https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

Got a book in German, and started deducing words!!!

Hey!!!!

I always believed the best way to learn a language was to get to a real book/text after you are able to understand basic concepts such as conjugations and some common expressions. (A pleasant book, of course, it doesn't really matter the subject of it)

That was how I learned English, just dove into lots of video game texts until I could deduce everything and force the language down my brains.

At a certain point, thinking is not necessary, the language as it should be is just there, present in your head. By trusting the book's quality, you don't really question what you are reading, you just assimilate it. It's pretty much brainwashing. (Questioning is powerful for Science, but not that much for languages. It's important, surely, but sometimes it's a barrier. Science laws existed and worked before man, they are to be "discovered" and "understood". But languages are just conventions, completely invented and often senseless, some things are not to be questioned, just to be "accepted")

Then I decided to learn German with Duolingo. (I'm a lazy guy, it's been two years now since I started, but....). I completed my tree long ago and decided to try that method. Found a game in German (just like the ones I used to play before), and also found a book. Those were working, but at a stage I was still too immature to have a good speed. Got tired of it, too many things to do. And I abandoned them for a long time.

I kept just doing other courses here, such as French from German (a workaround to keep it alive while doing other stuff).

Today I decided to get to that book again (with a dictionary beside me, of course), and to my surprise, I started deducing words!!!! Yay!!!! It's working! I check the dictionary often only to confirm my guesses!!! Context is really amazing for that, suddenly you don't need to know that word, it's just natural to understand its meaning. One step further and I will start just ignoring the dictionary and trusting my guesses. It will get faster and faster.

Yohoo!!! Now it's just a matter of time until German is loaded in a fluent state in my head!!! Let's brainwash!!!

(I hope all those declensions will also get recorded for a natural speaking later..... English is way easier ... the good thing is that you really don't need to know genders for reading, just for writing)

October 20, 2015

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/alexandrashaye99

I've noticed this happen when I read news in French. Letters become words, words become sentences, and sentences become ideas. Sometimes I almost "forget" that I'm reading in a foreign language, since I don't have to consciously translate everything I read. I think laddering languages helped me get used to bypassing English.

Good luck with German!!!

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lastnote

What's the name of the video game in German that you're playing? Any other video games in German that you can recommend me? Because I think that would be a good practice for me while learning German.

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

I found a translated Final Fantasy VII.

And I'm reading "Dschungel Kind (Sabine Kuegler)", seems interesting, found it quite luckily in a used book shelf at a restaurant in the middle of nowhere during a vacation here in Brazil. (Why did a German book end up there? I have no idea, but it was exaclty what I was looking for at that time).

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/betacentauri

I came upon Dschungelkind the movie - I was fascinated. That pushed me to pick up the audiobook.

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/.Storr.

Do you know Epic Battle Fantasy 4? It's a cute game, you can change the language to German (and Brazilian, too, if you want to check for a translation) and the text stays until you klick it away.

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

No, I don't know it. But since I'm quite tired of gaming, it will probably keep like that.....

But perhaps Final Fantasy Tactics could change that state of mind......now that was a great battle system, I never found a better one.

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Beneficium

Your picture reminds me of the pied piper from Hamelin, for some reason.

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/.Storr.

lol, actually it's Snufkin and Little My from the Moomins. :-)

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/.Storr.

Almost... I am learning Swedish. :-) Actually I'm German.

October 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Beneficium

Ahh that's lovely, you must be either finnish or swedish. :D Long live Moomins!

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lastnote

Oh, I see. Thank you! :D

That's really odd XD I'll try searching for it on the internet, thank you! :D

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jungecome

Can you send it to me too , when you get it "..., i am studying one language at a time ..For now .

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lastnote

Do you mean the video game and the book? I could send you the link if I found them :)

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jungecome

Thanks :)

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/im_benj

Very nice, keep up your progress! For demotivation problem (we've all been through it) I try to stimulate different parts of my brain like podcasts, musics, videos, texts, lessons, and so on..

