The 100 Day Challenge - And Useful Tips
today marks 100 days until I move to Germany permanently, and I want to keep up a 100 day Duolingo streak in preparation (and to calm as well as aggravate my excitement and my nerves!) Conveniently, now that university semester is over I have loads more time for checking out every app/website I can find, writing to my pen pals, hunting down great audio resources and so on, and so I figure this would be a great opportunity to gather some useful resources for everyone and keep posting them here. As a linguist I am also always searching for linguistic theories to help explain the motivation behind some of those German rules we think are crazy but are actually well-motivated, so when I find those I'll post them too.
Anyway, it's quite possible no-one will see what I have to share, but I still wanted to make this pledge public so that I have something to hold myself accountable to. I also invite anyone who thinks they can make a 100 day streak to join me! Let's do this!
Oh, and very-small-but-useful-tip no 1.: German sentences use a "time before place" word order, as in: Wir gehen um 3 nach Hause. I just found that out myself and thought it was a good one to know!
Tip 2. www.linguee.com is an online dictionary that searches for instances where your target word has been used in a translation, and shows you it in a sentence in both English and German. I find it's useful if, say, I'm trying to use a new word with a penpal. Looking in a normal dictionary just gives you a list of translations, but Linguee will allow you to see the possible translations in context, and know if you're using them right. Give it a go!
Tip 3. I've found the youtube playlist 'Hammar Grammar' really useful. Even if you're looking at a lesson on something you already know it can help to hear an explanation rather than just read one, especially as the teacher uses real life examples and makes everything quite visual. In fact I learnt the dative prepositions off by heart by watching the Dative Case lesson once, because the teacher sung a song to remember that I still get stuck in my head! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ColK2vJUILU
Tip 4. Here's a practical thing I learned from writing to my German penpals: I used to always use the word 'wenn' to mean 'if/whether/in the event that' etc, and it turns out there are actually a couple of German words for these contexts, so it was an important lesson for me! This website explains it well, and had loads of other useful posts too, by the looks of it. :) https://yourdailygerman.wordpress.com/tag/difference-wenn-ob/
Tip 5. I've seen quite a few lists of noun endings which give away the gender of a word, but I've recently found one from a linguistics text which seems a bit more thorough, so I'm going to quote it here. I'm trying to remember them by putting them to music - I think Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' would be useful for the feminine endings because if you sing them to the 'oh oh oh' bit then you are only trying to remember three endings at a time, which seems easier on the brain. I haven't found a good tune for the other endings yet - perhaps Jingle Bells would work for the Neuter words because it is also in lots of three (jing-le bells). Anyway, I'm asking you creative minds to help me find a catchy tune for them all! Here's the textbook section on them:
All nouns ending in -tät, -schaft, -heit, -keit, -ion, and -unga are feminine and have plurals formed by adding -en.
All nouns ending in -chen, -lein, and -tum are neuter. The plural looks and is pronounced exactly the same as the singular.
All nouns ending in -ismus, -ist, -ant and many ending in -er are masculine. Their plurals are: -ismen, -isten, -anten, and -Ø (which is a linguistic word for nothing), respectively.
A more complete list would include:
masculine -ich, -ig, -ling, -s, -and, -är, -ast, -eur/ör, -ent, -ier, -iker, -ikus, -or
feminine -ei, -a, -ade, -age, -aille, -aise/-äse, -ance, -äne, -anz, -elle, -ette, -euse, -ie, -enz, -ere, -ik, -ille, -ine, -itis, -ive, -ose, -sis/se, -ur, -üre
neuter -le, -cht, -tel, -eau, -ett, -ing, -(i)um, -ma, -ment
Cited: Busey, Johnathan. “A Linguistic Introduction to German for the Non-Linguist: An Accompanying Guide to Any First-Year German Course.” University of Florida. University of Florida Graduate School, Gainesville, FL. n.d. Dec 2001. Lecture.
Tip 6. Why The Verb Takes 1st Position After Clauses - a helpful explanation https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4956790
Tip 7. Vorleser.net is an absolutely brilliant, free audiobook website, particularly in the Kinder section where you can listen to kids stories and download the PDF, and really learn something new every time you listen to it. Check it out http://vorleser.net/grimm_aschenputtel/hoerbuch.html
Hi, Good luck with your plans! I remember when they finally taught us the mnemonic Te Ka Mo Lo to remember word order. Te = temporal, Ka = kausal, Mo = modal, and Lo = lokal. It's explained here on this site from Dartmouth under IV.: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~german/Grammatik/WordOrder/WordOrder.html
It was such a relief to have a system instead of a "wortsalat." ;)
Look forward to seeing all you post! Danke. :) p.s. don't put too much pressure on yourself! It's a big move with big adjustments in store! :)
Thanks! I'm in. Ich drücke dir die Daumen ;) Good luck ! Although I don't have that much time, I'll try to keep that flame up and burning :)
I'm in for the 100 day challenge - I'm only 3 days into duolingo though feel dedicated and motivated as I have only 6 months to learn German well enough to get by in Austria on my own - ekk, nervous - BUT.. it can be done. It's on!
Same thing here, I have a bit more than 6 months but it's still a huge challenge! Good luck ;)
Hey guys, how are we all doing today? Thanks again for the messages of support - for the sake of keeping the discussion board relatively simple I won't reply to everyone but I do appreciate it, and I'm still giving lingots to everyone who pledges to join us. Just added another tip to my original post. Enjoy!
