Massive Input in Berlin: Patrick's German/Spanish log

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patrickwilken
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Massive Input in Berlin: Patrick's German/Spanish log

Postby patrickwilken » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:55 am

I used to be active on HTLAL some years ago, and thought it might be nice to get back in contact with other language learners.

I'm an Australian, living in Berlin, and after many failed attempts at learning the language through various language schools, ended up approaching German through extensive reading and listening. I stopped keeping track last year, but at that time after five years of work I had watched more than 1300 movies, and read more than 40000 pages of books in German. My German level is a bit hard to judge. My comprehension is good. I have no trouble at all with films or radio. When reading serious novels gaps in my comprehension are obvious, though I certainly read fine. Grammar-wise is harder to judge. I have been told my spoken German is OK; though I often lack certain words. It's quite striking that some people have trouble with my accent and other's not. I don't generally write in German and this is probably my biggest weakness.

After five years of German I wanted a break, so I have been reading a lot of English books this year (so far 85) and probably won't get fully back into German until the start of 2019. However, I want to listen to a few longer audiobooks in German to get a bit more practice.

As a break from German, I decided to try learning Spanish at the start of this year. I have completed an A1 course (mostly useless) and am mostly building up vocabulary via Anki. I am currently learning about 2200 words. My cards are very simple, with a German/English hint for either a word/phrase/sentence - which I then need to speak out loud. I automatically generated Spanish audio for all the cards, and I judge my response as much on pronunciation as everything else. I have watch one season of Peppa Pig in Spanish, and hope to really get into Spanish Netflix over the next few months. I also downloaded the first Harry Potter in Spanish, but my grammar/vocabulary is too weak at the moment to start it yet.

My medium-term aims is to upgrade my German to proper C1 (at least for comprehension and speaking) and work my Spanish towards B2 (mostly via extensive reading/listening).
Last edited by patrickwilken on Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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German Spanish
1500 Movies : 1389 / 1500100 Movies : 4 / 100
50000 Pages : 41089 / 500005000 Pages : 0 / 5000

All goals to be completed by 31.12.19.

gsbod
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Re: Patrick's German/Spanish log

Postby gsbod » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:09 pm

Good to see you back, Patrick. I remember the way you got on with reading German and watching films was quite inspirational.

I'm always on the look out for new German book tips and film tips, so I hope you'll have time to share some recommendations.
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: 8100 / 10000 German Books (10,000 pages)

Corrections are welcome

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patrickwilken
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Re: Patrick's German/Spanish log

Postby patrickwilken » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:33 pm

gsbod wrote:Good to see you back, Patrick. I remember the way you got on with reading German and watching films was quite inspirational.

I'm always on the look out for new German book tips and film tips, so I hope you'll have time to share some recommendations.


Thanks it's very nice to be back.

I have taken a bit of a break from German reading/listening since late last year. I have been doing a lot of reading in English, which has been a lot of fun since l basically only read German texts for the four years prior.

WRT movies and books: I mostly have read books/films in translation. Not only English>German, but also French>German and Japanese>German. I mostly know Murakami as a Japanese author in German translation, for instance. I have always liked the scifi and am thinking of making a go of the Expanse series, which would offer a lot of input.



Have you seen or read the Berlin Babylon crime series set in Weimar Berlin? Stupidly, through licensing agreements I can't watch it here in Berlin yet without a Sky subscription, but everyone says it's an amazing German TV series. I read the first book in the series "Der nasse Fisch" by Volker Kutscher, which was pretty good and should be relatively accessible. Krimis are afterall a national German pastime.



Last edited by patrickwilken on Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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German Spanish
1500 Movies : 1389 / 1500100 Movies : 4 / 100
50000 Pages : 41089 / 500005000 Pages : 0 / 5000

All goals to be completed by 31.12.19.

gsbod
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Re: Patrick's German/Spanish log

Postby gsbod » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:41 pm

patrickwilken wrote:WRT movies and books: I mostly have read books/films in translation. Not only English>German, but also French>German and Japanese>German. I mostly not Murakami as a Japanese author in German translation, for instance. I have always liked the scifi and am thinking of making a go of the Expanse series, which would offer a lot of input.

Have you seen or read the Berlin Babylon crime series set in Weimar Berlin? Stupidly, through licensing agreements I can't watch it here in Berlin yet without a Sky subscription, but everyone says it's an amazing German TV series. I read the first book in the series "Der nasse Fisch" by Volker Kutscher, which was pretty good and should be relatively accessible. Krimis are afterall a national German pastime.


I enjoyed Murakami's short stories when I was learning Japanese. However, I read Kafka am Strand a few years ago in German and could not forgive him for what happened to those poor kittens!

I'm in the middle of reading Der nasse Fisch at the moment and enjoying it so far. I am determined to finish the book before I try and get hold of the TV series. I was actually in Berlin last week and saw posters at the cinema (Filmtheater am Friedrichshain) advertising a Babylon Berlin marathon some time in September - I think that might take a bit of stamina though!
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: 8100 / 10000 German Books (10,000 pages)

Corrections are welcome

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patrickwilken
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Re: Patrick's German/Spanish log

Postby patrickwilken » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:56 pm

gsbod wrote:I enjoyed Murakami's short stories when I was learning Japanese. However, I read Kafka am Strand a few years ago in German and could not forgive him for what happened to those poor kittens!


