Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Language corner  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 19.01.2021, 15:07
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
View Post

I now bought some kids books in German to try and read/make sense during my lunchtime..
Good luck with that. One of the problems I found trying to read in German without much knowledge was that you couldn't just look up words you didn't know, as so many of them are compounded with multiple prefixes and suffixes, making it very difficult for a novice to know which is the base word that will be listed in a dictionary. On top of that the prefix may also negate the word or significantly change its meaning, so even if you do manage to find it you're not always going to get the full meaning right.

Sadly German has always seemed to me to be created almost spitefully to make it difficult, needing to learn the grammar before you can even start to make sense of it. I persevered when offered the chance to do some semi-intensive courses, which were what really made a big difference to me. I'm sure some people manage to learn by doing, but for others it's almost impossible, certainly much more difficult to do that way than the other, Latin-based, languages I know.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 19.01.2021, 16:35
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 11,132
Groaned at 356 Times in 291 Posts
Thanked 16,421 Times in 8,344 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
Good luck with that. One of the problems I found trying to read in German without much knowledge was that you couldn't just look up words you didn't know, as so many of them are compounded with multiple prefixes and suffixes, making it very difficult for a novice to know which is the base word that will be listed in a dictionary. On top of that the prefix may also negate the word or significantly change its meaning, so even if you do manage to find it you're not always going to get the full meaning right.

Sadly German has always seemed to me to be created almost spitefully to make it difficult, needing to learn the grammar before you can even start to make sense of it. I persevered when offered the chance to do some semi-intensive courses, which were what really made a big difference to me. I'm sure some people manage to learn by doing, but for others it's almost impossible, certainly much more difficult to do that way than the other, Latin-based, languages I know.
I think you need to learn grammar in parallel with acquiring as much vocabulary as you can. I remember many years ago I used to make long lists with words that I wanted to memorise and took them with me everywhere, repeating each list a few times then starting again. Children books are a good start (imho) because the "plot" is simple and they usually have fantastic illustrations that keep one entertained and more receptive. I learned a lot with my kids too. I still do.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank greenmount for this useful post:
  #23  
Old 19.01.2021, 17:09
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Basle
Posts: 2,797
Groaned at 72 Times in 57 Posts
Thanked 1,946 Times in 1,127 Posts
Landers has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
One of the problems I found trying to read in German without much knowledge was that you couldn't just look up words you didn't know, as so many of them are compounded with multiple prefixes and suffixes ...

With the internet you can pretty much look up whatever word you want and

I actually like the prefixes/suffices as it makes sense to me. e.g. ent-schuldigung. ein-steigen. Aus-fuehren. vor-bereiten. ver-zollung. ver-pflichtet. fern-sehen. fern-halten. kosten-los hilf-los.



German is mostly made up of these building blocks, and you say what you see.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Landers for this useful post:
  #24  
Old 19.01.2021, 17:17
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 4,755
Groaned at 241 Times in 190 Posts
Thanked 7,833 Times in 3,452 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
View Post
I tried Duolingo, but it's killing me! It's sooooo slow! I understand repetition is the key, but not always, always, always...

I wanted to take German classes at Migros for example, but I work fulltime 9-17.

I spend a total of 2h commuting(cannot wfh in this current project) and after work, I am enrolled in a Bachelor's degree program in Computer Engineering fulltime, online.

I have no TV at home, because we both work a lot and have no time to watch tv

I now bought some kids books in German to try and read/make sense during my lunchtime..

