Conquered the German tree today
Just wanted to express my gratitude to the Duolingo team and everyone who is involved in the project. I've taken years of German in school a long time ago and did not learn it to any significant extent. Not only was it not a learning-friendly environment, since the other students never really cared about learning it, but the way the language was taught in school made learning it an annoying chore - constantly thinking about the rules, noun genders and so on.
After I left college I've basically resigned to the fact that it was all a waste of time. However, after starting working on the German Duolingo tree, I've realized that a lot of the words and rules started coming back to me. I didn't go through it religiously and actually abandoned the whole enterprise for over a year, but I still kept coming back to it and now I'm done with the tree (which itself has grew twice over the duration of my "conquest")
I'm now reading a book and understanding about 85% of it, while still translating the rest, but I feel the language better than ever before and I'm certain now that I didn't waste those years trying to learn the language. I'm also not particularly highly motivated, since I don't have any practical use for the language, but I think it would be nice to be able to watch German movies and read German language novels in the original language. I've still got a long way to go until I reach the desired level, but at least I'm at a stage where I can enjoy the language.
Die Geschmäcker sind ja verschieden, nicht wahr? Ich würde folgende Bücher empfehlen, diese sind meiner Meinung nach leicht zu lesen und bieten trotzdem fesselnde Geschichten:
Ottfried Preußler: Krabat
Ein neu erzähltes Märchen aus Mähren, das im 17. Jahrhundert spielt. Ein Waisenjunge wird in die Lehre eines Müllermeisters aufgenommen. Krabat freundet sich rasch mit den übrigen Knechten an, doch der Meister verbirgt ein schreckliches Geheimnis.
Marc-Uwe Kling: Die Känguru - Chroniken
Kleinkünstler Kling lebt in einer Berliner Wohnung und trifft auf seinen Nachbarn, der zufällig ein Känguru ist. Das Känguru lädt sich schon bald selber bei Kling ein und zieht in dessen Wohnung. Es ist außerdem Kommunist. Doch was hat es mit dem anderen Nachbar auf sich, bei dem es sich übrigens um einen Pinguin handelt?
Cornelia Funke: Tintenherz
Das Mädchen Meggie lebt bei ihrem Vater, dem Buchbinder Mo. Die Mutter, so heißt es, sei vor vielen Jahren auf einer Reise verschollen. Als der Vater zu einer Verwandten aufbricht, wird er zusammen mit dem Buch "Tintenherz" entführt.
Moritz Matthies: Ausgefressen
Das Erdmännchen Ray lebt im Berliner Zoo ein langweiliges Leben. Ray leidet unter seiner unerwiderten Liebe zu einer Chinchilla-Dame und seinem unerfüllten Wunsch nach einer Detektiv-Karriere. Als der menschliche Privatdetektiv Phil eines Tages völlig besoffen am Erdmännchen-Gehege auftaucht, stellen beide erstaunt fest, dass Phil Erdmännisch versteht.
Michael Ende: Momo
Das Waisenkind Momo lebt in einem verlassenen Theater in der Nähe eines gemütlichen Städtchens. Eines Tages tauchen dort geheimnisvolle graue Herren auf, die einen Einwohner nach dem anderen zum Zeitsparen überreden. Wer sind sie, und was geschieht mit der gesparten Zeit?
Walter Moers: Die 13 1/2 Leben des Käpt'n Blaubär
Halbe Autobiographie des Buntbären Blaubär. Dieser schildert seine schwer zu glaubenden, aber völlig wahren Abenteuer auf dem inzwischen versunkenen Kontinent Zamonien.
Thank you! My plan is to slowly go through two books, one of which is The Little Prince, writing out every word I don't know, learning it and continuing to read. At some point, in theory, I should be able to read the book without looking any of the words up, then I'll considering my reading stage completed. The next stage would be to attempt to watch shows and movies in German. I think it's important to know that while 85% sounds like a lot, in a lot of the cases it's impossible to grasp the meaning without those 15%, for instance "Together they have finally reached the blank which allowed them to blank" I think one needs to know about 4000 words to read without too many such gaps.
Congratulations on this great accomplishment! :-) Perhaps one day you might travel to Germany... https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=most+beautiful+German+songs Until then, please enjoy these beautiful German songs :-)
Your post spoke to me. I didn't learn German in school. A couple of my friends, growing up, were native German speakers and so I learned a few words way back then and always had an interest in learning more. I didn't start learning the language, however, until I was 63 years old - two years ago. An illness had left my brain somewhat damaged and I thought a daily routine of trying to learn German was just what the doctor ordered.
So, two years later I can read "Der Spiegel" newspaper online with a little help from a translator for words I have not learned on Duolingo. I would recommend that to you to help bring along your reading skills. My motivation is simply to strengthen my memory and improve on my ability to learn new things. Much of the language is still confusing to me - word order comes immediately to mind. But there is a German-speaking group that meets for dinner one a month in my area that I hope to join to put what I have learned to use, and to gain a better knowledge of the language.
Thank you for posting. And good luck to you.
JMBarrett52 - There is a group that meets once a month for dinner at The German House at the university. I've been waiting until my German is better and the school year starts up. Maybe I should just go. No one is allowed to speak anything but German at this house, and they have a dinner where the public is invited; plus I am an alumnus.