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The Lernen to Talk Show

The Lernen to Talk Show is a weekly chronicle of my quest to learn German in one year. It was produced between Summer ’11 and Summer ’12. My hope is to show honestly what it looks like week by week to learn a language over the course of one year. I subtitle the conversations in English, that way people who don’t speak German can follow along and see the mistakes I make. The goal is to prove to people that learning a language is something you can do if you want to do it. And not only is it possible, it’s also super fun!

For newcomers, I’d recommend Episode 3, Episode 18, Episode 22Episode 27, Episode 29, and Episode 46. Those are my personal favorites.

But if you really want to get into it, follow the links below to watch EVERY SINGLE EPISODE AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!


Week 1: July 31, 2011 – Washington, D.C.

Week 2: August 8, 2011 – Radolfzell

Week 3: August 15, 2011 – Radolfzell

Week 4: August 22, 2011 – Radolfzell

Week 5: August 29, 2011 – Wahlwies

Week 6: September 5, 2011 – Radolfzell

Week 7: September 12, 2011 – Wahlwies

Week 8: September 19, 2011 – Radolfzell

Week 9: September 26, 2011 – Wahlwies

Week 10: October 3, 2011 – Radolfzell

Week 11: October 10, 2011 – Essen

Week 12: October 17, 2011 – Duisburg

Week 13: October 24, 2011 – Duisburg

Week 14: October 31, 2011 – Dortmund

Week 15: November 7, 2011 – Düsseldorf

Week 16: November 14, 2011 – Duisburg

Week 17: November 20, 2011 – Stockholm

Week 18: November 27, 2011 – Ratingen

Week 19: December 4, 2011 – Aachen

Week 20: December 10, 2011 – Lyon

Week 21: December 19, 2011 – Duisburg

Week 22: December 25, 2011 – Leamington Spa

Week 23: January 1, 2012 – Paris

Week 24: January 9, 2012 – Düsseldorf

Week 25: January 16, 2012 – Frankfurt am Main

Week 26: January 24, 2012 – Duisburg

Week 27: January 31, 2012 – Duisburg

Week 28: February 7, 2012 – Köln

Week 29: February 13, 2012 – Köln

Week 30: February 20, 2012 – Köln

Week 31: February 27, 2012 – Köln

Week 32: March 5, 2012 – Köln

Week 33: March 13, 2012 – Köln

Week 34: March 20, 2012 – Köln

Week 35: March 26, 2012 – Köln

Week 36: April 2, 2012 – Köln

Week 37: April 11, 2012 – Köln

Week 38: April 16, 2012 – Köln

Week 39: April 24, 2012 – Siegburg

Week 40: April 30, 2012 – Iznang
Week 41: May 8, 2012 – Köln
Week 42: May 14, 2012 – Köln
Week 43: May 21, 2012 – Köln
Week 44: May 29, 2012 – Köln
Week 45: June 5, 2012 – Bottrop
Week 46: June 12, 2012 – Berlin
Week 47: June 18, 2012 – Köln – Coming soon!
Week 48: June 25, 2012 – Köln – Coming soon!
Week 50: July 16, 2012 – Frankfurt am Main
120 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2012 22:11

    when roche&böhmermann stopped some weeks ago they left me totally desperate in front of my screen. but now: i found you. and im happy again! (ps.: you wanna marry me?) 🙂

  2. noni permalink
    May 15, 2012 22:16

    when roche&böhmermann stopped some weeks ago they left me desperate in front of my screen. but now: i found you. and im happy again! (ps.: you wanna marry me?) 🙂

  3. Chris permalink
    June 20, 2013 01:46

    What did you do for a living while you were there? I only know English but I’d love to do something like this too. Are there many jobs for just English speakers?

    • June 20, 2013 02:16

      That’s a long story! You can get a pretty full picture of my situation by clicking through the episodes… but long story short, I was there on an exchange program and I lived off of money I’d saved up. There are definitely options for English speakers, and not only as English teachers. I personally would try to become a tour guide if I had the chance! They make pretty good money!

      • Chris permalink
        June 20, 2013 02:18

        Ah, dang! I spent all my savings on my exchange program haha. I’ll look into the tour guide thing, thanks 🙂

  4. kelsey permalink
    June 20, 2013 22:16

    I’ve just watched the first few episodes and I have to say this is great! I’ve been in Germany for about eight months now and your earliest videos remind me of me when I first got here. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you just talk with people. Looking forward to watching the rest of the episodes, thanks for making this!

    • June 23, 2013 23:14

      Hi Kelsey! I’m so happy you like it! I hope you’re having a great time in Germany. It’s true! Everybody has something different to offer, if you just talk to them!

  5. June 20, 2013 23:28

    Eindrucksvoll! Sehr interessant! Wie sieht es mit deutsch lesen und schreiben aus? Hast du das auch gelernt? Gruß aus Deutschland!

