

Monday, July 20, 2015


Deutschland Wahl:  Elections in June 2014:  Should Germany withdraw from the EU?
Brussels reports:

Fragen zum Flugzeug!

Galileo  (Danke, FluentU)
Questions about airplanes 

-- Why does the cellphone need to be turned off during flights?

-- When does service begin?

-- Why is tomato juice a favorite on board?

-- What happens with the waste collected from the cabin toilet?

-- Is turbulence only noticed in bad weather?

Die Umlaute! Hier ist ein Lied für uns!

Lern mit mir - ABC 123
(Danke, FluentU)

Ä wie  Ägypten, Mädchen, Bär, ähnlich,
            Ära, Äquator, Säbel, Käse
Ü wie  Überraschungs-Ei, Mütze, Überschwemmung, Übeltaäter,
            Überwachung, Küche, Mühle, Überwinterung
Ö wie  Österreich, Öl, König, Löwe,
            Flöte, Mönch, Öffne, Möhre

Hier bin ich -- in Köln!

(Danke, FluentU)

Hier bin ich...

... zu Hause! (Here's where I'm.... at home!)
... Metzger (butcher)
... Fischverkäufer  (fish salesman)
... Sushimeister
... Frei  (Free!) 
...  Pizzabäcker
... (der) Levelang - FC  (for a lifetime:  Cologne's football club)
... den Himmel nah   (near heaven)
...  immer gut drum   (always good)
... wo sonst?   (where else?)
... der Kochechinese  (a Chinese chef)
... glücklich  (happy!)
... Kölschemädchen (Cologne-Girls)
... Kinderprinz (Karneval Junior Prince)
... zu Besuch  (visiting)
... Kultur 
... Colonia
... Vater geworden (became a father)
... Photograph
... Jazz
... ein Kölsches Original  (an original Cologner)
... für die Sauberkeit zuständig (responsible for cleanliness)
... Sänger, Songtexter, Beobachter  (singer, songtext writer, observer...)
... aufgewachsen   (raised)
... Wellkommen in Kölle
... Studentin  (students --  female)
... verliebt in dich! (in love -- with you!)
... Theater, weil man in dieser Stadt, am besten Theater machen kann
... und es ist auch gut so  (and that's all good)
... im Gespräch  (in conversation)
... Olympiasieger (Olympic champion)
... gelandet  ( where I've landed)
... und lebe gerne hier  (and glad to live here)
... bin ich schon Jahrelang ehrenamtlich engagiert  (I've been engaged voluntarily for years)
... der Oberbürgermeister unserer modernen und liebenswerten Stadt, Köln  (First Mayor or our modern and treasured city, Cologne)
... zu Hause! (at home!)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

19 Engaging Resources to Listen to German Audio All Day, Every Day

When it comes to German learning, hearing a person speak German to you is the closest simulation of a real-life scenario that you can get.

When you’re learning German outside of a classroom, it’s hard to get that element of immersion.
I’ve always felt that audio resources work wonders for my own German language learning. Primarily, it’s because I can rotate between audio lessons and other fun stuff, like music and podcasts.

Going into a class has multiple benefits, but at the end of the day, you go into a room, with a teacher and classmates, because of the auditory and visual benefits.  Reading a textbook is fine, but this is often so boring. Where should you start? How about opening up the entire Internet for your audio search?

Why Listening to German Audio Is Often the Best Learning Process

Some folks are visual learners, while others fancy themselves as audio or even immersive learners. What are the benefits behind listening to German audio?
  • If you don’t pay attention, it forces you to go back and listen again.
  • Many argue that passive listening (not really paying attention, but absorbing the audio) is often just as good as regular learning.
  • You can listen to audio pretty much where ever you go—in a plane, cab, at work, riding a bike, in the library, walking or while cooking dinner.
  • You get to hear people pronounce common German phrases, as opposed to just reading the words.
  • Many audio guides are supplemented with learning materials like quizzes or worksheets.
The options are endless when learning German with audio resources.

For example, if you have a Spotify, Amazon or Audible account, you can always start by searching these resources to see if anything pops up. I’ve been known to save German Spotify playlists or to purchase German audiobooks (some of the best ones require a VPN).

Regardless, keep reading to learn more about these resources, from German music playlists to radio stations and educational CDs.

German Music Playlists for All Ages

I enjoy compiling my own playlists, since services like Spotify and Pandora can be a little scattered. However, the greatest part of these services is that you can search for other playlists that people have created and shared online.

learn german audio1 19 Engaging German Audio Resources Thatll Have You Listening All Day, Every Day

Start with the German Pop Spotify Playlist, which is from the popular Goethe Institute, a place for German online and offline learning. This playlist includes favorites from artists like Clueso, LOT, Madsen and Ferris Mc. It’s an exciting selection of songs, all of which experienced popularity at some point. I recommend this music if you’re trying to stay upbeat, like when you’re at the gym or while working.

learn german audio 19 Engaging German Audio Resources Thatll Have You Listening All Day, Every Day

The German Folk Music playlist on Spotify is obviously a little different from the pop extravaganza you listened to above. This playlist is for the purists. Those who want to hear what people were listening to hundreds of years ago in Germany. This list includes around 20 songs, starting with “Echo Der Berge” and ending with “Servus Pfuat Gott und Auf Wiederseh’n.”
It’s also not a bad idea to check out other streaming services. I recommend Traditional German Music from Pandora. All you have to do is click on the Create Station button, and Pandora compiles a beautiful list of classic German folk songs and chants. Every time you create a station you receive new songs, so it’s kind of fun to try it out. TuneIn Radio also has a solid station for similar results.