Thank you Katherine for inviting me to join this challenge! And as you suggested, since I'm already quite a way into my streak, I'll try to make it to 200 :)
Actually I think you deserve 5 lingots for inviting me, so here you go, I'll give you 6 back :)
Too useful plan ! I gave you an encouragement lingot hope that you achieve your goal and I think I can make a 100 day streak so I will Join your challenge ! Let's do this .. I found this web site http://www.deutsch-lernen.com/learn-german-online/e_dc.php It produced lessons for beginners and advanced lessons .. I use it to move on my grammar and try to make it better .
I just completed a 100 day streak in German. I have to admit that I used a few streak freezes and had a few days when I just did an easy lesson to keep my streak going. The question now is when do I quit.
Hey it's still a good achievement. As you can see above, Arvind has also just finished 100 and is aiming for 200 - maybe that should be your next target!
Hey Joeh, great to see that both of us are on course for the 200 :) Keep up the good work! Viel Glück!
Way to go Arvind! I just hit 160 today. It looks like you're just a few days ahead of me. As bikers say, You're in front and I'm drafting.
Haha, I did not even realize it! Thanks Joe, and keep up the good work yourself! Viel Glück :)
I've found this youtube playlist really helpful for learning phrases: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZeHovsNSYU&list=PLE_v4fItzQWlcO5jKNVOJCJLOkxIvDZtZ
Just added my new favourite learning resource to the list of tips - audiobooks to make you feel (almost) as good at German as a German four-year-old! I'm kidding, but it really is excellent.
Thanks Katherine, that was a really useful link! Next week I'm getting to 100 days living here in Germany too =p And of course I joined the challenge, I'm half way there ;)
100 days! Yeah! Ich komme auch! Great challenge. "You know me, love – downhill, one ski, no poles.? " PAUL KEATING, on taking risks
How exciting! If you don't mind, I might try reading your German tips. I've studied German for two years in school before joining Duolingo and grammar and sentence structure are still challenges! Viel Glueck!
Hello, that sounds terrific, I'm learning German too and would love it if we could cheer each other up... you can add me as a friend if you wish
Wow! It's great to see so many people joining in the challenge, and I've given a lingot to everyone who said they're in! How are you all going? Thank you for all the messages of support, and for those who've asked me, I'm going well, thanks. :) My streak was at zero thanks to the new coach feature and the fact that I hadn't realised that you only keep your streak if you achieve the daily targets you set yourself (I'm sure most of us were caught by that one!), so as you can see I'm at a whopping 4-day streak now :P
Anyway, I've edited my comment with another tip. I guess that's how I'll do this.
Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the tip! I love linguee! I use it a lot and in many languages. It's very helpful und praktisch. Keep 'em tips coming! Thanks again :) All the best.
I'm in. Learnt German at school and hated it, but decided to give it another try. Maybe this time I will be able to master the grammar. Doing French and Italian at the same time, which are languages I prefer.
I'm all in! I'll be looking for houses with my girlfriend in Germany when 2016 comes around, until then I'll be hanging around Texas. I had briefly studied german in the past. I'm super excited to be learning it again, it's such a fascinating language!
Haha, awesome! I've only been in Duolingo for two days, so maybe more practice and I might do it!
Go for it now! It's so much fun in the early days and getting into a big streak straightaway is a good habit to start. Giving you an encouragement lingot. :)
Hello everyone, I would like to join, I hope we all together will be here after 100 days :)
If you want, we all together will be friends in list. It's good, because we can check each other every day every second :)
Nowadays I can learn ( and practise ) just a little, because my exams coming in the university and I have a lot of plans what I should to do ( for example: I would like a new job, move to more beautiful region and learn some new things etc)
So.. If somebody is thinking something similar like this: " I haven't enought time" or " I can't do this.." , " Maybe later".. Then .. just write me, and do it together! :)
See you soon
I started following you :) Anyone else who wishes to follow each others progress feel free to follow me!
Alright! I'm also following you :) Don't worry about my weekly points. Most of them just repeat (with timer) on my English tree. So, if you want, I will share with you, what I really did every day in German course.
Amazing! 100 days streak is a big goal but if you set up yourself to it, it must be really beneficial! You're a real inspiration! Have a good time in Germany :)
Ok, I'm in! thank you, that's great tool! So I can make a brief list of useful translation/vocabulary list:
Thanks for sharing some tips. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. I'm in and even though I'm not too far away from a 100 day streak the extra motivation will be very, very helpful at this point! Best~~
Fantastic!!! Good for you. :) Now can you make it 200? There are a couple of people on here who are aiming for the big 2-0-0. :D
Hey everyone, I hope you are all keeping up those shiny new duo streaks! I haven't had a lot of time to look up tips and things (since I'm doing my university exams and final assignments at the moment) but I remembered a discussion thread I started a while ago that people seemed to find useful concerning word order, so I've added the link to the tips above. Happy learning!
Hi Valeitale, unfortunately I just lost my streak! I had a German friend stay with me for a day and we did a lot of German practice, but I forgot duo for the day! I was up to about 75 days, too :( Glad to see you are doing better than me!
yes exactly - I haven't done much duo since but I've been so busy organising my trip that I'm constantly on German websites so it's all good!
It is well past your 100 days but I just hit my first 100 day streak. Currently learning Italian for a trip in April but I will get to German next I think. How are you enjoying Germany? I will see Germany one day. May paternal Greatgrandfather was born there and his daughter in law (my grandmother) was a German born in the German enclave of Grimm, Russia
Good for you! Yes I couldn't get on the internet one day and lost my streak but I kept working at it anyway and found I could speak German quite well when I got there, which was a lovely surprise. Have fun on your travels and I hope you get to Germany soon!