Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 3/16/2002 8:01:49 PM EDT
Does anyone here know German, or more specifically learned it as a second language? I'm interested in knowing what would be the best way to learn German (other than moving there)
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 8:06:04 PM EDT
Try the Berlitz method, "think and speak" works great. You can even get interactive CDs for computer use.
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 8:09:32 PM EDT
Interaction is usually the best way. Hearing it spoken correctly and being able to have what you say critiqued. Another plus, you can ask questions. The DLI is an option... [:D] [url]http://pom-www.army.mil/[/url] College courses can be good. Private tutoring is another option.
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 8:10:30 PM EDT
The only phrases I remember from my two years of German in high school are: Ich habe eine Geshichte prufung. Fussball, nein. Limonade, ja!
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 8:14:34 PM EDT
Danke, dass Sie mich in ihrem Streifenwagen mitnehmen.
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 8:25:41 PM EDT
I took German in both High School and College, but if you don't use it, you lose it. But 'immersion' is the best way to learn any foreign language. That's where you go to a school and only that foreign language is permitted to be spoken. You learn quickly how to ask where the toilet is in that language if no one will answer you in English! I had two Italian friends in Law School who basically taught themselves English by watching American soap operas! I believe it's pretty easy to understand why - just look at a Spanish language soap opera and pretty soon you can see what's happening in a scene and what the actors must be saying to go along with their obvious emotions, etc. Eric The([i][b]BitteSehr![/b][/i])Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 8:28:00 PM EDT
I took six years of German in high school and college. In my opinion, the best way of learning it is to study it. It's a relatively easy language to learn, at least for native English speakers. The alphabet is nearly the same -- keep an eye out for the character that looks like a 'B' with a little tail; that's the ess-zet, basically a way of contracting two esses: scheisse! == scheiBe! Also note the two-dot accent called the "umlaut": 'ä'. It modifies the pronunciation of the 'a', 'o', or 'u' (only those three) so they sound, uh, "rounder". You kinda round out your lips and pucker a bit when saying them. If someone is typing on a keyboard that doesn't have them, the usual way of getting around it is to add an 'e' after the vowel, so "Mädchen" becomes "Maedchen". I would recommend approaching it on two fronts. First, you want to learn some basic vocabulary and how to talk; the Pimsleur tapes or CDs (the full set of 20, I recommend BooksAMillion.com for (probably) the lowest discount) are an excellent way to start that process. Second, you will need to learn the grammar; get a decent introductory textbook (NOT just a grammar reference, although you could get one in addition to the textbook) to guide you through that.
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 8:32:34 PM EDT
I'd agree that immersion is a good way, EXCEPT that jz02 doesn't want to move there. [:)] BTW, other things you can do are to find some web-based "radio" stations in German and listen to them whenever you can (work, home, horseback riding, skiing . . . wait, that's tampons), and find some native German speakers with whom you can talk every now and then.
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 8:37:18 PM EDT
with realplayer you can listen to Sunshine Live. (aus Stuttgart) [:)] I listen from time to time, good bandwidth helps! [url]http://www.sunshine-live.de[/url]
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 8:55:35 PM EDT
Eric, I've heard the phrase Bittesehr before, what does it mean? I think bitte means something like please right? Well I've never officially taken German but I do listen to some German songs and I pick up various German phrases from books (mostly math and physics terms). And I've watched a couple of German films (Stalingrad, Das Boot, Europa Europa, and some others I can't remember).
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 9:02:15 PM EDT
bitte sehr = please danke sehr = thank you very much bitte = please danke = thanks bitte = ~(you're welcome)
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 9:03:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jz02: Does anyone here know German,
View Quote
Why yes, I do speak some German :)
or more specifically learned it as a second language?
View Quote
You kinda got me there :) English is my second language, German my first.