    • June 21, 2013 00:18

      Cool! Es freut mich, dass es dir gefällt! Natürlich muss ich auch schreiben können… obwohl es dabei offensichtlicher ist, wenn ich einen Fehler mache… Und lesen geht auch! Es hat etwas gedauert, aber in letzter Zeit finde ich es ganz angenehm, Romane zu lesen.

  6. Kuke permalink
    June 21, 2013 00:59

    Super Sache die du machst. Ich selbst plane für ein halbes Jahr nach Amerika zu fahren um mein Englisch zu verbessern, nachdem ich mein Studium beendet habe. Mach weiter so.
    Ich hoffe dir gefällt Köln, vlt. läuft man sich dann über den Weg 🙂

  7. Adrian permalink
    June 21, 2013 02:26

    Wow this is amazing!! It shows what you can do when you throw yourself into something! Ive studied German for ages and even have a degree in it but I can’t speak it as well as you… Seriously puts me to shame!!

    • August 2, 2013 11:05

      Aww, don’t be discouraged Adrian! I’m glad you like the show, and I hope you’re still speaking German!!!

  8. June 21, 2013 04:03

    Hallo 🙂 Meine name ist Emily … and I am moving to Germany to study abroad and then to live there for a bit in August of this year… An advisor through my study abroad program drew our attention to your project … I am so happy she did. I know very little German but have family and a fiance in Germany… so it is about time I learn. …I am looking forward to checking out your site more. What a great idea!
    Thanks again 🙂

    • August 2, 2013 11:08

      Hi Emily! That’s nice of your advisor to have shared the project! I always wonder who these people are who are sharing it… where do you study? You definitely have to learn German, if your fiance’s here! What a good source of inspiration! Viel Spaß in Deutschland!

      • August 2, 2013 13:05

        Hi 🙂 yes I definitely do! And now is the time to learn! I leave in 13 days for my adventure 🙂 I am studying at freie universität Berlin and traveling through globalinks learning abroad ( this is the program that is sharing your blog! )
        Thanks for the well wishes!

  9. June 21, 2013 09:52

    Ich habe auch nach Deutschland gefahren, um Deutsch zu lernen. Ich wohne hier für zwei Monaten diesen Sommer, und ich habe letzte Sommer die gleiche getan. Zwischen habe ich selbst gelernt. Deshalb lerne ich ein bisschen langsamer. Ich mag dein Blog. Es war ein gute Idee, und ich bin froh, dass ich nicht allein bin. Immer klinge ich wie ein Idiot, als ich Deutsch zu reden versuchen. Ich schreibe auch ein Blog, aber es ist nur wie ein Journal. Ich werde später mehr deines Videos anschauen.

    • August 2, 2013 11:10

      Niemand ist alleine!!! Wie schön, dass du mir geschrieben hast. Und keine Sorgen, dass du wie ein Idiot klingst! Ein Idiot zu sein ist das schnellste Art, eine Sprache zu lernen.

      • August 3, 2013 12:54

        Ganz genau. Das ist wirklich wahr.

        Wie habe Sie, Ihre Reise bekommen? War es mit einer Schule, oder etwas anders? Ich suche ein Weg, um zurück zu kommen. Ich habe viel mehr zu lernen. Aber, ich weiß nicht, wie für eine längere Reise zu bezahlen. Ich bin neugierig, wie andere Leute schaffen es.

  10. Raimee permalink
    June 21, 2013 16:09

    HI! I just started taking German at college. I loved my first year of it but I really want to be fluent one day. I would love to do something like what you did. It is so inspiring! I am wondering how you got the courage to talk to random people and all that? I know that if I truly want to learn I will have to do the same type of thing, but what is your advice to someone like me who is a little bit shy and afraid of making mistakes?

    • June 23, 2013 23:13

      Hi Raimee,

      Congratulations on deciding to start learning German! You can definitely become fluent if you want to be. It’s just a matter of wanting it! I encourage you to film yourself because as soon as you do become fluent, you’ll wish you could’ve seen yourself during the earlier stages. It’s so funny for me to look back on now!

      As for courage, well, I guess we all just need to take a lesson from the Wizard of Oz. It’s been in you the whole time! I mean, look, you’re writing this to me and you don’t know me! It’s pretty much the same thing with talking to random people in Germany. In my whole year of randomly talking to people and saying “würdest du mit mir Deutsch üben?” or something like that, I think ONE person ever reacted negatively. And I look back on that and just think it’s hilarious. It was on a train and the guy was just like “No.” and turned away. So funny!

      I guess the only advice to someone who is a little bit shy and afraid of making mistakes is, try to think of this as your chance to change that! Do you like being shy and afraid of making mistakes? If not, well, learning German is definitely a great opportunity to change that! I wish you all the best, and please don’t hesitate to write me if you ever want more tips or support! If you don’t want to write me here you can send me a direct message on twitter: @mickeymangan.

      Keep it up!


