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Suggested methods for studying German

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
14 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
Stephen
Groupie
Australia
Joined 4951 days ago

61 posts - 63 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 1 of 14
15 February 2009 at 5:03pm | IP Logged 
Hello Professor

I wonder if you could perhaps give a few comments on whether to start a serious outing in learning German in FSI or Linguaphone.

The FSI course; audio and manuals I have downloaded free from the internet and I have bought a German minilab full course from ebay for a snip.

Both are comprehensive courses. I really want to be able to both speak, read and write German.

Would you suggest any particular course to start with?

The Linguaphone full course is dated 1997, whilst the FSI course is 1961 I think.

Many thanks.
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Stephen
Groupie
Australia
Joined 4951 days ago

61 posts - 63 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 2 of 14
16 February 2009 at 5:47am | IP Logged 
I just wanted to add, one of the main reasons why i am asking for specific advice on this choice, is due to the Professor's assertion that language courses made in the post war era were of a generally high standard whilst they have become sort of dumbed down towards the later end of the 20th century: I'm not sure if the linguaphone comprehensive course would have been compromised but the books say 1997, so I assume they are updated ones and different from ones printed in the 60s for instance.
FSI on the other hand is printed in 1961 I believe so if this fits into the general pattern of the high quality books in that era, then perhaps FSI is best to study. I have also read the language learning success of this website's proprietor whilst he studied FSI Spanish, which he was obviously enthused about.
I am not knowledgeable about the systems FSI and Linguaphone use and therefore would appreciate some candid advice on which may be the most appropriate course to tackle first. I am aware that any suggestion can only be subjective, but would be pleased to hear from the Prof. or any other member with their thoughts.
Thanks.
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Budz
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
languagepump.com
Joined 4913 days ago

118 posts - 171 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, Russian, Esperanto, Ukrainian, Mandarin, Cantonese, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Persian, Hungarian, Kazakh, Swahili, Vietnamese, Polish

 
 Message 3 of 14
16 February 2009 at 7:16am | IP Logged 
I'll think you'll find that the FSI courses are good in that they have a heap of accompanying audio but from what I've seen they don't have such a detailed explanation of grammar.
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JonB
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4805 days ago

209 posts - 220 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Italian, Dutch, Greek

 
 Message 4 of 14
16 February 2009 at 9:59am | IP Logged 
It will be interesting to see what Professor Arguelles says about this.

In my humble opinion Linguaphone is very much better than FSI. And I also think that the later generation of Linguaphone (i.e. those courses first published 1975-1985, and then re-issued up to 2000) are slightly better than the earlier 1950/60s generation.

I think the Professor's liking for the earlier generation is based on the fact that there was a common format/content across the whole range then - which thereby offered a certain 'learning discount' to a student aiming to learn several languages using this method. But if you are just learning one language then that consideration doesn't apply.

Of course the optimum is to use BOTH generations of Linguaphone together - if you can find them! (I'm currently working on Modern Greek in this way...)
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ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 5796 days ago

609 posts - 2100 votes 

 
 Message 5 of 14
17 February 2009 at 10:34pm | IP Logged 
Please watch the video reviews and demonstrations of these various methods that I made for the specific purpose of helping people choose from among them. Not knowing how your particular mind processes information, I cannot recommend this, that, or the other method as being inherently preferable to another.
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Stephen
Groupie
Australia
Joined 4951 days ago

61 posts - 63 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 6 of 14
17 February 2009 at 10:48pm | IP Logged 
ProfArguelles wrote:
Please watch the video reviews and demonstrations of these various methods that I made for the specific purpose of helping people choose from among them. Not knowing how your particular mind processes information, I cannot recommend this, that, or the other method as being inherently preferable to another.


Yes of course Professor. I have watched many of your videos and I would like to thank you for making these great resources available to the general public.

I suppose if I could rephrase my question it would be...

Given your knowledge of the FSI German course, is the Linguaphone comprehensive course (1997 late 20th century edition) as high a standard as it? Which one would you personally go for if you only had to choose from both courses?

I appreciate our minds are not homogeneous and we will all have our own peculiarities when it comes to learning, but consider your expertise as quite a valuable pointer in the decision and planning process.

Thanks
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ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 5796 days ago

609 posts - 2100 votes 

 
 Message 7 of 14
18 February 2009 at 8:44pm | IP Logged 
Both of these are thorough and well-designed courses that have their individual merits, but you cannot learn any language thoroughly from any single course. Thus, if you have watched my videos, you should know that I would not choose between these courses, but rather use them both in conjunction with a handful of other courses so as to develop a comprehensive self-study program.
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Stephen
Groupie
Australia
Joined 4951 days ago

61 posts - 63 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 8 of 14
18 February 2009 at 10:21pm | IP Logged 
ProfArguelles wrote:
Both of these are thorough and well-designed courses that have their individual merits, but you cannot learn any language thoroughly from any single course. Thus, if you have watched my videos, you should know that I would not choose between these courses, but rather use them both in conjunction with a handful of other courses so as to develop a comprehensive self-study program.


Ah, thank you Professor Arguelles for your reply. You have eased my anxiety about embarking on either choice of course.

Yes, no one course will achieve much more than a basic but firm grasp of the language, I believe. Nevertheless it is good to hear an expert confirm the benign quality of both of these courses before embarking on studying them. My fear was that I would be studying inferior material.

Regards

Steve

Edited by Stephen on 19 February 2009 at 1:47am



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