Friends International English Conversation Group

When you join our meetings you will be amazed: You can meet the world in a Kreuzberg restaurant! These are the nationalities who meet on Tuesdays: US, British, Italian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Georgian, Polish, Syrian, Russian, French, Japanese, Korean, and all of those I have forgotten to mention, and, of course, German, all peacefully united to talk and make friends. So why don´t you join us next Tuesday?

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During our last meeting we talked about favourite meals and came across the asparagus. It is a seasonal vegetable only harvested in spring. In Germany it is a very popular dish, and grown in nearly all parts of the country, such as Brandenburg, North Rhine Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Rhineland Palatine. It is also grown in North and South Americas, Greece, Poland etc, but it is rarely consumed there. I have no notice of any British who prefer it, and a Polish Friend has told me at our meeting that it is grown there but mostly exported to Germany. Its healthy effects on the human body are undisputed.

Asparagus can be consumed either on its own or together with potatoes and/or a porc chop. Bacon goes very nicely with it, especially the bacon being wrapped around the spears. Another combination is a piece of salmon fillet going with it, so you have the taste of two extraordinary dishes in one.

Asparagus can be purchased green or with violet tips or all white and in different thicknesses. White thick evenly grown spears are the most expensive; it costs between 7 and 10 Euro per kilo, depending on its quality. For the starting soup, take the water in which you cooked the asparagus and add some salt and spices and broken asparagus (smaller pieces) to make it tasteful.

Most asparagus farms also offer an open air restaurant to consume the delicious dish right on site and stage events for their customers. So what about a day out to the South of Berlin for pure enjoyment?

Hello, everybody,

this is the next summary of German conversation. We will learn about birthdays.

der Geburtstag – birthday

Herzlichen Glückwunsch! – Many happy returns

die Geburtstagsfeier – the birthday party

der Geburtstagsgruß – birthday greeting

der Geburtstagstisch – birthday table for displaying your presents

der Geburtstagskuchen – birthday cake

das Geburtstagskind – the person (not only children!) who has a birthday

Promising that you can do something

Das schaffe ich – I can do that, I will manage

Das klappt (nicht) –  I can/can´t manage

Ich schieben,schubsen,bekomme das hin / gebacken (colloquial)

Schieben vs. schubsen

schieben – push

=> Mein Fahrrad ist kaputt, ich muss es schieben

schubsen – push

=> Schubs mich nicht! – Don´t push me

Verbs with prepositions, indivisible:

überreichen: Ich freue mich, Ihnen die Urkunde zu überreichen

Wiederholen: Er wiederholt die Vokabeln

überholen: Das Auto überholt den Lastwagen.

Zum Vergleich: Er geht jetzt weg (Nicht: Er jetzt weggeht) (leave)

Oder: Zieh dir den Pullover über (überziehen) (put on)

Aber: Er überzieht sein Konto – He has overdrawn his account

Wir bereiten das Mittag vor (prepare)

Attention: Indivisible verbs have an own meaning, the preposition has no meaning in itself.

Formal and informal language,

Literarisch: language you only find in books, but not in spoken language

Hochdeutsch: language as spoken in the region of Hannover and on tv and radio

Umgangssprache: colloquial language

Keep on learning and repeating! Lots of success!

This is another summary of what we have discussed during one of our meetings:

Getränke – drinks

Weizenbier/Weißbier – wheat beer

Saft – juice

Schorle – any juice or wine mixed with water

verdünnen – dilute

ablöschen – deglaze (put water or spirit on a boiling meal)

auflösen – dissolve

aufgeregt – excited => sich aufgegen – get excited

sprechen, reden – speak

eine Rede halten – jold a speech

sich unterhalten – talk to each other

wir haben uns darüber schon unterhalten – We´ve already talked about that

anstehen/sich anstellen – queue up

sich vordrängeln – jump the queue, push to the front

Hinz und Kunz – jeder

Da war Hinz und Kunz da – all sorts of people were there

Ein Ei abschrecken – chill an egg

Achtung:

Ein Ei pellen => die Pelle – eggschell

Einen Apfel/eine Kartoffel schälen => die Schale – skin

Die Haut auf der heißen Milch – the skin on hot milk

jemandem auf die Pelle rücken – (popular) to get to close to sb.

