Memories of Luton, Lübeck, Marzipan and Niederegger + Marzipan Giveaway

You can take the girl out of Luton…

Smack in the middle of the eighties – which I still hold to be the best decade, musically and fashion-wise (though I admit to harbouring some bias on this) – I did a German Language Exchange Trip through my secondary school. Luton and Hamburg were an odd pairing; the kids of that rather attractive northern German river port city must surely have been a tad disappointed when they discovered that the attractions of Luton amounted to little more than a biscuit-shaped pincushion in the local museum and a pink flamingos fountain in the Arndale shopping centre.

The (frankly marvellous) pink flamingos have long since gone, which is a huge shame as they were one of Luton’s best (if not only) attractions.

pinkflamingoesofluton

Worried I might be imagining the biscuit-shaped pincushion (though my little sister remembers it too), I made a call to the museum last week and was delighted to hear back from one of their specialist curators that they do indeed have a biscuit-shaped pincushion in their collection (though it’s not currently on display). It dates from around 1870 and was produced as an advertising product by Huntley, Albert & Palmers. I should add at this point that the museum did, of course, have a great deal more on display than the biscuit-shaped pincushion, including no-doubt-excellent exhibits about the local hat- and lace-making industries for which Luton was, once upon a time, quite famous. It’s just that, as a teenager, little of this captured my attention; I’d probably appreciate it much more today!

And, by the way, did you know that the expression ‘mad as a hatter’ originated in Luton?

Anyway, back to Germany…

I’d actually already dropped German from my curriculum by the time the trip came around. We signed up for the exchange in our second year but travelled in our third by which time, having mastered only ‘ich liebe dich’ and ‘du bist eine dumme ganz’, I decided to focus on French, which I found immeasurably easier. I added one more phrase to my German knowledge some years later, by the way; even today I still like to point at random plants and declare ‘das is kein gummebaum’ (that is not a rubber plant) – a very useful phrase, I’m sure you’ll agree?

Luckily, the majority of people I met in Germany spoke superb English, so I got along just fine.

My host family showed me around Hamburg, of course. It’s an attractive city and the views from the revolving restaurant up in the Heinrich-Hertz-Turm comms tower were beautiful. I also spent a few days visiting German Schleswig – a school trip within a school trip – with my exchange partner’s class.

One of the days I remember most fondly was a family outing to nearby Lübeck, just an hour’s drive away or 45 minutes by train.

Situated on the River Trave, Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, and a major port in the area. For several centuries it was the leading city of the Hanseatic League, a commercial confederation of merchant guilds and market downs that dominated trade in Northern Europe, stretching along the coast from the Baltic to the North Sea. The Old Town, on an island enclosed by the Trave, is famous for its extensive brick gothic architecture and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Images of Lubeck from Shutterstock.com

Niederegger Marzipan

It was not just the beauty of Lübeck that won my heart, oh no! Lübeck is also famous for its marzipan. And I really, really love marzipan!

A local legend suggests that marzipan was first made in the city in response to either a military siege or a local famine. The story goes that the town ran out of all foodstuffs except stored almonds and sugar, and these were combined to make loaves of marzipan “bread”.

In reality, marzipan is believed to have been invented far earlier, most likely in Persia though historians are undecided between a Persian and an Iberian origin.

Niederegger have been making marzipan in Lübeck for over two centuries, and relate the story from the perspective of founder Johann Georg Niederegger.

