CarlyD's 2018/2019 German log

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Re: CarlyD's 2018 German log

Postby M23 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:44 am

CarlyD wrote:
Jaleel10 wrote:
Have you heard of the Deutsche Welle German course? https://learngerman.dw.com/en/overview It is a course organised around a series of videos telling the story of Nico who recently moved to Germany. It is categorised: A1, A2, B1 and B2.

If you want you can try Babbel. I finished the beginners course for Spanish and I mightily enjoyed it and found great great value in it. Due to me being a cheapskate I didn't stick around for the intermediate course :lol: You can watch a comprehensive review on it here



I did look at the DW course, but there's something with my computer that won't let me do it. I have a computer guy and need to talk to him about what the problem is, but I just get an error.


I use the app on my iPhone for that particular course. It is pretty enjoyable. You can find it in the app store by searching "learn German."
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Re: CarlyD's 2018 German log

Postby CarlyD » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:41 am

I've been struggling since last week here. We're having huge forest fires and while I'm thankfully not in the path of any of them, I'm in the path of the smoke. And the smoke is seriously messing with me--I'm having trouble concentrating and not hitting the study time that I want to. Well, that's life I guess.

Right now I'm doing vocabulary, Memrise, and a bit of Duolingo very early in the morning before the winds start bringing in the smoke. I was hoping to do two GermanPod sections a day, but am only doing one right now.

Hopefully next week will be better.
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Re: CarlyD's 2018 German log

Postby CarlyD » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:29 pm

I was looking around GermanPod last night and came across the "Bonus Pathway" and the Inner Circle. So far it's 55 podcasts of learning techniques, how to recover from language breaks, how to set goals--all kinds of subjects. And an overriding theme of how to get going again when you stop and think you've failed.

I just read the transcripts rather than listened to them, but they were really good. I've only done 6 so far, but I think that's going to be my late-nite reading for awhile.

I posted before my conversation-based goals for this 6 Week Challenge: (with current notes)

1. GermanPod101--wonderful. So much more than the conversations--word lists, flashcards, all kinds of help. Currently lesson 9 of Beginner Season 1. Hope to finish this and Season 2 by the end of the year.
2. Benny Lewis' Hacking German--Benny, you know I love you, but I'm setting this aside--again. Maybe later.
3. Berlitz German in 30 Days--based on an old Langenscheidt edition. Trying to get into it. Meh.
4. Langenscheidt Deutch in 30 Tagen--this one's great. Based on a woman from Poland that starts a German class. Very engaging. Just checked and it was only $16.70 from Amazon. Amazing deal. (Link below, I hate figuring out linking.)
(5) Assimil--maybe I'll try that again. Since I'm dumping one (or two) I'm starting this again.

How do people actually succeed with Duolingo? "No, that's wrong. No, we won't tell you why. Ha ha." People are posting screenshots where it asks you to translate a sentence, then give you 10 or 15 words to use. The correct answer? Uses words that it didn't give you.

I love Memrise. A Journey to Germany course is great and the Memrise German 1, 2 etc. courses. Plus I'm still doing the Duolingo vocabulary course, a 5000-word course and 2 flashcard (no typing) courses. Hope to finish German 2 by November maybe.

146 days left of my 175-day challenge.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/34682 ... UTF8&psc=1
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Re: CarlyD's 2018 German log

Postby CarlyD » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:08 pm

I finally downloaded Duolingo's Tinycards to my phone. I love it. Very fun and addicting. Considering my normal "sit and wait" activity with my phone was playing Solitaire, this is at least useful. Plus I finally figured out how to set up multiple keyboards on the phone like I have on my regular pc.

I saw an interesting book on Amazon--"Use German at Home" from Talkbox. Very interesting. It's based on actual phrases that you would use everyday at home (as opposed to Duolingo's "my cow is not wearing a hat"--still waiting to use that.) I have two problems with the book--first, it's $35.00; second, it's based on a stay-at-home mom with little kids, so the phrases are geared towards diapers, snacks, play-time, etc. Plus they offer a "talkbox" that you subscribe to that has all kinds of interesting things--$80 each box. Ahem.

Given that my "little kid" is now 6'2" and does construction, I'd mostly be talking to my dogs. So I think that might be my next project--put together a phrase book of the exact phrases that I would use in my house. "Would you stop barking" seems to be a common one. I'll have to see what I can do with that.

I'm still on my 175-day project. I knew pushing myself into conversation would be harder than my textbook/grammar exercises comfort zone, but I've oddly hit a place where it's getting easier and nearly routine to use German when I can.

I have an odd liking for bad-driving videos on Youtube. But I've found one that's just European bad drivers so I've been listening to people yell at other drivers in a variety of languages. I am catching words on the German ones--Unfall!!--and a bunch of swear words. I was watching a Russian one where a woman was running across the street without looking and ran straight into the side of a car. The guy yelled something that I imagined would probably start "you stupid----" but someone helpfully put in a subtitle. "Woman, why are you not in the kitchen." Hmmmm..........
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Re: CarlyD's 2018 German log

Postby CarlyD » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:11 pm

I've been trying to look at videos on Yabla, with their German/English subtitles and wondering why it didn't seem to be helping.

