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On June 2nd my journey to Calw, Baden-Württemberg with 9 high school students and another teacher from Edwardsville High School began. Traveling to Calw from the St. Louis area took almost 24 hours in total. At almost 11 pm we took off from St. Louis's Lambert International Airport. We landed in Iceland around 11 am local time and took off for Frankfurt less than an hour later. Because I am who I am, I made a short video from the take off and landing of the first flight.
On the first flight there was no one else in my row, which meant I could lay down in the row and no one cared. On the second flight we were given a free upgrade to the seats with extra space. The second flight only lasted a few hours, but it did give me a bit of an opportunity to film Frankfurt from above, which you can see below.
After landing in Frankfurt we took a ride in a Flixbus from Frankfurt to Karlsruhe. From there our hosts from Calw picked us up in their cars and drove us to our homes for the next two weeks.
The next day we went to our new school, the Hermann Hesse Gymnasium. Named after the famous author, who was born in the city, this school contains grades 5 through 12. It is one of two Gymnasiums in Calw. When we first arrived at the school, we were given a tour by two of our host students. The showed us around the school and pointed out the important things to know. The school is split into two parts. One is older than the other, but because the new one was renovated more recently it looks newer than the older part. The part that I thought was interesting is that despite being built in the 1920s, this school has WiFi for the staff. Edwardsville High School was built in 1998 and won't have WiFi access for the staff until at least next year even though it has been planned for at least 5 years.
After our tour of the school, we were introduced to the Schulleiter (similar to a principal or a headmaster). He welcomed us to the school and introduced us to the Oberbürgermeister (mayor). The mayor then welcomed us as well and gave us a tote bag full of gifts from Calw and brochures.
After school I had a bit of time to orient myself with the city of Calw on my own. I wandered the streets taking photos and video of anything I thought was interesting. I didn't find out what the things were until the next day when we had our official city tour, also lead by two of the students from the Hermann Hesse Gymnasium. Of course, that didn't stop me from making a video out of that experience.
Our guided tour of Calw took us through Hermann Hesse's home town and explored his life. We started at the Hermann Hesse Museum where there are many artifacts of his life as well as an extensive collection of his works and their translations into many different languages. The museum is also home to a collection of art from local and area artists.
After visiting the museum, we took a walk through the city's historic center. This included many beautiful sights including the local church, the Evangelische Stadtkirche (Evangelic City Church). Below you can see the 3D city map in front of the church, which shows the city center from a bird's-eye view.
In the evening after our city tour, my hosts decided to take us to Zavelstein, which is a smaller town on top of a mountain. First, we drove over the mountain to see where we would be eating dinner and made our reservation. We stopped near a very expensive resort just to park and then walked to the castle ruins nearby. Along the way I dropped my phone and cracked the screen in order to take the picture below. It wasn't really worth it, but I feel required to post this photo, since my phone made the ultimate sacrifice for it.
After a quick stop at the castle ruins we went back to the top of the mountain for a quiet dinner at Wanderheim Zavelstein. The food was excellent and the atmosphere was very casual. We sat outside on the patio where the regulars enjoyed their evening meal.
On Wednesday after the usual classes and things that go with a school exchange trip, one of the teachers from the school took us (my colleague and I) to Baden-Baden. A city known for its spas and resorts, it is also home to a lot of rich people and places I can't afford to visit. The city itself, however, is full of beautiful sites and I had a bit of time, so I compiled the best parts into a video.
On Thursday, we took the day off of school to head north to Heidelberg. This medieval city is famous for its university and the castle ruins overlooking the city, but what really sells this city, in my opinion, is the river and the view from above. I decided not to do the castle tour this time (I've done it twice before) and opted instead to film outside of the castle ruins and see more of the city. The results were put into a video and are below, as well.
On Fridays my host has a shorter day, as she only teaches one class. After that she picks up her grandson and hangs out with him until his mother picks him up in the afternoon. I spent a little bit of time working on some video projects and then spent the rest of my time playing in the sandbox with the little guy. After he left, we went to a nearby town called Hirsau. The town of Hirsau is known for its abbey, which is mostly ruins with the exception of the church. This makes it an ideal setting for a Mittelaltermarkt (medieval market). Taking a tour of the old abbey would have probably been really boring, but being there during the Mittelaltermarkt was awesome. We even got to see a couple of "knights" fight against each other.
One of the highlights was the owl performance. I tried to film some, but I was told I can't upload a video about him, because "who would come see the show if everything is already online". While giving information about the owls, he handed them to people in the crowd. They were allowed to hold one for a while before he switched to a different owl and switched people. Almost everyone in the crowd was allowed to hold an owl for a bit. I took a few pictures from that, which are included below.
Our first Saturday in Germany was actually spent in France. We took a car ride over to Strasbourg (not related to the village that made up the second half of my high school, Stewardson-Strasburg High School). This city belongs to a part of France that was taken and reclaimed by and from the Germans several times throughout history. For this reason, almost everything is labeled twice throughout the city. This includes street names, squares and more. The view from the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral is worth the 330 steps to the top. From there you can see almost the entire city of Strasbourg. I filmed so much in this city that I made two videos. One is dedicated to just the cathedral and one for the city.
On Sunday we went to Lake Constance (Bodensee). I remembered seeing a video from Sam Walton in his Life in Germany series and always wanted to go. I mentioned it to our hosts and they agreed to take us. I was probably more excited than I should have been to go feed popcorn to monkeys, but it was fantastic. I would love to go back. If you don't believe me, watch the video below.
Eventually we actually made it to Lake Constance. We stopped by a town called Meersburg along the lake for lunch. We ate at a restaurant in a hotel called "Hotel Seehof". We took a short walk around the marina and then continued on to Meersburg. We had an ice cream and took a walk along the pier. Then we took the ferry across the lake to Konstanz. All of that was combined into the video you see below.
After leaving Konstanz I took a short nap in the car and when I woke up we were in Switzerland. Our hosts had decided to take us to the Rheinfall, which is basically the Niagara Falls of the German speaking world. It is just over the boarder into Switzerland from Germany in one of the most confusing parts of the German boarder. Seriously, if you look at a map of this area, some parts of Germany are south of Switzerland. There is even an island of Germany completely surrounded by the Swiss Canton of Schaffhausen. Anyway the falls are pretty and I made a video for that, too.
