Tag Archives: Dusseldorf

New Year’s Resolution – learn German!

My new years resolution this year…. is to brush up my German.

I learnt French at School, and to be honest, I can remember very little. The quality of teaching was merde, as they say, but then again you can’t blame the teachers as they were more occupied with crowd control and anti-social behavious than la belle francais.

I knew hardly a word of German before I first went there in 200o. Since then I’ve been to Berlin, Nuremberg, Munich (twice), Duisburg, Dusseldorf (three times), Cologne (twice), Hamlin (as in the pied piper), Paderborn, and the Rhine Valley down near Koblenz. Its true what they say, that you learn a language much better from going there and practicing it and hearing it. I’ve picked up German a lot easier than I ever did French.

As a modern military historian I reckon having a good grasp of German must be an advantage, and it can’t exactly look bad on the CV. I know the basics – hello, goodbye, how to order a beer, where is the Football Stadium, can I have a currywurst and chips please, the Panzers are coming etc, but you could hardly say I can speak German. Therefore I’ve signed up to the BBC’s new German Steps course, to learn German in twelve weeks. They send you an email every week, and you work through the modules.

I’ll let you know how I’m getting on!

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I’m Back

It might be a few days later than planned, but I’m finally back from Dusseldorf having got caught up in the all the weather travel chaos. After our flight was cancelled on Sunday evening we hired a car, and drove from Dusseldorf to Calais, from there on the ferry to Dover, train to London, then train down to Portsmouth. I finally got in the early hours of this morning, over 24 hours late. Which isn’t bad, considering people who were on our flight and stayed put at the airport are still there now… I’ll write a full report when I’ve thawed out a bit!

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