German Podcasts for Those Boring Work Hours

The best German learning podcast article is a nice place to start when seeking out step-by-step grammar and pronunciation guides, but since we already have that list on FluentU, I want to outline some awesome German podcasts that have no intentions of teaching you German. That doesn’t mean they won’t help though! Topics range from business to cars, or from news to science. You’ll get so lost in the fascinating content that you’ll end up absorbing the German language naturally.

learn german audio 19 Engaging German Audio Resources Thatll Have You Listening All Day, Every Day
Antenne Dusseldorf is a radio station, but it also features an extensive list of useful podcastsAntenne Dusseldorf offers a mobile podcast app for downloading the segments to your phone. Much of the radio station plays music, but they also go through opinionated conversations about world news, and you can check out some of the other podcasts like “Fortuna,” a show covering everything in terms of soccer (or football).

learn german audio1 19 Engaging German Audio Resources Thatll Have You Listening All Day, Every Day
Schweiser Radio provides a gigantic list of podcasts for you to choose from, and the best part is that you can listen to most of them directly from you computer. I like grabbing the feed and inserting it into my podcasting phone app, so everything is in one place. There are tons of options, but as a taste, you can listen to a game show called 1 vs. 100, or even check-in with the hosts of Arena, a podcast discussing the economic climate.
learn german audio2 19 Engaging German Audio Resources Thatll Have You Listening All Day, Every Day
The Radio Bremen Podcasts are similar to how NPR releases some affiliated talk shows, making it easy for people to choose from the subjects they want to listen to. For example, Radio Bremen lets you select from options like the Comedy Club podcast, a place to hear jokes and laugh about the world, or the Voll im Film (Full in Film) podcast for your movie fix.

learn german audio 19 Engaging German Audio Resources Thatll Have You Listening All Day, Every Day
The ARD Radio Tatort Podcast is a favorite, because several known voice actors lend their voices to entertain you, simulating thrilling stories that may or may not have actually happened. If you’re into thrillers, this is your podcast. The shows usually last about an hour and feature a new story every time.

The Braincast Podcast places a hard focus on the study of the brain. It’s a show for people interested in science, as they bring on guests and experts from all over the world. If you’re familiar with the popular Radio Lab podcast, I would recommend you check this one out.

German Audiobooks for Passing Time While Traveling

Audiobooks allow you to immerse yourself into a world of fantasy, science fiction or romance, all with the help of an MP3 player and headphones. Consider listening to your favorite books in German to learn something new.

The LoyalBooks database consists of public domain e-books and audiobooks, meaning you don’t have to pay a dime to listen. Click on the German tab on the left to reveal options like “Die Elixiere des Teufels” (The Devil’s Elixirs), “Michael Kohlhaas” and “Der Schimmelreiter” (The Rider on the White Horse). Listen directly through your computer or download the audiobooks to your device.
Pairing Amazon and the German Audible is a wise choice. Audible is owned by Amazon, so you can find most of the same audiobooks on both. Regardless, try using a VPN to access the best content on the German Audible. Listen to best seller like “Game of Thrones” and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” all in German. Audible provides a handy app for listening on your phone or tablet.

Hoerjuwel has a German category, which you can then break down into subcategories like science fiction, fantasy, children’s books and humor. These audiobooks are not digital, so you must wait for them to get delivered to your home.

German Radio Stations and How to Get Them

Nowadays, podcasts and radio stations are pretty much the same thing. Since a person in the United States or any other country for that matter, would have a tough time finding a German radio station on an FM/AM receiver, I provided a few digital radio stations for fun music, morning talk and other ramblings.

ListenLive offers a huge list of German radio stations, all streamable from your computer. This is the closest thing you can get to tuning your box radio to a station in Germany. Choose from regional locations like Munich, Hannover or Potsdam. You can find everything from pop, top 40, news, adult contemporary and Christmas music.

Last FM German Music is your ultimate source for music produced in Germany or created by German artists. Most of the music you’ll find on here is in German, but the occasional English song is thrown into the mix. Listen to music genres like German speed metal, German jazz, rock and classical.

Deutschlandfunk provides listening options for those who want to feel like they’re reading a regular newspaper. It’s like checking out USA Today or The Huffington Post. Deutschlandfunk covers politics, sports, culture, the economy and more.

Audio Lessons and Courses for a Classroom Environment

If you’re not quite to the level where you can listen to a German podcast without it sounding like gibberish, consider some of the following audio learning resources.

learn german audio1 19 Engaging German Audio Resources Thatll Have You Listening All Day, Every Day
DeutschAkademie provides ten chapters with various lessons a piece. You learn German for free, and all of the resources are given to you in audio form. Start with lessons for German sentence structure, then move onto more advanced lessons covering things like the German participle.

learn german audio5 19 Engaging German Audio Resources Thatll Have You Listening All Day, Every Day
The All Audio German CD serves as a valuable tool for learning in your car or anywhere you go. The six compact discs focus on bringing you to fluency, with short and easy to follow lessons. The CDs tackle areas like grammar, dialogues, culture and vocabulary.

GermanPod101 is my favorite audio resource for learning German, since it has beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. The video and audio lessons teach you how to communicate while travelling, while conducting business or simply in order to speak with your German speaking relatives.

Joe Warnimont is a blogger and adventure-seeker. When not riding his bike around Chicago, you can find him sprucing up his German skills. He has watched “Run Lola Run” about ten too many times.


Dodging Regional Blocks with a Virtual Private Network

Have you ever searched for a German resource on Google, only to find that it redirects you to the English version of what you’re looking for? Just the other day I tried to pull up a popular German podcast (produced and spoken in German,) but Google sent me to a version with English audio dubbed over it. The nerve!

How do you get around this problem? With a virtual private network (VPN) of course! This is a legal way to block your IP address and pretend like you’re browsing from a different country. Here are a few great options to get started doing this:
  • TorGuard — This is an anonymous VPN service that starts at only $4.99 per month. The speeds and bandwidth are unlimited, so you don’t have to worry about streaming too much audio or even too much video. The anonymous web proxies let you protect your identity when switching to another IP address, and it works with most web browsers.
  • IPVanish — This company focuses on unlocking content from any location, meaning that it’s just right for streaming German audio. It works on Windows, Apple and Android interfaces, and it starts at $6.49 per month.
  • Cyber Ghost VPN — This option is free for Windows, Mac and Android, with a few paid plans for faster speeds. It keeps your identity anonymous when tapping into German servers, while not maintaining any logs of your browsing history.
  • Private Internet Access — My final suggestion starts at $3.33 per month, and it lets you run the VPN on five devices—you can work with even more devices if you upgrade. The instant setup is nice for beginners, and the unlimited bandwidth is always a bonus for streaming media.

Writing Right: 8 Simple Rules for Perfect German Spelling

Don’t let yourself be dependent on German spell check and autocorrect.

You know exactly how notorious these technological tools are for bungling up sentences. With the right knowledge and practice methods, you’ll be able to compete in a German spelling bee any day of the week!

Letting yourself fall back on automated spelling corrections doesn’t always end well in English—but, in German, you may not even realize you’ve made a hilariously embarrassing mistake until it’s far too late and your German-speaking friends are giggling over your message.

Here’s where I’ve got some good news for you: German spelling is way easier than all that. German schoolkids pretty much never have spelling bees at all, because German spelling isn’t tough enough to need that kind of competition and rote memorization.  But for a non-native speaker like yourself, there are a few rules you should still review. We’ll talk about eight of the most important ones in this post.

