WildGinger's Deutsch log

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WildGinger10
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Re: WildGinger's Deutsch log

Postby WildGinger10 » Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:27 am

It's interesting how much my mental state changes the difficulty of my German study. I understand that this is well-researched and not news but when I'm having a bad mental health week, it becomes a lot harder to retain my new vocabulary or recall my old vocabulary. It's like my brain is throwing a fit and just doesn't wanna work. It will pass, it always does, and the words will sink in/come back, but man is it frustrating!
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WildGinger10
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Re: WildGinger's Deutsch log

Postby WildGinger10 » Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:53 am

I am getting super burned out on class. There is so much homework, even so much more than last semester, and I'm spending several hours every night to keep up. It's this huge chunk of my every day and I really need a break - but of course I can't take a break because then my grade will suffer. I'm nervous that if it keeps on like this it will get harder and harder to retain new information while I struggle with the old stuff and to keep motivation up and I'll end up wasting most of my time for the rest of the semester. Time spent on homework is, of course, time spent in the language, but I need time away from it feeling like suuuch a grind, to rest and reset. But I don't get any such time and every week is an anxious scramble to get through the workload before I have class and it the timer starts counting down again.

But I've started taking time out of my usual non-homework daily schedule to watch more German TV. I'm still working through Babylon Berlin but it is quite a bit above my level still in terms of vocabulary and jargon and dialects, so it's a bit frustrating. Started Biohackers on Netflix as well, that one is wayyyyy more comprehensible so I'm hoping to have some better luck there. Other German language shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or similar streaming platforms would be appreciated.
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DaveAgain
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Re: WildGinger's Deutsch log

Postby DaveAgain » Fri Mar 05, 2021 1:50 pm

WildGinger10 wrote: Other German language shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or similar streaming platforms would be appreciated.
Arte have animated adaptions of the Iliad and Odyssey. (originally french)

https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/RC-020652 ... en-mythen/

And zdf have a 1980s medical drama with lots of episodes: Die Schwartzwald Klinik.
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Re: WildGinger's Deutsch log

Postby coldrainwater » Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:16 pm

WildGinger10 wrote:I am getting super burned out on class...

I feel your pain there. I am not sure what motivates faculty to add overwhelming workloads, but it has a very negative impact. The only thing that ever got me through that crunch was shifting into a permanent test-taking mode. I ensured that I was able to obtain correct answers or relevant example answers to any assigned work so that the faculty was not able to operate at an unfair advantage (them being able to examine the correct answer and 'us' students presumably never seeing them or getting to them too late for it to be of any help). Beyond that, I also had to shift to test-prep only and make certain I was only drilling and studying what would appear on the exam. Result: good grades, high but manageable stress, and not as much learned with nothing truly mastered. Worst case scenario, if I had something really hard like thermo-dynamics (if that is hard for you), I would make sure I attended office hours and showed interest, which would normally earn me a sympathy B or at worst a C. Even 20 years later, some things don't change...
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WildGinger10
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Re: WildGinger's Deutsch log

Postby WildGinger10 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:15 am

I know this is THE infamous German language barrier, but I truly feel like I will never not fuck up adjective endings and article declensions. Even with all the time in the world to revise, all the tables open in front of me, all the example sentences laid out, I still for the life of me can't do it. I truly don't know how I expect to ever make it happen naturally in my speech.

I struggle really hard with abstract words and grammar and this in particular feels like some impossible task. Even identifying what case anything is in feels sometimes impossible, and I feel like I keep having it explained over and over and over again by my teachers and my native friends.

Is there some trick to learning this? Is there some efficient, direct way to actually acquire this? Because I'm starting to get really weary of hearing "it will come eventually." I just feel doomed to always fuck them up, like I have some bingo drum in my head constantly blowing ens and ers and dens and dems around and around and just spitting them out at random whenever something is needed and hoping it's correct. And don't even get me started on relative pronouns.
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DaveAgain
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Re: WildGinger's Deutsch log

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:41 pm

WildGinger10 wrote:Is there some trick to learning this? Is there some efficient, direct way to actually acquire this? Because I'm starting to get really weary of hearing "it will come eventually." I just feel doomed to always fuck them up, like I have some bingo drum in my head constantly blowing ens and ers and dens and dems around and around and just spitting them out at random whenever something is needed and hoping it's correct. And don't even get me started on relative pronouns.
Memorisation is supposed to improve your grammar.

Heinrich Schliemann's method of learning languages was apparently to memorize entire books. You could start with a poem or short story :-)
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jeff_lindqvist
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Re: WildGinger's Deutsch log

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:50 pm

You can make up memory hooks like m before n, and then an example phrase that will do the job for you:
...mit dem neuen Auto.

