Learn German in 150 days

german-flag-animated-gif-12

In between the summer heat, Ramadhan, and doing nothing, I have this crazy idea. To learn German in 5 months. As absurd as it sounds, I’m gonna do this! 💪

I know the first question people gonna ask me, or is already in your mind, is why? Why Deutsch particularly? I have been asked this question a couple of times already. If I’m gonna spend money and time, and will probably risk some more money on it, I must have a really strong reason to do this. Unfortunately, no. I’m sorry. I’ve tried to come up with a hella good reason, like I’m gonna work there, study abroad there, marry someone from there, or at least something like, I really really really like German movies and would like to understand what they literally say. *Sigh*. But no. None of them feel close to heart.

Whenever I thought of learning a new language, I always thought of Hindi, for my love to SRK’s movies and songs 😍 (I’m actually listening to one while writing this). I thought yeah, it would be cool to understand what they say without reading the subtitles, and they sound really romantic too! Early this year I found an apps called Duolingo, and I liked it instantly. The cute UI and graphic, and really great UX charmed me, but sadly, the Hindi language is still in progress. So I thought, why not learn something else in the mean time. And I chose German, for no particular reason. Aha, a natural intuitive power (read: instinct). And surprisingly, I kept learning it for at least 5 minutes everyday, every week for almost three or four months. Well, not everyday if I’m being honest 🙊, but I kept getting back to studying German, (even on a road trip!). I learned some useful words, and had fun too. So, when I finally have nothing to do during summer break, I thought why not make this a real thing. Be able to speak auf Deutsch with a Deutsche. 

There are also influences from my surrounding, such as Frank Brown, the Dean of Geology, and friends who are learning German, and who already know German. I’m aware that the reason behind is still not convincing enough, but I don’t want to make learning German just a phase. I don’t want one day to say ‘Oh, I know a little bit of German, Ich heiße aini‘. No, I want to be able to say ‘Ich spreche und verstehe Deutsch‘ (I speak and understand German) confidently, and laugh with them about something 10 minutes later. I already got my feet wet, might as well dip the whole body, right?

Knowing me, and as ambivalent as I am, I know I have to start now or bury this goal to death. So I did.

I have to plan really carefully and delicately to make sure that I didn’t stop halfway (like I always do 😪). My exact goal is in 5 months, I will be able to speak in German with a native speaker  for at least 30 min. That’s it. I didn’t plan to get A1, A2, B1, etc in Goethe-Zertifikat, although I did initially. But that, we can plan later. I know 5 months or 150 days is a short amount of time to learn a new language. But if I didn’t give myself a time frame, I’m gonna procrastinate my very best. And I think 5 months should be a good push for myself.

And to push myself even more, I made a deal with Kebe, a classmate from high school who’s currently studying in Germany, that if I’m able to speak with a german of his choice (a classmate, friend, housemate, etc), he’ll give me a Daniel Wellington that I’ve eyed for since last year 😏. With its price and my no-skill to take good care of stuff, it might be a waste for me to hit the ‘confirm order’ button and drain my bank account even more. But now I dont have to! 🙌💃👯🎊🎉 (in shaa Allah).

 

cy26-winchester-s

You’re gonna be on my wrist soon O’ Classy Winchester 26mm 😏

 

And if I failed, I’ll have to buy Kebe a watch that he’s been eyeing, which coincidentally of almost equal price. FYI, Kebe texted me the other day saying that he has bought the DW, and if I’m losing this, he’ll sedekah it to some german chicks. In hell heaven you will *determined emoji*

After doing thorough research to find the best ways to learn German (here, here, and here and many more), and considering my classes and work during Fall semester, I’ve drawn da Game Plan:

Day 1-45

  • Practice with a private tutor
  • Finish the textbook
  • Make flashcards
  • Memorize 20 phrases and words everyday
  • Read children story books

Day 46-90

  • Practice with a language partner
  • Practice thinking auf Deutsch
  • Memorize 20 phrases and words everyday
  • Write 20 full sentences everyday

