Completion of all lessons
How is it that Duolingo still doesn't recognize completion of all lessons in a particular language, as a major achievement with drum rolls or the duolingo owl dancing gangnam style or something? Cmon guys!! It was the same last year when I completed german. I thought things would have picked up on that side. I was expecting some fireworks, something like "you are the most awesome dude in the world, maybe" or "welcome to the club" or I could go on..
Cmon Duolingo, answer my vanity!
I will have Spanish finished sometime today. I think there should be a parade in my honor. Aside from the parade, here are some other ideas: 1) Maybe include us in some type of beta testing program. 2) Maybe give us a link and a discount to some sort of fluency test that would measure the effectiveness of Duolingo. It took about 100 days to go through Spanish. I was studying with Pimsleur volume four at the same time.
garrettowne, you are right! There should be but at least some of us, your followers are proud of you! Wait till start doing more of the German. A 100 days would be a wonderful achievement there so keep us all posted and I might even consider attending your parade for that one.
Thanks Orban. I was obviously kidding there just to make sure Duolingo treats this as high priority.
I had some previous knowledge of german, thanks to my german girlfriend, but it was also just very basic stuff like greetings and stuff. For german, I spent serious hours(1-2 hours) per day, everyday, probably more on weekends. I think I started it in January 2012 and was very anal about keeping the learning schedule. I think it took about 45 days, after which I concentrated on translations until late december which is when I picked up French, from scratch. French was really slow to start off with.
I had strict targets setup(complete French by end of Feb) and followed my customized "burst cycle" model. I didn't do lessons everyday like while learning german(thanks to other online courses), but when I did them, I did "burst learning", about (3-4 hours a day), more on weekends. I made a lot of mistakes since I wasn't refreshing everyday, which didn't help but I dragged along till now having completed it. But I certainly don't feel very comfortable with it, so I plan to do lots more translations and get better access to french media. In the meantime, I have lost touch with german, although I do scan through daily headlines of a leading german newspaper.
Biggest lesson from here till now is to not go into greedy mode and jump to a third language like spanish, thinking it must be similar to french. I'll continue focussing on improving german and french(mainly) throughout this year.
Thanks! It was useful info for making my own estimation for progress. I learnt German for a year a decade ago. Now it took me one third of the tree in less than three weeks. Based on your answer and Olimo's blog report a 3 months completion can be achieved with daily 1-2 hrs practice.
How satisfied are you with your German vocabulary?
Very much satisfied. In order to expand vocabulary, I started following some random german people on twitter(I know that sounds ape-s**t crazy) which helped me getting used to usual vocabulary, colloquial uses, etc. Along with that, I got a lot of german movies with german subtitles which helped a lot too. I used to change those subtitles and add meanings of words that I didn't know, so when I saw the movie, I had immediate understanding of those words. Plus, usual reading of german newspaper(Der Spiegel is good), although the words used there aren't much used in everyday german so that was less priority for me.
Well, congratulations on being able to read
Der Spiegel´ hybridpro. You would findFokus´or is it Focus? ;) and Der Stern somewhat easier to read, if you had the choice that is. Some Germans find Der Spiegel heavy going, so do allow yourself to pause for applause. Not recommended: the tabloid daily newspaper: Das Bild. By the way it goes without saying that if you are really interested in a topic, you'll probably be able to read it with some degree of success. My two cents worth for today :)
Thanks Pauline. Not a fan of tabloids so Das Bild was always at bay. I did try to watch some german documentaries of ARTE but never got the hang of it. I read online versions of these newspaper so I could choose any but I chose Der Spiegel because I liked its layout better than others. How do you know about those other newspapers? You seem to be learning german so I am guessing you moved there and learning german now.
Amulya Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you are my role-model! I just started last week, and plan to actually learn German through this (and other material), so thanks for the tips as well. After having done all that,do you feel comfortable speaking German? I ask this, because I learned Italian a few years ago with a bad teacher, so now I can read Italian (magazines, novels, newspapers), but I can not speak or understand when they speak to me.
Hi Nantine, I won't say I am great at speaking german but I got better with everyday practice. I can understand a lot of spoken german now. To elaborate on my previous post, one of the factors that really help is watching subtitled movies or addresses. I have a big collection of german movies with subtitles. I would watch one movie about 10 times until I understand most of the movie without subtitles. This process crystalizes most of the spoken words in your mind and when you hear them again in same/different contexts, your mind can pick it up.
Also, although movies have a lot of fast spoken words. For starters, listening to political speeches also helps(although dreadfully boring). One example would be subscribing to German govt's youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/bundesregierung . Most of their speeches are spoken slowly and subtitled for german audience. It's a very hard language to decipher, so immersing yourself in the language is very important.
