The 3 resources that help me learn German

3 resources

How much time do you spend online?

I don’t have the the exact figures as it varies everyday. There are some days when  can be a real junkie, or almost out of touch. My husband used to tell me, “wouldn’t all that precious time be better spent focusing on some German study?” I retorted with “Ja wohl!”

The internet proved to be a wonder for me from doing my language research, meeting my husband, being in constant communication in our LDR, doing my freelance jobs, and now learning a language.

The Internet may be distracting, but it’s also offers a wide range of tools for learning a language. It just needs dedication and willingness to close other tabs and focus on learning Deutsch. This can be a good supplement to the learning you have in our language class.

For those who are on self-study like me, the Internet makes it possible to teach yourself German with its  collection of free resources. 

Here are my top 3 resources that help me learn German:

1.) Learn German with Jenny on YouTube 

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This is one of the first resources that I explored and was eventually hooked into. It has a great collection of lessons from A1 to C2 delivered in a such a pleasing way. I like the way she explains the lessons in English; like talking about the equivalents or terms used in the English grammar to explain that of German. As an English teacher, I find this to be the most relatable and thus easy to comprehend. Most of the first German sentences and words I learned are from her videos. 

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You can also download worksheets from her website to supplement your YouTube learning. And yes, you’ll have the keys for the answers, too! Isn’t that cool?

2.) Duolingo

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The reviews are right. This app is really addictive!

I think it gets one hooked as the lessons adapt to your specific learning style. This means that the exercises are designed  so you can learn vocabulary and use put them into use. You will also get an immediate feedback after clicking the “CHECK” button for answers. If you have difficulty with vocabulary, you can just click on the word and the definition will pop-up.

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If after every stage you feel like you need to check how much you’ve learned, clicking “PRACTICE” will then give you a review on the skills you just acquired. I find it to be very effective for me.

3.) Deutsche Welle

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DW is also a very place to learn German regardless of your level. Because the lessons are available at anytime, you can just browse and choose which one you fancy at a certain day and time. The thing I like about DW is the availability of videos, audio clips and podcasts or worksheets you can print out. Audio clips are also provided with scripts you can go through as you listen.

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Audio, video, grammar lessons and vocabulary lists are available. Isn’t that an all-in-one learning resource?

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There you go! These are my three favorite online resources for learning German. Are you learning another language? What are your favorite resources? 

Your range of options for studying German ( or other languages) online is vast. For now, there is so much for me to learn, especially with writing and speaking. My husband helps me out by quizzing me on my vocabulary and talking to me in short and simple German sentences I need for survival. 😀 Nothing beats learning the language from a native speaker, yeah? 😀

For now, I speak three languages fluently (like most of us who were born outside of Manila). I can read and understand a little of Korean and Spanish. German would be the newest addition. And oh, perhaps Dutch will be something I have to learn to survive the first years in Europe. 😀

I always have fun learning a language. How about you, what other languages can you speak? How did you learn it?

 

 

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How Travel Boosts Your Romance

travel boost romance.jpgHow many times have we heard of people booking themselves a one-way ticket to mend a broken heart? I have known a number of acquaintances who have done the same thing. Most often, they would say the roller-coaster ride of going somewhere unfamiliar by one’s self brings some sort of energy that empowers the broken heart, bringing it back to life.

But, travel isn’t just for the broken-hearted. It’s definitely  for those who are in love too! While you are both in love, there is also the constant need to learn how to live with each other, working things out as a couple. Even if  you live just five minutes away from each other, travelling together on your own offers a whole new experience, and can lead to discoveries about the love of your life.

Chris and I met online and had been in constant communication for a couple of months before he flew to me and we became, officially, a couple. (Technically, we had been together but as true blue realists, we wanted to meet personally to hug, hold hands, kiss and have dates the way normal couples do, so we can gauge where we go from there.) With this, we would go travel together. When you are in a long-distance relationship like us, then I believe subjecting the relationship to a series of travel tests is essential.

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Sol Y Mar is one of the places we love going to when we need time alone for talking but hates the long commutes.

Based on our experience, here’s why we think travel can be quite a catalyst for your romance.