Rechtschreibung: Writing Right

First of all, the German word for “spelling” is Rechtschreibung. If you break this down into its constituent parts, you’ll see recht (right) and schreib-, the stem for “to write.” Another English word for “spelling,” orthography, breaks down into Greek roots in the same way. Rechtschreibung literally means “writing right,” and that’s exactly what we aim to do.
When we say “right,” what we mean is “standard.” Some words can have variations in spelling, but some spellings are considered more standard than others. These are the forms that you’d see in a dictionary such as the Duden, or in formal printed works such as newspapers and textbooks.
If you think about it, English does this too. If you’ve ever been shocked to find that your dictionary says “judgment” has only one in it (but it says “also: judgement” in small letters elsewhere), or if you’ve pondered the differences between “color” and “colour,” you’ve encountered different standards.
One reason why English spelling can be so tricky is that we often have different letters that lead to the same spoken sounds (compare “vain,” “vein” and “vane”) or letter combinations that lead to different spoken sounds in different contexts (compare “vein,” “weird” and “atheist”).
German has a lot less of this. Letter combinations usually match directly to one standard pronunciation. In fancy linguistic terms, this is known as shallow orthography. Languages with shallow orthography, such as Spanish and German, are easy to read and spell. Deep orthography languages, such as French and English, are a bit harder.

Sounds Versus Letters

As we describe these rules, we’ll keep using a bit more fancy linguistic notation. Bear with me—I promise it will be more efficient than a zillion “almost sounds like” or “kinda rhymes with…” explanations. You’ll also be able to apply this knowledge in your own self-study going forward.
When we’re describing a written letter, we’ll put it in angle brackets. We already did this to describe the in “judgment” above.
When we’re describing a spoken sound, we’ll put it in square brackets like this: [x]. Sometimes these look the same as the written letters you already know, but sometimes they don’t. That’s because we won’t use the German or English alphabets, but rather the International Phonetic Alphabet.
If you’ve ever looked up a word’s pronunciation in the dictionary and not understood the crazy symbols in its entry, it was probably written in IPA. Don’t panic: we’ll walk you through exactly what you need to know.

Writing Right: Master These 8 Simple German Spelling Rules

With that out of the way, let’s jump in.

1.  as in Wein (wine), as in Bier (beer)

The and  combinations are some of the trickiest for English speakers learning German. As shown above, our language can use these sounds in some pretty weird ways, sometimes even interchangeably (compare “vein” and “weird” to “weird” and “niece”). But in German, the combination has only one sound. The combination has only one other sound.

The most helpful trick a German teacher ever showed me involves Wein and Bier. The combination only ever makes the Wein sound, which happens to be the same as the English “wine” sound. The combination only ever makes the Bier sound, which is basically the same as the English “beer” sound.

So, the next time you need to spell a word and you’re not sure if it’s or , just remember to ask yourself, “Does it sound like wine or beer? (Wein oder Bier?)”

2. Umlauts are never optional

Those two dots might look like decoration, but they’re not. They can indicate verb tense or they can change the whole meaning of a word.

For instance, schon means “already” but schön means “beautiful.” Another classic pitfall when learning to describe the weather is the difference between schwül and schwul, which you’ll have to look up on your own.

They also always affect pronunciation. To get these right, learn how each letter with an umlaut (a, o and u) sounds different from the un-umlauted version. You’ll never forget again!

3. Double-check and <ä> when in doubt

One sound that can be written two different ways is the [e] vowel, which is close to (but not the same as) the vowel a in English “face.” Often, this is written with German .

But in many dialects—enough to be considered acceptable in the standard—<ä> can also be pronounced this way. This is why Beeren (“berries”) and Bären (“bears”) can sound the same sometimes. If you’re not sure which way to spell a word with this sound, look it up!

4.  is always three letters

What we write as in English, the Germans write as . You can’t forget the . This is why “English” is not a German word, but “Englisch” is. The IPA symbol for this sound, by the way, is [ʃ].

5. …except for when it’s invisible

The English and German spellings both lead to the pronunciation of [ʃ], but many German words have this sound represented with only . What gives?
Well, it depends on whether or not appears in a consonant cluster at the beginning of a syllable. This is why Sahne (cream) and Obst (fruit) have the [s] sound, but Stiefel (boots) and Sprache (language) have the [ʃ] sound. So if you’re trying to spell a word that starts with [ʃ], remember that there may be no < c > in there at all!

6. is not your friend

is not a common letter in German, and where it does appear, it doesn’t sound like English “young” or “yes.” That sound is written as [j] in the International Phonetic Alphabet…and it’s written as in German too. This explains the connection between jung and “young” and between ja and “yes.” Don’t write these with and you’ll never go wrong.

7. …and neither is

Similarly, is part of the German alphabet, and we’ve already seen it in words like Englisch and Sprache. But at the beginning of words with the hard [k] sound, that’s usually time for . An exception is words that are borrowed from other languages. For example, compare kommen (to come) or Katze (cat) with the English-borrowed Computer or cool.

8.  is [v], is [f] and is [f] too

Our last rule might be the most complicated, but then we’ll let you go. Any German word with the [v] sound, as in wo (where), wer (who) or wie (how), is spelled with . Don’t let your English interfere with your German spelling, or you’ll end up spelling all of these with .
That would be a problem, since German actually sounds like [f]. German , logically, sounds like [f] too. Compare von (from) and vier (four) with für (for) and Freund (friend). This sound has some unfortunate spelling ambiguity, but with practice and memorization you’ll quickly develop a feel for which is which.

These are just eight of the many German spelling rules you’ll encounter as you go along. There are plenty more, so I’ve only highlighted ones that are tricky for English speakers in particular. However, all of these spelling rules will become second nature to you with time, and they’re all a lot easier to master than the English rules you already know.

Rechtschreibung is all about writing right. Remember these rules and keep practicing, and you’ll get them all.

Checking Your German Spelling

Sounds versus letters, versus , versus … it’s okay not to get it immediately. You don’t have to have absorbed all the rules just by reading this post. There are other resources to help you.

One of my favorites is the online dictionary and mobile app from Put in any English or German word, and you’ll get a ranked list of its possible translations, along with common phrases in which the word appears. Click on the speaker icon next to any word and you’ll be able to hear native speakers pronounce the word for you as well.

Writing a paper? Virtually every version of Microsoft Word allows you to install multiple languages’ versions of spell check. For typing on mobile devices, most forms of autocorrect offer the same option. Because every program is different, we can’t walk you through the process here, but a quick Google search can point you in the right direction.

