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My name’s Mickey Mangan. Welcome to my corner of the Great and Terrible Internet. This began as a place to share my project The Lernen to Talk Show, and now it’s a place where I put stuff I write sometimes. It’s also where I keep track of what books I’ve read.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. Jiri Hloska permalink
    December 12, 2011 16:12

    Hi Mike,

    your videos are absolutely amazing! It is really fun to watch them, excellent idea.

    Have a nice stay in Germany. I hope we will meet again in Duisburg or Mülheim soon (probably next year).


  2. June 21, 2013 03:55


    I stumbled upon one of your videos on an AFS (American Field Service) page on Facebook. And after watching a few episodes I was completely amazed.

    Recently I received a scholarship through the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study program to study abroad my senior year of high school in Turkey.

    My Turkish language skills are below basic and I was thinking that I would also like to document my Turkish language development along the way.

    I want to double major in Turkish and International Relations with a focus on the Middle East and minor in Arabic .

    Your videos are great and inspirational. My goal is to learn Turkish, Arabic, German, and French.

    I have a blog up at and I leave to Turkey on September 5th 2013. I don’t know yet how I am going to do this.

    So if you have any advice, it would be greatly appreciated !


    – Christian Ilarraza

    • June 24, 2013 02:41

      Hi Christian! Thanks so much for the comment! I’m really glad you enjoyed my videos. And many congratulations on your scholarship. That sounds like an amazing opportunity. I would love to see a similar project done with Turkish. Please send me an email at, so we can talk more about it before you leave.

      Thanks again!


  3. June 22, 2013 17:54

    Fellow DeutschLerner
    I really hope that you continue publishing things on youtube related to learning German. You are an inspiration to us, young German learners. Truly, to learn the language, you must delve into it, as you did. Sometimes it feels embarrassing or uncomfortable, but you certainly showed by example how rewarding it is.

    I do not study German in college, however I studied German for 4 years in high school and I am still trying to learn more. I love the sound of the language and the culture. I hope you continue to have fun and update the world on your success.

    Looking forward to hearing more.

    • June 23, 2013 22:22

      It makes me so happy to hear that you were inspired by the videos! A comment like this convinces me that the whole project was worthwhile. I don’t think it’s all that necessary that you continue studying the language formally to keep improving (in case that wasn’t obvious from my videos), so I’m not too worried about your progress slowing. It’s just a matter of wanting it! I encourage you to check out the site Duolingo as a fun way to keep improving. I think it has a beautiful layout and you can go at your own pace. I have a couple “lost episodes” that I will certainly be posting at some point, and of course I’d love to keep doing more! Thanks for writing.

  4. Kaley permalink
    June 27, 2013 18:50

    Hey Mickey,

    A friend of mine sent me an email with a link to your video about your project, thinking I would find it interesting. She was absolutely right and it’s because I can relate to you as well. I’m currently living in Germany and have been for almost two years. I have wrestled with learning German for the past two years and continue to do. However, it’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life and surprisingly, has taught me a lot about my own language as well. It’s nice that you kept with it and didn’t give up because lord, do I know, there were so many times where I was frustrated and felt so helpless. I used to always say living in Germany without being fluent felt like being a declawed cat out in the wilderness. Luckily, I’ve come along way and it’s really great to see your videos now, after having been through that process myself.

    It’s so wonderful what you’ve done and you ought to be proud of yourself. You’ve learned so much in just one year, it’s unbelievable. I was blown away at how good your German was at the end and especially now, in your post with the radio show.

    I hope you continue posting!

    • June 28, 2013 01:10

      Hi Kaley,

      it’s such a pleasure to read your comment! I’m so glad your friend emailed you the project. Where did you live/do you live in Germany? I like your metaphor. It’s a good thing the woods we declawed cats are stranded in lack lethal predators, and instead only have bigger, better looking cats which only occasionally make us feel bad about ourselves. Thank you so much for your kind words and I hope we get to meet someday!


      • Kaley permalink
        July 14, 2013 23:16

        Why, only the best part of Germany – Munich! I’m actually moving back to the states soon but I’m happy to have had my time here. I’ll certainly continue learning German.
        And, likewise! Maybe we’ll even speak a little German then.

        Take care.

