During German-Ukrainian Year of Languages under the banner “Take the next step!” Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ukraine has been publishing stories of people who have taken a step forward in learning German or Ukrainian as a foreign language, about their experiences, impressions, and their pieces of advice.
Liudmyla Kovalenko-Schneider, Director, Wiederstrahl German Cultural Center:
I first heard German when I was about 8-10, when my great-grandfather sang me some German songs. At the time, German sounded very easy and melodious and when I got into 5th Grade, I began to study it at school.
Yelyzaveta Styranko, student:
I began to study German out of sheer interest: we had two of my grandmother's books at home that no one in the family could read. I kept looking at the pictures and the umlauts and I thought the language was enchanting. I like to speak German because it's a very beautiful language—the language of Goethe and Schiller. I love reading German poetry in the original.
Maria Karapata, journalist:
Every language is a living organism. Those who learn languages need to always think about this aspect. Try to simply feel and develop an affection for the German language—and you will open up much more than just “unattractive” words like
Schmetterling [butterfly] and Kugelschreiber [ballpoint pen].