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For some years I've been meaning to learn more German than I remember from my GCSE and the little I've managed to absorb from [ profile] tea_cantata and others speaking it around me. I am repeatedly embarrassed by my inability to join in conversation when we visit Nattie's relatives in Germany. In fact I've made some attempts to learn from books and tapes, but with little effect. Nattie finally persuaded me to sign up for an evening AS (half an A-Level) German course starting this term. It's tough going with only one lesson (2.5 hours) per week though I believe I'm making some progress.

I don't have much of a problem with grammar, and my pronunciation seems to be as good as anyone in the class, but I continue to find myself frustrated in being unable to think of the words to express what I mean to say. I think my vocabulary may be relatively poor, but this is compounded by my difficulty in working around the lack of a word for the concept I mean to express. This also applies to English, but I have a large enough vocabulary that this is much more rarely a problem. In addition, some of the topics of conversation or question are so broad that I would have trouble formulating an intelligent comment in English, let alone one in German. Maybe I should just say something dumb that I don't really believe purely as linguistic practice, but I don't feel comfortable doing that.


Date: 2006-10-19 07:30 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yeah, it's frustrating when you can't find a word, but you can sometimes get a way around it: when learning a new language, make a bee-line for helpful meaningless hand-waving words pretty early on: "thing that does" "task done by" "what goes like" and so on. Then when you get stuck, as long as you can remember one or two words about the concept, you can probably get the idea across. Of course, it will be gibberish sometimes and ungrammatical the others, so maybe a good idea to leave this until *after* doing our rigid GCE exams, but it really helps communicate!

Someone who speaks four languages well and another three or so very badly, but well enough to get food and transport.

Re: Tips

Date: 2006-10-21 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Being able to make myself understood is more important to me than getting the qualification, and much of the lessons is taken up with oral practice (reading and writing can easily be done at home). So I'll see if I can follow your advice.

online dictionary

Date: 2006-10-19 07:46 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I found very helpful (english-german) together with the DictionarySearch extension for firefox and a keyword for the location bar.

Re: online dictionary

Date: 2006-10-21 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I added a keyword bookmark for that; thanks.

Date: 2008-08-11 01:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But yeah, as venki said, this is awesome :) Posted by: jinesh | February 3, AM I don't get it I added bookmark keyword for Firefox, it searches nicely, but it's just a search.

Date: 2006-10-19 10:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
some of the topics of conversation or question are so broad that I would have trouble formulating an intelligent comment in English, let alone one in German. Maybe I should just say something dumb that I don't really believe purely as linguistic practice, but I don't feel comfortable doing that.

Ah, the geek mindset :)

Can you act it? Put on a character for the conversation?

Date: 2006-10-21 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I could try, but inventing a character is in itself quite a mental strain.

Date: 2006-10-19 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bbq at our place on Sunday? Come and talk to Viv in German (she's from near Berlin). With you and Nattie and daven and Viv there could be more German spoken than English.
From: (Anonymous)
I will write the following in German so you HAVE to translate it. Maybe you find some words you didn't know:

Wenn ich eine Sprache lerne (oder um genauer zu sein, sie lernen will), dann hilft es mir meistens, wenn ich Bücher aus der Sprache lese. Viele Bücher. Oder sonst Texte, die man im Internet findet (wobei man da natürlich aufpassen muss, denn die müssen nicht unbedingt hochwertig sein). Am Anfang quäle ich mich dann immer mit einem Wörterbuch, aber mit ein bisschen Übung geht es viel flotter.
Der zweite Schritt besteht in einer Reise, wenn möglich, in ein Land, in der die erlernte Sprache gesprochen wird. Am besten eine Sprachreise mit Schulung. Dann hört man viele Muttersprachler die Sprache verwenden. das hilft ganz ungemein bei der Aussprache, aber auch bei den Vokabeln, denn man ist gezwungen, die andere Sprache zu nutzen.
Und dann sollte man sich (viele) Freunde suchen, die die neue Sprache sprechen, mit denen man dann regelmäßig per E-Mail, IRC oder Telefon kommuniziert (optimalerweise jeder in der Sprache des Anderen, dann haben beide etwas davon).

So, nun hoffe ich mal, dass du den Text hier lesen kannst und auch alle Umlaute (und sonstigen deutschen Sonderzeichen) korrekt dargestellt werden. Aber mit UTF-8 sollte es eigentlich keine Probleme geben.

Grüße aus Deutschland,

Je ne comprends pas

Date: 2006-10-23 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Congratulations on taking the plunge!

If you want any advice from a linguistic genius.... don't talk to me :)

good luck!

Date: 2006-10-25 07:21 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I'm a native german speaker. But as a programmer I have to read english written manuals every day. So I can understand every particulary sentence of a technical document. But I'm unable to say "Prost!" or the like in english. That's really silly.

Date: 2010-02-16 11:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's also frustrating when you find yourself mixing words from different languages trying to make a point. This is what happened to me in conversation with a French friend, I know minimum French but at the time we that conversation I was in the middle of my ielts preparation ( work so English words kept slipping through my mouth instead of French words. It was hard to control that, luckily my friend also knew little English, she got my points. We still joke about it now.

постройка своими руками

Date: 2015-06-21 08:36 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Делая ремонт в квартире иногда необходимо поменять батареи. Если квартира находится в многоэтажном доме, перед покупкой радиатора отопления нужно знать о каждом их виде. Вот некоторые советы, которые нужно знать перед тем, как выбрать радиаторы отопления. Они бывают алюминиевые, биметаллические и самые распространенные - стальные панельные. При выборе необходимого радиатора нужно учитывать некоторые моменты. Внешний вид радиатора должен вписываться в общий интерьер дома. Мощность радиатора отопления должна обеспечивать необходимое тепло в холодный период.
Выбирая тепловую мощность нужно обращать внимание на батареи, которые были установлены раньше, на площадь помещения, которую предполагается отапливать и на площадь остекленного пространства, т. е., если в помещении имеются большие окна, нужно брать радиатор большей мощности.

Академия моды и стиля

Date: 2016-02-11 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Дорогие девушки и женщины,хотите научиться стильно одеваться, создать базовый гардероб, решить эту постоянную задачу “одежды полный шкаф, а надеть нечего”.
А еще разобраться со своим типом фигуры, стилистикой и другими тонкостями стиля. Теперь Вы сможете сделать легко, а главное – с большим удовольствием и бесплатно!
Убедитесь сами: Через 5 дней Вы посмотрите на свой гардероб другими глазами! Уверяю Вас! :)

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