For a few reasons, some personal and some professional, I've had to start learning a bit more German than the basic "hello, how are you?" and "thank you" that I knew. In my typical geek style I started looking for non-conventional ways to start learning the language. Stephen sweetly bought me a language class from Berlitz for Christmas but I also wanted to learn the conversational style of the language not just "book German" (having had a few embarassing examples from my first trip to Spain with my high school Spanish).
So I stumbled upon a "Learn German" podcast. Ironically, this podcast is put on by another Stephan - Stephan Wiesner. The classes he does are excellent, the podcasts are short - each comes with an accompanying handout, and you learn how to handle some pretty standard experiences you are going to face when you are abroad (going through customs, talking ot a cab driver, ordering food at a cafe). It also was a perfect fit since his reference was German and Swiss German which are an exact match for my upcoming travels. Stephan also took time to teach some culture and reference some of his own personal experiences.
Sadly, but understandably, Stephan has had to end his podcast. But I still now thank him for the quality that he DID put out there. I am sure its helped quite a few people - myself included. And I know I will be much more comfortable when I'm abroad having been able to study these podcasts.
2 days ago