CarlyD's 2020/2021 German Log

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Cavesa
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby Cavesa » Sun Nov 08, 2020 7:43 pm

CarlyD wrote:Still doing well on my 14-Months to B1 project for German.

But a couple of days ago, I was looking around on Amazon--always dangerous. They handle languages in a somewhat casual manner--buy a book on German verbs? Here's on for Italian you might like. Same thing, right? Makes me crazy when I just want to see German.


That's not casual, that's dangerously clever, meant to tap into our bad habits. They know many language learners can't stick to one language. :-D

You're doing great!!! I'll try my best to catch up
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CarlyD
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:13 pm

Goals have been coming up a lot lately. Not just the daily/weekly goals that I've been doing as part of our B1 challenge. But the bigger "what do you want to accomplish" goals. I've been watching Kirsten Cable's videos on goal setting--she has some really nice worksheets on sorting out all your resources so you can really see where you're at, and then setting goals for each area (writing, speaking, etc.)

This week I picked up a free Kindle ebook on easy German dialogues and it was from a publisher Learn Like a Native. That sounded familiar--there's a book by that name that came out in the early 2000s by the same person. I pulled it out again--I remember I was put off a bit because he learned several Asian languages and most of the book seemed to lean towards ways to learn other alphabets. But one thing caught my eye this time:

Take all your goals--every single one, even if it's just to order beer in that language--and put each goal on an index card. Then you can sort them to what's the most important goal right now--and keep resorting them if things or needs change. So you're still working towards your goals, but there's no set-in-stone order to them. Plus you have the visual bonus of marking a goal as complete.

Edit: I was wrong. The book is Speak Like a Native by Michael D. Janich and appears to have no connection to the readers, other than in my mind.
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2021 365 Challenge German: 59 / 366
2020 366 Challenge German and Spanish: 366 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 226 / 2500

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CarlyD
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:19 pm

How do I make my brain think backwards?

(Audio)
English: I am 42 years old.
German: I am two-and-forty years old.

Ok, I can do that. But then we get:

German: My number is eight-and-ninety, three-and-twenty, five-and-eighty, seven-and-forty.

And I'm still sitting there turning around eight-and-ninety while they've moved on to the next sentence. Is it practice? Is it the way my brain works? (That's a possibility. In knitting, there's written out patterns, and then there's charts, where each stitch is shown as a symbol in a box and you read across for the first row, and back for the next. I can't. I've tried for literally years and my brain won't convert the symbol in the box to a knitting stitch while I'm knitting. I have to sit and write them out.)

I've tried converting the numbers half-way: eight+ninety, three+twenty, which sort of works if it's a short series and the end of the conversation. But doing the conversion during the conversation takes way too long and I'm hopelessly lost.

Part of me says: Look at your goals. Seriously doubtful that I would ever travel, so maybe I can slide through on this. The other part says--learn it.

And the bottom line is if I really want to pass the B1 test, it's going to be there, since they seem to think anyone learning another language will spend all their time in airports and hotels discussing flights and rooms.

Meh. I shall go hide in past tense irregular verbs for awhile. :P
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2021 365 Challenge German: 59 / 366
2020 366 Challenge German and Spanish: 366 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 226 / 2500

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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby coldrainwater » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:05 pm

Just my opinion, but I think you can nail the numbers. I am not great at it since I am still very much a beginner, but what works for me is to focus on the audio rather than the ordering and let my brain handle the translation naturally. Numbers, dates and all the rest sound so nearly English, that this one of those rare occasions (for me) where the listening completely trumps trying to read or invert it mentally. Even though my Spanish is much farther along, I suspect I would have an easier go of saying a given number in German than Spanish. Everything else about those two languages is the polar opposite. Also if you focus on the output rather than trying to both hear, translate and output, you may find it much more natural to say. Just my two cents.
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby gsbod » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:46 pm

A couple of things I have found helped with dealing with German numbers:

1. In listening comprehension, I write a number down as soon as I hear it, part by part. So if I hear the number zweiunddreißig, first I write down 2 leaving space to the left, then make it 32 once I've heard the second part of the number.

2. When I read German texts with numbers in, I forced myself to subvocalize the numbers in German, rather than cheating and understanding them as numbers in English. Over time this worked so well that if I switch from reading a German text with lots of numbers to trying to read numbers in English I start reading English numbers the wrong way round...
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CarlyD
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:12 pm

coldrainwater wrote:Just my opinion, but I think you can nail the numbers. I am not great at it since I am still very much a beginner, but what works for me is to focus on the audio rather than the ordering and let my brain handle the translation naturally. Numbers, dates and all the rest sound so nearly English, that this one of those rare occasions (for me) where the listening completely trumps trying to read or invert it mentally. Even though my Spanish is much farther along, I suspect I would have an easier go of saying a given number in German than Spanish. Everything else about those two languages is the polar opposite. Also if you focus on the output rather than trying to both hear, translate and output, you may find it much more natural to say. Just my two cents.


Agreed, but I'm not sure my brain was willing to handle the translation naturally.

