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  5. German L14 - able to speak?

German L14 - able to speak?

[deactivated user]

    Hi guys,

    I've just finished Adverbs 1 and I wonder if any of you guys feel already able to speak some German i don't know like basic things. For eg I was extremely proud while I was completing the lessons but when it came to speaking, a German friend of mine just asked me "wie geht's" and all I could remember was "gut" "ich bin mude" and that's it. big big blank. I feel like I'm learning so many new things but in the same time I forget them so easily so I guess the satisfaction it's just temporary... Does this happen to any of you ?

    April 27, 2018



    this happened to me in other languages too. I am a German native speaker and I can say it is normal that German is hard the first time. We have a lot of rules and flexions, our small and capitol letters, our articles... It is not possible to learn it all very fast. For me the idiomatic in English is as hard as for others the articles in German I think but I hope you understand me if I say this: You have my respect for to try to learn my language and I would never think bad it you have a gap somewhere or something like a little shock. Something funny?: In Germany we call this a "Blackout" if someone has for a moment a total stop in the brain and does not know anything this moment. Yes, we use an English word for this :-)

    • 1635

    Your friend did well to talk to you in German.

    YES, it's natural to 'draw blank'. Language is like any other skill, the movements will be come more natural with practice (like that that your friend offered you by asking "wie geht's". Now you that you've had time to reflect, I bet there are 5 other things you could think of that you wish you had said (and know how to).

    So, ... next time you see your friend, initiate the conversation (nothing wrong with rehearsing or preparing a script)


    Does this happen to any of you ?

    Yes, it happens a lot. Duolingo does a good job of teaching you to read and pronounce words, but it is not strong on teaching you listening and conversational skills. These are difficult skills to learn and is common with most new language learners, myself included.

    Some things I have found helpful to improve my listening and conversational skills are:

    1. Online tutoring with a live teacher

    2. Listening to German music, translating the lyrics and then singing along with the songs (I like the group Silbermond)

    3. Watching German videos on YouTube (I like the Easy German channel)

    4. Listening to Pimsleur for German CD's


    Gut is enough or Ich bin müde also. Go with gut


    We all have several sets of "vocabularies" in our heads, even in our native languages. The largest is our "passive reading vocabulary" - words we can recognize and understand if we read them. The smallest is always, "Spontaneous, spoken vocabulary." It's normal to be able to understand before you are able to speak.


    I'm nowhere near speaking level in German, but I can speak Italian pretty well in conversation. And yes, it still happens to me quite a lot. Even something simple, somtimes I have to stop and think about it for a second. The problem is when you don't actively use a language every day or think in that langauge, the language becomes more like somthing you "memorized" as information that you have to recall (if that makes sense) more than something automatic that you use on the fly. Being able to speak in a language is not the same as just knowing how to say things in a language. I'm still learning more Italian almost every single day, but I can say with confidence that I was able to hold a conversation much better 6 months ago when I had only half the knowledge I do now, and that's because I don't speak it nearly as much as I used to.


    yesyesyes it does I can read it if it's paper or something that's not talking to me, but I actually can't process the words in my head when someone speaks to me.... maybe because i'm really new


    OMG this is my daily life with Duo !! By now I'm just considering the "PRATICE" mode as I find it challenging with the hope that after hundreds of repetitions things will find a room in my brain. Because this is what I did to get into english, I trust getting the option to pronouce (with speech recognition) will help but didn't find a way to do it in Duo. Is that any possible at all ?....

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