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Old 19.02.2013, 22:23
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German - How to determine what level I am at

I am hoping to find out if there is a way to test my German speaking and writing skills to determine what level I am at.

I am a dual US/Swiss and learned German and Swiss while growing up at home. I have traveled often to family and can speak freely with friends and family in German and understand many of the Swiss dialects, although my own Swiss is poor. I can read German as well and can write it, but vary poorly without much attention to grammar and spelling.

I am relocating to Luzern and may need to look into working and I would like to know if I can claim that I am fluent or at what level I would consider my language skills in German. I know I would be embarrassed by my writing skills in a professional setting so that is something I would like to address but even that, I have to believe is better than some other non-native speakers. Thank you
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Old 19.02.2013, 22:26
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

http://apps.klubschule.ch/etest/spra...px?language=de

Here you can test your German for free.
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Old 20.02.2013, 10:37
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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http://apps.klubschule.ch/etest/spra...px?language=de

Here you can test your German for free.
Not a bad test, but I was disappointed that it didn't show the corrected answers at the end.

Also, as is normal with these things, the test results are quite different from the level descriptions. I came out at the high end of A1, but in practice I'd describe my spoken German as somewhere around or above the B1 "You can cope in most everyday situations" level.

It's just that I've given up trying to be correct with cases, genders and other nit-picky grammar stuff. Only when I did so did I start to get any sort of fluency going, as otherwise I was tongue-tied all the time trying to work it all out.
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Old 20.02.2013, 10:57
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

I have a real cert from Goethe for A2. Did that last year.
When I take the test again, I am at A1.
Shhhssh.....
And my DE teacher tells me I am at B1 verging on B2.
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Old 20.02.2013, 11:09
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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Also, as is normal with these things, the test results are quite different from the level descriptions.
Just done it again for French, and it gives me a low B2, which isn't so far off the mark, although perhaps a bit lower than I'd claim (C1, tops, from the description).

But like the German one, it seems to be concentrating on grammar, including subjunctive and conditional, which in practical day-to-day French is largely unimportant.
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Old 20.02.2013, 11:48
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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including subjunctive and conditional, which in practical day-to-day French is largely unimportant.
With whom do you talk to say such a thing? Would you mind explaining so that we can understand? (= You need both conditional and subjonctive for this sentence in French : Pourrais-tu expliquer pour qu'on comprenne?).
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Old 20.02.2013, 12:01
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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With whom do you talk to say such a thing? Would you mind explaining so that we can understand? (= You need both conditional and subjonctive for this sentence in French : Pourrais-tu expliquer pour qu'on comprenne?).
Sure. But if I were to say to you "tu peut me'expliquer pour que je comprends?", you would still infer exactly the same sense from my question, although yes, it's not grammatically correct.

All I'm getting at is the inconsistency between the descriptions, which talk in general terms about ability to communicate, and the tests themselves which go into some detail about grammar.

Oh, and if we're going to start correcting each others' language and grammar, maybe you'd like us to do so with your written English?

"With whom" is correct, but "do you talk" would be better in present continuous, "are you talking" and the imperative "to say" would be better as a subjunctive clause, e.g. "that you would say". Oh, and note the correct English spelling of "subjunctive".

Now, none of these matter at all, your English was perfectly clear and easy to understand, and the fact that you'd made some minor errors was not important. Wouldn't you agree?

Last edited by Ace1; 20.02.2013 at 12:27. Reason: Highlighting salient point.
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Old 20.02.2013, 12:03
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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"tu peut me'expliquer pour que je comprends?",
1. I didn't correct your French, I made my own sentence
2. Please do correct my English, why do you think I am on this forum, I don't need help to live in CH
3. Read my old messages: I am the first to claim my English sucks. But I am not giving advices in English either. You see the logic?
4. This sentence is definitely B1.
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Old 20.02.2013, 12:16
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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I have a real cert from Goethe for A2. Did that last year.
When I take the test again, I am at A1.
Shhhssh.....
And my DE teacher tells me I am at B1 verging on B2.
lol me too I recently did a assessment test to try to join a B1 course and they found I had A1 while I have "Gut" level in the Goethe for A2 ... embarrassing. The level of course changes if you don't keep studying/practicing, in CH I speak english 98% of the time so it is very hard to remember the notorious "Der Die Das" with all the complications.

Of course for the A2 exam two years ago I studied a lot and I was well prepared.
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Old 20.02.2013, 12:19
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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1. I didn't correct your French, I made my own sentence
2. Please do correct my English, why do you think I am on this forum, I don't need help to live in CH
3. Read my old messages: I am the first to claim my English sucks. But I am not giving advices in English either. You see the logic?
4. This sentence is definitely B1.

You didn't answer my questions. Was its meaning clear? Was the meaning of your (very slightly) imperfect English also clear?

