When it’s time to stop – German challenge weeks 4 & 5


This is my last post about my German challenge. Here are the previous posts:

Day 0Week 1Week 2Week 3.


Day 22

Session 1

15 min – Kompliziert. I recited the lyrics out loud. There were only two lines that I couldn’t remember at the beginning of the song. Then I sang with the song (without lyrics of course). It’s not perfect yet. But I’m getting there. It’s definitely better than yesterday.

15 min – I watched a few YouTube videos. I found these two channels a while back:

  • Freekickerz is about soccer (shoe reviews + challenges with professional players), but there’s not much dialogue in most videos. Most videos have English subtitles.
  • The second one, Ich koche heute, is a cooking channel. It’s nice, but not the kind of content I like to watch. All videos have English and German subtitles.



Ich koche heute


Session 2

43 min – I found this kind of YouTube channel when I was learning Finnish. It’s called CokeTV, and they have several channels in different countries. Each video features one or several popular YouTubers. You can find native content (creators) by starting here. And all their videos have subtitles in the original language! I know CokeTV exists at least in French, Spanish, German, Dutch, and Finnish.

Unlike the two previous channels, I liked these videos. They speak fast, but you get subtitles. They use slang. And it’s natural since they’re talking to each other most of the time.


CokeTV Deutschland


Session 3

1h20 – I memorized Moana’s lyrics (Ich bin bereit). Then I needed a nap, it felt as if my brain had been fried.


Day 23

Session 1

21 min – Refreshing Moana. I tried to say the lyrics out loud from memory. I was stuck on the second line. So I took the piece of paper where I wrote the initials the day before to review it once. I was able to find every word just with the initials, and then I recited the lyrics out loud from memory. I did it a couple more times, and I sang with the song. I was able to follow the pace.

14 min – Refreshing Kompliziert. I could remember everything. Then I sang with the song. I’m not perfectly in synch, but I can follow. And I understand clearly every word.

46 min – I memorized Auf beiden Bein. The whole song in one go. And I could even sing afterwards. I was able to pull it off because the song is rather slow and short. Tomorrow I’ll do a more challenging song.


Session 2

1h01 – Watched CokeTV Deutschland.


Session 3

1h – Watched a couple of CokeTV Deutschland videos, but then I wanted something else. I searched for business, entrepreneurship, Geschäfte on YouTube. I also specified Subtitles in the search options. I found three channels that have good content with German subtitles.






Session 4

30 min – YouTube videos with German subtitles. It was challenging. But with the subtitles I was able to follow and to understand most of it. After only three weeks, it feels good!


Day 24

13 min – I reviewed Auf beiden Beinen. That was good. I could remember everything and sing along with the music.

I had trouble focusing today, and I had other things on my mind. I decided to call it a day and come back stronger tomorrow.


Day 25

Session 1

12 min – Auf beiden Bein. From memory, perfect on the first time. Then I sang with the music. I wasn’t perfectly in sync, but that was good.

19 min – Ich bin bereit. I forgot some lines on the first time. Then it was all good. And I sang. Again, it was good, but not perfectly in sync.

10 min – Kompliziert. From memory, perfect on the first time. But I struggle more to sing with this one than with the other songs.


Session 2

2h10 – I memorized Von Party zu Party. I memorized almost everything. I stopped because I had trouble to focus by the end.


Von Party zu Party – SXSN

Lyrics, with English translation


Session 3

1h14 – I memorized Lieblingsmensch. And I sang with the song. It was complicated, but pretty good for a first time.


Lieblingsmensch – Namika

Lyrics, with English translation


Day 26

Session 1

11 min – Auf beiden Beinen. Once (perfect) from memory, and once with the music.

11 min – Same with Ich bin bereit.

9 min – Same with Kompliziert.

33 min – I reviewed Lieblingsmensch. I needed to go back to the initials sheet.


Session 2

45 min – More Lieblingsmensch, to consolidate. I also sang once with the music.


Session 3

40 min – Von Party zu Party. I needed the initials and the complete lyrics to refresh my memory. This song is going to require several days of serious study!


Session 4

43 min – Spent more time on Von Party zu Party.