I'm interested in knowing what would be the best way to learn German (other than moving there)
View Quote
I guess you can do it just the same, only the other way 'round: I took the voluntary English courses back in high school, for 4 years. That left me with a nice base to start from, but nothing really usable. Listening to English radio, and later TV stations helped me along the way some, also reading hundreds of books. Reading books you already know in your native language for a second time, only this time in the foreign language you're trying to learn, makes things easier, since you can concentrate on the vocabulary, the syntax and the colloquialisms, instead the content. Later on I took a six-month full time course "Business English", offered by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where I actually had native speakers for teachers for the first time: Victoria from Wales, Dave from Scotland, and Andrea from New Orleans. That didn't do much to provide me with one consistent accent ;) Everytime I had the opportunity and thought I could get away with it, I sneaked into "social circles" where only English was spoken, like, American G.I. bars in the Bamberg/Nuernberg/Schweinfurt area; I worked as a contractor (painter) on US Army bases (Darmstadt, Hanau, Frankfurt, Friedberg) and actually became friends with many a G.I. The first time that I actually went to an English speaking country was when I hitchhiked to London, just for shits and giggles. Pretty embarassing experience: I thought my English was pretty good by then, but nooooooo. Knowing a good part of the words and knowing how to spell most them, even occasional conversation, isn't quite enough, I learned. Total immersion is an entirely different matter. Unless you actually _live_ in a country, the language will always be a foreign language to you. And even then, one can still fail to get even the smallest grasp of the language. Look at all them Mexicans. WTF? The other day I got a call, and some female voice asks me "Buenos tardes, hablamos Espanol?". Thinking rather quickly, I replied: "Nein. Sprechen Sie deutsch? No? Well, tough shit, let's speak [b]ENGLISH[/B] then!" Did I have a point? Oh, yeah, "How to learn a foreign language": read books, novels, manuals, dictionaries, watch movies (subtitles can help), listen to the radio (no foreign language radio station in your area? you can listen to many on the 'Net), try to get some penpals, try to get in contact with pockets of the foreign language in your area, and all of that's on top of taking proper courses, of course. Here's a little club of a expat Germans: [url]http://www.messagefriends.com/cgi-bin/dsidxmsgb.cgi?id=3574&zxs=ds[/url]
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 9:42:48 PM EDT
To say I studied German in high school would be a bit much. But I did attend class for the three years it was offered. [:D] But that was a lifetime ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Like was said before, if you don't use it, you lose it. [:(]
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 10:28:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2002 10:36:39 PM EDT by flashman]
Wow, kar98 - I would never have pegged you as a non native speaker. Your English language skills are better than mine (or is that mind?) Haha. Thanks for the inspiration - I’m studying Italian. Why? I love the place. Edited to add - I've just proved my point, I had to edit my post. Mike
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 10:44:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By flashman: Your English language skills are better than mine (or is that mind?) Haha. Edited to add - I've just proved my point, I had to edit my post.
View Quote
LOL, don't sweat it, you didn't hear me yet :> Akzent? Vott akzent? [img]http://www.plaudersmilies.de/jump.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 3/16/2002 10:47:08 PM EDT
Have to give the nod to Kar98 , had some in school but it didn't help at all . Learn almost all of it while I lived there . No after being back in the states for 10 years I've pretty much forgotten most of ... well pretty much All of it . (I kind of miss the sound of Morgen Morgan from my friend Rolf )
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 3:20:03 AM EDT
Marry a German! You not only learn the language but if your lucky you'll get one that cooks like my wife and end up fat!!!LOL I know you don't want to move there, but like the others said being exposed to the language really helps. I spent over 13 years in Germany some with the military some as a civilian. Both my kids were born in Germany and speak both English and German, German is the main language spoken in our home. That really helps keep my skills up. I thought my German skills were good when I was in the military, my wife only speaks German to me, never English. But I really saw progress when I lived there as a civilian. Working a German job, speaking it every day, having to speak it because no one speaks english really helps. Radio, TV and magazines help also. My German is by no means perfect but it's good enough to work and live on my own over there. Exposure I guess is the best, like the guys said listen to German radio on the web, or check out a book store for magazines. We have a book store here "The Newsstand" which has a German section, my wife gets her favorite mags and I get mine, "Selber Machen", a home improvement magazine. Reading helps your skills alot. Kar98, my wife thinks just like you do there in your second paragraph!!!! LOL And for all the German critics, my wife helped me with the spelling of "Wurscht", she says that's "Bayrisch!"
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 2:00:30 PM EDT
I hear their beer and sausages are good
Link Posted: 3/17/2002 2:30:54 PM EDT
I lived in an immigrant household and only heard German when my dad was trying to start the lawn mower for the first time in the spring. However, I did spend summers with my relatives and learned it through immersion. Later I studied it during high school and college - for the easy A of course! But I "lost" it when I was forced to take koine and classical Greek, Latin and the obligatory Hebrew. By the way, I tried to learn Spanish but hit a brick wall. I sounded like a Kraut trying to order tacos with a Greek accent. Balleis Korakes!
Top Top