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Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 17 of 91
06 May 2012 at 8:17pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for your corrections and advices.

I try to use native materials. I have starded to read Agatha Christie a few weeks ago. I'm still on page 46 from 351. It takes time to look up unknown words. Normally I read in train, but with English books it is hard. It's unhandly with a book and a dictionary.
Did you learn the vocablurary by heart?

I'm interesting in politics and ancient history. So it's not hard to find materials in that. I read the German newspaper everyday. I thaught I could change it to an englisch one, but it's take a long time to finish it. Maybe I want too much at once.
In Germany, you can get "World and Press". A newspaper with original article from English newspapers with vocabulary explanations for Germans. I think it would be a good opertunity.

I have some dvds with orginals tons and I watch them from time to time with subtitles.
Sometime, I try to listen to radio, but I always want to look up unknown vocabulary, so it's a little bit difficult.

If I want to you my knowledge in an aktive way like writing and speaking, I'll get problems.
I wonder why I get them and looked at the mistakes. Most of them are grammar mistakes, so I thought it's a good way to review the grammar.

I'm sure, I'll find a good compromise of different ways.

By the way, I was at library today and found a notice board with face-to-face tandems. I think that is a good idea.



1 person has voted this message useful



Evita
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Latvia
learnlatvian.info
Joined 4915 days ago

734 posts - 1036 votes 
Speaks: Latvian*, English, German, Russian
Studies: Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 18 of 91
06 May 2012 at 9:24pm | IP Logged 
The reason I suggested reading online is that electronic dictionaries are very convenient. When I started reading in English at first I think I looked up 80-90% of unknown words, for the first couple of chapters maybe, but little by little I started to recognize which words are important in the context of the sentence and I started guessing the meaning of the not-so-important words. And no, I didn't learn them by heart. Many times I had to look up the same word twice or even more times. It's normal, I think. The goal is to get exposure to the language and to understand the book enough to enjoy it, you don't have to understand it 100%. Better to read two books and understand them 70% than read one book and understand it perfectly.

Speaking of grammar, you have to have a certain foundation, of course, and I think your grammar is better than mine was when I started reading in English. If you read enough you will pick up grammatical constructions naturally. For example, I never learned the rule you mentioned in the previous post about word order, about where to put the adverbs, I just picked it up from reading and listening. And I think that's also why it's easier for me to reproduce it - I don't have to think about rules when I write or speak, it just comes automatically. That's the beauty of learning a language through absorption.

Of course, studying grammar always helps, and some people think it's a more effective way of learning. Perhaps it is. But anyway, I think you need books or movies to learn expressions like "to be late for something" or "to find materials on something" or when to use 'clean' and when to use 'tidy' or a thousand other things. So I suggest spending more time on the crime novel than on the grammar book.

Good luck!
1 person has voted this message useful



Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 19 of 91
12 May 2012 at 10:22pm | IP Logged 
My English course started yesterday. I do it at university.
It's not a requirement for me, I do it to keep my English learning running.
The teacher will focus on grammar. She said we'll speak in classroom and do excercises at home.

So I decided to follow your advice and spending more time on books.
I'll will finish my crime book. Now I'm on page 107. I know more words than I thought.
I installed "learning with texts" on my PC and got "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" from the Gutenberg Project. I only read half of the first chapter to look into the programm.
At first I want to finish the crime.

Edited by Mareike on 12 May 2012 at 10:26pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 20 of 91
20 May 2012 at 11:26pm | IP Logged 
I did my homework for the English course and some grammar exercises.
I’ve been reading the crime; now I’m on page 219.

I realized that I understand a lot. I don’t look up many vocabulary; not more than a word per page. Okay, there do existing more ambitious books with more varied vocabulary and complexes sentence structures. But, it’s a good feeling, to know that you can read this book.

I think it’s a huge step to use the passive knowledge in an active way. I always understand more than I could say. My sentences are simpler and my texts sound choppy. If I try to build complicate sentences and to use conjunctions, it will end in a chaos.
Maybe I have to lower my standards.

In June, I’ll restart with Swedish and give Assimil a third chance. I have never finished more than 37 chapters.


Corrections are always welcome.

1 person has voted this message useful



Emme
Triglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 3710 days ago

980 posts - 1593 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, English, German
Studies: Russian, Swedish, French

 
 Message 21 of 91
21 May 2012 at 8:13pm | IP Logged 
Hallo, Mareike!

I can’t wait for June to follow your efforts with Assimil Swedish. Good luck!

