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  #81  
Old 31.07.2014, 16:07
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

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Don't know any native German speaker who'd converse this way with another German speaker....
It's not a conversation, so I don't think it would happen in any language as a conversation. Writing here requires different etiquette to having a conversation, and, I suppose, it shows itself more obviously at times like this.

I'd rather understand what point someone is trying to make, and then respond, rather than hastily respond based on imagining what the necessary information might be.
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  #82  
Old 31.07.2014, 16:18
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

The infiltration has begun.
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  #83  
Old 01.08.2014, 08:46
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

Yes. We need more..

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  #84  
Old 07.08.2014, 15:56
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

I came to Basel 16 months ago and still have problems with conversational German.

Since I travel quite a lot for work I can't do classroom courses. Therefore I tried some online tools and apps. My favorite one is a free one called Duolingo, have learned more with it than with any other method I've tried.

The big problem with using apps is that they lack exercises for conversation. I have learned enough German to understand most things people are saying to me and even identify grammatical error, however I can't say much back which is very frustrating.

I am Swedish and each time I sit down to study German I am surprised over the amount of words and idiosyncrasies that are the same in both languages. However, since the Swedish grammar is more like the English one I have struggled quite a bit with it.
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  #85  
Old 09.08.2014, 00:55
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

Guys, I am looking for an intensive course in German in the evenings in Basel or Lorrach - any ideas?
The Migros school has only courses in the morning and the afternoon...
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  #86  
Old 09.08.2014, 01:23
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

I've been here full time more than 4 years now and am still at a rudimentary stage in German. Everyone at work speaks English, which on one level is great -- but not very helpful when trying to learn German.

Well, comprehending written German is not too bad but try as I might, I find it hard to understand normal German conversation, despite identifying plenty of individual words.

The main problem is that Germans don't actually speak the language that i diligently learn in the text books and on courses. I don't mean Swiss German, but ordinary High German spoken at normal speed between Germans (and I hear a lot of it as I work for a company that employs far more Germans than Swiss). There seem to be a lot of colloquialisms, regional variants, contractions, different accents and pronunciations that conspire to make it impossible to take my 'book learning' onto the streets, as it were. And before someone makes the point, yes, I'm certain it's the same experience in England or the US for new English speakers.

All that said, I'm persisting, partly because I find language in general very interesting, but mainly because I know my life would be greatly enriched here if I could actually chat to people beyond the food-and-beer ordering level.
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  #87  
Old 11.08.2014, 19:46
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

Admittedly I am just about a week in to my German study but I'm finding the Living Languages 'Ultimate German/Beginner-Intermediate' really useful and I'm picking things up quickly. This is my first day using the book but before this I've done 18-20 hours intensive study on this site: and it has given me a very strong start with regard to the dative case, and then the usual verbs, vocabulary, dialogue, etc.
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  #88  
Old 14.10.2014, 01:44
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

I came here with no German whatsoever. ZERO..and it took me about a year to talk fluently.Intensive course with lots of homework and little free time but I needed it for my work and without Certificate they wouldn't validate my diplomas,so it was also a good motivation for me You can also do afternoon Courses,but I would recommend something 2-3 times a week and regular
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  #89  
Old 30.10.2014, 12:31
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

It took me 2 years to get to B2 level. In that timeframe I had periods when I was very focused and studied a lot (2 classes a week, plus studing on my own 2-3 days) and then periods of neglectance. What I really find essential, is to start intensivelly at the first stage, get at least to A2 level, and then if motivation allows, keep it going, if not time/motivation then just slow down. The best solution for my in terms of learing is a privat skype class - saves time that I needed for getting to and back from school. Can be difficult to be on time for class when works gets in the way. Also, I find privat classes much more suitable, but that depends on individual.

Will try to pass B2 exam in 2015, any hints on how to prepare, what to focus on?
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  #90  
Old 30.10.2014, 14:01
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

I agree with above poster - fokus on getting through A2 quickly, it can be done in under a year or even faster if you're studying full time.

Then you have decent conversational german. Ive been here for six years and am at a lower B-level, but lack the motivation to do classes etc to further my german. Im a lazy sod.

Its when you get to B-level it gets tricky and you realise just how bad you really are...despite how proud you are over your conversational A2-german. I feel a lot of expats just call it quits after A2 and decide thats enough and I fear I'm one of them.
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  #91  
Old 30.10.2014, 14:10
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

Hahaha couldnt agree more enguete That why I want to commit myself on passing B2 exam.
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  #92  
Old 30.10.2014, 14:26
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

Unfortunately one person's experience may be of little help to another. Especially stories of those British missionaries who translated the Bible into dozens of Indian languages after first teaching themselves the language. Or:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/ny...pagewanted=all
and
https://www.goodreads.com/author/sho...3.Barry_Farber

My grandfather, a Vaudeville impresario, had as his last stagehand a woman who arrived at Zurich from Czechoslovakia the morning after the Nazi invasion, speaking only some German. Within a year she had mastered German and Swiss German. She wasn't the brightest spark but she was talented at language-learning, which means she was good at linguistic reasoning and had a quick memory. In the days where there were shoeshine boys, you could always find some in far-off places who'd learned a dozen languages from their customers.

On the other hand, I am Swiss and after 60 years of trying my German is still awful (though I passed a graduate school test with the examiner's comment "You need more vocabulary".) I speak French and have a PhD from a French-speaking university but German has always been a bugbear. I keep buying German books and keep getting bogged down. Despite a high MLAT score.