      • Raimee permalink
        June 25, 2013 23:10

        Thanks so much for the response! It was very helpful to hear about that one negative experience, I laughed just imagining it- so I guess if it were to happen to me I would laugh about it then too. I’m definitely more inspired to learn, practice, and immerse myself in multiple languages with the help of your blog and videos. I, like you, spend 7 years learning Spanish in school and probably cannot hold much of a conversation now! I want to someday speak at least 3 languages and your story has really inspired me to do so. Following you on Twitter now! =)

  11. eisfischer permalink
    June 21, 2013 17:14

    Schönes Projekt, Respekt!

    Respekt auch dafür, wie schnell und gut du eine nicht ganz einfache Sprache wie die Deutsche gelernt hast. Für jemanden wie mich, der zur Zeit am polnischen verzweifelt, eine wunderschöne Motivation!

    Du bist übrigens auch in meiner Heimatstadt Radolfzell gewesen…Ich hoffe doch sehr dass alle nett zu dir waren und es dir gefallen hat….;)

    • June 23, 2013 22:59

      Wow! Danke für die nette Wörter! Ja, bitte zweifelt dich nicht mit Polnisch! Es kommt! Und wie cool, dass du aus Radolfzell kommst. Ich liebe deine Stadt!

  12. Werner permalink
    June 21, 2013 17:48

    Danke für diese wunderbare Dokumentation! Ich habe das über “thehipstery” gefunden, was ja auch von einem Englisch-Sprecher in Deutschland herausgegeben wird. Vielleicht sende ich das einmal meinem britischen Schwager, um ihn zu motivieren, auch deutsch zu lernen.

    • June 23, 2013 21:51

      Hallo Werner! Es freut mich sehr, dass es dir gefallen hat! Bitte sag mir, was dein Schwager dazu sagt!

  13. June 21, 2013 18:13

    This is a great project! I am looking forward to watching your episodes – I watched episode 3, but plan to see the rest.

    I spent a year in Germany in my youth, attending 12th grade in a Gymnasium in a small town in Germany. I started out with no formal German instruction except for several sessions with a tutor the summer before I went. My father is German so I was exposed to enough German during earlier childhood that I understood quite a bit. Unfortunately, he didn’t speak German to us on a regular basis, so my exposure was visiting relatives or having German-speaking guests from time to time. I had spoken very little German growing up, beyond learning some children’s songs and going to the store to buy gummy bears. I had always been too shy about my poor German to try to speak much, though. When I went to live there, I forced myself to only speak German at school (even though the other students spoke quite good English and would have loved to practice on me more often). At home with my host family, for the first few weeks we allowed English at dinnertime, because by then I was too exhausted and needed a break, but after that it was all German at home as well. I remember feeling like I had narcolepsy for that first month, the amount of mental effort during that time left me just beat. By the end of the year, though, I was even dreaming in German.

    Immersion is the way to go! Now that I have children of my own, I am sending them to language immersion school to take advantage of the early years when acquiring language is so much easier.

    • June 23, 2013 21:57

      Hi Brigitte! Thanks so much for sharing your story. It breaks my heart a little bit when I hear about the children of bilingual parents not being raised with both languages, but it’s an inspiration to hear that you later took advantage of the opportunity to learn later on. I’m so happy you liked Episode 3! That’s a fun one. Kansas Kate helped me a ton with the subtitles those first few weeks! I’m forever in her debt. But please take your time with the other episodes, I don’t want you to get burned out too quick! It’s a bit much for one sitting, I’d say. That’s wonderful that your kids go to language immersion school. I spent one summer working as a Spanish counselor at an immersion camp called Concordia Language Villages. Are you familiar with it? They have a wonderful German camp as well: I hope you had a great weekend!

      • June 24, 2013 16:59

        I am bookmarking your website and taking it bit by bit. I did pick a later episode too, just to contrast the change in your language fluency – the one with you playing Bach – love the oboe! I wish I had video from my year in Germany. Such a great idea.

        Yes, I agree, it is a waste to not take advantage of a bilingual household and raise bilingual children. Maybe times have changed now there is more coparenting, but there is something to be said about the “mother tongue.” I knew quite a few bilingual families growing up and the bilingual thing only really worked when the mother spoke the second language. I’m sad I didn’t grow up bilingual, but am happy at least I did get enough exposure that according to Germans, my accent is very good – not quite native, but not overtly foreign either. Of course, what I really could have used is the innate knowledge of die/der/das, which I tried to accomodate by making things plural as much as possible or speaking quickly so the article wasn’t so obviously wrong when I guessed.

        I am familiar with the Concordia Villages. I actually went to “German Camp” for a few weeks in both 4th and 5th grade. My older son just went for the first time last year and loved it. He is in Spanish Immersion school, but was interested in going to the German camp, and picked up a surprising amount in that short time.

  14. Frank permalink
    June 21, 2013 20:53

    Gute Idee! Lustig anzuschauen 🙂 Warst du mit dem CBYX in Deutschland? Und kommst du wieder zurück?

    • June 23, 2013 22:06

      Hallo Frank! Cool, dass es dir gefallen hat! Yep, ich war mit CBYX unterwegs. Und ich bin eigentlich schon wieder hier! Wohl in Köln. Wo bist du?