Day 27

Session 1

11 min – Review of Auf beiden Bein.

13 min – Review of Ich bin bereit.

8 min – Review of Kompliziert.

20 min – Review of Lieblingsmensch.


Session 2

22 min – I watched a couple of YouTube videos with German subtitles on the channel Y-Kollektiv.


Day 28

Session 1

25 min – Lieblingsmensch. I could remember all the lines, but, for some reason, I struggle to sing along with the song.

10 min – It’s Sunday and it’s time to track my progress. And I was so excited while and after watching this video! I could understand 10-20% of what Julien was saying!! And even though my listening skills are getting better, he was still speaking really fast for me.

It lasted 10 min (and not 7 min like the video) because I paused the video a few times to go to Google images and look up words that I heard but didn’t know (like *gemeinsam*).


Julien Bam’s video


30 min – Review of Von Party zu Party. I remembered almost everything! I tried to sing but they rap way too fast for me! Yet, I could understand everything they were saying.

5 min – I chose a new song: Lass sie tanzen, by Ali As & Namika.


Lass sie tanzen – Ali As feat. Namika

Lyrics, with English translation


Session 2

2h – Memorized Lass sie tanzen.



Day 22 – 2h33

Day 23 – 3h52

Day 24 – 0h13

Day 25 – 4h05

Day 26 – 3h12

Day 27 – 0h52

Day 28 – 3h10

Total for week 4 – 17h57

Total (since day 1) – 73h37

I feel good about my progress this week. The memorization technique with the initial sheets is so powerful!


Week 5 – Day 29

Session 1

25 min – Lieblingsmensch. There’s one line I keep forgetting. Otherwise, it’s all good.

I’m not really into this song, so I won’t use it anymore.

45 min – Von Party zu Party. Good. I used my initials sheet a couple times to get a clue on the first word of a line. I also tried to sing once.


Session 2

30 min – Lass sie tanzen, first verse. It didn’t feel very productive.


Session 3

40 min – Lass sie tanzen, rest of the song. And I « sang » once.


Session 4

50 min – Memorized Na-Mi-Ka.


Day 30

Session 1

1h52 – Memorized Hellwach, by Namika.


Hellwach – Namika

Lyrics, with English translation


20 min – Na-Mi-Ka. Good, but far from perfect. Didn’t have enough time to sing.


Session 2

32 min – I could remember most of Lass sie tanzen.


Day 31

Session 1

1h04 – Memorized Mein Film, by Namika. I then sang a couple times, from memory. Not in sync, but not too bad for a first time.


Mein Film – Namika

Lyrics, with English translation (on Musixmatch)


9 min – Na-Mi-Ka. From memory, without music, almost perfect.


Session 2

33 min – Hellwach. I refreshed my memory first with the initials sheet.

11 min – Same with the first verse of Lass sie tanzen.


Session 3

9 min – Same with the rest of Lass sie tanzen.


Day 32

13 min – Mein Film. Refreshing my memory with the initials sheet.


Day 33



Day 34



Day 35

Just watched a Julien Bam video. That was okay, I could understand ~10-20% of it, without subtitles. I didn’t time it, but only spent a few minutes watching the video.



Day 29 – 3h10

Day 30 – 2h44

Day 31 – 2h06

Day 32 – 0h13

Day 33 – 0h00

Day 34 – 0h00

Day 35 – 0h00

Total (for week 5) – 8h13

Total (of the whole challenge) – 81h50



Now what?!

I decided to stop my German challenge. I’ll stop recording everything. I will just take it low-key in the next weeks: watching videos with subtitles, and singing the songs I already know. I’m also going to watch Instagram stories (Namika, Enissa, Marteria, Bibi, Julien Bam, Paola, Shirin David). The reason behind this decision is that I have some big projects coming up. And I won’t be using German for a while anyways. I wanted to refine my method and make some tweaks. I’m so glad I found this memorization trick. Now I can memorize lyrics in a foreign language.

I think my next challenge will be to consolidate and improve my Portuguese or my German. But not right now.


If you have any questions, suggestions, feedback, let me know in the comment section!

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