What is a Stammtisch & How Can You Use It to Improve Your German Skills?

If you are looking for a place to practice learning German with native speakers and other German learners, you may want to see if your city has a Stammtisch. What is a Stammtisch? What do you do at a Stammtisch? All of that and a whole lot more is explained in this interview with members of the longest continuously-operating St. Louis Stammtisch.

If you are in the St. Louis area and want to learn German or would like to find a German school in your area, click here.

If you want to know why St. Louis is so German, click here to see the interview with the German American Committee of St. Louis.

What is a Stammtisch & How Can You Use It to Improve Your German Skills?

If you are really wanting to put your German learning on track, consider joining Herr Antrim’s Deutschlerner Club! For just $14.99 per month you will get access to his full A1 and A2 courses plus new materials as he creates them. You will go from knowing zero German to being able to have a short conversation in a short few weeks. Before you know it, you will be conversational in German on a variety of important topics, all while mastering German grammar.

What is a Stammtisch? What do you do there?

Jim: Well, the Stammtisch is a place where the locals get together. In every German restaurant bar, you have a Stammtisch. It’s reserved for the locals and the locals get together and they solve the world’s problems by drinking beer, discussing various issues. We have done our best to replicate that in St. Louis. We get together twice a month at a restaurant tavern. We have some beer, we solve the world’s problems by speaking German and practicing our German.

Walt: Best definition I’ve seen of Stammtisch is the tribal table. That would probably be the … It’s, “This is our tribe,” or, “This is …”

Herr Antrim: All the wise men and women from the community come together and figure out what needs figuring out.

Herr Antrim’s Stammtisch Experience

Herr Antrim: Whenever I was in college, we had our own Stammtisch. We didn’t go to a local bar because some of the students weren’t old enough yet. We would go to a coffee shop instead. We would go there every Friday night, like clockwork, we’d go in there at the same time. We got our own little table in the back that the coffee shop knew we were coming. Sometimes it would be just three or four of us. Sometimes it would be up to 10 or 15 of us. It just varied on the week. We would just discuss whatever it is that came up.

It was probably one of the most influential ways of teaching me German while I was learning in college is going to Stammtisch on a regular basis and just speaking German. My first couple of times I went out there, I didn’t speak all that much German. I would just sit and listen. We had two of the German professors were there. We had one of the philosophy professors was a pretty regular one there, and then several of the upperclassmen and students and stuff. It was just a fantastic experience.

That’s why I’m sitting down with you guys is to kind of get the other end of it. You don’t have to be at the university level. You can go and find one of these Stammtisch in your local town and get an opportunity to speak German with other people. Even if you don’t speak, just sit around and listen. You’ll absorb a lot more than you think.

How long has this St. Louis Stammtisch group been meeting? Who started it?

Jim: Our little Stammtisch traces itself to at least 1999 when it was kind of formally organized. As far as we know, it’s the longest continuously operational Stammtisch in St. Louis. There’s a number of other Stammtisches that get together. We can trace ourselves back to 1999. Originally met at Schlafly, the Tap Room. Then over the years, it has moved from various locations. I.

Carl: I think it was originally founded by Tom Schlafly. They were the owners of Schlafly’s Brauerei (Brewery).

Sylvia: I’ve been here like a about a year, two years. It wasn’t me that first found out about Stammtisch. It was my husband. He prods me to expand my German. It helps me in many ways. He said, “Oh, did you know that there was a Stammtisch?” And I said, “Well.” So he went and then he says, “Well, you should come along.” He really introduced me to Stammtisch. I knew I was going to be visiting my cousins in Germany. I thought, “You know, I need to brush up on my German.” And vocabulary is what I was really interested in, because there’s words that I …

Sylvia’s German Learning Story

As a child that I learned German, that actually German was my first language before I knew any English, because my mother was a war bride. She came over to US. She was an only child and conditions after World War II in Frankfurt, where she was born. My Oma and Opa, grandparents, were there. It was really bad. She said, “Well, we need to bring them over here because they’re going to starve to death or …” It was bombed out in Frankfurt and so living conditions were very bad.

