Passed B1!!! :D
Vielen Dank für eure Glückwünsche! Manche Menschen haben mir gefragt, ob ich ihnen einige Hinweise vorschlagen kann.
Great summary to save on your phone and use (don't worry if you don't understand everything).
--> There are many other posts about methods that can be used, so I won't go into them here (podcasts, reading, newspapers, Youtube, Pimsleur, Memrise, dictionaries, etc.). What I will say is what is never mentioned: ALWAYS KNOW YOUR OWN CAPABILITY. If you aren't realistic about the level you're at with the language, you'll waste a lot of time and effort, and lose motivation very quickly.
For example, when I started, someone suggested reading newspapers, because "you'll pick it up so quickly". So I subscribed to a few daily newsletters from German news sites. Needless to say, having just started out with the language, I didn't understand a single thing, and wasted a lot of time trying to decipher every word with a dictionary. None of these were retained, and I felt very despondent and ready to give up. Similarly for music, podcasts, online reading exercises, etc.
Be realistic with yourself: newspapers are B2. Most teen books are B1/B2. Even songs can be tough. Eventually, you'll start learning words by context. If you understand 80% of an article, the remaining 20% can be figured out quite easily, and then you only need to retain the 20% for next time. However, if you understand 20% of an article, then the remaining 80% will be a nightmare and a waste of time.
--> You will lose motivation. This is a definite. But be prepared for when it happens. I did for an entire month, where I avoided German completely, thanks to those bloody adverbs which I never could remember.
However, keep reminding yourself why you are doing this. You only learn by making mistakes. There will ALWAYS be words in an article or online or in an exercise etc. that you won't understand. That's the beauty of language, which lies in its inherent ability to describe the same situation in a new way. Don't let that put you out, or make you give up.
---> Retention is a memory-learning game. That's all. Keep repeating the words, and use apps that are good at it (I used Memrise). A little bit every day IS MUCH BETTER than a lot, one day a week.
---> Finally, it's about you, not someone else's learning method or suggestion or magic miracle that will make you learn it in 2 weeks. Nope - sorry to say, everyone is different. I learnt Afrikaans in school, which is very similar to German, so the word order, separable prefixes, tenses, etc. came naturally to me. Don't worry - just get on with doing it in a way that makes it fun for you. And you'll be surprised at how quickly time goes. Within a heartbeat it'll be July, or December, or August, and you'll look back and laugh at how you struggled with the pronouns and the "food words" and the basic verbs. Trust me, you'll be fine :)
Thought I'd share and say the biggest THANK YOU to Duolingo for helping me pass the Goethe-Zertifikat B1 exam! :D I could not have done it without this amazing website - thanks for an excellent German course.
Of course I used other methods to help (took no classes though), yet Duolingo has been there right from the beginning, and I still continue to use it regularly.
It was a difficult four/five months teaching myself the language from scratch in my spare time in a country with no German, but it has paid off tremendously :) What a wonderful language!
For those struggling, don't worry, you'll get there. Keep reminding yourself why you started, and may you continue to have the courage to make mistakes. This is how you learn a language. I wish you all the best of luck on your German-learning journeys and thanks again Duolingo!
Hey, congratulations, B1 in 5 months is a great thing, I'm impress.
What other methods have you used?
Do you mind telling me how much time you spent studying each day and which area you found most important in the beginning (vocabulary, grammar, listening).
If you have tips for retaining vocabulary, I'd love to know (I'm having trouble remembering).