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High school German to C2 in 3 months!

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magictom123
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3637 days ago

272 posts - 365 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French

 
 Message 41 of 73
13 April 2010 at 6:27pm | IP Logged 
I wouldn't waste your time on livemocha. I used
it for Italian and found the only useful aspect to be that of the language exchange section where you can
chat/interact with other students, but if you can do that in a real environment then the site serves no
purpose. The main courses seemed to be a poor man's Rosetta Stone (and that's saying something), with
the added extra that they are mistake ridden.

I don't really have a suggestion for an alternative.

Edited by magictom123 on 13 April 2010 at 6:29pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



doviende
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
languagefixatio
Joined 4030 days ago

533 posts - 1245 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Spanish, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Hindi, Swedish, Portuguese

 
 Message 42 of 73
13 April 2010 at 7:52pm | IP Logged 
Almost all of my SRS usage is in coordination with my reading. I read books (preferably with simultaneous audiobook), and when there's an interesting phrase or sentence, I put it into Anki. I find this helps me grasp those new vocab words, because the reviews given to me by Anki are the extra push that I need to cement those words. Otherwise, the particular word I'm interested might not come up in the book or in conversation for weeks, and then I'll forget it.

When a sentence comes up in Anki, I always remember the context of the story where I plucked it from. Without this context, it'd be pretty boring and difficult...I hate doing flashcards for individual words, and find it mostly useless.

My main vocab source is reading, and looking up some of the words that I find while reading if I can't get them from context. I actually quite like the idea of LingQ, except that I hardly ever find interesting content in digital format that would be suitable to import there. It's hard to get novels in an easy electronic format, so I usually end up buying dead-tree copies from a bookstore.

In my case, it doesn't make much sense to do only 1 week of reading. The big benefits come from doing a month or more of reading every day. I will actually notice little improvements after a week, but it takes several hundred thousand words of reading to actually get good. I think my German level at the start was similar to yours (since I had some highschool German), and by the time I hit about 500000 words of reading then I felt very confident that I could understand almost anything that I read. Continuing past 1000000 words helped even more.
5 persons have voted this message useful



irishpolyglot
Nonaglot
Senior Member
Ireland
fluentin3months
Joined 3677 days ago

285 posts - 892 votes 
Speaks: Irish, English*, French, Esperanto, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Sign Language
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 43 of 73
14 April 2010 at 4:01pm | IP Logged 
@magictom Thanks for the advice - I've heard that Livemocha isn't so great, but I am still definitely going to try it out for the sake of reviewing what is clearly a very popular system. Even if I find just one aspect of it that is worth using, then I'll want to share it. If I review several different ones and give the pros & cons then perhaps people only familiar with one system will see the benefits of another one.

@doviende Thanks again for your response!!
I've dipped my toes into Anki earlier than planned, based on Judith's advice, and am very very impressed. I was a little sceptical at first, since I have a basic idea of flashcards, but this is definitely something I will eventually incorporate permanently into my learning strategy :) Also glad to see it runs on Linux ;)

LingQ is working well for me, and the interface is fantastic, but as you say the content just isn't that great. I think I'll eventually be applying your suggestion and combining reading of my own material with Anki for words I have to look up.

How have you been counting the words you read? I suppose if I was reading digital documents I could paste them into a wordprocessor and get a count, but I'm not that interested in counting words generally to be honest.

Reading will be a crucial part of this mission, but I'm still working on my conversational skills and crucial vocabulary much more at the moment.

Great job on reaching a million words btw!!
1 person has voted this message useful



doviende
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
languagefixatio
Joined 4030 days ago

533 posts - 1245 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Spanish, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Hindi, Swedish, Portuguese

 
 Message 44 of 73
14 April 2010 at 5:06pm | IP Logged 
To count words, I just do an estimate for each book. I come up with an average number of lines per page, and an average number of words per line, giving me an approximate number for words per page. After that I just count the pages I've read, and multiply. It's pretty approximate, but it's close enough. I just want to have a number that keeps going up as I read, but I have some books that have almost twice as many words per page as the others and I want to count them evenly.