They came here and my parents started working and then my brother, older brother and I, were born. Who took care of us? Oma and Opa. My dad learned German at NC State when he was getting his degree. Of course my mom … The whole house spoke German when I was little. When my brother went to first grade, he did very poorly because he hardly knew any English. They realized they’d better teach us some English in North Carolina.

Herr Antrim: That might come in handy.

Sylvia: Yeah. It’s just … When you learn it that young, it never leaves you. It is always there. Every other summer, when I was a kid up until I was 14, we would visit my grandparents, my Oma and Opa in Germany, in the little village. We’d have the three full months, three full months, of running around in the town. It only had one Hauptstraße, one main street. We’d just run around with our cousins and had a ball. It took two weeks from when we went to Germany to start thinking in German. (Click here to teach yourself how to think in German!) Then when we came back for school, then it took another two weeks to start thinking in English. There was a two week lag there of actually forming the sentences in German, in your brain.

How did the St. Louis Stammtisch members learn German?

Carl’s German Learning Story

Carl: Well, I sort of grew up with the German language. My dad was a native of Germany. My mother was born in Hermann, Missouri. Her first language was German and she never learned English until she went to school.

Herr Antrim: Hermann, Missouri is the one that is the little Germany of Missouri, right?

Carl: Yes.

Click here for more information about the Deutschheim State Historic Site in Hermann, Missouri.

Carl: When I was a kid and spent some time on the farm here, everybody spoke German, all the neighbors, all farmers, because German was also their native language. They even learned German before they went to school. When they got together and with each other, it was all German, except of course, when they went to town and bought groceries and stuff like that. But among each other, they all spoke German.

As a kid, my parents had company many of them were German people, and they also spoke German. I developed the ability to understand anything and everything, since I shouldn’t understand. But I never tried to speak it myself. I first got interested in speaking it when I took German in Wash U.

Jim’s German Learning Story

Jim: I was born in Zurich, Switzerland, which is a German-speaking part of Switzerland. They have their own unique dialect of German. I came to the States when I was eight years old and then promptly lost my German. Over the years, college, and I have attended the Saturday-morning German school here in St. Louis with Carl and some other folks. That was how I got acquainted with the Stammtisch, because like you, I wanted a place to get together to hear some German, and especially native speakers, and then to be able to practice it.

The first few times I came to the Stammtisch, I was basically sitting there just listening again because I was too intimidated to actually use the little German that I had at that time. But we have an interesting variety of people that … One of our members, he lived in Germany for a year or two doing Schwarzarbeit. He was working in a kitchen, getting paid under the table. He learned German there and he enjoyed the culture. No family relationships. Then we have some folks that just enjoy things german, love things that …

Native Speakers at Stammtisch

We always try to have a native speaker. Sometimes that’s hard to come by because you do … We are all basically good old Midwestern Americans. It is good … Americans. It is good to hear someone that was born and raised in Germany, that speaks good quality German and that correct us, because that’s part of it. If you’re a native speaker, you have the authorizations to correct the Stammtisch members.

Herr Antrim: Yeah. That was always helpful to get the little tweaks of, “Well, you should have used this word,” or, “It’s actually this.” And yeah, just-

Carl: Sprachgefühl.

Herr Antrim: Yeah. You figure it out really quickly to get that Sprachgefühl, the feeling for the language if you like. You hear it often enough that this is now the way that you need to say that. I’m pretty sure that’s the way I learned all of the genitive case. I don’t recall learning any of it in any particular class. I just remember sitting around in conversations and hearing S’s being thrown at the end of things. I was like, “Ah, okay, that makes sense.”

My problem then became whenever I got to teaching, I had problems explaining the grammar to people because they’re like, “Well, why is it this way?” I was like, “I don’t know. That’s the way they said it.” That’s why now my YouTube channel focuses so heavily on the grammar is because I needed someone to explain, “Well, why does it do that?” Well, so now I know. I figured those things out, but my students, a lot of the issues are nowadays that the kids don’t know what the English grammar is. I have to teach both of them. English is a Germanic language. You can tell that, if you start diving into the grammar a lot, you can tell that a lot of the things that we say, we don’t realize why we’re saying them, but it’s German is the reason we’re saying it that way.

