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Assimil

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fanatic
Octoglot
Senior Member
Australia
speedmathematics.com
Joined 5309 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 177 of 278
10 September 2008 at 7:47pm | IP Logged 
Yes, zorglub, I agree with you. However, I do like the old French Without Toil better than the new because it followed the story of an English visitor to France who was learning French with Assimil and he also learns about the culture. I also have the new French Assimil (actually I have two versions of the new) and I like them too, but the old has appeal because you become involved with the story of Paul.

Spanish Without Toil was similar with the adventures of a Frenchman travelling to Spain and learning Spanish. I don't have a new version to compare.

The old German was more disjointed and not a continuing story. I haven't seen the new.

I have both old and new versions of Dutch and I like them both. I have no problem with the new version except for spaces in the audio.
1 person has voted this message useful



ficticius
Pro Member
United States
Joined 4270 days ago

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

 
 Message 178 of 278
11 September 2008 at 9:40am | IP Logged 
Fanatic and other's replies have been very encouraging to me. In fact Fanatic's experiences with Assimil, as mentioned on this board, is one of the main reasons that I went with that method.

Now I'm a bit discouraged. While I can translate from German to English "with ease", my English to German translation skills are minimal. I have also been watching German TV on-line and only understand a small fraction of what they say.

Curious as to what Fanatic and others did that allowed them to achieve fluency with Assimil German so rapidly.

Any helpful advice?
2 persons have voted this message useful



awake
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4799 days ago

406 posts - 438 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Esperanto, Spanish

 
 Message 179 of 278
11 September 2008 at 10:16am | IP Logged 
ficticius wrote:

Now I'm a bit discouraged. While I can translate from German to English "with ease", my English to German
translation skills are minimal. I have also been watching German TV on-line and only understand a small
fraction of what they say.


If you never heard the word 'big' before, and I told you that it meant 'large' then at first you might "translate"
big into large in your mind every time you encountered it.   The dog was big...big...oh that means large.    
Eventually, you'll stop translating big into large, you'll just know it's meaning. A new vocabulary word that
you've obtained.

(yes this example is absurd but you get the idea.)

The problem is that you are still translating the words, you haven't internalized them.   One of the things I think
is crucial to reach success with Assimil is to banish your native language as quickly as possible.    That's why the
target language is on one page and the translation is on the other. As soon as you can stop looking at the
translation, do so. But Also, focus on NOT translating the words. Work to think in the language rather than
translating it into English (or whatever).

You may want to input the sentences into a SRS like Supermemo or iFlash and use that to review them. Basically,
you just need lots and lots of exposure to help you fully internalize the language. An SRS can help you do that
in a more efficient manner.

Also, maybe you're just not ready for TV/radio yet.   If you've finished Assimil (and did you do both passive and
active waves?), go on to podcasts with transcripts, audiobooks (where you can get an actual text in both the
target and source languages), etc.    The key is you want comprehensible input.   DVD's or shows with subtitles
also can be useful, if the subtitles correspond closely to what was actually said.

And as far as production goes, the way to get good at it is to practice it....over and over again. If you can, find
someone you can chat with on an online messenger (typing is slower than speaking so it will help you keep up,
and have an online dictionary handy for quick lookups of words you don't know)...when you're ready, move to
skype and start using actual conversations.



2 persons have voted this message useful



zorglub
Pentaglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 5163 days ago

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

 
 Message 180 of 278
11 September 2008 at 5:37pm | IP Logged 
ficticius wrote:
Fanatic and other's replies have been very encouraging to me. In fact Fanatic's experiences with Assimil, as mentioned on this board, is one of the main reasons that I went with that method.

Now I'm a bit discouraged. While I can translate from German to English "with ease", my English to German translation skills are minimal. I have also been watching German TV on-line and only understand a small fraction of what they say.

Curious as to what Fanatic and others did that allowed them to achieve fluency with Assimil German so rapidly.

Any helpful advice?


maybe I understand what blocks you.
You speak of "translating".
But you should NOT TRANSLATE, you should use Assimil to SAY things and UNDERSTAND them. try and THINK in the language.
I'm not in the process of using a new Assimil at the moment, but I think you should try and take control of the text in the target manguage and understand it then tell it , thinking it.
During the passive phase, you do not need to be accurate, you need to convey the idea. And use correct grammatical forms.

Well now , as I am the lucky one who speaks french as his mother tongue, I may not realise the problems some lousy English version may elicit.
2 persons have voted this message useful



zorglub
Pentaglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 5163 days ago

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

 
 Message 181 of 278
11 September 2008 at 5:46pm | IP Logged 
awake wrote:
...

The problem is that you are still translating the words, you haven't internalized them.   One of the things I think is crucial to reach success with Assimil is to banish your native language as quickly as possible.    That's why the target language is on one page and the translation is on the other. As soon as you can stop looking at the translation, do so. But Also, focus on NOT translating the words. Work to think in the language rather than
translating it into English (or whatever).


This is very well said:
- try and forget your mother language
- internelise, think in the traget language.

One thing I do when shadowing the CDs in my car, or running etc... is using the blanks to fill theml with sentences I imagine, in the target language also. I do not translate , at that moment i just speak in the language and I suppose I think in it.
I find this helpful and not boring.
1 person has voted this message useful



ficticius
Pro Member
United States
Joined 4270 days ago

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

 
 Message 182 of 278
30 October 2008 at 9:53am | IP Logged 
After reaching unit 66 of Assimil German, I became discouraged and gave up. This due to things like figuring out the dative and such. Any suggestions on that?

I do like Assimil as a course though and am thinking of having another go at it. Do I start from the beginning? Any suggestions on how I can succeed this time?
1 person has voted this message useful



TheElvenLord
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 4243 days ago

915 posts - 927 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: Cornish, English*
Studies: Spanish, French, German
Studies: Portuguese, Mandarin

 
 Message 183 of 278
30 October 2008 at 10:09am | IP Logged 
If you figure it out yourself, then you will remember it better IME.

How long ago did you give up?

TEL
1 person has voted this message useful



ficticius
Pro Member
United States
Joined 4270 days ago

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

 
 Message 184 of 278
30 October 2008 at 10:17am | IP Logged 
About 8 weeks ago. I started to wind down before that though. When I first started I was enjoying the Assimil method.


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