You are going to have to decide on your priorities. You can't do a degree and learn German at the same time, you'll most likely make a poor job of both.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 19.01.2021, 21:00
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Zurich
Posts: 49
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 20 Times in 12 Posts
TheGirlWhoWaited has earned some respectTheGirlWhoWaited has earned some respect
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
View Post
You are going to have to decide on your priorities. You can't do a degree and learn German at the same time, you'll most likely make a poor job of both.
I have to learn German for the renewal of my B permit, but I also need to get my degree on time because my company pays for a part of it, and they won't be happy if I take a break..
So I don't have much of a choice
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank TheGirlWhoWaited for this useful post:
  #26  
Old 19.01.2021, 21:07
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Zurich
Posts: 49
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 20 Times in 12 Posts
TheGirlWhoWaited has earned some respectTheGirlWhoWaited has earned some respect
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
View Post
I think you need to learn grammar in parallel with acquiring as much vocabulary as you can. I remember many years ago I used to make long lists with words that I wanted to memorise and took them with me everywhere, repeating each list a few times then starting again. Children books are a good start (imho) because the "plot" is simple and they usually have fantastic illustrations that keep one entertained and more receptive. I learned a lot with my kids too. I still do.
My problem is only with the German noun cases, I don't understand them at all..
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank TheGirlWhoWaited for this useful post:
  #27  
Old 19.01.2021, 21:40
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Basle
Posts: 2,797
Groaned at 72 Times in 57 Posts
Thanked 1,946 Times in 1,127 Posts
Landers has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond reputeLanders has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
View Post
My problem is only with the German noun cases, I don't understand them at all..

Right. You mean nominative die das der, accusative die das den, dative der dem dem + den etc?

Good that you have some years to B permit renewal :-) but if that's your only problem they'd probably accept it.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 19.01.2021, 22:39
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 8,228
Groaned at 98 Times in 79 Posts
Thanked 12,747 Times in 5,170 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Learn German with few free time

If you're bored with the grammar or apps, try "Nicos Weg". It's a movie made especially to help people learn German, in three parts: A1, A2 and B1. It's about students, shared accommodation, a nice little restaurant, a bicycle shop and its landlord, football, and a friendly older woman, immigrants and their families, homesickness and finding one's way. The exchanges are repeated within a context, enough time to learn, and just fast enough not to keep one's interest. There are subtitles in German. And the charachters are likeable.

Learn German "Nicos Weg" A1
https://youtu.be/4-eDoThe6qo

Learn German "Nicos Weg" A2
https://youtu.be/Lg5P2w_Ro1c

Learn German "Nicos Weg" B1
https://youtu.be/LkufozluseI
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 20.01.2021, 01:53
Izzt89's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Zurich, Zug
Posts: 152
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 352 Times in 139 Posts
Izzt89 has a reputation beyond reputeIzzt89 has a reputation beyond reputeIzzt89 has a reputation beyond reputeIzzt89 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
View Post
I have to learn German for the renewal of my B permit, but I also need to get my degree on time because my company pays for a part of it, and they won't be happy if I take a break..
So I don't have much of a choice
Well, you can go the 'adult way' (grammar / cases / hard-wired memory), or... the kids' way (listen & parrot repeat basic and then more elaborate sentences / play / read about things that interest you, even if you don't understand all / listen & speak with no shame

C
  • hange all your 'The Times / The Onion' subscriptions by 'NZZ / Whatson', etc
  • Change all of your tweeter subscriptions to BAG / Schweiz Meteo / etc etc'
  • If you have Instagram, subscribe to DW, Deutsch with Benjamin, etc
  • Start watching all those old German movies OV (with subtitles in German): 'Er ist wieder da', 'Goodbye Lenin', 'Das Boot', 'Tony Erdman', 'Die Gottliche Ordnung', 'Flitzer' (these last two, Swiss, and very interesting -and funny).
  • Speak to everybody, for everything, in German. If they answer in English, shrug and say you are ... (choose here: Bosnian / Albanian / Paraguayan / Portuguese .....) and do not understand English.
  • Answer the phone in German, and follow up in German, including the televendors from comparis.ch, Salt, O2 or airbank (let's see who has more patience)
  • Sign up for any free lecture / talk / webminar. Listen, listen, listen. And repeat. And speak - even if you make mistakes.
    etc etc

basically, stop living in English, and start 'living' in German. You have the best opportunity to learn - it is called 'immersion', and parents pay loads for their children to do it --usually happens with English and involves sending the kid to UK

learning a language does not need to be painful. It is a question of being curious and have interest in communicating with people, and understanding the culture of the target language. Imagine all the jokes that you are missing :-) German is actually relatively easier for English native speakers....as everybody knows https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language

Viel Erfolg!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Izzt89 for this useful post:
  #30  
Old 20.01.2021, 06:50
Jim2007's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kt. Bern
Posts: 4,755
Groaned at 241 Times in 190 Posts
Thanked 7,833 Times in 3,452 Posts
Jim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond reputeJim2007 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
View Post
I have to learn German for the renewal of my B permit, but I also need to get my degree on time because my company pays for a part of it, and they won't be happy if I take a break..
So I don't have much of a choice
Well if you don’t get a permit and can’t work where you’re needed, the degree won’t make much difference....