=> Rück mir nicht so auf die Pelle

Schaum – foam

Er schäumt vor Wut – he is furious with anger

There you are! Keep learning and see you again!

Today I would like to pass on information about learning German in your mother tongue on the computer. This way of learning has the advantage, if you want to decide on how much and how long you would like to learn. You can also take the programme with you on an MP3-player or your I-Phone and learn whenever there is time.

The reason why I prefer to use these courses is that you can learn words by different tests and word lists or index cards which you can also print out to take along. The best thing about that is that words are repeated until you have memorised them correctly five times. On top, there is information about how you best learn a language. What I like about that is that you can freely choose and try the method which suits you most and is most effective for you.

As a beginner, without any knowledge of German, you would best choose the basic course to start with and continue with the advanced course. If you need to learn German in a faster way, the express couse would be right for you. But even if you are quite fit in understanding and talking German, the special vocabulary collection could help you to improve your communicative competence. An online dictionary is available as well.

The computer courses on DVD are available in 40 languages, so there is a good chance that your language is amongst them. Take a look and decide! If you live in a German-language environment, the conditions to really apply what you have learned are best, but even if you live somewhere where German is not spoken, take a lookout for German conversation groups; you will find them in nearly every bigger city, and, of course, on the Web.

The best of success and fun in learning German!

At our last meeting, we had members from all corners of the world: US, Britain, France, Ukraine, South Korea, South Africa, Georgia and Germany. All of us love to get information about foraign countries, their culture, their history and their current situation.

So I learned a lot about Georgia, a lot of facts I did not learn about. Georgia is situated at the Black Sea, south of Russia. It has a great history, starting long before the history of most European states. It has a language and writing of its own which is far different from any other languages and writing. In some cases, when we have to form a sentence, in Georgian language its contents can be skimmed into one word. The letters are totally different from what Latin or Kyrillic letters look like.

While the Soviet Union existed, Georgia was a part of this empire, but regained its independency after the Soviet Union fell apart. Still, Russia is trying to keep its influence, by military and economic means, e.g. by cutting off gas supplies.

If you are as keen on learning more about different nations and conversing in English as I am, why don´t you join us on Tuesdays at Thai Su restaurant in Berlin-Kreuzberg? Everybody will give you a warm welcome.

We have talked about birthdays and non-divisible verbs.

Ich habe Geburtstag – I have a birthday

Ich mache eine Geburtstagsfeier – I have a birthday party

Ich lade viele Leute ein – I will invite many people

Geburtstagskind – birthday child

Alle Geschenke sind auf meinem Geburtstagstisch – all presents are on my birthday table

Ich habe viele Geburtstagsgrüße bekommen – I have got many birthday wishes

Meine Frau hat mir einen Geburtstagskuchen gebacken – my wife has baked a birthday cake

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag – many happy returns

Viel gesundheit und ein langes Leben – the best of health and a long life

Other phrases:

Das schaffe ich / das geht – I can manage that

Das klappt/Das bekomme ich hin, das bekomme ich gebacken (informal)

to kod someone – jemanden veralbern/veräppeln (colloquial)/verarschen (rude)

schubsen – to push until sth/sb falls

=> Die Kinder schubsen sich / Schubs mich nicht um!

in contrast to: schieben – push

=> Sein Fahrrad ist kaputt, er muss es schieben

Push = drücken => die Tür, einen Knopf

Indivisible compound verbs:

überreichen: Ich freue mich, Ihnen die Urkunde zu überreichen (Nicht: über zu reichen!)

Wiederholen: Ich rate euch, die Vokabeln zu wiederholen

Überholen: Das Auto hat mich gerade überholt (nicht: übergeholt!)

In contrast to:

überziehen (Kleidung anziehen): Er hat sich gerade einen Pullover übergezogen / Zieh dir einen Pullover über!

Rule: If a compound verb has an own meaning and the preposition does not indicate a direction, is not meaningful itself, if dividing the verb into two words does not make sense, it stays together.

=> There is no meanig to über zu reichen, but there is one in weg zu gehen (going away).

See you soon with more German phrases!

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