This week, we’re talking to Finance Manager Richard who lives in the Netherlands, not far from Rotterdam. He’s been learning German with Coffee Break, and at the time of speaking with him, he was preparing for a trip to Germany over the festive season. Having previously learned some Spanish from Season 1 of Coffee Break Spanish, he decided to sign up for Coffee Break German so that he could communicate with locals during his upcoming trip to Germany as he “always find it very fun to talk in the language which is spoken over there.”
After discovering the Coffee Break podcasts on iTunes, Richard decided to take his learning a step further and signed up for the premium version of the course. The audio lessons allow him to learn during his long commute to work each day. “My commute is between 30 minutes and 1 hour so first I listened to the radio and to music but I wanted to start doing something useful with my time so that’s why I started to take language lessons.”
Richard uses the materials included in the premium version of the course to consolidate what he learns during his commute to work. “At first I viewed a couple of videos but I started out just by listening to the podcast in the car, to the bonus podcast. Then I go and sit down at the table and write down the key words, the new words/vocabulary from the lesson notes and last week I ordered flash cards so I’m going to start writing words on them to learn vocabulary more regularly.” Richard finds the Coffee Break approach particularly useful for learning how to deal with situations tourists experience when travelling e.g. checking into a hotel or asking for directions.
Having received German lessons at school and having spent a lot of time in Germany when he was younger, Richard picked up the language much more quickly than than he did with Spanish. “I’ve found that German is difficult because of the cases and Spanish is a totally different language than Dutch or German. You can guess some meaning of the German words because of the Dutch words but in Spanish it’s totally different and also the pronunciation is more difficult, but it’s a very beautiful language.”
Alongside Coffee Break German, Richard sometimes uses additional language learning resources. “I do sometimes use Duolingo to learn some vocabulary but not on a regular basis. I sometimes sit on my computer and type some words, but my goal objective is to take at least two/three lessons a week from Coffee Break German.” He’s been enjoying the Coffee Break German lessons so much that he’s already planning on taking his learning further: “it’s very fun and very useful, very practical…when I finish this one (Season 1 of German) I’m going to buy Season 2.”
While Richard doesn’t get the chance to speak German as often as he’d like, he enjoys practising his language skills with native speakers. “As I said I’m going during the holidays to Germany and I have an old friend, a German friend and sometimes I text her but not that often so I don’t practise a lot. I’m looking forward to going to Germany to practise my language skills.”
As we bring our chat with Richard to a close, he finishes by sharing one of his favourite words in German: “Ausgezeichnet – that’s a funny word! That means outstanding/great.”
We wish Richard all the best as he continues learning German with Coffee Break.