Even watching english shows with proper german subtitles helps a lot, understanding how you'd phrase an english sentence in german. You'd have a very hard time understanding german or any other language for that matter, if you don't practice everyday and start thinking in the language itself.
Another important thing to know is to realize regional language differences. For e.g. a lot of germans words/phrases spoken in east germany, would be rarely, if ever, used in west germany. For e.g. in berlin, to say "get lost(verpiss dich)", most people would say "zieh nen Fisch"(if I remember it correctly), however, when I ask ed my german friend about what it means, she didn't have any idea!
Also understand that spoken german would be very different in different countries speaking german. Most germans have hard time understanding the way austrians/swiss speak german. It's the same difference as listening a scottish and an american person speak english.
In speaking, primarily, I still have hard time with the gender of nouns and with prepositions that go with the verb. In any case, I'd suggest you concentrate on improving your listening and reading, it'll gradually improve your spoken german. Or So I hope even for myself!
Viel Erfolg und Viel Glueck, ~Amulya
Congratulations Amulya! That is an achievement. I just started learning German and I have been practicing almost every day for at least 1 hour. Thank you for the recommendation for subscribing to the German government's YouTube channel. Would you mind recommending some German films and would they be region1 or easily found to buy online? I only have three(Mostly Martha, Run Lola Run and The Princess and the Warrior), but am having a hard time trying to find others, that are in German with English subtitles, are not from the 20's and are not WWII subject related.
There are lots of german movies with english subtitles, much less number of german movies have german subtitles. Here is a list of few movies that I can remember off the top of my head which definitely have german subtitles, in the order that I like watching them:
All movies directed by Til Schweiger(around 7 titles). He has done a bunch of hollywood flicks like inglorious bastards, so you might be aware of him already. He is always acting in his movies, a proper eye candy and does commercially successful hollywood-inspired movies, so I am sure you'll like his movies. On http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001709/, go to movies directed by him. You should be able to find all of them online other than "Kokowääh 2" which came out just last month.
Most movies of Daniel Brühl, one of germany's best in my opinion and has also featured in inglorious bastards, would also usually have german subtitles. His best work would include "Goodbye Lenin", a golden-globe nominated movie, "Ein Freund von mir", "Die Fetten jahren sind vorbei"(The eduKators in english), "Das weiße Rauschen"(The white noise) etc. Last two are "Dogma 95" style movies(like many older german movies) so might be harder to watch for you and perhaps hard to find too.
"Drei", quite a racy german movie, one of my all time favorites from Tom Tykwer (director of Run Lola Run), with a fabulous soundtrack and cinematic style. It features a real fine actor/director Sebestian Schipper who directed "Ein fruend von mir"(mentioned above). I am not sure of your age and level of senstivity to gay themes, so this might be a bit inappropriate. Read reviews and syposis before buying!
"Die Welle" is a fantastic story and well directed and acted, features a well know german actor Jürgen Vogel, also in "Ein freund von mir" from above. Should be easily available online.
"Rubbeldiekatz" or "Woman in love" is a nice time-pass tootsie rip-off. It does have the funniest Hitler ever, and Matthias Schweighöfer, a real funny actor whom you'd also see in Til Schweiger movies. There is definitely a blu-ray out for this.
"Das Leben der anderen", an oscar winner from 2006, a story from the gestapo time, not violent but rather emotionally charged, "Das weisse Band", winner of Palme d'Or, but a story from a rather old germany(1910-1920s) in a typical Haneke style, so might be a bit boring depending on your taste.
Two movies from WW2(you can't really escape them), but these aren't typical WW2 movies. "Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage" is a rather inspiring movie with great screenplay and acting, reciting last days of this forgotten gem of a person. Similarly "Der Untergang", reciting last days of hitler, showing probably the worst of him, rather hard to watch, so should probably be at the end of your wishlist.
Movies directed by Fatih Akin, of turkish-german descent, are also very watchable movies(3-4). They usually have english subtitles though, very hard to find german ones. On http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0015359, go to movies directed by him.
I guess that's a lot of movies for this time!
Viel Spass, ~Amulya
I appreciate you taking the time to recommend movies. I will definitely have to check them out. I'm a fan of Tom Tykwer's works and will have to check out 'Drei'. "Das Leben der Anderen" is actually on my list to watch this weekend as a friend recommended it last week when we were discussing movies. My boyfriend really enjoys history and one of his college class requirements was specifically on WWII, so I have seen quite a few movies set in that time frame. I have seen "Der Untergang" and found it quite interesting, even though parts of it were hard to watch. I haven't seen "Sophie Scholl" yet and will add it to the list.
Gute Nacht! <sub>Heather</sub>