For the next few days we went to classes and did the usual school stuff in the beautiful city of Calw. On Wednesday we took a trip up to Stuttgart. It rained most of the day, so I didn't do a lot of filming in the city. I made up for it with the filming I did inside of the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The museum is partly set up as a chronological series of rooms that display classic cars from each era and rooms for specialty vehicles of all kinds. At first I was concerned this might be a really boring museum, because some car museums are awful, but this was fantastic. All of the kids enjoyed it and some even had a hard time sticking to the time limit we set for them.
Our final days at Hermann Hesse Gymnasium were spent with our host families and enjoying the serenity of Calw. I enjoyed a few more dinners with new friends and the students enjoyed their time left in their host families. On Friday night we had a going-away party at the school. On Saturday my hosts and I made one last day trip, this time to a town called Bad Wildbad. It is a cute little town in the valley of the Enz river. On the mountain above there is a treetop path (Baumwipfelpfad) that allows you to walk along the tree tops. There are informational plaques along the path as well as some obstacle courses for the kids... and me. At the end of the path there is a spiral that leads to an amazing view of the Black Forest and the area around Bad Wildbad. It was a perfect way to end our time in the Black Forest.
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As a German teacher who lives less than 30 minutes from the new Hofbräuhaus in Belleville, Illinois, which is confusingly referred to as the Hofbräuhaus St. Louis, I have been asked at least 50 times what I think of the new German restaurant. Until last week, I had to answer, "I have no idea. I haven't been there, yet." Last week my family and I fixed that problem. Now I want to officially share my thoughts on our experience, the atmosphere, the food and, of course, how it stands up in comparison to the original Hofbräuhaus in Munich.
Background
In 2003 the first Hofbräuhaus was built in the United States. It was build in Newport, Kentucky. I assume they chose it due to the large number of German immigrants that settled there in the 1880-90s. It wouldn't have been my first choice, but I don't own the Hofbräuhaus, so I wasn't consulted.
The next logical choice was Las Vegas. Since they already had the Eiffel Tower, the New York Skyline and the Sphinx recreated in all their splendor, it seemed only fitting that they recreate the brewery of the Bavarian state government. According to the Hofbräuhaus franchise website, the Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas is a perfect recreation. I've never been, so I will just take them at their word.
The Hofbräuhaus St. Louis is definitely not the most authentically recreated Hofbräuhaus, as the interior was created specifically for this location and is not based on the original in Munich. It is, however, the biggest Hofbräuhaus franchise in the United States to date. It can hold up to 1100 people at one time with its beer hall, private room and outdoor beer garden with a total space of 30,000 square feet. It is enormous and you can see that already from the highway as you drive past.
Although I am aware that big buildings take time to create, this Hofbräuhaus franchise took a bit longer than most buildings its size. Not because of the size, but because of a myriad of issues throughout the planning and construction processes. Construction began in 2015. It was originally supposed to open in June of 2016. By May of 2016 they were already pushing back their goal to November. A few short months later they couldn't even give an estimated opening date. On August 22, 2017 it was reported that the restaurant would open in "late fall". On November 21, 2017 the Belleville News Democrat reported it would be delayed beyond the "late fall" goal and they were shooting for early the next year. According to an article from December 1, 2017, the construction was delayed again and expected to open in "late-January". In January of 2018 they planned on opening on February 26, 2018.
I'm sure that I missed a delay in there somewhere. It started to seem like they just kept giving opening dates that they knew they couldn't make so that there was another article in the paper about them. It was their way of getting free advertisement and making sure that people knew that they still existed and they were eventually, maybe going to open someday before the horsemen of the apocalypse arrive.
In February the moved the goal to a soft opening in March and a grand opening on April 18th. That date finally stuck. On March 27, 2018 it finally had its soft opening with the grand opening on April 18th. I'll give them more credit than they are probably due here and say that this accomplishment counts as meeting two deadlines. Unfortunately, their soft opening was pretty hard on customers. With three years of anticipation built up, there were a ton of people who wanted to finally get a taste of the Hofbräuhaus. When the first reviews started rolling in on Trip Advisor and Yelp, they were overwhelmingly bad. Almost every review I read in the first few days of the restaurant being open said that the food was great, but the service made it an unbearable experience.
All of that information made my family and I decide to wait a bit before trying the Hofbräuhaus St. Louis. We waited almost exactly a month after their grand opening to make sure that they figured out how to run a restaurant. From what I gathered from the first reviews, it sounds like they had a bit of trouble coming to grips with the fact that the restaurant was actually open and they had to, like, you know, serve customers and stuff. With cautious optimism we finally went on May 25th.
First Impressions
As you can see from the image at the top of this article, they stayed pretty faithful to the style of the original building in Munich, but the St. Louis version lacks a feeling that is present at the original. When you walk to the original Hofbräuhaus, you take a stroll down some classically beautiful Munich streets before you arrive. The Hofbräuhaus St. Louis is quite possibly the ugliest location for a restaurant of this caliber. The St. Louis franchise is completely isolated from the city of Belleville. It has open fields on all sides and a highway that runs along the front. The original plan was to build several other facilities around Hofbräuhaus including a few hotels and a sports complex. Maybe when those other projects are completed this will have a different feel, but for now the approach is depressing at best.
Seating
When you first walk into the Hofbräuhaus St. Louis, you are greeted by a hostess and the gift shop. This is the first unauthentic part of the restaurant, but I understand why it has to be done this way. In the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, you seat yourself (unless you have a reservation, which I recommend if you have a big group). If there is an open space at the end of a booth (or even in the middle of a longer one), sit down. It is customary to ask "Ist hier noch frei?" first to make sure that there isn't a person coming back to that table, but the seating is very open in the German version. In America, this would never fly. Here we have to have the hostess tell us where to sit and it will almost always be at a table without other people at it. I did, however, notice that as the restaurant started to fill up that the hostesses started seating people at benches where there were other families already. There were two people seated at the end of our bench towards the end of our meal. I smiled at the authenticity. I was starting to feel like I was in Germany.
