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Axis
April 24th, 2007, 02:28 AM
Hey everyone

I was interested in learning german independently without any teachers or anything like that but I was curious as to how to go about it. If anyone has a suggestion it would be very highly appreciated.

Thanks

ComplexNumber
April 24th, 2007, 02:40 AM
the best and most effective way to learn a new language is to live in the country where its spoken natively for a while. however, thats not always the most practical option for most.

you could try one of those audio tapes, but i don't know how effective they are.

zubrug
April 24th, 2007, 02:44 AM
Get a german girlfriend/boyfriend, just kidding, try searching torrents, I recall seeing some language instruction stuff there, was looking for spanish.

igknighted
April 24th, 2007, 02:45 AM
the best and most effective way to learn a new language is to live in the country where its spoken natively for a while. however, thats not always the most practical option for most.

you could try one of those audio tapes, but i don't know how effective they are.

I'm trying the next best thing... working on a project where everyone else is in Germany... even then though they all speak great english and I am totally lost in German right now.

Ender Black
April 24th, 2007, 02:46 AM
Damn.. zub beat me to the punch.

Best option IS the long haired dictionary! lol

ComplexNumber
April 24th, 2007, 03:06 AM
I'm trying the next best thing... working on a project where everyone else is in Germany... even then though they all speak great english and I am totally lost in German right now.
that would probably be good too.



just thought of another idea. become active on a german forum. you'll be surprised at just how much improvement you can gain. you'll also be conversing with (mostly) native german folk, so you'll get to know the language the way its written/spoken in germany, including al the slang and the nuances of the language.
you'll still need to work on pronunciation and such like though, but maybe you could try some other interactive medium.

Axis
April 24th, 2007, 03:46 AM
that would probably be good too.



just thought of another idea. become active on a german forum. you'll be surprised at just how much improvement you can gain. you'll also be conversing with (mostly) native german folk, so you'll get to know the language the way its written/spoken in germany, including al the slang and the nuances of the language.
you'll still need to work on pronunciation and such like though, but maybe you could try some other interactive medium.

The main problem with that would be that I speak NO german at all as of now.

Kingsley
April 24th, 2007, 04:22 AM
I suggest that you start off slow with online guides for a few months. During that time, listen to German online radio or videos to get a feel for the language. Then keep developing your vocabulary through websites or forums for German speakers. It would also be great to practice conversing with someone irl that's speaking the language or learning it too. Just don't go too fast.

Titus A Duxass
April 24th, 2007, 05:57 AM
As an Englander living in Germany I can recommend:

1. Linkword - This system will help build a vocabulary, but won't do anything for your Grammar.
2. Watch DVDs in German or in English with German subtitles (have a look on the back of the box to see what languages are available).
3. Listen to German Radio over the internet.
4. Move to Germany!

FoolsGold
April 24th, 2007, 06:28 AM
Well... I suppose you could try talking with a really, really bad fake German accent. That'll get you half-way there, no?

"Vhat are you vhating vor? Zee trouble is zhat you don't try hard enough! LOS!"

Oh, and listen to LOTS OF RAMMSTEIN!!!

I'll let myself out....

karellen
April 24th, 2007, 07:14 AM
get a good grammar book and a dictionary. then, everyday, study 1-2-3 hours. you'll see how you will progress in a matter of weeks/month :)

Wartooth
April 24th, 2007, 04:18 PM
Axis - I am currently several months into my 'force myself to learn German because I darn well want to' experiment. I am doing it with various resources online.

Full disclosure: I was first exposed to German very young by the mother of a close friend who was German. My friend grew up fluent in German as well as English, but didn't care to speak it or pursue it. My friend's mother was THRILLED to find that I enjoyed learning it and would try to teach me a few things here and there. I later took two years of it in high school, but appear to have forgotten darn near everything.

I started here: Deutsche Welle, the German broadcaster has some very nice, very basic courses here: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,2142,2469,00.html So far I have completed the first segment of their Deutsch, Warum Nicht? and am occasionally fiddling with their German Interactive.

You may also want to see about your local library, or if you are near a major metropolitan area, whether the 'big city' library offers library cards for people in your area. I am near, but not IN, Phoenix, and was able to get a library card that gave me access to the full compliment of Rosetta Stone courses (I don't see how anyone learns from them as a stand alone, though, other material seems very necessary to me), as well as a TON of audio courses like Pimsleur.