Everything comes with practice.

Sometimes glancing at a page like this helps:
https://www.learn-german-smarter.com/le ... e-endings/
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Re: WildGinger's Deutsch log

Postby gsbod » Tue Mar 09, 2021 6:41 pm

I think the problem with case endings in German is down to the fact that you need to combine several bits of information at once in order to utter anything grammatically correct involving a noun. You need to know the correct case for how you are using the noun, the correct gender of the noun, and then you need to apply the correct ending to any articles and adjectives attached to the noun, and to the noun itself in some cases. Tables do help in terms of systematising this information, and looking things up in moments of doubt, but they aren't the full solution.

Something that helped me was trying to break things down into smaller parts so that I could focus my efforts on insisting correctness in certain areas and just winging it with the harder combinations as and when I needed to actually communicate with real people. So, for example:

Focusing on getting the gender correct in situations where it is obvious (e.g. words ending -ung, -ion are always feminine, so no excuses for mistakes here)
Focusing on getting the case correct where it is very obvious which case you should use (e.g. nouns with mit are always dative)
Focusing on getting the case correct in simple combinations where there is less to worry about (e.g. preposition + pronoun like mit mir, common expressions like "Wie geht's Ihnen"/"Wie geht's deinem Mann" and so on)

You might also find it useful analysing texts to figure out what case is being used and why. For example, if you spot the word "dem Mädchen" somewhere, you know it has to be neuter because of the -chen ending, so you know it has to be dative because it comes with "dem". So then you can look at what prepositions or verbs are involved which will tell you why it is dative.

I think the fact that some articles appear to stand in for different gender/case combinations (e.g. "der" could be masculine nominative, feminine dative or feminine genitive) is really confusing to start with, so breaking stuff down and focusing on the more obvious cases first may help develop a sense of what the correct usage is in any given situation.

Another thing I found helped was writing texts in Word with the German grammar checker active - it's not 100% perfect but often does a good job at picking out errors with case endings, flagging up things that it is worth checking again.

Also worth remembering that the really cool thing about having cases is that German is much less reliant on word order than English. If you want to emphasise any noun, you can stick it at the front of a sentence because the case tells you what role it's playing. Once you get used to it, it is really nicely liberating!
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WildGinger10
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Re: WildGinger's Deutsch log

Postby WildGinger10 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:35 am

I've been thinking a lot about everyone's suggestions on declensions, so thanks to everyone who responded for their insights and resources. It's obviously all a work in progress, so I appreciate the feedback.

I finished watching Biohackers on Netflix, and I have to say it was the first time I've been able to sit and just watch a German show all the way through without feeling like I was lost. Even though a lot of the specific medical jargon went over my head (and I'm pretty sure Chen-Lu is artificially sped up, she was difficult to follow both for jargon and speed) but overall I didn't really struggle or get frustrated trying to understand what was going on, so that feels like some level of improvement. Of course, Dark is hard to follow in any language and Babylon Berlin is heeeavy with historical, political, and financial jargon as well as intrigue so I think I just really didn't do myself any favors in the past. Currently also watching How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) and intend to check out some of those ZDF resources as well. And I've started occasionally turning on Disney movies I know by heart to watch in German, which is kind of a crazy experience but helpful. I think I've focused too much before on in-person input, which is hard because my German is only recently actually kind of conversational, and I need to saturate myself more. So I've been really trying to take time away from Hausaufgaben to do that too.

I've got some new questions darting around my mind, but I feel like it must be a subject that's been parsed on here before, so I'm going to look around the forum first and see if it's been in discussion - and if not, I can start the conversation in a new thread.
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WildGinger10
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Re: WildGinger's Deutsch log

Postby WildGinger10 » Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:07 am

Well, as was to be expected, I've had my head slightly deflated again. On a recommendation from a (non-native) friend, I started watching Charité on Netflix today and found it extremely difficult to follow (not least because the subtitles were atrocious and almost never actually matched the spoken words, so then I had to turn them off - which did yield better comprehension but I do still lean a bit on subtitles in German media). So I guess German historical fiction is just too hard. I wish there was some rating system for language learners where someone could aggregate all the vocabulary of a given show/text and rate it in relation to what CEFR level you need to be at in order to understand it to a reasonable level. It can be like "Here's all the B2 German shows on Netflix, these ones will require closer to C1, don't even bother with these unless you're a solid C1.2" and then I could know what to watch and what to avoid haha :?
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