Author Archive | lauraharker

10 Unique and Fun Swiss German Words

What do you think is one indicator that you’ve finally mastered a language? Some people say that you know you’re fluent once you start dreaming in your second language. Others claim that it’s all about being able to make …

5 Festive German Christmas Poems to Get in the Holiday Spirit

We’ve got a little treat for your Christmas stocking this year. Something short, sweet and sure to boost your German skills: festive German Christmas poems! Both the U.S. and Germany have their own set of Christmas songs and hymns—in fact, …

How to Hack German Grammar: 6 Learning Tricks

There are people who like to stop and smell the roses. Then there are people who mow down the roses as they race to their destination. While it’s great to be able to savor life and take things slow, in …

6 Brilliant Ways to Learn German in Berlin

Pack your bicycle and leave your doubts at home. Your German adventure awaits. You’ve decided to take the plunge and completely immerse yourself in the German language. Good for you! There are heaps of language schools dotted around the …

6 Easy Peasy German Speaking Tips for Beginners

Speaking is easy, right? You just need to put your lips together, engage your vocal chords, and then the words will fall right out. Well, sure, it is pretty easy speaking in your native tongue. But how do you think …

The Globetrotter’s Guide to Learning German in Austria

Looking for a deliciously unique way to boost your language skills? Look no further than the land of schnitzel, strudel and schnapps—Austria! Germany’s southern neighbor may not be the first place you think of when planning a German immersion trip, …

5 Immersive Options for Learning German in Switzerland

Are you a “road less traveled” kind of person? Then maybe a German program in Berlin isn’t exactly right for you. You’re looking for something a little more unexpected, a little more out-of-the-box… How about traveling south? I’m talking way …

The Guide to E-learning German for Any Language Level

How many hours do you spend online each day? Really, that many?! Okay, okay—it’s not just you. Most of us spend big chunks of our day online, whether it’s surfing social media sites or binging on funny videos. But …

4 of the Best YouTube Channels for Learning German

Hey, what are you up to? Wait—don’t tell me. Let me guess! You’re watching another cat video?! You do know that there’s a lot more to the internet than just cute cat videos, right? As a matter of fact, …

The Slick Beginner’s Guide to Learning Swiss German

Speech can be very telling. Within a few seconds of hearing an American speak, you could have a pretty good idea of which state they’re from—thanks to their regional accent. From New York to California, and from Minnesota to Texas, …

5 Top TED Talks in German That You’ve Got to See

TED Talks have been taking the nation by storm! These intelligent and insightful lectures have covered a whole range of subjects and topics. I’m sure you’ll have already seen some of their most popular ones. Even if you haven’t, the …

The Beginner’s Guide to Nailing the German Plural

Can you imagine a world without plurals? We’d never be able to talk about anything unless it was on its own again… There’d be no point in numbers anymore, and it’d be really confusing talking about groups of things. Sounds …

Informal German: The Chill Guide to All Things “Du”

We have it easy, speaking English. I mean, have you ever wondered which “you” to use when addressing someone? Almost certainly not, thanks to the fact that we only have one word for “you.” Whether we’re in the middle of …

10 Everyday German Phrases That Are as Handy as Your Phone

“I only understand train station.” Excuse me? Sounds odd, right? But, if you literally translate “I only understand train station” to its German counterpart, ich verstehe nur Bahnhof, you actually get a really common expression. If you’re ever …

Getting Past Guesswork: German Vowel Sounds, Revealed

Ever wondered why “bead” and “head” don’t rhyme? Or why the “e” sounds completely different in “bent” and “here”? It’s all down to the vowel sounds in each word. There’s a whole world of long vowels, short vowels and …

30 Awesome Digital and Real-life German Learning Tools

Have you ever attempted a German DIY project? Instead of hammers, screwdrivers and WD-40, you’ll need some German learning tools to build strong and sturdy language skills. If your toolbox is feeling a little empty or rusty, don’t worry!…

10 Must-see German Animated Movies You’ll Absolutely Love

Cancel your Friday night plans! Set down those flashcards and go restock your popcorn supply. Give your conversation practice a little rest and start putting holds on some of your library’s German movies. Not just any movies, though—we’re talking …

Perfect Your German Accent with These 10 Tongue Twisters

Remember tripping over tongue twisters as a kid? Well, maybe it’s time to get used to them again. If you’re down with your adjective endings, you’ve aced the subjunctive and even know one or two German slang phrases, …

5 Excellent Ways to Teach Yourself German Outside of Class

When German class is over, you’re ready to go live the culture vulture lifestyle. You know, scanning Twitter, clicking through online magazines, binging on Netflix and recipe pinning. You’re dying to go home, sink into the couch and get online.…

How to Boost Your German Learning with E-books

Since you’re learning German, you should be reading it. As much as possible. No bookcase? Not keen on carrying a hefty tome around with you everywhere? No problem. How about downloading all your favorite German books onto your e-reader, phone, …

10 Must-read Intermediate German Books by Popular Authors

When you reach an intermediate German level, it’s time to read voraciously.  But what should you read? Germany is well-known for producing some great authors. Just take Goethe and Schiller for example. That being said, you might not be …

Learning Advanced German? You’ve Got to Try This

Want to visit Germany? Well, you’re learning the German language, so you’d better! It’s a fantastic country with lots of exciting cities and idyllic rural areas to explore. But if you’re not sure where to start, or are simply overwhelmed …

6 Hacks to Learn Business German Faster and Better

Germany is one of the big dogs. It’s one of the main economic, political and manufacturing players in Europe—and arguably the world. If you’re serious about learning German, Geschäftsdeutsch (Business German) is almost certainly going to be a …