Ich Werde Deutschland!

StralsundIf you have ever heard me talk about my mom, then you know how badass I think she is. Mom is basically deaf. She grew up in a small town that thought “deaf” meant “stupid.” Nobody expected her to do much. She did not expect much from herself either. She married an abusive alcoholic, eventually left him, went on to put herself through school, raise me and my sister, publish a slue of short stories, and recently retired with distinction from civilian military service. She is also a world-class saber fencer. She made the veteran World Team again and this year will be going to compete in Germany.

And guess whom she is taking with her? ME!

Yes friends, in October I will be flying through Ireland to Berlin, spending a few days there, and then taking a train from Berlin to Stralsund. I am, in a word, stoked! My ancestry is Prussian. I took four years of German in high school, and one of my PhD language exams was also in German. I technically read German, but it has been a while.

Thus I need your advice. I do not want to be one of those Americans who expects everyone else to speak English, but I also do not have a lot of time to re-learn vocab and verb conjugations. So what are some ways you can think of for me to refresh my memory in a very short amount of time? Here are a few things I am trying:

  • Das Bibel: One of my mentors in grad school suggested that reading the Bible in another language is a great way to learn to read the language. I know the Bible fairly well. I can follow the plot.
  • Apple Music: I subscribe to Apple Music. There are various “learn German” albums I can listen to (though I find these obnoxious and not very helpful).
  • Die Filme: Another idea I had was to watch movies in German. Ideally, I would find a few on Netflix or Amazon Prime and watch them without subtitles. Can you recommend any decent movies?

I am also taking any other suggestions you have. Also, what are some non-touristy things I can do in Berlin and Stralsund? Thanks in advance, hivemind!



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