I recently picked up a book--"How to Get Really Good at German" with the author listed as Polyglot Language Learning. I routinely pick up "how to" books and enjoy reading them and occasionally do get good ideas. A quote from the book:

"Using English subtitles to watch German TV, movies, dramas and videos is an English reading activity with some background noise." Hmmmmm..........

One thing they talk about is the daily 20 minutes. Watch anything--tv, movie, youtube video in regular German for 20 minutes. If you catch a word, particularly if you hear it more than once, write it down and look it up. Do this every day.

Intriguing. My first thought was--aren't you just wasting 20 minutes? What really will you learn? The point seems to be that every day you'll catch another few words and you'll be learning regular German, not slowly spoken words that you'll never hear in real life. (I heard irgendwelche elsewhere in a regular sentence, and I swear they made it one syllable.)
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Re: CarlyD's 2018 German log

Postby CarlyD » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:53 pm

It's a sad day that I report that I just cancelled my GermanPod101 Premium+ one-year subscription. (And got a full refund in less than 30 minutes.)

I love the depth of their dialogs--there's hundreds of them. But at my level, all the choices available to me were dialogs between a native-German woman and an American man. Who spoke German with an accent that I hope to God I never have. I found myself actively trying not to listen to him speaking for fear I'd turn my fairly good ich into his wishy-washy ish. But beyond that--the dialogs were good, the grammar bits were good. The never-ending chit-chat between the two of them was semi-ok the first time hearing it, but made me not want to listen a second time.

I'm wondering now if they relied more on native speakers in the upper levels? I never made it out of Beginners 1.

So, for right now--a ton of Memrise and Duolingo every day. I'm going to the full 5 crowns on each section in Duolingo before moving on. If I'm comfortable with it, I test out. Otherwise, I do every exercise. Conjunctions just about killed me. Changing the word order for a subordinating conjunction was making me crazy, so I did end up doing every single sentence for the whole thing.

Benny Lewis was talking this morning about having a separate area for language learning that's dedicated to just that. Something to think about.
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Re: CarlyD's 2018 German log

Postby CarlyD » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:33 pm

Well, it took me longer to find my log that it will probably take to post.

I listened to a TED talk last night by Chris (don't recall last name.) He said that anyone can learn a language to full fluency in 6 months, to native fluency in a bit longer. As proof, he learned Mandarin to fluency in 6 months. Uh huh.

He did have some principles that were very good:

1. Focus on language content that is relevant to you.
2. Use new language as a tool to communicate from Day 1.
3. When you understand the message, you unconsciously understand the language. (Maybe.)
4. Learn to listen, practice speaking.
5. Have a good attitude--frustration, stress will slow learning.

All good ideas that probably no one could argue. But will that get you fluency in 6 months?

His plan was:

1. Listen a LOT--every day, pick out words you know, keep listening. (Agree.)
2. Get the meaning first. (Before learning the grammar or sentence structure I think he meant.)
3. Start mixing--take words you know and make other sentences besides the examples.
4. Learn the high frequency words first.
5. Get a tutor/mentor that works well with you--guides you rather than teaches at you.
6. Copy speaking correctly. Look at Youtube videos of people speaking, mimic their faces.
7. Connect words with pictures rather than L1 words.

Hmmm......good ideas all. But the 6 months part? I just don't see it. I'll have to find his full name and see what others think.

Benny Lewis did an introduction this morning to his new Language Boot Camp. It was interesting--a combination of live-stream interactive instruction, helps, hints, hacks from his experience and I think working in groups. He lost me when he started talking about adding Instagram stuff to the instruction--because a picture of him explaining a grammar term with dog ears and nose is actually not what I need to make it sink in. And if you're in a different time zone the live-stream doesn't really help much. I don't know. I'm going to look at it again this weekend--it's a 90-day program. (I looked again--it's 12 weekly webinars with live Q&A, weekly missions and worksheets, case studies, 7-day Conversation Countdown.)

I'm trying to really like Glossika. I like the concept, and I'm currently half-way through my free 7 days. Do I like it enough to subscribe? Will I stick with it? I've seen a lot of comments here and elsewhere and it seems like it's changed a good bit recently with how it's set up. Choosing what program you want to follow doesn't seem to be there--unless you need to be a premium member to do that. Maybe I'll at least subscribe for a month to see how it goes.

This 6-week challenge is being pitiful. I'm just below yet-another forest fire and we've been in smoke since the 9th, to the point where they've had to close schools it's so bad. I'm doing the whole headache, sore throat, can't concentrate thing--so just doing what I can in German and letting it slide. Hopefully the smoke will clear soon and I won't need to cough the whole time I'm outside any more.
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Re: CarlyD's 2018 German log

Postby CarlyD » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:41 pm

Ok, so I just joined Benny's Bootcamp. Yes, it probably doesn't have anything that I couldn't figure out for myself--but that push, that part-of-the-group is what I'm wanting right now.