Oh, and PM received and understood.
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Old 20.02.2013, 12:29
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

General comment: I just wanted to moderate Ace's optimism with French grammar, nothing more. As for level descriptions, they are made by and for teachers, it's our own little world... you'd be surprised to see the results of marking experiments and which is actually the more accurate one for evaluation of language competence (add *tired-teacher-smiley* here)

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. Was its meaning clear?
Yes when written.
Yes and no when spoken. I say that often, but in French it doesn't take much to misunderstand what people say. English pronounciation distorting the vowels (same as French distorting English vowels: bitch and beach are the same to most French) plus wrong conjugaison in a crazy verb system can very easily lead the French to make a totally different sentence out of it. Of course, your "pour que je comprends" isolated is no issue, we get it. But in the bigger scales of things, it is far more difficult for us to understand foreigners than they often think themselves.

In other words: You can be C2 and make a subjunctive mistake (northern French are notorious for that), but when all small mistakes are added together, it can quickly become B1-level of comprehension.
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Old 20.02.2013, 13:22
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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I am hoping to find out if there is a way to test my German speaking and writing skills to determine what level I am at.

I am a dual US/Swiss and learned German and Swiss while growing up at home. I have traveled often to family and can speak freely with friends and family in German and understand many of the Swiss dialects, although my own Swiss is poor. I can read German as well and can write it, but vary poorly without much attention to grammar and spelling.

I am relocating to Luzern and may need to look into working and I would like to know if I can claim that I am fluent or at what level I would consider my language skills in German. I know I would be embarrassed by my writing skills in a professional setting so that is something I would like to address but even that, I have to believe is better than some other non-native speakers. Thank you
Perhaps a little unethical, but you could pop into a language school and say you're interested in taking a course to improve it. They will probably make you take a test and recommend a level of course for you.

(I used bellingua in central Zurich, have actually done a course with them and will do again when one is starting at an appropriate time, but I think they specialise in more basic German than it sounds like you have).
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Old 20.02.2013, 13:40
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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But in the bigger scales of things, it is far more difficult for us to understand foreigners than they often think themselves.
Absolutely agree. Many Brits of my experience simply don't get the importance of the gender specific pronoun, for example. They fail to see that if they ask about 'un vache', for example, and a French person looks oddly at them before, if they're lucky, replying with 'oh, you mean _une_ vache?' it's not being ignorant or arrogant, or taking the piss out of their poor language skills, but that they genuinely don't hear that the speaker is talking about a cow.

So in some regards the grammar is very important to being understood, but in others, and particularly in German (it seems to me) it quite often is not.
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Old 20.02.2013, 14:50
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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Perhaps a little unethical, but you could pop into a language school and say you're interested in taking a course to improve it. They will probably make you take a test and recommend a level of course for you.

(I used bellingua in central Zurich, have actually done a course with them and will do again when one is starting at an appropriate time, but I think they specialise in more basic German than it sounds like you have).
Thank you, this does seem to be a good idea, maybe I can even still do this locally at one of the language schools here in Florida.

Side question - when a company is looking for bilingual German/English - what level would they want to see at minimum for German. I understand this could very but opionions are welcome.
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Old 20.02.2013, 20:25
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

I made the Klubschule test. I consider myself to be B1+ when it comes to grammar and B2, when it comes to all other things. The test said, I'm "B2 or higher".

Some remarks(IMHO):

A1 part is more difficult as A1
A2 is exactly what it should be
B1 part is, de facto, determining your "over-A2" level and is in no case a B1 test
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Old 20.02.2013, 21:30
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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Just done it again for French, and it gives me a low B2, which isn't so far off the mark, although perhaps a bit lower than I'd claim (C1, tops, from the description).

But like the German one, it seems to be concentrating on grammar, including subjunctive and conditional, which in practical day-to-day French is largely unimportant.
J'aurai du dire que tu n'aurais pas pu savoir que je l'eusse eu si tu n'etais pas si con!

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Old 20.02.2013, 22:28
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

I simply shout down the hall in the office, there are plenty of would-be Proctors who are always happy to assess my language skills in either standard German or Swiss German. thankfully, the lone Brit near my office has not yet started correcting my English.
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Old 20.02.2013, 23:02
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

If the goal is B1 or daily life B2, I wouldn't bother too much about the grammar details. Making sure the words are at the right place is far more vital in German, we can put the endings ourselves when listening to you. Don't worry.

But please learn the strong verbs past participe and the modal verbs' vowel changes.
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Old 20.02.2013, 23:07
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

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J'aurai du dire que tu n'aurais pas pu savoir que je l'eusse eu si tu n'etais pas si con!

Tom
Hmmm ša veut dire quoi ton truc??? (what on earth does that mean?).
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Old 20.02.2013, 23:11
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Re: German - How to determine what level I am at

http://www.deutsch-lernen.com/virtua...einleitung.php

http://www.alpha.at/learn-german/test_e.php

http://www.transparent.com/learn-ger...ency-test.html

http://www.goethe.de/lrn/duw/auf/sta/enindex.htm
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