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Old 06.10.2009, 21:01
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German pitfalls: genders and separable verbs

Hi all, here I am, like many here, learning german. I am an italian mother tongue and I speak also french and english. I think I am not bad at learning lanuages, but I have to admit I really don't like the german language (SORRY!) and actually I prefer the colorfulness of the swiss dialect But that's not the point... I am motivated to learn it for communication purposes and also as a personal challenge.

My biggest difficulties are with genders, of course, but also with separable verbs. I have an hard time remembering the verbs which drastiacally change their meaning with the preposition.
I studied latin which has much in common with this language, but there the composite verbs still make more sense, if you know the meaning of the preposition and the root verb, you can sometime guess the meaning. This is not always like this in german. (ab-machen - meet up? and others I can never remember...)

So, open question: what are you suggesitions or the method you use/prefer to remember composite verbs and gender?
My study book suggest to remember the name with their articles, das Auto, der Salad, etc... But it doesn't work for me.

Muss ich nur üben, um worten zu erinnieren? Ich mache gerade ein Deutschkurse, aber es ist nicht genug, um diese sprache zu lehrnen

Tschuss

McBain666
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Old 06.10.2009, 21:12
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Re: German pitfalls: genders and separable verbs

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Hi all, here I am, like many here, learning german. I am an italian mother tongue and I speak also french and english. I think I am not bad at learning lanuages, but I have to admit I really don't like the german language (SORRY!) and actually I prefer the colorfulness of the swiss dialect But that's not the point... I am motivated to learn it for communication purposes and also as a personal challenge.

My biggest difficulties are with genders, of course, but also with separable verbs. I have an hard time remembering the verbs which drastiacally change their meaning with the preposition.
I studied latin which has much in common with this language, but there the composite verbs still make more sense, if you know the meaning of the preposition and the root verb, you can sometime guess the meaning. This is not always like this in german. (ab-machen - meet up? and others I can never remember...)

So, open question: what are you suggesitions or the method you use/prefer to remember composite verbs and gender?
My study book suggest to remember the name with their articles, das Auto, der Salad, etc... But it doesn't work for me.

Muss ich nur üben, um worten zu erinnieren? Ich mache gerade ein Deutschkurse, aber es ist nicht genug, um diese sprache zu lehrnen

Tschuss

McBain666
Pick the method that best suits you.
  • You can learn a language intuitively like a child.
  • Or you can learn it analytically like most adults do.
Too much analysis leads to paralysis! Best is total immersion: Listen non-stop to radio and TV in German. Read local newspapers. Avoid all other languages for 6 months.
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Old 06.10.2009, 21:15
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Re: German pitfalls: genders and separable verbs

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My biggest difficulties are with genders, of course, but also with separable verbs. I have an hard time remembering the verbs which drastiacally change their meaning with the preposition.
I found a great book long ago, a "german word family dictionary", and using this I could learn to recognise 1000 words a day while the rest of the class was struggling with 10 to 100.
http://www.google.ch/search?q=%22ger...ient=firefox-a

Sure, learn the prefixes and suffixes in detail. Many dictionaries have a special section on them at the back. And look up cognates, etymologically related words in English or French, they also help a lot. Then you always have a start on what the word might mean, and only have to learn the differences and false friends.

For gender, there are rules for only about 50% of nouns. So learning by repetition is maybe the best way.

graham
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Old 06.10.2009, 22:33
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Re: German pitfalls: genders and separable verbs

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My biggest difficulties are with genders, of course, but also with separable verbs. I have an hard time remembering the verbs which drastiacally change their meaning with the preposition.
I studied latin which has much in common with this language, but there the composite verbs still make more sense, if you know the meaning of the preposition and the root verb, you can sometime guess the meaning. This is not always like this in german. (ab-machen - meet up? and others I can never remember...)

So, open question: what are you suggesitions or the method you use/prefer to remember composite verbs and gender?
My study book suggest to remember the name with their articles, das Auto, der Salad, etc... But it doesn't work for me.
There are some easy ways to remember the genders. This website gives some good hints:

http://german.speak7.com/german_nouns.htm
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Old 10.10.2009, 12:19
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Re: German pitfalls: genders and separable verbs

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Pick the method that best suits you.
  • You can learn a language intuitively like a child.
  • Or you can learn it analytically like most adults do.
Too much analysis leads to paralysis! Best is total immersion: Listen non-stop to radio and TV in German. Read local newspapers. Avoid all other languages for 6 months.
Indeed right. I started with Assimil (1st method) and had a quick start I admit. Then I continued with a german course (2nd method) and feel I am proceeding slower. However I am less motivated than at the beginning.

My problem is also that I work in english, I speak italian at home and sometimes french at the lab. And you get Schwitzerduutch feed everywhere
I am trying just now to speak as much german as I can at work, but not always this is possible.
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Old 22.06.2010, 23:19
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DerDieDas Game

Hi all,
I few days ago i made this website to help myself learning new german vocubulary... i've just started a beginner course in Alpha schule :S
It's not a big deal, but maybe someone can find it useful... this is the website: http://www.derdiedasgame.com

PS: i add works as soon as i learn new vocubulary
PS2: It looks nice on my ipad
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  #7  
Old 22.06.2010, 23:46
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Re: DerDieDas Game

I think this is a great idea for a language aid. My problem is not the vocabulary itself, but those awful awful der-die-das-den-dem articles. I usually just say D' before everything, irrespective of its correctness.