And when you start commiting this to memory, stuff like the // distinction will become a piece of cake!

Amanda “Andy” Plante-Kropp teaches at the HTW University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. She strives to bridge the gap between second language acquisition research and practical pedagogy. You can learn more about her at English with Andy.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Condor Airlines arrives at T.F. Green: German bloggers add R.I. to their 'Places We Love' list

Providence Journal
 Posted Jul. 17, 2015 at 11:09 AM By Paul Edward Parker
, Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rhode Island is a hit in Germany, if the German lifestyle blog Uberding is any indication.
Uberding, which roughly means "about things," sent a crew on the first Condor Airlines flight to Rhode Island from Frankfurt on June 18. Bloggers Mia Bühler and Thies Janknecht spent four days visiting Newport, Westerly and Providence.
"When you ask us about New England, we respond with our memories of Newport," Bühler wrote in her blog report, which posted on July 10. "The town, with its small boutiques, sports facilities (the International Tennis Hall of Fame) and the nature, between sandy beaches and coastal paths, is pretty much everything you would expect from New England!"
Even a rainy day spent in Westerly captured Bühler's heart. "It is not surprising that the South coast of Rhode Island has attracted stars like Taylor Swift," she wrote. "The area is ideal for exploring the beautiful countryside when it rains ... I would have liked to stay here longer."
Bühler found Providence less captivating, finding downtown deserted on a Sunday morning. "The capital of the U.S. state Rhode Island, we must say, was worth the visit for a day -– but we wouldn’t have liked to stay longer," she wrote, thanking a homeless woman who gave her a tour of street art. "My highlight was visiting the prestigious Brown University in Providence. The campus is green and full of life -– quite contrary to downtown Providence."
Bühler concluded her blog report, which is accompanied by a sharp-looking video, "Lil Rhody, it was a party for us! We have experienced so much in these four days and are happy to have added an until-recently-unknown place to our 'Places We Love' list!"

Check the above video link.  Here's the description:

Vor wenigen Monaten hatten wir "Neuengland" als Reiseziel noch nicht mal auf dem Schirm und dann klirrte das Telefon und der Anruf der unser Interesse am kleinsten Staat der Vereinigten Staaten Amerikas war geweckt.  Seit diesem Anruf gab es vor allem ein Thema: 

Unsere Vorbereitung, Vorfreude und Aufregung: 
 #CondorTraveldingLilRhody stand auf dem Plan.

Musik: Thies Janknecht / Tease

Posted June 18, 2015  at 11:15 PM

  • By Paul Edward Parker
, Journal Staff Writer

  • Inaugural flight by German carrier links R.I. with Europe

  • Condor Airlines arrived for the first time at Warwick's T.F. Green Airport Thursday night.
    Condor Airlines arrived for the first time at Warwick's T.F. Green Airport Thursday night.
    WARWICK, R.I. — At 6:17 p.m. Thursday, a Condor Airlines 767 touched down on runway 23 at T.F. Green Airport, marking the first time ever that scheduled airline service has linked Rhode Island to the European continent.
    Michael Aziz, of Boston, was the first passenger on the flight from Germany who cleared customs and emerged into the airport terminal. "I'm so excited to have won the race to be the first human being to fly from Frankfurt to Providence," Aziz told reporters. He exulted about the new service, "I'm going to Boston, and I saved over a thousand dollars by flying through Providence. It's compelling. I hope the rates stay as they are." And to dash an old saying about air travel, Aziz said, "The food was excellent." The menu included a seafood salad with crayfish, as well as chicken satay.
    Christine Husted, a native of Germany who has lived in the United States for 50 years, waited in the terminal for her sister and brother-in-law and also raved about the German airline. "I think it's half-price what Lufthansa charges to Boston," said the Middleboro, Mass., resident, adding, "It's much more easy to travel to Providence."
    A total of 118 passengers made the inaugural flight from Germany, with another 236 booked on the return flight two hours later.
    The new international service — which joins Cape Verdean airline TACV, which also this month began flying between the island nation off the coast of Africa and Green — is at least a major psychological boost to Rhode island's main airport, which had seen years of plummeting passenger numbers before turning in mixed results the last two years.
    U.S. Rep. David Cicilline touted the service as much more than flights between Rhode Island and Frankfurt, saying it will connect "Central Europe and the heart of New England." Cicilline said he spoke to travelers waiting for the flight to Frankfurt who were making connections to Italy and to Poland. "It's going to be a wonderful thing for tourism and for business," agreed his colleague in Congress, U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin.
    The first flight wasn't the only good news for Green to arrive from Condor. The airline also announced that is has begun selling tickets for the Frankfurt-Providence service for next year, extending what had been a trial summer for the seasonal service. This year, service will run until Sept. 3, before resuming for a similar season next year. Tickets begin at $680 roundtrip.
    "We're going to come back year after year," Condor vice president Titus Johnson told The Providence Journal in an interview last week. "We're here to stay. We're very confident that this will follow the Condor traditional model." That model, he said, includes expanding the season in subsequent years if passenger demand supports it, with an eye toward eventual year-round service.

    Earlier reports had Condor flying into Düsseldorf, which would have been just perfect for us. Having our partners meet us in Düsseldorf, and also deliver us there at the end of our visit put a definitive start and end to our exchange. As delighted as I am to have this direct (summer) service to Rhode Island, I must admit to being somewhat disappointed to see the destination airport changed to Frankfurt.   For me personally, Lufthansa's ICE connections between Frankfurt and Cologne presented some of our biggest challenges this year.  And that was supposedly WITH the cooperation both of the Airline and our Partners.  I'm now wondering just what kind of land connections our tour operators with Condor might book for us, if any.   

    Certainly I'm hoping that, in two years the Condor-season into TF Green will have extended at least one week earlier.  This year, with June 27th being Burgau's last day of school, and with us slated to attend 2 full weeks, I could not even consider delaying our trip to wait for Condor's opening.  (That will be different in 2017, when the summer break in Nordrhein Westfalia begins July 17; so yes, I hope there will be the option to consider flying with Condor then.)   -- rsb

Confronting Race: Neo Nazis and KKK, film The Aryans

Mo Asumang, daughter of a black Ghanaian father and a white German mother, talks to BBC News about her experiences making her new documentary, The Aryans, in which she confronts racists, both in Germany and among the Ku Klux Klan in America.  Here's the trailer:

In this documentary, Afro-German film director Mo Asumang gets to the heart of right-wing movements worldwide and their completely wrong interpretation of "Aryanism". After the French philosopher Arthur de Gobineau had established it as a term for the tall, blond and blue-eyed master race, “Aryanism” went on to become a vital part of the Nazis` ideology, and still promotes hate and murder today. Mo Asumang sets out for a tour de force into the abyss of the political evil in Germany and the U.S. and travels to where the real Aryans originally came from – an area which nowadays belongs to Iran. “The ARYANS” is a personal journey into the madness of racism during which Asumang meets German neo-Nazis, the leading racist in the U.S., the notorious Tom Metzger, and Ku Klux Klan members in the alarming twilight of the Midwest.