Our marzipan was invented far away, where almonds and sugar are grown. Rhazes, a Persian doctor who lived from 850 to 923, wrote a book in which he praised the curative qualities of almond and sugar paste. When the crusaders returned from the Orient, they brought with them a host of spices and Oriental secrets. In 13th century Venice, Naples and Sicily, spices and confectionery were generally traded  in tiny boxes. The enchanting word “Mataban” (box) gradually came to be used for the contents of the box:  Mazapane (Italian), Massepain (French) and Marzipan (German). Did you know that even back in the 13th century, the renowned philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas reflected upon the indulgence of eating Marzipan? In his doctrinal teaching, he reassures enquiring and anxious clerics: “Marzipan does not break the fast.” In his stories, the great novelist Boccaccio clearly describes the correlation between passion and marzipan. In those days, marzipan was topped with gold leaf to crown the sweet temptation. Great Hanseatic merchant boats brought spices and other prized ingredients to the North. Initially, however, only apothecaries were allowed to trade sugar and spices. Not until confectionary became a trade in its own right were so-called ‘canditors’ allowed to produce marzipan. The first Europeans to indulge in marzipan were kings and rich people. It has been reported that Queen Elizabeth I of England, who lived from 1533 to 1603, was addicted to all things sweet.  The saying ‘regal enjoyment’ was coined. Later, at the French ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV’s sumptuous feasts, huge tables laden with marzipan were the order of the day. Marzipan reproductions of all sorts of fruits, poultry and game were created – anything you desired could be made. In the first half of  the general population were now able to sample the almond delicacy to their heart’s content in coffee houses. Now that sugar could be extracted from sugar beet, the costly luxury became slightly more affordable. Marzipan was also particularly popular and prized in Lübeck. I would now like to tell you something about my life: as a young man, I left my home town of Ulm to become apprenticed to a confectioner, Maret, in Lübeck. In 1806 I was able to open up my own shop. I supplied my wares to kings and tsars. From then on, my reputation grew thanks to excellent quality. My recipe for marzipan – as many almonds as possible, as little sugar as necessary – is secret, and has been passed on from generation to generation since my death. That way, Niederegger Marzipan remains what it has always been: a delicious speciality made from the very best almonds. New York, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, a sweetmeat goes on tour … Niederegger stands for “marzipan of world renown”.

The quality of Niederegger marzipan is certainly renowned, as is that of slightly younger Lübeck marzipan manufacturer Carstens (founded in 1845, 39 years after Niederegger).

At its core, marzipan consists of nothing more than ground almonds mixed with either sugar or honey. These days, a wide range of marzipan is available; many commercial versions contain a comparatively low volume of almonds; instead they contain more sugar with the flavour boosted by almond oils and extracts or even cheaper synthetic almond flavourings. They are often sickly sweet.

Niederegger marzipan is the very good stuff. With a high ratio of almonds to sugar, the flavour is subtle and natural and the sweetness is not overwhelming.

Germany grades marzipan according to the following ratios:

  • Marzipanrohmasse (raw marzipan) contains 65% ground almonds and 35% sugar. When you see a label of 100:0 or 100%, it means 100% raw marzipan with no additional sugar added, not that there is no sugar at all.
  • Niederegger Marzipan is raw marzipan, made to the 65:35 almond to sugar ration and labelled as 100:0 (100% raw marzipan).
  • Lübecker Edelmarzipan (Lübeck fine marzipan) is described as 90:10. That means it’s 90% raw marzipan mixed with an extra 10% sugar. Don’t forget, that 90% is not 90% almonds but a mix of almonds and sugar. More sugar is added to that raw marzipan paste. That means the ratio of almond to sugar falls to around 58:42 (58% almonds, 42% sugar).
    Lübeck marzipan has a PDO (protected designation of origin) and the label can only be used for marzipan manufactured in the region to the 90:10 ratio.
  • Gütemarzipan (quality marzipan) must be 80:20. It’s made of 80% raw marzipan and 20% sugar. Almond makes up 62% of the total and sugar the other 28%.
  • Edelmarzipan (fine marzipan) is described as 70:30. It’s made of 70% raw marzipan and 30% sugar. The almond now makes up only 45% of the total and sugar the other 55%.
  • Gewöhnliches marzipan  (ordinary or consumer marzipan) is described as 50:50, so is half raw marzipan and half sugar. That means only a third of the total content is almond and two thirds is sugar.
  • There are also other designations such as Königsberger marzipan, which is no longer associated with place of manufacture but describes a style of marzipan that usually contains almonds, sugar, egg white and lemon juice and has a distinctive golden brown colour.

For anyone looking for high quality marzipan, you can buy Niederegger here in the UK – I’ve seen different products from their range on sale in John Lewis, Waitrose and Tesco and of course, you can buy online (from the same stores plus Chocolatesdirect.co.uk, Ocado and Amazon, to name a few).

Probably the most common Niederegger product  is marzipan coated in dark-chocolate, which is always wrapped in red foil. Blue foil denotes a milk chocolate coating and other colours of foil indicate flavoured marzipans such as apple, caramel, espresso, orange and pistachio – the latter being one of my personal favourites. There is also a liqueur range available.

