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Need to brush up on your German? #30daygerman

Learn German for your holidaysOur book review this time is Learn German for your holidays: 30 bite-sized tasks for your first trip by Angelika Davey.

Although Angelika’s book is ostensibly about learning useful and important German words and phrases for your upcoming holiday (and it is an excellent guide for that); as I read it it struck me that these same words and phrases are also very useful to learn for use on business trips to Germany.

The book is aimed at beginners and anyone who needs a refresher for the German they learnt a long time ago. I’m in the second category and I certainly found it a good reminder and a reference I can dip into when I need to.

When I’m teaching English with a student who speaks German it’s always good to have a few German words to communicate in – I might not be able to have full conversations in German but even being able to say hello and goodbye makes the lesson more relaxed and friendly, and knowing some basic German phrases can sometimes help me explain an English language point. Angelika’s book is perfect for teaching me some new phrases and reminding me of those I’d forgotten.

In any work/business context with German-speaking clients or colleagues, speaking a few words in German is polite, respectful, and shows you’re making an effort; and of course it’s always appreciated, even if your German-speaking business contact or colleague can speak English.

The language tasks in Angelika’s book include:

  • greetings and saying goodbyes
  • telephone numbers
  • the time – useful for arranging business meetings 🙂
  • ordering food – useful for working or business lunches and entertaining business colleagues. You’ll also be able to tell colleagues and hotel staff about food allergies, ask for the bill, leave a tip etc.
  • booking into a hotel, charging a meal to your room, checking out, and calling a taxi
  • shopping – asking how much something costs, getting the correct gender of the items you’re asking for (useful if your luggage is lost en route and you need to buy a suit for that business meeting, or you left your laptop charger at home!)
  • asking for and understanding directions to your hotel, the station etc.
  • useful phrases for travelling by train – asking which platform your train departs from, what time your train arrives, when the next train departs, buying a train ticket (and a bus ticket)
  • illnesses – names of parts of the body and how to say something hurts, asking for medication at a chemist, how to say you need a doctor or dentist, how to ask somebody to call the police or emergency services

Angelika has written the book in a light, friendly, conversational tone, and with humour.

There are 30 bite-sized tasks – one short task a day for 30 days (or however you want to learn them) – and they take between five and fifteen minutes a day. Most of the tasks have an accompanying video where Angelika demonstrates the pronunciation of the relevant language points. Her explanations and accompanying videos make it very easy to learn each day’s words and phrases.

If you have a business trip or holiday to Germany coming up, and you need to brush up your basic German but don’t have much spare time, the tasks in Angelika’s book are ideal. And because it’s on Kindle you can take easily take it with you.

I downloaded this book when I saw it in on promotion in the Free Kindle Books group on Facebook (we get some good books in there, come and join us) and although I know Angelika reads Birds on the Blog, she doesn’t know I’m reviewing her book so, surprise, Angelika! Thank you for a fun and very useful read 🙂


Learn German for your holidays is available on and

Angela Boothroyd

I'm a teacher and linguist who specializes in helping non-native English speakers speak English more fluently. I review books and interview authors for the Birds on the Blog Book Club - if you have any suggestions for reviews or interviews please let us know 🙂