Walt’s German Learning Story

Walt: My grandfather came over from Germany in 1911. I’m third generation. Never spoke to German around … he spoke German with my great-grandfather. I remember that. I just started taking it in high school. I ended up, I was the only student in the fourth year German class. Then I went on to college. I was afraid that I’d wake up one morning, horribly, and be stuck in German. Taking college German, I didn’t want to do that. I finagled getting into scientific German and struggled through that. Then after that was, I forgot years and years and years of doing it. What was it, about 2007, I guess is when I started back up with going to the German school here in St. Louis, Saturday morning school, and picking back up on it.

Really probably, I guess for the first year that I was with you guys, it was at least the first year, probably two years or longer. It just me sitting there-

Jim: Looking good.

Walt: Yeah. Looking good and dapper. Don’t forget dapper. But looking good and just trying to listen to what Carl said and listening to Jim’s Swedish … or Swedish, Swiss lilt to his voice. Then definitely Regina and Pete, listening to them talk. Like I said I just, I picked up a lot. I feel a lot more confident. Between that and the school, I feel a lot more confident.

What is the German School in St. Louis? What do they do?

Jim: It’s a well run school. Over the years, it’s become more and more professional. They’ve gone out of their way to select teachers that have a command of the language. It’s one thing to be a native speaker. It’s another thing to be able to teach it. They’ve done a real good job of finding people who are qualified teachers who then really speak an excellent German. I think we’ve had real good experiences at the Saturday morning German school.

Carl: They’ve all been native speakers. But I think the exception is maybe at the A1 level, you might have some non-native speakers there. But the rest of them are German.

Walt: Even at the A1 level, we had fun. It helped encourage what I had already known. I could tell right away that, “Okay. A1 is a little bit below me. Then I went to A2. I was like, “Okay, I’m probably okay here.” I ended up spending two or three years at A2. Then I ended up spending another probably four years at B1.

Herr Antrim: The difference between where A2 is and where C1 is, that gap in between for the Bs is just a huge jump of how much knowledge is in there. I can understand spending four years at the B1 level, especially if you’re only going on a Saturday for one day a week to go learn. That’s a lot to overtake because A1, you could probably do in three months on Saturdays. But if you’re doing A2, it’s going to take you about twice as long. It doubles almost every time that you go along to another letter.

Walt: Carl’s in C1. Like I said, I got kind of … it was like, “Okay, do you want to go back to B1? Or you want to go to C1?” I thought, “Well, I guess I’ll try C1. I think he’d probably tell you that I was probably struggling in it.

Carl: Well, it’s …

Walt: I mean, I could understand enough of what was going on. I was struggling.

Carl: The more you’re challenged, the more you learn.

Walt: Yeah, I agree. But I mean, I was struggling in it more so than a lot of the people that were there.

Why German proficiency exams are important

Jim: They do … One of the things that they are really good about with the kids is they get them to a level where they can test, the Goethe-Institut provides tests. They really are very focused on providing youngsters a good solid base so that they can take the tests and test out if they should go on to college. That, I think, is an important part of it.

Herr Antrim: If you want to go to a German university, for instance, you have to go pass one of those tests from the Goethe-Institut. I had to take it. I’m doing an online master’s at the moment. I had to pass that test because the university I’m attending is German. Even though I’m still in the States, they made me take the test. I haven’t taken a test since I was in college. That was a wake up call for how to prepare for one of those tests and yeah. If they’re pointing them in that direction, that’s definitely something that would be of interest for me at least.

Where does the St. Louis Stammtisch meet?

Jim: Actually, COVID has presented a real challenge to us. We continue to meet. We’ve been, actually, I think pretty flexible about continuing to get together. We’ve done the Zoom meetings.

Walt: When it was warmer, we were going to Carl’s place.

Jim: We’ve gone to people’s backyards, their patios. Here, with this winter, we’ve gone to a variety of places.

Sylvia: In our garage when the monsoon happened and it just poured.

