https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

Started German yesterday

I did a "final" review of my Italian trees (Regular, & Reverse) a couple of days ago, and started on German yesterday. This is only a refresher course, since I studied German in college - although that was over 50 years ago. As a result, I am moving pretty fast, and it is amazing what is coming back to me after all those years, even though I never really used the language. I still have the sound turned off, and it is just as well. I checked the sound on a couple of sentences, and it was horrible. I at least know how German words are pronounced.

I do not expect to go on to any other languages; I was just interested in learning Italian (and I certainly have a long way to go there), and I thought, as long as I have the opportunity, I may as well refresh the German.

I keep making the same kinds of (stupid) mistakes as I have done with the Italian - like mixing up gender, and misreading the articles. And I find the occasional mistake in duolingo, too.

September 12, 2015

61 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carolyn250

I did the same thing in French (returning fifty plus years after University training), and you are right- it is amazing what the brain retains. I am still not comfortable with speaking and writing, but I am reading with ease. Enjoy your return journey!

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Berg123

Speaking as a German the DuoLingo audio is perfectly fine. Perhaps it's your sound system?

September 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iheartbieber

That's a relief.

September 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

I have checked out a couple more statements, and the pronunciation does seem OK, but they are still difficult to understand.

September 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristianofPeace

It's a wonderful thing to see people who don't say "I'm too old to learn X." Congrats on finishing you tree and being reunited with German. Good luck!

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

Thanks! It helps keep my mind active.

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/93alessio

All people in your age have to be like you, Susanna! Compliments!

September 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

Thanks!

September 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/closethatdoor

As a getting oldie myself - who dared say that! - I hate with a passion those words "But I'm too old.". Learning is about being taught HOW to learn & the wonders that can bring for a lifetime.

September 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/necronudist85

Buona fortuna, io sono italiano e sto facendo tedesco.

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

Grazie!

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelMonroe76

That's so great that you decided to tackle German again - wonderful! I just started too, although I'm disturbed that the pronunciation isn't quite spot on.

One site I've found that has very good pronunciation compared to DL (at least for French)?

Google Translate. Absolutely fantastic. Type something in German to be translated to English and hit the "speak" button and see what you think!

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

Just how do you get to Google translate? I have been using Bing, since all Babel Fish users were automatically switched to it. Babel Fish was pathetic, compared to Bing. Of course, no online translator can be perfect.

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

Thanks, but I don't see the option for audio. Mmm, I have a script blocker on, perhaps I need to do something with that. Okay, it's there with "Allow this page."

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

What little I checked out sounded pretty good - certainly superior to duolingo.

September 12, 2015

[deactivated user]

    Or, you could just use the Google Translate app, called Translate.

    September 14, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quis_lib_duo

    Welcome and have fun reactivating your knowledge of German with the DL course.

    September 13, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iheartbieber

    Duo's German pronunciation is bad??? Well that sucks, because I've been basing my pronunciation off of them.

    September 13, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Raisinnoir

    If you think the German pronunciation is bad, try listening to the American girl on the reverse ( German to English ) tree. She's awful! I feel sorry for the English learners being exposed to this voice. Since I speak with a decent accent in German, I don't mind the German voice as much; but I wouldn't base my pronunciation on her accent.

    September 13, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sierrasharp

    luckuly im american so... ;)

    September 13, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iheartbieber

    So I tried it, and I actually think she sounds fine. She does sound kind of like a robot, but wouldn't say she's awful. If a german spoke like her, except with a bit more emotion, I would say their English is good.

    September 13, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

    Well, I only listened to a couple of sentences; maybe others are better. I do have trouble hearing the audio, even with my speakers turned way up. But as I said elsewhere, the audio - what little I heard there - on googletranslate sounds pretty good.

    I had turned of the sound when I was doing the Italian, because too much of the time I couldn't make it out. I think it did help me a little with pronunciation, but I wouldn't want to depend on it.

    September 14, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/es6194

    Its like the GPS computer voice that sometimes mispronounces the names of your destination.................. D-R-I-V-E, P-O-I-N-T, 4, M-I-L-E-S, E-A-S-T.....LOL

    September 15, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/closethatdoor

    She is dreadful, isn't she. "I read books" in the present tense she pronounced as "I red books", I did provide feedback on that. But the very worst is "dogs"...how does she drawl it out as darrrgggsss, ugh, poor Germans.

    September 16, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sierrasharp

    ya my aunt just got back from a tour in Germany and France and i said something to her in German and France and she said i wasn't pronouncing it right

    September 13, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

    I think you should rather ask a native speaker, though. I think the German voice (at least the female one) is speaking pretty well; there are only a handful of sentences with odd pronounciation.

    September 13, 2015

    [deactivated user]

      And the Apple German voice on VoiceOver is even worse!

      September 14, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shahab2015

      Sie sind beeindruckend Frau Susanna

      September 15, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

      Danke!

      September 15, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sierrasharp

      congras on your progress

      September 12, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThatMartinAllen

      Don't worry about the genders, it will come with practice (also check out some videos on Youtube, they will give you tips on remembering some of the genders but the rules don't apply to everything). One thing that kept me going, is knowing even Germans mix them up sometimes too. Deutsch ist schwer, nicht unmoglich.

      September 13, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

      Youtube is useless for me - I have slow dial-up internet access.

      I'm not really as bad on gender as I expected to be; a lot of the old stuff I learned is coming back to me, but I can make gender mistakes, even when I know better!

      September 13, 2015

      [deactivated user]

        Do they also mix up their pronouns? The Dative/Accusative ones at least?