      • Tine permalink
        June 23, 2013 23:23

        Hey! Gute Entscheidung wieder nach Köln zu kommen!! Warst du denn jetzt schon oben im Dom? Ich lebe seit vielen Jahren in Köln und hab das noch nicht geschafft.
        Dein kleines, feines Projekt hier ist wirklich beeindruckend und motivierend! Danke fürs Teilen deiner Erfahrungen!!

      • June 24, 2013 00:14

        Haha ich bin auch noch nicht hochgegangen! Irgendwie, irgendwann.

        Es freut mich so sehr, dass es dir gefällt!

  15. June 21, 2013 21:32

    Mickey, I LOVE this site, I love the idea and the way you filmed yourself. Herzlichen Glückwunsch dass du deine Sache so gut durchgezogen und Deutsch gelernt hast. Ich bin selbst Deutschlehrerin (privat) hier in England und ich schreibe einen Blog übers Sprachenlernen. Du findest ihn auf, und ich hab viele Leser in der ganzen Welt.

    Would you, by ANY chance at all, be interested in chatting to me online and me posting it on the blog? I want to share this SOO much.

    • June 23, 2013 22:53

      Hi there! I apologize, I was certain I’d already replied to your comment, but apparently it didn’t go through! Your site seems great, and yes of course I’d be interested in chatting! How do you see that going down? On skype?

  16. Ann-Kathrin permalink
    June 22, 2013 12:39

    Mickey, you are awesome. I just discovered your blog and I love it! I spent an exchange year in the U.S. and now I am a little mad at myself that I didn’t document my English-learning process that way. 😉
    My boyfriend is from Wisconsin and just started to learn German. I will definitely make him watch your blog because I am sure it will keep him motivated.
    Ganz, ganz liebe Grüße aus “Schland”, lieber Mickey!

    • June 23, 2013 23:07

      Hi Ann-Kathrin,

      thanks for the note! I think you’re awesome too. Don’t be mad at yourself! You should totally get your boyfriend to do what I did though! You always learn faster when people are watching, I think. I actually worked in Wisconsin for a couple years, in a town called Somerset! Where did you spend your exchange year?

  17. June 22, 2013 16:07

    Hi Mickey, thank you for your project. Great idea. I m very very impressed, not only about your german but mostly about that you ve lost ( or may be never had ) the fear of making mistakes. Not only that you ve said all the ( now ) funny things, no , you share them with the rest of the world. I m happy that not everbody witnessed when mixed up ” obstacle ” with
    ” testicle” I would like to invite you to our concert in Hamburg or Köln in December and i hope that you enjoy yourself watching us on stage, making mistakes…
    Björn Beton from Fettes Brot ( pls contact us on facebook for the guestlist )

    • June 23, 2013 22:15

      Hello Björn! I’m so glad you like the project! It feels good to finally have it out there. And it’s cool what you say about making mistakes… that really is the only thing you need to learn a language! To be okay with looking stupid, haha… I guess you could say that about pretty much anything you want to learn in life. I’m trying to picture your obstacle/testicle moment… I certainly hope you weren’t babysitting… “Oh Björn, thanks for taking care of the kids.” “Sure no problem Sheila!” (your neighbor’s name is Sheila). “What are you thinking of doing with them?” “Well I know they take better naps after they get some exercise, so I was thinking of taking them to the _______ course.” “*slams door*” It wasn’t like that, was it?

      I will definitely take you up on your offer for the concert, as long as I’m in Germany! That’s so generous of you! We’ll be in touch.

      Mickey Mangan from Jet W. Lee

  18. June 22, 2013 16:11

    Oh… Now i m thinking about doing a webseries about, me watching american Tv shows.
    Could be a little bit boring but thats how i improve my english skils. 🙂

  19. June 22, 2013 17:22

    I’m moving to Germany in two weeks, just now trying to pack in some of the language but as I learned the last time I lived abroad, language comes with time and time put in. But, this time I won’t be illiterate in the language around me! Thanks for making this. Best, Jill.

    • June 23, 2013 22:17

      Wise words, Jill. Might I suggest carrying around a tiny book and tiny pen and writing down every tiny thing you learn? It’s the only way to fly! I’m so happy you like the project!

  20. June 24, 2013 06:33

    Das ist ganz Toll! Now I learned that in Germany too. I love love love what this demonstrates. Ich muss jetzt mein Deutsch verbessern, weil ist schon zeit 13 jahre das ich in Deutschland war.


    • June 24, 2013 11:34

      Cool! I’m so glad you like it! Gut gemacht, dass du auch Deutsch gelernt hast! Ich hoffe, du kannst viele Übungsmöglichkeite noch finden! Keine Ahnung, ob das wirklich ein Wort ist oder nicht…

  21. June 25, 2013 09:46

    I freaking love this! Well done! I’m half German, half Danish, writing a blog for Danish people to learn about German culture, language, etc. (because frankly, German/y doesn’t have the best of reputations among Danish people). But in order to read the blog, you will have to…well learn Danish. So move over here for a year, and let’s see what you have got!

