Hi German Learners, Can You Help Me Out?
So, I'm level two in German. I just want to become more fluent, and actually make it more serious. So I want your advice. What should I know?
... there's a certain amount of work and practice you need to do to get past the beginning level basics. Doing that is going to take time, comprised of regular small (or sometimes not so small) practice sessions. I like to do a little bit in the morning when I wake up, and then a little more at night.
For me, learning a language is not a sprint; it's not even a long race ... it's more like a lifetime passion. Things that are worth learning, take time to learn. I'm always trying to be better than I am now. Do you know the Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi? I don't try to be better than others, I just work on being the best I can be. When I've done that, then I can work on making myself better than my best. After that, I can work on becoming a master.
I think if you can enjoy the small victories you make when starting to learn a language, your chances of having the patience and perseverance you need to see it through to the more advanced levels become greater. For example, for me it sure is fun when I can recognize things in the news on German television (ard.de) or radio (ndr.de). These things make me feel like I'm learning more, and becoming better at understanding German. Success can become a habit; the more small successes you can accumulate, the more you get into the habit of becoming even more successful, and your language learning starts to snowball.
I believe it will happen for you. Be patient with yourself, and keep plugging. Find something you like about the language itself, and use that for motivation to engage in daily or even twice-daily practice. For example, you'll notice my streak is less than a hundred days: A long streak is not important to me, and sometimes I go off on a tangent to look at other sources to find out something interesting about German and, as a result, lose my streak. That's OK! I'm not here for the streak; I'm here for the love of the German language, and for the camaraderie of this group of people who share this love and are also into learning languages.
I don't think the above thoughts were exactly what you were originally looking for when you wrote your post - still, I sincerely hope you find them useful!
If you want to be serious, you have to use as many resources as possible. Try listening to some music in German and attempt to figure out the lyrics as best you can (or look it up, since your just beginning) do whatever you can to make the language to seem as familiar to you as possible. You could watch a German movie with subtitles and read out what the people are saying so you're more familiar with speaking it, you'll sound more native the more you practice. Remember, persistence is key. Have fun while your living through this one of a kind experience! :D
Hey, Im also quite new to language learning.. fortunately i have the privilege of taking my time in the process.
Im level 21 on German, over the course of a 221 day streak.
I gradually start to read internet content in german, talk with people i meet in the community. Theres this totally awesome quality tv series you gotta watch : Deutschland 83. English subs are available.
What i do is 50 XP per day (Minimum) consisting of:
1 Lesson with around 4-6 new words + 4 Practices
This way Everything stays GOLDEN :D
Another great thing in duolingo is that it knows which words are your weakest and plans your practices accordingly. when im uncertain about a word i intentionally hover over it to see the translation. this way the app knows.
Ive been doing this for the past 8 months or so and its totally starting to pay off.
Hope this helps. Have fun learning!
People are giving you nice advices but those would be great for more advanced learners. At your level I would really suggest that you simply do more of Duolingo before thinking of doing anything else. I'd say getting one third or one half down the tree could be a good time to try other resources. At that point you should have some vocabulary under your belt. Without it your experience out or Duolingo would be very painful.
If Duolingo's your only source for German, try to diversify.
Try listening to German songs once you get to a good enough point in the skill tree; one that I'd recommend is Die Perfekte Welle. Try understanding the song as well, if you can understand it by that level.
Try reading German passages outside of Duolingo and trying to understand them. Also, if you have trouble understanding grammar, just try searching up on the topic or asking here.
You also need to practise your hearing skills, so you might want to try listening to some German passages for practice. There's this show I'd recommend too: Extr@ auf Deutsch, preferably with subtitles.
But the main thing is... don't take long pauses/breaks before you make any significant progress from your last break. I've done that, and... well, let's just say I'm basically relearning what I learnt when I was Level 2 or 3, because I've forgotten a LOT.
Also, if you just can't get some specific words into your head, try using flashcards. Anki is a good software to make digital flashcards if you're interested.