        September 14, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ioclaudio

        Excuse me what does exactly mean do a "reverse tree" ?

        September 13, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

        It's not available in all languages, but this is how it works: I took the course in Italian for speakers of English, then I took the course in English for speakers of Italian. Gives you a little different view, and more translation into the language you are trying to learn.

        September 13, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasmineP.1

        I ended up meeting a German fellow a few days ago, and I must say he inspired me to learn the language. I've never really been around many German people - nor do I have prior experience with the language, but it is quite fun. Best of luck on your refresher course, and glad to hear how much progress you've made with your Italian! :-)

        September 14, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/killary45

        Hi Susanna, I finished my German tree yesterday, after over a year of doing a little of it every day.

        My progress down the tree was deliberately slow (for a long time it was non-existent) while I worked mainly on either French, Italian or Spanish, but it picked up greatly once I started to use the excellent Memrise flashcards prepared by Bakpao. http://www.memrise.com/course/335725/comprehensive-german-duolingo-vocabulary/

        I found that if I learned the vocab for each lesson with Memrise before doing the Duo unit, I could then concentrate on working out the language patterns. The spaced repetition you get with the Memrise system helped me keep the words in my ageing brain.

        Good luck with the new tree.

        September 14, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

        I probably go much too fast; I finished the Italian tree in two months, with only a little previous exposure to the language. German is different for me though, since I already studied it in college, and a very high percentage of the vocabulary is familiar to me - even if I don't remember the meanings right off the bat. A lot of the grammar is familiar, too.

        September 14, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellen311183

        Congratulations on so much learning and relearning! You are inspiring me to keep moving along in German.

        September 14, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fraserbooks

        I have also used duolingo to revise forty year old German. I remember a lot of vocabulary but rather less grammar. My children learnt German in school so I was able to help with their homework.

        I have not quite finished my French tree also forty year old revision but intend to do either German or Spanish properly next. I also keep making the same mistakes mainly to do with spelling in all languages including English.

        September 14, 2015

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

        One of the mistakes I keep making in German is forgetting to capitalize the nouns. I know very well that all nouns are capitalized in German, but the Italian course wasn't picky about correct capitalization, either for Italian or English. And the German course doesn't seem to care about English capitalization, either. Otherwise, I would have already been in the habit of capitalizing when required by the rules of the languages.

        September 14, 2015

        [deactivated user]

          I am amazed by how much I am commenting just on this one discussion, but me too! I tend to not capitalize the nouns either!

          September 14, 2015

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

          It seems silly to require the capitalizations of the nouns, when they don't even demand the capitalizations of sentences. It seems to me that is base in most, if not all, European languages.

          September 14, 2015

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

          Not capitalizing the sentence doesn't change its meaning; Not capitalizing a noun may very well do. There are sentences that change the meaning depending on what you capitalize:

          Der Gefangene floh - the prisoner fled
          der gefangene Floh - the captured flea

          September 15, 2015

          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

          I can see why it could be confusing, but surely context would show you which it was. I'm trying to think of situations in English where something similar might apply, but, of course, when I try to think of it, my mind goes blank. Hm, there is a case I know of - not with a noun and modifier, but where a noun looks exactly like a verb. The verb is "lead" meaning to guide - the noun is "lead" - meaning a very heavy metal. They are pronounced differently but look exactly alike, and I can't imagine a context where you would mistake one for the other.

          September 15, 2015

          [deactivated user]

            Yes! Why not let context decide?

            September 15, 2015

            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

            To Annie18010 - I agree; I certainly cannot see the two above examples ever being used even in the same paragraph, let alone the same context.

            Of course, it is reasonable to try to do things correctly, but I think perhaps the emphasis is a little lopsided.

            September 15, 2015

            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sakasiru

            Surely you can find out by context what's meant, but if you read it wrong the first time, you have to go back and re-read the sentence once the context tells you what it's really about. There have been studies showing that you read much faster in German with correct capitalization, since your eye jumps to the important nouns. Besides, it comes across as very sloppy to ignore it, so if you want to write in German one day, it's better to train yourself now to write correctly.

            September 15, 2015

            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

            (Replying to your last post). It's very true that you should learn to write correctly in a language you are learning - but shouldn't that also including capitalizing sentences? And punctuation? Quite often, not using the correct punctuation can be confusing at the best, and changing a meaning entirely at the worst.

            September 15, 2015

            [deactivated user]

              Wait what?!! You're kidding me!

              September 15, 2015

              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanna35

              I have noticed that, just as in the Italian course, there is very little translation into the target language. I think I get perhaps just one or two exercises in each lesson. Sometimes, I think, none.

              September 14, 2015

              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/es6194

              You have done a great job so far!!!! 100 something XP.........WOW ; ) I'm taking Spanish, but I don't have much time to do it. Anyway, Keep it up!!!! Oh yeah, and could you please follow me? i would appreciate it! no one has so far : (

              September 15, 2015

              https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M_Sherlocked

              Whoa! That is amazing!

              September 15, 2015

              [deactivated user]

                Thing is, we DID learn how to punctuate correctly and capitalize and all, but German decided to change its rules!!!!!!!!!!!

                September 15, 2015

                https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M_Sherlocked

                That's mean. :)

                September 16, 2015

                https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christina465977

                Good luck to you! I just started German, as I have an interest in learning. I had starting using Duolingo to review Spanish (from all the way back in middle and high school), and thought trying something new would be fun!

                September 16, 2015

                https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChloeWi

                good luck!!

                September 16, 2015

                https://www.duolingo.com/profile/verogeb

                Congrats!!! Very impressive!

                September 19, 2015
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