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Old 07.01.2011, 11:23
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Useful German for a new kid in school

Hi Everyone,

Does anyone have a few ideas on the most useful phrases a 5 year old will need to know for the first few weeks in public school (kindergarten)? I find my daughter learns more easily at home with me. She is very bright and can easily learn simple phrases in German.

Thank you for the help!

Angel
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Old 07.01.2011, 13:43
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

Hello my name is...
I live ...
What's your name?
Where do you live?

But of course it must all be in the local Swiss German dialect to be of any use. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. She'll pick up what she needs very quickly.
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Old 07.01.2011, 13:54
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

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But of course it must all be in the local Swiss German dialect to be of any use. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. She'll pick up what she needs very quickly.
But if you want to empower the child with a phrase or two:

My name is: "Ich bin <name>.." (ish bin)
I am from: "Ich komme aus <place>.." (ish come-uh owss..)

Maybe some likes or dislikes?

My favorite color is blue: "Meine Lieblingsfarbe ist blau (rose, lila, etc)" (mine-uh leeblings-farr-buh ist bl-oww)

My favorite book is: "Mein Lieblingsbuch ist Pippi Langstrumpf.." (or if not Pippi Longstocking, something else.)

Just some ideas for you, though I agree kids learn fast!
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Old 07.01.2011, 14:44
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

Geil and mega geil some to crop up in most kids' converstions I hear...
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Old 07.01.2011, 14:45
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

Du, Arsch!
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Old 07.01.2011, 14:52
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

Thank you everyone so much!

What about what the teacher says?

Like.. "everyone go put on your shoes" and then she is left standing clueless as all the other kids scamper off...

I'm not familiar with the KG routine (aside from lots of painting and singing). What's the common teacher/student dialogue like?
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Old 07.01.2011, 15:02
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

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Hello my name is...
I live ...
What's your name?
Where do you live?

But of course it must all be in the local Swiss German dialect to be of any use. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it. She'll pick up what she needs very quickly.
I think the OP wanted the German equivalents of the questions above, I think most native english people would be able to work out what they wanted to say in English.

..most.
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Old 07.01.2011, 15:04
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

My sister in law, who is Dutch, moved to Geneva speaking only Dutch (obviously), then went to school and had an *accident* because she didn't know how to say, "May I please go to the bathroom?" in French...so I'd teach the following:

"Darf ich bitte auf die Toilette gehen?"
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Old 07.01.2011, 15:11
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

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"Darf ich bitte auf die Toilette gehen?"
Still won't get you very far in French
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Old 07.01.2011, 15:37
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

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What about what the teacher says?

Like.. "everyone go put on your shoes" and then she is left standing clueless as all the other kids scamper off...
Unless she's paranoid and thinks that the teacher is telling the other children to run away from the auslander, she'll probably get the hint and follow them out!

(you did say she was bright)


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I'm not familiar with the KG routine (aside from lots of painting and singing). What's the common teacher/student dialogue like?
Friendly but formal. My eldest loved it.
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Old 07.01.2011, 15:39
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

Very good suggestions so far. For a 5 year old I would also recommend:
"Ich möchte dass" (and point at what you want)
"I would like that"

The biggest problem I still face is it's easy to ask the questions..... I just can't understand the bloody answer.
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Old 07.01.2011, 15:44
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

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The biggest problem I still face is it's easy to ask the questions..... I just can't understand the bloody answer.
Me too! I don't think i will ever understand what anyone is saying!
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Old 07.01.2011, 15:51
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

Me too, and once I think I may start to understand one dialect, I try to talk to someone else and I'm back to totally bewildered...
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Old 07.01.2011, 16:02
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

I suggest adding the word bitte (please)

"Ich möchte bitte dass" (and point at what you want)
"I would like that, please"
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Old 07.01.2011, 16:17
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

Colors and numbers, pens, ballpens, etc. May be a good idea getting a children's picture dictionary with these objects and other daily things and objects like food, buildings, streets etc.
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Old 07.01.2011, 16:32
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

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My sister in law, who is Dutch, moved to Geneva speaking only Dutch (obviously), then went to school and had an *accident* because she didn't know how to say, "May I please go to the bathroom?" in French...so I'd teach the following:

"Darf ich bitte auf die Toilette gehen?"
I agree! Even just the one word "toilette."

Other first day useful words are being able to say hello and goodbye in the target language. Add "please," "thank you" and the phrase "I do not understand.". A child who can say "What is this?" in the target language will have a valuable tool for seeking help with useful vocabulary ( items in the classroom for example) I want, I like, (and the negatives) where is, look at ( me, this) are good phrases to be able to use and build on.

Some children learn one word in the target language and will apply it straight away. Others go through a definite "silent period" and will not used the language until the feel confident and have quite a large number of words and phrases that they can use. Both are normal.
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Old 07.01.2011, 16:37
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

Wämer abmache? - shall we get together and play?
Wetsch abmache? - or do you want to get togehter and play?

This is what a lot of kids ask - then they get the parents together to sort out the play date.
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Old 07.01.2011, 17:20
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

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But if you want to empower the child with a phrase or two:

My name is: "Ich bin <name>.." (ish bin)
I am from: "Ich komme aus <place>.." (ish come-uh owss..)
The thing is though, that kindergarten kids often don't know any high german, and if she gets the accent wrong, they might think she's from Basel.

What's needed is the Zürich dialect pronunciation of these phrases.
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Old 07.01.2011, 18:28
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

Accent & dialect are tricky ... I left the German to my under-two-year-old when he started in a Swiss childcare, and he picked it up easily.

Just the word "bitte?" while pointing would be enough for most things, and she'll pick up everything else over time from observation ...
Still, for toilet, even just, "WC?" (vay say?) with a pained facial expression and crossed legs would work. In terms of learning correct grammar and pronunciation, your child is better served learning that from people who are native speakers. Vital nouns, 'please' & 'thank you' are enough tools for your child to start with. Oh, and I find, "Langsamer, bitte!" ("Slower, please!") useful at times.
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Old 07.01.2011, 18:53
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Re: Useful German for a new kid in school

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I suggest adding the word bitte (please)

"Ich möchte bitte dass" (and point at what you want)
"I would like that, please"
Ich möchte dass, bitte. Is actually right

If you want something you say:
Ich möchte bitte das/den/die ............

I still have problems with der/die/das sometimes, after 26 years!

Or:

gib mir bitte ..............
(please give me ...............)

ich habe hunger
(I'm hungry)

ich habe durst
(I'm thursty)

Willst Du mit mir spielen?
(would you like to play with me)
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