About German Conversation
When the Evesham and District u3a was established in November 2001 the German Conversation Group started at the same time.
It has been a great privilege to be able to lead the group from the beginning and it is now in its twentieth year. It was a very humble start and I wondered whether anybody would be interested in furthering their knowledge of the German language. All beginnings are slow but after a while, when message got round that I am a German citizen, more and more people joined and as the group expanded, we had to split it into two and later on into three groups.
Before the Lockdown we have had in excess of 40 members but that reduced by about 50% as we were not able to meet any longer in my house. Since May 2020 we have met via Zoom. With the help and assistance of Reg Prichard, who has an excellent command of the German language, we have set up two groups; members of their own choice could join whichever group they would feel comfortable in; also we reduced the length of the meetings and now meet from 10-12.30. (This is only whilst we are on Zoom).
In the beginning I have had misgivings whether Zoom would be successful but half of the members have continued to come along and have now established an enjoyable social bond during the long months when we were isolation and could not meet physically.
Why do folks want to trouble themselves with this terrible German language, which Mark Twain said? There are many valid reasons. Some people have learnt the language many moons ago, some worked for German companies, some relatives have moved to Germany and some people simply like to go on holiday to enjoy the way of life or the history of Germany; to have a knowledge of the language gives one a greater depth and insight into the richness and diversity of the country.
So what do we talk about?
In order to keep the conversation flowing, prior to the meeting, various subjects will be suggested, either by the leaders or members themselves can bring their own subject matter to the meeting. I.e. social, literature, history, science, art, engineering, gardening, holiday, sport, the past, the present or future, politics; the discussions are endless and often we run out of time. For the beginners we use a very old fashioned book, called Heute Abend: German Course Bk. 1 (by Magda Kelber), which senior members prefer.
It is great that members bring a wealth of experience and knowledge from their professions and so we are the benefactors. Since the lockdown we have had five new members joining the group.
It has given me great pleasure and encouragement that through the u3a I have met such lovely dedicated people and that during the last 20 years we have been able to share the diversity of its country and life and also made lots of friends. Long may it last!
Annual Garden Party
We are planning to have our German Garden Party, which has been a long standing event for many years, on July 22nd in my garden, government and weather permitting, and hope that when restrictions have been lifted we will resume our meetings again, where we left off prior to the lockdown.