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Best Way To Learn German?  
User currently offlineRonen763 From United States of America, joined May 2009, 20 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4592 times:

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to find a good way to learn German quickly and thoroughly. I'm in Boston and evening classes are pretty expensive so I'm trying to find some software/books/programs/teach-it-yourself ways to do it. I've heard Rosetta Stone is pretty good but it would put a pretty big dent in my wallet. I also want to make sure it teaches me a significant amount of the language and not just the equivalent of a 101 course. Does anyone know of anything in particular that's great? I'm pretty good at picking up languages so an accelerated program or method would be fine. Also, if you know of any cheap courses in the Boston area I can take, I'd love to hear about that too.

Thanks in advance!
Ron

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4555 times:

Contact the Goethe Institut in your city:

http://www.goethe.de/ins/us/bos/enindex.htm


User currently offlinelh526 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 2356 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4515 times:
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FORUM MODERATOR

Watch german movies to get the singsang, hear recitals of schiller, goethe and the likes .... learning basics gramar is a starter, but to get the right feeling, nothing beats listening to everyday german, and try to repeat what you are saying.


Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
User currently offlineandz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8450 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4512 times:
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I did a course called Deutsch fuer Erwachsene (German for Adults) and the emphasis was on getting usable language as quickly as possible. Less emphasis on the strict grammar and more on conversation and comprehension.

That and visiting Germany four or five times a year to practice gave me a good grounding.

Or you could try Berlitz.... "We are sinking!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSdxqIBfEAw



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3623 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4493 times:

Quoting lh526 (Reply 2):
Watch german movies to get the singsang, hear recitals of schiller, goethe and the likes .... learning basics gramar is a starter, but to get the right feeling, nothing beats listening to everyday german, and try to repeat what you are saying.

Listening to radio and watching movies is a great way to learn, but in my opinion you must have a good basis beforehand. The speech may seem too fast for a beginner.


User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2385 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4483 times:

Rosetta Stone should be quite good - expensive though...


It is a program for your pc. If you have a microphone connected, you get most out of it as it will be able to recognize your pronnounciation and tell you whether you do it right or wrong  


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3562 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4483 times:

Watching "Das Boot" could be very good, because in the movie you also get used to slang and different dialects, as well as it is a wonderful movie.

Of course, watching Star Wars in German could be cool, as well 


User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4421 times:

Buy Rosetta stone used ebay...then try ebay "Germany" , it forces you to translate...learned much that way. Also Lengensheidt.com travel maps has quick read translation books...went to Germany three times last year...got along fine...most speak english anyway... gutentag!

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4361 times:

It goes without saying that almost all english or american war movies with pseudo-german in it need to be disregarded entirely!   

User currently offlineScooter01 From Norway, joined Nov 2006, 1201 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4328 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Whatever you do, don't pick up an old BMW parts book that got transferred to a micro-film...
There the translators, -Swiss I was told, converted a side-window (seitenscheibe) to a "side-washer"   

Scooter01



"We all have a girl and her name is nostalgia" - Hemingway
User currently offlineBoeing744 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1833 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4328 times:

Nothing beats learning a language by being immersed. I did a 6 month exchange program in Austria and came out functionally fluent after having no prior knowledge of the language. Since then I've made German/Austrian friends here in Canada and my skills have actually improved to the point I feel I am fluent... (Although it's admittedly a bit rusty at the moment after not having spoken it in about 6 months).

Don't get too hung-up on grammar when you're starting out. Focus on vocabulary at first and then grammar once you've got a foothold. Learning the rules about genders and cases can be VERY discouraging at first but just keep trying... For me it was kinda like one day everything "clicked" for no reason and the grammar started to seem more logical and come naturally.

Quoting lh526 (Reply 2):
Watch german movies to get the singsang, hear recitals of schiller, goethe and the likes .... learning basics gramar is a starter, but to get the right feeling, nothing beats listening to everyday german, and try to repeat what you are saying.

  
One strategy I also use is to watch a German movie once with the subtitles, then watch it once more a few days/weeks later without the subtitles. You will remember what you don't understand from when you first saw it and then learn it!

Some movie suggestions:

Goodbye Lenin
The Tunnel (Der Tunnel)
The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen)
*Downfall (Der Untergang)
Summer Storm (Sommersturm)
The Edukators
The Miracle of Bern (Das Wunder von Bern)

*NOTE: Hitler's accent is crazy hard to understand!