Watch for Ms Asumang, as she tours college campuses  (end Sept. through early Oct. 2015). 

More about Ms Asumang from YOUTUBE:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Komiker Kanya Yanar: Deutsch ist schwer ("der - die - das")

Kanya Yanar

(This isn't anything for class and some may find it offensive, but I wonder if you understand why this short routine is rated FSK 6 in Germany, yet R in the states? -- rsb)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Laufrad Fliz Veloci-Bike


The prior aim of developing FLIZ was to bring a completely new driving experience to everyone. Based on the very first bike - the “Laufrad“ - we created a velocipede concept of healthy, ecological mobility in overcrowded urban space. 
Its laminated, innovative frame with 5 point belt system provides a comfortable, ergonomic ride between running and biking. 
The frame integrates the rider and due to its construction it works both like a suspension and like a top carrier whereas the belt replaces the saddle and adjusts your position. 
Tom Hambrock
Juri Spetter

The prior aim of developing FLIZ was to bring a completely new driving experience to everyone. Based on the very first bike - the “Laufrad“ - we created a velocipede concept of healthy, ecological mobility in overcrowded urban space. Its laminated, innovative frame with 5 point belt system provides a comfortable, ergonomic ride between running and biking. The frame integrates the rider and due to its construction it works both like a suspension and like a top carrier whereas the belt replaces the saddle and adjusts your position.
Tom Hambrock
Juri Spetter

Um die Welt mit der Maus -- und mit Ralph

Travel the world with Ralph  (Die Sendung mit der Maus)

Here are 4 episodes, each bringing viewers to meet a normal family in their activities for a week, including visiting a normal school, shopping for a meal, and eating a normal meal. 

1.  Nach Südafrika

2.  Nach Indien

3.  Nach Brasilien

4.  Nach Griechenland

Youtuber LeFloid interviewt Frau Merkel

Viele von den Fragen kamen von LeFloids Youtubeanschauer


Dialog:   Gut Leben in Deutschland!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Katja teaches Passiv!

If you are comfortable "plugging in" those Past Participles ("Partizip 2") at the end of German sentences, while reserving the 2nd spot in the sentence for conjugating the corresponding Helping Verb (either Haben or Sein), and if you are familiar with sentences using Werden to signal future tense, you should be prepared for the logical construction needed for passive sentences, as opposed to active sentences, when the subject directly acts upon the verb.  (Because there is mystery shrouding what- or whom- ever is acting on the verb in passive sentences, the direct object slips in as the new subject.)

Der Apfel       wird        gegessen.
Die Tür          wird         geöffnet. 
Die Eier        werden     gekocht.
Subjekt    +  matching Future  +   PPP
 The eggs         are being        cooked.

Introduction:  Episode 83

Vorgangspassiv ( describing an action )  uses werden
Zustandspassiv (describing a state or result )  uses sein

----/  Clarifying the subject:  use       by     +  dativ            =    von mir
----/  Clarifying the event:    use  through  +  accusative    =   durch den Wind

Vorgangspassiv:  Episode 85

Let's prepare for passive by brushing up on modal verb clusters.

Perfekt Mode with Modalverben (we lose the PPP- form and "haben" is always the Helping Verb):  mögen (möchten), können, dürfen, sollen, wollen, müssen!

Ich habe das sagen können.    Er weiß, dass ich das habe sagen können.

Introducing using Modal Verbs in Perfect mode  Episode 81

All set?  Then let's launch the follow=up!

Passiv mit Modalverben:  Episode 87

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Heuschrecken in Brasilien = Locusts in Brazil

1 female breeds 300 offspring.

( Is the pepper spray worth $1 per bottle? Look at the results. )
Vermutlich nicht = apparently not.

Rollercoaster = Achterbahn v. den Wise Guys (2014)

Malaria - Kaltes klares Wasser

 Ein altes Lied. . . aus 1980

Kaltes klares Wasser -- 
über meine Hände,
über meine Arme,
über meine Schultern,
über meine Beine,
über meine Schenkel,
über meine Brust,
über mein Gesicht

IKEA hat einen Klapptisch mit Überraschung


Nein! Nicht! Nichts! Kein! How to Negate in German

FluentU -- Eleanor Chapman

Just say “no.”  There’s plenty to be upbeat about when it comes to the German language and culture. But, the truth is: You’ve got to learn to say nein (no)!
It’s not such bad news though, but rather a new horizon to discover!

Learn the rules of negation and you’ll find a world of opportunity opens up in front of you. Your friends and colleagues will no longer be irritated by your infuriatingly sunny presence! You’ll have no more weekends packed with favors for German friends that you simply couldn’t turn down! The ability to say no is an essential step on your path to conquering German.

Are you aware of these 9 forms of English negation? 
don’t  doesn’t 
not / no / not only…but also
not…but rather
no longer
no more

We are going to cover these—and a few extras to boot—for you in German.

Just Say No! The Ultimate Guide to German Negation

We’re going to lay out tons of different forms of German negation, broken down into 6 major areas. Take a look!

1. Nicht vs. Kein 

Perhaps the most common words used in German negation are nicht (not) and kein (no, none). But when and how to use which one can be a tiny bit confusing, as they work a little differently than their English counterparts. Let’s take a look!

When to use kein?

You use kein (meaning both “no” and “none”) to negate:
A noun (when no article, or an indefinite article—like the English “a” or “an”—is present).
Es gibt keine Bananen. (There are no bananas.)
Careful: in English, you could also use “not” to say es gibt nicht Bananen (there aren’t bananas), but this is not grammatically correct in German!
In place of a noun, to mean “none”, when the subject is already known.
Gibt es Bananen? (Are there bananas?)
Nein, es gibt keine. (No, there are none.)
Note the change in ending here. Just like the indefinite article ein (a, an), kein needs to be “declined”— its ending changing accordingly. The extra e on the end of the stem kein above indicates a plural.

When to use nicht?

