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Fun things related to learning German

Fun things related to learning German and Fun ways of learning German


More tips to come on this post on how to learn German fast and enjoyably... On my How to learn German fast blog I have had a section already on ideas on how to do fun stuff with German, in How to learn German fast part 6 and How to learn German fast part 7. This is an entire post dedicated to learning German by using fun and interesting ways. If you have a lot of time to learn German or would like to learn German in a fun and interesting way, one way would be to learn it experientially and slowly by experience.

Fun things related to learning German and fun ways of learning German

I have already recommended some interesting websites to go to and some interesting singers, celebrities and the like for you to enjoy your German language learning.

Here I will share more about fun stuff related to learning German.

Have you ever tried German comedy? My current favourite is Oliver Pocher, and you might want to try him out. He acted in a movie called Vollidiot in 2007, I think, and acted as a very desparate German lad out to get laid, or in particular wanted this girl who didn't like him. Or something like that. Back then when I watched Vollidiot I didn't like Oliver Pocher very much and he certainly didn't attract my attention. Then came the powers of youtube to save his reputation in my jaundiced eyes... I saw him on "The Next Uri Geller". I kid you not.

Oliver Pocher, German comedian and actor, appeared in "The Next Uri Geller" as a fake magician/ psychic called Morta Deller. The reason why I knew he was fake was that his magic consisted entirely of making bread jump out of toasters, making foolish predictions like the phone would ring and stuff of that nature, and also because he memorably managed to use his powers to stop a train... as it was coming into the stop. Morta Deller was one funny fellow, and I laughed so hard, that I had to find out who it was. And it was Oliver Pocher. So that was how I got interested in Oliver Pocher and his German comedy. You might find him funny too, if you can get his rapid-fire and very fast German. Oliver Pocher loves to make impersonations of German famous celebrities like Oliver Kahn, Lucas Podolski and others. I would say that watching German TV, not just comedy in particular, would definitely be a fun way of learning German fast and enjoyably.

As regards anime, as I understand it, in Germany all the shows are dubbed into German and few, if any at all, are in the original Japanese. This is bad for the Japanese, but good for Germans and definitely good for learners of German. Anime is simpler to understand than movies and TV shows, for one, and there are many repetitions of common phrases for you to link the words strongly in your mind. I watched Sailor Moon and Detektiv Conan, and even now, the phrase: "Ich werde euch bestrafen" and "Es gibt nur eine Wahrheit und ich werde sie finden" can ring in my ears, even now!

Note that even if I got the grammar wrong (which I didn't, I am sure) the point is that when you watch cartoons and anime, the phrases that the protagonists keep on repeating will stick into your head. If the words are "Scheisse" and "Scheisskerl", then you're in a bit of a pickle, but if the words are good like "Gerechtigkeit" (Sailor Moon is pretty big on stuff like that), then you acquire a good command of certain vocabulary words and grammatical forms. You can definitely learn German from watching anime, because after all, isn't that how normal German children acquire their colloquial German to begin with? In our case as foreign adult or older learners (teenagers included), watching repetitive shows with common repeated German phrases will force us to focus on the words and the grammar. I suggest not watching it to absorb things passively, but actively listen and look out while watching the shows.

One Piece, Dears, Detektiv Conan, Sailor Moon, and many more anime shows are very popular on the Internet, especially youtube. You might want to do some research and exploring and find out other stuff, rather than just take my word for it. However, taking these ideas as starting points you can get very far in watching enjoyable cartoons in German.

Comics are fun ways of acquiring the German language too. I really do not know which are the best German comics. I grew up reading DC, Marvel and the like and not strangely they are all American companies. Nonetheless, I read Hagar the Terrible in German as well. Haegar der Schreckliche is quite funny. I also read Detektiv Conan comics as well, and I have found that they have improved my German immensely.

Now I have to say that there is an interesting thing to be gleaned from this: when you read comics like Haegar, which are one-liners or simple strips, you acquire German humour and you acquire German grammar structures that are simple and common and colloquial. Interestingly enough, when you read comics like Detektiv Conan, which are detective or mystery stories, you find that the grammar is harder and more complex and that the stories are very convoluted. It takes more effort to keep track... and that's when your German improves. It improves slowly with Haegar and the like, and very rapidly and very thoroughly with Detektiv Conan. Some people always forget to put the Partizip II verb at the end, "Ich habe etwas gegessen" but the moment they get through a mystery novel or a Detektiv Conan comic, successfully, they can remember all the different uses of the Partizip II, they can tell the difference between the Passiv and the other forms, and they can even use the Plusquamperfekt form perfectly, no pun intended.

Learning from singing or listening to CDs is also a good idea. I have already recommended Nena, Annett Louisan, Oli P, and Yvonne Catterfeld. They are not the only German singers around - you might want to try others. But now go further and do something better.

Sing Deutschland ueber alles. Sing the DDR anthem. It actually has meaning and isn't all propaganda. It will definitely help you learn German, and learn history as well.

Here is the song because I kind of like it a lot, although I know that Germans don't agree on whether they like it or not:

The DDR National Anthem

Auferstanden aus Ruinen
Und der Zukunft zugewandt,
Lass uns dir zum Guten dienen,
Deutschland, einig Vaterland.

Alte Not gilt es zu zwingen,
Und wir zwingen sie vereint,
Denn es muss uns doch gelingen,
Dass die Sonne schön wie nie 
Über Deutschland scheint.

Glück und Frieden sei beschieden
Deutschland, unser'm Vaterland.
Alle Welt sehnt sich nach Frieden,
Reicht den Völkern eure Hand.

Wenn wir brüderlich uns einen,
Schlagen wir des Volkes Feind!
Lasst das Licht des Friedens scheinen,
Dass nie eine Mutter mehr Ihren Sohn beweint.

Lasst uns pflügen, lasst uns bauen,
Lernt und schafft wie nie zuvor,
Und der eignen Kraft vertrauend,
Steigt ein frei Geschlecht empor.

Deutsche Jugend, bestes Streben
Unsres Volks in dir vereint,
Wirst du Deutschlands neues Leben,
Und die Sonne schön wie nie 
Über Deutschland scheint.

(borrowed from Wikipedia and edited by me)

There are also German folk songs, German music, German classical music (which will not be useful for language learning but very good for relaxation purposes) and much much more to help you with your German studies and enjoyment!

Simply: at the end of the day, what are some extra enjoyable ways of learning German and what fun stuff can one do to learn and enjoy learning German?

1. Comedy: Oliver Pocher recommended.

2. Anime: One Piece, Dears, Detektiv Conan, Sailor Moon und so weiter

3. Comics: Haeger der schreckliche und so weiter, the harder the standard of German the better it is for your learning, the lower the standard and the difficulty, the less you learn but the more you will enjoy

4. Songs: not Oli P or Nena again, but national anthems, national songs, folk songs, and other kinds of German music.

5. Other ideas:

- German newspapers! German games, or switch your games to the German language! German film festivals! German movies in general, or German movies from genres that you love. There are so many ways to skin a cat.

Have fun while learning German experientially and the time while whizz by as you improve your language skills and interest in German. In my next post I will be talking about Denglisch, a very interesting topic in Germany. Stay tuned!

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Learn German fast and enjoyably :)

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