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  #121  
Old 12.03.2015, 10:10
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

I'm actually really happy with progress especially considering that it has not been practical to do what I had planned to.

One thing I said I'd do was to speak only German in house- really not practical when you have older primary school age kids who at first had trouble settling in; they have enough on their plate I think they need their English sanctuary!

Also putting in 6 hours a day like it's a job- not practical either when running a house, looking after kids, sorting out loads of admin, trying to make new friends, keeping in touch with the old ones we left behind, keeping fit etc etc. Then of course family time, and even just a little bit of me time! Some days I put 2 or 3 hours into German, other days I don't have any time at all! Most days I do about half an hour.

Still meeting my little targets I set myself When I do work on it I put everything into it though because I love studying languages. I think enjoying it helps a lot. Also I do have a brilliant tutor
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  #122  
Old 12.03.2015, 10:23
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

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how long to speak enough German to work

As for me, 10 years in the country and my German is painful.
Still, I'm not the cleverest of people...
Took me a while to realise that the swiss start talking to me in german then after about 10 seconds switch to swiss german.
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  #123  
Old 12.03.2015, 10:56
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

I started with Duolingo, but found that it was not working for me. Going to a classroom definitely helps as it allowed me to learn the grammar in a more structured way. Now, I find that Duolingo is a good supplement to what I am learning in class.

It's been 3 months of classes, and now I feel a bit more confident in stringing a sentence or two in German. I have a lovely teacher at the Klubschule in Baden, and she certainly brings fun to the whole thing! Who would have thought I'd have so much fun playing Bingo with German verbs?
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  #124  
Old 12.03.2015, 20:11
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

5 years, on and off in classes, part of these years I lived in Geneva though. I am B2 and work with customers which helps. I am not sure how I got that job, because my German is not that good. If it is not your first foreign language it is easier because you have the flair to say same thing in more ways if you get stuck, and construct the phrase around the words you already know.
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  #125  
Old 13.03.2015, 21:10
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

It took me about 6 months to be able to understand basic dialogues and to speak the basic things. Now I'm starting B1 and I am in a big confusion with all the verb tenses and their specific cases for all the verbs . Aber... I can understand the "topics" of conversations and not feel so lost.
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  #126  
Old 14.03.2015, 23:34
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

Am with EB since last few months but without real practice at workplace or elsewhere seems future is dull.
Is there any way to improve without being shy?
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  #127  
Old 15.03.2015, 08:48
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

Conjugation is intimidating but very systematic. It is worthwhile studying the system rather than just memorizing. For me, the articles are more difficult, but I can't be too far off as people have mistaken me for a native speaker. Not often, but it has happened. That said, Schriftdeutsch is by far much harder and I still have difficulty with dative and accusative.

Immersion is the only way to learn. At first, I insisted that my co-workers use German, struggled through German newspapers and watched German television without subtitles. It was not easy but within a year I could understand about 90% of what was said. Mundart was difficult until I joined a Schützenverein. i forbid them from using anything but dialect although I generally answered in high German. Took a while but I now understand everything but the deepest dialect.

Try German - an Essential Grammer by Bruce Donaldson. It's probably the single best book for learning German that I have ever seen.

Last edited by Brass427; 15.03.2015 at 08:59.
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  #128  
Old 16.03.2015, 19:23
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

I wasn't actively learning German before, even though I have been living in German speaking countries for 7 year. Just recently, I started to learn German more seriously. I hope it won't take me too long. I have heard that from A1 to A2 is quite easy, but from A2 to B1 you really need to put in some effort. The grammar and gender are the difficult part.
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  #129  
Old 16.05.2015, 11:03
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

Remember folks that learning German in Switzerland is exceptionally hard. Whenever I go to Germany suddenly I " understand" what everyone is saying.

It's not you, it's the very big difference between Swiss german and high german.

I mean come on, mantig is not a day of the week last time I looked!
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  #130  
Old 18.05.2015, 03:38
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

Well, I started German last summer, June 18th, with an intensive course in Zurich. There I finished A1 and returned my country. There, they told me I was eligible for B1. I was shocked. As there were no courses for B1 available, I joined an A2.2 course. Now it has been exactly ten months. I am B1.3 and I make the best of it! I still struggle with an army of strange words but reading and writing really helps.

I may be a little bit exceptional. I have had an ardent passion for German. Probably it would take an ordinary person more than 10 months to be competent at German.
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  #131  
Old 18.05.2015, 12:22
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

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Remember folks that learning German in Switzerland is exceptionally hard. Whenever I go to Germany suddenly I " understand" what everyone is saying.

It's not you, it's the very big difference between Swiss german and high german.

I mean come on, mantig is not a day of the week last time I looked!
Yeah, I can relate. I understand Swiss German also, but still reply in "schriftlich Deutsch". Worst is when I think of the Swiss German word first, then translate it into standard German.

12 years and counting...
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  #132  
Old 19.05.2015, 21:27
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

It took me two years, 3 hours a week, to get my B1 level.
Once again, the bigger problem is that I can't speak enough, as the natives talk each other only in Swiss German.....
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  #133  
Old 25.06.2015, 13:02
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

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Remember folks that learning German in Switzerland is exceptionally hard. Whenever I go to Germany suddenly I " understand" what everyone is saying.

It's not you, it's the very big difference between Swiss german and high german.

I mean come on, mantig is not a day of the week last time I looked!
Haha how about Ziischtig! Doesn't even start with the same letter lol, luckily I learned the SD days of the week early on.

I know what you mean about suddenly understanding when you hear German German. When I'm around Swiss German still I feel like I'm back on my first week here, barely understanding anything! Hopefully it will catch up. I'm about to sit my A1 exam but in practice I am A2/B1 (according to this)
My ability varies from day to day too. Some days I'll have a crap day and be at some desk doing something simple like booking something or returning something or other and they end up switching to English and I feel like I failed! Other days I'll be with one of my friends who do not speak English and we'll just be chatting quite easily and suddenly I'll think "hey, I'm doing this!" Some days are harder than others but even on good days I still have to put a lot of concentration into it. If I'm distracted during English discourse and miss a few words I can easily catch up and work out what the missed words were while simultaneously continuing the conversation but I cannot do this in German; I miss two words and I'm lost! There is an A1/B2 conversation course starting nearby after summer and I shall probably sign up (my tutor is calling them to check if I'd be able to)
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  #134  
Old 25.06.2015, 13:56
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

You are brave to have a go at Swiss German!

Just got booked on the A2 course at the Migros Klubschule, and already I feel a bit more confident with the few bits and bobs I've learned. But I noticed that as I try and speak more and more, some people tend to use more complicated words. Then I find that the only way out is to speak in English! So, I feel I am making one step forward, two steps back
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  #135  
Old 25.06.2015, 17:40
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Re: How long did it take you to learn German?

I get what you mean! I'm confident enough now that I don't prefix with apologies for being foreign/new/crap I just dive straight in. But this often leads to them speaking too quickly for me, using too many new words for me and frequently in dialect as well. I don't mind, I like the challenge and I feel it is good for me. But you're right it can backfire a bit sometimes. I bumbled through a phone call this afternoon and ended up having to tell her I didn't understand, she switched to HG and suddenly I could understand but I guess she quickly figured out my accent and offered to switch to English! (and I accepted! )
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