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My confusing method

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38 messages over 5 pages: 13 4 5  Next >>
Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4585 days ago

9757 posts - 15778 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 9 of 38
29 June 2015 at 1:00am | IP Logged 
I've read some of the past threads you started... You got some great advice here. You appear to have some experience with German, Esperanto, French and Spanish. This thread also contains great advice but remember that it was given with your trip in mind.

You mentioned your interest in biology/science. Is this your main motivation to learn German? Try GLOSS then, and see if you can find something science-focused. Tons of scientists around the world read professional texts almost from the beginning, or after minimal study. It's usually assumed to be difficult but really specialized texts tend to be easier to deal with than general fiction. I can typically understand stuff about football, linguistics and medicine before I can get through long descriptive passages in ordinary stories.

As for HP, are you actually a fan? Does the idea motivate you? If it does, follow Cavesa's advice on this :)

Try out the game Criminal Case, btw. If it's too difficult, keep it in mind for later.

You're definitely a false beginner in German. Whatever course you pick, don't worry about covering all the easy boring stuff in the early lessons. Any gaps you have will be exposed soon enough, and fortunately beginner grammar is everywhere and you can find examples easily. Move on and don't aim to produce every single sentence from lessons 1-5 if there's a lot of new stuff waiting in lesson 10. (Don't rush either, of course. Simply be honest to yourself over whether things make sense. If they don't, go back. If they make sense in general, don't obsess over minor details)

Where does the confusion come from anyway? Your methods are not inherently confusing. It does seem like you may be suppressing a part of yourself as you try to adhere to them, though.

Edited by Serpent on 29 June 2015 at 1:11am

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basica
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 1524 days ago

157 posts - 269 votes 
Studies: Serbian

 
 Message 10 of 38
29 June 2015 at 1:21am | IP Logged 
My biggest advice is lower your expectations. Stop thinking about learning the language in weeks or months
and move it to years. Once you can swallow that you can then begin to enjoy the process, or at least endure it
better :)

I have had a very similar history to yours, but with Serbian. I don't know how many times I've attempted to
learn it since I was 14 (I am a fair bit older than that now :P ), but I can tell you from all those attempts until
this year I couldn't say anything but a few memorised phrases. Serbian (grammatically speaking) is pretty
complex when compared to German, but in 3 (getting close to 4) months of study I am in the A2 range and
I've probably been within that range for a little while now, but I am improving everyday :)

I mention my story so can appreciate that your goal is achievable, but you need to be focusing on what's
important right now. To be honest, I would ditch your lessons until you're a solid A1 and focus on lessons
which are entirely in German. It seems to me that for you having power to create and manipulate sentences is
really important to help create a sense of accomplishment, this usually takes a while but perhaps you might be
better off starting with Michel Thomas? He starts you right off the bat creating sentences and manipulating
them and it might help to keep you interested. Once you've finished MT you can then backtrack on go onto TY
or Colloquial or Assimil and go from there.

I would also (and this is highly subjective) recommend you put effort behind memorising vocabulary. Use Anki,
use memrise - use something to help you remember words. You can change this up later, but I believe in the
early levels it really is important and adds to that sense of accomplishment that keeps us going. Plus, you
might learn those days of the week that you're interested in learning, or any vocab that you decide you wish to
know :)
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4585 days ago

9757 posts - 15778 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 11 of 38
29 June 2015 at 1:45am | IP Logged 
Yeah, these are good points. Although you don't have to make permanent/drastic decisions.
For example, you may benefit from s_allard's strategy. I definitely remember feeling like I don't know a single German word confidently, and I saw improvement after doing some paper flash cards. I used Gunnemark's list of 400 words or so. Turned out that I did know some German after all :D
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2695 days ago

5310 posts - 9395 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 12 of 38
29 June 2015 at 2:44am | IP Logged 
It's perfectly possible to have lessons 3 times a week at A1 level even if you're not
comfortable making sentences. Just f**king open GT while talking and ask them to write
bloody everything down. I've done it a million times, and it's never mattered whether it
was Finnish, Czech, Greek or Mandarin.

You just need to do it right. If you're speaking English then yeah the class is pointless
unless you want explicit grammar instruction.
4 persons have voted this message useful



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3250 days ago

2224 posts - 6707 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 13 of 38
29 June 2015 at 2:56am | IP Logged 
Post deleted after reading Serpents response. I thought you were 14 and Serpent says you are now 17. Everyone has given you good advice, which you are now old enough to follow. Be consistent and persistent. Show up. Show up every day. Forget CEFR. Just learn German and remember it takes a lot more time than you think.

Edited by iguanamon on 29 June 2015 at 4:13am

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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4585 days ago

9757 posts - 15778 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 14 of 38
29 June 2015 at 4:06am | IP Logged 
That post is from 2012 though.
But yeah 17 is also young and awesome :)

not sure about prioritizing school/university over self-study languages. if I had done that I'd still not be that fluent even in Finnish and Portuguese. Maybe my German would be better though.
3 persons have voted this message useful



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3250 days ago

2224 posts - 6707 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 15 of 38
29 June 2015 at 4:08am | IP Logged 
Gee thanks, Serpent, now I have to re-edit my post, AGAIN!
1 person has voted this message useful



smallwhite
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 3296 days ago

537 posts - 1045 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin, French, Spanish

 
 Message 16 of 38
29 June 2015 at 4:52am | IP Logged 
EnglishEagle wrote:
I know language learning is not a race

Indeed it's not a race, but if one is learning much slower than others then that may mean one is doing it incorrectly.

LINK
According to FSI ranking, German is a relatively easy language for English speakers to learn. The FSI German course spans 30 weeks / 750 hours (I think that's just class hours, and you're expected to do further study on your own).

EnglishEagle wrote:
Assimil...

LINK
LINK
Member fanatic describes his very fast progress in German using Assimil.

LINK
Member noriyuki_nomura passed the DELE Spanish exam level B2 scoring 88.01% using Assimil alone.

I've never used Assimil myself.

EnglishEagle wrote:
Teach Yourself...

I used Teach Yourself German for listening practice only, after I knew most of its contents. I editted out all the English. I loved it because the sound quality was excellent, the voice actors spoke well, and the contents were lively and interesting.

I didn't use it as my first textbook so I cannot comment in that respect.

EnglishEagle wrote:
word order confuses me a bit still...

Study the 2 tables on this page and you'll find German word order super easy!
Table 1
Sentence_Structure_in_Main_clauses
Table 2
Syntax_of_Dependent_Clauses

EnglishEagle wrote:
Is A2 even an achievable goal by September?

Would that mean 5 months in total? I think that's achievable, seeing the FSI people reach C1 in 7.5 months, I read about someone passing C1 after a 10-month intensive course (likely most students in that course passed as well), and I think I reached B1 after 6 months on my own. But you'll need maybe 2500 dictionary headwords for A2, so you may need to put some deliberate effort into that.

Edited by smallwhite on 29 June 2015 at 11:58pm



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