Current focus: EndSoftwarePatents.org: wiki, mailing list, news, donate

Portrait photo of Ciaran

Learning German

Below is a copy of a comment I made on another website.

FWIW, I'm also learning German. It's the fifth language I'm learning as an adult and it's definitely the toughest. I've never found any good software or edu-websites, I just use the old methods. I watch a lot of German telly:

* http://mediathek.daserste.de/s... [daserste.de]
* http://www.zdf.de/Sendungen-vo... [www.zdf.de]

Series are the easiest because you can get to know the characters and then they're kinda predictable so you can't get completely lost. The News is easy enough because there's lots of pictures and you'll know the context of most stories, but it doesn't teach you conversational German. Comedy can be the toughest. On Das Erste, there's a crime drama most Friday and Sunday nights called Tatort which is good because there's also a version for blind people ("hÃrfassung" - o-umlaut between h and r, if that doesn't display right), which has everything of the normal version plus one extra voice describing the visuals, so you hear a lot more words.

I also read German translations of books I've already read. And when I'm cooking I leave on WDR5 talk radio in the background, all to help develop a feel for how the language sounds when used correctly:

* http://www.listenlive.eu/germa... [listenlive.eu]

And I do tandems with a native German:

* http://conversationexchange.co... [conversationexchange.com]

Oh, and of course I'm working my way through a book with grammar and exercises.

Yeh, German's a tough nut to crack alright. Unlike Spanish, you have to do a lot of grammar before you can really start building sentences (the declensions are what frustrate me most) but I think it's a language where your effort won't show at first, but then there's the breakthrough later.


(Go: homepage of Ciarán O'Riordan)

Valid XHTML 1.1! Powered by GNU Made with Emacs Join FSF! (I'm member #8)

(I made the Emacs and GNU buttons. Feel free to do with them whatever you like.)

© Copyright 2014 Ciarán O'Riordan. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved. Distribution of modified versions of all or part of this article are permitted, provided that such works carry three things: (1) this copyright notice, (2) prominent notices stating the that it has been changed, and (3) information for how to obtain the original (such as a URL).