How long will it take to learn German for an early teenager?

September 18, 2008 by · 9 Comments 

How long would it take to learn German if i am in early teens 13-15, have Rosetta stone which i do 1hour a day and take German lessons at school 4 times a fortnight, once i understand a little i will also start watching some German cartoons. I would like to know A LOT of German by late Novmber so that when i go back on the German Exchange i will not feel as stupid as i felt this time. Also i would like to know what they are saying about me ;) .
Thanks

It could take anywhere from 1 month to 5 years or even more! It really depends on your studyplan. You can start to speak German right here. Use our Learn German Language Blog to navigate around

Learn to Speak German

September 14, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Learn to Speak German

$IMAGE$ Learn to Speak German

What is the best way to learn German?

September 4, 2008 by · 6 Comments 

I very much want to learn the German language, but I can't find one good method to do so.

Non-native German speakers- and anyone who has learned a foreign language- how did you learn? Please give me any tips you can.

I've been learning German on my own for a 2 years now, and actually have had reasonable success. I wouldn't consider myself fluent or anything, but i could probably get by with my German abilities (but im not positive i haven't spoken to anyone in German in a while).
Rosetta Stone honestly was a complete waste of money. You really won't learn much for the value of it, however if you can afford it it will get you over the basic basic german. Rosetta stone won't teach you any of German's complicated grammar either. I'm really not a big fan of grammar, i think its more important to learn vocabulary in order to be able to communicate first, and learn the grammar that is affecting your ability to be able to communicate, write, and read succesfully. However, Rosetta Stone does not explain any of the grammar and expects you to learn it all basically through osmosis.
Also Barron's Learn German the fast and fun way, is decent for starting out, but its going to start you out with immersing you in it and it will be more brute memorization then rosetta stone if you really want to learn the vocabulary. The good part about Barron's book is that it will teach you some important grammar, but not an overwhelming frustrating amount that's gonna make you wan tto quit learning.
Once you know a bit of German, I've found, for me atleast, the Lustige dialoge (funny dialogues) book to be extremely good. It gives you a bunch of short stories, that have a twist at the end that's "funny" their generally so stupid its kinda humorous, but these storeis are much more interesting then traditional texts in German where they're going to go over culture and random boring stuff that just makes you want to quit learning. After the Dialogue, there are a few questions adn then it gives you some grammar exercises if you want to do them. The book doesn't teach you any of the grammar for the exercises but i've found http://www.ielanguages.com/German.html to be a really good website for any grammar. After your done, or while your going through the passage and questions, i personally underline any of the words that i dont know and make vocab cards out of the words that i don't know and then study those. The only down side to the book is that it doesn't have an answer key, but the book is such a good tool for learning German that i'd use it anyways. Plus there are two sequals to it, Geschichten Mit Humor (Stories with humar) and Spannende Geschichten (Exciting stories) Descritions of the books are on http://www.glencoe.com/sec/catalog/cgi-bin/secDisplay.cgi?function=display&area=fl&category=productinfo&nameid=810, and you can order them on amazon, or you can order them through borders and request to see the book first before you purchase it.
Two most important things with learning German
1. Try to study every day, ATLEAST every other day. Yes there's going to be occataionally days where you can't study because your too busy to study, but make sure you study atleast the next day if you have too. If you don't you will get out of the habit of learning German and will likely end up qutting.
2. Mix it up occationally. Sometimes a too formated routine for learning a language gets boring. Listen to songs in German (even if you don't really understand the words to it) Ohne Dich (without you) is a very basic song in German that would be a good one to start out with though. But there are many other ways you can mix it up such as: read newspaper articles in german and try to get a general gist of what they're saying even if that means using the dictionary a bit but try not to look up word for word (that drives me crazy atleast), use podcast on itunes, there's a ton of podcast for people from uber beginners in German to Advance, to podcast meant for people who speak fluent German, go to the library and see if there are any little kids/simple books in german, rent/buy a movie in german and try to get some meaning out of it, and even if you don't understand much of it you start to pick up how the words are seperated and slurred together after listening to it for a while, Speak/email other people you know who speak German, find a pen pal for German, and find ways that you find are fun ways to learn German, I'm positive those aren't the only ways.

Don't follow what i said exactly, tweak it up for what works for you, only take what you find useful, whatever works, we all learn in different ways. That's just the way i've found i've been able to learn German with
Hope that helps :D

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German Adverbs Made Simple

September 1, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Well you want to know more about German adverbs do you? Good, because I want to help you learn more about them. The German language has many different reasons for using them. So let us quickly try to remember from grade school what an adverb is? Do you recall what it is? An adverb is basically a helper of a verb.