Staff
The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly. The waitstaff, management and gift shop clerks are all dressed in Lederhosen or Dirndls. It wasn't the cheap knockoff Lederhosen and Dirndls you can buy at Walmart during Halloween. They are the real deal from Germany and you can get almost the exact Lederhosen I own from the gift shop (but not the ones the staff are wearing for some reason). The other staff (kitchen staff, cleaning staff, etc.) are simply dressed in nice pants and a Hofbräuhaus t-shirt.
Our waiter, Mike, was very helpful and polite. He greeted us with a smile and even joked a bit with me about the complications of trying to be authentically German while still catering to an American clientele. Little things like "I'm glad I don't have to explain to you how to pronounce the name of the food." and "Our tipping system here isn't like any other restaurant you have been to in the USA." (Not direct quotes from Mike, but paraphrased versions of what he said.)
Atmosphere and Culture
From the moment you walk up to the doors of the Hofbräuhaus, you get the feeling you have been transported to the real Hofbräuhaus in Munich. Sounds of German music (including accordion) fill the air. Live musicians are on stage (occasionally mingling with the customers and even standing on tables as shown in the picture above). The entertainers regale their audience with traditional beer hall chants and songs. They even pulled out a huge Alpenhorn and played it along with the music at one point. The entertainers are flown in from Germany each month and are as authentic as you can get them. I included a few clips below
Food
The most important question is, "Did they get the food right?" I have to emphatically answer "YES!" This is the best German food I have had in the United States and I eat at every German restaurant I see. I included images of the menu below, but my descriptions here will stick to the dishes we ordered.
Appetizer
We started off with the "Riesenbrezen Combo", which is a pretzel the size of a large dinner plate served with two kinds of mustard (one sweet and one onion flavored) and a cheese (similar to a pimento cheese). The pretzel was amazing. It was soft, warm and prepared perfectly. If you were to get a pretzel at the Oktoberfest, this would be the exact same thing. Unfortunately, the pricing for this giant pretzel also matched the Oktoberfest. It was $14! I might have paid $7 for a pretzel like this, but asking $14 is way too much. I will never be ordering this again, despite how delicious it was.
My Meal
I chose the "Bayerische Spezialitäten Platte", which consisted of smoked pork loin, pork roast, and smoked sausage served on top of sauerkraut and mashed potatoes and topped with strips of fried onions and "dark beer sauce", which was basically a barbecue sauce. The sausage had the "knack" I expect from a good German sausage and a great smoky flavor. It was a bit dry, but overall a great sausage. The pork roast was tasty and moist. There were a few bites that were drier than others, but those were few and far between. My personal favorite meat on the plate was the pork loin. It is shown below with perfect grill marks and a small bone on the right side. It had a great smoky flavor (somehow a different smoky flavor than the other two meats) and was incredibly moist. The mashed potatoes weren't anything terribly special, but they had good flavor and they made a good mixing area to offset the meats. Under all of the other things in the picture below is a portion of the best sauerkraut I have had in the United States. I eat sauerkraut any time I see it on a menu, but this is the first time someone got it right. Having the pork loin lying on top of the sauerkraut allowed some of the sauerkraut flavor to leach into the loin and if you wanted a bit more sauerkraut in your bite of loin, you could simply scoop it on top. I loved everything about this dish and wouldn't change a thing, except maybe the smoked sausage, which seemed out of place and didn't really mix well with the other flavors on the plate.
My Wife's Meal
My wife ordered the Jägerschnitzel, which comes topped with mushroom sauce, bacon, fried onions and Spätzle. Everything is better with bacon and this is no exception. The schnitzel is cooked to perfection and goes great with the mushroom sauce. The Spätzle is just like my host family used to make and mixes really well with the mushroom sauce. I neither understand nor appreciate the side of cranberry dipping sauce. It just seemed unnecessary. It tasted good, but I just don't get how it went with the rest of the dish.
My 5-Year-Old's Meal
Sophia is a pretty picky eater, but the Hofbräuhaus does offer some things that she might like. The kid's menu includes: hotdog, cheeseburger, macaroni with butter or cheese sauce, chicken tenders with ranch for dipping and pretzel bites with cheese sauce. Several of the options are served with fries. We opted for the cheeseburger, as we thought that was the safest bet. I haven't found a restaurant yet where she won't eat the fries, so that was no problem. They were the ones that were wider than they are tall making them have a bit more potato per fry than I personally care for, but everyone has their own preference on fries. The cheeseburger looked like a thick McDonald's cheeseburger including the crappy smashed bun. She ate less than half of it. She kept complaining that it was "spicy", but in her world that just means it has some kind of seasoning on it. My wife tried it and said it was "heavily seasoned". I guess we'll stick with the pretzel bites, chicken tenders or hotdog next time. Her favorite food is Mac n Cheese, but I'm pretty sure that based on their description of it, she wouldn't like theirs. To me, none of this is a deal breaker. It is very difficult to have a kid's menu at a fancy restaurant that is actually palatable to children and still justifies overcharging their parents for it. In this case, however, I don't feel that the attempt justified the pricing.
Beer
This is a brewery. They brew their own beer in-house based on the recipe from the real Hofbräuhaus in Munich. They offer the "big three", which include the original full-bodied lager, the Hefe Weizen, and the Dunkel (dark beer). My first time at the real Hofbräuhaus I opted for the lager, but on this trip to the Hofbräuhaus St. Louis, I didn't try one. When the restaurant and brewery were being built, they had Germans flown in to help with every stage of the construction and setup. The brewery was designed, setup, and tested by Germans. Without testing any of their beers, I can say with certainty that they are going to be the exact same flavors you will find in Germany and they will be fresh-brewed and straight from the tap, just like they would be in Munich. They also offer seasonal beers, as you would also see in Munich.
Pricing
I think the pricing is what I expected. The Hofbräuhaus in Munich is overpriced, so I expected this to be the same. I spent over $80 (including tip) for the three of us to eat and have a soda. This is about the same amount I spent the last time I went to Red Lobster. That being said, even here $14 for a giant pretzel is too much. The rest of the pricing was in line with what you would find at any other restaurant that provides the type of atmosphere and entertainment as this one does.
