Eric Hutt talks about first year

A day in the life

Eric Hutt talks about first year

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Learning German recaptures that sense of discovering something new you had as a kid.

Hooked on German

Because Eric Hutt was born in Quebec, he was able to attend school in French when his family moved back to Nova Scotia. Now, fluently bilingual, he’s working his way toward mastering a third language—German.

Before he fell in love with the German language for its own sake, he saw learning German as a stepping stone to Scandinavian languages. “In junior high, I had this strange attraction to Finland,” he says. “But I thought maybe the language was a bit inaccessible—it’s hard to find Finnish lessons around here.”

Eric’s taking German 1000 at Dal. He’s still mulling over what his major will be, but he knows for sure he’ll make room for more German courses. “Why not go as far as I can with it?”

What’s so special about his German course? “It’s fun!” he begins. “I have a blast in every class—it’s like being a kid again. We started off with the real basics—numbers, colours, all that stuff. It was so entertaining, I got hooked right away!”

Another reason? “It’s really engaging and inclusive. The profs make an big effort to include everyone. And they know your name—even profs you don’t know will say hello and talk to you in German.”

“It’s so well organized," Eric says. "You can tell a lot of time went into offering a variety of tutorials—some are more geared towards reinforcing basic language skills, while others are more free-form and focus on fluency, with games and other activities.”

One of the things he loves most about German is the way it sounds. “A lot of people think German sounds harsh or guttural. But It’s actually a very lyrical language.”

Speaking of lyrics—Eric listens to a lot of German music, from electronica and metal to hip hop. “German rap is especially interesting,” he says. “I like seeing how the rhymes work in a different language.”

He’s also a fan of German body builder, Markus Rühl. “His tour might make a stop in Nova Scotia this summer, and I might get to meet him! His English is perfect, but I’d the love the chance to speak to him in German—just for practice, and to show myself how much I’ve learned!”