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Archive for the ‘German language’ Category

German update 1

I finally got my certificate for the Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch 1, hooray! My marks were:

  •    Listening: 16.6/25
  •    Reading: 13.28/25
  •    Writing: 18.26/25
  •    Speaking: 24.9/25

giving a grand total of 73% (Ben got 78. Not that we were competing or anything.). The Goethe-Institut rates that as ‘Satisfactory’, but I’m pretty happy with it. Despite this, I have decided against applying for advanced standing for the first German unit at uni this semester. On the first day I realised that the unit is going to cover a lot more information than just How To Pass The A1 Test (which is pretty much what Ben and I did) and will be invaluable in setting me up for the rest of the units and beyond. Already I have a Pen Pal of sorts who I’m chatting with over Skype to practice our German. It’s a real challenge, particularly since we’ve been using a rather large vocabulary. Fortunately, I have a rather large dictionary.

German-English dictionary

It’s currently taking me 15 – 30 minutes to translate my Pen Pal’s response then compose my own in German. It’s taxing, but a lot of fun.

(NOTE: In a previous post, I was under the impression that we had to pass the written section to progress to the oral exam. Apparently we didn’t need to get a minimum of 50% in the written exam, we just had to get a high enough mark that it was still theoretically possible to reach the exam pass mark (60%) if we performed ‘perfectly’ in the oral section – quite logical, if I do say so myself.)


…and finally, a side note (because I don’t know what your expectations are, but I sure as hell haven’t been meeting mine).

This blog is about things that I would like to learn and do, and I have a lot of things that I would like to do. I would like to:

  • converse, read and write in German, Dutch and Icelandic
  • carve, turn and build items from wood
  • learn a martial art
  • complete a uni degree
  • write a book, and have it published
  • bind my own books
  • learn to play guitar
  • design and make jewellery
  • learn glassblowing
  • generally improve my mind and body

to name a few. And that’s all while being the best mother I can be. Oh, and spending time with my husband every now and then. It may not sound like much, but it’s time consuming. Ideally I’d like to publish a new post every week, but I won’t post unless there’s something worth writing about. Most of the time…



Learnin’ German

‘Sprechen sie Deutsch?’

‘Ja, ein wenig…’

Today, Ben and I finally sat for our A1 Start Deutsch exam at the Goethe-Institut, Sydney. I say ‘finally’ because we first booked in to sit the exam back in July, but our daughter fell sick so we rescheduled for September… and then again for December. Due to a lack of study (OK, OK, we completely forgot), Ben and I were literally about to withdraw from the exam when we received a confirmation email from the Goethe-Institut. At that point we went into kamikaze mode: “We have 5 days, what could go wrong?” Well apparently, bub can fall sick, work can go into overdrive and general Christmas psychotic-ness  can get in the way of getting any study done. Wednesday rolled around and we had managed a whopping 2 hours of revision.

The exam had two parts: written and spoken. We were under the impression that we had to pass the written part of the exam before moving on to the spoken. This may not have been the case, but nevertheless we were quite convinced that we were going to fail. Badly.

Now, I could go through and describe each step of the exam, but suffice to say it was a little more difficult than we were anticipating. Real German is apparently spoken a lot quicker than Ben and I have been practising at home! I honestly don’t know how we managed to pass the exam, but we did it – hooray! The plan is to continue the study and complete a German language major at uni next year, so eventually I’ll be able to write my German updates in German. And then my Icelandic updates in Icelandic, and my Dutch updates in Dutch, and so forth…