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Learning German... please help!


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Sorry about the dramatic topic title haha. I've just been trying to teach myself German, and was wondering if any of y'all knew any good resources. I've been going with Duolingo until I save up enough for Rosetta Stone. Anything in particular that you guys recommend?

"A strong man doesn't need to read the future. He makes his own." -MGS1

"Building the future and keeping the past alive are one and the same thing." -MGS2

"An amateur practices until he can get it right. A professional practices until he can't get it wrong." -Anon.

"Focus. Control. Conviction. Resolve. A true ace lacks none of these attributes. Nothing can deter you from the task at hand except your own fears. This is your sky." -Ace Combat 5

"Too many people have opinions on things they know nothing about. And the more ignorant they are, the more opinions they have." - Fallout: New Vegas

"Don't focus on words so much. Find the meaning behind the words, then decide." -MGS2

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Watch, read and listen to anything and everything you can find in the language you wanna learn (as soon as there is at least some basic understanding).

Don't pause and look up every single word in a book. Read a translation of something you more or less know (I read Harry Potter in Spanish while learning it. It's writing is basic, but fun and everybody knows the story).

Go watch movies (skip the subtitles, they just distract you from listening to the language). Maybe don't go for native movies at first, but dubbed movies. They are usually easier to understand since they don't quite follow the fast pace natural conversations have.

Go find podcasts or "Hörspiel" (radio play) in German. Listen to it on the commute or whatever. "Hörspiel" is a pretty common thing in German. You can find anything from detective stories (I recommend "Die drei ???") to silly kids stories about witches or talking elephants ;D

 

All in all: get exposure. You're active vocabulary won't be great to start off, but you're passiv one will explode in no time. And at a point where you can understand basically everybody, it is easier to start conversations and get the active on par :)

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No, I'm not actually going there, but I'd like to. I just wanted to learn another language haha. I actually wanted to learn Russian, but German had more resources available.

As for exposure, the only thing I've done is started listening to Rammstein. Like you said, it's increased my passive understanding. I've been able to pick up a few words before Duolingo taught them haha. Currently, I'm having trouble with pronouns and conjugation. I'd love to get to the point that I can read/listen to native speakers and actually understand what they're saying. I'm expecting dialect to be a big obstacle though

"A strong man doesn't need to read the future. He makes his own." -MGS1

"Building the future and keeping the past alive are one and the same thing." -MGS2

"An amateur practices until he can get it right. A professional practices until he can't get it wrong." -Anon.

"Focus. Control. Conviction. Resolve. A true ace lacks none of these attributes. Nothing can deter you from the task at hand except your own fears. This is your sky." -Ace Combat 5

"Too many people have opinions on things they know nothing about. And the more ignorant they are, the more opinions they have." - Fallout: New Vegas

"Don't focus on words so much. Find the meaning behind the words, then decide." -MGS2

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Oh, there's GermanPod101 online. There's a free section with limited downloads, but with multiple email addys...

Yeah, I thought you might be heading to Wiesbaden. Everybody speaks English there, anyway. Even when you say something in German, they'll answer in English.

The past is only smoke in a dream.

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Deutsche Welle has some good resources for learning conversational German - http://www.dw.de/learn-german/s-2469 which has a variety of formats (video, podcasts, text, etc.).  I'm trying to do the same to improve the small amount that I learned while stationed there.

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I haven't started listening to it yet, but there's a podcast called Coffee Break German (they have other languages too!). It might be helpful to get used to listening to the language. From the podcast description:

 

Learn German with Thomas and Mark; pick up cultural tips from Cultural Correspondent Julia, and get to grips with the patterns of the language with our Grammar Guru Kirsten.

iTunes RadioLingua website

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