The moral: there is no moral. Motivation helps a lot, but innate ability counts for most.
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  #93  
Old 30.10.2014, 14:45
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

The problem here is that you're trying to learn a language (hight german) thats not really spoken around you. I know people who spent 1-2 years in Germany and came back absolutely fluent. I learned really good spanish just from 6 months in spain, studying spanish during the days and partying in spanish in the evenings
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  #94  
Old 31.10.2014, 17:39
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

well I am 20 years here. My mother language is English. I speak perfect German and my English is getting worse.
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  #95  
Old 01.11.2014, 01:17
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

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Nowadays, it is very difficult to go for full immersion, due to Cable tv, mobile phones, Skype, large numbers of other expats with same mother tongue, Expat forums, etc. [Emphasis mine] When I went to London to learn English in 1970- I had none of the above- so the brain had to switch absolutely and totally to new language- so much so that it hurt. But progress was VERY fast with full immersion.
Is it possible that if you are REALLY trying to learn German by immersing yourself in the language, posting at English-language forums like THIS one might actually hurt? Would it be better off trying to go to German-language forums or giving up the internet altogether?
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Old 01.11.2014, 09:26
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

one can learn alot of german on the internet. Make your homepage for example Bluewin in German and read the German articles
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Is it possible that if you are REALLY trying to learn German by immersing yourself in the language, posting at English-language forums like THIS one might actually hurt? Would it be better off trying to go to German-language forums or giving up the internet altogether?
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  #97  
Old 04.11.2014, 06:05
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

One of the good recommendations given on this thread was to avoid English language media and not only try using (Swiss-)German in everyday life, but watching Swiss TV and going to see movies in German.

I only thought there was one problem with this suggestion. I generally dislike dubbed films because I want to hear the actual actors speak, even if I can't understand them. Now I think that maybe I'm being too harsh.

There's a horror film that I've been looking forward to being released in the United States. It's called Clown, and it's based on a fake trailer that was posted on YouTube claiming to be an upcoming film by Eli Roth. The real Eli Roth liked the trailer and intervened to produce the film, and a real trailer was posted on YouTube. Anyway, I'm still waiting for the movie to be released in the United States, but I heard it was going to get released in Italy. There's an Italian trailer on YouTube which I recently seen.

Anyway, watching the Italian trailer, I realized it looked a lot less "fake" than I thought it would be. It may be that I don't actually know Italian so I'm not noticing how the voices of the dubbed artists don't quite match the movements of the mouths of the real actors. But until I did learn the actual language enough to be bothered by the discrepency, it sounds like a good way to try to lean Italian, and I'm sure it works with hochdeutsch and dialect.

Speaking of which, are films in Switzerland dubbed in high German, or the differing Swiss dialects? Furthermore, is it true that Swiss-German films are released with German subtitles even in Switzerland? (If so, that would be a BIG help in learning the difference!)
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Old 04.11.2014, 17:09
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

well there are some good german films and some good swiss films around.Yes I think some Swiss films do have subtitles in German. Personally I never watch English dubbed fims if possible. I cant stand these voices they use for dubbing and they all sound the same.
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One of the good recommendations given on this thread was to avoid English language media and not only try using (Swiss-)German in everyday life, but watching Swiss TV and going to see movies in German.

I only thought there was one problem with this suggestion. I generally dislike dubbed films because I want to hear the actual actors speak, even if I can't understand them. Now I think that maybe I'm being too harsh.

There's a horror film that I've been looking forward to being released in the United States. It's called Clown, and it's based on a fake trailer that was posted on YouTube claiming to be an upcoming film by Eli Roth. The real Eli Roth liked the trailer and intervened to produce the film, and a real trailer was posted on YouTube. Anyway, I'm still waiting for the movie to be released in the United States, but I heard it was going to get released in Italy. There's an Italian trailer on YouTube which I recently seen.

Anyway, watching the Italian trailer, I realized it looked a lot less "fake" than I thought it would be. It may be that I don't actually know Italian so I'm not noticing how the voices of the dubbed artists don't quite match the movements of the mouths of the real actors. But until I did learn the actual language enough to be bothered by the discrepency, it sounds like a good way to try to lean Italian, and I'm sure it works with hochdeutsch and dialect.

Speaking of which, are films in Switzerland dubbed in high German, or the differing Swiss dialects? Furthermore, is it true that Swiss-German films are released with German subtitles even in Switzerland? (If so, that would be a BIG help in learning the difference!)
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  #99  
Old 04.11.2014, 18:04
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

there are movies and tv show options in both German and Swiss German, and some of them are actually watchable. I strongly prefer to watch without subtitles, since the subtitles are frankly distracting and the translations are not word-for-word. there are plenty of excellent written resources for learning the differences between German and Swiss German.

on a related note, people who think that they have become "fluent" in a foreign language in 6 months, one year, two years or even three of four years must have a much different definition of "fluent" than I do. as a native English speaker who always tracked well above his peers in English class, it took me until I was 17 or 18 to be truly "fluent" in English, and even then I still had plenty to learn. I don't care how much you immerse yourself in a foreign language, true fluency takes years.
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  #100  
Old 13.01.2015, 21:23
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

I have only been learning german for about 6 months with rosetta stone and I am semi fluent I can hold my own in a conversation in german with minor help I can make/write my own sentences with minor difficulty same with speaking. I don't always go on rosetta stone every week but on average I put a few hours per week on learning german I do listen to german music watch german videos and speak the language to online friends so that helps out with getting familiar with the sound and pronunciation of german words but I got past that by just talking with natives and such.
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