Reasons to choose me as your German teacher or tutor

I have more than 20 years of experience. My lessons are identical to those of "Goethe-Institut Online" and "italki". Hablo español / говорю по-русски / je parle français.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Use of the possessive

In German people will often use a definite article (bestimmter Artikel) instead of a possessive pronoun (Possessivartikel). I just watched a TV show where somebody called and said: "Das Geburtsdatum DER Frau ist..." (ENG: The date of birth of THE wife is...) where he obviously meant "MEINE Frau" (MY wife).

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What language do I teach exactly? = Welche Sprache unterrichte ich genau?

I am quite often surprised by questions concerning the "language I teach". When some people hear that I am Swiss, those informed about the language situation in Switzerland think that I teach Swiss German (or rather one of the dialects of Swiss German, because as many varieties as valleys in the Alps exist...).

While it is true that we speak dialects in everyday life (in my region for example Zurich German), it is also a fact that Swiss German cannot be taught like a foreign language, for the simple reason that there are no books written in Swiss German. It is of course possible to learn a dialect if you grow up, go to school and/or live/work for a long time in the region where it is spoken, but actually no serious school or university will ever be able to offer regular Swiss German courses, because - as I said - no books, no dictionaries, etc. exist.

Well, to say that "no books exist" at all is also incorrect. There are books and dictionaries out there, written by people that - I guess - would like to see a normalization of the dialect, i.e. its "elevation" to the rank of official language, similar to what has happened in other European countries (e.g. in Luxembourg with their local German dialect or - if you allow the comparison - in Catalonia and Galicia). But the government of Switzerland has never shown the least of interests to do so. It's not even something people here care about. Thus, children, students and foreigners - as well as the inhabitants of the other linguistic regions of Switzerland - learn to speak, read & write in Standard German, the so called "Hochdeutsch", without exceptions.

Remember: My professional German lessons on Skype & my instant German tutoring on WhatsApp will allow you to communicate in Switzerland, Germany, Austria or wherever German is spoken, because I teach Standard German (Hochdeutsch) like they do at every Goethe-Institut - and not a Swiss dialect.

Extract of level A1 lesson

Die Postleitzahl ist 9494 (vier und neunzig vier und neunzig). Der Ort heisst Schaan. Er wohnt in Liechtenstein (FL).

Wie ist es bei DIR? Wie ist die Postleitzahl, wie heisst der Ort und wo wohnst DU denn?

Dictionary here

Word of the day: das Chamäleon

Plural: die Chamäleons

Arnold Schalch is a Switzerland-based teacher & tutor of German with 20 years of experience

My photo
Thanks to my family's position, I had the opportunity to attend an international school, where I met teachers and students from many nations and where I understood the importance of foreign languages in a multicultural country like Switzerland, in Europe and in a globalized world. After working in an immigration office and a university language laboratory abroad, I got my German teacher's diploma in 1995. I also hold a Swiss court interpreter diploma since 2014. I have been working as a teacher & tutor of German for more than 20 years now, both in Switzerland and abroad. Additionally, I have served as a volunteer interpreter & translator. Apart from German, I speak Spanish, English, French & Russian fluently.