A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

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tastyonions
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Re: A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

Postby tastyonions » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:55 am

Does your computer not have a CD drive?
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Peej
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Re: A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

Postby Peej » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:26 pm

tastyonions wrote:Does your computer not have a CD drive?


My laptop does but I don't have a charger anymore because my dog chewed through it :lol: Never got round to replacing it, out of sheer laziness, as I was still able to access the internet through my phone.

Work provided me with a laptop so I could work from home during the pandemic, so I'm using that for my studying but it doesn't have a disc drive unfortunately.

I'm starting a phased return to work next week, so I'll need to buy a charger for my laptop at some point before I'm eventually back full time and they ask for the laptop back. Don't fancy having to study through my phone.
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Peej
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Re: A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

Postby Peej » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:39 am

So I didn't manage to get a CD player yesterday. When ordering online it said "Order now, collect right away" but when I got to the store to collect it I discovered that they actually meant "Order now, collect tomorrow!" However I was able to use my daughter's CD player, so I did finally make some progress with the Take Off In German course. I completed the rest of unit 1 that I had left to do: 1.2 Meetings, 1.3 In a cafe, 1.4 Lake Constance, 1.5 Hotel Gertrud as well as the test and summary sections. Really enjoyed this. There's some brilliant dialogues that really get you thinking. This all took me 41 minutes.

I then spent 17 minutes with Duolingo and earned 88 XP. I completed 6 lessons of the unit "Animals 1." I learnt a new verb "fressen," which means "to eat" but only in the context of an animal eating. They also introduced a lot of new vocabulary relating to animals and are also really drilling the grammar that they previously taught.

After that I listened to episode 13 of Coffee Break "More on ordering and paying" (25 minutes.) Grammar wise there was a real focus on the nominative and accusative cases again, however it was mainly based around how this affects the endings of adjectives rather than the definite and indefinite articles.

Overall I spent 1 hour and 23 minutes studying yesterday and feel I gained a lot from it.
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Peej
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Re: A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

Postby Peej » Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:55 pm

I picked up my CD player yesterday. It's one of those small personal ones. It feels very nostalgic having one of these again, remember when they were the must have piece of technology!? :lol:

Anyway I spent 30 minutes with the Take Off In German course yesterday. I started unit 2 and completed lessons 2.1 Asking the time, 2.2 Opening and closing times and 2.3 Going to the cinema. The dialogues are at quite a quick pace. Even though I was understanding the main gist of the conversations, I had to listen to some of them a few times to understand them properly and even then I was still misunderstanding a few words. When reading the transcripts of the dialogues though, I understand it all perfectly first time. I'm definitely going to have to work on my listening skills.

I also spent 18 minutes with Duolingo and 24 minutes listening to episode 14 of Coffee Break "Checking into a hotel" . I completed 9 lessons on Duolingo, earning 134 XP, which meant I completed the "Animals 1" section and have also now completed the whole of the first block of units.

Overall I spent 1 hour and 12 minutes studying yesterday.

Anyway that is the end of week 2. I'll write a review of the week up later on today and set out my plans for the week ahead.
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Peej
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Re: A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

Postby Peej » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:16 pm

Week 2 Review: 25/06/20- 01/07/20

Duolingo- 2 hours and 24 minutes- 2 main sections completed, 45 lessons completed (plus 3 practice/ review lessons,) first half of set 2 of the stories section (5 stories) completed, earned 733 XP

Coffee Break Podcasts- 3 hours and 1 minute- 7 episodes

Take Off In German- 1 hour and 44 minutes- Introduction completed, Pronunciation section completed, Unit 1 completed (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, Test and Summary,) Unit 2 in progress (2.1, 2.2, 2.3 completed)

Overall- 7 hours and 9 minutes (just over 1 hour and 1 minute a day on average)

I was aiming to spend an hour a day studying or at least average an hour a day over the course of the week. I missed one day of studying and didn't hit my daily target every day, however I still averaged just over an hour a day.

The main aim of the past week was to make a good start with the Take Off In German course and really get a feel for it. I feel I achieved that to an extent. I expected that to lower my time spent with Duolingo, which it did, but I still wanted to listen to an episode of the Coffee Break podcast each day. I missed a day studying but I caught up on the "missed" episode, so I still averaged an episode a day over the week.

I'm happy with what I've achieved this week but I want to push on further during the week ahead. I want to spend more time with the Take Off In German course and continue to aim to listen to a Coffee Break episode each day. I also want to continue to keep in touch with Duolingo each day as well. The time spent with Duolingo will probably drop further though as I aim to spend more time with the Take Off In German course. This doesn't concern me though, as I want it to be something that runs in the background to compliment my main studies rather than being a main resource.

After picking up on my issues with my listening skills (see my post from earlier today,) I am planning on introducing another resource this week- the "Nicos Weg" series from https://learngerman.dw.com/en/overview. My initial plan is to listen to each episode without any subtitles and then look at re-watching the episode in question straight away with the German subtitles turned on. I think I'll benefit most approaching it this way. By having no subtitles at first, I'm hoping it will help train my ear and allow me to focus just on listening (when subtitles are on, I find myself reading ahead rather than really concentrating on listening.) I'll then use the subtitles afterwards, to help me out with the listening and to help me get used to using subtitles again.

