Frequently Asked Questions

You might have heard or read on the websites of various German Language coaching centres that German is a fairly easy language to learnas it is quite similar to English. Nothing could be further from the truth. For one, German is nowhere even close to English.Take, for example, the following words – Fast means “almost” in German. Also means “so”. War means “was”. Was means “what”. Gift means “poison”.Kind means “child”. Hut means “hat”. Rock means “skirt”. Boot means “boat”. Bad means “bath”. Rat means “advice”. Not means “emergency”. Brief means “letter”. Bald means “soon”. Toll means “super”. Last means “load”. See means “lake”, and so on and so forth.German grammar cannot be learned “through” English. For example, in German, there is a special tense for verbs called ‘Konjunktiv I’ that is used when reporting something, like in a newspaper. On the other hand, in German, there is no present continuous tense like “I am eating”.It is just “I eat”. Another huge difference between English and German is that in English, nouns have no gender. Every noun is “it”. In German, however, there are three types of “the” depending on the gender of the noun – ‘der’ for masculine nouns, ‘die’ for feminine and ‘das’ for neuter nouns. The genders of nouns seem to defy logic. For example, the sun is feminine, a girl is neuter! Germans are very accurate. For example, a queue is never a straight line, it is usually like a snake. So, don’t panic if someone says “Schlange, bitte”. It means “Queue, please”, not “Snake, please”, although Schlange also means snake.So, you see, it is futile to try and learn German by connecting it with English. The two are most certainly going to collide. In my own experience, I have found that native English speakers find it very difficult to learn German. In fact, people who know Indian languageswould probably be able to understand some of the intricacies of the German language better. In my training sessions I’ll teach you to speak Germanand also understand what the other person is speaking. I call it“wiring your brain in German”, so that the language flows smoothly with no short circuiting.
Most German universities prefer applicants from India to have at least an A1 certificate from Goethe Institut even for study programs taught in English. Unless you are in the top 5% of your class, the Goethe A1 Zertifikat will greatly increase your chances of success.
Myjob is to train you for the Goethe A1 (Start Deutsch 1) Zertifikat exam. Believe me, learning German and learning it for passing the exam are very different things. Take my own case as an example. I took the Goethe Zertifikat B2 exam, failed it narrowlyand went on to pass C1 and C2 back to back. That’s because when I took the B2 exam, I had never attempted any Goethe Zertifikat exam before. So, my German knowledge did not help me in my B2 exam at all, which means something was lacking. Merely knowing the language was not enough.Something else was required. When I prepared for C1 and C2, I was my own tutor and I totally focussed on the exam pattern. Since in India we don’t have much exposure to the German language being spoken continuously, the listening and speaking parts generally become more difficult than the reading and writing parts.Technically, you don’t need a teacher once you know the pronunciation and basic grammar. Yes, the Germans are very particular about pronunciation, and for this, you absolutely need a good teacher to show you the way at the start of your German learning journey.So, the pronunciation is what we are going to concentrate on when you train with me for the exam. Once you get the main aspects of the pronunciation and grammar right, the next step is to increase your vocabulary, which is possible to do on your own by watching videos and reading books. It’s a good idea to pass the A1 exam because this is very crucial for building your confidence. Then, as your German gets better, you may even be able to skip a level and jump to a higher one if you think you can do it. There is no requirement that you should pass every level.
If any coaching institute claims to give you a certificate that is valid for getting a jobin Germany, don’t fall for it. The only certificates that are accepted as valid proof of German language proficiency for study and employment in Germany are those awarded by Goethe Institut, telc and ÖSD. [ÖSD stands for “Österreichisches Sprachdiplom Deutsch” as well as for “Österreich, Schweiz, Deutschland” (Austria, Switzerland, Germany).] In India, Goethe Institut is more popular as it has managed to have a wider outreach and the exams are held frequently. The guarantee that I will be providing to you is that if you don’t pass the Goethe Zertifikat A1 (Start Deutsch 1) exam, i.e. if your score card says “nicht bestanden”, you can take the training course again for free.
The Goethe Zertifikat A1 (also called Start Deutsch 1) has four parts- reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each part has 15 points. This is multiplied by 1.66 to make each part for 25 points. You have to get 60% to pass, of which 35 points should be from the reading, writing and listening parts put together. That means you should get 21 out of 45 on your answer sheet. Multiply it by 1.66 and you get 34.86 which is rounded off to 35. It doesn’t matter how much you get in each of the three parts, which is good, because the listening part normally tends to be harder for Indians. Catching the spoken words could be quite a challenge due to the accent. The oral exam is also of 15 points. If you get less than 21 in the written exam, you will not be allowed for the oral exam as your total score would not be able to reach 36 out of 60 even if you got a perfect score on the oral exam. Here’s a tip – you will sail through the oral exam very easily if you talk during the training sessions. I encourage you to talk a lot (in German, of course)!
There are some Institutes that offer “demo lessons” before you enrol for their course. As you know, of course, a language (or any subject for that matter) is a huge ocean. You can’t get any idea with just one demo lesson, rather, you will get misled. So, don’t get taken in by such gimmicks. Have you ever heard of a school or college or university that offers “demo lessons” before you take admission? I leave you to answer that question. I don’t give any demo lessons. Instead, I will give you a taste of what you’ll be learning, in the video here, plus, you can get an insight into some interesting and fun facts about Germany and German culture. After all, just learning the language is not everything. For instance, in Germany it is considered very rude to burp in public. When someone takes you to a restaurant, it only means “Give me company”. He or she won’t pay for what you ate. You have to pay for your own meal. So, be careful if you are trying to save money – restaurants in Germany can be really expensive.
If this convinces you that Germany is where you’re going to fulfill your career aspirations, I urge you to enroll in the intensive training course that will prepare you for the Goethe A1 Zertifikat exam to give your journey a flying start. In case you are still doubtful, you can drop me an email or a WhatsApp message and I’ll be happy to answer your queries and clear the path for you.

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