    • June 25, 2013 09:49

      I would totally love to.

      I’m so happy you like the project! I hope someday I’ll get to be a fan of yours.

      • June 25, 2013 09:53

        Can’t wait. Write me and I’ll gladly be one of your guests.

        “Tak fordi du ville være min gæst!”

  22. Willie permalink
    June 26, 2013 23:57

    Hello Mickey,

    I recently stumbled upon the Lernen To Talk Show website and have been thoroughly enjoying the fruits of your project! I’ve been watching the episodes in order, and I’m just now getting ready to view episode 35 with the Dream Team (Hello to Annalaura and Kansas Kate too).

    Although I don’t speak “auf Deutsch”, I did study it in high school (many years ago) and I especially remember the difficulties I had in grasping the verb-at-the-end sentence structure, and of course never knowing for certain the proper gender for nouns (das? die? der?). It’s fun watching you work through this and quite impressive to see your improvements over the weeks.

    I remember my German teacher, Herr Kohler (we called him ‘hair curler’) frequently saying “also” or “alzo” when he spoke to the class, and I noticed you sometimes say this too . . . what does it mean?

    I just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks for sharing your endeavor via these videos and tell you how much I admire your creativity and dedication. Cheers!

    • June 27, 2013 15:21

      Hi Willie,

      Your story made me so happy to read! I cracked up at the “Hair Curler” story. Funny that I reminded you of him by saying “also”… that basically means the same thing as when we say “so!” in English. As in, “so anyway, what was I talking about?” Also crazily enough, I got your comment while I was sitting down with Annalaura in the very same room where we filmed the Dream Team episode! She was happy to hear you said hi, and she says “hi” back. I’m back in Germany at the moment, so it’s super surreal to be getting this feedback while I’m here where it all went down! Thanks so much for the note, and enjoy the rest of the show!


  23. June 27, 2013 14:26

    Hallo, Mickey! Seit August letzte Jahr lerne ich Deutsch und ich werde bald nach Deutschland umzeigen. Also… ich eröffnete vor kurzdem ein Blog, deshalb kann ich mehr auf Deutsch schreiben. Heute treffe ich dein Blog an und ach, was für eine gute Seite! Ich war immer Bange mit Deutschen auf Deutsch sprechen, weil ich kein Vertrauen habe. Und es ist klar, dass du kein Angst hat, mit Deutschen auf Deutsch sprechen. Sehr sehr ‘cool’! Danke dir für die Motivation!!

    • June 27, 2013 15:18

      Hi there! Es freut mich sehr, dass du Motivation im Projekt gefunden hast! Das war genau mein Ziel. Ich werde dein Blog auf jeden Fall out-checken! Ganz viel Erfolg wünsche ich dir, mit deiner sprachen-Reise!

  24. Beni permalink
    July 1, 2013 12:34

    Did you ever watch “Die Sendung mit der Maus” on ARD while staying in Germany? Bc the host Ralf Caspers seems to be your lookalike:
    Anyway, great Job, Mickey, you’re such a rolemodel.

    • July 1, 2013 13:23

      Haha you know, you’re not the first to tell me that… My guest from Episode 18 introduced me to Wissen Macht Ah and told me the exact same thing. I actually met him last week! Super nice guy. Thank you so much for the comment Beni!

      • Beni permalink
        July 2, 2013 21:39

        Nicht im Ernst! How cool is that? Did you take part in a show or something? Das muss ich sehen!

  25. Conor permalink
    July 1, 2013 14:56

    Having learned German for 6 years in school, and recently moved to Berlin, these videos are a very welcome, and fun way to refresh. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.

    Vielen dank fur ihre harte Arbeit. 🙂

    • July 2, 2013 11:01

      You are very welcome! Good luck in Berlin! What a freaking awesome place. I’m gonna go check out your music now!

  26. Carola permalink
    July 1, 2013 20:50

    Hey Mickey! Because I know taht you really read all the comments left here I thought I try this way to tell you that I finally managed to watch your show – It is such a great project you did there! Watching it makes me feel like I want to learn a new language too – It is so cool to communicate with people from other nations and it is so important that people learn that they don’t have to be shy with a new language. Just talk! Youre a really good role model in that case. I can’t wait for the next “lernen-to-talk”-Show! 😀
    Viele liebe Grüße!!(Carola)

    • July 2, 2013 11:02

      Carola, you magical person. I had no idea your English was so good! Ich freue mich auf unsere nächste Mitfahrbenteur!

  27. Merle permalink
    July 6, 2013 17:30

    Großartig!!!! Es war mir eine Freude dich heute im Zug kennen zu lernen. Ich werde deinen Blog weiter lesen, anschauen, begeistert zusehen und ich drücke dir für dein nächstes Projekt die Daumen. Hobbit und Harry lassen Grüßen. 🙂

    • August 2, 2013 11:38

      Hi Merle, es hat mich so sehr gefreut, dich kennenzulernen. Ich hoffe, du hattest eine wunderschöne Zeit mit Ana. Ich hoffe, wir können in Kontakt bleiben. Am besten schick mir hier einen Mail: Ich wünsche dir viel viel Glück und wir sehen uns hoffentlich in Osnabrück someday!!!