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GIVEAWAY

It’s my pleasure to join  with Niederegger in giving away two hampers worth £25 each to readers of Kavey Eats!

Each hamper contains:-

  • 1 x Milk chocolate marzipan bar
  • 1 x Dark chocolate marzipan bar
  • 1 x 125g Marzipan loaf
  • 1 x 200g 16 Piece mini loaves assortment
  • 1 x 100g 8 Piece mini loaves classic
  • 1 x 40g Marzipan stick
  • 6 x Mini Loaves
  • 1 x Gift hamper box
  • Free delivery within the UK

HOW TO ENTER

You can enter the giveaway in 2 ways – entering both ways increases your chances of winning:

Entry 1 – Blog Comment
Leave a comment sharing a memory of language lessons at school, when you were a kid.

Entry 2 – Twitter
Follow @Kavey on Twitter. Existing followers are, of course, welcome to enter! Then tweet the exact sentence (shown in italics) below.
I’d love to win a marzipan hamper from @niederegger_uk and Kavey Eats! http://bit.ly/KaveyEatsMarzipan #KaveyEatsMarzipan
(Do not add my twitter handle or any other twitter handle at the beginning of the tweet and please don’t leave a blog comment about your tweet either; I track twitter entries using the competition hash tag.)

RULES & DETAILS
  • The deadline for entries is midnight GMT Friday 1st May 2015.
  • The 2 winners will be selected from all valid entries (across blog, twitter and instagram) using a random number generator.
  • Entry instructions form part of the terms and conditions.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party, Kavey Eats accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of that third party.
  • Each prize is a hamper of Niederegger produts, as detailed above and includes delivery within the UK.
  • The prizes cannot be redeemed for a cash value.
  • The prizes are offered and provided by Niederegger .
  • One blog entry per person only. One Twitter entry per person only. You may enter all three ways but you do not have to do so for each individual entry to be valid.
  • For Twitter entries, winners must be following @Kavey at the time of notification. Blog comment entries must provide a valid email address for contacting the winner.
  • The winners will be notified by email or Twitter so please make sure you check your accounts for the notification message. If no response is received from a winner within 10 days of notification, the prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be picked and contacted.

Kavey Eats received sample products from Niederegger.

Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!
96 Comments to "Memories of Luton, Lübeck, Marzipan and Niederegger + Marzipan Giveaway"

  1. Mim

    Like you, I went to Germany on an exchange, though we went to the Rhineland. Most of my schoolmates seemed to dislike German food but I loved it, so my hosts made Deutsche Sauerbraten (beef marinated in red wine and vinager for several days then roasted) for a leaving dinner. I could have lived without the potato dumplings (kartoffelknoedel), but as they were made from packet potato, perhaps they were to the real thing as Smash is to mash.

    Have you tried Spanish marzipan? It’s a legacy of the Moors, and nowadays is mainly made by nuns, as a reclusive way to boost convent incomes. It’s really delicious. We got fleeced by a nun – sort of; she was a tiny elderly nun who asked if we wanted to buy marzipan when visiting a convent, and we agreed, and *then* she told us the price and we couldn’t back down because she was such a fragile little thing AND a nun and there’s probably a special Hell for people who upset those…

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I think like all cuisines, there are some fabulous dishes from Germany and some that are less appealing. I think the food is very regional as well.

    I don’t think I’ve tried Spanish marzipan but the wily old nun manipulating you so well is making me giggle.

    Reply
  2. PC

    My memory is of German class when we had a German style breakfast, including salami, bread rolls, cheese, even sauerkraut. Most of the kids there didn’t seem to appreciate it as they preferred cereal and toast, but being a fan of all things German I loved it!

    I really miss German food and culture, I have fond memories of eating bratwurst with curry sauce, fresh baked goods, going to an Eis cafe etc.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I think my trip was when I first discovered the wonder of charcuterie and nutella for breakfast!!!

