Hey guys! Today is Friday which means the end of the week is finally here! It also means I have a lot of German homework to do for the beginning of next week 😅. If you didn’t already know, I started a new German course last month with ENAIP! So far it has been going really well and I am excited to tell you a little bit more about the school and the class. Also, stay tuned until the end of this post if you want to learn a little German lesson!
So, last Summer I took a class in Basel which was the very beginner level of A1. It was a good refresher for me because I took German while studying at uni and already knew some basics. Now I have moved up to level A2 which is one level higher. The level of German so far has been really great and I am definitely in the class I need to be. If you are interested in knowing what level of German you are at, click here to take a small placement test!
The class I am enrolled in is semi-intensive. So it is 2 times a week for ~3 hours each time. This is really great because even though it isn’t every day, it is still enough to keep my brain stimulated throughout the week. My classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 18.30-21.15, so it’s really convenient if you work during the day and don’t want to go to class on the weekends! Plus, the school is a 2 minute walk from Altstetten station in Zürich, it is really easy to get to and from class!
ENAIP has been running since 1961! They are really experienced in what they do. They also have other language courses like English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and even more! Something I find really cool is that they offer a Swiss German language course for people who already have a basic understanding of German. If you didn’t know, Swiss German is the dialect that is spoken in the German regions of Switzerland. It is not an official language so there is no correct written form, which makes it a bit trickier to learn. The dialect also varies from region to region. For example, the Swiss German spoken in Bern wouldn’t be exactly the same as how they speak it in Zürich.
With high German (AKA ‘proper’ German), you can definitely get around in the German regions of Switzerland. I would say most Swiss people speak and understand high German as they are taught it in school. But, if you really want to integrate into the place you live and learn the cultural ways, it is important to learn the local language, or dialect.
Learning a new language can be really challenging and at times, frustrating. It isn’t something that can happen overnight. My teacher at ENAIP always makes us do what he calls “repetition”. So, at the beginning of each class, we will always do the same exercise until everyone has really mastered it and has a full understanding of the concept. It helps us to really understand things clearly. I enjoy this a lot because the course doesn’t move too fast but we are always learning something new each time!
Each month, I will post a little update on what I have been learning, how my course has been progressing, and a little German lesson for you!
So after one month, I have a better grammatical understanding of the Dativ and Akkusativ cases (especially concerning Wo? and Wohin? questions). I feel more comfortable to engage in conversation with my classmates and also to ask questions in class. I also learned new vocabulary about vacations and holidays! (Which can definitely come in handy 😜). As I said, my course progresses at a perfect tempo and I am happy with the level!
Now for a little German lesson: Gender of Nouns.
In German, the nouns are gendered. I know it sounds pretty weird because in English, every noun is presented by saying “the”. Such as, the door, the window, the table, etc. This is because our nouns have no gender or really any classification at all. In German, every noun has a gender. Now, this does not mean that the gender is biological as it is in English, it is simply grammatical. Things that we describe as “it” in English, have a gender in German.
There are three different genders a word can have, Masculine, Feminine, or Neuter.
The masculine “the” is: Der
The feminine “the” is: Die
And the Neuter “the” is: Das
Der Tisch (the table) = masculine
Die Tür (the door) = feminine
Das Fenster (the window) = neuter
As you can see, it can be tricky to know what words have which gender which is why it is always important to learn each noun with its gender.
Phew, that was a lot to take in! I know😆. But I hope it was a helpful lesson for you if you are interested in learning German.
Thanks so much for reading, and I will be posting another monthly update at the end of May with my further thoughts on my class at ENAIP as well as another mini lesson!
Have a great weekend! 😘