Gift Shop
I thought the gift shop was fantastic. You can get legitimate Lederhosen and Dirndls, beer mugs, and other odds and ends. It is mostly stereotypical Bavarian things. You can even get Tyrolean hats (also known as Bavarian hats or Alpine hats) complete with feather. They also offer a few kitschy things like onesies for babies that have Lederhosen printed on them or random t-shirts. The pricing is again a bit high, but what I would expect to pay at a gift shop in a fancy restaurant.
One Final Quirk
When I got the check, our waiter went through some options for tipping. Obviously, you can leave a cash tip on the table as you would in any other restaurant, but if you are using a credit/debit card and you want to leave a tip on the card, you have to indicate the tip amount, before the waiter takes your card. Mike explained this to me as one of the quirks of having a German restaurant in the United States. In Germany, it isn't customary to add a large tip on to the amount paid for a meal. You might round up a bit and say "Stimmt so." or something like that, but you rarely add an extra 15% to the total. You might see in some restaurants that the tip is built in as a service charge, but tipping on your own in Germany isn't really as big of a thing as it is in the USA. When the Americans had the Germans set up the credit/debit card system, they mentioned that they have to have "preauthorization". This is our term for scanning the card and then adding the tip later. In Germany, this is not a thing. You simply approve the amount the first time around. This means that in Belleville at the Hofbräuhaus, you add your tip in before giving your waiter your credit/debit card. Weird to some Americans, but it is just another bit of authenticity to me.
Overall
If you are anywhere near St. Louis and you are looking for a good German meal with some German culture on the side, you should definitely check out the Hofbräuhaus St. Louis. The food is on point. The atmosphere is on point. The only disappointment is the lack of staff that actually speak German. Our waiter spoke a little bit of German, as he took it in high school, but I'm guessing that was at least 5 years ago for him. The clerk at the counter in the gift shop was a high school student from Belleville who was currently enrolled in a German class, but I'm guessing his language skills were pretty rudimentary, as well. It would be nice to have the staff speak a bit more German to add to the atmosphere, but otherwise this restaurant gets high marks for most other categories. To me, the Hofbräuhaus St. Louis has earned a 9/10 rating on the "Herr Antrim's Totally Official Sounding Rating of Restaurants" scale. If you want more pictures of the Hofbräuhaus St. Louis, you can find them below.
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I've been updating my list of suggested external sites from my "helpful links" page. I took down a few sites that I personally no longer find myself using and added a few that weren't on the original list. I also changed the entire format of the page so that it no longer just lists the sites. Now it gives a brief description of what the site does and why I like it.
I also expanded the list to include a new category, "Resources Offered by Herr Antrim". I have a feeling that you weren't aware of some things on the list. Obviously, if you are reading this blog post, you know I make YouTube videos that can help you learn German. What you might not know is that almost every video I have made since the beginning of 2017 comes with a version of the script with German and English side-by-side, a worksheet with answer key, and an MP3 version of the video. All of those things are available to my Patreon supporters. Unfortunately, since I am not currently making any videos, I won't be adding any materials there. I have the first twenty videos in the A1/A2 Series on Teachers Pay Teachers. There you can download my materials 10 videos at a time or for any of the individual videos on the list. There is, of course, a small charge for these materials.
The last category of things I offer is a list of recommendations for books, movies and resources. I get a small amount from each sale of the things on this list, but I don't add things to the list that I don't actually personally endorse. This list includes myfavoriteGermanreaders, classicGermanchildren'sbooks, theentireHarryPotterseriesinGerman, Germanculturebooks, vocabularytrainers, grammarbooks, and Germanfilms. If you are interested in any of those things, you should definitely start your search on my Amazon page.
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50,000 people is double the population of the city in which I live. If you took the number of students who graduated from my high school and added it to everyone else who ever graduated from that school and multiplied it by 10, that number would still be smaller than the number of subscribers on my YouTube channel. According to Wikipedia "The term urbanized area denotes an urban area of 50,000 or more people." That means that my YouTube following would count as an urbanized area if we all lived in the same area. Holy cow! I can't believe that many people actually like me and my videos enough to subscribe to my channel.
Before I get into the other stuff I want to mention in this blog post, I want to say how humbling it is to have this many people who like and benefit from my work subscribe to my channel. I get comments on a daily basis from people who tell me that I saved their German grade or they didn't understand something until one of my videos cleared up their confusion. I am proud to be a part of the German Teacher YouTube Community. We each share ideas and collaborate with each other to make it possible for anyone in the world to learn German. Reaching 50,000 subscribers means a ton to me, but it means more that I get to connect with individuals around the world who want to learn or teach German.
When I started making videos in 2011, I had no ambitions of becoming a "YouTube Star". I just wanted to make some videos that my students would enjoy and would help them learn German. I didn't want to be famous, I didn't want to make a million dollars on YouTube, and I certainly didn't want to go viral. Absolutely none of that has changed in the past 7 years. I simply want to help others learn German. Now I'd like to take a walk down memory lane to see where I started.
I started my channel in January of 2011, but it took me until August of 2012 to get my first 100 subscribers. Just over a year later in October of 2013 I reached 1000 subscribers. It only took two more months to get the next 1000. In August of 2015 I crossed the first of what I consider to be huge milestones, 10,000 subscribers. Exactly one year later I made it to 20,000. Since August of 2017 I have been averaging over 1000 new subscribers each month. For a few years now I have been compiling and analyzing the data I get from YouTube analytics. The graph below that shows my running total of subscribers for each month shows how insane these numbers actually are.
Several of my first videos were just me using some stuffed animals to have a conversation and teach basic phrases. Those videos were awful for a long list of reasons. The wind in the background drowned out the sound of my voice. The camera I used was just whatever I had sitting around at the time, which was mostly used for taking pictures and didn't take great video. Worst of all, however, I didn't really proofread back then, so the videos were riddled with errors. They were so awful, in fact, that when I finally decided to get serious about making YouTube videos, I deleted almost all of them.
