ronen763
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Best Way To Learn German?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:27 pm

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
 
comorin
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:53 pm

Contact the Goethe Institut in your city:

http://www.goethe.de/ins/us/bos/enindex.htm
 
LH526
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:53 pm

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 ...
 
andz
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:00 pm

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...
 
lewis
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:08 pm

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.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:14 pm

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  
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:17 pm

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 
 
soon7x7
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:53 pm

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!
 
Klaus
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:48 pm

It goes without saying that almost all english or american war movies with pseudo-german in it need to be disregarded entirely!   
 
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Scooter01
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:19 am

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
There is always a good reason to watch airplanes
 
Boeing744
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:21 am

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!
 
iakobos
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:33 am

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.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:16 pm

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!
 
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Revelation
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:19 pm

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! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:27 pm

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.
 
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OA260
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:32 pm

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.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:34 pm

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! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
flood
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:50 am

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.
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:50 am

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!
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:20 am

Have you considered marrying a German ? ... I think that would probably be a pretty effective way to learn the language .
 
PanHAM
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:31 am

He he - short of marrying, I was going to say - find yourself a German girl friend.
powered by Eierlikör
 
comorin
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:04 pm

You could also watch all the acts in 'Der Ring des Nibelungen'   
 
Klaus
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:11 pm

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!   
 
BR076
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:15 pm

Listen to Rammstein

Why you want to learn German uberhaupt ?

Learn Dutch and your Coffee shop experience is so much more fun   
ú
 
Jalap
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:18 pm

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  
 
bjorn14
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:24 pm

The worst place to learn Norwegian is Norway. I wonder if Germany is like that.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
Klaus
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:36 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 25):
The worst place to learn Norwegian is Norway.

Why is that? Don't norwegians talk to foreigners?
 
Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 25):
I wonder if Germany is like that.

No, as long as you don't insist on forcibly pissing off every german you meet – and if you can convince them not to try being helpful in english...
 
bjorn14
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:41 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 26):
Why is that? Don't norwegians talk to foreigners?

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 they are). I had one store clerk actually say to me you can speak English with me. My friends have said to me tell them your Polish....so I did one time and the clerk just rolled her eyes and said, Jaaaa, ok. But Norway is a great place to live.
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
Klaus
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RE: Best Way To Learn German?

Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:54 am

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 27):
Because when I ask a question in perfect Norwegian they answer me in perfect English.

Yeah, that kind of thing can happen in many places...

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