  1. It strengthens your bond through the test of communication skills. When you are both in an unfamiliar place, you are left to finding things on your own. With this comes the need to communicate clearly and compromise on certain choices you have to make as a couple. You will find yourselves trying to come up with solutions to troubles you are facing, like missing your boat rides. When Chris and I traveled to Boracay, the weather wasn’t really on our side and the cancellation of trips to the island is a possibility. We tried to talk about the possible game plan and agreed on our alternative schedule for the day when it comes to worse.  Also, we would talk about the food we can try that day, of the place we will hang out for the night. So just as with anything else, travel gives you the chance to talk and have your points heard.
  2. It gives you the chance to take control of things alternately. Going places mean asking for directions, right? Believe it or not,even just the simple task of asking for fare rates, transportation available and nearby restaurants is a a training for teamwork too. Though both of you might be quite endowed with the gift of gab, there are certain things that one partner can do a bit better than the other. When we travel together and are in the mood for European food, Chris takes the role of finding out what I could eat from the food choices available. When we want to buy local, example from food stalls and souvenir shops, I go forward and would make him smile when I get some discounts from the storekeeper. This is after all a partnership and not dictatorship. When we go shopping for our food, there are things I would remember and there are things he would put in the basket because I missed the list.
  3. The privacy offers much opportunity to be freely romantic. I live in the city that is quite an amalgamation of education & freedom and religion & restrictions. While majority of the citizens here are educated and the younger generation is generally liberal, the strong sense of religiosity and the unbending belief to the adherence on acceptable social attitude can be challenging. I know this is especially true in areas outside of Manila, Cebu, and Angeles where interracial couples are a commonplace. Chris has a very good relationship with my family and this gives us more leeway to be a bit showy at home. But, when we travel, we can truly act romantic freely, even amidst the sea of strangers. We could go strolling around while wrapped around each other’s arms by the beach or give a quick kiss on the lips while talking over dinner.
  4. The little fights helps you draw the lines of your partner’s limits. Travelling can be a sort of a test for couples as it puts you both in the middle of situations that can be annoying. As two very different individuals, you may want to do another thing or try some other stuff, right? This clash can lead to fights while travelling. When you are both pressed up to each other at all times, this can take its toll too. Imagine when you are both irritated or hungry or thirsty. Just one word can spark an argument and you find yourselves frowning on even the dumbest of things. Don’t get me wrong, this type of fighting isn’t negative at all. In fact, this is the sign you both are still the same unique persons you once were, and this makes you clash too. Naturally, you have to settle the rift and talk about what one likes and dislikes to settle the frustrations. For sure, you will come out quite closer with a deeper understanding of your partner. While in one of our trips, Chris and I had this fight over the 7/11 clerk’s mistake which ended up to me walking way ahead and him losing his way. We both met in our hotel’s shuttle pick-up area and after some seconds decided to talk about what went wrong. It was not perfectly pleasant but it told us about where the limit should be set.
  5. Gives you a sneak peek of the “living together” scenario. Once a relationship goes serious, there is no other way it should go but to the vision of having to share your life together. Since you can’t really be around each other round the clock, travelling together when possible gives both of you the chance to experience how life can be like when you have to share the space the whole time. This also entails that at some point, you will have to take the role of taking care of each other. No matter how simple the efforts can be, having the opportunity to be in the same flat together can inspire your instinct to care for the one you love. At home or vacation, I would always hand him his cup of coffee or tea, and he would always get up and hand me a glass of water when I wake up in the middle of the night. Sharing space can make you realize what your partner can be like when you finally live together.
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The view from our hotel, Lingganay Resort in Boracay.

Travelling with your partner can be a combination of thrill, challenges and discoveries, but overall, I believe it is an awesome experience. When you go to places, you share the trouble of planning and overcoming challenges when you arrive. Imagine two heads trying to figure out the nearest route. That can be a disaster too, though! When one has to do the personal necessities, there is no worry of missing bags and stuff. Alternately, when facing a terrible situation, one of you may try to confront the restaurant staff for the wrong beer flavor and the other kept telling you to calm down and let it pass.

The travel with your partner may not be always perfect but the precious moments of spending life-changing events, seeing funny happenings and being in a totally awkward situation together can really boost your romance by turning you into best of friends and ultimate source of comfort.

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It also rains in paradise, so we just have to hang around our very nice veranda.

