Free TestDaF Resources Online

Some of the most frequent questions I get through this blog is, “What advice do you have for passing the TestDaF?” After passing the TestDaF with a pretty good score in February 2014, I do have a lot to say about the test. To read my top tips for taking the exam, check out the following links: TestDaF Tips Leseverstehen Hörverstehen Schriftlicher Ausdruck Mündlicher Ausdruck For those wanting more, I have compiled a list of free resources that I found to be helpful in preparing to take the test. I will continue to update this list as I find more. TestDaF Continue Reading

My Turtles Are Dead! | Mistranslation Monday

Ever since I first came to Germany in 2011, I have struggled with the German word for turtle. The topic first came up when Marco bought me my first Kinder Überraschungsei (those chocolate eggs with the toy inside). My toy inside was a little plastic turtle. “That’s a Schildköte,” Marco told me, “it combines the world Schild (shield) and Kröte (toad).” “Germans sure do love their compound words,” I thought to myself as I tried to save the word Schildkröte into my vocabulary. Except I didn’t. Instead, I always thought of turtles as shield-toads. Opening my first Kinder Egg in Continue Reading

That’s Not My Name!

I am sick and tired of people (i.e. Germans) getting my name wrong. I know I have written about this topic before, but it needs to be said again. After doing a quick search through my inbox for “Herr Courtney,” I gathered this small sample of emails that I have received from people who assumed that:1) I am a man and/or2) Courtney is my last name. And that’s not all of them. Even my doctor thinks that my first name is Martin, but since he also has possession of my medical records, he (thankfully) does not make the mistake of calling me Continue Reading

I Love You Puppy | Mistranslation Monday

A few months ago, there was a J.Lo song that made its way into the top 40. Since the German boyfriend and I listen to a lot of Radio Hamburg whenever we are in the bathroom, we knew all of the words. Heck, I had even seen the music video a few times, which tries to poke fun at music videos that objectify women by objectifying men instead (see screenshot above). If you don’t know what song I am talking about by now, it was “I Luh Ya Papi” by Jennifer Lopez (aka “I Love You, Papi“). The title is Continue Reading

Feeling Like a Failure

Failing is an inevitable part of life. Unfortunately, living in a foreign country means that you will likely encounter the feeling of failure more often than if you had just stayed at home. I am having one of those days where you feel like a complete failure right now. Choosing to come to Germany to get my Master’s was a big step, and although there was a lot of obstacles along the way, I felt like I managed to adapt to university life and fit into my program (where everyone else is German) fairly well. February and March is the Continue Reading