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Old 23.11.2014, 10:01
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What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

So, here goes...
I have been in the country for over 7 years now. I am embarrassed to say my confidence in speaking German and my knowledge of it is low. I speak French totally fine though. Then again, when I was living in France before I learned most of I know now, in 6 months, as the French are generally unaccepting of any other language then French being spoke, even if they do know English as well.


Switzerland has been good to me in one way, the fact that I can go and do just about anything on my ability to know English. On the other hand it is held me behind with the friends I have and work.


I have a spackling of all sorts of German I can piece together here. And, when it seems like I am in a crunch, I can have a fairly full conversation in German with a stranger on the phone to get what I need.


However I am disappointed in myself because everything would be a lot different if I just was knowing more.


So, if anyone can share with me, their best experiences with intensive online or in person programs that will get me to the next level quickly? I cannot say if I am A1 or B or not. I have a certificate from the Migrosclubschule that says I am an A1, but I don't think that is accurate.


I have looked up Rosetta Stone and it seems like a good option. Since I travel very often I have considered taking German classes in Germany as it would be cheaper and I am already there.


And to be totally honest, I would actually prefer to just learn Swiss German. 98% percent of the people I deal with who are not native English speakers, are Swiss German ones, from Zuristadt. And I am not going to be moving to Germany.


So please, regardless of price, or hassle, or anything, if anyone has some useful information on how to learn either language preferable Swiss German, please post it here. I am very serious now, and it is worth the investment.
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Old 23.11.2014, 10:38
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

I've done my first German language courses long before moving here at Goethe Institut. Best courses.
Since I moved here I tried 2 different language schools, had 2 private teachers, each helped but (especially the private lessons) were very expensive.
If I were to say what was worth every cent it was the Goethe Institut.

Btw, AOZ is offering some high quality language courses (at a very reasonable cost), unfortunately don't know up to which level. I know of a few persons who were very content. (it's not only for asylum seekers!)

https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/aoz/de/...tschkurse.html

Last edited by greenmount; 23.11.2014 at 10:49.
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Old 28.11.2014, 10:06
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

The best investment is your time. Meaning you should do self study, even for 20 minutes when you are in the tram or something like that.
That time will add up and in the end you will start seeing the changes.

To learn swiss german you need someone for sure.
You can use Pimsleur audiocourse, I did that and liked it, but it is just the very basic.
Then you have Podcast from Migros
http://www.podclub.ch/podcast-servic...n-mit-podcasts

Also Migros offers courses in CH-DE you might check it.

I gave up the languages schools because they only teach you grammar and not the real language. Besides I'm to old for silly games and I want to learn like an adult. I read the news, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, read books, watch movies. You see, if besides all of that I had someone with whom to talk I could be fluent by now. You really don't need a language school for high-german. If you want CH-DE then you need at least one person and maybe for that the language school can help you.
In the end CH-DE is a non-written dialect which means the materials are not that easy to find.
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Old 28.11.2014, 10:16
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

Second for Goethe Inst.
Did a weeks beginners' course back in '97, in London.
A good grounding, but never followed up with more formal courses, and still fumble my way through, when it comes to grammar and vocab. - but, as a rule, I'm understood.

On a casual level, I found that when I was around when the girls watched kids programs on TV, I picked up some familiarity - especially 'mundart' on SF-DRS - because of the simplistic basic level.
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Old 28.11.2014, 10:54
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

Make friends with Swiss Germans. Join them for activities!
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Old 28.11.2014, 11:08
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

Get the Duolingo app on your smartphone (for free).
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Old 28.11.2014, 11:37
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

A girlfriend who doesn't speak English.

However, it's hard to find a German speaking Swiss who doesn't speak English, unlike Italian speaking Swiss who mostly don't.

Tom
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Old 28.11.2014, 12:14
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

this is what I did / am doing:

1. I found this program very helpful for getting out of the proverbial gate, 50 EUR and you simply download it to your PC and can work through it at your own pace. It is of course not perfect but it is the best program I was able to find that is premised upon English as a native language:

http://www.expatsolutions.ch/index.p...ads&reg=&lang=

2. Buy the A2 and B1 German lesson books for Switzerland, and work on improving your basic understanding of German, which will help tremendously with your understanding of Swiss German and will help you work through the much better books that teach Swiss German for native German speakers:

http://www.cornelsen.ch/downloads.aspx?fach=7

3. Buy a Swiss German learning book that is targeted at German speakers. I use this one:

http://www.schweizer-deutsch.ch/Zuer...ttel.21.0.html

4. Pick one of your Swiss friends or colleagues and politely ask them to patiently speak only Swiss German with you. For me it was a colleague in the office who was absolutely tremendous, both in explaining the language to me and in suffering along with my horrible speaking, and who after about 3 months would go around simply telling everyone we met that they did not need to speak English with me. Americans who are willing to speak Swiss German are something of a novelty, especially in Zürich, and you will find more people than you would expect who will be more than happy to help you in your struggle.

5. Be kind to yourself, be willing to sound and act like an idiot, be patient and have fun.

P.S. You will inevitably have your accent and pronunciation made fun of by friends or colleagues. For these situations, I find waiting for the next time they speak English and politely asking "Chöntisch nomal ä chlii uf Englisch?" (Could you say that again in English?) helps everyone remember that nobody is perfect when it comes to foreign languages.

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Old 28.11.2014, 12:21
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

Try Free Duolingo App to test what level you are currently at and to give you a kick start to your learning.