  28. July 11, 2013 19:19

    Wow! You, sir, must be commended for learning German in such a short time and having the guts to film it no less! I still cringe when thinking about most of my beginner level conversations… I’m just thankful no one was there to film them! From one former German-American government program participant to another: Keep up the good work! 🙂 -Chelsea

    • July 12, 2013 11:32

      Thank you very much Chelsea! I accept your commendation. I’ll hang it on my wall! I just took a glance at your site, and it looks super thorough! I’m looking forward to checking it out when I’m not in an internet cafe. Keep writing!!! (And stop cringing!)-Mickey

  29. Brigi permalink
    July 21, 2013 19:41

    Hey Mickey! Your videos are just purely awesome, I had so much fun during watching them. I had learnt German for almost 12 years and took a language exam as well, and I loved it, but since then I haven’t practised it and forgot a lot as well. But now I am inspired to learn again because one day hopefully I am going to live in Germany or Austria and work there. Sorry for the mistakes, English is a foreign language for me too. Regards from Hungary. – Brigi

    • July 24, 2013 10:39

      Dear Brigi,

      Thanks so much for the comment! Your English is really great, as far as I can tell. What’s it like in Hungary these days? It means a lot to me that you feel inspired by my videos. Best of luck finding a job in Germany or Austria! Do you know what sort of work you’d like to do there?

      Thanks again!
      Sincerely, Mickey.

  30. July 24, 2013 17:11

    46 capítulos?!
    Mejor empiezo a verlos pronto! 🙂

  31. July 27, 2013 06:13

    Thank you for this amazing series! I am about to embark on an 11 month trip to Germany(I will be staying in Rellingen a suburb of Hamburg) through the CBYX scholarship program and I basically know less German than you did on day one as my high school only offers Spanish, so attending a gymnasium taught fully in German is going to be quite interesting… Anyways, I just wanted to thank you for showing that it can be done, and giving me hope that maybe I am not totally insane for doing this!

    • August 1, 2013 17:30

      Hey Nick, you are very welcome! Please feel free to share it with the rest of your CBYX participants. I have full confidence that you’ll be able to leave Germany as fluent as I was after my year. You’re gonna love Hamburg! One of my favorite guests and good friends in Germany, Niklas, is from there. It’s a great place. And don’t worry, being totally insane isn’t always a bad thing. Keep in touch! Sincerely, Mickey.

  32. Norbert permalink
    August 1, 2013 16:02

    Hallo Mickey!
    Dein Video-Blog macht einen riesen Spaß! Danke!
    My Name is Norbert and I’m 52 y.o.
    I have seen the link to you in a german TV-guide, a few days ago.
    I’d leaned english (BE) in school, first in Realschule, later in Gymnasium (I suppose you know now about the german school-system), but I have to confess, it doesn’t succeed very much because of the lack of practicing in real life.
    It only begun to change into a better status in the early 2K-years by using the internet and chatting to people around the whole world using english as the lingua franca.
    Therefore, I’d made the experience, that learning by doing and to ask native speakers to feel free to correct mistakes is the best way to learn (no matter on the screen, or by talking real).
    You can be proud of yourself!
    I wish, my daughter would chat around the world also (it’s the 2nd best way, if you can’t meet the people eye to eye), to extend her knowledge of the english language.

    I’m really curious to follow your clips up to the end. Actually I have seen #8.



    • August 1, 2013 17:28

      Hallo Norbert! Es freut mich so sehr, dein Nachricht zu lesen. Your English seems really great to me! It really is amazing how the internet enables people to connect in ways I doubt anybody expected it would during its development. Where are you from in Germany? I wish your daughter best of luck with Englisch-lernen! Viel Spass mit dem Rest der Serien, ich freue mich immer auf Feedback! Grüsse aus Budenheim, Mickey.

      • Norbert permalink
        August 1, 2013 18:20

        Hi Mickey,
        I prefer to communicate in English further on, but if you like, you can answer in German…
        Let’s make a deal: you correct me, I correct you! 😉
        Actually my vocabulary is not as poor, as 10 or 15 years ago. But I suppose my grammar, especially the grammatic times, is still weak.
        I also speak Netherlands nearly as good as English, because I live with my family near Aachen, close to the Netherlands (so I know what “Karneval” means LOL).
        I know a bit Spanish and a bit French, but it’s always the same problem: lack of practicing! 😦
        My (step-) daughter Jennifer is 16 y.o. now and she intends to spend a year in USA after her “Abitur”… but in my opinion, she needs to extend her English much more. Time will show!

        Yes, I’m sure, I will have much fun by watching your series and I must confess, I have made to huuuge steps to your “Rosenmontag”- and to your “Gymnasium”-Clip.
        I love it!
        Later, I will continue with Clip #9.


