Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

12

"Rules" for pronunciations are merely descriptive not prescriptive. The pronounciation depends on the whole word. The numbers up until 20 were more often used than numbers greater than 20 when the German language developed. That's why the pronunciation of "vierzehn" could develop more independently from "vier" than for example "vierhundert". So, the word ...


10

I've used what I call the Maria Braun method. In the film "The Marriage of Maria Braun," the hero ask Maria, "Where did you learn English so well?" The gist of her answer was "By dating." I've dated one or two native speakers, and any number of German-Americans whose German was better than mine. This advice is not suitable for a married person unless your ...


9

For nouns: gender and plural strong/weak noun declension (1) For verbs: past stem, complete spoken past phrase, geben, gab, habe gegeben. Furthermore, if a specific preposition is required, then it makes sense to put it there. But not so much for gehen as it could be almost anything. And then, note if there is a self reference. ...


9

Skype offers a fantastic opportunity for learning languages online. You can have free, live conversations with native speakers, and even use video for a more complete immersion experience. Learning languages with Skype is very effective. Finding a language exchange partner The first difficulty, though, is finding willing native speakers. If you’re not in a ...


8

For both 't' and 'l' the tip of the tongue is in the same spot (on the speaker's alveolar ridge, to be precise). When 't' is followed by 'l', German speakers leave the tip of the tongue in that place, merely narrowing their tongue to go from one sound to the other. Thus, the release of the plosive 't' is very close to that of 'k' in this case.


8

This is a very good question. I can only state assumptions. I think it evolved as a quirk because it's easier to pronounce. For example, the word 'fünfzehn' (15) is sometimes pronounced 'fuffzehn', and the word 'zwanzig' (20) is sometimes pronounced 'zwanzich' (very common in northern Germany). Try to slowly pronounce the word 'vier' with a long 'i' and ...


7

Go to a German-speaking country Talk (don't just study, don't just passively listen) Drink alcohol (relieves your natural inhibition about your bad accent, grammatical mistakes, and limited vocabulary, and it's what people do when they socialize) Buy a pocket dictionary. Has to be small enough to take everywhere and pull out for reading signs and ...


7

Prefixation is a common way to change or further precise verb meanings. According to this nice summary at Canoon.net we have separable prefixes: verb and prefix are separated on inflection. ab, an, auf, aus, bei, dar, ein, fehl, für, inne, los, nach, rück, vor, wieder, zu, zurecht, zwischen inseparable prefixes: verb and prefix are not separated. be, ...


6

What you have here is a postvocalic r -- an r that follows a vowel. Like in British English, postvocalic r in German isn't pronounced "properly", but it does change the vowel it follows and is itself realized as a vowel (see also @Veri's answer). Compare the following English word pairs for examples (and pronounce them British in your head): bee -- beer ...


6

I cannot answer definitely, since I'm a native German (and also not a German teacher), but this is my experience: Yes, you will be able to form basic German sentences and, more important, they will likely be understood, even if not immediately. No, you will not be able to form correct German sentences after a week unless you are a language wunderkind. But ...


6

Es wird fantastisch! The main (and only) verb of the first sentence is werden in present tense. In German, it is quite common to use the present tense to denote the future. Es wird fantastisch sein! The main verb of the second sentence is sein in future tense (Futur I, which uses werden as an auxiliary verb). Thus, both sentences are correct ...


5

You could order the magazine "Deutsch Perfekt". I think it's indeed PERFECT for learning German as it offers a great mixture of articles about current issues about politics, culture etc. (The level of the articles varies from easy to demanding and the most important vocabulary of each text is always translated in a box). Furthermore, it offers excersises ...


5

I suggest watching German films. You can watch with translated subtitles first, and then try watching with the original German subtitles. (They are usually prepared for the hearing impaired - and the accuracy varies widely.) I find that helps me to connect the spoken with the written language. And you can also often find the subtitles in a simple text format ...


4

There are a lot of such prefixes: ein-, zu-, aus-, er-, zer-, ent-, ver-, vor-, nach-, gegen-, durch-, weiter-, über-, unter-, auf-, ge-, herein-, heraus-, hinein-, hinaus-, weg- and others. There is a certain logic behind them, however you need to learn which combinations are possible. E.g. for schlafen you have einschlafen, ausschlafen, entschlafen, ...