    Reply
  3. Tracey Peach

    I remember going into a French lesson & having a blank moment I could not understand a word he was saying!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    He probably switched into another language to mess with your heads! 😉

    Reply
  4. Tracy Nixon

    I learned some French and German when I was at school. I still remeber many French words and phrases, even though I have never been to France. We used Tricolore textbooks and and remember singing Frere Jackues, which I can still sing now!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Tracy, I don’t remember the books we used, but I do remember my first French teacher, though I just realised now that her name has finally faded from memory, though I’m sure I had it a few years ago!

    Reply
  5. Pina

    Love this! All I remember from my German course back in 1986 is Warum ist die Banane krumm? (Why is the banana bent?) Apparently that was the response to a question that had no answer LOL

    Reply
  6. Suelle

    I actually learnt Latin in the first year of secondary school. I couldn’t even translate a simple phrase now, but it is a surprisingly useful language when it comes to speaking and writing English well. All I remember is :
    Amo, amas, amant, amamus, amatis, amant which is I love, you love, he loves etc.

    As well as French, I learnt German for 2 years – at the time it was recommended for those wanting a scientific career.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    We did have a latin teacher at my school when I joined but he left to go and work in a monastery or such. He had also been the religious education teacher, I think.

    Reply
  7. sarah thorley

    i think its probably the memory of the 4 ft french teacher mrs Hill. altough she was small she was a pocket rocket.nobody misbehaved in her class.She was a nice teacher but you just didnt step out of line.Even the 6 foot lads behaved themselves

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Our French teacher, my first one, was French, also small and strict but a very good teacher. I can’t believe I’ve forgotten her name!

    I can still remember her barking Asseyez-vous only once everyone had come in, quietened down and were standing at their desks waiting.

    Reply
  8. kaveyeats

    It’s gorgeous and thought it would be my favourite but I loved the coffee, orange and apples ones best.

    Reply
  9. Lisa

    Sorry, yes. [ahem]

    We didn’t do German at school, we had French and Italian. I loved both, but Italian seems to just make more sense, grammar-wise, to 14 year old me.
    I remember one chap, now a Cambridge graduate, asking the French teacher “Miss, do you speak French?” and wondering why the rest of the class just stared at him.

    Reply
  10. kaveyeats

    Yes, you’re quite a bit younger than me and they stripped them away a long time ago.

    Reply
  11. debbie smith

    i didnt go to school as i was home tutored but my best friend used to do french at school and would bring her exercise book and teach me different french words etc bless i still remember everything though so she must have been a good teacher x

    Reply
  12. Ozzy

    In an Italian lesson I once accidentally wrote coglione (swearword, roughly equivalent to “Ar**hole!” instead of coniglio (rabbit)…

    Reply
  13. kaveyeats

    Really? I looked at Google Street View and it looks so different now. My parents still live in Luton so I go and see them but no reason for me to visit the town centre any more.

    Reply
  14. Mamta

    Ah, the Flamingoes, a meeting place in Arndale 🙂
    I remember learning English in school, our teachers were very strict on grammar. A lot of different spellings for similar sounding words did not make any sense to us at all, like ‘put’ and ‘but’, pronounced differently! We learnt it pretty fast though.
    Sanskrit was compulsory in school in those days. now that was hard to learn. I only did the basic, just enough to pass. My elder sister on the other hand, did her degree in Sanskrit. I knew a cousin of a cousin, who went to Germany, of all places, to do her doctorate in Sanskrit!
    Although I love Indian sweet Almond Burfies, I never really learnt to enjoy Marzipan, always too sweet for me.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes apparently English is one of the more difficult languages to learn as a second language, as we have SUCH inconsistency of spelling, pronunciation, rules for creating plurals and so on!

    Reply
  15. kellyjo walters

    I did French, I bunked 90% of it through out my entire senior school…

    Reply
  16. Ellie Lane

    My dad was in the forces so we travelled a lot during my childhood, including 5 years in Germany where my sister was born. Strangely enough, in the forces run schools we didn’t learn German, but French. Back in the UK I start yet another school and am given my options for taking “O” levels. I drop all sciences, was rubbish at them anyway, and add German to compulsary French thinking it would be a doddle after living there for years. Wrong! Colloquial German is so different to grammatically correct German, and with everything being assigned one of 3 genders instead of just the 2 in French, I was soon totally confused.

    But I muddled through and passed my exams in both languages!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I certainly feel our exams favour formal written skills at the cost of being able to actually converse in the language.

