April 23, 2014
The Genglish Book Club
After agonizing my English teachers for more than nine years with terrible grammar and awful spelling, I have still managed to develop my language skills to a standard where I can not only make myself understood amongst native speakers but almost convince them I am good at speaking their language.
Although I don’t want to diminish the effort my teachers put into my education I came to believe this is mainly down to one person: Harry Potter. No joke. The moment I spotted the original book of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone on my best friends’ bookshelf, the destiny of my English skills was forever changed. Reading Harry Potter was like pursuing a hobby that you never excel but just love to do. Like the chubby football player who never seems fast enough, but walks off the pitch with the biggest grin. Or the little girl at ballet that is always out of tune, but keeps twisting her feet in endless joy. They might never win a game or be the best in class, but they still get better every time.
Just like me. With every new HP book my vocabulary increased. Up to a point where I finally stopped flicking through a dictionary after every page. I just read. Then I went travelling and just spoke. Eventually over time, more books, more travels and many repeated mistakes I suddenly got the hang of it.
So, when my favourite Englishman (after more than 2 years) finally decided he wanted to learn German I thought there is only one way to free him from the struggles that is ordinary language learning: The Genglish Book Club.
The Genglish Book Club is not just about reading books, it is not even just about learning a language. It is a German-English cultural exchange. It’s about discovering words as well as stories from a foreign land. It is about going on adventures and finding something fun to read and something new to learn.
Every month the club reads two books: One English book (for me and everyone who would like to improve their English) and one German book (for my favourite Englishman and obviously every German language learner who would like to join us). For our first round, we chose Childhood Classic.
Our first two books are the magical “Matilda” by Roald Dahl and the impeccable “Das fliegende Klassenzimmer” by Erich Kästner. I have seen both movies, but can’t wait to stick my nose into the book. Let’s forget the grammar and read!
In line with the two language culture of the Genglish book club this feature will be published in English and German on the blog.