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ot: (german speakers help me) i need to learn german fast


bassguy

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ok, so im taking international business this year at college, and i need to beable to be fluent in german by the summer if i want to qualify for international exchange...anyone suggest where i begin?

i prefer books/cds/computer programs over taking lessons because lessons take too much money

 

i was thinkin german for dummies?

 

sayings i know so far...lol:

no : mein ( i think)

geutin tag? - hello ( wayy off i bet)

 

anyways, anyone that can help me out, feel free to lemme know

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German would not be an easy language to teach yourself... I can't think of any that would really. The sentence structures and tenses are really straightforward, but the formal/familiar articles and genders have nothing in common with anything in the modern English language.

 

Bitte: excuse me, you're welcome, please, what did you say?

 

der, die, das: the

 

sie: she, they

Sie: you formal

 

and then there's the conjugation of the verbs! Don't forget to capitalize nouns!

 

Confused yet?

 

If you're doing this for college take a class... or 4. I took 2 years in middle school, 2 years in highschool and one semester in addition to spending a month there, and I'm not fluent, I was close but now I'm out of practice.

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Not to mention there are about six different ways of saying "the" depending on whether your noun is masculine, feminine or neuter, and depending on whether you are using the dative, accusitive or reflexive case. "The" can be translated der, die, das, dem, den, or des depending on the above. I think that's right (been a long time since college German class). On the one hand, many of the words are similar to their English counterparts, making words easy to remember, but on the other hand grammar is a bitch. Even your adjectives change endings depending on the sex of the nouns they are describing and depending on case. Everything from tables to lamps to oranges to light bulbs has a sex: masculine, feminine or neuter, and things change accordingly. You have to learn to say, "I can the apple upon the table put" instead of "I can put the apple on he table". Plus remembering what sex apples and tables are. Is this a whacky language or what?

 

My suggestion is to get help with it, get into an intensive course like Berlitz where they speak it all day long.

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Originally posted by yossarian

German would not be an easy language to teach yourself... I can't think of any that would really. The sentence structures and tenses are really straightforward, but the formal/familiar articles and genders have nothing in common with anything in the modern English language.


Bitte: excuse me, you're welcome, please, what did you say?


der, die, das: the


sie: she, they

Sie: you formal


and then there's the conjugation of the verbs! Don't forget to capitalize nouns!


Confused yet?


If you're doing this for college take a class... or 4. I took 2 years in middle school, 2 years in highschool and one semester in addition to spending a month there, and I'm not fluent, I was close but now I'm out of practice.

 

 

Exacly, German is a very difficult language. I live close to germany and had a couple of years lessons, but my german still sucks!

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Originally posted by Ron C



Exacly, German is a very difficult language. I live close to germany and had a couple of years lessons, but my german still sucks!

 

 

Let me give a huge +1 to this. I can understand German pretty well, but when it comes to speaking I

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Given the time frame you've got you're going to have to get yourself into a full-on immersion situation. That's where you'll make a million mistakes, correct them, gobble up vocabulary and - most importantly - reinforce everything. That's the real advantage of immersion: you solidify your knowledge. Learn a word or idiom and use it twelve times on the same day.

 

Look for a language partner and do an exchange. There has got to be a German speaker around Ottawa looking to do the same. Put up ads at U of O and Carleton. Maybe there's someone up there trying to sell Airbuses through crooked Tories again;)

 

Good luck!

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Im pretty sure you should take the classes at school, if you cut corners on this one you might regret it. Languages arent somehting that you can just pickup and be fluent in in under a year, they usually take at least a few years to develop, and its not like Spanish or Italian, where you can wing alot of the words cuase they resemble alot of french words (im assuming you know french cuase you live in the Ottawa/Hull area) Russian is a completely different language with a totally different alpahabet

 

just becuase you learn how to speak it doesnt mean youll know how to use it. youll have to learn the alphabet, the slang, etc. its not exactly somehting you can pick up over the winter.

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Originally posted by bassguy

ok, so im taking international business this year at college, and i need to beable to be fluent in german by the summer if i want to qualify for international exchange...anyone suggest where i begin?

i prefer books/cds/computer programs over taking lessons because lessons take too much money


i was thinkin german for dummies?


sayings i know so far...lol:

no : mein ( i think)

geutin tag? - hello ( wayy off i bet)


anyways, anyone that can help me out, feel free to lemme know

 

Sorry to burst your bubble, but there's virtually no way that you're going to become fluent in a foreign language in that short of a time span.

