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Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/10/19 2:29 p.m.

Hey guys,

 

  About a year and a half ago our oldest son said he was using an app called duolingo on his phone to learn Japanese because he loves anime, and wanted to learn some Japanese. I decided to join him, and we could learn together. I had a ton of fun with this for about 2 months, but then it started getting really hard what with that language having 3 alphabets and such. I decided to give up.

 

However I really liked learning a new language, and the app was pretty cool, so I decided to take up German, as I have a friend that lives there, and it seemed to use all the same letters we use in English. I'm on a 56 day streak with practicing every day, and I love it! I'm starting to notice that there are a lot of similarities with English, and German. 

 

However I'm struggling with things like there being at least 3 different ways of saying "the" and it all depends on what you are describing. I know there are similarities like this with other languages. Is there any easy way to figure out the rules to this. I asked my German friend, and he said that I would just get it eventually, but I'm wondering if there is a silly way that say a Kindergartner would learn to help with this. Sorta like how we learned "I before E except after C", or something like that to help me with this?

 

Also while it feels like I'm making progress it seems like I'll never be able to listen someone speak the language and understand them. Can anyone suggest another way of learning another language aside from immersing myself in it? A friend from work moved from Portugal when he was 10 years old, and learned to speak English by watching Looney Tunes(as well as having lessons), but I don't think that is an option for me to learn German.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
5/10/19 2:49 p.m.

I'm learning Dutch, myself.  The resource I'm using now is Dutchpod101.com.  I'm sure the same people have a German one.   Yup:

https://www.germanpod101.com/
Sign up for free and get full access for a week or so.  During that week, download all the audio files, then load them up on your device and work through the lessons. 

As for the "the" words, Dutch as two, de and het.  Near as I can tell, you just have to know.  "That's a de (pronounced 'duh') word."  There is a gender thing for nouns, which, near as I can tell, is gender or no gender.  The correct the word may be related to that.  Dunno nothin' bout no German ("Duits").

I also look for Dutch movies with English subtitles.  Man, them Dutchmen have some totally crappy movies.  It is not easy to find one that is actually worth watching.  Probably easier for German, as it is a more widely spoken language.  I stumbled across some Disney classics with multiple languages and multiple subtitle languages.  Like Snow White, pick the Dutch sound track and the English subtitles.  At least the protagonist doesn't die at the end, or wind up a paraplegic or something, like a typical Dutch movie.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/10/19 2:52 p.m.

As someone who speaks two languages, I would suggest you read as much as possible. If I was you, I would try and get my hands on German car magazines and try to read them end to end. You might not understand 80% but little by little you will start picking up words. 

Also movies. This is going to be difficult, but if you can get your hands on anything German I would watch it. 

I learned a lot of English reading Road & Track and Car & Driver. I would read them every month and read them again multiple times. For me the movies was cartoons, I would watch them in English and would pick up from them.  

You cant expect to learn a different language in a short amount of time, so keep at it and dont give up. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia HalfDork
5/10/19 3:24 p.m.

You need to learn basic things , and then more of what you are interested in , 

I have been to Germany too many times for a week or two at a time , 

Learning how to order food , basic directions to get somewhere etc is important if you are there .

Then you need to know more about what you like , so if it's car stuff , find a list of body parts , engine parts , brakes etc.

My best German conversations were with Poles and Czechs who only knew basic words like I did !

Do not get caught up in trying to get it perfect ,  just that you are understood , or that you can get the basic info if someone is speaking with you.....

DW.com is the German news website , it's in English and German and they have German lessons too :)

Gute Fahrt

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/10/19 3:28 p.m.
Slippery said:

As someone who speaks two languages, I would suggest you read as much as possible. If I was you, I would try and get my hands on German car magazines and try to read them end to end. You might not understand 80% but little by little you will start picking up words. 

Also movies. This is going to be difficult, but if you can get your hands on anything German I would watch it. 

I learned a lot of English reading Road & Track and Car & Driver. I would read them every month and read them again multiple times. For me the movies was cartoons, I would watch them in English and would pick up from them.  