The oldest video that survived the purge of crappy videos when I started getting more serious about making videos is one that I made using a website called "Xtranormal". I didn't keep this video, because I thought it was great quality or anything. I kept it, because I liked the amount of sarcasm built into it and the German 3 students at my school are required to memorize "Der Erlkönig". Xtranormalis still a website where you can animate little stories and it is just as awful and terrifying as it was back then. For your enjoyment, I have embedded the video below.
The oldest video that actually shows my face (and my awful camera quality) is from February of 2012. It is simply me reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in German. I think it is a great example of why I deleted so many of my oldest videos. At 480p it is no wonder that it has just over 1,000 views and is over 6 years old. I did do a better quality version of the Pledge of Allegiance when I made a video about American Symbols of Freedom in celebration of Independence Day in 2017.
I would consider almost all of the videos I made before the first German with Puppets video in 2013 to be absolute garbage, but I don't think I should delete videos just because they are bad quality. I only delete videos if they are detrimental to the educational process. When I started the German with Puppets Series, it was the first time I started making videos with a real goal in mind. I wanted to cover all of the grammar topics in the two classes I teach (German 1 and German 2). Between July of 2013 and March of 2014 I uploaded 30 videos for my German 1 students and 19 for my German 2 students. As soon as I finished each of the puppet series, I started creating videos for the worksheets that my students had to complete that went with the puppets videos. I didn't finish those videos until March of 2015 and I used them as online assignments for my students until the end of last school year (2017-2018).
In between puppet videos and worksheet videos, I started uploading three kinds of videos on Mondays. Each Monday was a different category. The categories were Märchen, songs and resource reviews. The Märchen were a way for me to get back to using the puppets without having to write my own scripts. The script writing process takes a lot of effort and time. Märchen are easier videos to make, because I simply read a story that someone else wrote and animate it or use puppets to act it out.
The German songs were fun to make, but ultimately painful to watch. I can't carry a tune in a bucket and half of the time, I'm not even on beat. There is a really good reason I haven't made a song video in a while. I am trying to improve my video quality and me singing will never be good quality.
The last category of videos I made during this time is one that I would like to get back to some time in the future. Every 3 weeks, I would upload a review of a resource that you can use to learn German. Some of them I hated and some of them were really good. Some of them I still use to this day. I know there are a lot of newer apps and websites that people use and I would love to get back to reviewing them from a teacher's perspective.
On Wednesdays I uploaded German Learning Tips. The first several were legitimate tips like how to think in German or read more fluently, but then I transitioned to videos about various topics I felt like talking about. I am actually really disappointed in the way that the series turned out, because they stopped being actual tips after the 17th video. I still think that the videos are good, but calling them "German Learning Tips" is a bit disingenuous. I actually plan on incorporating tips for learning into my new videos coming up in September.
After the puppets videos and the worksheets videos were done I started doing other grammar videos on Fridays. I wanted to break German grammar down into smaller digestible videos. That's why I started a series called "3 Minuten Deutsch". It is still one of my most popular videos series. I don't consider the series to be "complete", but it is pretty extensive. I stopped making them after video #69, but I might get back to them at some point. I actually have several of the topics planned out, but I just haven't found the time to write the scripts and make the videos. I'll add that to the list of things I would like to get back to. That list is getting pretty long.
In January of 2017 I decided it was time to make a change. I had been making the same kinds of videos for almost two years and my style was starting to get stale. I decided to keep doing the 3 Minuten Deutsch Series, but I dedicated Mondays to the A1 and A2 levels and Fridays to the B1 and B2 levels. These two series have been insanely popular. I am very proud of the way they have turned out. I made a total of 50 episodes for the A1/A2 series and I plan to do four more videos in the B1/B2 series to make it have an even 50 as well.
As much as I really like the A1/A2 and B1/B2 series, I hated the fact that I didn't plan the entire series out from the start. Every video was basically just whatever I felt like making that week. Towards the end, I started making the Monday video and the Friday video have a similar theme, but it never really had the organization that I really wanted to. As a teacher, I couldn't let this lack of organization continue, so I started working on a way to change it all.
Towards the end of the school year it becomes more and more difficult to make videos. I am in charge of several things that all have to come together at the end of every school year. That's why several years I have chosen to take the entire month of May or June off from making videos. In years when I didn't take a break there were occasions when I couldn't make videos on certain days and I thought that was worse than making an announcement that I wouldn't be uploading videos between date A and date B.
This year I will be spending most of June in Germany, so I decided to take most of May off and all of June. Since I was already going to be taking that much time off from YouTube, I thought it was a great time to revamp what I saw as a terrible oversight about the A1/A2 and B1/B2 series. In September I will be starting two new series of A1/A2 videos and B1/B2 videos, but this time I will have a plan and an endgame. There will be a distinct beginning and end to both series and they will follow a curriculum that I am writing. You'll be able to download PDF files to go with the videos, which will include a worksheet and other materials. Those will all be available on Patreonand Teacher Pay Teachers.
The ultimate goal is to put all of these materials into an ebook and sell them on Amazon and iTunes. I plan on waiting until each of the series come to an end before making a finalized version of the materials as an ebook. Since the A1 and A2 parts of the series won't take as long as the B1 and B2 parts, I will have the first two done and online sooner with the B1 and B2 ebooks to follow at a later date.
So that's my YouTube journey so far. I can't wait to start the new series in September and I look forward to teaching more people German through YouTube. Next stop, 100,000 subscribers and the Silver Play Button!
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I just passed 3 million total views on my channel and sometime in the next couple of weeks, I will cross the 50,000 subscriber milestone. If you're thinking this isn't the ideal time to stop making videos, you are correct. Unfortunately, that is exactly what I am doing. I will be spending most of June in Germany and in July and August, I will be revamping the kinds of videos I upload on my channel. If you want to know more about what I have planned, watch the video.
