Ryan Irelan

is building Mijingo and doing limited consulting.

Domain-Specific German

I learned the bulk of my German language skills between 1998 and 2003. The first 20 months were the most intensive, as I lived in Germany at the time. The remaining 4 years were spent back in the States finishing up my undergraduate degree (after a few years off) and my graduate degree.

My experience in German has been with general every day scenarios and conversation and literature (from my time in school).

None of my German knowledge has to do with what I fill my days with now, and have over the last 11 years: technology and web development.

Because I’ve done none of my professional career in Germany or in an environment where German is spoken, I’ve picked up very little vocabulary and phrases for those topics. I could easily work my way through a conversation in German about my Mac or about web development but I’d probably lean on English words pretty heavily for any domain-specific vocabulary (most German speakers would graciously allow me to do that because they know what I’m saying).

It was a nice surprise to see a new podcast by people I already knew through their websites (Sven Fechner and Patrick Welker). Both publish their sites in English so it was fun to hear them share similar information in their mother tongue. I’ve listened to German language podcasts before but they were news/talk oriented.

Übercast is the name of their new podcast and it covers Apple, technology and other nerdiness. If you speak German it’s a good one to have on your subscription list.

I’m learning a lot by listening because now I have a few more German words and phrases to talk about the stuff I do and use every day.

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There’s more to read in the archive.