My next task is reaching 500000 words in Swedish before I bicycle my way to Sweden. ;)
2 persons have voted this message useful



mspen1018
Triglot
Newbie
United States
Joined 3375 days ago

36 posts - 44 votes
Speaks: English, German, Sign Language
Studies: Persian, Spanish

 
 Message 45 of 73
21 April 2010 at 2:42am | IP Logged 
asking helps in Germany, I know how to speak it because of my family and pass as native in Unterschleißheim when
I visit my cousins but in most areas where they speak Hochdeutsch either "was bedeutet (word)?" or "wie heißt
(word) auf Englisch?" will often help out a lot.

I have been there and lived there but lived in the US more than there and my family spoke a lot of slang and only
sometimes spoke proper Hochdeutsch.
1 person has voted this message useful



datsunking1
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3629 days ago

1014 posts - 1532 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: German, Russian, Dutch, French

 
 Message 46 of 73
21 April 2010 at 3:30am | IP Logged 
doviende wrote:
To count words, I just do an estimate for each book. I come up with an average number of lines per page, and an average number of words per line, giving me an approximate number for words per page. After that I just count the pages I've read, and multiply. It's pretty approximate, but it's close enough. I just want to have a number that keeps going up as I read, but I have some books that have almost twice as many words per page as the others and I want to count them evenly.

My next task is reaching 500000 words in Swedish before I bicycle my way to Sweden. ;)


500000 words? lol I don't even know if I know that many in my native language...
1 person has voted this message useful



ellasevia
Decaglot
Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4186 days ago

2152 posts - 3231 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Croatian, Greek, Japanese, Turkish, Italian
Studies: Mandarin, Persian, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 47 of 73
21 April 2010 at 4:02am | IP Logged 
datsunking1 wrote:
doviende wrote:
To count words, I just do an estimate for each book. I come up with an average number of lines per page, and an average number of words per line, giving me an approximate number for words per page. After that I just count the pages I've read, and multiply. It's pretty approximate, but it's close enough. I just want to have a number that keeps going up as I read, but I have some books that have almost twice as many words per page as the others and I want to count them evenly.

My next task is reaching 500000 words in Swedish before I bicycle my way to Sweden. ;)


500000 words? lol I don't even know if I know that many in my native language...


I think he means reading 500,000 words from books, not learning that many individual words. One book might be many thousands of words, but the vast majority would be repetitions of themselves.

Edited by ellasevia on 21 April 2010 at 4:02am

2 persons have voted this message useful



irishpolyglot
Nonaglot
Senior Member
Ireland
fluentin3months
Joined 3677 days ago

285 posts - 892 votes 
Speaks: Irish, English*, French, Esperanto, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Sign Language
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 48 of 73
21 April 2010 at 7:18pm | IP Logged 
**** LIVEMOCHA QUESTION*****
Hi again! My first week of input experiments went well and I found the "LingQ" website to be surprisingly useful. I'm writing an extremely detailed review of its pros and cons and will put that up on the site tomorrow.

However, this week I'm trying out Livemocha and I'm having great trouble trying to understand how I can use it practically. Does anyone here have experience in it? There are some questions I have from trying to use it for a half an hour

* The courses for German seem to be extremely basic and I need something more like intermediate and up. Am I right in presuming that the system only caters for beginners?
* Where is this amazing community that I've heard so much about?? I see no forums, chatrooms, personal blogs - nothing! Am I missing something obvious? All I can imagine so far is searching for natives and asking them directly if they want to chat with me. Is that the "community" aspect? How is it different to doing the same here on HTLAL or contacting random people in facebook/other networks?
If there is indeed a vast community I don't seem to be seeing, maybe someone could indicate where I have to go...

Any tips really appreciated - I know a lot of people think it's a waste of time, but I had wanted to review it. If my guesses from the two points above are right then I should end this particular experiment and start with the next one.


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