• Languages

    Politics and languages

    As the American election is approaching, you can find many articles about American politics in the French and German press. I thought it could be fun to list the words which have a totally different political meaning in America and in Western Europe. Red and Blue The colors of the political parties can vary from a country to another. In America, the Republican Party has the color red, whether the Democrat party has the color blue. The color red belongs in France to the communists and in Germany to the social democrats. The color blue belong in France to the right: light blue for the moderate conservatives and dark blue…

  • Languages

    Funny German words (part 2)

    A few days ago, I wrote a post about German words and expressions that I find amusing. In this post, I want to share a few more German funny words. 1) Schwein haben Literally translated into English: to have a pig. This expression means actually to have luck. To celebrate a new year, German people may even offer you a “Glücksschwein”, a little pig out of marzipan, to wish you food luck for the new year. 2) Es ist mir Wurst Literally translated: it is sausage to me. This means actually “I do not care”. 3) Kaffeeklatsch Translated into English: coffee gossip. German people like to have “Kaffee und Kuchen”…

  • Languages

    Funny German Words

    I have now been living in Germany for ten years. In these ten years, I have met several German words that I found strange or funny. Here are some words or expressions that I found particularly funny or interesting. 1) eine beleidigte Leberwurst Translated into English: “an offended liver sausage”. This expression is used to describe someone who gets easily offended and moody. 2) Scherzkeks Translated into English: “joking biscuit”. This word is used to describe someone who is always joking and playing pranks. 3) Mutterkuchen This is actually the German word for placenta. It is composed of two words: Mutter (mother) and Kuchen (cake). When I first heard that…

  • Languages

    German Unity Day

    Today was Germany’s national holiday: der Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Unity Day). It commemorates the reunification of Western and Eastern Germany in 1990. How do German people celebrate German Unity Day? In comparison to other countries however, the Germans are relatively uninterested in their national holiday. There are celebrations and the media are speaking about it but that was. When I was a child, in France, I was very excited about the French national day because there were beautiful fireworks to celebrate the national day. In Germany, I never met anyone getting excited over the German national day. As today was a Saturday, I hardly noticed that we had…

  • Languages

    Learning languages with the Birkenbihl method

    As I am looking for ways to improve my language skills, I found about Vera Birkenbihl method for language learning. I watched her videos on Youtube and read about her and her method.  Who is Vera Birkenbihl? Vera Birkenbihl was a German motivation coach who was most known for the language learning method she developed. She was born in 1946 and she died in 2011. As a young woman, she began to develop learning methods and then developed the Birkenbihl method for language learning in the 80s. She wrote books and gave speeches on a wide range of subjects: brain-friendly learning and teaching method, analytical and creative thinking, personal development…

  • Languages

    20 films to see if you are learning German

    Discovering the culture of a country is an important aspect of learning a new language. When I was learning German at school, I had German teachers who would make sure we discover classic German films and books. As I later moved to Germany, I discovered several films which are not exactly classics but are very popular amongst German people. I listed in this post German films to see if you are learning German. This list includes classic German films, but also further German films that are popular in Germany or internationally. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information. 1) Der Blaue Engel (The…

  • Languages

    The month of learning Spanish – conclusion

    The month of learning Spanish is now over. I learned some Spanish everyday for the all month. It is now time to write the conclusion of this experience. Some figures Duolingo Exercises: 71 Duolingo stories: 20 Total points Duolingo: 1364 goFluent  Grammar exercises: 12 Articles: 5 Videos: 3 How To: 2 Vocabulary exercises: 4 Total goFluent exercises: 26 Conclusion I am happy I tried this because it motivated me to work on my Spanish. Of course, I still am no fluent Spanish speaker, but I reviewed many points of the language I had totally forgotten and I improved much. The points where I improved most were vocabulary and conjugations. It…

  • Languages

    The month of learning Spanish: fourth week report

    I am now writing the fourth week report of my month of learning Spanish. The monthly challenge will soon be over. I have been able to find time every day to work a little on my Spanish skills so I am pretty happy I have tried this. What I did this week (fourth week report) 22/11: 1 Duolingo story + 2 Duolingo exercises + 4 Gofluent exercises (2 grammar + 1 How to + 1 article) 23/11: 2 exercises Duolingo + 3 exercises Gofluent (grammar) 24/11: 3 Gofluent exercises (2 videos + 1 vocabulary) + 1 Duolingo exercise + 1 Duolingo story 25/11: 3 Duolingo exercises + 1 Duolingo story…

  • Languages

    Great gifts for French learners

    As we enter November, we all begin to think about which Christmas presents to buy for our close ones. After writing a post about presents ideas for Spanish learners, I decided to post a list of great gifts for French learners. I hope you can find some idea you like if one of your close ones is learning French.  This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information. Great gifts for French learners Le Petit Prince (Antoine de St-Exupery) This is a classic for French learners. This is a short easy book with a beautiful and powerful story. La Grammaire Est Une Chanson Douce (Erik…

  • Languages,  STEM

    Python projects ideas for language learners

    As part of my month of learning Spanish, I have been wondering how I could combine my language project with other learning projects that are less in focus right now.  I have been thinking about combining language learning with coding, as I want to learn to code with Python too. I finally set up a list of easy Python projects ideas for language learners. Python projects ideas for language learners Project 1: create your own Spanish-English dictionary with Python Creating a dictionary in Python is not difficult. This can just take a little time to enter all the items. You use curly brackets to create the dictionary. You can give…