In this week’s German lesson, I decided to do a listening comprehension and reading comprehension exercise all in one. I have long been a fan of Anglika Bohn’s books. “Der silberne Kugelschreiber” is still one of my favorites. I recently started reading some of her books with my daughter, Sophia. The video above shows a sample reading of the first page of “Nachbar Nr. 5“, a book aimed at the A1 level of German. I have also included the text of the page below, so you can read along.
After the text from the book, I have included my tips for how to get the most out of your reading of this book and any reading in German.
Nachbar Nr. 5: Page 7
|“Hey!” Finn sieht seinen besten Freund Oliver an und schließt sein Buch. Heute ist Samstag und sie sitzen zusammen an einem Tisch in der Universitätsbibliothek.||“Hey!” Finn looks at his best friend Oliver and closes his book. Today is Saturday and they are sitting together at a table in the university library.|
|“Geht es dir gut?”, fragt Finn.||“Are you ok?” Finn asks.|
|Olivers Augen sind ganz rot. Er trinkt ein bisschen Wasser aus seiner Plastikflasche. “Ich habe Kopfschmerzen”, sagt er. “In diesem Buch gibt es nur Zahlen – zu viele Zahlen!”||Oliver’s eyes are completely red. He drinks some water from his plastic bottle. “I have a headache,” he says. “In this book there are only numbers – too many numbers.”|
|“Nicht so laut”, sagt ein Student an einem anderen Tisch. Das hier ist eine Bibliothek und keine Bar.”||“Not so loud,” says a student at another table. This is a library and not a bar.|
|“Entschuldigung”, sagt Finn leise. Er schaut sich um. Auch aum Samstag ist die Bibliothek voll. Einige Studenten suchen Bücher in den Regalen. Einge sitzen an den Tischen, lesen Texte, machen Notizen oder arbeiten an ihren Laptops.||“Sorry,” Finn says quietly. He looks around. Even on Saturday the library is full. Some students are looking for books on/in the shelves. Some are sitting at the tables, reading texts, taking notes or working on their laptops.|
|“Warum studieren wir eigentlich Mathematik?”, fragt Oliver. “Warum nicht Sprachen? Oder Philosophie? Da gibt es keine Zahlen. Nur Wörter.”||“Why are we studying math anyway?” Oliver asks. “Why not languages? Or philosopy? Then there are no numbers. Just words.”|
|“Das ist eine interessante Frage eine Woche vor dem letzten Examen”, sagt Finn.||“That is an interesting question one week before the last exam.” Finn says.|
|Oliver schließt die Augen. “Wir sitzen schon seit einem Monat fast jeden Tag in dieser Bibliothek. Ich brache eine Pause. Was denkst du über ein Jahr in Australien?”||Oliver closes his eyes. “We have been sitting in this library every day for almost a month. I need a break. What do you think about a year in Australia?”|
How to read in German for the best results
As I have mentioned over and over again, I love Angelika Bohn’s books. They are entertaining to read and they really hit the nail on the head with regards to learning German. Here are my tips for getting the most out of her books and any book you read in German.
Reading Tip #1: Don’t Stop
When you read anything in German, don’t stop when you find a word you don’t know. It is better to power through and keep reading. Often times you can figure out what the word means through context and save yourself the time of looking it up. Every time you stop to look up a word, you are impeding your reading and discouraging yourself from continuing. When you stop too often, you will find yourself being less and less motivated to read more.
To facilitate this a bit more, I would recommend reading through the vocabulary list at the bottom of each page. Throughout each chapter there are certain words that are written in bold. These words are then listed at the end of each page. You can read through that list before starting to read the chapter to help familiarize yourself with tricky vocab before you read it in the story. In other German readers, you can find a list of vocabulary either at the end of the chapter or at the end of the book.
Reading Tip #2: Check out the Preview
Instead of just jumping straight into the reading, skim the pages of the chapter. Make a list of words you don’t know. Then look up the words before you start reading, so you don’t have to stop later (see tip #1). I would only do this one chapter at a time, as you may learn words along the way and therefore not need to look them up in later chapters.
Reading Tip #3: Practice the Vocabulary
Reading a word once won’t make it so you remember it well enough to use on your own. This means that you need to practice the vocabulary as you learn it. If you are making a list in tip #2, you should make that list into flashcards. I like to include the full sentence of how it was used, so I can see the word in context as well as learn the definition.
Once you have gotten used to the words a bit, you can start trying out your own sentences with the words you learned. Start by writing them down. Then gradually try using the word appropriately in everyday activities. Let’s say you just learned the word “fahren”. Whenever you drive anywhere, you can think of the word and make a short sentence using it, so you can practice anywhere, anytime.
Reading Tip #4: Use the Free Resources
All of Angelika Bohn’s books come with free resources that are available on her website here. They include comprehension questions, vocabulary practice and even grammar lessons. The extra materials that go with each book are fantastic. Since each book is targeted at a particular level, the exercises are also targeted at that level. If I had my way, I would be using these books in my German classes and integrating the extra materials into the curriculum. If you are a German teacher and have the flexibility to do so, you should definitely consider it.
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This post and video are not sponsored, however, I did receive all of the books I own by Angelika Bohn for free from the author herself. If you consider that to be compensation for the post, then you can consider this post sponsored. I always keep my reviews unbiased, so you can be assured that my opinion is not affected by this. I just thought you should know in the interest of transparency.