Advent Calendar – SUPER SURPRISE!

advent-17Hallo ihr lieben,

today there are actually two things in the Christmas stocking. A prefix verb and a super uber special surprise. And the surprise is…..

The new Star Wars movie –
“The force awakens” 

In full length!!!

Isn’t that awesome??
So click here and download it for free.

Meh, the real surprise is that ….  I will be teaching liveI teamed up with Carina and Alice from the Easy German Channel to go real world. And because we all think normal language classes suck, we want to do something different. Something gooder. Uh… I mean awesomer.

We’ll essentially do a theory session and an activity session. In the theory part we’ll prime you on the vocab you’ll encounter in the active session. In the active session we’ll just do something fun together and speak German as much as we can and us, the teachers, will carefully observe what aspect of grammar needs fixing and is fixable at that level. And we’ll do that in the next theory session and then new vocab and so on. On the back-end there’s a sort of curriculum of things people need to learn during a course or at least on a certain level but you’re pretty much at the helm of it all. And you get to speak a lot.

And if you’re now like “Wow, I’m in Berlin. I want to learn more” then head right over to the course website, check out the details and sign up… and no, this is a real link this time :)

“Easy Language Classes” – with Carina and me
(Oh and just in case you’re wondering… the guy in that one picture is NOT me. I’m a cat.)

It’s a pilot project and we’ll see how it goes but I think the concept is great.
So.. that was the super surprise. And now here’s prefix verb. Yeah… boring.



The main meaning of zeichnen nowadays is to draw (as in pencil drawing) but it is actually related to sign and the original core is about “marks”. Bezeichnen was first used in the very literal sense of actually physically marking something (inflicting a sign). Like, carving an x into a tree so you can find it again.
Soon though, people started using it also for abstract markings. Marking things in our heads, if you will. And that isn’t all that far from the current meaning of “naming something”. By naming it you can “find” it again.
Bezeichnen only used for things, not for people, and it is a bit technical sounding compared to “nenn
die Bezeichnung – the name, denomination
bezeichnend – characteristic, typical (newspaper vocab)

  • Ich würde das nicht als Eintopf bezeichnen.
  • I wouldn’t call that a stew.
  • Die Bezeichnung Bernstein kommt vom Wort brennen.
  • The name/denomination Bernstein (amber) comes from the word burn.

If you have any questions about the word or about the course just leave me a comment. If not, I’ll see you tomorrow.
Have a great day.

for members :)

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This website is literally a game changer! Etymology never imbued such life into language learning, especially German. I’ve had teachers tell me to just memorize the meaning and ignore the seeming invomprehensibility (like aufhören; hear + up = stop?). Others have suggested coming up with creative, weird mnemonics for hard to memorize words (but there are only so many times that you can think of doing things at “the fair” like “selling my cows at the fair” (verkaufen) or “bringing money to spend at the fair” (verbringen). The etymology shifts the whole game into a deeper conceptual level.

Love it!

Good luck with the class! Bravo for trying to make learning accessible, meaningful, and (gasp) enjoyable!


If you guys were doing this last year I would have signed up like that *clicks fingers*. Man that sucks (for me). Good for y’all.


‘Emanuel will be teaching live.’ Das würde ich als eine wunderbare Nachricht bezeichnen. Ich bin neidisch auf die Leute, die an diesem Kurs teilnehmen können. Viel Erfolg und Spaß beim Lehren!