User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3313 posts, RR: 35
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4324 times:

The menu of Deutsche Welle's website offers
Press - Business & Sales - DW Akademie - DW store - Kontakt - Partner - Sitemap - Archiv

Looks like the Germans themselves have done half of ze work for you already.


User currently offlinetype-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4974 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4154 times:

Also Deutsch Welle has some news broadcasting and programs designed for beginners to the German language.


Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12421 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4119 times:

Quoting type-rated (Reply 12):
Also Deutsch Welle has some news broadcasting and programs designed for beginners to the German language.

It's good stuff you can get from http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,2547,00.html

Just click on all the stuff on the sidebar under "Learning German".

I think it's all FREE.

I found used Pimsleur German-English CDs to be very helpful.

I found I could listen to them while I was driving back and forth to work.

And their technique makes you to speak German out loud which is good if no one is in the car with you.

The speaking part is vital - you can't just sit at home reading a book, you need to hear it spoken, and you need to then repeat what you are hearing to have it really sink in.

Have fun!



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3562 posts, RR: 29
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4115 times:

You can also try to listen to German radio TV stations, for example Deutschlandfunk. www.dlf.de

Or WDR 5, www.wdr5.de

Those channels are usually reporting news, so they have lots of speech.


User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26906 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4101 times:

The best way is to spend time in the country, i was lucky that we had exchange programs at school when I was learning it. We went to a German school for three weeks for a few years. Was great. TV is a great thing also. I sometimes tune into watch adverts etc... and surprised how much comes back to me.

User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12421 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4093 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 14):
Those channels are usually reporting news, so they have lots of speech.

Yes, but I found that news has a lot of words and context a beginner like me will not know.

That's why movies work for a lot of people.

You can get a lot of contextual clues just from watching what the actors are doing.

And there aren't a lot of different people to get to know.

Actually German movies with English sub-titles are pretty helpful, but I don't know a good source of those.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineflood From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1381 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4050 times:

There's a ton of free online content to supplement your learning. From online German tv to watching countless episodes of Sesame Street etc in German on Youtube. Alternatively, search Youtube etc for "untertitel" (subtitle) and you'll even find Jeff Dunham's comedy central special with German subtitles. For movies with English subtitles, I'd consider Netflix. I've rented a number of German films from there in the past.

Check out itunes. They have a big selection of free language-learning podcasts and a lot of audiobooks on the subject as well. Always something new to download and listen to while you're on the move.

You'll also find a lot of content such as movies or US-series dubbed in German by digging through file hosting archives such as rapidshare, filestube.com, etc.


User currently offlinetype-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4974 posts, RR: 19
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4022 times:

I did take a German course from the Gothe Institute back in the 80's. They do use German people to teach the class. BUT the classes are very accelerated and you can get lost very easily if you don't pay attention every single minute of the class. On the first class we were already making sentences, on the second class we were conjucating verbs, and on the third class we were already writing reports in German. You had to learn something like 200 words (and all their tenses) in German between each class.


Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8548 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4011 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Have you considered marrying a German ? ... I think that would probably be a pretty effective way to learn the language .


Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9270 posts, RR: 29
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4009 times:

He he - short of marrying, I was going to say - find yourself a German girl friend.


E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3953 times:

You could also watch all the acts in 'Der Ring des Nibelungen'   

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 54
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3923 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 21):
You could also watch all the acts in 'Der Ring des Nibelungen'

Oh yeah... try talking to a regular german in wagnerian – that would be fun!   


User currently offlineBR076 From Netherlands, joined May 2005, 1086 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 2 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3901 times:

Listen to Rammstein

Why you want to learn German uberhaupt ?

Learn Dutch and your Coffee shop experience is so much more fun   



ú
User currently offlinejalap From Belgium, joined Oct 2007, 355 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3712 times:

Quoting Boeing744 (Reply 10):
Some movie suggestions:

Although not really a movie I should add "Heimat" to that.

Music can also help, as BR076 states above Rammstein can teach you some basics, next you could try Einsturtzende Neubauten  


25 bjorn14 : The worst place to learn Norwegian is Norway. I wonder if Germany is like that.
26 Post contains images Klaus : Why is that? Don't norwegians talk to foreigners? No, as long as you don't insist on forcibly pissing off every german you meet – and if you can co
27 bjorn14 : Because when I ask a question in perfect Norwegian they answer me in perfect English. Norwegians love to practice their English (or show how smart th
28 Post contains images Klaus : Yeah, that kind of thing can happen in many places...
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