Quote Of The Year

by Paul Adams

Learning German. One tense at a time.

I've been living in Berlin for almost 3 years now. I am very overdue to really start learning German. It's not that I don't speak any German, but I got so far and then kinda took a step backwards, due to lack of practice.

It's time to fix that.

I very much enjoy my life in Germany. But, if I am really to integrate here, I've got to make the effort to learn the language.

A Brief History Of Paul And Languages

  • English is my native tongue. Most Germans of the same age as me speak/understand English better than I do.
  • I learned French at school. I got good grades for learning French at school. But the standard is set comparatively low. On leaving school, I am positive my French was not as good as a German's English.
  • I have learned all of my German organically. Picking up on things here and there. I have never had a real German lesson.

My First German Lesson

This last point is important. My spread of knowledge stretches all the way from A1 to B1. The problem is do not know all of A1 to B1. I actually do not know all of any level between A1 and B1.


  • I know that it is "Ich bin mit Fahrrad gefahren" and not "habe".
  • I do not know what "I ate ice cream" is ("Ich aß Eis").

So today I had my first one-to-one German lesson. The focus was on working out the gaps in my knowledge but also forcing me to speak German; I do not do much of that day-to-day.

Towards the end of the lesson, my teacher had the best back-handed compliment for me:

For someone who knows so little German, you know an awful lot of German.

As my German lessons progress, I might occasionally write about how I am progressing. For now, my focus is on getting A1 and A2 German nailed, so that I can then join an intensive B1 course.