 

I lived and worked abroad for 3 years, which helped my language development a great deal (sink or swim, didn't have a choice), so I have a pretty good sense for language acquisition (as an American) and the like. I studied a foreign language all through HS, earned college credits, AP, all that. Studied in college a few years...then, when I lived abroad and learned a brand new language, within 1 year, I was able to speak that new language so much better than I was ever able to speak the language that I studied for years and years...this is because there's a great difference between learning a language in an academic setting, and learning to really speak and communicate in a foreign language.

 

The best suggestion I can give you is to:

 

1) live in Germany this year somehow, someway...there are opportunities for Americans to study...

 

2) enter an intensive language study program - preferably a residential one - there are a few of these around the US...

 

3) there are other university exchange programs which don't require fluency in a foreign language...pursue those opportunities for yourself.

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Originally posted by bassment zombie


Sorry to burst your bubble, but there's virtually no way that you're going to become fluent in a foreign language in that short of a time span.


I lived and worked abroad for 3 years, which helped my language development a great deal (sink or swim, didn't have a choice), so I have a pretty good sense for language acquisition (as an American) and the like. I studied a foreign language all through HS, earned college credits, AP, all that. Studied in college a few years...then, when I lived abroad and learned a brand new language, within 1 year, I was able to speak that new language so much better than I was ever able to speak the language that I studied for years and years...this is because there's a great difference between learning a language in an academic setting, and learning to really speak and communicate in a foreign language.


The best suggestion I can give you is to:


1) live in Germany this year somehow, someway...there are opportunities for Americans to study...


2) enter an intensive language study program - preferably a residential one - there are a few of these around the US...


3) there are other university exchange programs which don't require fluency in a foreign language...pursue those opportunities for yourself.

 

 

Yeah, fluency is a misunderstood and over-used word (like genius, punk, alternative and extreme). To be fluent means that you have an absolutely air-tight and seamless ability in a 2nd language and you can switch between it and your native tongue with complete ease. Sorry BG, you ain't gonna do it before next summer. Fluency takes years.

 

Functionality and being conversant are another matter entirely. Shoot for that first.

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You can't learn German fast. I took four years of it in high school and two years in college and I can't even carry on a conversation with a native German speaker. I tried to talk to a German gal auf Deutsch and her friend (who could speak English) had to translate my bad German into real German for her to understand.

 

Cases are one thing... Nominativ, Akkusativ, Genitiv, Dativ...

 

You see, the article 'der' is masculine when used in the Nominative case, but it's feminine when used in the Dative.

 

Although, every person I've talked to that's traveled to a big city in Germany (like Berlin for instance) has told me that the people there will speak English with you. They'd rather do that because they know English just about as well as an American does, and they'd rather not put up with you butchering their native language and not being understandable.

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Originally posted by bassguy

ok, so im taking international business this year at college, and i need to beable to be fluent in german by the summer if i want to qualify for international exchange...anyone suggest where i begin?

i prefer books/cds/computer programs over taking lessons because lessons take too much money


i was thinkin german for dummies?


sayings i know so far...lol:

no : mein ( i think)

geutin tag? - hello ( wayy off i bet)


anyways, anyone that can help me out, feel free to lemme know

As someone who studies languages for a hobby, seeing your "lessons cost too much" attitude makes me agree with people that you're not up to learning german by summer. Now, I could be wrong, but it doesn't look like you've got much commitment, or idea of the scope of a new language (especially after seeing your lack of knowledge of german already).

 

Trying to learn a language with no time constraint is hard enough, by less than a year to "fluency" isn't a reasonable goal. Being able to communicate in less than a year IS a reasonable goal though. You should find out how well you'll need to know the language now, so you don't get dissapointed later.

 

Now, don't take my comments the wrong way; I'd love to see you prove us all wrong. Learning a new language is a wonderful thing. It helps change the way you see the world, gives you something to impress the ladies with, ;) gives you a sense of accomplishment, and opens up a lot of opportunities in life.

 

Language = good.

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A number of guys bring up some very good points -- a couple of questions and comments that might help you define your goal

 

Are you set on Germany as a destination?

If so, why?

 

What about working in an English speaking place?

 

 

As SteveyDevey mentioned, you may want to get an idea of hard requirements "fluent" is a monumental task (to give you an idea - many good translation firms generally only hire NATIVE speakers when going English->other )

so "fluent" may not be the full requirement, or their view of "fluent" may be somewhat relaxed

 

Perhaps (and I don't know this to be true at your school - but over the hiring table in an I18N/L10N environment it can be so) being able to demonstrate a working knowledge of other related skills can help

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