You use nicht (not) to negate:
A verb.
Er schwimmt nicht. (He doesn’t swim.)
A noun (only when a definite article—der, die or das [the]—is present).
Ich kenne den Film nicht. (I don’t know the film.)
A proper noun (e.g. a name).
Sie heißt nicht Maria. (Her name’s not Maria.)
A possessive adjective—mein (mine), dein (yours), ihr (hers), etc.
Das ist nicht mein Auto. (That’s not my car.)
An adjective or adverb.
Diese Banane ist nicht reif. (This banana is not ripe.)

Where to put nicht?

Generally nicht goes at the end of the sentence, however, nicht also goes before a specific word which is the subject to be negated, rather than the whole sentence.
Kommt Maria morgen? (Is Maria coming tomorrow?)
Nein, nicht Maria kommt, sondern Franz. (No, Maria is not coming, but rather Franz.) Here, you’re emphasizing that it’s Maria who isn’t coming!
You’ll notice though that nicht does tend to jump about a bit—and there are a few more specific rules regarding this behavior. Nicht will shift its position in these ways:
Before an adjective or adverb.
As above, with the banana example. Adverbs that can be organized chronologically are an exception here, e.g. später (later), früher (earlier), gestern (yesterday), morgen (tomorrow), heute (tomorrow). In these cases, nicht comes directly after the adverb.
Er kann heute nicht kommen (He can’t come today)
Before a preposition.
Prepositions are those little words that tie sentences together: e.g. for, at, on, under, over, with.
Wir interessieren uns nicht für Golf. (We’re not interested in golf.)
Before the infinitive verb in statements involving a “modal” verb, such as können (to be able to).
Er kann nicht schwimmen. (He can’t swim.)
Before a verb prefix, where a separable verb is involved, e.g. anrufen (to phone).
Wir rufen uns nicht an (We don’t phone each other)
Don’t worry if this seems like a lot to remember! It’s good to be aware of the rules, but in reality you’ll quickly develop an intuitive sense for where to place nicht, simply by listening, practicing and making mistakes.

2. Not..but rather / Not only…but also

We touched on this above, with Maria and Franz. Nicht…sondern (not…but rather) is used to negate one thing in favor of another.
Ich habe nicht Samstag frei, sondern Sonntag. (I’m not free on Saturday, but rather Sunday.)
You can also pair sondern with nicht nur (not only) to use it in a positive, additive sense: nicht nur…sondern auch (not only…but also). So you could change the meaning of the above sentence as follows:
Ich habe nicht nur Samstag frei, sondern auch Sonntag. (I’m not only free on Saturday, but also Sunday.)

3. No more / No longer

When mehr comes after kein or nicht, it means “no more” or “no longer.” Pay attention to the position of mehr in the examples below—it behaves differently for kein and nicht.
Wir haben keine Bananen mehr. (We don’t have any more bananas.)
Er arbeitet hier nicht mehr. (He doesn’t work here any longer.)

4. Not yet / Not any

Noch (still/yet) is used to indicate that something is not yet complete and is often used in response to a question. Whether you use nicht or kein will follow the rules already outlined above. Schon (already) is the positive counterpart to noch.
Bist du (schon) fertig? (Are you [already] finished?)
Nein, ich bin noch nicht fertig. (No, I’m not finished yet)
Hast du (schon) eine Antwort bekommen? (Have you [already] received an answer?)
Nein, ich habe noch keine Antwort bekommen (No, I still haven’t received any answer)

5. Neither…nor

Noch can also mean “nor” when paired with weder (neither). So the German Weder…noch works in the same way as its English counterpart (neither…nor).
Wir haben weder Banenen noch Ananas. (We have neither bananas nor pineapple.)
Sie spricht weder Englisch noch Deutsch. (She speaks neither English nor German.)

6. More negation words and their positives

Here are a few more handy negatives to keep in mind. Their positive counterparts (some have more than one!) are also listed—it helps to learn to recognize these too, so that you can identify them in questions you’re asked and respond accordingly.
etwas / alles—nichts (something/everything—nothing)
jemand—niemand (somebody/anybody—nobody)
irgendwo—nirgendwo / nirgends (somewhere—nowhere)
immer / oft / manchmal—nie/niemals (always / often / sometimes—never)
mit—ohne (with—without)
And last but not least:
doch (yes)
Broadly translating as “yes,” there’s no English equivalent to doch. It’s often used as a “flavoring particle” to alter the tone of a sentence. This is another kettle of fish altogether, and you might start here if you’d like to explore it further. However, we’re mainly concerned here with the simplest form of doch, where it’s used as an affirmative response to a negatively-framed question:
Kommst du nicht mit? (Aren’t you coming?)
Doch! Ich komme mit. (Yes! On the contrary, I am.)
Get the hang of these basics and you’ll be feeling positive about the “negative” side of German in no time!

Friday, July 10, 2015

How to learn German through video exposure -- Herr Antrim

Bernd das Brot with English Subtitles:

Wissen macht Ah! with German Subtitles:

Deutsch mit Untertitel YouTube Channel:

Lion King in German (no subtitles):

Frau Holle (1961) (deutsche UT/English subtitles) YouTube 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

MINE singt: Und der Mond lacht über uns

 Outside in Mannheim.... First 2 Musicians, and then ....

...Und der Mond lacht über uns  (and the moon laughs at us)

Caffee: Tchibo Werbung-- Schwarz/Weiß: Black/White?

Internet tips: Making music; Girls with Toys; Discovering that secret beach...

von Volle Kanne ...

1.  Touch Pianist  Musik online komponieren...
2.  Tone Matrix
3.  Type Drummer
4.  Girls with Toys . . .
5.  Trip in View ... aus der Vogelperspektive per Multicopter

Sing mit: Die Früchte

Hier kommt die Banane, die ist gelb und krumm.
hier kommt die Orange, so saftig und so rund.
hier kommt -- die Traube, lila süß und klein.
hier die - Erdbeere, rot so muss sie sein.
hier kommt die Birne, oben schmal und unten breit.
hier kommt die Kirsche, -- die ist meist zu zweit
hier kommt die Zitrone, sauer macht lustig.
hier kommt die Melone, kernig und fruchtig. 

Super saftig...
Lass uns die fruchtigen Freunde noch einmal.....

Die Kunst und das Leben von Caspar David Friedrich: Der Romantiker

Hier: Eine Einführung (Trailer) zu einem Doku-Film über einen Wanderer und auch Künstler aus der Romantik...

"Ein Film voller atemberaubende Entdeckungen...
Komm mit auf den Gipfel, und schau hinab ins Nebelmeer ...
Der Wanderer in unserer Seele:  Caspar David Friedrich.
Wenn das Schöne und das Schaurige (horrifying) einander treffen."

