cblanguages-logo-1760

CBG Mag 1.01 | Tatort

The Coffee Break German team is back with a new series, the Coffee Break German Magazine. In each episode of this 10-lesson season for intermediate learners you can build your vocabulary, increase your understanding of grammar and learn to use the German language in a more natural way. This series follows on from Seasons 1 and 2 of Coffee Break German.

In the first episode of the series we’ll be focusing on a very important part of life in most German-speaking areas: Sunday night in front of the TV watching the crime series Tatort. We’ll listen to a text on this topic and then teacher Andrea and learner Mark will discuss the language in the text. Also included in the episode is our phone-in Q&A, and our “Sahnehäubchen” with Olivera in which we’re looking at the expression Nullachtfünfzehn.

The Coffee Break Catch-Up: French Special – 29 August 2019

Join Coffee Break Founder and CEO Mark and Coffee Break French host Pierre-Benoît for a special edition of the Coffee Break Catch-Up. In addition to updates on the latest podcast episodes and videos, Pierre-Benoît answers listeners’ questions live on the show.

In this edition:

  • updates on the return of the Coffee Break Magazine podcasts for French, Italian and German;
  • news of our latest One Minute Language course available on YouTube;
  • an announcement about the return of the Coffee Break French Masterclass;
  • cultural news from around the world;
  • live Q&A with Pierre-Benoît for French learners.

If you’d like to access all the links for this episode and practise your reading skills in the language you’re learning, click here to sign up for our weekly language and culture newsletter.

TFT: Ojalá que llueva café

¡Hola a todos! Welcome back to Tune for Tuesday, bringing you a new song every week from around the world! This week we’re listening to Ojalá que llueva café by Juan Luis Guerra from the Dominican Republic. Possibly one of the most internationally successful Latin artists, his music is heavily influenced by a range of styles, including native Caribbean merengue and bachata rhythms. We love this catchy song, whose lyrics use coffee to express an important message about granting people their basic necessities and relieving those in need of their hunger and struggle.

Coffee Break Spanish learners, have you noticed the use of the subjunctive in the title yet? It’s a perfect example of the structure ojalá que + subjunctive (to hope that something will happen). The lyrics also contain one other subjunctive trigger. Can you spot it? To help, try reading the lyrics while you listen to the song.

If you’d like to hear the song played more slowly, we recommend watching the YouTube video below and selecting a slower playback speed by clicking on the settings symbol.

To find our Spotify and YouTube playlist containing a whole range of music in some of the languages you may be learning, simply scroll down the page. Happy listening!

The Coffee Break Catch-up: 22 August 2019

Join Coffee Break Founder and CEO Mark for the first in a new season of our weekly Coffee Break Catch-up in which we update you on our latest podcast episodes, blog articles and videos. There are discussions on language learning, and a round-up of some of the cultural events happening around the world.

In this edition:

  • updates on what’s been happening over our summer break;
  • new episodes of Walk, Talk and Learn French, Coffee Break German To Go and our One Minute Languages series;
  • news of the latest member of the “To Go” family: Coffee Break French To Go coming soon;
  • confirmation of dates for Coffee Break Italian, French and German Magazines;
  • cultural news from around the world.

If you’d like to access all the links for this episode and practise your reading skills in the language you’re learning, click here to sign up for our weekly language and culture newsletter.

TFT: Papaoutai

Salut les amis ! Have you heard of Stromae? He is a Belgian rapper and singer-songwriter who is often associated with Belgian New Beat electronic music. His stage name comes from the word maestro. This is an example of verlan, a type of French slang which involves swapping round the syllables of a word. This week our Tune for Tuesday is Stromae’s song Papaoutai which was a great success across much of Europe when it was released in 2013.

While you’re listening, listen out for the title, coming from “Papa où t’es” (“Dad, where are you?”). The lyrics refer to the absence of Stromae’s father, Pierre Rutare, during his childhood, before Rutare was killed in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. 

Stromae sings a little fast but quite clearly, so try listening to the song a few times and let us know how you get on in the comments! Click here to read the lyrics while you listen or if you’d like to hear the song a little slower, you can play the YouTube video below at a slower playback speed by clicking on the settings symbol.

