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#1 of 8 Old 04-16-2010, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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just moved to Austria and German is HARD but I really want to learn! I'm currently in a once a week class and can say a few things to store clerks and people at the dog park but really I can't speak at all yet...so i'm trying to find some extra at home learning resources and am wondering what you ladies have used and liked (or disliked)? I've also heart that people sometimes do language swaps/tandems over skype! have any of you tried or heard of this?

Danke Ladies : )
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#2 of 8 Old 04-18-2010, 04:09 AM
 
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Maybe these will help.

http://www.learn-german-via-skype.com

http://www.deutsch-lernen.com - seems to focus more on grammer

http://www.rosettastone.de/lerne-deutsch - they also offer a online course with a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription (scroll all the way to the bottom)

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#3 of 8 Old 04-18-2010, 05:05 AM
 
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Hi Lapis,

I am German living in Germany so if you'd like to have a penpal or instant messange language tandem partner I'll gladly volunteer!
can you maybe also get specific DAF (deutsch als fremsprache, German as a foreign language) materials from your public library? even if you don't want to become a member you can usually use the books inside the building. those might be helpful.

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#4 of 8 Old 04-23-2010, 04:35 AM
 
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Hmm, I would just look for a conversation group in your area and use the language!! You're lucky that you live in Austria and enjoy complete immersion. Just give it time to sink in now.
My tips? Don't sweat the grammar! Your vocab is soooo much more important so work on soaking up new words and meanings. If you feel inhibited to speak freely - i.e. worry about saying something wrong - then I highly recommend drinking a glass of wine or beer before class or meeting your conversation group. I'm NOT kidding! Also keep a diary in German. Again, don't worry about grammar. This is just a method of developing your own speaking/writing style and gives you an opportunity to use any new words you learned that day.
Just remember that languages exist to help us communicate better than just using our hands and feet. You won't get points for speaking perfectly so don't worry about butchering the language as long as you can make people understand you.
You can do it!

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#5 of 8 Old 04-23-2010, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks ladies, all very helpful
oceane: i may get in touch : )

also anyone actually try rosetta stone? I've heard great things but its prohibitively expensive!!!
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#6 of 8 Old 06-12-2010, 05:33 PM
 
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I despised the Rosette Stone - primarilly because of the high price. I tried it out on a friend's computer, as she had it (her dad or grandpa or someone had bought it). Price aside, I didn't really personally like it and it didn't help her a whole lot (she found it boring as did I).

I would recommend LiveMocha.com (comparible to the concept of the Rosetta Stone, but free! And an interactive community of real people!) and How-To-Learn-Any-Language.com (yes, that ridiculously long thing IS the URL).

Don't forget translation/dictionary sites like-
Dict.leo.org
Dict.cc
Verbix.com (which will provide you with a list of all the conjugations of a verb, which is useful when trying to look up a verb, but don't know the infinitive of - though, watch out, sometimes it's wrong.. I think it said "geschehen hat" instead of "geschehen ist", for example, but I'm not really sure if that was it's mistake - the conjugations it gives, however, have all been correct, in my experiences.. it's the helping verbs it sometimes screws up, but I've had official workbooks from German classes that screw these up.)

Other than that, grab a child's book (not a fairytale/Märchen book), a German-English/English-German translation dictionary and a little notebook (of the paper-kind, not the electronic portable-computer kind) or self-made flashcards for vocabulary practice. Always, and I cannot stress this enough, always include the article (der, die or das) along with every noun you learn - if you don't know the article, then you don't know the noun.

Work on learning how the case system works, so you know the difference between
"Der Hund beißt den Mann" and "Den Mann beißt der Hund", or why products come from "der Fabrik" rather than "die Fabrik".

And remember, a computer is never an "it", grammatically speaking, it is a "he" - even when the Germans call it by the English name (which they do!), it's still a "he". "I hate my computer, he is too slow!", a German would say. A door is never an "it", it is a "she" (die Tür). A girl, however, is not a "she", she is an "it" (das Mädchen - because the diminutive form "-chen" makes everything 'das' - same goes for "-lein", like "das Fräulein").

I'd also recommend reading magazines or books, or finding music you like in German, so you can enjoy your 'practicing' instead of just forcing yourself to do it.

I also read Wikipedia articles in both English and German (often, the German Wikipedia has more information and is better written).
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#7 of 8 Old 06-13-2010, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks Marijke.... I've checked out live mocha but haven't done anything on there yet...and I'm going to check out the other site as well. also don't really want to spend so much money on the rosetta stone, which I surely will find boring and a waste of money.

I think I've decided to just hire a tutor for like 10 or lessons just to get the basics down (i've been taking a once a week course so I'm learning a bit but really its not enough) and because I'm not working I really don't get much practice w/ speaking and being in a classroom doesn't really help me much w/ that. so getting to actually use the language while speaking w/ some help from a patient teacher I think is my best bet for gaining confidence.

lately i've been feeling really down on myself for how long its taking me to learn even basic stuff... we've been here almost 6 months and I can barely say anything apart from basic sentences. to make things harder we are in austria where there is a very heavy dialect and accent so even when I can say something I only very rarely understand people... as in, the things that I've learned are not at all what people speak here for the most part... unless they are from germany.

having learned french before does give me some understanding about how to learn a new language however I was 16 when I was living in france and 12 years later really does make a difference for how one takes in a language.

i'm chugging along and trying to cut myself some slack but I really hope I can get a handle on the language soon.... I feel like in my mind I'd be speaking fluently by the end of the year (after 6 months in france I was speaking REALLY REALLY well...and by a year I was totally fluent) but maybe in this situation I need to give myself two years to really get things down.
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#8 of 8 Old 06-13-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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Well, don't be too hard on yourself. German's harder than French. Three genders (masc, fem, neut); four cases (nominative, dative, genetive and nominative) + plurals and informal/formal. And a ton of exceptions to most rules..

You'll get it.

I don't really know what Austrian-German is like. Don't they speak High-German there?
(Only time I've heard the accent, is in an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger - I didn't have trouble understanding him... But, I seem to have a bit of an unusual talent in this area - with the exception of Plattdeutsch.)


If you'd want, we could be pen-pals (e-mail, I'd suggest), though I do speak Germany-German, not Austria-German.
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