      • August 2, 2013 11:00

        Hi Norbert! Real quick: “tenses” not “times”. “Dutch” is how we refer to the language of the Netherlands. But other than that your English is awesome! Thank you so much for your comments, I really do appreciate them! I apologize if I’m not always able to reply to them. I saw your movie recommendation list! I will check them out! Please continue commenting!

    • Alcazar permalink
      August 1, 2013 20:18

      @Norbert: Meinst Du zufällig die -> TV Spielfilm 🙂 ?
      @Mickey: Budenheim near Mainz? Are you working for the ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) now? 😛 Me thought you went back to CDC in Radolfzell to teach others to speak German or that you opened branches of Dr. Box …

      • August 2, 2013 10:57

        Yep! Budenheim near Mainz. Unfortunately I’m not working for ZDF now… maybe someday! But you’re right, my real dream is to open up a new franchise of Dr. Box. I love Dr. Box!!!

  33. Alcazar permalink
    August 1, 2013 20:28

    Warning: This post may contain flattery…
    As said above, found your wonderful site in a TV Guide. Its really an amazing and great show, you disproved a famous author (sorry forgot his name 😦 ) who said once (translated): “Du kannst lernen – Englisch: in 30 Tagen, Französisch: in 30 Monaten und Deutsch: in 30 Jahren”. Me speaks your language – English – for about 25 years, but me thinks that me speaks it about half as good as you speak german…
    Aber eins musst Du uns erklären: In einigen Deiner Shows trägst Du eine Brille und in anderen wiederum nicht. Warum? Mußt Du nicht immer eine Brille tragen?

    • August 2, 2013 10:56

      Haha thank you so much for chiming in! I am so happy to hear you like it. Your English sounds pretty great to me though… Um deine Frage zu beantworten, ab und zu trage ich Kontaktlinsen, eine spannende neue Entwicklung aus Amerika, haha… Ich glaube, Videos sind spannender wenn ich immer unterschiedlich aussehe. Findest du nicht? Wo bist du in Deutschland? Sincerely, Mickey.

      • Alcazar permalink
        August 2, 2013 15:34

        Me always wears glasses, for over 30 years now. Contact lenses (?) are nothing to get used with.
        Even you speak and write a real good german, may me suggest you to purchase our dictionary “Duden – Die deutsche Rechtschreibung” (if you didnt already)? It can help you for further progress and even learning new words 😛
        Me was born in Erfurt, Thüringen – but lives in a small town about 35 km north of it. You should visit Thüringen when you have time for it: Erfurt, Weimar, Gotha, Rennsteig, Wartburg, Kyffhäuser and try our famous Rostbratwurst and Thüringer Klöße 😉
        Schönes Wochenende nach Budenheim.

  34. Norbert permalink
    August 2, 2013 18:56

    @ Alcazar:
    Neee, ich hab’s aus der TV-Today. (Aber da die wohl beide zum gleichen Verlag gehören sind die Tips wohl in beiden Zeitschriften ähnlich.)

    I’m glad (or: proud?) about, you think, my english is quite good enough to use it in real life.
    And I’m not to shy to HAVE used it since years… but I’m still very critical by it’s status.
    You only can learn by making mistakes and being corrected – but: you have to overwhelm the fear of making mistakes.
    And this is what people can learn from your “TLTT”-show: a mistake is one step to perfection.
    Btw: thx for “tenses”.
    Nice; from time to time I will give you some more examples for german outstanding cinema- or TV-movies (NO SOAPS!)… look at IMDB and/or Wikipedia for “Fitzcarraldo” by Werner Herzog, Germany 1982. (For German movies, you can also use the german versions of IMDB and Wikipedia… it might be more useful.)


    • Norbert permalink
      August 2, 2013 19:04

      Follow Alcazar “invitation” to Thüringen… it’s a beautiful part of Germany!
      I’m glad our country is re-united and we here in “the wild west” have close friends in “the far east”, in Thuringia and Saxony and we won’t miss them!
      Btw: I was was born exactly one month before the raising of the Berlin Wall.


  35. theglutenfreetraveler permalink
    August 17, 2013 19:40

    Yeah Mickey!

  36. Alex permalink
    September 12, 2013 17:43

    Hi there,

    I am German and teach English at a High School. In addition, I also teach summer courses (during high School Holidays) in Konstanz at the Internationale Bodenseehochschule: Deutsch als Fremdsprache für Studenten. And during the course I lived in Wahlwies 🙂 Deine Videos haben mich sehr an meine Kursteilnehmer erinnert. Ich finde es toll, dass du und so viele andere diese wunderschöne, aber auch verdammt komplizierte Sprache lernen möchtet! Englisch zu unterrichten ist viel einfacher, als Deutsch zu unterrichten, denn da gibt es nicht so viele Ausnahmen… Aber lasst euch nicht entmutigen, Sprachen lernen lohnt sich.
    Hurray for languages – they are what bring people together!

