Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Assimil

 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
278 messages over 35 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 22 ... 34 35 Next >>
ficticius
Pro Member
United States
Joined 4277 days ago

23 posts - 24 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 169 of 278
05 September 2008 at 9:27am | IP Logged 
Seeking advice - I am in the second wave of Assimil German. I'm finding that my reading comprehension is a million times better than my speaking ability. This really concerns me as my goal is to speak German as well as read it. I thought speaking fluency was the main benefit of the Assimil method. Any suggestions?
1 person has voted this message useful



josht
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4616 days ago

635 posts - 857 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: French, Spanish, Russian, Dutch

 
 Message 170 of 278
05 September 2008 at 10:29am | IP Logged 
A few things:

1) Have you been reading the lessons out loud during the passive wave? I've found that in going through Assimil's French course, reading the lessons out loud (repeatedly) helps me a great deal. You also might consider shadowing the audio; if you're unfamiliar with the idea of shadowing, search the forums, as it's been talked about a lot. I don't personally like shadowing, but others swear by it.

2) Lower your expectations a bit. It's quite common to have your passive abilities far surpass your active skills. It's obviously one thing to recognize a word, and quite another to quickly be able to produce it in speech.

3) This doesn't have to do specifically with speaking, but I think it is worth noting. I own the Assimil German course, but I purchased it after I'd been studying German for quite a long while. Beyond a few words here and there, I can understand all of the course. What I wanted to note is this: the English translations are awful. Often, the English sentence doesn't resemble the German sentence in the least. The French course by Assimil is excellent in regards to this, so I'm unsure as to what happened. This may give you a lot of trouble in regards to the active wave; if the English and German translations correspond to each other poorly, obviously, you're going to have trouble translating from English to German.
1 person has voted this message useful



ficticius
Pro Member
United States
Joined 4277 days ago

23 posts - 24 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 171 of 278
08 September 2008 at 11:28am | IP Logged 
If the English to German translations are not accurate, doesn't that make it difficult to translate from English to German? I love Assimil and have heard great things about it till now.

If Professor A., Fanatic, Volte or any one that has experienced success with Assimil German can offer up some advice, it would be most appreciated.
1 person has voted this message useful



josht
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4616 days ago

635 posts - 857 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: French, Spanish, Russian, Dutch

 
 Message 172 of 278
08 September 2008 at 12:07pm | IP Logged 
Yes, it does make it more difficult. In regards to their success with Assimil: Professor Arguelles and Fanatic both used one of the older versions of the course, which were generally of better quality. For example, in my copy of Assimil's Russisch ohne Mühe from the 1970s, when the German construction varies a lot from the Russian, often a word-for-word German translation is given to help clarify things. I've checked out one of the older German without Toil courses from 1950s before, and it too had many word for word translations, to help with the active wave.

And to clarify, I'm not saying that Assiml's stuff is bad. Even with its problems, the new German with Ease is still a wonderful place to start when learning the language. It just happens that the German course isn't nearly as good as the French one (in my opinion).
1 person has voted this message useful



fanatic
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
speedmathematics.com
Joined 5316 days ago

1152 posts - 1814 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, French, Afrikaans, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Dutch
Studies: Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Modern Hebrew, Malay, Mandarin, Esperanto

 
 Message 173 of 278
09 September 2008 at 2:35am | IP Logged 
ficticius wrote:
If the English to German translations are not accurate, doesn't that make it difficult to translate from English to German? I love Assimil and have heard great things about it till now.

If Professor A., Fanatic, Volte or any one that has experienced success with Assimil German can offer up some advice, it would be most appreciated.


I had no problems with the German to English translation for German Without Toil.

I have a feeling that there were a couple of words that could have been translated better.

I heard a mother call her son and he said he would come "gleich."

She said, "Not gleich, but sofort!"

As I recall, in German Without Toil, both words are translated as immediately. I didn't find that a big deal but it could have caused embarrassment.

By the way, my brother has just returned to Germany to work for a few months. He learnt German using Assimil German Without Toil alone and he has just been tested as being suitable to go straight into the "very advanced" German class run by his company.

Edited by fanatic on 09 September 2008 at 2:44am

1 person has voted this message useful



phouk
Diglot
Newbie
Germany
Joined 4208 days ago

28 posts - 48 votes
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 174 of 278
09 September 2008 at 4:00am | IP Logged 
fanatic wrote:
I heard a mother call her son and he said he would come "gleich."

She said, "Not gleich, but sofort!"

As I recall, in German Without Toil, both words are translated as immediately. I
didn't find that a big deal but it could have caused embarrassment.


Both "sofort" and "gleich" can be correctly translated as "immediately", and both can
be used interchangeably in most situations. There is a slight nuance between them in
that "sofort" can also mean "instantly" and "gleich" (especially in spoken speech) can
also mean "shortly". So maybe this exchange could be translated as "I'm coming in a
sec." - "Not 'in a sec', NOW!". But I can't imagine a situation where using one word
instead of the other would cause any embarrassment.

Edited by phouk on 04 March 2009 at 8:46pm

2 persons have voted this message useful





jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5079 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 175 of 278
09 September 2008 at 7:56am | IP Logged 
I haven't had any particular problems with German with Ease. As for English translations (and translations in general), there are a lot of ways to say things. Regarding "immediately" (from the gleich/sofort example), we'd better not take the translation too literally or we might encounter problems if we see them as perfect synonymes.

(By the way, the FSI courses are full of examples like "as you may remember, this word means --- but is often used as the English word --- and also in this case".)

As long as I make sure that I listen to real German (and internalize it), I don't put too much focus on the "translating back into German from English" (where I think that some translations may cause problems).
1 person has voted this message useful



zorglub
Pentaglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 5170 days ago

441 posts - 503 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: French*, English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: German, Arabic (Written), Turkish, Mandarin

 
 Message 176 of 278
10 September 2008 at 6:39pm | IP Logged 
josht wrote:
Yes, it does make it more difficult. In regards to their success with Assimil: Professor Arguelles and Fanatic both used one of the older versions of the course, which were generally of better quality.pens that the German course isn't nearly as good as the French one (in my opinion).


I often read old Assimil was better than the currents versions are.
Well I can't really tell and my own experiments are based on the current versions of Italian (not"with ease") , "Spanish", and German" as compared to the previous editions that date back to the 1985 or 95 5 don't remember. I do not find the newer versions worse. But of course I have no idea about the much older versions. What I know is they were very efficient for me.

And I'm always dubious when I hear "it used to be better before". It has always been better before and to day is the before of next year. There's a bilingual Matin/french book for those interested, "Quid novis sub sole" , that shows that ancient Ital... oops: Roman authors already stated everything was better before, pupils better educated, less problems in the Middle East etc....
End of rant.
Z
Edited for bad spelling.

Edited by zorglub on 11 September 2008 at 5:40pm



1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 278 messages over 35 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.4375 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2019 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.