Hopefully they will add more vocabulary, as the "games" aren't very fun when each category is less than 10 words.
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Old 23.06.2010, 06:36
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Re: DerDieDas Game

Thanks for posting this. I need all the help I can get!
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  #9  
Old 23.06.2010, 07:20
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Re: DerDieDas Game

Hi Villagra,
That is an excellent tool! Like other people I also need things like this to improve my German . . . thanks a lot
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Old 23.06.2010, 07:29
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Re: DerDieDas Game

One of the best German comedians. A turkish guy Kaya Yanar:
"Wieso der? Hat er schwanz oder was?" *lol* Apparently the turkish people already developed the D'

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Old 23.06.2010, 07:43
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Re: DerDieDas Game

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I think this is a great idea for a language aid. My problem is not the vocabulary itself, but those awful awful der-die-das-den-dem articles. I usually just say D' before everything, irrespective of its correctness.

Hopefully they will add more vocabulary, as the "games" aren't very fun when each category is less than 10 words.
With all respect, don't want to be accused of splitting hairs or being a pendant but without knowing the correct "Fall" you will greatly increase the difficulties in learning German, the same thing goes for where to assign a capital letter.
Happily most Germans are not able to do this either.
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Old 23.06.2010, 09:00
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Re: DerDieDas Game

Thanks OP. At any level, German learners can always do with a test of the most fundamental aspects.

I have the feeling that many people will substitute "das" when they don't know the gender of a word. In fact, the statistics* show that "der" is the best bet.

m 39%
f 35%
n 26%

There are loads of "rules" (not without the many exceptions) which help here - the most I know are for feminine words (-e, -keit, -schaft ,-ät, -heit, etc.) so if deciding masculine or feminine, there is a fair masculine weighting.



* comes from a published article by linguists Schwichtenberg and Schiller, if that means anything.
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Old 23.06.2010, 09:09
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Re: DerDieDas Game

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Hi all,
I few days ago i made this website to help myself learning new german vocubulary... i've just started a beginner course in Alpha schule :S
It's not a big deal, but maybe someone can find it useful... this is the website: http://www.derdiedasgame.com
Hey,

Thanks for that - will be using it for sure.

Any chance you could show the correct article when you get it wrong?
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Old 23.06.2010, 09:09
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Re: DerDieDas Game

I'm a great fan of the D' method when speaking myself. To be honest I found it incredibly difficult to memorise the articles, and after being told by some swiss friends that ultimately it really didn't matter, especially for a foreigner, I kind of gave up with Der, Die, Das and concentrated on increasing my vocabulary. However when writing I do employ some rules which enable me to hit the correct article most of the time. These are:-

Der

Nouns ending with:-

ismus
er
ich
ist

To be honest if a word doesn't fit in the Die or Das categories then I simply use Der

Die

All plurals

Nouns ending with:-

heit
keit
ung
tät
schaft
ie
ik
in - when referring to a females occupation
ei
e

Das

Nouns ending with:-

chen
lein
o
nis

Also note that a lot nouns beginning with "Ge" are also have the Das article

Of course these rules are not exhaustive and there will be a lot of exceptions. For instance it's der Lowe and not die Lowe despite it ending with an e
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Old 23.06.2010, 09:12
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Re: DerDieDas Game

BTW there is a commercial program called Before You Know It, that works on a flash card system - there is a free version and a much bigger paid for version.

I use it a lot and it seems to work

http://www.transparent.com/

You can get it in German and French plus a whole host of other languages.
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Old 23.06.2010, 09:13
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Re: DerDieDas Game

Good game. Although all I really managed to do was confirm that my knowledge of the artikel is lousy! Better get enrolled in that intensiv kurs.....
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Old 23.06.2010, 09:14
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Re: DerDieDas Game

When in doubt, add -li. This converts it into a das no matter what.

I have been doing this for years.
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Old 23.06.2010, 09:18
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Re: DerDieDas Game

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When in doubt, add -li. This converts it into a das no matter what.

I have been doing this for years.
or translate to english, so it becomes a foreign word, and therefore "das"

z.B. wo is das Building?

ps: am being facetious, not to be used in real life
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Old 23.06.2010, 09:30
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Re: DerDieDas Game

Peoples! Listen up, Swiss-German was invented for those of us that haven't got a clue about grammar. In Mundart you can generally smooth over and avoid giving a gender to any given object and look cool in the process. Nearly 5 million Swiss-German speakers can't be wrong. The worse your education, the heavier and less pronounceable your dialect should be. There are genuinely folk up in those hills that only farmyard animals can understand, the goats translate.

Easy innit?
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Old 23.06.2010, 10:08
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Re: DerDieDas Game

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Hi all,
I few days ago i made this website to help myself learning new german vocubulary... i've just started a beginner course in Alpha schule :S
It's not a big deal, but maybe someone can find it useful... this is the website: http://www.derdiedasgame.com

PS: i add works as soon as i learn new vocubulary
PS2: It looks nice on my ipad
I played it and its nice
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