Jim: I mean, part of the whole concept of Stammtisch is that we do get together on a regular basis so we practice our German. We want to maintain that. That provides that cohesion, I think, as a group.

It has been a challenge. We had met in the past at Schlafly’s, Square One Brewery

Walt: St. Louis Gasthaus.

Jim: The Gasthaus, the Stellar Hog, which is a barbecue place in South City. Here most recently we’ve been meeting at Bandanas. We’re in search of a central location that can accommodate us, because what we want is a place that has good food, inexpensive …

Sylvia: And beer.

Herr Antrim: Refreshments.

Walt: And kind of quiet.

Jim: Quiet, because typically we have 8, maybe 12, sometimes a few more people, depending on the occasion. The idea is that we do meet twice a month, first and third Sundays. Typically our webmaster, Walt, puts that on our website, Stammtisch St. Louis.

Walt: Occasionally we have Romeo days during the week.

Jim: We’ll do lunches together. We’ll just … some of our members will open up their homes for various functions. We have a Christmas party.

Diversity in the Stammtisch Group

Jim: You have friendships that develop. You have people that enjoy each other’s company and a common denominator is the German because we come from a variety of backgrounds and socioeconomic, religious, political. But the German language and culture holds us together.

Herr Antrim: That was one of the things that I appreciated about our group that got together at the university is the variety of people who we would have come into it, because we would always invite the community to come out as well. We would have some native speakers from the area who just come in and stop by Stammtisch one week and just say, “Hi.” We had an art teacher who would come in every once in a while and speak German. We had one of the French teachers who would come on as a regular basis and speak German with us.

But then you always get like the different political viewpoints and you get a lot of different viewpoints on various things. While I was there, they were building a new art building over at Eastern Illinois University. It’s ugly. There’s no way around it. It’s a terrible looking building. It cost them several million dollars to build. We got all of those political things coming in from different places. The art teacher loved it. He thought it was great. The philosophy teacher is like, “Well, why do we need this?” It was just, it was a good combination of different people from different viewpoints coming together and speaking German.

Respectful Discourse in German

Jim: I do think one of the nice things about our group is we are very respectful of one another because we do have just a broad range of views on a host of topics. It’s fun to engage on any number of things, whether it’s arts or politics or travel, it’s fun to get Carl’s view on whatever, or Sylvia’s perspective as an artist on something, or as a law enforcement officer, your perspective, Walt, on something.

Sylvia: I sum up our group as one word, Gemütlichkeit. I mean, we all want to be together. The desire to be together, to drink beer and have some decent food, that brings a bond together. We’re tied together in the German language. It keeps you wanting to come back. You’ve made these friendships and you want to further your friendship. It’s been a lot of fun.

Getting Help on Your German Grammar & Vocabulary from Native Speakers at Stammtisch

Walt: There’s another Stammtisch in St. Louis. It sounds like it’s very corrective when you talk and very insistent that you do talk. But there are other ones that if you want that type of structure that you are going to get when you speak, they will tell you when you’re wrong, which I can’t say it isn’t bad. It does help.

Herr Antrim: Our group would always correct us a little bit. If it was an egregious error, then you would say, “Hey, that’s not the right word for that.” Or, “You use the wrong tense and that messes up what you’re trying to say.” If the communication is hindered by what you’re saying, then we would correct you. But it was always from a point of view of, “We’re all here to improve.” It was never a, “Hey, how dare you? You did this wrong,” but more of a helpful community that way. I think that’s what a lot of the Stammtisch that I’ve been to, in either the St Louis area or at the university level, or even in Germany, they’re all there just to get together and have that community together. I just think it’s fantastic.

Jim: That’s the beauty that the Stammtisch. We don’t have that … We are pretty wide open. If you are interested in the German language, German culture, you are welcome.

Walt: And having Jim buy you beer.

Jim: I will buy the first beer.