As you know, I’m not a native speaker — so take what I say with a pinch of salt — but if you want, I can point out a couple of mistakes in your post that you will probably notice yourself as soon as I mention them (that happens to me all the time with German).

Here are the ones that seem more obvious:

Quote:
I’ve been reading the crime novel.
Here ’crime’ is a modifier (called attributive noun) that tells you what kind of novel you’re reading.

Quote:
I don’t look up many words.
’vocabulary’ here is uncountable so you can’t say *’many vocabulary’

Quote:
Okay, there are more ambitious books
when in doubt it’s usually better to choose the easiest way to express the concept you have in mind.

Quote:
with a more varied vocabulary and complex sentence structures
in English you don’t inflect adjectives.

Quote:
I always understand more than I could say.
Here I would use either the present or the past in both sentences: (consecutio temporum).

Quote:
it will end in chaos.


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Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 22 of 91
06 June 2012 at 11:59pm | IP Logged 
Swedish
I've started with the assimil course. Today I finished chapter 5.

English
I still reading the crime novel. There are only a few pages left and I will continue the reading in English after that book.

Next I want to read the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I've found it at the Gutenberg project.

I also did some grammar exercises today. I think I have some trouble with active and passive voices.

So what is the different:
Don't phone 8.00. We'll be having dinner then.
Don't phone 8.00. We'll having dinner then.
Why I use the passive voice here?

At the end of this term I'll have been teaching for six years?
At the end of this term I'll have teached for six years?
The first one is "correct". It stands in the solution. Is there any reason why I can't use Future perfect.

Have your heard about Lenny? He has been made redundant.
Could I also say "He was made redundant."?


Corrections are always welcome.



Edited by Mareike on 07 June 2012 at 12:01am

1 person has voted this message useful





jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5272 days ago

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

 
 Message 23 of 91
07 June 2012 at 1:55am | IP Logged 
Mareike wrote:
I also did some grammar exercises today. I think I have some trouble with active and passive voices.

So what is the different:
Don't phone 8.00. We'll be having dinner then.
Don't phone 8.00. We'll having dinner then.
Why I use the passive voice here?


First of all, I wouldn't call this passive voice (I've always seen "passive voice" as in "the novel was written by me" instead of "I wrote the novel").

"We'll having" is incomplete. It's either "we'll have" or "we'll be having". Hopefully a native can explain why the future progressive tense should be used instead of simple future. (By the way, a present progressive "we're having" would probably be OK, too.)

This might be helpful:
http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/future_comparison.h tm

Mareike wrote:
At the end of this term I'll have been teaching for six years?
At the end of this term I'll have teached for six years?
The first one is "correct". It stands in the solution. Is there any reason why I can't use Future perfect.


The same website I've linked to above suggests that Future Perfect Progressive/Continuous is used for "sth. that will have already begun and will be continuing in the future" - you won't have quit teaching by then, as opposed to Future Perfect ("sth. will already have happened before a certain time in the future). (By the way, 'teach' is irregular , so "I'll have taught" instead of "I'll have teached").

Mareike wrote:
Have your heard about Lenny? He has been made redundant.
Could I also say "He was made redundant."?


Probably a "tense agreement" here. The question is in perfect tense and so is the answer.

If you were asked "Did you hear about Lenny?", then "He was made redundant" would probably be OK.

Edited by jeff_lindqvist on 07 June 2012 at 10:14am

2 persons have voted this message useful



montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3191 days ago

2371 posts - 3675 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Danish, Welsh

 
 Message 24 of 91
07 June 2012 at 4:44am | IP Logged 
Mareike wrote:
Thanks for your corrections and advices.

I try to use native materials. I have starded to read Agatha Christie a few weeks ago.
I'm still on page 46 from 351. It takes time to look up unknown words. Normally I read
in train, but with English books it is hard. It's unhandly with a book and a
dictionary.



Do you have any form of electronic dictionary that you can carry around?
In the past, my main learning/improving language has been German, and it made a big
difference to me when I splashed out on an electronic dictionary (Sprachcomputer). I
actually bought mine in Germany - a Sharp, with the Langenscheidt dictionary loaded.

By modern standards, this is not particularly advanced technology, but that suits me.
It has a very legible screen, and the battery lasts for ages, and it's robust.

I know a lot of people (especially young people) would probably use something like an
iPod (or perhaps these days even an iPhone), and install the appropriate dictionary on
that. Whatever you prefer, but the important thing is it's very portable.

Just a thought.


Anyway, I think you are doing the right thing by going for native materials, and
something like Agatha Christie will keep you turning the pages. It may not be the
greatest literature, but there's nothing wrong with her English, so go for it.





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