CBG Mag 1.04 | Ein bisschen Schlager muss sein

We have a musical episode of the Coffee Break German Magazine for you today: our theme is Schlager, an immensely popular style of music with catchy melodies and happy-go-lucky lyrics. Find out more about this cultural phenomenon, and learn about reflexive verbs and using the perfect or Präteritum with als.

CBI Mag 1.08 | A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale

In this episode of the Coffee Break Magazine we’re heading to the north of Italy to the town of Ivrea, known for its peculiar way of celebrating Carnevale. Our listener’s question in this episode comes from Zack and concerns the tricky word mica which seems to pepper the conversation of native speakers, but is difficult to use as a learner.

Behind the Scenes: the new Coffee Break Video Studio

Over the past few weeks we’ve been building our new video studio, the Coffee Break “Kitchen”, where we’re going to be filming lots of new Coffee Break videos for language-learners. These mini language lessons will help you build your knowledge, develop your vocabulary, and increase your understanding of grammar.

We wanted to design a place where our learners can join us for a “coffee break”, so we’ve built the studio set in the style of a kitchen or a coffee shop. There are coffee-themed accessories, and if we open the jars of coffee beans, the studio even smells of coffee when we’re filming!

For anyone interested in the technical side of our setup, we’re using PTZ Optics cameras which allow us to set particular angles, depending on who’s presenting or how many presenters we have, and we can change these angles with a simple press of a button on the remote control. We’re using a BlackMagic Design ATEM Video Studio HD switcher which allows us to bring in the SDI input from our cameras, plus additional HDMI inputs from a MacBook and an iPad for demonstrating what’s on screen in a presentation or demo of the site. We’re also using BlackMagic Design HyperDeck Studio Minis to allow us to record the output of each camera individually, or the composite output from our switcher.

For the image switching and camera positioning, we’re using the Elgato Streamdeck with Companion software which allows us to switch between different combinations of camera angles and switch between the cameras on the ATEM switcher. For live video, we use an additional MacBook Pro with Ecamm Live software, and this is controlled by a second Streamdeck using the standard Streamdeck software to control Ecamm Live.

Sound wise we’re not quite there yet! Since the HyperDeck Studio Minis and the ATEM switcher have quite loud fans, we’re trying to minimise the noise in the room by using lav mics rather than the Rode NTG2 mic which is currently installed in the boom stand above our breakfast bar. We’ve plugged everything into a Rodecaster Pro which is connected directly to the ATEM switcher and we’re using the additional headphone outputs to send audio to the individual cameras so that we can record each camera individually and have a sound feed for syncing in post production.

Of course the main aim with our new studio is to use it both for live production and for recorded videos. We’re really looking forward to bringing you new Coffee Break content across all our languages, and we hope that you enjoy this and find it useful in your language learning!

The Coffee Break Catch-Up: 3 October 2019

It’s time for another Coffee Break Catch-Up. In addition to sharing the latest news from Coffee Break Languages, we’re also talking about inspirational teachers, in honour of World Teacher Day, coming up this weekend.

In this edition:

  • the latest episodes of our Coffee Break French, German and Italian Magazines;
  • Tune for Tuesday and Question of the Week;
  • One Minute Languages on our YouTube channel;
  • the Coffee Break French and Spanish Masterclass;
  • news of Mark’s involvement at the Sound Education conference at Harvard University;
  • a discussion of how inspirational teachers can help you in your learning.

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.

CBF Mag 1.08 | Le Festival de Cannes

Glitz and glamour are the name of the game in this episode of the Coffee Break French Magazine as we head to the south of France for the Cannes Film Festival. In our text we’ll find out more about the interesting origins of this key event in the international cinematic calendar, and we’ll also tackle listener Sophie’s question about ce,ceci, cela and ça, and Susie shares a quote from Jean Cocteau about the French Riviera.

CBG Mag 1.03 | Das Leben der Trümmerfrauen

Following the events of World War 2, the monumental task of clearing and reconstructing towns and cities fell to the Trümmerfrauen, literally “rubble women”. In this episode of the Coffee Break German Magazine we’ll look at this fascinating period of German history. In the other segments of the show, Andrea answers listener Maddie’s question about compound words, and Olivera introduces an interesting idiomatic expression in the Sahnehäubchen.