If it were me, I’d have a conversation on priorities with the management
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 20.01.2021, 10:48
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 11,132
Groaned at 356 Times in 291 Posts
Thanked 16,421 Times in 8,344 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
View Post
My problem is only with the German noun cases, I don't understand them at all..
This is a common issue for many native English speakers and not only. I guess you have to accept that in German (and not only) the gender of a noun is very important and it needs to be learned by heart (there are some general rules in establishing the gender but most of the time there isn't any "logic" according to which a noun is masculine/feminine/neuter). At least in the beginning, when looking up some words, if they happen to be nouns, try to memorise them together with their definite articles -der (masc.), -die (fem.), -das (neutral). That's nominative case for you and as a basic rule, declination of nouns is made according to the noun in the nominative case, singular, articulated. If you know that, you'll know when it's -die, -den, -dem, -das etc and you'll understand how adding suffixes works.
The good news is that as you become more advanced you'll start to guess the gender of a noun and to be right about it most of the time. But seriously, don't sweat it, you'll get better at it...I promise.

Last edited by greenmount; 20.01.2021 at 11:02.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank greenmount for this useful post:
  #32  
Old 03.08.2021, 16:13
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Zug
Posts: 220
Groaned at 17 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 164 Times in 90 Posts
Xenophanes has earned the respect of manyXenophanes has earned the respect of manyXenophanes has earned the respect of many
Re: Learn German with few free time

Does one need German to renew a B permit? I thought the language requirement was for upgrading to a C. And I think that requires quite a high level of fluency.

Regarding learning German for your career, I find Swiss German colleagues prefer to speak English rather than standard German, which is also a foreign language to them. If an ad says they want a German speaker, then generally I think that means Schwiizertüütsch.

Last edited by Xenophanes; 03.08.2021 at 16:15. Reason: Wrong quote
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 03.08.2021, 16:58
venetian's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Zuerich
Posts: 571
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 649 Times in 314 Posts
venetian has a reputation beyond reputevenetian has a reputation beyond reputevenetian has a reputation beyond reputevenetian has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
View Post
Does one need German to renew a B permit?
Depends on the country of citizenship and other factors:

https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countri...achweis_EN.pdf
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank venetian for this useful post:
  #34  
Old 03.08.2021, 17:13
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Zug
Posts: 220
Groaned at 17 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 164 Times in 90 Posts
Xenophanes has earned the respect of manyXenophanes has earned the respect of manyXenophanes has earned the respect of many
Re: Learn German with few free time

Quote:
View Post
Depends on the country of citizenship and other factors:

https://www.eda.admin.ch/dam/countri...achweis_EN.pdf
I did not realize this. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 03.08.2021, 22:55
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Zürich
Posts: 65
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 92 Times in 37 Posts
Aujourdhui has earned the respect of manyAujourdhui has earned the respect of manyAujourdhui has earned the respect of many
Re: Learn German with few free time

​Two small suggestions to add to the many great ideas already posted:

Quote:
View Post
given my tight schedule, I mostly shop online.
I learned one of my foreign languages initially by doing all my online shopping in that language, even when English was available or the default. In your case, set the site language to German whenever possible -- a fast, easy way to pick up everyday / commercial / transactional vocabulary and phrasings.

Quote:
View Post
At least in the beginning, when looking up some words, if they happen to be nouns, try to memorise them together with their definite articles -der (masc.), -die (fem.), -das (neutral).
Try one of the many Der Die Das apps out there for iPhone/Android to help with this memorization process.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any recomendations for ways to learn German online for free? Cupid Daily life 7 24.09.2015 16:23
Learn German and or other languages online for free galago Language corner 9 07.09.2015 15:50
Can one learn two languages at the same time? Xamarth Language corner 17 09.03.2014 22:34
like to learn bahasa Indonesia can teach you in swiss german/german or english Mariani Language corner 2 14.02.2013 22:47
Swiss German dialects? Which one to learn / how to learn it bayboro91 Language corner 28 09.12.2011 06:51


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 09:17.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0