22 June 2014

Learning More German

A few months ago, I mentioned that I had a new project. Yes, I went back to school to learn German. I did it for a month's worth of classes, back in April. And after one month, while it was seriously intense and mind-burning, I did learn a lot of stuff.

I enrolled myself back in March. I registered online, and then I went to the language school office and took a diagnostic test. They placed me on B2-1 (they divide it by following the Common European Reference of A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2, and then divide each level further in half). I learned plenty of new things.

They taught things I already knew before (like negation), as well as things I sort of knew but not perfectly (like the passive). But they did teach me plenty of things I didn't know beforehand, such as comparative correlation constructions (the more you eat, the heavier you become), case-assigned relative clauses, various connectives and conjunctions, and other complex sentence constructions. Also, more importantly, I learned a lot of new vocabulary. And it definitely helps.

I guess I signed up for German classes with the intention of relieving the feeling of being an idiot. I hate the feeling of knowing that I have an advanced degree, and yet I still feel dumb every time I have to deal with German and I need to speak it in a level higher than say, casual conversation. And I like to think that it definitely improved.

What happens after this? I am not continuing with German lessons for the moment, as I also learned that it takes a huge amount of commitment, especially since I also work 8 hours every day. And since I have work-related trips for the next couple of months, I also don't see it worth paying for a 4-week course when I will be away for one of those weeks. So if I go back (which I do think I will), then I will do it again in August. In the meantime, I am interacting a lot with German-speaking people in my social network, with the hopes of practicing my German further, and making more improvement.


  1. Grr... my comment disappeared again. Happens once in a while.

    I was basically cheering on your commitment--learning a new language is tough, especially after a full workday! Must be rewarding though as you are getting more comfortable in Berlin.

    1. Zhu,

      Yes, it was horror, at times. I work full-time, and then after that, I have classes. That was tough definitely.