    • September 21, 2013 19:05

      Hi Alex! Danke, dass du geschrieben hast! Wie cool, dass du auch in Wahlwies gewohnt hast! Ich vermisse meinen kleinen Zug… Der gute Seehäsle! Woher kommst du ursprünglich? I dream of someday teaching at a school on the Bodensee… Feel free to share the videos with your students! My hope is that they will inspire new language learners. Schönes Wochenende wünsche ich dir!!! Liebe Grüße aus Pennsylvania, Mickey.

  37. alcazar permalink
    September 14, 2013 21:03

    The Oktoberfest is starting next saturday, are your going there Mickey? But first, get a Lederhosen to wear 😛

  38. Mikey H permalink
    October 4, 2013 20:42

    Mickey! You are my inspiration!
    My girlfriend currently lives in Germany, and we discussed my relocation to her country. I said I could never learn the language, but she sent me a link to your show to prove that learning German is possible in a full immersion environment. I was so skeptical about learning a new language, especially in my 20’s, but you are living proof it is possible. I completed the full Rosetta Stone course to get an idea for German, and next year, I will move there with confidence that I can become fluent. I have already been to Germany 5 times, and your videos remind me of many of the places I have seen and loved (especially Koeln). It would be great if you could offer me advice (PM email) as I venture into the new land. I cannot thank you enough Mickey!

  39. January 2, 2014 11:50

    I am a German teacher in Colorado. I really love your enthusiasm and your attitude . . . especially how you are okay with making mistakes along the way. I am curious about the program and how many class hours you took as well as how the lessons were taught. I will put a link on my school web page to your site.
    On a slightly unrelated note, I am working on the possibility of building a series of German language instruction that is based solely on comprehensible input rather than a grammar-based approach. My idea is to focus on one word or phrase and use that phrase in a variety of contexts. That way students can click on the vocabulary they want to focus on. I envision hundreds of short, simple videos like these if I could get a sponsor.
    Here is a rough website to show the general idea:

    • January 3, 2014 23:47

      Hi Michael! Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you like the project. Yours seems really cool, too! I’ll shoot you an email.

  40. Slavko permalink
    January 4, 2014 03:12

    Very interesting 🙂 I like the comments below the video, they are really helpful. And the whole show is funny as well, which makes it more appealing to watch. Nice 😉

  41. Alcazar permalink
    January 6, 2014 13:48

    Hello again Mickey und ein frohes, gesundes neues Jahr 2014 🙂
    Read your new “site” on, but cant seem to comment there. Do you have to be registered on this site?
    You did a great job with your blogs there, even the one written in english and german alternating. Guess, it wasnt easy to do this.
    About Udo Jürgens, yes he is one of the greatest german speaking musicians.
    Even christmas is over, you should listen to his christmas song (look on YT -> ,only the first 5 min are important), hopefully you understand it, since its an mix of english and german.
    Have a nice week.

  42. Dave permalink
    February 9, 2014 05:56

    Great stuff! I’m going to try and stagger these videos throughout my own learning experience, for inspiration.

  43. Andrea permalink
    March 2, 2014 00:44

    i’m really enjoying this series! where are episodes 47 and 48 though? 😦

  44. Kathleen Throne permalink
    April 3, 2014 10:22

    Hi there, just wanted to let you know that we are watching the Lernen to Talk show each week in my German 1 and 2 classes, where I teach German in Oregon. We love it! Thanks for posting them.

    • April 13, 2014 22:14

      Wow! That’s awesome to hear. I’ve always wanted to go to Oregon! I’m glad that at least a video form of me has made it there…

    • April 16, 2014 09:55

      Hi Kathleen, it would be great to hear more about this, do you just watch it for motivation or really build exercises around it?

  45. April 5, 2014 14:34

    WOW This is absolutely fantastic!!!

  46. Hillel permalink
    April 22, 2014 06:25

    Hallo Mickey, es freut mich dass du mit uns dieses Projekt geteilt hast. Gestern ich habe gedacht, es waere schoen wenn ich meinen Fortschritt mit einander Mensch vergleichen kann. Wie hast du Deutsch gelernt? Ich gehe jeden Tag zu meinem Deutschkurs in Goettingen. Ich habe viel gelernt, aber mein Deutsch ist noch nicht so fluessing. Heute, ich fange mit etwas neues an. Ich werde heute zu Bibliothek gehen und ich werde mit anderen Auslaender reden. Nach fuenf Monate habe ich etwas gelernt, aber ich habe kein Geduld, weil mein ganzes Leben in Deutschland ist. In ein paar Monate muss ich Arbeit finden, oder Universitaet zu anfangen. Ich hoffe dass, alles gut bei dir ist!

    Many tired greetings while on my fifth month learning German,

  47. Liliana permalink
    September 18, 2014 17:44

    But what was exactly your method for learning the language? I mean did you attend a German course? and if so, how many days per week? did you learn new words everyday? how many approximately?

  48. October 31, 2015 13:16

    You rock man! You are inspirational. I just join a challenge called Add1Challenge to hold a 15-minute conversation with a native speaker in French after 90 days. It’s my 6th day: Keep moving forward


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