What to do if your city doesn’t have a Stammtisch

Herr Antrim: You guys had mentioned that you did the Zoom meetings at least once or twice. I noticed that a lot of people are having trouble going out and socializing, getting that extra practice that they would need for German. It was one of the reasons that I wanted to do this video is that I know a lot of the Stammtisch have gone online and they now accept people from other places that can then join into their Zoom. I just think that was something that I should highlight, since you had mentioned it earlier, is that you don’t necessarily have to be in that town or in that city.

If you’re in a city that doesn’t necessarily have a Stammtisch already, or it doesn’t have one established one, you could establish your own, which would be a great way to do that. But the other way is that if I wanted to join, Philadelphia’s Stammtisch right now, they’re all remote, so I could. I can go to hang out with them.

Stammtisch Expands Your Circle of Friends

Herr Antrim: One of the things that the St Louis area has is that there is a huge population of German-speaking people here. If you, for some reason, didn’t like this group or that group or whatever group, you could form your own. You could have another one somewhere else and join somebody else. There’s just so much that you can draw from the community around here that it’s just something that I think everybody should try if they have the opportunity to.

Going out beyond your comfort zone too, I wouldn’t necessarily hang out with you guys on a normal basis. We’re not in the same social groups.

Walt: How dare you.

Herr Antrim: Yeah, I know. Right? We’re not all teachers in the same building and we wouldn’t have any interaction otherwise. To go out and seek those extra interactions with other people broadens even more of your German language skills. Because if I don’t agree with your politics, I now need to learn how to argue in German. It’s those opportunities at Stammtisch that you wouldn’t normally get.

I’m encouraging anyone who is watching this video (or reading this interview) to go out and check out a Stammtisch and search in your area. There’s a website called meetup.com. You can check out various ones. There’s one in the St. Louis area that has 800 people on there. Anybody in their group can start up their own Stammtisch and say, “I’m having one at this location. Anybody who wants to is welcome to join.” You guys have your website that’s out there. If you just go to meetup.com, search for Stammtisch, you’ll find one in your local area.

I found out that this is actually not just a uniquely American thing, either. Find these all over the world. There’s even some in Germany that are specific for German learners, which I found fascinating. I didn’t know that was a thing. I just thought it was the regulars’ table. But then I found out later that they actually do that for German learners, too.

Other German Language and Culture Events and Opportunities in the St. Louis Area

Sylvia: As Präsidentin, I’ve learned … I go to the Zoom at German-American culture society. They have a whole list of Vereine that are there. I’ve been learning a lot about what goes on in St. Louis of all the different German clubs that are there. If you really want to get into it, you can do so much in the German-American Cultural Society here in St. Louis. That would be a website to check too, because before COVID happened, there were dances. There’s all sorts of things happening. They are planning to have Maifest in Donau Park which is right in this area.

Walt: Four miles south of here.

Sylvia: Yeah. Four miles south of the here. It’s going to be Maifest on Saturday, Sunday. You can check out the website there and German dancing and German beer and they make the food, German food. They have got the Maipole and they’ve got that.

Herr Antrim: Maibaum

Sylvia: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Maibaum. It’s wonderful. I think that’s really what got us, my husband, into it is long before Stammtisch, long before, is out by us Donau Park, they would have Oktoberfest, the Maifest, the Summer Fest, all these things. “Oh, we could ..” It’s just four miles from our house. That’s how we really got into the German culture. My mother, who’s German, whenever she’d visit, we bring her there and she heard all these Germans speaking around her. She’s excited to speak German again. It was a wonderful experience, Donau Park and it was real close to us. That’s really the German culture coming out to the area and engaging people. I tell people at my Lutheran church, “Oh, there’s a Oktoberfest or Maifest. People from our church would come out and enjoy the dances and the music, the Oom-pah and Spitzbaum band.

High School German in the USA

Jim: I’m curious about German at the high school level. I keep on hearing that schools are dropping German as a foreign language. Is that true?

Herr Antrim: It’s true. My high school that I attended no longer has German. The school that I student taught at no longer has German. I know of at least those two.

Carl: Why is that?

