Q&A: Cities, Germany vs. America, Books and Trip Destinations!


This is an English summary of the Q&A video I posted to Youtube on 07.06.13 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu23U2rVCVA&feature=youtu.be). I will try to include English subtitles in my future German videos; however, I am, at the present time, only able to provide general video summaries here at my blog due to time constraints.

I promised that I’d start making Q&A videos once a month. A promise’s a promise. The first Friday of every month will be Q&A Friday on my channel. Any questions you might have for me can be sent to me via any of my social networking sites.

Now it’s question time.

Which German city has been your favorite to visit and why?

I’m going to have to say Dresden. Don’t get me wrong – I love Berlin and Hamburg, but those are cities that I see as places to live in, rather than visit. Dresden I only visited for one day, but had the opportunity to see a ton of sights. Usually I don’t have that much time to sightsee when I’m in a new city, but in Dresden I got a fair tour of the Altstadt. I particularly enjoyed the Frauenkirche (which I accidentally called the Marienkirche in the video).

What are the most common mistakes in regards to pronunciation and/or grammar that native German-speakers tend to make in English?

German-speakers often mix up the letters w and v, saying, often, wideo or willage – better yet: willach – instead of video or village. The letter g is another point of difficulty; in the word managing, as in village, the g is often mispronounced as the Cyrillic letter Che, i.e. Ч or ch. The sound is so dissonant I wouldn’t be surprised if whispering “I study manaching” to someone would result in ear bleeding. Grammatically speaking: German-speakers tend to have difficulty when it comes to properly using gerunds and the progressive tense; they often say “I sit here and film a video” rather than “I am sitting here filming a video,” despite that the present continuous action denotes use of the progressive.

What do you miss the most about America when you are in Germany and vice versa?

When I’m in the States I miss Germany and everything about her. I miss simply being able to ride the Straßenbahn and travel here and there by bus. I miss being able to speak the language on a daily basis with people who have similar interests in German media. I miss the culture. Returning to the US is a greater culture shock to me than going to Germany, and it’s been this way for the past several years. When I’m in Germany I miss my dog and I miss being able to sing as loud as I want.

Do you have a favorite German accent or dialect?

Berlinerish. It’s simply awesome.

How many hours per day did you use to dedicate towards your independent studies of the German language?

According to my mother I would obsessively learn German starting the moment I came home from school and would spend hours doing something – anything – that had to do with learning German. Needless to say: I spent a lot of time doing my independent studies.

Which books would you recommend for people who are already fluent in English but would nevertheless like to increase their vocabulary?

As a student of English many titles come to mind. I would definitely recommend the works of James Joyce and William Faulkner. There’s so many names I could mention, but I’d rather go into that at some other time. Individual books with elevated vocabulary that I’d specifically recommend are Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser and Paradise Lost.

Do you already know which country or region you’ll travel to next?

Yes, and I couldn’t be more excited. My family is coming to visit at the end of the month. We’ll be driving to northern Italy, Austria, Lichtenstein and France. I believe we’ll also visit Munich, in which case I’ll finally be able to say I’ve been to Bavaria.


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