Miscellaneous language material inquiries!

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
Speakeasy
Blue Belt
Posts: 567
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
x 1161

Re: Miscellaneous language material inquiries!

Postby Speakeasy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:38 pm

aokoye wrote: Do you not realize that there are different exams and that those exams a. focus on different types of language and b. have different ways of testing? ... Also really, misquoting me?
1. Thank you very much for your observation. Either (a) in working through the entire set of exam preparation materials offered by the major German publishing houses, it must have escaped my attention that there are differences, or (b) I should have anticipated misinterpretation of "comparable" and written "comparable by category" ... mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. With a view to correcting the utterly false impression that I have left, you might wish to acquire a collection of your own and, following a rigorous analysis, submit a detailed report to this forum.
2. I did not "misquote" you in my reply to your initial question any more than I have done above. Whereas you appear to prefer to quote the entire text of a post, I prefer to quote only those portions on which I choose to comment ... that is not "misquoting", it is merely a more parsimonious use.
3. Not everything in life is worth debating; I'm moving on.
4 x

outcast
Green Belt
Posts: 471
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:41 pm
Location: United States
Languages: 6 (Hexaglot)
SPEAKS
Native: ENglish, ESpañol
Advanced: -
High Basic: -
Basic Fluency: DEutsch, FRançais, POrtuguês, 中文 (汉语)
~
ACQUIRING
Formally: 한국말
Dabbles: -
Dormant: ITaliano

~
Plan to learn: हिन्दी , BAhasa INdonesia
Long-term Wish: PУсский, SVenska, 粵語 , NEderlands, KIswahili, বাংলা
~
x 424

Re: Miscellaneous language material inquiries!

Postby outcast » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:08 pm

Thanks a million to everyone, this afternoon I will start mining into your suggestions. I had forgotten about Amazon.de or Amazon.fr really, since I only use USA Amazon, and until recently, 淘宝 (Taobao)!
1 x
"I can speak wonderfully and clearly in zero languages, and can also fluently embarrass myself in half a dozen others."

The Trek to 2000 Korean words - B1: 1000 / 2000

User avatar
blaurebell
Green Belt
Posts: 431
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:24 pm
Location: Spain
Languages: German (N), English (C2), Spanish (B2-C1), French (B2 passive), Italian (A2), Russian (Beginner)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
x 916

Re: Miscellaneous language material inquiries!

Postby blaurebell » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:00 pm

Tomás wrote:How do you get LWT to work with your kindle?


I don't. I also don't use it on a tablet because my LWT usage is a lot of typing and I need a real keyboard for that. Basically I first read 5000 pages with LWT using it as a sort of SRS on steroids, then switch to kindle and use a monolingual dictionary only for the words that I can't guess in context. I read fairly extensively on the kindle because the dictionary isn't very fast. It helps in emergencies though.
2 x
: 13 / 45 Modern Russian 1
: 64 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - Обретение чуда
: 5787 / 35000 LWT Known

: 6919 / 10000 French Pages
: 29 / 150 French native audio
: 90 / 150 peninsular Spanish audio

Chung
Orange Belt
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:39 pm
Languages: SPEAKS: English*, French
STUDIES: Finnish, Korean
MAINTAINS: Polish, Slovak
RESURRECTS: German, Hungarian
STUDIED: Azeri, BCMS/SC, Czech, Estonian, Latin, Northern Saami, Russian, Slovenian, Turkish, Ukrainian
DABBLED: Bashkir, Chuvash, Crimean Tatar, Inari Saami, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Latvian, Lithuanian, Meadow Mari, Mongolian, Romanian, Tatar, Turkmen, Tuvan, Uzbek
x 499

Re: Miscellaneous language material inquiries!

Postby Chung » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:56 pm

outcast wrote:Hi, I actually have asked some of the following questions before in my respective language logs, but I think they got buried under my lengthy posts and went unanswered. Ok:

1. I need good recommendations for German and French B2 and C1 testing test-preparation materials. I have look around a bit but I can't really see the books, and/or the descriptions are non-existent, well at least on Amazon. In any event there are plenty of French and German learners here so I am asking for you to take just a moment of your time and recommend something to me. I don't need a detailed description, a recommended title and publisher along with a sentence or two on what makes the material a good buy will suffice.