Move to Leipzig and Become A German

These are the things I've adjusted to on my way to becoming German.

1. Idle chit chat

During my first days of work in Germany, I made sure to be super friendly to all of my coworkers. Whenever anyone passed me in the hallway, I would grin maniacally, wave, and yelp, “Hi! How’s your day going?” The responses ranged from bemused looks to a total lack of reply. Confused but not discouraged, I continued trying to work my charms on my new friends.

One morning, I passed Roger, the department’s statistician. I laser-beamed him with my eyes and yelled out my usual “How are you?!” He paused for a moment, staring at me bewilderedly and scratching his fluffy, mad-professor hairdo.

“Do you really want to know?” he asked, one eyebrow raised.

“Uh, yes,” I stammered, unsure of what to make of this.

Twenty minutes later, he was still going strong on a breathless diatribe about how the students’ inferior grasp of basic stats and unbearably messy data sets were contributing to his ever-increasing workload.

Eventually sensing my discomfort, Roger paused and gave me a blank look. “Well you asked,” he muttered, rolling his eyes before continuing down the hall to his office.

2. Fear of nudity

Especially in the former East, Freikörperkultur, or free body culture, is an important part of German identity. Decades of oppression led to a particular appreciation for the experience of freedom and nudity without a direct relationship to sexuality.

This can sometimes be difficult for Americans to buy, particularly when your coworkers casually invite you to the office’s nude sauna or suggest a naked swim in a nearby lake. Adjusting to this culture without getting weird took some grit, finesse, and more than a few awkward encounters.

3. Expectation of safety above all

The pervasive fear of litigation that infuses most public activities in the United States is virtually nonexistent in Germany. Germans take a much more casual, reasonable approach to public safety. On a hike in Sächsische Schweiz, a beautiful, mountainous region of Saxony, I once commented on the lack of guardrails and warning signs surrounding the steepest cliffs. “Only an idiot would fail to realize that a steep cliff is dangerous,” my German co-worker stated matter-of-factly.

A few months later, after a particularly brutal snowstorm, I remember seeing an older gentleman faceplant on the ice while waiting for the tram. He stood up, casually wiped the trickle of blood from his forehead, and resumed his position on the platform without so much as grimacing.
I love this attitude.

Every year, a local artist would put on a crazy party called “Bimbotown” in one of the warehouses in the Spinnereistrasse neighborhood of Leipzig. The party was crawling with machines that this artist made — giant metallic worms slithering across the ceiling, bar stools that would eject their occupants at the push of a button from across the warehouse, couches that caved in and dumped you into a secret room, beds that could be driven around the party and through the walls. It was an incredible event that would have never been allowed to happen in the US because of all the safety violations — someone could hit their head, fall off a bed, get whacked in the eye. And it was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to.

4. Assumption of others’ guilt
Unlike Americans, Germans are often more concerned with protecting others than they are with shielding themselves from the mistakes of other people.  When I was filling out rental paperwork for my first apartment in Germany, one of the secretaries in at my office asked me if I’d purchased insurance yet.

“Oh no,” I said, “I don’t really own anything worth insuring, to be honest.”

“It’s not for you,” she replied, puzzled. “It’s to protect other people, in case you damage their property in some way.”

5. Frenetic pace / work above all

Moving to Germany meant an inexorable slowing of the pace of my life. Particularly in Saxony, there are strict rules about when stores can remain open. Most businesses are closed in the evenings and all day on Sunday. Additionally, Germans benefit from frequent holidays and typically at least a month of paid vacation.
This gave me some anxiety at first, particularly when I forgot to leave work early enough to get groceries or didn’t have time to go to the bank. Over time, however, I learned to both plan my days and to enjoy the break from chores rather than obsessing over lost time. After a few months, I was occasionally leaving work at 3pm to go watch the football game with friends instead of trying to cram in a few more hours of work. I still got as much done as usual, but I felt much happier and less burned out.

6. Rule breaking

In Boston, jaywalking is a way of life. The streets are so crazy and the lights so uncoordinated that you’ll die of old age waiting for the crosswalk. When I moved to Germany, I took this attitude with me but quickly found that it was not a universally acceptable behavior. Even if it’s late in the evening and no cars are in sight, crossing the street without the right of way will get you some heat from native Germans, with “Think of the children!” being the top rebuke hurled your way.

Same deal with “forgetting” to pay your tram fare — if you get caught, the icy stares heaped upon you by an entire car full of people will be enough to freeze your blood. The German system relies on people contributing to the common good even when no one is watching, and so freeloaders and rule-breakers are heavily sanctioned in German culture.

7. Buying on credit

Credit cards are also virtually nonexistent in Germany. This presented a problem for me when my American bank account decided to shut down after my first “suspicious” attempt to withdraw money in Leipzig, but once I got that squared away, being required to plan my expenditures and live on a cash-only system helped me keep my finances under control.

8. Assumptions about Germans

A few months into my time in Leipzig, I started really feeling like I had the hang of things. I knew my way around, I was pretty well set-up at work and home, and most importantly, I felt like I had the German attitude figured out.  One morning, I was biking to a conference and felt like it was unusually difficult to keep the bike moving. “Whoa, I’m out of shape,” I thought, heaving my shaking legs around the wheels as I tottered slowly down the street. While I was waiting at a red light, a man on the sidewalk flagged me down.

 “Ich spreche kein Deutsch,” I hissed, tired and irritated.

“Your tire is flat,” he said in perfect, clipped English, gesturing at my pitiful heap of a bike.

“I know that,” I lied, aggravated by this typical German statement-of-the-obvious. I tensed my foot on the pedal, ready to hurl myself forward as soon as the light turned.

The man paused and looked at me for a moment, unsure of whether to continue. “It’s just that, I have a pump,” he finally stammered, waving his hand almost apologetically at his backpack. “I could pump your tire for you.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

5 Clever Tricks to Learn Any Language on a Busy Schedule

1. Snooze Your Way to Foreign Language Fluency

You’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to work on your new language right before bed so your brain keeps processing what you’ve learned during the night and you wake up a bit more fluent than you were before you went to sleep. But have you ever tried doing a little language learning immediately after waking up? -- Without even having to get out of bed? Well, if you have an alarm clock or, more likely, a smartphone that lets you use custom alarm ringtones, simply create some voice memos involving new vocab words, grammatical structures or whatever else you want to “study” while cowering in bed and wondering how it can be morning again already. By using these memos as alarm sounds, you’ll have your brain fired up for language learning right from the break of day. This moves a little slice of your language practice into that gap between the time your alarm gets going and the time you get going. The best part of this technique is that the more times you hit snooze, the more you learn!

