Moving to Germany in 3 months for a year
Hi everyone! I will start a one year mission for my current company in Germany as from April 2016. My idea is thus to improve as much as i can my current german level (B 1-3). Currently, i follow classes twice a week, i try to use Duolingo as often as i can and read german whenever i have the occasion. I can thus say that i can do MUCH more :) I am still working so i will not be able to study german 4 hours a day but 1 or 2 hours might be achievable (one hour being the minimum). Would you have any "program" or tips to share for me? I already have a pretty good ideas of the things to be done but if you already applied a specific training program, i would love to have your inputs! Thanks in advance for your support!
When you get there, watch German TV and have the radio on as much as you can, especially during "dead" times like showering, between waking and getting up, making/eating breakfast, ironing, and doing other jobs around the house. It helps to teach the brain process the language and "install" the structures into your memory. Try to listen for at least 3 hours a day. You should notice a significant improvement within three months or so.
For getting to grips with German news vocab, you can get a head start with this site: http://www.nachrichtenleicht.de
Try starting his now. You can stream german tv and radio online. Try the hard website
Thanks for you tip Simone! And thanks for the website, i didn't know this website! :)
I highly recommend the Deutsche Welle materials to every German learner, of any level. http://www.dw.com/de/deutsch-lernen/s-2055
They have a variety of programs, from the beginning levels through where you are at (B levels) and beyond. For the B levels, I would recommend one of their video series, either Jojo sucht das Glück (a goofy romantic drama telenovela) or Ticket nach Berlin (two teams of advanced German learners competing their way across Germany). Both are a series of roughly 5 minute videos, plus written exercises and a transcript with explanations of grammar, vocab, dialects, slang, etc. I found them both very useful.
Good luck! Ich drücke dir die Daumen!
I also highly recommend ''Jojo sucht das Glück''; I watched & did the exercises for season 1 & 2, they are really awesome.
Hallo! Ich empfehle dass du sofort in der Sprache zu denken versuchst.
Aber vielleicht ist das einfacher zu sagen als zu tun.... hehe...
Ich habe seit einem Jahr in Deutschland gewohnt. Nach einem Jahr verstehe ich natürlich viel mehr als wann ich angefangen habe. Aber die Sprache ist für mich persönlich immer noch schwer.
The best advice I can give you is to try to use your German everyday in any little way you can. Try speaking with your friends in German. Even if they do not understand a word, it will be good practice for you. My mother does not understand German, but she lets me practice with her over the phone. It is basically a safety net, but what I discovered is that by trying to explain the rules of grammar to my mom, it helped to become more confident in my knowledge. To teach means to learn at a deeper level. And you can begin thinking like a teacher even though you are still a student of the language.
Oh, and write in German here! No judgements and we can all help one another with the grammar rules.
Ich wünsche dir viel Spaß und viel Glück mit deinem Studium!
Vielen Danken fur Ihre Ratschlage! Sprachen mit deiner Mutter im Deutsch ist ein schones Beispiel :)
"Vielen Dank für Ihre Ratschläge! Mit deiner Mutter auf Deutsch zu sprechen ist ein schönes Beispiel :)"
Never ever just omit the umlaute. If you can't type them, use ae/oe/ue instead of just a/u/o. The first way is understood by everyone easily, the second one alters pronunciation and often the meaning as well. It just makes it unnecessary hard to understand (compare it to typing just "t" instead of "th" in English - that would be confusing, right?).
Otherwise, you seem to cling to English sentence structure. This only works well for simple sentences, in general German sentence structure is not the same as in English. Especially fixed expressions like "speaking in X" are problematic.
It's understandable - no problem, especially since most young Germans speak decent English as well and are familiar with the structures - but if you want to become a good speaker of German, you'll need to work on that (lots of exposure to native speakers will help a lot). It feels as if you think about what you want to say in English and then translate it? Try to start with German. In the beginning, it's hard and your sentences will feel quite clumsy but that's normal. You're still learning and you need to re-learn a lot of concepts. You can't use it as eloquently as your native language... yet! But with a lot of patience and exposure, you can get there!
I have been there twice. My wife is from Germany and the best practice you can get is during a party. People are very willing to speak to an English speaker during a party when the mood is light. Also pay attention to slang. Germans do not speak perfect German. There are a lot of slang phrases that they use to mean the same thing people would say properly.
Have fun and don't be hard on yourself.
You just pointed my main fear - being in a party with several people, or in a bar, and discovering that you don't understand anything.. lol I love to speak and don't know how i will manage the frustration. This is also why i really want to improve the most i can before going!
The private study you are doing at the moment with Duolingo / lessons is excellent preparation. I would in addition use a flashcard tool like Anki. This allows you to build up a deck of words and phrases which you can then repeat on a daily basis to enforce those words. It's freely available on the internet. I am currently using it to refresh my German vocab and learn Italian.
With regards to conversation, parties and large social gatherings are not the answer. Until you reach a decent level of fluency, it's very hard to participate in a conversation because putting together sentences in the head takes too long and it's hard to speak without breaking the flow of conversation.
My solution to this, having become fluent in German when living there and now living in Italy and on the way to fluency, is to find opportunities for one to one conversation. The best is to find people who want to practice another language (so you meet up and do half in English and then half in German). My German came on massively when I met up with a German speaking friend for a beer twice a week. After a while I was able to move on to more complex social situations.
Good luck, Ben
MAN, TRUST ME I HAD GONE THROUGH A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE. WHAT YOU NEED NOW IS GETTING USED TO THE SPEED THEY TALK. IT WILL BE GREAT IF YOU START TALKING TO NATIVE SPEAKERS NOW, SO WHEN YOU GET THERE, YOU WILL SUFFER ONLY A LITTLE BIT.
You're completely right! I will try to improve more and more my listening skills.
You might download an app called Hello and change your IP address to German, then you'll watch netflix from Germany, with german sounds and subtitles. You can also use assimil method or talking on skype with native
If you have a Roku use the TuneIn app to get German radio/TV stations. I play that round the clock in the background so I'm always hearing the language. It drives my family nuts but has helped tremendously. I also listen to music and audio books during the commute.
I read somewehere that listening without really take the time to note the words you don't know, find the definition etc.. is not useful enough. The idea being that you need to be "activ" when watching tv or listening radio and not passiv. For you anyway, it's seems to work, i will try to :)
oh, it helps. Your brain is processing the stuff. My first month in Germany, I had nightmares in which it was all black and there were German voices that I had to understand but couldn't. Somewhere in my brain I came up with the German that I myself couldn't translate in the dream!
The only thing I can tell you is to be prepared for the speed! Never be afraid to ask someone to slow down their crazy-fast speech. If I could one skill to have before going back there, it would be to have the confidence and comfort to ask a native to slow down. Good luck! Best wishes from all of Duolingo!
Try to SPEAK to native speakers. German speaker are talking fast if you haven't spoken the language yet. I'm sure that you will find someone to speak with on Doulingo when you ask for (btw I'm a native speaker too :b ) Good Luck!
Oh thanks! For the moment i don't feel confident but you are completely true that i need to do it!
Duo is great for regular review of phrases and basic grammar structures but speaking with live people is important. I have recently connected with 'My Language Exchange'. Here you can connect with people who might live in your town or in another country. You can communicate by email, Skype or in person. I have found one person who I now speak with regularly on Skype and another person who I will meet with in person. If you connect with some people now who live in Germany through this site, you will not only get some practice speaking now, but you will probably have a couple of German friends waiting for you when you get there. All the best!
Thanks a lot for this great tip! I will check this website quickly, that's a great idea! As you say, if it can also help me to already know people there, that's interesting.
Best way to learn a language in Duolingo: turn off all your mic and hearing quizzes. Recite and say the sentences out loud.
I manage to grasp german in 3 weeks doing this albeit I've been here 2 months prior to actually taking learning german seriously.
I hope your not going to BW. These guys talk faster than an auctioneer.
If you can find a local group that speaks German, that was invaluable to me for getting up to speed before my arrival. Look on craigslist, meetup, etc., and ask at local colleges & universities. Search for "Stammtisch", as that's what they're often called.
Viel Glueck & viel Spass!
Remember if youre in doubt: ich nicht weiß, oder weiß ich nicht, oder nicht ich weiß.
Oder "Keine Ahnung"
:") German tv is trash TV but simone is right. Fill ya head with as much inputs as u can. Where u ll go? To berlin? Best way is to find someone to talk to of course. Don't be shy just try ya best 2 communicate. Best way to improve ya skills.
Good luck ^^
I find your judgement of german tv a bit harsh. What is your opinion based on? Are you a regular viewer of german television?
I agree with you, that there is way to much useless stuff on german television, but than I mostly found the same stuff on television in other countries as well. The good thing for german learners is (and only for them), that all shows in german television are dubbed, thus you can watch your favorite show in german, if it has been broadcasted here.
"German tv is trash TV" ? Interessante Meinung. ;-) Man muss seine Sendungen gut auswählen, dann kann man die schlechten Fernsehsendungen durchaus vermeiden. Vor allem die privaten Sender sind schlecht.
It doesn't matter. In fact, for language acquisition purposes, especially in the early stages, the trashier the better ;-) Commercials are particularly useful.
I am going near Berlin, in the countryside. Yes, i need to force myself to speak as often as i can, which is always the hardest as, as you say, i am always shy to speak when i don't master the language..
So from your comments, I get the point that i should now focus mainly on listening & speaking. For speaking, I have already few friends who i can practice with. For listening, i use "langsam gesprochene Nachrichten" in DW, but the vocabulary is still difficult for me. I will watch more and more German TV (i have few german channels, as prosieben und RTL). Do you also have by any chance some website to watch movies in German with German subtitles? Again, thanks a lot for your great advices! Have a nice sunday :)
YouTube German documentaries. It's hard to get ones with subtitles etc. But if you find one, it's the best way to understand context. Local Germans will sound angry sometimes, but they are a good bunch. :)
Hope this helps.