How do you guys practice languages outside of Duolingo?
I practice French by doing french homework cause I've been taking classes since I was two, and I practice German by talking and emailing one of my best friends in german. She's german and bilingual, so it's really helpful.
I watch american shows dubbed in German (whatever works for you, I watched few seasons of Stargate and now watching Friends - right now 7th season, 3 more to go, it helps to watch something that you already know and enjoy). Did the same with English years ago and it's brutally effective. You start and at first it's awful and hard, then it becomes easier and after about 50 hours of doing that it actually becomes fun. I'd say for me when I do more than 100 hours, my listening comprehension will be awesome.
I definitely agree with watching shows (and films) in German to maximise exposure to the language and make it sound as natural to your ears as possible. I've definitely noticed a stark improvement for myself. However, I've been watching original German productions rather than dubs (I'll write as many of what I've seen as I can think of below) and I'd love to get some dubs! How did you find a dub for Friends? (I would love that)
Okay, so the list as I can remember it is:
Türkisch für Anfänger (show & film)
Das Geheimnis im Wald
Fack ju Göhte (1 &2)
Keinohrhasen (1 & 2 - Zweiohrküken)
Stromberg ((German version of The Office) currently watching - on season 2 of 5)
Dr. Stefan Frank - der Arzt, dem die Frauen vertrauen (if you can translate <- that, then please know that I only watched a few episodes, and it was recommended to me by a female friend of mine :P)
Berlin - Tag Nacht (again, only saw a few episodes of this)
Lindenstraße (I think I only watched one episode of this...)
& when I'm finished with Stromberg I think I'll move onto Tatortreiniger.
I think it might be worth also noting that I've watched a lot of stuff on youtube to help with my German, such as:
Deutsch für Euch &
Die Heute Show
Hi, I was so lucky that I have some seasons on DVD's, ... BUT ... for those that I don't have a quick google search "friends auf deutsch online stream" gives for example this: https://serienstream.to/serie/stream/friends You have to click through some advertisement but it's there.
Hope you enjoy.
Thank you very much! It's funny, I've been using serienstream for Stromberg and some of the other TV shows that I've seen as well, and I've seen loads of familiar American and British shows on there, but never assumed they would be subbed/dubbed into German! Thank you so much! This has changed serienstream from a great site to a fantastic site! haha :D
I have multiple pen pals in Germany and Austria, attend an occasional Meetup (I started the first-ever NYC German Language Meetup back in 2002), read lots of German novels, scan the headlines on dw.de at least once a day and read the full articles that catch my fancy. I also follow the posts of FB friends who are German, watch German shows and movies on Amazon Prime and the online feeds of various German networks, and listen to Schlager stations when I work out.
As for French, I discovered when I visited Toronto that the news feeds on my phone (News, Sports and Business) suddenly gave me the choice of receiving them in English or French. I switched to French and never switched back. So now my cell phone only offers up the news in French, which has improved my reading comprehension immensely. I've also downloaded works from Project Gutenberg, e.g., Candide, and muscled my way through. I still struggle a lot with French listening comprehension at DL, so I haven't begun face-to-face attempts at practice and communication.
In both French and Russian, I'll re-read articles I find at the BBC website in their section devoted to French African and Russian readers (scroll down the home page for the link).