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2020 - C1 in German by june

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:29 am
by tungemål
Previous German log.

edit: I changed the title. Previous title: "Advancing in German".

Ok, I am starting another language log, even though I already got one. Is that allowed? I am thinking one log for each language will make me more organized.

My goal is to take a C1 exam in june, if that will be possible.

Re: 2020 - Advancing in German

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:59 am
by tungemål
Reasons for learning German:
These are some reasons that are more or less valid

1 - to be able to travel in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. (or Namibia and Brazil?)
Not really a reason, since English is enough to travel in those countries.

2 - to be able to have casual conversations in German with collegues, friends and people I meet.

3 - German media: Litterature, texts, radio and TV. There is an enourmous amount of good content in German. Good radio-programs, TV, books, research in German usw. It is enriching to be able to take advantage of this, and it probably gives an other perspective than the dominant English language media does.

4 - because I had German in school, and have already spent a considerable amount of time learning German. So then I might as well continue, or it have all been in vain. Not a good reason, but still...

5 - Because I learn more about my native language from studying German, both since they are closely related, and also since Germany for a long time was a cultural center in Europe and has exerted a significant influence.

6 - because I like the language: it is solid and rich and with an internal logic. Its complicated grammar means that it is possible to express ideas accurately and elegantly. Even if I sometimes am annoyed by those long sentences with subclause after subclause, where the most important word will not appear untill the end.

Re: 2020 - Advancing in German

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:46 am
by tungemål
How to work on German? Mostly I listen to podcasts, watch German TV, and do a bit of reading. In many ways the upper intermediate level is the most enjoyable, because you can consume native media content that you enjoy and improve in the language with it.

I have listened to a lot of German the last couple of years, and my listening comprehension is now ok. I wanted to start watching a TV series, because there are many that are good, and they are often available for free streaming on German TV (like on Das Erste). I started with Tatort. It is a well known series, but I haven't watched it before.

And that was hard!

I watched one episode with (German) subtitles, and it was ok, I could mostly follow it but I had to pause it couple of times. The next episode I tried without subtitles, because my goal is to improve my listening comprehension. Without subtitles I can't follow the story! I only get some of the sentences, but often not those with the most important information. Tatort has a lot of dialogue that is important for the plot, so it is essential to understand it.

I have read a few threads here on the forum that discuss why TV series are hard, so that was some help, and now I think I should work on getting my listening comprehension up to the next level. ... =14&t=2619 ... 0&p=131738

Re: 2020 - Advancing in German

Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:32 pm
by EmGeeFab
I agree that TV series are hard. I'm finding I can improve my listening comprehension better with radio broadcasts because the people don't spend the whole time mumbling. Also, I can set them to 90% speed and that gives me time to process.

I had a lot of success with Alf translated into German when I was trying to work on translating into English from German in real time. I also watched at lot of MacGyver translated into German. But both those take time and aren't that interesting. That wasn't an issue for me at the time as I was living in a foreign country, on the edge of the middle of nowhere, without friends or internet connection. :lol:

- Emily

Re: 2020 - Advancing in German

Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:31 pm
by tungemål
For working with TV series, I try this now: I watch 10 minutes without subtitles, then I watch the same part with (German) subtitles to be sure I get everything. It takes time to get through Tatort in this way, since one episode is typically one and a half hour, but it should be a good exercise for me.

One thing that can be confusing is that the subtitles are not identical to the dialogue. Sometimes the sentence is worded differently and only convey the same meaning. Does anyone know if it is possible to find the script of Tatort or other German series anywhere?

Re: 2020 - Advancing in German

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:00 pm
by hedgehog.chess
tungemål wrote:Does anyone know if it is possible to find the script of Tatort or other German series anywhere?

Do you mean how to download subtitles as a text file? You can try MediathekView. Here’s a quick introduction to the software in Stefan’s log. Happy hunting! :)

Re: 2020 - Advancing in German

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:50 pm
by tungemål
Thanks for the tip!
But what I meant was a word-for-word transcript.

Re: 2020 - Advancing in German

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:15 pm
by Lawyer&Mom
I’d recommend starting with a sitcom you are already familiar with and enjoy. Friends, Big-Bang Theory, whatever. Then watch a German dub. (On Netflix maybe?) So much raiser to follow the plot of a sitcom than a murder-of-the-week procedural. Plus lots and lots of episodes to watch, so you can work with a familiar set of voices. Then watch a lot. Don’t worry if your comprehension is weak at the start, it will improve dramatically by about 50 hours or so. Good luck!

Re: 2020 - Advancing in German

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:43 pm
by tungemål
A dubbed series might be easier if the voice actors speak more clearly?
Apart from that I am not sure a sitcom would be that much easier. What makes Tatort harder than the radio programs and documentaries I have consumed so far, is this:
1) some actors don't speak clearly, sometimes on purpose in order to project a certain character
2) a lot of slang used
3) special police/crime vocabulary

But this is what makes it a good exercise, since I can check the subtitles. 1 and 2 is what I want to get exposure to, and the police vocab I will probably pick up soon enough. Besides I don't want to spend my time watching Friends again.

Re: 2020 - Advancing in German

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:54 pm
by Lawyer&Mom
Yes, dubs are often more clear than the original. And sitcoms are often more clear than mumbling detectives. But also the plots are more predictable and there are fewer monologues where the bad guy explains how his entire childhood led up to the horrible crime, except you can’t follow what he is talking about at all. Also way more episodes to binge watch. But please, don’t watch something you don’t want to watch! If you are burned out on Friends, pick something else!