Do you know any other Belgian artists? Feel free to share some of your music suggestions for other French learners in the comments. And remember that you can find our full Spotify and YouTube playlist of songs from around the world by scrolling down.

TFT: Yuèliang dàibiǎo wǒ de xīn 月亮代表我的心

Dàjiā hǎo 大家好! Hello everyone! Today’s Tune for Tuesday comes from Taiwanese singer, Teresa Teng. The song is Yuèliang dàibiǎo wǒ de xīn 月亮代表我的心 (The moon represents my heart). It was made famous by Teng in 1977 and is often considered a classic within the Mandarin-speaking community.

Teng’s music was very important in the musical history of Taiwan and China. Her songs revolutionised music in China and were banned from the country in the 1980s, as this romantic style of song coming from Taiwan and Hong Kong was considered commercial and decadent. After the ban was lifted a few years later, however, Teng regained her status as one of the most popular singers within the worldwide Chinese community.

Luckily for Coffee Break Chinese learners, the lyrics are quite slow and clear, so see if you can pick out any words you know! Click here to read the lyrics written out in pinyin to help you. Or if you’d like to hear the song played more slowly, we recommend watching the YouTube video below and selecting a slower playback speed by clicking on the settings symbol. 

We hope you enjoy this taste of this style of music and would love to hear what you think of Yuèliang dàibiǎo wǒ de xīn in the comments.

Was sind deine Hobbys? Talking about your hobbies in German – Coffee Break German To Go Episode 10

To ask “what are your hobbies?” in German you can say was sind deine Hobbys?, or in a more formal situation, was sind Ihre Hobbys? In this episode of Coffee Break German To Go, Julia asks this questions to interviewees in the streets of Berlin. You can use the answers of our interviewees to help you learn to answer this question yourself.

In the first part of the video, watch the interviews without subtitles and try to understand. In the second part of the video, we’ve provided subtitles in German at the top of the screen. You can choose to turn on subtitles in English using the Subtitles/CC button.

In our first series, Julia is in the city of Berlin, and in each episode she’ll ask passers-by one question. Of course, that one question will result in many answers, and it’s through these answers that you can practise your German and build your vocabulary.

If you’d prefer not to wait for all 10 lessons of Season 1 to be published, you can access downloadable versions of the videos along with audio versions and lesson notes / transcripts in the Coffee Break Academy.

Coffee Break German To Go is based on the popular podcast series and online course Coffee Break German. For access to the free podcasts, click here.

TFT: A me piace lei

Ciao a tutti! This week our Tune for Tuesday comes from Italian indie rock singer-songwriter, Giuseppe Peveri, known by his stage name, Dente (Italian for “tooth”). He started his solo career in 2006 and has since become one of Italy’s most popular independent artists.

For any Coffee Break Italian learners who find the verb piacere a bit tricky to use, have a listen to Dente’s song A me piace lei for some good examples. Notice how the verb changes depending on whether what he likes is singular (mi piace) or plural (mi piacciono), or whether he’s talking about what she likes (le piace). Why not trying creating your own song or poem listing the things you like, using the verb piacere?

What other Italian artists do you know? Feel free to share some of your favourites in the comments!

We hope you enjoy listening to A me piace lei even if you’re not an Italian learner, and remember that you can find our full Spotify and YouTube playlists below, containing songs from all over the world.

If you’d like to hear the song played more slowly, we recommend watching the YouTube video below and selecting a slower playback speed by clicking on the settings symbol. To find the lyrics, click here.

Using adjectives with de/des – Walk Talk and Learn French Episode 007

Knowing when adjectives go before or after the noun can be tricky, and it’s further complicated when you’re using des, the partitive article. Think of how you would say “some new houses” or “some beautiful books”. Do you use des or de? In this episode of Walk, Talk and Learn French, Mark spots an advert which suggests “Vivez des Moments Forts”. He goes on to explain which adjectives come before the noun, which come after, and what happens when you have to use des in this situation.

Make sure you subscribe to Coffee Break Languages on YouTube to be notified when we post new videos!