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Hallo, schöne Dame. Wie heißen Sie? Ich heiße Hans. Ich heiße Hans. Wo finde ich die Toilette? Herzlichen Glückwunsch. Wie spät ist es? Wie spät ist es? Ich mag die Bücherei. Ich wohne in einem Haus. Ich habe zwei Fahrräder. Danke sehr und bitte schön. Wie alt sind Sie? Einen Moment Bitte sehr. It’s the one semester of German German love song. Meine Mutter ist schön. Meine Katze ist sehr weiß. Entschuldigen Sie. Es tut mir leid. eins, zwei, drei, vier und fünf sechs, sieben, acht, neun, zehn Kein remember how to say “eleven”. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sauerkraut und Bratwürste. It’s the one semester of German German love song. Tschau.
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Auf deiner Suche nach deutschen Wortbedeutungen hast du wahrscheinlich die Wörter “wurden”, “würden”, “worden”, “wirst” und auch “wird” gesehen. Das sind alle Formen desselben Verbes “werden”. Man verwendet dieses Verb, sowohl um die Zukunft auszudrücken, als auch für das Passiv und den Konjunktiv. Heute erkläre ich all das, was man über das Verb “werden” wissen muss.
Wenn man “werden” im Präsens verwendet, wird es oft als “to become” übersetzt. Am Montag habe ich euch gezeigt, wie man “werden” im Präsens konjugiert.
ich werde du wirst er, sie, es wird wir werden ihr werdet sie, Sie werden
Man verwendet diese Formen des Verbs auch um das Futur zu bilden. Um das einfache Futur zu bilden, verwendet man das zweite Verb am Ende des Satzes als Infinitiv. Wenn ich “das einfache Futur” sage, meine ich, dass etwas nicht jetzt passiert, sondern später passieren wird. Futur 1 wird nur mit einer Form von “werden” und einem Infinitiv gebildet. Darüber habe ich auch am Montag gesprochen.
Flashback: Ich werde nach Deutschland fliegen. - I will fly to Germany. Morgen werde ich Pizza essen. - Tomorrow I will eat pizza. Du wirst unbesiegbar sein. - You will be unbeatable.
Wenn man das erste Futur “Futur 1” nennt, muss es mindestens auch noch “Futur 2” geben. Futur 2 verwendet man um eine abgeschlossene Handlung in der Zukunft auszudrücken.
Zum Beispiel: Er wird schon gegessen haben. - He will have already eaten. Wir werden müde gewesen sein. - We will have been tired.
In diesen Sätzen verwenden wir drei Verben. Das Verb “werden” wird konjugiert und in Position 2 in Aussagen gestellt und Position 1 oder nach dem Fragewort in Fragen. Am Ende des Satzes sehen wir ein Partizip 2 und ein Hilfsverb. Das Partizip 2 ist vor dem Hilfsverb. Das ist so eine Art Bocksprung für Verben.
Falls du dich fragst, warum hier ‘werden’, ein Partizip 2 und ein weiteres Hilfsverb verwendet werden, musst du folgendes wissen. Das Verb ‘werden’ drückt im Futur 2 die Zukunft aus. Die deutsche Sprache hat für die Vergangenheit ein Affix, nämlich -t- entwickelt (Beispiel: holte, brachte, sagte). Für die Zukunft gibt es solch ein Affix nicht, deswegen brauchen wir 'werden' als Ausdruck für Zukunft. Das Partizip 2 und das beibehaltene Hilfsverb drücken, wie beim Perfekt und Plusquamperfekt, eine abgeschlossene Handlung aus. Alle drei Verbformen zusammen drücken damit eine abgeschlossene Handlung in der Zukunft aus.
Wir beginnen mit nur einem Verb im Präsens.
Er isst etwas. - He is eating something. Er ist müde. - He is tired.
Im Perfekt verwenden wir ein Hilfsverb, “haben” für Verben ohne Bewegung und “sein” für Verben mit Bewegung. Das Hilfsverb springt in den Satz, wo das konjugierte Verb hingehört. Das andere Verb wird ein Partizip Perfekt und springt ans Ende des Satzes.
Er hat etwas gegessen. - He ate something. Er ist müde gewesen. - He was tired.
Im Futur 2 fügen wir “werden” noch zu und das Hilfsverb springt ans Ende des Satzes, also hinter das Partizip 2 als Infinitiv.
Er wird etwas gegessen haben. - He will have eaten something. Er wird müde gewesen sein. - He will have been tired.
Jetzt sind wir mit den Zeitformen von “werden” fertig. Leider gibt es noch etwas, das wir wissen müssen. “Werden” wird auch verwendet um das Passiv zu bilden. Das Passiv kann in jeder Zeitform gebildet werden und auch mit Modalverben.
Das Passiv besteht aus zwei Teilen, “werden” und ein Partizip 2. Man konjugiert “werden” der gewünschten Zeitform nach. Ich habe euch schon die Formen im Präsens gezeigt. Deshalb werde ich damit beginnen um die Beispielsätze einfach zu halten.
Aktiv: Der Mann isst den Apfel. - The man is eating the apple. Passiv: Der Apfel wird von dem Mann gegessen. - The apple is being eaten by the man.
Aktiv: Die Frau wirft den Ball. - The woman is throwing the ball. Passiv: Der Ball wird von der Frau geworfen. - The ball is being thrown by the woman.
Im Präteritum konjugiert man “werden” so: ich wurde du wurdest er, sie, es wurde wir wurden ihr wurdet sie, Sie wurden
Die Beispielsätze sind den ersten ähnlich.
Aktiv: Der Mann aß den Apfel. - The man ate the apple. Passiv: Der Apfel wurde von dem Mann gegessen. - The apple was eaten by the man.
Aktiv: Die Frau warf den Ball. - The woman threw the ball. Passiv: Der Ball wurde von der Frau geworfen. - The ball was thrown by the woman.
Im Perfekt wird es etwas komplizierter. Jetzt stellen wir das Wort “worden”, das auch eine Form von “werden” ist, ans Ende des Satzes hinter das Partizip 2 und wir konjugieren das Verb “sein” als Hilfsverb.
Aktiv: Der Mann hat den Apfel gegessen. - The man ate the apple. Passiv: Der Apfel ist von dem Mann gegessen worden. - The apple was eaten by the man.
Aktiv: Die Frau hat den Ball geworfen. - The woman threw the ball. Passiv: Der Ball ist von der Frau geworfen worden. - The ball was thrown by the woman.