I began studying German in school long ago and after a few years was offered a chance to take the B1 exam at Goethe but out of laziness and nervousness I declined. As I've been resurrecting my knowledge over the past months I've been strongly considering taking a proficiency exam this year to make my knowledge official but am not sure yet which level I'd aim for (B1 or B2) or even which exam it'd be (basically ZD vs. BULATS; TestDaF is not in the cards for me).

To expand a bit on aokoye's points (on which I'm in agreement), there are three sets of exams that could work for you: Goethe Institut's, Telc's (see here for a short thread comparing them even though there's not that much difference) and ÖSD. This last one is based in Austria and has fewer testing centers than Goethe. There's also DSH, which is meant for someone wanting to study at a German university and get lectures in German, but I somehow doubt that you want to go that way.

Within the Goethe Institut you can sign up for Zertifikat, TestDaF or BULATS. Zertifikat is the best known and fairly general in coverage. TestDaF is more suitable if your goal is to go into academia in the German-speaking world (as opposed to taking DSH to demonstrate your ability before enrolling at a German university - see here for a comparison between TestDaF and DSH). BULATS is more suitable if you're focused on proving your ability to an employer. As you see, how you prepare and which set of prep material you choose will indeed vary as aokoye has mentioned. The market for German proficiency test preparation does seem to be dominated by courses and guides meant for Goethe's Zertifikat exams with fewer options targeted explicitly for the others.

In any case, the best way to find the test prep stuff on Amazon.com (no need to go to .uk, .ca or .de) is to type "zertifikat deutsch", "telc deutsch", "prüfungstraining" and similar. There's a ton of stuff to buy, and I've read posts here and there that test prep published by Hueber is pretty good, which isn't to say that Cornelsen or Klett/Langenscheidt are slouches. There are some blogs by people who've passed the certification exams including Goethe C1 Test Prep, How to prepare for an advanced language exam. Lessons from my Goethe-Institut C1 success, and Passing the Goethe-Zertifikat-B2 exam: a post-mortem. This one is for B1 but the post by Setareh Fhk shows that he got a lot out of test prep manuals; specifically "Fit fürs Zertifikat B1" and "Zertifikat B1 neu 15 Übungsprüfungen" published by Hueber, and "So geht's noch besser zum Goethe-/ÖSD-Zertifikat B1" published by Klett. For B2 onwards, Hueber has the series "Fit fürs Zertifikat..." while Klett has the series "Mit Erfolg Zum Goethe-Zertifikat..."

There are also some free mock exams from Goethe and telc (just click on the level that interests you, and then click on "practice material" for some samples). It can't hurt to check out mock exams from ÖSD which seem closely aligned with Goethe's stuff but is better known in Austria.

In any case, these test prep manuals are just part of what you need, and you'd probably be working through regular textbooks or exposing yourself to as much as German as possible every day so that you minimize the chance of being thrown off by something on the exam.
5 x

User avatar
aokoye
Blue Belt
Posts: 888
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:14 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Languages: English (N), German (B2), Swedish (beginner), Dutch (beginner), French (beginner)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2935
x 1252
Contact:

Re: Miscellaneous language material inquiries!

Postby aokoye » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:36 pm

Speakeasy wrote:
aokoye wrote: Do you not realize that there are different exams and that those exams a. focus on different types of language and b. have different ways of testing? ... Also really, misquoting me?
1. Thank you very much for your observation. Either (a) in working through the entire set of exam preparation materials offered by the major German publishing houses, it must have escaped my attention that there are differences, or (b) I should have anticipated misinterpretation of "comparable" and written "comparable by category" ... mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. With a view to correcting the utterly false impression that I have left, you might wish to acquire a collection of your own and, following a rigorous analysis, submit a detailed report to this forum.
2. I did not "misquote" you in my reply to your initial question any more than I have done above. Whereas you appear to prefer to quote the entire text of a post, I prefer to quote only those portions on which I choose to comment ... that is not "misquoting", it is merely a more parsimonious use.
3. Not everything in life is worth debating; I'm moving on.


