Tag Archives: German

Reasons to learn German

Reasons to Learn German #2 – German is Spoken Everywhere

This article has first been published on Fair Languages

Last time I talked about some general numbers, precisely how many people in the world speak German and where it is an official language.

Today I would like to go into more detail and talk about some countries where speaking German might be particularly helpful either to live or to do business with.

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Tests, Certificates and exams for learners of German as a foreign language: TestDaF, Zertifikat Deutsch

TestDaFAs many of  you learn German to either study or live in Germany you will know about the government’s requirements to pass a test in order to prove your ability to get around “successfully” in Germany.

How and what to prepare for the different tests is a question I get asked quite regularly, so I hope this article will help make some things more clear.

The two most common tests or certificates to prove your level of German are TestDaF = Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (test of German as a foreign language) and ZD = Zertifikat Deutsch.

  • TestDaF is for the people who intend to study in Germany at German universities, for academics and scientists. There are test levels available that equal levels B2-C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. TestDaF covers reading and listening comprehension, writing and speaking. You can learn more about the different levels, see sample question and get a list of the test centers in 91 countries on the TestDaF official page.
  • Zertifikat Deutsch is the other internationally recognized certificate of German language ability. The ZD tests the ability on a scale equal to a B1 level of the CEFR. It is estimated that total beginners need about 300-450 hours of preparation in order to pass the ZD (that number seems high relative to my own experience of working with students, but is probably a ‘safe’ estimate). Zertifikat Deutsch is designed for adult students, there is, however, a specially designed ZD for teens. The certificate is a collaboration of the Goethe Institut, Österreichisches Sprachdilom (ÖSD), the Schweizer Erziehungsdirektorenkonferenz (EDK) and one other testing body which means that it is not only a German test of ability but is recognized in Austria and Switzerland. More on the ZD on the Goethe Institut website.

Feel free to ask further questions in the comment section of this blog, on Facebook or Twitter @deutschhappen.


Grammatik, Vokabeln und Erklärungen zum Artikel 11. November – grammar, vocabulary and explanations for compound nouns

Der heutige Blogeintrag soll euch eine Übersicht über die wichtigsten Vokabeln meines Artikels zum 11. November verschaffen und einige weiterführende Erklärungen liefern.

  • Waffenstillstand (der) noun consists of Waffe (die) = weapon und Stillstand (der) = hold-up / non operating also zusammen: armistice
    • note: how to find out the gender of compound (nouns that consist of at least two original words) nouns? Always look at the second noun, here Stillstand, which is always the decisive one to identify the gender of each compound noun.
  • beiläufig (adjective or adverb)  random(ly), casual(ly)
  • beenden (weak verb) means it’s a regular verb; past: beendete, beendet
  • Bewusstsein (das) noun awareness
  • Grund (der) im Artikel: aus zwei anderen Gründen (Plural) – for two other reasons
  • Gans (die) goose, irregular plural die Gänse
  • Gänsebraten (der) compound noun consists of Gänse (see above) and Braten (der) joint / roast
    • note: again, the last part of the compound noun decides about the gender of the whole noun!
  • Laterne (die) lantern, Plural: die Laternen

* the German term for compound nouns is zusammengesetzte Nomen

If there is more unknown vocabulary in this article you can either ask me in the comment section or on Facebook or use this online dictionary to translate into your mother tongues: http://bab.la//

Ich wünsche euch weiterhin viel Erfolg!