Form Beirut to Berlin, Expressing Language Through Body Movements with Chada

This is an interview with Chada, a member of our A2 group. If you would like to see why Chada enjoys our meetups, try one today with a free trial.

Tell us about yourself, Chada.

I was born in Beirut, Lebanon. I am a dancer and visual artist based mostly in Berlin, but I split my time between Berlin and Beirut. Since 2016, I have been teaching dance classes at Mobile Dance, Berlin. I also work as an artist in several collaborative constellations, most recently with Elena Dragonetti and Samah Karaki. 

In my artistic research I question how the body, being very sensitive, can prolong and generate manifestations of memories that resonate with its past.

I am learning German as I hope to find a freelance job in Berlin. I want to be able to read German books, get a good grasp of the language and perhaps write books in German. 

 

Has it been difficult to integrate into German society?

I learned German because I moved to Germany. After I moved here, I wanted to better learn the history of the place where I live. Doing this through German was the best way. My German also helped me to bridge the cultural gap between myself and my neighbours who had different cultural backgrounds.

Learning the language is important when dealing with administrative issues when you first move to a country. It's important to know your civil rights! And of course to communicate with the people around you in everyday life.



What has been the hardest thing for you in learning German? 

The hardest thing in learning German is the responsibility to understand the official and administrative use of the language. It gets tricky! Also to write a clear and understandable paragraph, considering the nuances of the grammar. 


How has Deutsch Gym helped you in your language learning journey?

Deutsch Gym helped me in my language learning journey through listening, writing, and practising speaking the language. I could then take these skills and speak with people on the street and in daily life. Listening to a range of accents really helps.

 

I think language can also be developed through body language. Your body translates spoken language into physical gestures. We all do this intuitively. I find this fascinating. It’s an interactive way of expression.

 

Do you have any book/podcast recommendations that have helped you with your language learning?

I recommend this questionnaire for test preparation - http://oet.bamf.de/pls/oetut/. It helped in practising and learning basic civil rights that everyone is entitled to in Germany. 

What also helped is watching and listening to documentaries and movies in German. Arte is a good resource: https://www.arte.tv/de/

 

And concerts like this piece from Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester.

I encourage everyone to get to know film directors like Josef von Sternberg. I recommend the movie The Blue Angel.


In terms of tips for other language learners, there is so much online language learning these days, it really helps to be attentive during lessons and classes. It is easy to get distracted when you are learning from home, but they payoff is great when you can concentrate and learn!



Now for a general, non-language related question! What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you? 

The kindest thing someone has ever done for me is when an unknown person helped me when I was in a dangerous situation on the street.


Thanks Chada!


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Rónán
I'm the founder of Deutsch Gym. In the past I've worked in startups as a marketer and frontend developer, started 12 side projects, and surfed a few waves along the way. I moved to Berlin from Ireland a few years ago and learned German - prompting the idea for Deutsch Gym.
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