CBI Mag 1.07 | Amore per il passato…

… e tanta voglia di futuro. The city of Matera in the Basilicata region of Italy celebrates an incredibly rich heritage, with the word famous Sassi, cave dwellings carved into the mountainside, and looks to the future with the redevelopment of these caves into museums and hotels. In 2019, together with the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv, Matera has been named European Capital of Culture. In this episode of the Coffee Break Italian Magazine Francesca tells us more about Matera, and there’s a question from a listener about the difference between po‘, poco and più.

The Coffee Break Catch-Up: 19 September 2019

It’s time for another Coffee Break Catch-up in which we update you on our latest podcast episodes, blog articles and videos. This week we’re also featuring a discussion on the topic of motivation in language learning, with some contributions from the whole Coffee Break team!

In this edition:

  • updates on the latest episodes of the Coffee Break French, German and Italian Magazines;
  • Tune for Tuesday and Question of the week;
  • registration is live for the Coffee Break French and Spanish Masterclass courses;
  • news of a work experience opportunity for Scottish school students.

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.

CBF Mag 1.07 | Parlons breton !

We’re heading to north-western France for this episode of the Coffee Break French Magazine to discover more about the Breton language and culture. As ever, you’ll be able to listen to Susie’s text and Mark and Pierre-Benoît are on hand to discuss the text. There’s a question from listener Tomás who wants to know when to use merci de and merci pour, and in our final section we look at two idiomatic expressions which are linked to the word beurre, specifically compter pour du beurre and vouloir le beurre et l’argent du beurre which is the French equivalent of “to have your cake and eat it”.

CBG Mag 1.02 | Spaß im Wiener Prater

In episode 2 of the Coffee Break German we’re heading to the Austrian capital, Vienna, where the world-famous Wiener Prater is to be found. This former hunting ground has become the hub of entertainment for Viennese families. As usual Mark and Andrea will be discussing the language featured in our text, and there’s also a question from listener Rena who is looking for advice on how to help her daughter learn German.

The Coffee Break Catch-Up: Italian Special – 12 September 2019

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

In this edition:

  • our brand new video studio;
  • updates on our latest Coffee Break Magazine episodes;
  • news of our latest One Minute Language course available on YouTube;
  • the return of the Coffee Break French Masterclass;
  • cultural news from around the world;
  • live Q&A with Francesca for Italian 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.

CBI Mag 1.06 | Ti viene voglia di ballare?

It’s time for a new episode of the Coffee Break Italian Magazine and in this episode Francesca and Mark talk about their summer breaks and where they travelled to. The text for this episode focuses on the traditional Italian dance, la Tarantella, and there’s an interesting question from listener Gianna on the difference between restare and rimanere.

The Coffee Break Catch-up: 5 September 2019

It’s time for another Coffee Break Catch-up in which we update you on our latest podcast episodes, blog articles and videos. This week we’re also featuring a discussion on how to learn two languages at the same time and the members of the Coffee Break team shares their wisdom!

In this edition:

  • updates on the latest episodes of the Coffee Break French and German Magazines;
  • news of our latest One Minute Language courses available on our YouTube channel;
  • Tune for Tuesday and Question of the week;
  • the forthcoming Coffee Break French and Spanish Masterclass courses.

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.

CBF Mag 1.06 | Le Neuvième Art

In this episode of the Coffee Break French Magazine we’re talking “bande dessinées”, comic books. The French-speaking world has produced many famous bande dessinée including Tintin, the Smurfs and Astérix, and they can be a great way to expand your vocabulary and experience.a different reading format. Pierre-Benoît is on hand to explain everything in the text. Mark answers a listener’s question about the use of on and nous, and Susie shares some jeux de mots.

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 French language in a more natural way. This series is aimed at learners who have completed at least Season 1 and Season 2 of Coffee Break French.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Was ist dein Lieblingssport? Talking about sports in German – Coffee Break German To Go Episode 9

To ask “what is your favourite sport?” in German you can say was ist dein Lieblingssport?, or in a more formal situation, was ist Ihr Lieblingssport? 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.