It looks like it will start the week after Thanksgiving, so possibly 11/26, with that week being a kind of prep week I think. So basically Dec/Jan/Feb. At least I don't have to make Youtube videos like the Add1Challenge, cause that's not going to happen.

I'm settling in nicely over on Glossika. The sentences are interesting--nothing earthshaking, but at least they're normal human sentences unlike the ones I get on Duolingo. Today I did the Translation exercise, hearing a sentence in German and having 4 options in English to choose from. I was totally surprised at how many I got right. Towards the end (it was a loooong exercise, I bailed at question 155) I was really getting a feel for how he was talking (normal speed) and it was great practice.

I was reading a blog post today about a guy who did a No English for 30 Days challenge. By day 4 or 5 he wanted to curl up and die. But he completed it and I think he said he retested and had gone from B2 to C1 in the month. Of course he was living in Germany and had a German girlfriend so had lots of opportunities and support. I could theoretically do that every week Friday thru Monday--or at least a good part of each day. Given my conversation is still so bad this is something I really need to think about and plan for. I seem to be at that "can pass a test but can't ask for the bathroom" stage.

I found a new "Like" on Facebook--Jetzt. They seem to post several days a week--a cartoon, a short news article, generally with some kind of visual aid to help you figure it out. I seem to have lost my other learning German Facebook group. They were all totally dedicated, connected up on whatever apps to talk in German to each other and apparently are all off being fluent together. :cry:

Oh, well. Need to go start packing to get ready for Bootcamp. :lol:
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Re: CarlyD's 2018 German log

Postby CarlyD » Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:07 am

I went a teensy bit crazy with Black Friday language deals. Okay, more than a teensy, but to be fair, I don't plan on buying anything during the actual Black Friday and I have been looking at websites and waiting for deals for awhile now.

I got Glossika for a year--I'm liking this one so far.

I got a multi-language bundle of Mimic Method. I'm intrigued by this. There's 10 different languages and it teaches phonics and goes over the individual sounds in each language. The guy that runs the site has what sounds like native pronunciation in Spanish, which he learned from this method of learning to hear and mimic each sound.

My pronunciation of Spanish is ok--not native by any means, but people can understand me with no problem. Closer to native would be nice of course. But my German--oh my. I don't think even my dog could understand me, and he has fairly low standards (did the word sound like 'cookie'?). I have trouble "hearing" the difference between er and ihr--I eventually get used to that speaker, but I can't expect people to repeat things over and over until I get their way of speaking. And the -ig in traurig doesn't even vaguely sound like the -ig in ruhig. Why? And what is that sound for ruhig? I can't even figure it out, let alone mimic it. So I'm hoping that this will help. Plus with the bundle, I can go back and go over the sounds for other languages later if I want. I'm doing the German sounds now and hope to carve out some time next year to go back and do the Spanish sounds, just for a clean-up.

I also got Clozemaster Pro for one year--I'd been doing the free parts, and it was pretty cheap, so I'll see if I like the extras enough to pay again next year. And Mosalingua--the bundle for all the languages. Again, pretty cheap, and my kind-of goal was always to "finish" German and move into Russian a bit--at least enough to read the alphabet and pronounce the words, and some basic tourist stuff. Maybe I'll get there before they expire (but I doubt it.)

I've been getting emails for a great deal on GermanPod101, but I'm hesitant to try it again. I just couldn't get into the dialogs and the other things that they offer--word lists, flashcards, etc.--I can find elsewhere. Maybe next year when I'm a higher level they might have something for me.

So right now I'm plugging through all my resources every day and waiting for the Boot Camp to start. Can't wait to see what he has in store for us.
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Re: CarlyD's 2018 German log

Postby CarlyD » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:41 pm

One week check-in from my Black Friday binge.

Mosalingua--I requested a refund this morning. I just couldn't get into it. The flashcards--picturing or saying the word, then clicking Correct or Incorrect--just didn't work for me. I learn much better having to type in the word, or at least choose it from an 8-option list. And they mix super simple words with OMG ones, so there doesn't seem to be a progression. Maybe it's just me.

Clozemaster--LOVE IT. I'm doing both new sentences and reviews, 500 points minimum a day. It's pushing me to actually read the sentences, since the English down below is in much smaller type and I can easily ignore it until I get stuck. I haven't started any of the other options yet, but the Grammar one looks good. My only issue with it is when you've chosen a verb that happens to be a separable verb, if you click on it for the definition, you only get the definition for the basic verb, not the whole separable verb. But I'm ok with that--I can look it up myself if need be.

Glossika--I love the Translation option. It gives you an audio of a sentence in German, with 4 typed English options. IT IS HARD. I've replayed sentences over and over sometimes and I'm just not hearing the words he's saying. But when I click on it and the answer comes up, I'll replay it and looking at the German words and hearing it at the same time it makes perfect sense. So---practice, practice, practice. I like the regular sentence part, but really wish there was a pause/replay option.

Mimic Method--I'm still in the first section, which is Static Vowels. I'm working through the exercises slowly. I'm giving myself until the end of the year to work through this. He gets totally into exact tongue placement, using this kind of chart and I've already realized improved my pronunciation in the short 'e' by using his method. Lots more to go, though.
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