Herr Antrim: There’s two reasons. One, Spanish is ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. We have … It’s more in your face that you need it. German, it doesn’t shout to you like, “Hey, you need this.” People push it off to the side. I compare it to art and music and all of those types of classes, where those are starting to get cut. Those kinds of cuts are happening all over the country. It’s one of those things where the government continues to tell us, “You have to have this whenever you graduate high school. Then you have to have this when you graduate high school. And then you have to have this when you graduate high school.” But foreign language is never on that list. If you take a language at all, it’s going to be Spanish. You’re only going to take the two years because that’s what the university wants. Then you’re going to drop out of Spanish in high school, too.

How to Save High School German Programs

Walt: Something that I think ought to be done in schools, and I know it’s kind of done too, for sports and that, but to get the people take German, additional art classes, additional this, additional that, is most parents don’t get off of work til five, o’clock. Pay teachers some extra money, some extra Geld, so that it’s like, “Okay, yes, we just had our German class with this guy. Now we can have an intensive German hour with this guy.” Or, “We didn’t have German with this guy in here because we’re working for our science degree on other stuff. We want to mainly hit the sciences. But we like German enough that yes, we’ll take it as an after hours.”

I would have taken some … I would have probably been more interested in high school. I liked learning. I liked being able to talk to the teacher. If the geography teacher and the history teacher would have said, “Hey, we got this extra hour, after hours things,” I would have been there.

Herr Antrim: In college, I did a program that they had at a local school where after school, there were fourth grade students, I think it was. We would go over once a week and teach them German, Spanish, and French. I would have my own little group and we would meet for six weeks in a row and meet with these same kids and teach them the basics of German and get them introduced to it and play some games with them and stuff like that. Even at the lower levels, if we could do that kind of thing and keep it at the forefront and keep it in the front of their minds, we might be able to save languages, not just German, but even the Spanish classes are dying.

Herr Antrim: They still have a relatively popular university courses. But I have heard from some of my professor friends that their programs are starting to dwindle out too. They spend a lot of time on recruitment for their courses and saying, “You want to go into business? Well, have you known that there are 500 companies here in the US that also are German companies? They will send you to Germany to train.” Or, “You need to be able understand how this machinery works in German.” If they knew that these things might actually come in handy, we might have a better chance of getting the students to take it at the high school level and then go on to college and take it more.

Our high school has dual credit classes for three and four. They earn eight credit hours for German 3, and then another eight credit hours for German 4 to the local community college. Then they can transfer that anywhere in Illinois. By the time they graduate high school, at our high school, anyway, they already have their first year worth of German out of the way. They can just go straight into your sophomore level German. That, at least for our program, is pushing a lot of students to the local universities and getting into their programs and definitely helping out their numbers.

German Exchange Programs and Their Impact on German Programs

Sylvia: My daughter, she’s 26 now, but she was in two years of German. The minute you were in that door, there was no English, it was immersive. There was no English allowed in that classroom. It was only German. You can only speak German in that classroom. She learned the most that year because you were forced to speak German. You couldn’t say any other word, but German.

Then they had … You could have a German exchange student. They had that program and either a year or two weeks. We did the two week one. But right up the street, the German teacher, he had Sarah who came and she spent a year there. She just walked down the hill and my daughter and her, the same age, and they’d go out and do things and it was really immersive and the exchange student thing really, really brought it home.

Herr Antrim: I started my own version of that. I did that exact program whenever I was in high school.

Sylvia: Exchange student?

Herr Antrim: Yeah. It’s called GAPP. It’s German American Partnership Program. The Germans would come over here and in the fall, and we would host them for three weeks. Then that next summer, we would go and visit them at their same house, same kids. We would do a one-to-one exchange like that. I did that in high school.

Herr Antrim with his host family in 2004
Herr Antrim with his host family in 2004

When I got to Edwardsville and started teaching, I was like, “You guys don’t have an exchange program here? A school this size? You surely would have something.” The answer was no.

I went to the administration. I said, “Okay, look, here’s what I want to do. I want to start this exchange program. Here’s all of the information you need to know.” I sent all of that out. It still took the administration another three years of me arguing with them and saying, “Look, I want this to happen. This needs to happen. We need to have this happen.” Three years straight. And finally, I would say in this for three years, we need this program to happen. It got approved the next year, to go and do this exchange program.