You cant expect to learn a different language in a short amount of time, so keep at it and dont give up. 

Thanks for the response. I wasn't expecting to learn it quickly. I was however wondering if I'm just an idiot with struggling with how to say "the", or I'm just struggling because it's hard to learn a new language. Maybe trying to learn with an app isn't the best way, but so far I like it. 

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
5/10/19 3:35 p.m.

Remember how it took you 3- 4 years before you were acceptable at your first language?

And that was when learning it was your full time job.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
5/10/19 3:38 p.m.

About 45 years ago, I learned that the French think a chair is feminine and a door is masculine, or some such bullE36 M3.  I couldn't make myself care much about French class after that.

I thought I wanted to learn German, until I discovered they had the same foolishness.

Maybe I'll try Greek, so I can understand what the guys in the kitchen are yelling about.

sobe_death
sobe_death Dork
5/10/19 3:42 p.m.

Don't feel bad. I was fully immersed (living with a German girlfriend) and it still took me about a year to get "der, die, das" even close to passable. It really just takes tons of repetition, reading, and writing when dealing with the multiple pronouns, and also the compound words.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/10/19 3:44 p.m.
Robbie said:

Remember how it took you 3- 4 years before you were acceptable at your first language?

And that was when learning it was your full time job.

I'm from New England, I'm not sure I've actually fully grasped my first language even. 

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
5/10/19 4:06 p.m.

Cartoons and newspapers.Both written for people with minimal vocabulary.

When I was learning Portuguese, I discovered the Brazilian version of Captain Kangaroo and became a fan of the show:

You also need to decide if you are learning a language to communicate or if writing is going to matter. Unless you are going to be writing, forget about any and all grammatical rules. Learn to cuss ASAP. Kids learn their first language with zero grammatical studies, and maybe that is a clue as to how this works best.

 

Learn like a newborn....Pick a language, any language . Learn how to say "I want" and "I need".  Then pick a noun  (or a verb will work) and stick it on the end and you should be able to get your point across. Congratulations, you just learned a language. The rest comes from practice.

 

The thing is you wont learn to be conversant unless you open your mouth and converse. There are a lot of people who will do on line chat with the intent of expanding your vocabulary and pronunciation. Some of these offerings verge on phone sex but that can make it more funner. Want or need, Your call.

 

My mom used to go to a place like this where people wanting to learn English paid good money to yak with a native english speaker for a week. Mom got the same accommodations as the paying guest.

https://www.diverbo.com/english/english-for-adults/adults/

Volunteers can enjoy a free week at one of our English-speaking villages. Our venues host English “talkathons” every week and we sponsor native English-speakers to be the protagonists!

A fun and rewarding experience is offered in exchange for your English conversation.

Immersion programs in South America work very well. You home-stay for a semester and live study in the community.

 

Become a Jehova...they send their kids all over the globe and they seem to come back with the lingo as part of the experience.

 

If watching foreign media, avoid subtitles, your brain will only operate in one language at a time.

Talk to Siri in Spanish.

Other than that I got nothing.

 

Pete

 

 

Sine_Qua_Non
Sine_Qua_Non SuperDork
5/10/19 4:24 p.m.

I have some good success with Duolingo

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/10/19 4:35 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

You became a fan of the show or Xuxa?? Lol

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke SuperDork
5/10/19 5:14 p.m.
sobe_death said:

Don't feel bad. I was fully immersed (living with a German girlfriend) and it still took me about a year to get "der, die, das" even close to passable. It really just takes tons of repetition, reading, and writing when dealing with the multiple pronouns, and also the compound words.

After learning Spanish as my first foreign language I took German for 2 years in HS. Der, die, and das took everyone in my class a while. It kinda exasperated our teacher. It just takes time and practice.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
5/10/19 7:30 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

yes

travellering
travellering HalfDork
5/10/19 8:06 p.m.

Ich habe vier Jahre Deutsch gestudiert am Hochschule, und meistens vergessen..