Now, that is a pretty general statement of what exactly an adverb does, but you get the idea. Adverbs and directions go hand in hand with the German language. No matter where you go or what you learn, you will always see adverbs associated with giving directions or just directions in general. So I thought that this would be a good place to start.

Why would I want to start teaching about German adverbs using directions though? Well most people who are interested in learning the German language are either planning to travel there, or use it fluently. One of the main points in communication is travel. So you definitely need to know how to ask for directions.

German has different meanings for different words. Things in German may have a ridiculous translation if you converted it to English. It may come out sounding funny or just plain stupid. Do not try to decipher the language word for word when speaking. Just learn the basic rules of German words and you will not sound dumb when asking for directions.

The word wohin is used when talking about motion and direction. The word wo is used when asking for locations. You must memorize these otherwise any native born German would laugh at you. Now you may understand or have some knowledge on giving directions already and that is a good thing. Do you know how to interpret the response though?

I am sure if you asked someone in Germany how to get to a certain location, and they spitted out an answer really fast, you would be left clueless. I am going to give you a little pointer here. Do not make things complicated for yourself. If you stick to the basics you should be ok.

What I mean by this is, just ask questions that require simple answers. You want answers that will use the words left, right, back, forward and so on. You would not want to ask something that gives you a paragraph for a response. Keep your German simple and you will enjoy it more.

I hope this gives you some sort of insight into German and makes things a little clearer. Learning a second language is a beautiful thing. There is so much opportunity for someone who is bilingual. Just think of the advantage you would have in a business world, if there were two candidates, and the only thing seperating the both of you, was your knowledge of a foreign language.

Learn German with SpeedyConKiwi! (Pronunciation Fun!)

March 21, 2008 by · 25 Comments 

New Episode! Subscribe for more! (yes yes, I do mostly other stuff, but a girl’s gotta be able to promote herself, right? My channel, my rules.)

Today we’re gonna go through the alphabet and general pronunciation of the German Language.
Sounds like fun? It is!!

Besides the alphabet we will also take a look at how to pronounce
- Ä (like “ai” in English “fair”),
- Ö (kinda like “o” in English “word”)
- Ü (say a looong English “eeee” and while doing that, form your mouth to say “you”. It should be kind of in the middle of the sound of “ou” in “you” and the long “eeee”)
- ß (basically a double “s”, sounds in general a bit stronger than the normal s)
and combinations such as
- ie (English “ee”)
- ei (English “i”)
- eu (English “oy”)
- äu (same as “eu”: English “oy”)
- au (like “ow” in English “wow”)
- sch (English “sh”)
- ch (two different pronounciations, watch the video and try again and again, I can’t really describe that in words LOL)
NOT MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO:
“qu” is pronounced like “coo” in English “cool”. The Q basically never really stands alone. Hope that helped :D

Thanks to all the new viewers and subscribers for the support and feedback! It’s overwhelming and I really appreciate it!! This started out as a silly video response and became this big project, and I know it takes me forever to post a new episode, but I will keep on posting more of these!
Just a few sidenotes: I will not tutor you personally, not via email and not via messenger. I cannot go through your homework. If you have questions, you can of course message me and I will try to answer them, but that’s about all I can do. It takes a lot of time to make these videos, and I make them because I have fun making them.
And I really appreciate each and every one of you who supports me with that.
THANK YOU!!!

And since my friend was stupid and deleted her videos, no link to her channel. Sorry : )

Duration : 0:8:15

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Learn German with Petra Von Kant

February 12, 2008 by · 7 Comments 

In this latest work by ming wong, we follow the artist on a personal, self-designed German language and cultural immersion programme, as he prepares to relocate to Berlin in August 2007.

Believing that one of the best ways to get insight into a foreign culture is through the films of that country, the artist has adopted one of his favourite German films as his guide, „The Bitter
Tears of Petra von Kant” (1972) by Fassbinder, about a successful but arrogant fashion designer in her mid-thirties, who falls into despair when she loses the woman she loves.

Putting himself in the mould of German actress Margit Carstensen in the role of Petra Von Kant – for which she won several awards – the artist attempts to articulate himself through as wide a range of emotions as displayed by the actress in the climactic scene from the film, where our tragic lovesick anti-heroine goes through a hysterical disintegration.

With this work the artist rehearses going through the motions and emotions and articulating the words for situations that he believes he may encounter when he moves to Berlin as a post-35-year-old, single, gay, ethnic-minority mid-career artist – i.e. feeling bitter, desperate, or washed up. („Ich bin im Arsch”)

With these tools, he will be armed with the right words and modes of expressions to communicate his feelings effectively to his potential German compatriots.

Duration : 0:3:47

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