There are several smartphone apps that let you set voice memos as custom alarms. For instance, the Wake Up Babe iPhone app allows you to “wake up to sounds of your boyfriend or girlfriend’s voice, while a romantic song plays in the background”–or, for our purposes, wake up to the sound of new foreign language vocab words while a romantic song plays in the background!
learn any language 6 Fab Tricks to Learn Any Language on a Busy Schedule
My Voice Alarm is another iPhone app that lets you record our own alarm sounds. Over in Android land, apps like Recording Alarm Clock and Voice Alarm will do the trick.

If you’re an iPhone user and don’t feel like downloading any new apps, you can also just create voice memos and add them as alarms using iTunes. Doing these in batches is a good way to avoid having to sync up through iTunes every day. Or, if you want to take your learning-while-snoozing game up a notch, you can buy this alarm clock that lets you add custom sounds. It has the bonus feature of being able to actually leap off your nightstand and roll around your floor when it goes off ...

Even if you’re like me and feel little inclination to do anything other than guzzle coffee most mornings, give this technique a shot. You might be surprised to find that you can actually get some language learning done even while hitting the snooze button like your life depends on it. At the very least, you’ll get some speaking practice in just recording the voice memos!

2. Link Language Learning to Everyday Tasks

The average person drinks about half a gallon of water a day. If you think about it, half a gallon is a lot of water, and drinking this much water a day is a significant commitment. It would take a fair amount of time to drink half a gallon of water in one sitting!  But you never hear anyone say “Oh, I’d like to drink half a gallon of water a day, but I’m just too busy!” or “My schedule is packed–I think I’m going to have to skip my half-gallon of water today” or “I really want to drink half a gallon of water a day, but I guess I’ll have to wait until I retire.” The one ingenious trick used by billions of people who manage to fit drinking half a gallon of water a day into their busy schedules, of course, is that they take many smaller helpings of water at regular intervals throughout the day.

So if you want to fit half a gallon of language learning into your daily routine, why not use the same approach? One easy way to do this is to link your language learning to the little tasks you perform dozens of times over the course of a day. Promise yourself, for example, that you’ll learn a new vocab word every time you take a drink of water.

Your thirst will then act as a periodic reminder not just to get a drink of water, but to keep on top of your language learning. Plus, you’ll be doing part of your language learning in frequent little sips rather than trying to find time in your busy schedule to gulp everything down at once. (This language learning strategy can also double as an educational drinking game, although not one I’d necessarily recommend.)

By binding your language practice to repetitive everyday tasks, you’ll turn routine daily chores into powerful language learning tools and get in your half-gallon of language study before you even know it. The power of this technique is limited only by your imagination and the repetitiveness of your daily routine!

Here’s a place where being addicted to checking your smartphone can actually work to your advantage. If you commit to, say, learning a new word and using it in a sentence every time you look at your cell phone, you’ll be amazed at your progress (or, worst case scenario, you’ll start thinking twice before reaching to see if you have any new text messages).

3. Use Flashcards Without Borders

If you’re a flashcards kind of person, you probably already know that flashcards are great way to integrate language learning into your everyday life. They’re portable, convenient and extremely powerful. (And if you’re not a flashcards kind of person, you should think about becoming one.)
But if you’re trying to learn a language on a busy schedule, sometimes just having flashcards isn’t enough. Sometimes you need a reminder even to look at your flashcards in the first place.

And this is one place where going old-school and making some actual paper flashcards can help. Once you’ve written up your flashcards, distribute them across different places where you’re bound to run into them as you go about your daily business. Put a couple in your kitchen to find when you wake up in the morning, leave a few in your car, place some on your desk at the office, and so on.
Then as you go through your day, you’ll have regular chances to review a few vocab words at a time (or whatever else you decide to put on the flashcards) without having to make any effort whatsoever to schedule in your language learning. When you finally lie down to go to sleep at the end of your day, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve learned with so little effort. And you may be equally surprised to find a few more forgotten flashcards lurking under your pillow, so you can get in some last-minute vocab review before slipping off into dreamland.

4. Narrate the World Around You

For a language learning strategy that you can use literally anywhere, try practicing your new language by keeping a running narrative of the world around you. Besides giving you a chance to review all the words and grammatical structures you know, and to build fluency by keeping a running monolog, this technique is infinitely adaptable.

Walking down the street? Try narrating the things happening around you.  Waiting in line? Talk about the other people you see and even make up stories about them (using your inner voice–not out loud, of course!).  Stuck in a boring meeting? Maybe describe what the meeting is about and try translating some of what’s being said.

In addition to being a useful tool to help you learn any language on a busy schedule, narrating the world around you is a great way to practice thinking on your feet in a new language. Responding to the things happening around you will help you get better at drawing on your new language on the fly, and having all the new words and grammatical structures you’re learning ready at your fingertips.

5. Write on the Go

One of the best tricks to learn any language on a busy schedule is to start a language learning notebook and make it your bester Freund. If you’re already keeping a vocabulary book, all the better–just block off a section you can use to start building your written fluency while you’re on the go.

Depending on your personal preferences, there are a few ways to do this. If you’re the practical type, you can integrate your language practice into everyday organizational tasks by using your language learning notebook mainly for to-do lists and notes-to-self. If you’re more introspective, you can start keeping a diary in your new language, writing down your experiences and thoughts whenever you have a chance. If you’re feeling creative, you can even try maintaining a notebook of stories and poems. Or, if you like variety, you can go for some mixture of all three!

Writing on the go is basically the written equivalent of narrating the world around you. It’s a highly adaptable technique that’s great for fluency-building. If you use these strategies to integrate writing and speaking practice into your daily routine, plus the other strategies listed above, you’ve already relocated a huge chunk of your language study into the little empty spaces that recur throughout everyday life.

In the end, you won’t be able to get rid of dedicated language study time altogether. To return to the nutritional analogy: Even if you drink your half-gallon of water in little sips over the course of the day, you’ll still want to eat dinner at night (it’s just not practical to eat your dinner in periodic bites over a span of 12 hours).

But the trick is to make sure you don’t have to eat your dinner and drink half a gallon of water at the same time. Use these techniques to integrate a good portion of your speaking/writing and vocab practice into your everyday routine, leaving only the essentials for your dedicated language learning time.

And before you know it, “I wish I could learn a language, but I just don’t have time” will become “I didn’t think I had time to learn a language, but I did anyway ’cause I’m a boss!”