Good luck
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Old 05.12.2014, 21:07
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

I use duo lingo good but still need to have face to face speech
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Old 10.12.2014, 14:56
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

I have been learning High German off and on intensively and casual for the past 3 years just from mostly free online stuff. I did buy and tried out Rosetta Stone it was really good but only if you are a learner who just accepts how something is and doesn't ask questions as to why this is like that or why that is like this. And I am not really a learner like that sometimes i need to know more like a detailed reason why something the way it is like grammar questions, But now after learning for a few years i just accept it now and feel more comfortable with it.

And as for swiss German well, I know some swiss dialekts there are lots of learning resources online but for where i live in Wallis and learning Walliser swiss German there is next to nothing online for learning material. But when i first moved here a year ago when i would hear the people speaking in Walliser it sounded like a run on sentence, like i could not distinguishably hear each word, but now after one year and being around people that speak dialekt everyday i can understand it a lot more, but speaking it is really hard but that was and is the same with me in High German i can understand a lot more then i can speak or put a sentence together but practice makes perfect eh.

Here are some sites i use that are free but also offer premium deals for more stuff to learn.

www.memrise.com
www.duolingo.com
www.livemocha.com
www.busuu.com
www.ielanguages.com/German.html
www.internetpolyglot.com/lessons-de-en
www.sharedtalk.com
www.lingq.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY...GBxmwKFiCynFwg


I really like memrise because that is mostly a vocabulary training website with lots of free courses and ive seen some swiss German in there also, me personally on there I have almost 1000 word Deutsch vocabulary. duolingo , livemocha, busuu are almost the same, but one thing i really like about the duolingo mobile app is that you can go head to head vers someone else learning German in knowledge about what you've learned. ielanguages is really good cause it offers Grammar explanations. I really like sharedtalk because its a language live chat website so you can talk to natives with mic or just in txt chat.

Hope that helps !!
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Old 21.12.2014, 23:49
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

After intensive courses at Berlitz and Flying Teachers I decided that only the option of intensive private lessons via skype could really helped me. I bought a very good grammar in my mother tongue and I suggest you to find a good one as well. Some tips:

1) Try to speak whenever you can with people
2) Exercise your spelling and reading by yourself
3) Follow the golden rule: don't do any long breaks (more than 10 days) if you can.
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Old 02.01.2015, 22:48
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

I can't offer much about Swiss German. I work on the basis that Hoch Deutsch will be of more general use in my job, and if and when I get proficient, learning S-D should be easier. For me it's the best way round to do it.

Some general tips from the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/education...guage-ten-tips

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3) Follow the golden rule: don't do any long breaks (more than 10 days) if you can.
I think that's a good one. I tell people I've been learning for about 5 years but in truth, I have so many gaps in my learning that when I get back into it, I spend nearly all my just trying to get back to where I'd left off last time -- and then I get bored and stop.

If I could just do 30 mins a day (say) rather than 5 hours on a Saturday once a month, I would get somewhere.

Nice OP though, Confloozed, and you've got me fired up to tackle this more seriously.

As for your question, I've tried most things but haven't persisted enough with any. The ones I liked most were:
  • http://dazpod.de/ (now discontinued but the material is still on the website)
  • The Michel Thomas stuff (Google it.). He can be annoying but I did learn a fair bit from the Foundation course, and if I could only push myself on to do all the other bits I would be well away.
  • http://youspeakgerman.com/. I like the delivery quality and personality of this (British) guy though since the first 20 lessons, it's dried up a bit. But there is enough in the first tranche to keep you going for ages. Costs about 5 UKP a month.
  • http://quizlet.com/latest - really useful syncable free app for both browser and mobile/tablet. Build up your own vocab or borrow other people's sets
  • http://www.dw.de/ - brilliant resource. Check out the Learn German link.
  • http://www.goethe.de/ins/de/enindex.htm I've found it useful to enter the exams, even though I've given up going to group classes. Done A1 and A2 and aiming for B1, though this is a step up. Doing the exams is an excellent way of giving yourself targets and forcing yourself to sit down and do something.

Personally I've not had much success in classes. Too much variability in standards and just not useful enough, given the cost. If and when I do real tuition again, I'll go for one-to-one or a very small group. Higher cost but more effective I think. The other thing I'd like to do if only i could find the right resource is weekend intensive tuition in Germany.
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Old 02.01.2015, 23:07
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

So many options....

My advice is to keep trying them until you find something that seems reasonable (or even... fun) to do for an hour at a time, at least twice per week. What works for you may change over time. Initially I found Rosetta Stone to be decent, then duolingo seemed more productive. Most recently I've been (slowly) working through "Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen" and trying to read more German in general.

Regarding Swiss German, I'm not sure there is a good way to learn it, except by talking to the Swiss. There are some courses and workbooks for Zuri-Deutsch, but not many and it is principally a conversational language - so it is hard to imagine anything being more helpful that finding a Swiss friend or two to work with you on it regularly.
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Old 12.01.2015, 18:15
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

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Get the Duolingo app on your smartphone (for free).
Doulingo app on the phone is really cool. I just started basics and its like a game you cannot stop entertaining yourself and can do anywhere! Just dont cross the road!
It practices also your speech, so worth at least a try.
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Old 12.01.2015, 18:51
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

The best program is an intimate relatshonship (don`t use that word so often how does one spell it?) with a German speaker. The bigger the better.
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Old 12.01.2015, 19:48
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Re: What are the best programs to learn German Quickly?

I will begin German lessons soon so I'm responding to this thread so that I can come back and refer to the wonderful links and info here. Thanks everyone.
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