As of Monday I have returned to taking more German classes at my favorite language school, Transmitter Berlin. Monday kicked off my time in the B2.1 level of German. If you are familiar with how the levels work in Europe as far as language is concerned then you know that this is a commitment. It all begins with level A1.1 and climbs through A1.2, A2.1, A2.2, B1.1, B1.2 and now into B2.1. When I moved to Berlin I had taken a bit of German at a community college in Portland so I tested into level A2.1.
This is my 5th intensive course since living in Berlin a little over a year. They say that you can start to read stuff around and really understand people in everyday life at the end of B1 levels which has definitely been my experience. By those levels you have gone over much of the grammar and into B2 while there is still grammar to learn it is mainly about using German all the time. Already I see a shift into using my German on a totally different level…discussing big topics with it, voicing opinions, debating with it and moving through my life with it more intentionally.
My goal when I moved here was to complete through the B1 levels and at first this seemed like a far off goal. When I completed the goal in April I took a break from the German class world. It seemed like I could never really truly get the hang of it and at that point I was content to be able to move through the world more easily but over the summer I have realized that the more of the language I learn, the more I gain out of life here. I like being included in the jokes on the train or the passing conversations at the vet and it bothers me when I can’t respond so quickly. I can understand most of what comes at me but when the train conductor on Thursday asked me a question and I still had no idea what he said to me after his third attempt, it is frustrating and a bit disheartening. Or when I bumped into one of my instructors the other day and I could barely keep up with the conversation in German and had a harder time responding it is hard to not feel as though it is in vain.
So I am back at it. It is hard. It is frustrating and rewarding all at once. I have definitely found the school that helps me on this path with the best mix of encouragement and challenge. I think I will be ultimately grateful for it as I continue this journey. Send me good vibes, will you? 🙂