4

I went through half of volume 1 (out of 2 volumes) of FSI's German Basic Course as a complete beginner. Advantages Spaced repetition to great effect. I probably remember every single word from this course. The drills are well-designed, too. No fluff. The course focuses on learning, and wastes no time on silly tasks and stories. Clean. I really enjoyed ...


4

German forms the future tense with werden. Werden also means to become. Seeing it that way helps to understand why sein is superfluous here. Morgen werde ich 20. I'll turn 20 tomorrow. The literal translation would be: Tomorrow I become 20. which is actually a proper statement. German expresses the future that way. It is a different mind set if ...


3

There is a classification scheme for judging how good your foreign language skills are and what you are able to achieve at each level. Many organisations give classes to enable you to reach a certain level, and there is learning material available tailor-made for this purpose. I suggest you browse such material to find out which vocabulary and which grammar ...


3

Try reading the newspaper, the articles are short, and have pictures, which will help with context. Some German radio stations available online


3

Read a lot and write a lot. Listen a lot and speak a lot. Encourage people to correct you and let them know that you appreciate it whenever they do correct you. Find any topic that interests you personally, and read about it in German; that will force you to look up words and expressions, and you will easily memorize them because you have learned them in ...


3

I recorded an example how to pronounce it: https://soundcloud.com/splattne/pronunciation-of-lernst There are two slightly different ways: with a (almost) silent r with an explicit r (I guess that's difficult if you're not a native speaker; also, not so common nowadays)


2

As it may help to learn the pronunciation from audio examples provided by online dictionaries this is a good example on their limits. Speech synthesizers as used by dict.cc are prone to an artificial pronunciation, especially when it comes to a finer differentiation of sounds. In this example the sound t and the sound of k may be very similarly reproduced by ...


2

Despite the language of your post being English i'll answer in German (hopefully to make a point)... Vielleicht (und hoffentlich) ermutigt dich dies: Ich arbeite an einem wissenschaftlichen Institut. In unserer Gruppe sind Leute aus der ganzen Welt. Einige von ihnen sprechen selbst englisch nur gerade gut genug, dass man sich verständigen kann. Einer aus ...


2

Yes. One factor is how old you are but personally I was easily able to learn enough German in my first eight days in Germany with only a Lonely Planet German Phrasebook to be able to make my own simple sentences as well as manage all the day-to-day situations like shopping, transport, etc. My German is still terrible - I am hopeless at genders and cases ...


2

Start learning German in your own country. Universities and their language centers are usually a good place to learn in a small class with a pace suitable for fast learning. As soon as you can, try to find a tandem partner exchange student at your university. Find resources on the internet, find chat partners on the net, join our community on this site ...


2

If cost is not important, I really recommend the Goethe Institut Fernlernen programs. They are computer-based and you have 6 months to complete each level. They focus on reading, grammar, and vocabulary, but there is listening comprehension involved and the voice recognition system allows you to practice speaking. You need to be self-motivated, and it is ...


2

I'm currently using an old-fashioned grammar book. I simply read the particular rule and do the exercises. It's a very traditional book with no fancy figures, just text organized in categories. I follow it pedantically. But before I was able to avoid getting bored with this method, I had to understand how the German language works (it's quite different with ...


1

You can check this site: Languages similar to German If you learn German it may be easier for you to learn a language that is similar to it or that share some grammar principles with it. The site I indicated show you some languages that are similar to German and how hard it will be to learn some other similar languages if you speak German.


1

Not only you can, you should try it if you want to learn the language! Don't hesitate to produce ugly, mis-formed and clumsy phrases in the beginning: this is how we learn languages. Even with your native language as a child you did not master it on spot, just after some training and corrections from your parents. There are many communities in Internet ...


1

I am trying to go the same route as you, minus the college course. I think the key is to look around for communities on the internet that are multilingual. This site has a chat feature that I haven't explored, and live mocha also has a chat feature. Finding an irc chat room about a subject that interests you and has a high population of german speakers is ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible