things i plan to do in 2015

alright, alright. i’m waaaay off on the new years resolutions bit but that’s because i was off living it! resisting urge to write ‘bam!’ at the end of that but i did, didn’t i?

truth be told, i’m working on changing careers and that’s been taking up a fair chunk of my time. plus, we’ve had two rounds of germans visiting us.
so it’s been headaches all ’round! (note: not headaches from the germans themselves but just speaking german again. good practice, natürlich, but still. kopfschmerzen.)

but while you may have forgotten, i have not. and part of my goals for 2015 is to follow up and follow through on everything.

so without further ado, here are the things i plan to do this year:

(more…)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

P1030685

paddington and me! tinsel on my ankles courtesy of christmas.


 

yeah, yeah, i’m about two weeks too late but IDGAF

so, yes, i’ve been rather MIA of late, as i’ve been settling here in london and, well, i really didn’t know what to write. my mind was a total blank. i started many a blog post but then had no idea how to end it or just felt it was blah and boring. in fact, i still kind of feel like that now but here goes nothing.

2015! that means that i’ve officially left vancouver for over a year! that’s still crazy to me. it doesn’t feel that long. time definitely flew by!

here’s a listicle of things i’ve been reflecting on. (more…)

langauge immersion without a plane ticket

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 01.21.01

BUT HOW WILL YOU KEEP LEARNING GERMAN IF YOU’RE NOT IN GERMANY ANYMORE?!

WHAT IF YOU FORGET EVERYTHING??

i swear everyone has asked me that question at least once since i moved to london. like i’d just stop making any effort to keep up my german learning after months of studying. i did not power learn verbs for nothing. unlike my french, i plan to keep up my german. actually, i’d like to take this moment to mourn the fact that i thought learning french was not worth my time. you were a fool, past tara. a fool!

but these questions. give me some credit, people! mother, i’m especially referring at you.

let’s not forget that plenty of people learn a foreign language without having gone a country where it’s always spoken. immersing oneself is obviously ideal but it’s just not possible for everyone. instead, it’s about creating that immersive environment as best you can for yourself. even if it’s only for a few hours a week. sure, you might not learn as many new words or phrases as you’d like but you’ll ingrain what you do know even better and that’s not nothing. kind of like learning to cook one dish and learning to cook it so well that you can do it with your eye closed. then you learn a next dish.

here are the ways that i’m making sure to keep up my german while not being in germany. plus, they’re all free!

1) PODCASTS
many languages will have podcasts dedicated to learning that certain language, albeit you’re not learning something too obscure. my favourite german ones are Grüße aus Deutschland  from the goethe institute and Schlaflos in München mit Annik Rubens. annik also has a beginner german podacast called Slow German that i highly recommend. i pop these on whenever i’m in transit. i try to listen to one episode a day. i will also repeat the episodes until i’m sure i know every word. i’ll also write down the new words i hear, as i re-listen to the podcast. i’ve heard that transcribing a podcast is also a good way to learn but i’m just sticking to listening and jotting down the occasional word.

2) TV SHOWS
still watching them! here are my favourites.

3) MEETUPS // LANGUAGE PARTNER
i recently went to a german language meetup here in london. this group meets up every other week for a few hours and just speaks german. if that’s not a great way to keep up german, i don’t know what is! if you can’t find a meet up, the internet is full of people wanting to find a language partner. i signed up for one in hannover and just the other day i skyped with mine! boom! language immersion without having to even leave the house or put on proper clothers. the internet, it can be a wonderful place.

Meet Up

4) READING

the least fun of this list. i love reading but i do not find reading in german at all pleasurable. i read slower and have to re-read constantly to make sure that i’ve understood everything. i keep doing it because i know the only way it will get better is if i keep doing it. so do that. find something you’ve read in your mother tongue and then read it in the language you’re learning. then you have a translation at hand. a bit tedious, i know, but think of the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel. or something. ugh. i really wish the reading was more enjoyable instead of feeling like work.

i f anyone else out there has ideas or tricks they use to learn languages, feel free to leave a comment! share that knowledge!

your friend and mine,
tara