  5. Edlin permalink
    July 8, 2013 21:06

    Hey Mickey,
    I think I ran into this page of yours through a retweet from some german site on twitter. Anyway, wow, I must say your german improved A LOT!!! I have only seen a couple episodes (since I should be studying for finals!) but improvement was definitely heard from your latest video. I had a question, the year you lived in Germany, did you study all year long at a language school? I’m currently living and studying in Baden Wuerttemburg but since my study program is in english, I dont get to practice my german as much as I would like, and the 5 months I have been living here I haven’t seen that much of an improvement. Anyway, and tips would be greatly appreciated. Have a great day 🙂

    • July 12, 2013 11:30

      Hi Edlin! Thanks for the sweet comment. That’s a bummer you haven’t had as many practice opportunities as you’d like! But I guess that’s the way of the world these days, with even other countries having degree programs in English. You just need to remember that you can walk out the door and practice any time you want! My tip would be to talk to at least one random person per day. You can approach them simply by saying “Ich lerne Deutsch. Koennen Sie mit mir kurz ueben?” I guarantee you at least 1 out of 3 people will say yes. And even if people say no, then even the act of asking them was a good exercise! You should bring a little notebook with you and try to write down at least one new thing from your conversation.
      It’s perfectly understandable that you haven’t seen much improvement within 5 months. I believe that what holds people back is purely psychological. My hope is that my videos can show you that it is possible, so maybe now you’ll trust that you can improve that much too! It’s just a matter of wanting it, really. But wanting it requires that you believe it’s possible!
      I did study at a language school, but only for my first two months in Germany. If you watch the videos, you’ll get a good idea of my timeline over the year. But yeah, after those two months I didn’t have another formal course at all. All further improvement came simply from talk talk talking.
      Thanks again for writing! And best of luck!


  6. Diana permalink
    July 13, 2013 22:46

    Hi Mickey,
    ich finde deinen Blog echt klasse! Ich bin darauf gestoßen, weil die “Russian”-Fanseite auf Facebook den Link zu deinem Projekt gepostet hat. Erstaunlich wie gut du schon nach einigen Monaten Deutsch sprechen konntest. Ich persönlich wollte zum Beispiel immer Russisch sprechen lernen, was ich ein Jahr studiert habe. Aber noch lange kann ich nicht so gut Russisch sprechen wie du Deutsch, das liegt an der Praxis. Du zeigst mir, dass alles möglich ist, wenn man nur will und man am Ball bleibt! Deine Videos haben mich motiviert weiterzulernen! Ich habe deinen Link geteilt und hoffe, dass es so viele Menschen wie möglich erreicht!
    Ich hoffe dir hat die Zeit in Nordrhein-Westfalen gefallen, ich selbst wohne auch dort 😉
    Liebe Grüße und mach weiter so,

  7. July 16, 2013 13:45

    Hi Mickey, I love your videos! I found them just a few days after beginning to learn portuguese, so I have started filming my progress each week, it’s a great idea and when I am fluent I will enjoy looking back on them! Do you have any tips about free language learning? Thanks, Michelle

    • July 17, 2013 20:16

      Hi Michelle! Thanks for the note! I’m so happy that you’ll be filming your progress too! Are you in a Portuguese-speaking country right now? Either way, I think you have the right idea! Free language learning is the best language learning. I think the best advice I could give would be to try to integrate it into your daily life, whether that means living in Brazil, or promising yourself to only speak Portuguese in certain rooms of your house. You gotta be creative! Thanks so much for writing, and good luck with everything!
      Sincerely, Mickey

      • July 17, 2013 20:46

        Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately I’m not in Brazil or Portugal or another Portuguese speaking country (I wish!) but I like your ideas, hopefully I can talk to some Portuguese speakers in the UK. That’s good advice, I will get creative! 🙂 Thanks, Michelle

  8. tara permalink
    August 8, 2013 21:18

    hallo mickey!

    i stumbled upon your videos in this ol’ internet perusing sites to help me with the learning of the german language, as i’m moving there at the end of the year. i must say that your videos are very inspiring, especially after a class of “Ist das eine Tomate? Nein, das ist keine Tomate.” that makes my brain explode and leaves me wondering if i will ever be able to carry on conversation beyond asking someone’s name and if this is, indeed, a tomato (keine Tomate?! ist das einen Apfel…? Was ist das?!)

    i’m hoping that being in germany and approaching every interaction with “Sie sprechen Deutsch mit mir, bitte!” will help. maybe? ich hoffe… though, i am finding that learning the phrases that i say often in english helps to ease frustration (i’m hungry, i’m tired, and their variations – hmm. apparently, i am mostly ever these two things).

    anyhow! thank you for doing these videos! it really is helpful and encouraging to see your progression over the one year, as well as seeing you just go for it, mistakes and all. i think you’ve also inspired me to track my progression in some way so that i can appreciate just how far i’ve come after my year in Deutschland.

    i look forward to seeing what’s next with ‘the lernen to talk show’! keep up the good work!


    • August 14, 2013 11:04

      Hi Tara!

      Your recreation of a German classroom conversation made me laugh pretty hard. Ahhhhh so frustrating! You’re totally right, simply asking people to talk to you will be the best way you could possibly learn! I’m really glad you liked my project, and I definitely encourage you to do something similar for yourself while you’re in Germany. You’ll be so happy to have something to look back on later. Where are you gonna be in Germany?