Man kann auch das Plusquamperfekt mit dem Passiv bilden. Um das zu tun, muss man einfach “sein” im Präteritum konjugieren und die anderen Verben lassen wie sie in den letzten Beispielen sind.
Aktiv: Der Mann hatte den Apfel gegessen. - The man had eaten the apple. Passiv: Der Apfel war von dem Mann gegessen worden. - The apple had been eaten by the man.
Aktiv: Die Frau hatte den Ball geworfen. - The woman had thrown the ball. Passiv: Der Ball war von der Frau geworfen worden. - The ball had been thrown by the woman.
Das Passiv im Futur 1 und 2 ist viel einfacher. Im Futur 1 haben wir zwei Versionen von “werden”. Die erste konjugieren wir und die zweite ist am Ende des Satzes hinter dem Partizip 2.
Aktiv: Der Mann wird den Apfel essen. - The man will eat the apple. Passiv: Der Apfel wird von dem Mann gegessen werden. - The apple will be eaten by the man.
Aktiv: Die Frau wird den Ball werfen. - The woman will throw the ball. Passiv: Der Ball wird von der Frau geworfen werden. - The ball will be thrown by the woman.
Im Futur 2 haben wir noch einmal “worden” im Satz. Es ist zwischen dem Partizip 2 und das Infinitiv von “sein”. Man konjugiert “werden” wie immer im Futur 2.
Aktiv: Der Mann wird den Apfel gegessen haben. - The man will have eaten the apple. Passiv: Der Apfel wird von dem Mann gegessen worden sein. - The apple will have been eaten by the man.
Aktiv: Die Frau wird den Ball geworfen haben. - The woman will have thrown the ball. Passiv: Der Ball wird von der Frau geworfen worden sein. - The ball will have been thrown by the woman.
Diese Passivsätze werden noch komplizierter, wenn man ein Modalverb hinzufügt, aber ich lasse diese Beispiele für heute. Wir haben noch nicht über den Konjunktiv 2 gesprochen und der Konjunktiv 2 muss erklärt werden.
Meiner Meinung nach ist der Konjunktiv 2 einfacher als das Passiv, denn es gibt nicht so viele Varianten davon. In der Vergangenheit mit dem Konjunktiv 2 kann man “werden” nicht verwenden. Man verwendet “hätte” und “wäre” um die Vergangenheit mit dem Konjunktiv 2 auszudrücken. Es gibt zwei Zeitformen mit dem Konjunktiv 2, in denen man “werden”, also “würde” verwenden kann. Um das Präsens oder Futur im Konjunktiv 2 mit “würden” zu bilden, verwendet man eine dieser Formen mit einem Infinitiv am Ende des Satzes.
ich würde du würdest er, sie, es würde wir würden ihr würdet sie, Sie würden
Zum Beispiel: Ich würde die Kekse essen. - I would eat the cookies. Wir würden die Landkarte mitnehmen. - We would take the map along.
Wenn man diese Sätze ins Passiv umschreibt, werden sie: Die Kekse würden von mir gegessen werden. - The cookies would be eaten by me. Die Landkarte würde von uns mitgenommen werden. - The map would be brought by us.
So einfach ist es. Das Verb “werden” wird verwendet, um das Passiv zu bilden und die Zukunft auszudrücken. Der Konjunktiv 2 kann auch mit werden gebildet werden. Das war nicht so kompliziert.
Das Skript dieses Videos, ein Arbeitsblatt über “werden” und eine MP3 von diesem Video sind auf meiner Patreon-Seite. Bis Montag. Tschüss.
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It’s been almost a month since I first mentioned the Language Learning Marathon from Lingoda. If you haven’t signed up to participate in the second round of this challenge, your time is running short. Sign-up for the English language lessons has already ended and it ended earlier than expected, because there was such a high demand for the English language version of this challenge. You have until May 18th to sign up for the German lessons.
The German challenge takes place from June 1st through August 31st. During those three months you will take 90 lessons (30 each month), which are expertly planned by professional teachers at Lingoda. This is a fantastic way to boost your language skills. As the old saying goes, “A lesson a day keeps the language cobwebs away.” Ok, that’s not a real saying, but it should be. Seriously, taking a lesson every single day for three months will do wonders for your language skills.
You will have to pay for these lessons up front, but if you complete all 90 lessons in the three months and you aren’t late to a lesson or leave a lesson early, you will be refunded the entire cost for those lessons.
If you don’t think you can complete the full marathon, you can try the half marathon challenge. Then you will only complete 15 lessons per month and you will get 50% of the cost of the lessons refunded at the end. Don’t forget you can only take one lesson per day and up to 5 lessons in a week.
The full marathon is €189 per month and the half marathon is €89 per month. Like I said, you will have to pay for those 3 months of lessons up front, but you will get a full refund if you complete the full marathon and 50% of your money back if you complete the half marathon.
The first Language Marathon took place between January 1st and March 31st. Tons of people took advantage of this challenge. The feedback that Lingodagot about the marathon showed that the learners had a fantastic experience and their language skills greatly improved throughout the process.
So, stop procrastinating. Sign up for the Lingoda Language Marathon, boost your German skills and save yourself some cash along the way. Links and additional information available in the description. Click the link and use the Voucher Code “RUN4” to sign up for just $0.50 in Euros or Dollars or 60 RUB. I can’t wait to see where your German skills are in August.
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Das Verb “werden” ist eins der wichtigsten Verben der deutschen Sprache. Um dieses Verb zu beherrschen müssen wir zuerst die Grundlagen des Verbs verstehen. Darüber spreche ich heute. Am Freitag werden wir in das Kaninchenloch tauchen.
Zuerst müssen wir dieses Verb im Präsens konjugieren können.
ich werde du wirst er, sie, es wird wir werden ihr werdet sie, Sie werden
Wenn man dieses Verb im Präsens verwendet bedeutet es “to become” auf Englisch. Zum Beispiel: Eine Raupe wird ein Schmetterling. Das ist aber nur eine Hälfte der Geschichte. Dieses Verb bedeutet wirklich “will” auf Englisch. Man verwendet es um die Zukunft auszudrücken. Wenn man “werden” alleine verwendet, sieht es so aus, als ob es im Präsens ist, aber es drückt wirklich aus, wie etwas in der Zukunft sein wird. Also: Eine Raupe wird ein Schmetterling sein.
