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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A little geographic information about Germany

Today, I am going to share to you the things that I have learned at school. The information that I am going to give you might come out in your Deutsch Orientierungskurs Prüfung (German Orientation Course Exam). But don't worry and don't be pressured, the examination is just easy. Everyone of my classmates passed the exam.

Germany or Deustchland is a country located in Europe (Central Europe to be specific). There are 9 neighbooring countries (die Nachbarländer) that surrounds Germany.

Germany consists of 16 States (just like the 50 states of the USA-United States of America). These 16 States (Bundesländer) are:

State (Bundesland)
Capital (Haupstadt) Area-km² (Fläche) Population (Einwohner)

Germany (Bundesrepublic Deutschland)Berlin357,04682,500,000

Germany's popluation is about 82.5 million and the most populated state is Nordrhein Westfalen with a population of 18 million. Perhaps the reason why Nordrhein Westfalen is the most populated state is because the place have many industries (can't give you some information about this since I live in the state of Bavaria).
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Official German Integration Course Books

Disclaimer: The information that I am going to share to you in this article is based on my experience as a student taking up the German Integration Course (Deutsch Integrationskurs) in BFZ located in Karlsplatz, Munich.

These are the official German Language Course books. I was thinking of selling my books but I decided to keep it for reference. Maybe I will sell my books in the future.

During the first day of class, we (me and my classmates) were told to buy specific books for the German Language Course. Which means don't buy German language books ahead (especially if you are not really sure), wait for your instructor or teacher's advice on which books to buy. Some of my classmates bought books but unfortunately the teacher said that we were not going to use that book. So they ended up wasting money. These people don't have any information on which books we were going to use. I don't know why they bought those books without knowing which one to buy, perhaps they are excited? I really don't know.

Below are the official books that we used in the German Language Course (Deutsch Integrationskurs) :

Dont worry about the BOOK LINKS above, they are not scams.hehe These are BOOK/PRODUCT LINKS from AMAZON GERMANY (Deutschland).

Why are you giving us Amazon Germany links? We could not understand German.
Well, the reason why I put Amazon Germany links is because first of all, these are German Books. These books are also available at Amazon UK and Amazon US BUT if you order at these locations, you have to pay extra cost for the shipping. In addition, the waiting time for your books to arrive will be longer compared to ordering here in Germany. So, why not just order these books at AMAZON GERMANY?

Prices: What does "Bester Preis EUR 6,99" and "oder neu EUR 13,95" mean?
In english, that means that you can buy the book for the best price of 6.99 Euros or buy a new book for 13.95 Euros. The "best price" book is not new which means its used and therefore it is cheaper. The comma "," is not a typo. That's how money or prices are written in German, instead of a period ".".

How long is the German Integration Course? For how many days/weeks/months were you using these books?
The German Integration Course lasted for about 6-7 months. From June 2008 until December 2008. As far as I can remember, below are the durations on how long we were using these books.
I also suggest that when you buy at, ask help from your German spouse or ask help from your friends who understand German.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Learn the German Language for Free

Yes, my post title is right. There are free online German courses/tutorials from the Internet. And up until now, I visited these sites from time to time. I visited these sites because it is completely FREE and educational.

If you try to look or search for web sites that offer free German tutorial, you can probably choose from thousands of these sites. Try searching for the keywords below:
  • Free German Language Tutorial
  • Free Online German Course
  • Free German Lessons in English
  • Free German Language for Beginners
  • Free German to English or English to German Dictionary
  • Free German Grammar Lessons
I have played, visited and learned a lot of things from these sites. But I only saved/bookmarked sites that I like the most simply because it is FREE, clean and fun. Here are the sites that I always visit from time to time:

Of course there are still many better sites out there that offer German Course for free and I will update the list whenever I encounter one.

  • If it's not FREE then you just close your browser immediately.hehe
  • The information shared in this article does not guarantee you to pass the German Language Certification Exam.
If you some sites bookmarked or sites that you know are also a good source for learning German, please don't hesitate to drop a message (comment). ^_^
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Friday, March 6, 2009

German Language Certificate B1

Guess what? Last week I have just received a letter from BFZ, the school where I attended my German classes. Here is a snippet from the mail:
"anbei schicke ich Ihnen das Prüfungergebnis des Zertifikats Deutsch. Sie Haben die Prüfung bestanden. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!"

Do you know what that means? Here is the English Translation:
I am sending you the test result of the German Language Certificate Exam, enclosed with this mail. You have passed the exam! Congratulations!

I am very happy that I have passed the test. And now I already have the Official German Language Certificate B1 in my hands. What does this German Language Certificate look like? Here is what the Official German Language Certificate B1 looks:

Surprisingly, I have never thought that the grade/test result of my exam is above 80%! ^_^

So, what does that mean if you already have a German Language Certificate B1 (these text came from the certificate itself)?

Zertifikat Deutsch/telc Deutsch B1 demonstrates the candidate's ability to:
  • understand a variety of standards everyday spoken and written texts
  • react to the content of such texts
  • deal with important language tasks that may occur both in everyday life and at the workplace,
  • follow and take an active part in everyday conversations, both in private and working contexts.
telc (The European Language Certificates) examinations are set centrally and carried out and marked throughout the world according to standardized criteria.

This certificate is only valid if it carries the telc seal.

How did you pass the exam?
Well, I just went to school everyday (like I was a high school student), participated in the class, asked so many questions to my teacher, and worked on my home work.

Don't be scared with the German Language Course, I am 100% sure that you will pass the exam. Why? I may sound cocky but the truth is that B1 certification is easy. It is just the basics of the German Language. Did you pass the exam? I believe you did pass. ^_^
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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Illiterate people can't become German citizens

I have just received a newsletter from that people who can't read and write in German can't become a German citizen.
Illiterate foreigners are not eligible for German citizenship, according to a German court ruling disclosed Thursday 26 February.

The verdict came in the case of a Turkish citizen who has been resident in Germany for 20 years. The man, born in 1970, was granted asylum by the German state in 1993. He can't read or write. The higher administrative court in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg ruled that it was not enough to speak the language, and said knowledge of written German was a prerequisite for citizenship.

In order to integrate socially and politically, the court argued, it is necessary to be able to follow the media and communicate with Germans.

The case can still be reconsidered by the federal administrative court, on whose related 2005 ruling the judgement was based. - Source: dpa,
So to those who want to live here and want to acquire a German citizenship, it would be better that you start studying or polishing your German skills. I believe you should be able to speak, write and read German if you want to live in Germany. How can you communicate with people if you can't understand a word they say? Not just in Germany but any country in the world; If you want to live in the USA you should be able to communicate in English, in Spain - Spanish, in Italy - Italian, In Japan - Japanese, etc. Don't complain if you are required to study German to get your Visa approved. Don't hate or blame the German Embassy if your visa will not be approve if you don't have a Basic German Language certificate. Trust me, its for your own good. Germany is not your country, have a different culture, a different law, a different place and most of all a different language.
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