Tag Archives: marathon sprachen

Wishes, sarcasm, and linguistic imagery in German — More Konjunktiv II

The other week we looked at how to use the German Konjuntiv II form for being polite and expressing unreal conditional clauses. This week I want to look at a few other ways that we can use conditionals. If you apply these you’ll also be able to add a touch of sarcasm to your spoken […]

Speak about the game — Fussball Wortschatz

For Germany fans this past Thursday was not a great day as the Italian team won the match 2-1 in Warsaw, however, Germany and Germany fans went into the match with a great deal of optimism. See this YouTube video to get an idea of how excited they were. The victory for Italy meant that […]

Indirekte Fragen — Taking the Directness out of German

Many of you may have recently seen a picture circulating around the web recently that graphically represents stereotypes of European languages and cultures. Austrian speak German, as do the Swiss, Liechtensteiners and South Tyrolleans (Südtirol). That said, the way these cultures and languages communicate is different. In the graphic German is represented as a straight […]

Lesen Sie diesen Blog! — The imperative in German

Many of my students are parents. Why is this important? Because it is one of the few things you can be if you want to correctly use the informal imperative and be not only grammatically, but also contextually correct. The imperative mood (abbreviated imp) expresses commands or requests as a grammatical mood. These commands or […]

vor vs. bevor vs. vorher — yes, there’s a difference!

Last week we looked at the words nach, nachdem and nachher. We learned that these words, while they can be used to convey the same information, have different grammatical functions and word order and event order must be observed. This week we’ll look at their counterparts: vor, bevor and vorher. We’ve moved. You’ll find the […]

nach vs. nachdem vs. nachher — what’s the difference?

Anyone learning German should also find that both their logic and English are improving as well. The logic because German sentences are constructed more like mathematical equations and one’s English because you’ll become aware of the different uses of English words and possible substitutes. A brilliant example of this is the German words nach, nachdem, […]

5 Ways to negate in German besides using “nicht”

When I communicate with my students over e-mail, assigning extra homework or answering questions that they have between lessons, I generally try to do it in German. The more exposure language learners have to their target language the faster they’ll learn — just like fitness training. However, every once in a while this can lead […]

sehen / schauen / gucken / luegen… Seeing in German doesn’t have to be that hard

If you’ve ever taken a language course, you know that good language teachers and trainers try to engage their students and get them to speak. One of the most common questions that teachers ask is “How was your weekend? What did you do?” (Wie war dein Wochenende? Was hast du gemacht?) This usually receives a […]

Running in German — The exception to the rule

Last week I gave you a weekly planner to get fit in German. Today I’m talking about another kind of fitness that was spurred on by yesterday’s run with AnneMarie. It was almost Forrest Gump style running, we didn’t just go out on our regular loop. We set off from Zurich and kept going in […]

Getting Fit in German — Weekly Planner to Improve your German

Three years ago when we started Marathon Sprachen, we chose the name because we knew that learning a language is very similar to learning to run a marathon. Language learning is not based on learning facts, but learning skills. Like learning to run long distance, one needs to practice daily. Learning German means learning a […]