Sylvia: So you have one?

Herr Antrim: I now have one. We have a host family school over in the Black Forest, right around the Stuttgart area, a little South of there. Beautiful area, right along a river and a valley. It’s absolutely fantastic. We now have that program set up.

I have noticed a lot of students who are coming into my classes now, it’s like, “I heard my brother or my cousin, my … whoever was on the last trip. I want to host a kid. I want to go on the next trip.” That was the big movement for my high school whenever I was growing up. That’s what was driving our program.

German TV in the USA

Walt: Do you watch any German TV over here?

Herr Antrim: Not really? No. I watch the Tagesschau. I have a kitchen display that while I’m washing dishes or something, I’ll do that.

Walt: I pay like $12 a month, might be $13, $14 since they’re in Euros. For YOUTV.DE. I pick out stuff that I want to watch and download it and watch it. I’m watching a whole bunch of documentaries … I mean, it’s more documentaries. I can watch the 1960’s Batman, if I want to, Hogan’s Heroes in German. I’m picking out stuff Okay. I actually feel that listening to a documentary, because it’s not just you and me talking. You and me talking, if you’re putting that on video, if I don’t know what the conversation is starting in, I’m lost right away. But a documentary it’s like, “Oh, here’s a picture of a skull. It’s 5,000 years old.” Okay. I picked up 5,000 years old and he’s holding up a skull. The documentary is always talking over a picture that it describes. That way I’m picking up the German that goes along with it. I like watching the YOUTV. I think it’s worthwhile to pay for it.

Carl: What type of access is it, $12 a month give you?

Walt: You go in and you pick out whatever video. You can’t watch a video livestream.

Carl: Right. You have to record it.

Walt: You record it, but then you can watch. You can click on it. I can go in there right now. I got 30 things that I still haven’t watched yet. Click on it and I can watch, I can stream that video. It saves it for me for up to a year. I can stream that video or I can download it. I got a whole bunch of sitting on my Kindle tablet that I’ve downloaded. It’s on my Kindle tablet. Later tonight, when you all are gone, I’m going to go in there and I’m going to click on a video and it’s going to start out … What’s one of the ones I got? I think the History of Russia in German. I mean, I’m going to watch the History of Russia in German.

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Herr Antrim: You may want to check out RTL.de.

Walt: RTL, I get that on this.

Herr Antrim: ARD, ZDF

Walt: See, I got all those.

Herr Antrim: Those three, they’re all free online right now. You can go to the website right now. You can watch live TV if you want, or you can watch recorded stuff.

Walt: The 40 channels that this gives you is stuff like Disney Channel in Germany and their Quark is another one about… 

Herr Antrim: Quark has actually got a YouTube channel that is fantastic for German learning.

Jim: Quark?

Herr Antrim: Yeah. Quark. Q-U-A-R-K. (Actually it has an S, too)

A Language Learners Dream Plugin for Google Chrome

Herr Antrim: If you’ve got Netflix, you can change Netflix into German for most of the shows. You can switch the audio and have English subtitles if you want, or you can-

Carl: That’s a big plus for Netflix.

Sylvia: Oh really?

Herr Antrim: Yeah. Netflix does that. There’s a Chrome extension if you’re using Google Chrome while you’re watching Netflix, that it will put subtitles in both languages on there, if you want. It will put both languages on there at the same time, which is super helpful for a lot of people. Download the extension here.

Thank you guys for hanging out with me and talking about the Stammtisch. Yeah. I just really appreciate the conversation.

Jim: Well, thank you. We appreciate your time.

Walt: Zum Wohl!

More Interviews with Herr Antrim

This post is one of several interviews Herr Antrim has conducted over the past few months. You can see the other interviews listed below.

If you are really wanting to put your German learning on track, consider joining Herr Antrim’s Deutschlerner Club! For just $14.99 per month you will get access to his full A1 and A2 courses plus new materials as he creates them. You will go from knowing zero German to being able to have a short conversation in a short few weeks. Before you know it, you will be conversational in German on a variety of important topics, all while mastering German grammar.

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