      • sometimes fantastique permalink
        September 5, 2013 19:55

        i’m so excited to continue with my learning, especially out of the classroom. my goal is to be fluent (or at least be able to hold a decent conversation and read a book for adults – that’s fluent, right?) by the end of my first year in germany. i’ve started watching sesame strasse in german and, well, i’m definitely still at kindergarden level german!

        i will be living in the city of hannover, where i’m told they speak the “purest german”, so i guess that’s good?

  9. Judith permalink
    August 14, 2013 09:26

    Hallo Mickey, meine Name ist Judith, ich bin Social Media Managerin bei den Carl Duisberg Centren in Köln. Für einen Radiobeitrag suchen wir ehemalige PPP-Teilnehmer, die an einem Interview teilnehmen. Vielleicht hast du Lust mitzumachen. Freue mich auf deine Mail :-).

  10. Ellie permalink
    September 18, 2013 19:29

    Hi Mickey,

    I’m currently only in my second week of a year abroad in Heidelberg, Germany! Your videos have been such a massive inspiration and you should be very proud of them 🙂 I studied German at school but not university so it’s been a bit of a jump in the deep end! It’s amazing how a few beers can make you feel fluent though. I’m in the right country! Any tips for someone who feels like they’ve hit a bit of a wall?!


    • September 21, 2013 19:02

      Hi Ellie! Heidelberg is a beautiful place! I’m sure you’re having a great time… just be sure to stay positive as the weather gets colder. Thank you so much for checking out the LTTS… I am proud of it! I know that “wall” feeling all too well. My advice is always to try to change up your environment. The only person who sees that wall is you. I found that the only times I really felt like I was progressing was when I would meet new people and they’d say, “what?? you’ve only been learning for three months??” The Germans you meet will always be impressed by your quick learning and that’s the best sledge hammer you can find to take down that wall. Hang in there and keep talk talk talkin’! Sincerely, Mickey.

  11. October 22, 2013 15:37

    Mickey, you are the man! Looking forward to staying in touch, travel amigo!

  12. December 24, 2013 00:47

    This is brilliant, in case you didn’t know.

  13. January 22, 2014 00:50

    Hallo Mickey! Gratulation zu dieser Errungenschaft! Hier deine Belohnung:

    Liebe Grüße,


  14. Henrik permalink
    September 14, 2014 15:10

    Hi Mike. Hope you’re fine. You might not be in Germany at the moment, is it?
    If you like to tell me, there’s my e-mail-address…

    Anyway: Do me a little favor concerning your website:
    Äh. Ich war etwas unvorsichtig, meinen Namen in Gänze hier reinzustellen. Kannst du den wieder rausnehmen bei #15, in dem wir uns in Düsseldorf getroffen haben? Wäre freundlich.

    Gruß, Henrik-

  15. Ana permalink
    September 25, 2014 12:54

    Hi Mickey we found your project amazing, really enjoy your video and we will post your chronicles in our channels if you dont mind. I am Ana Garfia (Social Media manager of

    We have shared the first video on our Facebook page ( and also tweet it: @studentmundial

  16. jhdsn48 permalink
    November 23, 2014 10:32

    Wow, I hardly have any words for how inspired I feel right now!
    I’ve been trying to learn German for the past 7 months (living in US), and to see how you quickly picked up the language in such a short time is just incredible…
    I had visited Switzerland for a month and, tho they speak a dialect, that’s what got all the sparks flying in the first place, and someday I’d like to travel/live in Germany and learn the language better.
    For now, I at least try to communicate on a daily basis with German friends via text, email, and Skype…

    But this is just amazing…Thanks for sharing your wonderful achievement!

  17. Karen Ng permalink
    March 1, 2023 04:54

    Hi Mickey,

    I’ve been learning German on Duolingo, and I came across your videos to practice listening to German. I’ve only watched two videos, but I want to say how brave and exciting to have traveled to Germany to live for a year to better your German. Wow, it’s really inspirational (“und wunderbar!) I hope to get through all your videos and see how your German fares out by the end of your stay! I’m guessing you will become pretty fluent (I hope!) Anyhow, I also wanted to ask, as I am curious… how long did you study German before traveling to live in Germany for a year?

    And “Vielen Danke” for making these videos and sharing with us!

    Best regards,

    • March 1, 2023 14:13

      Hi Karen,

      It was so nice to read your comment! I’m glad my videos keep finding new people. It’s great that you’re learning German on Duolingo. Ich wuensche Dir viel Erfolg! To answer your question, I studied German using an audio course called Living Language while commuting to and from my job for about 4 months. That gave me the basis of vocabulary and grammar that you see in Episode 1. I did also enroll in a German course in college before that, but I dropped the class after 1 month.

      Feel free to leave more comments along the way, and I’ll do my best to reply 🙂

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