Actually, I never had a second's problem with Spanish numbers, no matter how long. So if Spanish and German are polar opposite, that's probably where my problem lies. Spanish numbers just made sense to me.
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2021 365 Challenge German: 59 / 366
2020 366 Challenge German and Spanish: 366 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 226 / 2500

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CarlyD
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:15 pm

gsbod wrote:A couple of things I have found helped with dealing with German numbers:

1. In listening comprehension, I write a number down as soon as I hear it, part by part. So if I hear the number zweiunddreißig, first I write down 2 leaving space to the left, then make it 32 once I've heard the second part of the number.

2. When I read German texts with numbers in, I forced myself to subvocalize the numbers in German, rather than cheating and understanding them as numbers in English. Over time this worked so well that if I switch from reading a German text with lots of numbers to trying to read numbers in English I start reading English numbers the wrong way round...


Thank you--I'm going to try the first option right now. The exercises I was doing was in DW's Nico's Weg, and you had to fill in the box with the number while you were hearing it, so it didn't leave time/room for backing up. I'm going to re-do it today and just use scratch paper first and fill in the boxes when the sentence is done.

Hopefully with practice, my brain will start understanding it without translating.
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2021 365 Challenge German: 59 / 366
2020 366 Challenge German and Spanish: 366 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 226 / 2500

Cavesa
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby Cavesa » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:01 pm

Numbers are always tricky, we've already discussed various aspects of this on the forum, you're not the only one struggling, there's nothing wrong with you. It will come with practice.

But I've never realised, that this inversion may be a significat part of the trouble in German. I have a huge advantage. One of the colloquial things in Czech (especially common among older people) is saying the numbers inversely, like in German. It's probably a remnant of the old bilingual days of the Empire. So, you say dvacet pět, but you can colloquially also say pětadvacet, like in German, and people will understand. I never realised this was a bit of an advantage.

But right now, I was not understood a few times in French, when it came to numbers. I think it is mostly due to me being rather nervous, when I communicate the phone numbers even in my native language :-D But really the person on the other side somehow kept asking me for following numbers, even though it was all finished, not finding it weird that a local number would have at least 14 digits, if she had her way. :-D

So, don't take it too hard, it will get better.

gsbod wrote:2. When I read German texts with numbers in, I forced myself to subvocalize the numbers in German, rather than cheating and understanding them as numbers in English. Over time this worked so well that if I switch from reading a German text with lots of numbers to trying to read numbers in English I start reading English numbers the wrong way round...


Yes, that's a good way to practice. But it can get rather tiring too. Especially memorising even short numbers is much harder in a different language for me.
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CarlyD
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:29 pm

So my Black Friday shopping is over. I did end up renewing my GermanPod101 for another 2 years, but at nearly the same rate as last time--$117. And I also got Olly Richards German Grammar Hero course. It says it's for intermediate, and my plan was to get it now with the discount and then use it next year when I'm well on my way to my B1 (I hope), but I already looked at lesson 1 and I can do this now!!

I just yesterday finished watching a bunch of videos about remembering vocabulary that was really helpful. Talking about making words "sticky"--associating them with something else. One of the suggestions was to put the word in Google Images to see if there was a picture or meme that would help. I never thought of that before. And the discussion of active vs. passive vocabulary was just what I needed to hear. I've been learning some words passively, never using them myself and then wondering why I couldn't remember them.

I belong to /reddit, mostly for local stuff, but I had joined a learning languages one at some point. I rarely go there unless something has happened locally, but I get emails of top posts. Yesterday this guy posted that he'd gone from A0 to B2 in German in one year. He explained what he'd been doing (DaF textbook) and then a tutor for B1 to B2. I was feeling depressed--I'm doing basically what he was doing, yet my progress has been painfully slow. Then I get to the last line in his story--"well, it might have been a bit easier for me because I was already fluent in Dutch." Yeah, that might have made a difference. :P

Sometimes people's success stories are encouraging and uplifting--and sometimes they're not.
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2021 365 Challenge German: 59 / 366
2020 366 Challenge German and Spanish: 366 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 226 / 2500

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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby Montmorency » Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:55 pm

It may not be the same in the USA, and it's probably all but died out in England by now, but at one time, you'd hear older people express numbers in German-style order, but only (I think) in the context of time:

e.g. "it's five and twenty past twelve". I think my own father did this sometimes, and almost certainly his father.

Then there is the old nursery rhyme: "Four and Twenty blackbirds...". Whether that reflected common usage when it was written, or whether it was just "literary licence", I don't know. :-)

(Does this usage occur in Shakespeare, does anybody know?)


I used to find German numbers difficult, although I cope better nowadays. At least with cardinal numbers. I still have trouble with ordinals sometimes, especially if it's combined with a "[something] und [something]" type number, e.g. 33rd or 34th. Usually because my brain is fiercely struggling with the question of what ending to give it, and whether it includes an "s" or not, in real time, and not quite making it. :-)

(in writing you can get away with it just by writing it as a number followed by a "." but in speaking it, there is no place to hide ... ).
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