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The overall usefulness of FSI

  Tags: Usefulness | FSI
 Language Learning Forum : Language Programs, Books & Tapes Post Reply
35 messages over 5 pages: 1 2 3 4
Senior Member
United States
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136 posts - 149 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 Message 33 of 35
05 September 2015 at 6:57pm | IP Logged 
Great topic👏🏾
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Joined 5989 days ago

85 posts - 204 votes 
Speaks: German*

 Message 34 of 35
25 April 2016 at 12:50am | IP Logged 
ExRN wrote:
Elexi wrote:
What makes the FSI German course 'technically useless' in your opinion?

Now I have never studied German but I was under the impression that German spelling and grammar was
standardised in the 70s? Now even if the audio segments are correct, parts of text are going to be wrong
are they not? And if it's for a learning learning from scratch, there is no way of telling what is still relevant a
d what isn't.
Sorry if I am wrong.

Actually, the German language was already standardized in the late 1800s. For educated people not too much
has changed since then. Honestly. You can read a novel from the 1920s and it still sounds fresh and original - Erich
Kästner, Hans Fallada and Klaus Mann come to mind.

As for the latest spelling reform (about ten years ago), most of the changes are optional and thus neglectable.
Basically, exchange the letter "ß" for "ss" if it is followed by a short vowel ("Haß" becomes "Hass" - it is still the same
sound though). The letter remains the same if it is followed by a long vowel ("Ruß" is still "Ruß").

The reform was supposed to make things easier for pupils but studies show that the opposite is true. This is because
there are so many optional variants now that no one knows what's right and what's wrong anymore. Stick closely
to the old spelling and for all practical purposes you will be fine.

As for FSI German, I once had a look at it, and while the language sounded formal (you would expect that from a
course aimed at diplomats, wouldn't you?), it did so in an impressive way. I suspect you will come across as a very
educated person if you master the material. Personally, I much prefer a foreigner to speak in a somewhat formal
fashion rather than hear him use all the latest slang words, which often sound out of place.    

Edited by Betjeman on 25 April 2016 at 1:02am

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 Message 35 of 35
25 April 2016 at 9:53am | IP Logged 
Just to let you know most of us have moved over to after we had some
techincal problems with this forum. You can post on
both sites or one or other but I must say the new
site is WAY more active.

2 persons have voted this message useful

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