5 Things You Need to Know Before Your German Guy’s Visit

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The moment he said he will fly to meet you, you know this is getting serious (almost always). Perhaps after countless conversations with your Deutsch (German) guy online, you may want to take this connection into a whole new level. Though there is nothing wrong with dating someone online, you should meet personally.  This is because personal encounters can make you assess the person quite well, and ensure what you have actually works.

Though one may actually see red flags even when just communicating online, nothing seems to be more reliable that hearing what the person says as you look each other on the eyes or sitting side by side. His gestures are as important as the words he say. Remember that it if doesn’t feel right, then it might as well not right to proceed any further.  You just have to be honest about your feelings as he also invested his time, effort, and resources to see you.

To finally meet the guy is quite thrilling, right? Don’t get too excited, though. Before your German guy flies in, be sure to arm yourself with some information. It will save you from the stress and will give you both a much better opportunity to enjoy the time being together.

  1. If he wants to meet your family, then he must be really serious. This is quite a no-brainer. If he shows much interest in meeting your family and spending time with them, then he really wanted to know you deeply. Your family is an extension of yourself, and meeting them means getting an upfront idea of how were raised, the kind of parents and siblings you have, and your over-all personality around your family. Of course, when he would love to spend time alone with you but his eagerness to see who plays an important role in shaping who you are means he wants to understand you better, and this is a good sign for you.
  2. Expect that he will confirm your claims. Yep. It is important to be truthful from day one. My boyfriend and I have read so much about men writing how shocked they were to find out the Pinay had actually lied (or told half-truths) about her life. So, to save you from the embarrassment and possible broken heart, always tell the truth. If you say you work in an office, he expects that you bring him there  as soon as his jetlag disappears. Make him see the things you do everyday. You might as well give him a little tour of the community you live in. He will appreciate your honesty no matter how crazy things can be for him. In short, you can always put your best foot forward, but always be honest.
  3. Your Filipina ways of indirectness can be misinterpreted as lack of interest. “Pakipot” (pretending not to be too eager) has no place in your guy’s world, so you better tell and show him you like him, or you don’t. We are raised in a way that when our words might actually hurt, we better not say them, right? This doesn’t work on this setting. Public display of affection is okay in the West, so you better prepare. Also, if the guy invited you to go sleep with him in his hotel room and you don’t like this idea, tell him honestly. He will surely be amused at how much boundary you set and might think you are not really interested in him, but he will understand your view on this. If he is a good guy, he will respect the way you choose to keep the connection wholesome. You need a lot of time to orient him of the Filipino ways on romance. If he blackmails you to get what he wanted, you better think twice of his intentions.
  4. Be prepared to be stared upon by a lot of people. If you are not the type who seeks attention, especially unsolicited ones, this will caused you some discomfort. Unless you are really taking public display of affection to the extreme, there is no need to worry. Many are generally curious and will stare at you, some out of admiration, some, out of the preconceived notions of us dating a white guy. (Here’s what I have written about this topic). To save yourself from the trouble, be modest enough and go to the right places. Since my boyfriend and I are career-oriented and look-conscious, we would always coordinate our look. This means we should not be over or under dressed compared to the other. Take extra effort in looking and acting pleasant to save yourself from the stereotypical stares.
  5. There are countless things that will shock him. He might be very excited for his first ride in a jeepney, tricycle or pedicab, but there are countless things that will shock him. Cold shower from a pail and dipper in the typical restroom at home will almost cause him to run. This will be followed by the absence of the toilet seat and the toilet paper when “doing our thing”. If he hasn’t read a lot about our country, then eating by hand, pointing to something using our lips, the long queues in the supermarket, and the men peeing by the walls can spark so many questions from him.  This shock will extend to how our electric wires hang up our lamp posts, people calling him “Joe”, soup for breakfast, beer served with a glass full of ice, and our whitening lotions.  Ah, and don’t forget the many different insects that thrive around here. The list goes on and on, really.

When my boyfriend came here for the first time, I was quite restless. Aside from the short notice of just two days, I was quite unprepared: no trip itinerary, no filed leave from work, and no experience in dating a German guy (Here’s how we started). Our honesty during our conversations is the one thing that helped us both a lot. Since there were no pretensions, there was nothing to cover too. We hope our little experience on our first meeting can save you and your German guy from the stress of being clueless about what and what not to expect.

Thanks for dropping by here. We wish you all the best too! ❤