I will take your point on my allegations of misquoting and agree that not everything in life is worth debating. Most of my post wasn't actually pointed in that direction. That aside I think it is important to know what the differences and similarities in resources are. Given you have apparently read through a number of them it seems logical that I ask you what similarities and differences are (that appears to be part of the original question). I am also actually rather curious as to whether or not and where you found test prep materials on Deutsche Welle. It was my understanding that they didn't have any but I would be happy if you proved me wrong.

Not everyone has the ability or feels comfortable freely acquiring the published materials you have and thus actually knowing what's in the text (information that you have) is logical concern. Additionally not everyone has the time to read through more than one or two test prep book regardless if they have the material resources to actually get those books. Again, this is why your knowledge on the similarities and differences is important and not just a flippant question.
0 x
Prefered gender pronouns: Masculine

User avatar
aokoye
Blue Belt
Posts: 888
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 6:14 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Languages: English (N), German (B2), Swedish (beginner), Dutch (beginner), French (beginner)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2935
x 1252
Contact:

Re: Miscellaneous language material inquiries!

Postby aokoye » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:26 pm

Chung wrote:Within the Goethe Institut you can sign up for Zertifikat, TestDaF or BULATS. Zertifikat is the best known and fairly general in coverage. TestDaF is more suitable if your goal is to go into academia in the German-speaking world (as opposed to taking DSH to demonstrate your ability before enrolling at a German university - see here for a comparison between TestDaF and DSH). BULATS is more suitable if you're focused on proving your ability to an employer. As you see, how you prepare and which set of prep material you choose will indeed vary as aokoye has mentioned. The market for German proficiency test preparation does seem to be dominated by courses and guides meant for Goethe's Zertifikat exams with fewer options targeted explicitly for the others.

I just wanted to note that TestDaF isn't organized by the Goethe Institut, though they were one of the partners in the creation of the test. I'm pretty sure it's offered in fewer places than the Goethe Institut tests and is offered far less frequently. At the Goethe Institut in Berlin the C1 test is offered 10 times a year. In contrast TestDaF is offered 5 times a year globally. For me there's a major advantage to TestDaF in that I'm seriously looking at doing my MA in Germany and the TestDaF is accepted everywhere if you score with a B2 whereas most universities don't accept the Goethe C1 test. It's an issue, unsurprisingly, of what the tests are testing.
0 x
Prefered gender pronouns: Masculine

mcthulhu
White Belt
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:01 pm
Languages: English (native); strong reading skills - Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Slovene, Farsi; fair reading skills - Polish, Czech, Dutch, Esperanto, Portuguese; beginner/rusty - Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
x 28

Re: Miscellaneous language material inquiries!

Postby mcthulhu » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:52 pm

On the ereader question - I use an Ipad, though I rarely use the default Ibooks app. I mostly use an ebook reader called Marvin, which I like much better. It allows me to specify online dictionaries to use for highlighted words. The format is epub, You can find tons of German and French epubs for free at places like www.mobileread.com.

I also have the free Kindle app installed on my Ipad, so I can read anything from my Kindle library on the Ipad as well. This includes a lot of books from Amazon, but also .mobi books I've gotten from other sources. The Kindle foreign language dictionaries also work in the app. Amazon offers large numbers of free books in German and French (many of which I've stockpiled, on the grounds of - why not?). Alexa can read aloud books from my Kindle library, FWIW.

I use the Cloudreader app for .pdf books and other formats, like .cbr. So, the Ipad lets me cover a lot of bases and book formats don't really matter too much to me, though I prefer epub. Also, as previously noted, you can use Calibre or its standalone converter to convert among formats; the Calibre blog also includes a couple of scripts to do bulk conversions. I do own an older Kindle but it's gathering dust. I have an Ipod with the same apps as the Ipad, which I use less often because of the battery life; but it's much more portable, and good for reading while you're standing in line. You can probably use your smartphone as an ereader too.

Of course, I read a fair amount on my desktop computer too, in various formats, including the Kindle app for the desktop, Stanza, my own ereader application, etc.

The downside of using a general-purpose tablet or computer, of course, is that despite the greater flexibility, there are many more opportunities for distraction than with a dedicated ereader device.
2 x


Return to “Practical Questions and Advice”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests