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Old 21.07.2017, 02:06
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How can I improve my german speaking skills?

Hi all,

I am around B2 level in german. Today I've really realised that I destroy the grammar rules When I talk in German, I mostly put the object/time expression end of the sentence because that time I remember it

for example

Ich möchte dorthin gehen am Mittag.

If I write, I can do better.
am Mittag möchte ich ...


But while you are speaking, you have less time and it makes that kinds problem to me

I do not know how I can improve my speaking skills and actually I do not remember how I did for English. I think, it happened naturally.. But now this kind of speaking skills concern me and I am not so happy with it..

I always try to speak in German for a while. But I feel that it does not help me to solve my problem.

So I want to learn that whether I should focus on watching movies in german (with subtitles) or reading german story books? Which is more helpful. It seems reading book is more helpful but I am not sure. Maybe I have to listen proper speaking? or reading and seeing?

Currently I go german course and I try to speak german at work and course as much as possible. And I do not have any problem regarding thinking in German. I mean, when I listen, i do not translate sentences into english or my native language in my head. I am good with it. But the problem starts when I start to speak and need to say long sentences or a story..

I know my specific problem but I do not know what is the best solution for it.

Thank you
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Old 21.07.2017, 07:11
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

Go out and talk to people.
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Old 21.07.2017, 07:54
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

I used to practice all the sort of things I needed to ask or explain to someone while working at something which didn't need my whole brain. Walking to the shops. Cooking. Doing housework. Since you notice when your sentences are back to front when you have said them, talk to yourself, then turn the words round to the correct order and repeat them.
It might help a bit. Good luck.

P.S. I talked aloud which slowed me down nicely.

Last edited by Longbyt; 21.07.2017 at 08:33.
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Old 21.07.2017, 09:22
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

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I used to practice all the sort of things I needed to ask or explain to someone while working at something which didn't need my whole brain. Walking to the shops. Cooking. Doing housework. Since you notice when your sentences are back to front when you have said them, talk to yourself, then turn the words round to the correct order and repeat them.
It might help a bit. Good luck.

P.S. I talked aloud which slowed me down nicely.
Speaking out loud is key either with other people or with using like the Pimsleur German program. Watching trash TV can also helpful, think Verklag mich doch! on Vox for example.
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Old 21.07.2017, 09:33
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

German-speaking girlfriend.

(Though that never worked for me as they all also spoke French and sometimes English. Italians on the other hand only speak Italian, even if they can speak perfect English. )

Tom
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Old 21.07.2017, 09:53
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

Thank you for your replies. I think i am not so clear. I feel that even I am practicing german all time, and no progress.

If I speak incorrect, more practice will not help me, right?

I have also a swiss girlfriend and we practice of course but still I speak not so good.

I were using Pimsleur German and it really helped me a lot. But I quit for now. I am going to continue with ith (I am in the 4th Volume, 20. Lesson)

I just want to learn that

If I watch german movies, how they help me?
If I read german books, how they help me?

I mean, which skills will be improved by this? After that I think, I can speak better..
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:01
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

Reading will help as you read the correct grammar and correct sentences and after a while that sticks.

Similar watching movies.

Just do it often enough and you will notice that you no longer make the same mistakes. And ask your gf to correct you, every time.
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Old 21.07.2017, 11:14
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

Don't worry. You are probably at a point where you know the basics of the German language, but they don't (yet) come as naturally as you like. Now it might be time to switch from grammar books to more interesting reads. It won't feel like studying anymore, but you will still be learning a great deal.


I'd try it all – reading, talking, listening, even writing might help to get more fluent. It depends a bit which type of learner you are. The visual type learns a lot from books and any other reading material, the audio type benefits a great deal from movies, podcasts or simply listening to people talking/the radio, etc. Movies with subtitles are great for the audio-visual type.

And keep on chatting to people, that's still the best way to improve your speaking skills
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Old 21.07.2017, 14:44
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

Check this out
http://www.sprach-tandem.ch/en/home
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Old 21.07.2017, 19:53
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

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...If I watch german movies, how they help me?
If I read german books, how they help me?
I don't read any books yet, but I do read the newspaper and it helps learn how sentences should be constructed. In terms of TV and movies, we turn on the subtitles when it's in German or French. Then I can hear it as I read it, and see the context in which it's used.

I wouldn't say my speaking skills are improved yet, but my understanding is far better.
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Old 23.07.2017, 20:08
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

Thank you for all replies. I think I will both read books and watch movies in german.. as well as practice with people. I will continue to listen pimsleur german. I think its also so useful. I do not need tandem partner because my girlfriend is enough to exchange language
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Old 24.07.2017, 09:44
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

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Thank you for all replies. I think I will both read books and watch movies in german.. as well as practice with people. I will continue to listen pimsleur german. I think its also so useful. I do not need tandem partner because my girlfriend is enough to exchange language
I would say reading "easy" articles for starters is the best way to keep you motivated because you can have some feeling of achievement. Continue with books that are catchy or funny and....keep going. You will see the correct ways of structuring your sentences so many times that you won't even realise when it will all start making some sense and come more naturally to you even in speaking.

Don't limit your language practice to only one person and one type of environment. Don't be afraid of making mistakes and using an odd word order as long as you can make yourself understood. Most people will subtly point you in the right direction and it is incredible how much you can learn by listening to someone else reformulating your own sentence "Gee, it was that simple and I made it sound so pretentious and slightly confusing"...
Practice and practice some more -online grammar exercises, radio, movies, music, ads. Silly stuff and more serious stuff.
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Old 24.07.2017, 13:17
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

Quote:
...watching movies in german (with subtitles) ...
I think, this won't help much, as you'll be reading subtitles instead of training your brain to understand the language without translating. I guess, this might be the reason, why my wife "unlearned" so much of her English.

Language has something "musical" to me, so practise, practise, practise is IMO much better than watching someone else doing it. Go out and talk, you'll get it eventually.
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Old 24.07.2017, 13:21
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

Join a club!

Getting involved in your favorite hobby with a German-speaking group of fellow enthusiasts is an easy way to improve your langauge skills.

You will be discussing subjects where you already have knowledge and interest, talking about things you are already comfortable with. The conversation seems to flow more naturally. As you listen to your fellow club members, not only do you pick up new vocabulary but also you more or less unconsciously pick up the right way to structure a sentence. Your colleagues' phrases stick in your mind.

Because you are among kindred souls the awkwardness or fear of looking foolish due to grammar mistakes melts away. Clubs tend to be a more supportive atmosphere to try out your new language skills.

I've said this many times before, but it bears repeating: For me, the best Sprachschule was the Hundeschule.

A bonus: You'll likely have fun and make friends. (Not to mention that all important club membership on the integration check list...)

Good luck!
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Old 24.07.2017, 13:31
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

Great idea Meli. Then, next time you go to the council offices you can show off the newly learned skills. (In German, French or Italian of course!)

You see official. Command: Here!
He approaches you. Command: Sit!
You need a certain document. Command: Fetch!
He brings document: Command: Good boy! Sit! Stay!
You get ready to leave and want him to follow you to open the door. Command: Heel!

I have a feeling it won't help your applcation for citizenship to be regarded with favour though.
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Old 24.07.2017, 14:07
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

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Great idea Meli. Then, next time you go to the council offices you can show off the newly learned skills. (In German, French or Italian of course!)

You see official. Command: Here!
He approaches you. Command: Sit!
You need a certain document. Command: Fetch!
He brings document: Command: Good boy! Sit! Stay!
You get ready to leave and want him to follow you to open the door. Command: Heel!

I have a feeling it won't help your applcation for citizenship to be regarded with favour though.
Hier!
Sitz!
Apport!
Supeeee! Sitz! Bleib!
Fuss!