Day 91-120

  • Find new language partner
  • Watch/listen to tv, movie, documentary, radio
  • Memorize 20 phrases and words everyday
  • Write 20 full sentences everyday

Day 121-150

  • Find new language partner
  • Memorize 20 phrases and words everyday
  • Write 20 full sentences everyday
  • Read news, wikipedia, or long story books

This might be useful for people who are learning language on their own too. With this game plan, I’m using Deutsch Aktuell 1 textbook (it’s $7.50 if you search in bookfinder) recommended by my tutor, who I found on Thumbtack. The textbook covers almost everything from vocabs, grammar, simple text, and exercises. For flashcards, I’m using the just-released Tinycards apps by Duolingo. It’s cute, uses spaced repetition, and much more colorful and fun than Anki or Genius flashcard apps. I can make my own decks or pick from the ones that are already made. You definitely should try this apps! I even made a deck for my minerals and rocks 😍 (Oh, since it’s new, I think it’s only available for iOS, and in USA currently, sorry 😥).

Look, how cute they are 😍

Apart from that, I’m gonna find language partners to practice speaking from the Mixxer, Exchanges.org, couchsurfing.org, or meetup.com. I’m also planning to find a pen-pal to practice my writing and be acquaintance with the German culture. Currently, I’m practicing with Kebe every now and then. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to translate every word Kebe said, I actually google translate everything 😎. Oh, I’m using dict.com as my online dictionary. It’s also available in Apps Store 😊.

Alhamdulillah, I’m currently on day 27, and it’s going well so far… But not as well as I planned. Well, I’ve completed the text book, and still reviewing and improving my vocabs (especially on prepositions!). I can already read simple texts and dialogues, and the flashcards are 50 percent done. But I don’t think I’m giving my best here 😔. Sometimes I went to take a 3-hour nap before I even finish studying one chapter! Other times a day went by without I even flip a page 😥. I don’t know. I really want this, but sometimes it’s so hard I’m not sure if I can do it. Maybe, the learning alone part is hard. Maybe, I should go out and find some people who are also learning German. Or maybe I should take German class at the U this upcoming semester 😲.

And that’s why I’m writing this post. I need all the help and support I can get. If you know anyone who studied or teaching German, or might have the resources, please comment below. But even if you don’t have it, you can still support me by saying ‘ATB! 💪’ for instance. Or just your thoughts, really, even the skeptical ones. You might not be able to help me with learning, but you can definitely help me in pursuing my goal 😁. And it might sound small to you, but small action goes a long way ❤️

Eid Eve at Sis Su’s

🎉🎉 EID MUBARAK GUYYSSS!! 🎉🎉

or for those who’re clueless, it means Blessed Eid, a traditional Muslim greeting reserved for use on the festivals of Eid ul-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr, which Eid, by the way means Celebration. Yes, straight from Wikipedia.

selamat20hari20raya20khat_j4d

It says Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri (or Happy Eid-ul Fitri)

This year, having the chance to celebrate Raya (Eid in Malay) outside Malaysia, means no kari ketupat rendang nenek, no burasak, no duit raya, no baju raya, and no kad raya 😔. But it also means, meeting new people, eating new food, making your own kuih raya, and experiencing new environment. Which are, not at all that bad 😊. To prevent us from actually crying on the raya eve, Sis Su invited us to her place so that we can (in her words:) sama-sama menangis 😂.

(Oh btw, we now called each other sis (short for sister), since before Ramadhan? 😅 So, examples of conversation in Sis Su’s place will be like, ‘Sis, sis kalau penat boleh tido kat bilik sis. Sis boleh suruh sis lain buat kerja‘. Sometimes, we even called the boys ‘sis’, and they answered 😂. Kak Su texted me the other day after iftaar at her place, said that she really had a lot of fun and sometimes gelak sorang sebab kitorang bersis-sis 😂)

Anywayy, the food was all prepared at the setting by Sis Su, Sis Sahi, Sis Alia, Sis Hanna, y’know the usual 💁. There were lontong, roti jala, sambal udang, sambal ayam, kuih kornflakes, kuih makmur, tart nenas, and all the good stuff. It wasn’t much, but it was all that I could ask for, Alhamdulillah. Some of them arrived early to help prepare the food, some arrived later due to class and work.