    Reply
  17. Adrian Barnett

    The only things I have managed to keep from German and French lessons are the repetitive parts, numbers, eins, zwei, drei, vier, funf and days Lundi, Mardi, Mercredi, Jeudi.

    Reply
  18. Jen

    I ended up studying German for GCSE as I found it easier at the time but can’t remember anything at all now, not even any silly phrases. One memory from German lessons was the name of our teacher, Mr Cutler, who in German was called Herr Cutler. Doesn’t sound that funny apart from the fact that he was completely bald, cue much amusement for teenagers!

    I love marzipan but had no idea that it was graded in this way.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I think we had a Higginsbottom for something or other, which amused us all no end. And a Hoggett. It doesn’t take much to make kids giggle!

    Reply
  19. JANET HUMPHREY

    Our school had longstanding (over 40 years) links with two schools in southern France so language lessons for me included several trips there combined with return visits from french students. My first visit I was bunked in a pig farm with a student over 20 miles from the town where the school was, so I couldnt join my friends in the evenings. My french did rapidly improve however!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Oh that sounds fun — great to learn immersively and also good incentive to keep learning too!

    Reply
  20. bev

    I learned to swear proficiently in French during a three day school trip……

    Reply
  21. Gill Bland

    We had a Scottish German teacher, so we all ended up speaking German with a Scottish accent! I also remember vividly learning on/under etc in french with the use of a soft toy hamster. L’hamster est sous la table…etc…

    Also THOSE FLAMINGOS! That brings back memories of my childhood too. Growing up in Hitchin we sometimes went to Luton on shopping trips. RIP flamingos.

    Reply
  22. Heather Haigh

    I can remember my first French Lesson at High School. The teacher was French and for the first lesson spoke ONLY in French – I hadn’t a clue what she was talking about.

    Reply
  23. Sue Cotton

    Studied French at school but since we could never keep a teacher, our class had 23 over the three years I studied it, I only managed a CSE grade 3 (that’s how long ago it was), still remember some words when I need to!

    Reply
  24. Rozy

    I grew up in Luton in the 80s and the only thing I remember about the town are the flamingos in the Arndale Centre.

    Reply
  25. esther james

    I always struggled with french and found the teachers really stern! I enjoyed German more as found it easier and I also studied Welsh. I wasn’t very good though!

    Reply
  26. Krystyna Hodson

    I have fond memories of my French exchange classes. Help me a lot to learn language and understood grammar.My French teacher was very strict but very fluent.

    Reply
  27. Sheila Reeves

    I learnt French & German at school – some lessons taking place in the very modern (for the 70’s!) Language Lab – where were each in a booth with headphones, listening to an audio lesson, and replying to questions in French or German without being embarrassed about our accents

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Oh my gosh, I think we had one of those at sixth form, I’d forgotten such things!

    Reply
  28. Maxine

    I learned French and German at school, but German was by far my favourite, partly I think aided by a really great teacher who made the lessons interesting and contemporary – I remember some of our lessons included learning the lyrics to some German pop songs (oh, and then singing them … shudders at that memory!)

    Reply
  29. Camilla @FabFood4All

    I wish I had done German at school as it shares some of its words with Danish which I was fluent in as a child but instead I did French as most of us did and very briefly Spanish where the only word I remember was facil meaning easy!

    Reply
  30. Hester McQueen

    Horrendous memories. Family had emigrated to Canada and I was given German as the language to learn as I came from Scotland! The other pupils had already been studying for at least a couple of years. Family circumstances meant we returned to Scotland a few years later and I was put in French classes as part of Canada is French speaking! We lived in British Columbia. Still become tongue tied if I try to say a word in another language – any confidence to try has been well extinguished.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Oh my gosh! I’m lost as to why the Canadian teachers felt German was a better bet for you because you came from Scotland, than French! How odd!

    Reply
  31. scullion

    the phrase that always pops into my head from german lessons is ‘er ist polizeilich gesucht’ (i think that’s how it’s spelled) from a book we were given to read in our spare time – hmmm, not sure that it got finished!
    the most memorable french teacher i had had the strongest geordie accent going, bad enough trying to understand him in english let alone french.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    “He is wanted by the police” … ooh I say, that sounds like a good story!