Wie du vielleicht im letzten Satz bemerkt hast, erscheint das zweite Verb am Ende des Satzes als Infinitiv, wenn man “werden” verwendet. So kann man ausdrücken, dass etwas nicht gerade jetzt passiert, aber es wahrscheinlich ist, dass es irgendwann passieren wird.
Zum Beispiel: Ich fliege nach Deutschland. - I am flying to Germany. Ich werde nach Deutschland fliegen. - I will fly to Germany.
Im ersten Satz sitzt man vielleicht in einem Flugzeug und du hast deinem Nachbar schon gesagt, dass du noch fliegen musst um dein Ziel, Deutschland, zu erreichen. Im zweiten Satz fliegst du noch nicht, aber du wirst irgendwann nach Deutschland fliegen. Kurz gesagt, wenn es noch nicht passiert ist, kann man “werden” verwenden um das auszudrücken.
Morgen werde ich Pizza essen. - Tomorrow I will eat pizza. Morgen esse ich Pizza. - Tomorrow I am eating pizza.
Was ist der Unterschied? Es gibt keinen. Diese Sätze bedeuten das Gleiche. Wenn man einen Zeitpunkt im Satz hat und dieser Zeitpunkt noch nicht erreicht wurde, versteht man schon, dass man über die Zukunft spricht.
Und jetzt mehr Beispiele: Du wirst unbesiegbar sein. - You will be unbeatable. Der starke Junge wird das Spiel gewinnen. - The strong boy will win the game. Wir werden alle sterben. - We will all die. Werdet ihr ein neues Auto kaufen? - Will you buy a new car? Sie werden uns fehlen. - We will miss you.
Es gibt natürlich viel mehr das man über das Verb “werden” wissen sollte, aber dieses Video ist für Anfänger. Am Freitag werde ich über die komplizierten Teile davon sprechen. Wenn du das Futur 1 üben willst, habe ich ein Arbeitsblatt dafür auf meiner Patreon-Seite. Dort gibt es auch das Skript dieses Videos und eine MP3 Version, die du herunterladen kannst. Das ist alles für heute. Bis Freitag. Tschüss.
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Wenn der Maibaum wieder am Dorfplatz steht
Und sich alles um die Madeln dreht Wenn Sie ihre heißen Dirndl zeigen Und wir Burschen uns die Augen reiben
(If the video above isn't available in your country, watch the version that isn't on the official YouTube Channel for VoXXclub here.)
Huh? Was ist ein Maibaum? Ein Baum, der nur im Mai wächst oder blüht? Am Montag habe ich euch ein Beispiel gezeigt. Heute erkläre ich die Traditionen des Maibaums.
Ein Maibaum ist kein echter Baum. Er sieht mehr wie ein großer geschmückter Strommast aus als wie ein Baum. Wenn du ein Beispiel davon sehen willst, solltest du das Video von Montag schauen, aber heute spreche ich mehr über die Tradition.
Das Aufstellen des Maibaums ist eine feierliche Veranstaltung. In München schauen viele Menschen aus der Stadt zu, wenn der Maibaum von einem Kran der Münchner Feuerwehr aufgestellt wird, aber in kleineren Orten wird der Maibaum in Gemeinschaftsarbeit und mit langen Stangen aufgestellt. Danach spielt eine Blaskapelle ein paar Stunden Musik während die Bürger tanzen um die Maibaumaufstellung zu feiern.
Es gibt auch ein paar komische Traditionen des Maibaums. Die Bürger mancher benachbarter Gemeinden Münchens stehlen die Maibäume von anderen Gemeinden. Es gibt natürlich Regeln für sowas. Maibäume dürfen nur vor der Aufstellung gestohlen werden. Man darf den Maibaum auch nicht zu früh stehlen. Der Maibaum muss schon gefällt und in das Gebiet gebracht worden sein, wo er aufgestellt werden soll. Nur wenn man selbst vorhat, einen Maibaum aufzustellen, darf man einen Maibaum einer anderen Gemeinde stehlen. Wenn ein Wächter seine Hand während des Diebstahls auf den Stamm legt, ist der Raub misslungen. Falls man erfolgreich mit dem Diebstahl ist, fordert man natürlich ein Lösegeld, normalerweise Bier und Essen für die Diebe. Offensichtlich ist das alles nur ein Scherz, aber sie nehmen diesen Scherz sehr ernst.
Walpurgisnacht ist ein Fest, das am Abend vom 30. April anfängt und oft bis in den 1. Mai hinein gefeiert wird. Walpurgisnacht ist auch als “Tanz in den Mai” bekannt, da man um den Maibaum tanzt. Während sie in Bayern einen Maibaum aufstellen und um ihn tanzen, zünden sie in anderen Regionen ein Feuer an. Das nennt man Maifeuer oder Hexenfeuer. In manchen Gegenden springen Verliebte über das heruntergebrannte Feuer. Das ist ein sogenannter “Maisprung”. Walpurgisnacht ist auch einer der höchsten Feiertage im Satanismus.
Der traditionelle Maibaum-Tanz hat aber nichts mit Satanismus zu tun. Dieser Tanz ist ein schwindelerregendes Hin- und Herbewegen mit Bändern. Viele Tänzer nehmen Bänder und gehen kreuz und quer damit bis die Bänder ineinander verschlingen um ein Muster um den Maibaum zu bilden.
Falls ihr das Skript dieses Videos auf Deutsch und Englisch nebeneinander herunterladen wollt, könnt ihr es auf meiner Patreon-Seite finden. Ich lade auch eine MP3 von jedem Video hoch und mache Arbeitsblätter, mit denen ihr euer Deutsch üben könnt. Link in der Beschreibung. Ich gehe jetzt um einen Baum zu fällen und zu bemalen, um um ihn herumzutanzen und danach ein Feuer anzuzünden. Tschüss.
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