After Abang Hakim called the azan, we sipped some drink and eat a date, and straight away performed the Maghrib prayer. No we didn’t eat first. Then we recited the takbir, which is the Arabic term for the word Allahu Akbar. It literally means “God is greater” and that nothing can supersede God or be better than Him. We, muslims, recite a lot of Allahu Akbar to declare Allah Greatness, after completing one month of fasting.

And then we eat, took a lot of pictures, eat some more 😋, and perform Isyak prayer. Everyone was so full and sleepy by the time we get ready for Isyak, because they said that the syaitaan (devils) have been released 😂. Some of us went back home, some who sleepover at Sis Su’s went to play bunga api! 🎆

IMG_8289

13603627_204663963264295_8295558631412841451_o

Happy Eid Mubarak from us, Utes! 🎉

13615367_204663983264293_931456098452872330_n

Me and Da MasterChefs 🍳

Alhamdulillah, thanks to all these big-hearted fun people, I had a lot of fun on Eid Eve 😊. We even had a chance to play Happy Family and camp outside Kak Su’s house for 15 minutes, because the boys’ car buat hal, and couldn’t start 😅. All in all, happy Eid Mubarak to all my friends and family, wishing you blessed life and please forgive my wrong doings. May we be able to meet another Ramadhan dan jangan laa (as alia put it) iman kita berlalu bersama Ramadhan. Hehe, till later!

Summer baby 👙

tumblr_mt68aisaqk1rp8bzxo1_r2_500

Summer has officially started 10 days ago. And mannn, the sun shines scorchingly hotter day by day 😎☀️👙. It’s 37 C today. Ironically, as summer started, I was already done with my summer classes since I took only one course, Partial Differential Equation, and it’s only for the first half of the semester. Which means that all homework, quizzes, midterm, and final were done in six weeks! Alhamdulillah, I aced it 💪

I feel like summer is the period where people go out on search for themselves. Because with no school, less people around, less drama, and less energy, you’ll start questioning, what life is for? … Or is it just me?

I remember at the end of May, spending hours with Paan, thinking and discussing what I should do with my life over a double choc chip frappe. I kept asking questions like, how can I trust myself? (because I tend to ask people’s approval before doing anything), or how to be happy? (because I think I’m not). I even thought on going backpacking, on my own. Because people find themselves at times like that, right? 😅 I’ve done all the research, flight tickets, places to stay, how to survive, etc. But I didn’t actually do it because I know mommy would never say yes. My mind was full of questions at that time, but none was actually fully answered, not even today.

But membazir laa if after all those hours, I say I didn’t get anything. I do. I learned instead of asking how, you just do it. Instead of asking how to be happy, you just be happy. But HOWWW, you’ll ask. I don’t know, just do it 😁

Anywayyy, having nothing to do for the rest of the semester (except working 8 hours a week), I have already listed tons of things waiting to be done and crossed. Being a list-goddess, my summer plans were constructed three months before summer actually starts 😂.

IMG_8242

This was listed 3 months ago (over a frappe too, I believe)

(Tons of things laa sangat kann? 💁) Hmmm, I do work part time, but not as much as I planned to. No research. No travel. No UK. Litttlllleee bit of Matlab learned. But oh well, who says there’s no plan B? 😏

I’ve decided to make full use of my summer, since I can do ANYTHING I want, and I’ve listed almost 20 projects to be done. But someone told me to not tell off your plans, until you actually accomplished them. Some of these projects take short amount of time, some take as much as five months. I’ll update as soon as I finished any one of them. Until then, have a nice summer, Ramadhan, and Eid Mubarak!

p/s: there might actually be a post on the five-month project since I need all the support I can. Hmmm, we’ll see 😘