    Reply
  32. Debbie H

    I remember my 1st French lesson aged about 7 in primary school. The teacher wrote a few words on th blackboard in French. I had never seen the language written down before & there were a few “posh” well-travelled children of school teachers in the class. Anyhow, when it came to “oui, c’est une chat” I pronounced “oui” rathvloudly as “Oy”. The oth kids, of course, got it right first time and I was mortified. Nearly half a century on & I still remember it so very clearly.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Gosh, in primary school? We didn’t start lessons till senior school, so at around 10 or 11 years old – one of the weaknesses of language learning in the UK is starting so late, I think!

    Reply
  33. Anthea Holloway

    I remember the Latin lessons which were awful because the teacher was scary and I went to pieces when she asked me a question. However, I am so glad that I learned Latin as it has always been a great help with grammar and other languages.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Our school’s latin teacher left just before I would have had to decide whether or not to take it – though I’d probably have decided against – he left to join a monastery, I think!

    Reply
  34. Mandi Davison

    I remember the best thing about french lessons was lotto as the teacher always had a mars bar for the winner and i kid you not, her name was Mrs Mort!!

    Reply
  35. Natalie Crossan

    When I was younger, I was actually chosen for being good in my German class to go on a 2 week governent funded trip to Russia! I spent 2 weeks in St Peters-burg, we had 3 hour Russian lessons per day and spent the rest of the time going on excursions and meeting other English children/Russian children – truly once in a lifetime!

    Reply
  36. Sheri Darby

    I remember being totally humiliated by our scary French teacher because I could not say Luxembourg

    Reply
  37. Joanne Homer

    I did Spanish at school and on my first trip to Spain with my brother and cousins thought I would put it to use, so we went to the ever Spanish restaurant McDonalds! I thought I was doing very well ordering a full menu for 4 of us but then came unstuck at the end when the assistant asked if I wanted to eat in or out ( in Spanish ) I just stood there and froze in horror while everyone laughed at me for trying to be a smart arse!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Aaw, yeah I think my parents had very unrealistic ideas of what level of fluency could be attained by a single year of highschool French — when we went to Paris in the holidays, they seemed so disappointed that I couldn’t converse and understand EVERYTHING!!!

    Reply
  38. Claire Bingham

    Our Germans lessons, but not for learning but for humour, as the teacher was new, naïve and very stupid, so we used to spend the lessons locking him in the cupboard, cello taping him to the chair etc. Our French lessons were a lot more productive though

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Oh my god, you sellotaped your teacher to the chair??? Hilarious!

    Reply
  39. Claire Ward

    I moved schools halfway through comp.! I remember being so upset my new school did have German as s language option

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Oh no, so did you have to switch half way through? Bet that was a nightmare!

    Reply
  40. Victoria Prince

    I never really did languages at school (long story!) but my overwhelming memory is being taught “Happy Birthday” in French, and “ouvrez le livre” and “ferme le livre”!!

    Reply
  41. Mark Chamberlin

    My French teacher used to breastfeed in class. It was very off putting for a 14 year old boy!

    Reply
  42. Tamsin Dean

    my school started teaching Greek as a trail, we absolutely love it and the Greek culture and food is fantastic, loved it ever since

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Wow, that’s unusual, not come across that as an option before!

    Reply
  43. Andrew Seaman

    Our French lessons in year 3 were always songs about random objects 🙂

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I can imagine singing a song about chairs and tables, for some reason. Probably an Eddie Izzard influence.

    Reply
  44. William Gould

    I just remember hating French lessons, all that grammar! Why didn’t they just teach us phrases to get by? I was much more interested in maths and physics….

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I guess longer term, you need more of a basis to take the language further, but I’m not sure the language teaching methods of our childhood were really the best anyway!

    Reply
  45. Ian Campbell

    The nerves and tension of walking to the teachers desk to complete a speaking test in French and German class and the sheer relief after its completion, especially when you got a great score. The taped speaking exams with an exam-board nominated person a few years later were pretty nerve-wracking too!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I liked the oral and aural tests better than the writing though, I was better at that. In written, I would forget the grammar and whether the verb ending was this or that… spoken was easier for me!

    Reply

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