Der, die, und Das are just a memorization game.  Learn the ones you will use frequently, and if you are conversing with someone fluent and mess up, they will either let it slide or happily correct you.  They aren't going to stop talking to you or make fun of you.  It's not as if you are learning French....

If you intend to travel to where German is spoken more frequently, see if there are courses at any nearby community centers or colleges.  At UT there was an "international student center" where they held weekly free discussion tables in several different languages.

Sometimes it helps to be slightly above helpless in two or more other languages, as it can help you understand other people's thought processes.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
5/10/19 8:15 p.m.

When traveling in South America, depending on where you are, these are the important words:

 

Cerveza, Papas Fritas

Cerveja, Batatas Fritas.

 

noodle
noodle GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/10/19 8:32 p.m.

I learned to speak Spanish back in the 80's working for a religious organization.  Spent 2 years in Chile.  Total immersion.  Sink or swim.  Fast forward 30 years I'm working temp duty in Brazil.  Yeah I can read this stuff, but boy oh boy is the pronunciation, vowels, rules......different.  Learning Portuguese, I used a Pirate copy of Roseta Stone.  It basically uses the same method that I used to learn Spanish.  I'll second the suggestion for reading, listening to music and research the lyrics.  News Programs or shows on Natgeo,History Channel, usually will have the most correct spoken language. 

Xuaxua was sexy hot back in the 90's.  She's a crazy Amy now

Good luck, you're never to old to learn.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia HalfDork
5/10/19 9:01 p.m.
Dr. Hess said:

When traveling in South America, depending on where you are, these are the important words:

 

Cerveza, Papas Fritas

Cerveja, Batatas Fritas.

 

Muy frio por favor

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
5/11/19 7:53 a.m.

Yeah, but caliente fries.

 

GTXVette
GTXVette UltraDork
5/11/19 2:28 p.m.

Watch  das boot  no translation nessesary

paranoid_android
paranoid_android UberDork
5/12/19 9:12 p.m.

The genders of nouns in German took me the longest to learn, and they were the first things I forgot after I stopped using the language frequently.

As Travellering pointed out, its a matter of memorizing them.  I never found a logical reason for them.  Don’t let them hold you back though- you’re better off using them incorrectly than not at all.

I’m not sure how that app handles teaching grammar, but reading/hearing topics such as the “news” can be a bit confusing as far as sentence structure.

Anyway, what about exchanging some emails with a German speaker?  Keeping things conversational may help.  Or maybe just start a thread here?  Pick a topic and run with it- if you hit a spot that’s confusing just ask for clarification.

Es gibt hier ein paar Leute die Deutsch können.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
5/13/19 11:59 a.m.
travellering said:

 

If you intend to travel to where German is spoken more frequently, see if there are courses at any nearby community centers or colleges.  At UT there was an "international student center" where they held weekly free discussion tables in several different languages.

Sometimes it helps to be slightly above helpless in two or more other languages, as it can help you understand other people's thought processes.

For German, what seems to happen (according to everyone I know who has spent time in Germany) isnthat, no matter how fluent you are auf Deutsch, they will hear your American accent and reply to you in English...

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
8/20/19 9:14 a.m.

3 Months later I'm still plugging away, but also still struggling. I'm not sure I'm doing it correctly. Maybe I need to up my game, and do something harder than using this app. I have been conversing a bit with a German friend on Google Hangouts, but it's tough especially if he sends video with him speaking. It is just too fast for me. Maybe a second language isn't for me? Still having trouble with the Die/Der/Das thing.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
8/20/19 9:23 a.m.

¿Dónde está el baño?

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/20/19 10:48 a.m.
Mazdax605 said:

3 Months later I'm still plugging away, but also still struggling. I'm not sure I'm doing it correctly. Maybe I need to up my game, and do something harder than using this app. I have been conversing a bit with a German friend on Google Hangouts, but it's tough especially if he sends video with him speaking. It is just too fast for me. Maybe a second language isn't for me? Still having trouble with the Die/Der/Das thing.

Whomever tells you learning a new language is easy, either is under 10 years old or is bsing you. 

Keep at it. Dont give up. Buy a bunch of magazines and read them front to back. 

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