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jeff_lindqvist
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Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
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 Message 1 of 24
02 April 2007 at 3:09pm | IP Logged 
The other day I wrote a thread about my Mandarin studies, and now it's time for German.

I took some German in 7th grade, but I got tired of it. Among other languages I brushed it up in -95, and again in -97/98 when I squeezed in three years of high school German in just two semesters. Could I speak German? Not a chance.

During my trips to (mainly) Ireland I've met Germans, but I've never spoken their own language with them. It has never felt as natural as English, and at times they have asked me if I speak German... "Well, only a little"

That being said, I LOVE the language - I've read children's book and easy readers for several years. In the autumn of 2005 I got a few pen pals through some language exchange sites (we wrote 50/50 in German/Swedish). About a year ago I started with Pimsleur, which I thought I would be able to finish in no time. Last May I was in Germany for the first time (a weekend seminar in Wing Chun) - did I speak German? Hardly any. Did I understand German? One word out of twenty (at best). It was the common joke among my friends. "Wenn sie langsam sprechen..." :) I got a mental block as soon as I was about to speak a single word of German.

Anyway, back home I decided to finish the three Pimsleur volumes, which I did in September (I think).

Fast forward to December 2006, when I got an email from my Wing Chun teacher (another seminar was about to take place within two months). Wow! From what I had read about FSI I though it would be a great idea for a quick revision of the language before my trip. I did two units of FSI German in two days - which in hindsight sounds just as crazy as it was. I sticked to that schedule for a couple of days and then gave up.

However, I DID speak some German during my trip. Talk about a selfconfidence boost! Even if it only was small talk, ordering food et.c.

A few weeks ago, after having read so many posts about Assimil, I decided to give it a chance. A Swedish book store sells the courses for nearly half the price of what Assimil itself charges. The first week I went through material for four weeks (I told you, I'm crazy). but now I do one lesson a day, just as intended. Once in a while I also shadow all the lessons up to the current.

Obvious goals:
Improving my spoken German
---
Keep doing an Assimil lesson each day. No thought of entering those words and sentences into my flashcard program yet, I think I maintain my vocabulary/grammar level by reading and writing.
---
If I have time:
Quick revision of Pimsleur 1-3
FSI (at a slower pace)
---
Semi-passive method:
Watching my Seinfeld episodes in German. :)
---
Easy readers, eventually progressing to "real" material. But right now I stick to level A (600 words) and B (1200 words) and hope to get to C (1800 words) and D (2400 words) by the end of the year.

This will serve as an introduction. I won't write each time I finish a new lesson... :)

Edited by jeff_lindqvist on 04 April 2007 at 4:34pm

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Ari
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Senior Member
Norway
Joined 4980 days ago

2314 posts - 5695 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese
Studies: Czech, Latin, German

 
 Message 2 of 24
03 April 2007 at 2:35am | IP Logged 
jeff_lindqvist wrote:
A Swedish book store sells the courses for nearly half the price of what Assimil itself charges.


What? Where? Who?
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jeff_lindqvist
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Joined 5307 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
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 Message 3 of 24
03 April 2007 at 4:40am | IP Logged 
AdLibris - I got German with Ease for 353 SEK (as well as each of the two Chinese volumes).
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jeff_lindqvist
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Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
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 Message 4 of 24
07 May 2007 at 4:12pm | IP Logged 
Second wave today! My Assimil studies have been a bit chaotic; rushing through 28 lessons in the first week, then doing one a day, taking a break for several days once in a while... Anyway, today I reviewed lesson 43-49, studied the 50th in detail, and went back to the 1st for the second wave.

About a week ago I finished "Till Eulenspiegel" (Easy Reader A) and currently I'm halfway through "Münchhausens Abenteuer" (also an Easy Reader A).
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jeff_lindqvist
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Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
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 Message 5 of 24
20 May 2007 at 4:12am | IP Logged 
I'm about two weeks into the second wave now. The dialogues get longer and longer but are still somewhat easy to get after just a few times. My translation of the first chapters into German have went OK, not always the exact words though, but nevertheless equally "valid translations.

Example:
"My name is..." word-for-word is "mein Name ist..." while another option could be "ich heiße..." (closer to Swedish).

The original text tends to use both, so it's good to know that even if I choose the "wrong" answer, it's "correct". :)
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Kleberson
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Great Britain
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166 posts - 168 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese
Studies: Italian, Russian, Arabic (Written), Mandarin

 
 Message 6 of 24
20 May 2007 at 9:54am | IP Logged 
Jeff, I'm sorry for biting into your log like this, but I have a question. I've noticed that your learning quite a few languages in one go, does it not hinder your progress in your other languages?

I'm just curious because I'd like to really dive into Russian, but I don't want it to ruin progress in my Italian studies.

Thanks

Edit: This may have been more appropriate in your Russian log, sorry.

Edited by Kleberson on 20 May 2007 at 9:56am

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jeff_lindqvist
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SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5307 days ago

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

 
 Message 7 of 24
20 May 2007 at 12:06pm | IP Logged 
Yes, I'd probably be better off focusing on just one language (no surprise!). However, I don't spend equal time on the languages mentioned in my profile. I study Russian and Mandarin at the university - both courses are on internet (and part-time). German is my next priority - I've "learned" it several times and have a decent passive knowledge of it. I use several methods, from actual "studying" to reading children's books. Esperanto is part of the 6 week challenge, although I will maintain what I've learned after the weeks are up. Spanish is just on maintain level, and Cantonese and Gaelic have about the same priority (very low right now).

Only you can decide if your Italian will get ruined by Russian. Good luck!
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jeff_lindqvist
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4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
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 Message 8 of 24
25 June 2007 at 7:17am | IP Logged 
Now, I'm five weeks into the second wave. The new dialogues get more and more intense, long sentences, a lot of useful grammar... When I go back to one of the early lessons I understand everything easily but can't reproduce the text myself. I know that people on this forum have gone through Assimil courses without fully doing the second wave (even at all), but for each new lesson I will review the corresponding old one.

I've finished another Easy Reader ("Einen Dieb fangen", Otto Steiger) and have just begun reading a new one, as well as a "real" book (and the Swedish original in tandem).

I understand more and more but still have difficulties producing proper German myself. Once a week I write an email to a penpal in Germany, and that's about it.


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