Learn German in 150 days

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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).

 

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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 ❤️

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