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Old 01.07.2015, 14:36
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Learning German vocabulary

Hello all,

I am struggling to improve my German and my problem so far was learning new words. I have been using firstly Duoliongo and Memrise but I don't really have time to play around with the apps.

Of course speaking plays an important part, but how did it work for you? Some say that just reading a lot improves the vocabulary naturally, but I would really appreciate your input.

My level at the moment is B1 and I am about to take the C1 exam in the close future.

Thanks in advance.
Cheers,

Last edited by Foofiegoo; 01.07.2015 at 16:02.
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Old 01.07.2015, 14:48
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

It is about time. If you don't have time for the apps, you won't have it for other tools to learn vocabulary either. A couple of questions:
- do you remember when you hear something?
- are you a list person or calendar person in life?
- are you a big reader anyway?
- B1 to C1 is a huge step up, so how do you make take free to things you want to get done?

At the end of the day, it's about being conscious of your strengths and applying them in a constant effort that takes time.
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Old 01.07.2015, 15:42
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

I could easily jump from A1 (completed) to B1. That means I skipped 3 months of A2. Then, midway to B1, I got bored with the teacher's approach to teaching - pretty much in class self-study with minimal interaction, and jumped to B2, to get more oral practice, and that's where I felt it got quite intense, and my overall vocabulary not quite up to speed. A previous teacher I often meet and speak with evaluates my German knowledge at B1 level, but I self-evaluate at A2.

I learn new words etymologically. It is the best and the fastest for me. I do crossword puzzles both in English and German, but have not yet mustered the courage to play scrabble in German. I mean, who can fit on the board one of those compound words? like for example: recht/sexperte - I should add this one to the funny German words on the list here on EF.
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Old 01.07.2015, 19:01
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

An easy way to improve vocabulary is to watch German language television with the German subtitles on. (Also watching an English language program with German subtitles is beneficial).

Sometimes the German subtitles do not correspond exactly to the spoken words. For news programs, the subtitles often lag the speaking by about 15 seconds because the subtitling is happening "live".
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Old 01.07.2015, 20:18
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

I read and listen to German, and keep a dictionary handy. It takes several times for new words to stick but it is the best tool I have found for building vocabulary.
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Old 01.07.2015, 21:35
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

yeah i learned a lot of english vocabulary by watching tv shows with subtitles in original language and looking up words I didn't know. If you wanna be sure to remember them you could also write them down with the translation or the context and study them a bit.
You could start with the 3000 more used words also and study 20 per week with self examinations and discipline.
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Old 03.07.2015, 00:22
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

My problem with the apps is also related to the fact that very often the words that appear are the basic one and cant isolate them. E.g. at the moment I am using the Memrize course of most commonly used 5000 German words, but can not remove the words I already know, so I am looking for an alternative as it gets boring and feels like no progress is made.

I remember when I hear something, hence I have my TV on all the time.
More of a calendar person - I am not sure where are you heading with this one
I am also a big reader, but prefer to read stuff related to my field, which is why I want to improve my vocabulary and then read more.

As FunnyBone mentioned I think there is no clear distinction between the levels in terms of vocabulary, but it is more of a grammar thing which I am pretty good at. I will get to C1 with hard work Optimism rules But, I haven't mention the time frame ..
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Old 03.07.2015, 00:24
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

Thanks, I just subscribed to Netflix - most of the moveis and tv shows can be dubbed in German and they provide the subtitles as well.. Hope this will help!
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yeah i learned a lot of english vocabulary by watching tv shows with subtitles in original language and looking up words I didn't know. If you wanna be sure to remember them you could also write them down with the translation or the context and study them a bit.
You could start with the 3000 more used words also and study 20 per week with self examinations and discipline.
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Old 03.07.2015, 07:30
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

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Thanks, I just subscribed to Netflix - most of the moveis and tv shows can be dubbed in German and they provide the subtitles as well.. Hope this will help!


TV with subtitles is good for intermediat/conversational vocabulary. The only problem I found was that I often ended up just watching the film. To really bulk up your vocabulary, read. More specifically, read books that you have already read in English. Because you already know the plot you can often interpret words, so you end up reaching for the dictionary less often.


Watch the News and 10vor10 every night.


Stop reading English, only read German.


It doesn't really matter much what you read, be it childrens books, Danielle Steele, John Grisham, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez - they will all improve your comprehension and vocabulary. The better (i.e. more complex the writing) the better the vocabulary is AND the less tedious it is to re-read the book.


My case was perhaps a bit extreme... My degree is in philosophy, I specialised in the German philosophers, so the books I re-read were Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer... Your mileage may vary.




Gabriel Ma
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Old 03.07.2015, 13:41
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

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Hello all,

I am struggling to improve my German and my problem so far was learning new words. I have been using firstly Duoliongo and Memrise but I don't really have time to play around with the apps.

Of course speaking plays an important part, but how did it work for you? Some say that just reading a lot improves the vocabulary naturally, but I would really appreciate your input.

My level at the moment is B1 and I am about to take the C1 exam in the close future.

Thanks in advance.
Cheers,

Try to read novels and books, make notes of interesting words and check them up
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Old 03.07.2015, 13:47
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

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Try to read novels and books, make notes of interesting words and check them up
I`m a reading addict, but just can`t manage more than a page of German without falling asleep!

Everyone tells me to read German novels, but I find that too much like hard work, rather than enjoyment. I guess one should look on it as "studying"?
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Old 03.07.2015, 15:34
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

I solve the falling asleep problem by reading aloud, it worked for me when improving my other speaking language, mainly to the extent that I remove my slang vocabulary. With German is different, as I don't have any slang words and the outcome of it is the focus on pronouncing and not the vocabulary

Patience is a virtue

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I`m a reading addict, but just can`t manage more than a page of German without falling asleep!

Everyone tells me to read German novels, but I find that too much like hard work, rather than enjoyment. I guess one should look on it as "studying"?
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Old 03.07.2015, 15:48
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Re: Learning German vocabulary

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I`m a reading addict, but just can`t manage more than a page of German without falling asleep!

Everyone tells me to read German novels, but I find that too much like hard work, rather than enjoyment. I guess one should look on it as "studying"?


Stick with it... after a certain point it becomes a lot easier, and you don't even notice that you're reading German. When I arrived here I just stopped reading English for the first 3 years... after about 8months to a year I rarely if ever needed the dictionary.
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