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Learning the German language

  1. Nov 4, 2015 #1
    i wanted to learn a new language probably German ,can anyone please give me advice about books and other resources .I am planning to learn two -three languages by next august( 2016). after December 12th (after completing my college application and stuff) i can spend straight 7 hours a day in books may be even more .So times really not the issue .
    i really want to learn these languages in future .
    You can also suggest some other languages that I can delve into.
    (i am not a linguist for who might be wondering why I want to learn these languages and my brief answer is that I don't want to die without learning these beautiful languages)
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2015 #2
    Find a teacher.
    Most of those have sounds that you're not familiar with if your mothertongue is English.
    For me learning a language is writing and speaking at the same time.

    Just as I would have to find a coach if I ever needed English on a professional level. (I hate my accent)
  4. Nov 6, 2015 #3


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    Apart from books, you can also try duolingo:
    (it's got courses on all the languages you listed)
    ...and pair it up with Anki flashcards:
    (you can download sets matching duolingo courses)
    Both are free.

    @JorisL losing an accent can be accomplished through autodidacticism too. Grab a phonetics book, like this one.
  5. Nov 6, 2015 #4


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    I think you are underestimating the time it takes to learn a language. Studies have found that getting fluent in a new language takes on the order of 10,000 hours, so I think picking up one new language by next August is a more realistic goal than 2 or 3. However, maybe you have a special talent for learning languages. Having said that, I found the
    "langsam gesprochene nachrichten" site at DeutscheWelle to be very useful for picking up new German vocabulary.
  6. Nov 7, 2015 #5
    I have very good memory -not bragging - i can learn things really fast and make them stay forever.
    But your advice is very good i will 1000% use it and learn German first (my fav)
  7. Nov 7, 2015 #6


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    minimum 7 or 8 months for any single language.
    Find a teacher, or enroll in a college or university course, for at least two semesters.
    Instruction designed at least for speaking and listening (in addition to any reading and writing) is best, especially if you want any realistic communication ability.
    Live, interactive instruction for person-to-person communication is basic and must be part of instruction.
  8. Nov 7, 2015 #7


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    It took me about 5 years to learn German. Then, about 20 years to forget it all.
  9. Nov 7, 2015 #8
    Acquiring a new language took me years, I am a slow learner . I would be more into French but it sometimes sounds too much "fake".
    The rest of my life would be with English only, I promise, nothing else matters.
  10. Nov 7, 2015 #9


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    There are language learning sites with audio giving true sound of words and phrases and there are a few with speech recognition so that you can talk back and have your attempts corrected .

    Here's one example :

  11. Nov 7, 2015 #10


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    C'est la vie!
  12. Nov 7, 2015 #11


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    Some studies suggest that our best years for language learning are when we are younger. That means if you are motivated to learn another language, there's no better time than the present! (I.e., true regardless of how old you are presently.) :smile:

    But like others have implied, it might take years to learn another language fluently.

    Don't forget about English.
  13. Nov 7, 2015 #12
    :headbang::headbang::headbang::headbang::headbang::headbang::headbang::headbang::headbang::headbang: I have a bad habit of not proof-reading .I have been embarrassed 2nd time on this site .
    thanks a lot I need these types of comment to make leave this habit :headbang::headbang::oldfrown:
  14. Nov 7, 2015 #13


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    Not at all. :woot:

    Learning other languages can be a rewarding, useful and practical effort to gain a global understanding of world affairs and sociological identities and allow you to practically immerse yourself within otherwise less familiar cultures. The rest of this post [the rest of my post here] might be superficial, but this paragraph is the one to take home. Read the rest if you wish, but it's less important.

    Many, many moons ago I spent 5 consecutive years learning the German language, albeit in a strictly academic environment -- not an immersive one -- and I have to say I've forgotten almost all of it. My long-term memory didn't cooperate. That has nothing to do with the language in question, but rather it pounds home the expression, "If you don't use it, you lose it." Well, I lost it. I lost it probably due to never having immersion. I don't live near Germany, so I rarely have a chance to ever use it. That's not to say that I couldn't ever pick it up again (much of it comes back after watching a German language movie), but I can say for sure that I'm not even close to being fluent now.

    Let me put it another way: if you were to immediately transport me to a high-tech laboratory in Germany that happens to be on fire and I were to run out the entrance hoping to get help from fire/emergency services, I could confidently scream, "Ich möchte Kartaffolsalat!" ["I would like potato salad!"]. But it wouldn't be of much help.

    That's not to say that learning other languages isn't important: quite the contrary. I think it's very valuable!

    But what I am saying is that if you have the choice of new languages to learn, I recommend learning one where you might likely have the opportunity to use regularly with native speakers. Otherwise, like me, you might might lose it.
  15. Nov 8, 2015 #14


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    During your experience learning English, (if it's not your mother tongue) how do you feel about the pace you could advance at speaking?.Because this element of language is the hardest thing to master if you are self-learning - you need a partner. I have been living in Germany for 2 years and even though I have a fairly bad memory, I feel like I am able to be closer to being fluent in German faster after I really lived here than before I came to this country. Note that, what you will likely learn most of the times in your self-study process is written German. While, the daily unofficial spoken German might confuse a learner in the first exposure. So, I suggest that aside from learning textbooks, also take a look at some German language forums like https://www.gutefrage.net or http://www.physikerboard.de.
  16. Nov 8, 2015 #15
    Right! I have a 26 year old partner. She is available anytime after her work. This is her very first work. :nb)
  17. Nov 14, 2015 #16


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    Get a dictionary with two ears aka German girl-/boyfriend.
  18. Nov 14, 2015 #17


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    Maybe you should get a good grasp of the English language before trying to learn another one as you also seem to have a bad habit of not typing correctly ( and it seems to be common with a number of people these days)
    there should be spaces AFTER the punctuation mark and before the next word not before the punctuation mark

    ....probably German, can anyone.... not ....probably German ,can anyone.....

    .....proof-reading. I have been.... not ....proof-reading .I have been.....


    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  19. Nov 14, 2015 #18


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    Anyone knows a good resource for learning Gibberish? Been trying for years, talking to natives and reading untranslated texts, but I just can't get rid of my Engrish habits.
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