Resources to practice English to German translation for mid-level German Duolingo student
I use Duolingo and Lingvist for learning German, and my ability to recognize German words and correctly translate them into English is steadily improving (limited by my vocabulary, which is addressed by Lingvist, and my knowledge of grammar, which is addressed as I move up Duolingo's skill tree).
However, my ability to translate from English to German is worse off by orders of magnitude.
Another problem is that sometimes I am able to correctly translate a word that appears in a specific sentence, but often struggle when the same word is used in a different context. This is especially true of adjectives and adverbs. I feel this is related to the lack of English-to-German translation practice, as I am probably just memorizing German words along with the specific context.
What resources do you guys use for working on your English to German translation? Would it be advisable to go for learning the reverse tree while I am still halfway through the German tree?
It helps a little bit if you do the "reverse tree" (English from German, in this case). If you have a reasonably good handle on German words and some grammar, you can do this after you finish the tree or whenever you feel comfortable.
I long finished the German from English tree and gilded it. Nowadays to break the monotony, I do the reverse tree and it keeps me engaged again. You get to do a lot more English to German translation, and as an added bonus, all the instructions etc. are in German.
Hope that helps.
You could try Clozemaster? It's based on finding the correct missing word to use in German sentences, and has lots of variations of sentences using the same words in different contexts as well as some good grammar exercises. It's a bit more advanced than duolingo and assumes a fair bit of language knowledge but I'm finding it quite helpful.
I second the Clozemaster recommendation. I find it very useful to become accustomed to the way things are expressed. Also, you can choose various levels to work on, switch off between them or even try filling in the blanks without the multiple choice option.
I have started the reverse tree to answer this very same question.
I also highly recommend using Anki for good picture->german word retention (key word: retention, not learning). No native language allowed. This really helps with 'production' of german words from an idea in your head, rather than producing an english word and then translating it into german.
A couple posts specifically about making flashcards (I have read Gabriel Wyner's book, and recommend it, even if you don't follow his methods verbatim): How to learn German Grammar with Anki: https://fluent-forever.com/how-to-learn-german-grammar-with-anki/ Tips for good flashcards: https://fluent-forever.com/create-better-flashcards/
Here's a really good post within our community with a much better explanation of Anki: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12600786
Thank you for the suggestion! I have been meaning to get started with flashcards, and was aware of memrise but not of Anki. I see, based on the post you mentioned, that both are complementary to each other, so will give both a go.
Downloaded Anki and currently putting it through its paces! Seems like a great software! The documentation is quite good too...
I have exactly the same issues with translating from English to German, it seems a lot more difficult to do.
True. In the Duolingo FAQs, they mentioned that introducing the reverse translation resulted in half the student retention rate. That's why they have focused on 'learning-language to native-language' translation.