I work a lot better by setting myself goals, so I'm going to be bold now and say I aim to increase my studying time by 50% this week, up from an average of an hour a day to an hour and a half a day. It's going to be tough, but I want to challenge myself, and to be honest if I want to meet my targets this week then I'm going to need that extra time :lol:
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Peej
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Re: A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

Postby Peej » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:05 pm

Hmmmm so the "Nicos Weg" series from https://learngerman.dw.com/en/overview is not exactly what I thought it was. I thought it was a 100% video based series, which was going to use a style aimed at learners rather than native speakers. It has the video element to it, that I was looking for, but there's a full course that runs alongside it. The course looks very good to be fair, but that's not what I am looking for at this point. I'm happy with the resources I am using at the moment and want to focus on them. I was just looking for something to help with my listening. I now don't know whether to just use the videos as I intended, and just ignore the course itself, or to just forget about this resource for now. The course could be a useful resource in the future so I don't know whether to save it and look at introducing a different resource to help with my listening for now.

Yesterday I did spend 21 minutes with the series watching the first video a couple of times, once without subtitles and once with German subtitles as planned. I spent the remaining time completing the exercises that accompanied it. It did help reiterate to me that I need to practice my listening skills. I understood everything apart from one comment. A young girl was speaking to the main character and then her Mum came over and said "immer komm jetzt" which literally translates to "always come now." I was debating in my head why the word for "always" was there. Did it have a different meaning in this context for example just to provide emphasis!? I then watched it with the subtitles and read that it was actually "Emma, komm jetzt" that was being said. "Emma" being the daughter's name. This was the first time the daughter's name had been used but I still should have been able to pick it out and understand from the context. My brain though just registered it as the closest sounding German word that I knew. It's simple things like this that I'm misunderstanding, in relatively simple conversations, and it's totally throwing me off track. I'm going to have a big think about how I want to proceed with listening resources.

Anyway I also spent 33 minutes with Duolingo, earning 149 XP. I completed the checkpoint section, which opened up the units for "Plurals" and for "Adjectives." I read through the tips section for both of the units and then started the lessons for "Plurals." I completed the first level (4 lessons.) I also read through the final 5 stories from Set 2 of the stories section.

I spent 26 minutes listening to episode 15 of Coffee Break "More numbers." There were some very tedious parts to this, for example being taught the numbers and days of the week that I am already very confident in, but there was also some very useful parts to the episode... When reviewing the previous episode there was a nice dialogue based around checking into a hotel, which was good listening practise, and the grammar section was coincidentally based around plurals, which complimented the Duolingo lessons I had just done.

I also completed the remaining parts of Unit 2 that I had left to do from the Take Off In German course (lessons 2.4 Opening times and 2.5 Hotel Gertrud, as well as the test and summary sections.) I made sure I listened to the listening exercises a number of times to really try and pick up everything I could. I spent 32 minutes with this.

Overall I studied for 1 hour and 52 minutes yesterday, which is a really good start for meeting my goals this week.
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Peej
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Re: A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

Postby Peej » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:58 am

So yesterday I spent 29 minutes with Duolingo. I completed 2 more levels (8 lessons) of the "Plurals" unit, earning 119 XP.

I then listened to episode 16 of Coffee Break "Buying souvenirs" (27 minutes.) They're really trying to get you to think about building your own new sentences using the grammar/ syntax they've recently taught as a base to improve your conversational German. There was also a real focus on using modal verbs in this episode.

I also spent 38 minutes with Unit 3 of the Take Off In German course, completing lessons 3.1 At the Post Office, 3.2 Shopping for food and 3.3 Shopping for clothes. A key part of unit 3 is understanding modal verbs, plurals and the accusative case, which a long with the themes of the lessons is complimenting what I am studying and have recently studied with my other resources.

Overall a spent 1 hour and 34 minutes working with German yesterday, a very productive day!
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Peej
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Re: A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

Postby Peej » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:25 pm

Bit of a late update... so yesterday I spent 1 hour and 31 minutes studying.

I started with 23 minutes on Duolingo. I completed 2 levels (8 lessons,) which meant I finished the "Plurals" unit.

I then listened to episode 17 of Coffee Break "Places in town and prepositions" (24 minutes.) Naturally with prepositions came the introduction of the dative case.

Finally I spent 44 minutes with the Take Off In German course. I completed lessons 3.4 Shopping and 3.5 Hotel Gertrud, as well as the Test and Summary sections. I also went back through and read the dialogues from each of the lessons from Unit 3, making sure I fully understood them. I then read them out loud. I've been doing this with the lessons I've completed each day but decided to do the previous day's lessons too for a bit of extra practice.

Something little that annoyed me was that in lesson 3.4 they used the Euro, while during the rest of the course it has been the Deutsche Mark. I'm guessing this lesson was added in a revision that was done after the introduction of the Euro. So amateurish not updating the rest of the lessons to the Euro!
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Peej
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Re: A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

Postby Peej » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:58 pm

Another slightly late update... Yesterday I spent 1 hour and 2 minutes with German.

I spent 38 minutes with Duolingo. I started and completed the unit "Adjectives" (15 lessons.)

Then I listened to episode 18 of the Coffee Break series "Getting about town" (24 minutes.)

Unfortunately I didn't get round to doing anything with the Take Off In German course.
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Peej
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Re: A False Beginner's German Journey (With Some Dabbling...)

Postby Peej » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:47 pm

So I had quite a productive day yesterday, studying for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

I spent 53 minutes with Duolingo, earning 185 XP. 18 minutes of that were spent starting and completing the unit "Not." There were only 5 lessons to this unit. The remaining 35 minutes on Duolingo were spent working through the first 5 stories of set 3 from the stories section. These stories felt a big step up from the ones in set 2. They really challenged me and got me thinking.

I then listened to episode 19 of Coffee Break "Travelling by public transport" (25 minutes.) There was a focus on separable verbs.

I also spent 27 minutes researching online the position of "nicht" in sentences, negation and subordinating conjunctions. The problem being a false beginner is I know there's more to things than is being explained at times. I totally understand why the resources don't delve in deeper at this stage, but I can't help but look into it further. :lol:
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