German, Language Learning

Be boring and put in the work! – German challenge week 2


It’s pretty boring in terms of exciting content. I just did my routine, everyday, with different songs. I don’t have much more to say. Just putting in the work.


Day 8

Session 1 – 1h

I reviewed all my songs. I sang and I read the lyrics and their translations. I also started a new song: Das Geld muss weg, by Marteria.


Das Geld muss weg – Marteria

Lyrics, with English translation


Session 2 – 18 min

I saw more of the last verse of Das Geld muss weg.


Session 3 – 1h

I sang the whole song. Also read the lyrics and the translation.


Session 4 – 28 min

More Das Geld muss weg (just singing and reading).


Session 5 – 10 min

More Das Geld muss weg.


Session 6 – 14 min

More Das Geld muss weg.

Yeaaaah, finally clocked in 3 hours in a single day!


Day 9

Session 1

19 min – I sang songs from my usual playlist.

35 min – I was looking for a new song. I just spent these 35 minutes listening to several songs in German. I saved some songs from Marteria and Cro.

7 min – I finally chose Zum König geboren, by Marteria. I spent on the hook during these 7 minutes.


Zum König geboren – Marteria

Lyrics, with English translation


Session 2

7 min – Namika popped up in my YouTube. She’s a German singer. I listened to some of her songs. I saved two for later.

1h11 – I completed the song Zum König geboren.


Session 3

3 min – I sang Zum König geboren once.

8 min – I spent reading the lyrics and the translation (for the first time).

40 min – I started part 2 of Na-mi-ka. This song is VERY challenging. She’s rapping fast! Definitely not a song for beginners.


Na-mi-ka – Namika

Lyrics, with English translation


Session 4

20 min – I did the whole part 2 of Na-mi-ka. I’ll have to spend more time on this tomorrow. It goes so fast!


Day 10

Session 1 – 34 min

I spent this whole session on my roem. I reorganized some lines, erased others, and I wrote new lines.


Session 2 – 54 min

I spent the entire session on my playlist. Just singing, reading the lyrics and their translations.


Session 3 – 22 min

Again: Playlist.


Session 4

33 min – Playlist.

39 min – Na-mi-ka: I reviewed the second part. And I spent time on the first part. This song is soooo fast! But I love it!


Day 11

Session 1

25 min – Na-mi-ka, mostly part 1. I recorded myself singing part 1. Not too bad.

40 min – I started singing Wenn sie kommen. I just spent time on the last verse during this session.


Wenn sie kommen – Namika

Lyrics, with English translation


Session 2 – 30 min

2nd verse of Wenn sie kommen. And, again, I didn’t spend time focusing on the lyrics, the meaning and the translation, at first. I just used the lyrics to sing along and to absorb the song.


Session 3 – 30 min

1st verse of Wenn sie kommen. Then I started reading the lyrics and their translation.


Session 4

21 min – Wenn sie kommen: Reading the lyrics and singing once.

40 min – I spent time on Na-mi-ka (singing + lyrics).


Session 5 – 13 min

I reviewed Zum König geboren (singing + lyrics).


Day 12

Session 1 – 1h49



Session 2 – 1h38


When I read the lyrics, I don’t try to memorize the translation. Instead, I ask myself the following questions: Do I understand the general meaning? Do I understand the meaning of each word?

I don’t mean: Can I translate? But does reading the lyrics make sense (and I know what they’re talking about)? Like I can visualize the situation, without necessarily translating the original lyrics.

Then, when needed, I read the translation. And I dissect the sentences in the lyrics and the translation. Do I understand why this word is used? Does it make sense to me? Or I have no idea why this word is here? It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to recognize every word. It’s a rough approach. The idea is to absorb the words, little by little, without the pain of having to memorize sentences and translations brutally.


Day 13



Day 14

Session 1 – 1h07

Playlist. No singing though. Just listening and reading the lyrics.


Session 2 – 1h09

I started a new song: Bye bye, by Cro, another German rapper. In my day 0 post, I said that I wanted to memorize songs. Not just sing them, but really commit the lyrics to memory. So I decided to learn this new song by heart. I started committing the last verse to memory. And… that’s all I did. I stopped, and barely learned the last verse.

Learning by heart is so hard. I think it would do wonders to learn vocabulary and grammar. But I also think that it’s the 80% of effort that bring only 20% of the results (google the Pareto principle). I feel like my current routine is good enough (but feel free to prove me wrong, if you can!).


Bye Bye – Cro

Lyrics, with English translation (careful with the last hook and verse, there’s been a new version apparently)


Session 3

40 min – I spent time singing Bye bye and reading the lyrics.

13 min – Today is Sunday, and it’s time to track my progress. I took one of Julien Bam’s most recent videos (it’s not THE most recent one! But the other ones were parodies or songs, and I prefer to use videos where people are talking to track my progress). While I didn’t understand much, I was able to understand the general meaning throughout the whole video. And I was pleasantly surprised to understand some random bits here and there.


Julien Bam’s video – There are German subtitles, but I didn’t use them, in order to track my progress.



Day 8 – 3h10

Day 9 – 3h30

Day 10 – 3h02

Day 11 – 3h19

Day 12 – 3h27

Day 13 – 0

Day 14 – 3h09


Total for week 2 – 19h37

Total (week 1 + week 2) – 33h47


I remembered reading a while back something about the FSI language courses. They established categories of languages, ranging from easiest to most difficult to learn for English native speakers. And they gave a number of hours you’d need to study in order to reach a certain level of fluency. Out of curiosity, I looked at the number they gave for German: It’s 750 hours. So far so good, I’ve only clocked in 33h47, so I can’t complain about my current level! It’s also worth noting that they give 750 hours over a period of 30 weeks. That’s more than 3h30 hours per day!! During 30 weeks straight! No day off! Let’s see how many hours I’ll need to reach my goal.

My goal for next week is to reach 4 hours per day. I also want to spend more time on my German rap. I want more pure output.


Thanks for reading until the end. If you have any question or recommendation, feel free to let me know in the comments section.

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