Usually it works the other way around, though. Official does the commanding, I meekly follow. I am a well trained little Auslander.
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Old 24.07.2017, 14:17
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

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I don't read any books yet, but I do read the newspaper and it helps learn how sentences should be constructed. In terms of TV and movies, we turn on the subtitles when it's in German or French. Then I can hear it as I read it, and see the context in which it's used.

I wouldn't say my speaking skills are improved yet, but my understanding is far better.
This isn't meant as a criticism. I tried to move past subtitles as soon as possible. As long as you're relying on them, and looking everything up, you're not really learning German... what you are doing is getting ready to learn German.

Reading the newspaper and watching the news is a big step forward, congrats! Now stop reading in your own language and start reading only in German. Reread books you already know (makes it easier to figure out without stopping to look up individual words). I started with children's books then moved on to stuff like John Grisham, Noah Gordon, and such. The higher the level you read at the larger your vocabulary will be, and the more complex the sentence structure is.

I was perhaps a special case, I read all of the German Philosophers (in translation) for my degree, so I read Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche - That German is very old fashioned, but it gave me a vast vocabulary.

You know how sometimes you find yourself part way into a sentence and you can't for the life of you figure out how to finish it because you can't think of a word? Vocabulary makes a big difference to that problem.

I tried consciously to learn German the way young children do - they don't go and look up words, and they don't ask what a word means all that often - they just kind of absorb it from the world around them. I had covered German grammar in a formal class setting, which made it easier to recognize most grammatical constructions while reading or listening.

The only way to improve your spoken German is to throw yourself in and speak, you'll make mistakes, and there will be confusion, but damn the torpedoes... eventually you will reach a point where you aren't concentrating on how to say what you want in German, but rather you'll just be concentrating on what it is that you want to say.
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Old 24.07.2017, 14:35
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

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Thank you for all replies. I think I will both read books and watch movies in german.. as well as practice with people. I will continue to listen pimsleur german. I think its also so useful. I do not need tandem partner because my girlfriend is enough to exchange language
I wouldn't dismiss the tandem idea that quickly, I am in a similar situation with french. It is a different thing to have someone you are having a "normal" conversation with to stop and correct you or to have someone with the "authorisation" to stop and correct you. Knowing the Swiss cautiousness to not hurt you by correcting all the time it makes a difference to have a tandem partner who is there to correct you and vice versa.
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Old 24.07.2017, 14:40
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

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Thank you for your replies. I think i am not so clear. I feel that even I am practicing german all time, and no progress.

If I speak incorrect, more practice will not help me, right?

I have also a swiss girlfriend and we practice of course but still I speak not so good.

I were using Pimsleur German and it really helped me a lot. But I quit for now. I am going to continue with ith (I am in the 4th Volume, 20. Lesson)

I just want to learn that

If I watch german movies, how they help me?
If I read german books, how they help me?

I mean, which skills will be improved by this? After that I think, I can speak better..
When i was learning German, I religiously devoured the newspapepr every day. Generally newspaper German is fairly simple grammatically, even if sentences do ramble on more than they would in spoken German. But they are 99.99% gramatically correct (better than their English counterparts anyway) and in reading them you pick up a lot of vocabulary.

A side benefit is that you're always up to speed on local poltics, sport, gossip etc etc which sometimes makes it easier to do small talk or make or understand jokes, or just impress people with your local knowledge.
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Old 24.07.2017, 18:24
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Re: How can I improve my german speaking skills?

I am struggling as well learning new words in German. While i realize that is important to talk in German, it is really hard for me to do so.
Simply, because i am so bad at talking, even in my native language. I would rather be silent and quite(even in my native language) than talking. And this holds me back. I rally dont find my words and is really frustrating.
I know i cant help you to yours question(How can I improve my german speaking skills?) but i want to let you know you are not alone.
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