Something I Recommend for Listening Skills
I'm 27 years old, watching children's cartoons, but hey, ... hah, it's great for listening practice. The thing is, I am far, far better at reading and writing, than I am with talking and listening, although my pronounciation isn't too bad, thanks to my Scottish heritage. I'm just at the point where I need to listen to some clear German, without too strong an accent or someone speaking too fast. That "point" should have been years ago (been learning/speaking German for 4 years, on and off) but I've taught myself all this time, so I've learned things I didn't yet need, and missed things I needed; I've been making up for that, over the last year. The bonus is, TroTro is kind of an adorable programme. Haha. I've just watched the first episode (the first one on the linked video) and understand most of what was said. :D That tells me I'm making improvements. This website has been a MASSIVE help, with my German, and I'm very grateful. The link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BogsmhgOIrs
Also, you could YouTube this: "Deutsch Lernen Extra auf Deutsch Abschnitt" I find it really awesome. I've been watching a couple of episodes, just now, and it's actually quite funny, ... it has an American who goes to Germany, and his German is HORRENDOUS. xD It's funny. Helps you learn stuff, as well as entertains you.
EDIT: Thank you for the Lingots. [:
The easiest German, IMHO, is the spoken German in documentaries and news (not including people they interview). Then comes shows dubbed into German (I remember it did take me a while before I could understand what Homer Simpson was saying though, but the other characters were easier to understand).
Sendung verpasst and you can find lots of documentaries and news shows.
This one lists some other sites: http://www.dank.org/tv/
Thanks, I'm enjoying TroTro! Another good one is Die Sendung mit der Maus (aimed at slightly older children). They have some lovely documentary segments that have made it onto Youtube. Here's their explanation (hilarious and informative) of how the World Wide Web works: http://youtu.be/8PNRrOGJqUI?t=2m38s .
Extra auf Deutsch is great! I wish they had more episodes. I'd recommend that to anyone who is learning German. The whole program was filmed for the purpose of teaching the language, so they speak clearly and it's not difficult to understand. Also, it's quite easy to find online on youtube or find a torrent.
I just wish everyone spoke that clearly. It feels like I'm watching a British show, in German, because, ... they speak clearly, like us English folk (saying that, I'm Scottish, but you know what I mean xD) which is nice. I only hope I will eventually be able to move to drunk Germans, mad singing Germans, or whatever else that might make the language difficult to understand.
Yeah, I'm in the same boat with ya. I'm having a hard enough time understanding clear German, so when I hear people speaking casually I get so lost. It's quite discouraging. I have to remind myself that I've only been learning for a few months, so any progress is good progress.
Yeah, you really, really have to just stick at it and persevere. I've had numerous moments, over the years, during which I lost confidence, but, even if it took time, I fought through it; having online German friends, helped, as did German games. Nowadays, when I get all crappy about my German ability, my online buddy starts asking me about German, and talks to me in German, of course, what with him being German 'n all, so it kinda kick-starts the passion I have in the language.
Have a Lingot for understanding. [:
By the way, this website has been a massive help, over the last couple of years: http://german.about.com/
For learner's German with German sub-titles try www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ7Vsi4W3BE and similar episodes shown on the right of the screen. Go to www.bookbox.com/ click on Free Stuff, change the language to German (top right of screen) and you can then download the whole text of various episodes as pdf files.
Thanks for sharing. I look forward to checking these out. When I was into German much more seriously (I've lost my drive), I used to frequent a German site that shows reality television, comedies and the like and I've found it very entertaining even though I have problems understanding. It's http://www.myspass.de/ I especially enjoy the shows with Simon and Elton. Maybe you've heard of it?
To add to Teufelmann's reply, there are even many Scots words which closely resemble the German words, such as richt (richtig/recht), nicht (nacht), ken (kennen), kirk (kirche), etc. - great for both memorisation and pronunciation. The only thing I can think of from the top of my head that the Scottish accent doesn't have is the standard German 'R' (the throaty one), but if we choose to, we can settle for the more tongue-tapped 'R' akin to a Spanish/Russian 'R' (which I believe is associated with Bavaria in German).
In the borders the numbers are slightly similar, yin,twa, thrae, vair, five, sechts, sebeen, acht, nin, teen, el and twell. Since my dads a native speaker of Border Scots frae Hawick! I picked Scots up at a young age and also living in Glasgow! This made the German numbers easy to pick up! :) Ta
There are quite a few out there if you keep your eyes out (and remember to think of how thick Scots speakers pronounce things if you're not one yourself; you'll spot more that way). Scots broke off from Northumbrian English back in around the 12th Century, and has kept a lot of older word forms, so they often stay closer to their Germanic roots than English equivalents. I love finding the little connections between Scots, English & German, ridiculously interesting to me.
Also, good to see a number of Scots coming out of the woodwork recently! Never thought there was many of us here for a long time. :P
Exactly right. There's a bit of a debate about whether Scots qualifies as a dialect of English or a language; I don't really take a side, it doesn't bother me, but some people get pretty heated about it. It's about as different, give or take, from English (if spoken properly - there's Scots, then there's Scottish-English) as the Scandinavian languages are from eachother from what I hear (I couldn't claim to know myself, but a friend who speaks Norwegian & Danish tells me so), and those are very similar languages but often (not always) considered separate (there is some debate about that too - not as much though).
Scottish Gaelic diverged from old Irish at about the same time, and has a similar relationship with Irish - they're not immediately mutually intelligible, but speakers who work at it can develop an understanding of each other. I've been dabbling in Scottish Gaelic recently, and just from that, I can understand some very basic phrases from my mum (who can understand mine in return) - her being a native speaker of Ulster Irish.