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

Yes :)

Some movies are very nice too!!! Too bad there are so few available....

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/im_benj

Yeah for sure! Join us in our group if you want https://www.duolingo.com/comment/10967976

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

Great advice! Even if I was already doing it, I'm glad you shared your experience, as much for motivation, realistic time frame to learn and what to do to pass the clicking-into-place level of language acquisition.

I'm really not yet at that level in German (soon I hope, or rather, I'll start to force myself to read children books soon), but I just started this morning to read Niccol├▓ Machiavelli's Il principe (The prince) in Italian. 3 pages into the preface, I didn't even have to open my dictionary once, I could deduce every word well enough to not break the reading pace!

So, keep up the good work and remember : if you don't find it slightly challenging, you're not learning enough, you need harder reading material!

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/melmomc

There is a book I downloaded from the App store which is called 'Cafe in Berlin' by Andre Klein - fantastic book for learning, goes from very simple to complex. I highly recommend it to anyone else looking to start with German books :) Sounds like you're doing awesome, well done!

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Susanna35

When I was studying German in college, in the holidays I went to a library in a large city where I was living temporarily, and got a couple of books in German and read them. It was a struggle, but I wish I had copies of them now, so I could repeat them. One of them was a Zane Grey that had been translated to German. The other one - I don't remember either the title or the author, but after 50+ years I can still remember bits and pieces of the story - and in German, too!

October 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/VerenaNelson

Thanks for this post! this is really encouraging, and useful to hear, as you already learned English this way!

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Susanna35

An ancient German textbook I have (published 1876 - paper is badly deteriorated, and it "sheds" every time I read it) has some old spellings of many words - like "thun" (tun); "thier" (tier); "thal" (tal) and I believe it has "haber" (aber). Also, many umlauted letters just use the following "e" (oe, ue), though this does not seem to be consistent. In particular, with the ├╝, it is usually only "Ue" if it is at the beginning of a word.

January 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KnightKittenz

Translation is needed!

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

When you really know a language, you never translate anything.

If "Flugzeug" means "airplane", you must work yourself to relate "Flugzeug" directly to the image and the idea of an airplane, not to the word "airplane".

That's what reading in context does, it forces you to associate things up to the point you start bypassing your own language. When you understand parts of what you are reading and start to build a scenery, that image in your head will be a strong tool for that. Everytime you deduce a word's meaning because of the scenery, you are automatically doing this.

It's true we can't avoid translating at first, but something I do when I translate a sentence from the book is to read it again with the most natural speed I can, now knowing its meaning, just to try avoiding my language, to relate the new language directly to the ideas.

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/linda22100

I am in the very begging and find this interesting... Just turned my radio stations to German speaking channels so I can have my ear used to the sounds. Lets see how this adventure goes

October 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

I surely have problems with listening..... all my friends are faster than I, even when I already have a good knowledge of a language.

October 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Susanna35

I remember looking at a website in Italian when I first got interested in that language. When I first started "messing around" with it, I used online translators (which, of course, anyone who has used them knows, are not particularly reliable). I got a dictionary, a basic grammar book, and a book of idioms. After I had been using these tools for some time, I pulled the site up again, and was surprised at how much more of the language I understood.

Now, I would like to find a book I once read in German, but I don't remember the title or the author. And I only remember bits and pieces of it. My German was pretty rough at that time.

I also borrowed a booklet from a friend that had a lot of German religious stuff in it. Something I came across in that booklet caught my eye. It was a table grace, for children I think. Anyway, it went something like this (if I can remember rightly):

Komm, Herr Jesu, sei unsere Gast, Segnet was du uns bescheret hast.

The reason it caught my was that, as a child, I was taught the following table grace:

Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, Let these gifts to us be blest.

There was another one that struck a memory chord, too. It was:

Vater, Segnet diese Speise Uns zum Kraft und dir zum Preise.

And that reminded me that nearly always when my father said grace at the table, part of it was nearly always, "Father, bless this food to our strength and your glory."

November 7, 2015
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.