That's funny, that's one of the few books I haven't read. I hate to see anything bad happen to kittens. His sentence structure seems to make for pretty easy German - though it's worth keeping in mind that the early translations of his work were done via ENGLISH translations and so should be avoided.

gsbod wrote:I'm in the middle of reading Der nasse Fisch at the moment and enjoying it so far. I am determined to finish the book before I try and get hold of the TV series. I was actually in Berlin last week and saw posters at the cinema (Filmtheater am Friedrichshain) advertising a Babylon Berlin marathon some time in September - I think that might take a bit of stamina though!


It was an interesting joint production between Sky and German TV. The rights in Germany stay with pay-for-view Sky until later this year, then it will be broadcast for free on ARD. I guess that's why the marathon is in September. I suspect the TV show is better than the book. Details here: https://www.daserste.de/unterhaltung/serie/babylon-berlin/free-tv-premiere-sendetermine100.html

If you want something more upmarket to read you could check out the longlist of the Deutscher Buchpreis: http://www.deutscher-buchpreis.de/nominiert/#section-longlist

If you are in Berlin again let me know. Perhaps we could meet up for a drink.
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German Spanish
1500 Movies : 1389 / 1500100 Movies : 4 / 100
50000 Pages : 41089 / 500005000 Pages : 0 / 5000

All goals to be completed by 31.12.19.

gsbod
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Re: Patrick's German/Spanish log

Postby gsbod » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:19 pm

patrickwilken wrote:It was an interesting joint production between Sky and German TV. The rights in Germany stay with pay-for-view Sky until later this year, then it will be broadcast for free on ARD. I guess that's why the marathon is in September. I suspect the TV show is better than the book. Details here: https://www.daserste.de/unterhaltung/serie/babylon-berlin/free-tv-premiere-sendetermine100.html


It looks like here in the UK it is also limited to Sky customers. That's a shame. And I can bet that when they show it on ARD it will be region blocked here.

patrickwilken wrote:If you want something more upmarket to read you could check out the longlist of the Deutscher Buchpreis: http://www.deutscher-buchpreis.de/nominiert/#section-longlist


Thanks for that, it makes a nice contrast to my usual approach of trawling lists of "best Krimis of the year"!

patrickwilken wrote:If you are in Berlin again let me know. Perhaps we could meet up for a drink.


Thank you, I will let you know. I try to visit Berlin at least once a year, it's one of my favourite cities.
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Re: Patrick's German/Spanish log

Postby Teango » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:07 pm

My wife and I are waiting for season 4 of "The Expanse" with bated breath, although I must admit, it did take us a while to get into first. Although I'm not a big fan of dubbing in general, it's always interesting to hear how characters are rendered from popular movies and series into other languages, and from the short sound bite on the trailer you linked, it sounds like they nailed Shohreh Aghdashloo's voice. For me, however, nothing beats an 80s Eddie Murphy in German dubbing for sheer breakneck speed and comedy value so far. :) Good luck with swiftly leveling up and reaching your mid-term aims, patrickwilken! It's good to see you getting back into German again, and I look forward to following your blog.
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patrickwilken
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Re: Patrick's German/Spanish log

Postby patrickwilken » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:52 am

Teango wrote: I'm not a big fan of dubbing in general, it's always interesting to hear how characters are rendered from popular movies and series into other languages, and from the short sound bite on the trailer you linked, it sounds like they nailed Shohreh Aghdashloo's voice.


I think modern dubbing in Germany is pretty sophisticated. The voices are often very good, though it can be a bit jarring if you already have a voice in mind for a particular actor. The German Walter White was actually better in my opinion than the English version, but either way it's a great way to learn a language.

Last edited by patrickwilken on Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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German Spanish
1500 Movies : 1389 / 1500100 Movies : 4 / 100
50000 Pages : 41089 / 500005000 Pages : 0 / 5000

All goals to be completed by 31.12.19.

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patrickwilken
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Goals

Postby patrickwilken » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:47 am

Now that I am back it's time I set a few goals for German and Spanish.

When I stopped keeping track for films late last year I had watched 1348 movies or TV-show equivalents (90 minutes TV = 1 movie). I was shocked to find that I have only read one book in German this year; I was certain I had read more. That brings my German book total to 103 books, for a total of 41089 pages.

I have also managed to watch one season of Peppa Pig in Spanish, which I can count for 2 movies.

A reasonable set of goals for the end of 2019 might be:

German: Read to 50000 pages, and 1500 films (this seems relatively easy);
Spanish: Read 5000 pages, and watch 100 films (this seems quite difficult).

So approximately a double-super-challenge for German and a single super-challenge for Spanish.

My Spanish is still very weak, but I did start the original Super Challenge (which would count as 2 Super Challenges now) when my German was A1 and completed it successfully and found it made a huge difference to my language learning so I definitely think it's worth a try.

I just wonder if I should aim for a double Super Challenge in Spanish?
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German Spanish
1500 Movies : 1389 / 1500100 Movies : 4 / 100
50000 Pages : 41089 / 500005000 Pages : 0 / 5000

All goals to be completed by 31.12.19.

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Re: Patrick's German/Spanish log

Postby reineke » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:49 pm

I now see that you "cheated" with Anki & German. Et tu, Brutus? Brute? I enjoyed Breaking Bad in Br. Portuguese. Not so much in Spanish. The French version was OK, I think. Hello and good luck.
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