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Showing posts from March, 2020

Out of my league

“Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung”. It means ‘certificate of incapacity to work’ and is given by your doctor in Germany when you’re too sick to go to work. Not exactly A1 level material, but there it sat in my beginner’s coursebook alongside other helpful words connected to the topic of illness. Its existence on the page was not only a source of amusement, but proof that the vocabulary we need for real life doesn’t always correspond to our level. The outbreak of the new coronavirus is a case in point . * Ausbruch, Hamsterkauf, dicht machen . Before last week I hadn’t heard of these terms. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a perfect opportunity to increase my German vocabulary (I’d rather not know the words and the virus not exist), but I do find it interesting to note how different it is to learn vocabulary through exposure to the language around us compared to using books on a language course. For example, in real life you’re unlikely to wait until you’ve covered t