Once you get into it a bit, and need some further explanations, this site may look odd and have an unusual title, but it's VERY good and has online exercises as well: http://www.acampitelli.com/ It is apparently put together by a professor who teaches German, and German for Music Lovers. It's helping me win the war against the four Cases of German.

You can also sit and watch German TV online, to practice your listening and comprehension skills. http://wwitv.com/portal.htm?http://wwitv.com/television/index.html?http://wwitv.com/television/81.htm Is a list of a TON of online German broadcasters. I recommend watching something like n-tv for a while. They are a news broadcaster, there are commercials from time to time (I freaking LOVE the commercials!!). You can also look to the side and choose places like Austria and Switzerland as well.

I also try to listen to music sung in German, but my musical tastes are kind of odd, so I'm not sure that you'd be down with the German folk metal/rock-ish things I listen to, but I love bands like Schandmaul, Subway to Sally, In Extremo, etc.

And, I am fortunate to have various German online friends, one of whom I Skype with frequently and bother about allllll sorts of grammatical things. I jokingly hold him responsible for the entire German language, ;)

I have purchased the following books:

Essential German Grammar by Stern and Bleiler
Schaum's Outline Series German Grammar by Gschossmann
German Verb Drills by Henschel
German Pronouns and Prepositions by Swick
English Grammar for Students of German - Something like this, IMO, is VITAL if you don't remember much of your grammar terms from school
annnnd of course, a Langenscheidt's English/German dictionary.

So, um, there ya go, that's what I'm doing. Start off with the freebie stuffs online, see how you do with it, if you can stick with it, and then if you can - go from there. :)

Oh, and one last thing ---- All students or potential students of German should read this: http://kombu.de/twain-2.htm It's hilarious, and the further you get into your basic learning, the Twain's essay makes sense. ;)

Axis
April 24th, 2007, 11:09 PM
Axis - I am currently several months into my 'force myself to learn German because I darn well want to' experiment. I am doing it with various resources online.

Full disclosure: I was first exposed to German very young by the mother of a close friend who was German. My friend grew up fluent in German as well as English, but didn't care to speak it or pursue it. My friend's mother was THRILLED to find that I enjoyed learning it and would try to teach me a few things here and there. I later took two years of it in high school, but appear to have forgotten darn near everything.

I started here: Deutsche Welle, the German broadcaster has some very nice, very basic courses here: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,2142,2469,00.html So far I have completed the first segment of their Deutsch, Warum Nicht? and am occasionally fiddling with their German Interactive.

You may also want to see about your local library, or if you are near a major metropolitan area, whether the 'big city' library offers library cards for people in your area. I am near, but not IN, Phoenix, and was able to get a library card that gave me access to the full compliment of Rosetta Stone courses (I don't see how anyone learns from them as a stand alone, though, other material seems very necessary to me), as well as a TON of audio courses like Pimsleur.

Once you get into it a bit, and need some further explanations, this site may look odd and have an unusual title, but it's VERY good and has online exercises as well: http://www.acampitelli.com/ It is apparently put together by a professor who teaches German, and German for Music Lovers. It's helping me win the war against the four Cases of German.

You can also sit and watch German TV online, to practice your listening and comprehension skills. http://wwitv.com/portal.htm?http://wwitv.com/television/index.html?http://wwitv.com/television/81.htm Is a list of a TON of online German broadcasters. I recommend watching something like n-tv for a while. They are a news broadcaster, there are commercials from time to time (I freaking LOVE the commercials!!). You can also look to the side and choose places like Austria and Switzerland as well.

I also try to listen to music sung in German, but my musical tastes are kind of odd, so I'm not sure that you'd be down with the German folk metal/rock-ish things I listen to, but I love bands like Schandmaul, Subway to Sally, In Extremo, etc.

And, I am fortunate to have various German online friends, one of whom I Skype with frequently and bother about allllll sorts of grammatical things. I jokingly hold him responsible for the entire German language, ;)

I have purchased the following books:

Essential German Grammar by Stern and Bleiler
Schaum's Outline Series German Grammar by Gschossmann
German Verb Drills by Henschel
German Pronouns and Prepositions by Swick
English Grammar for Students of German - Something like this, IMO, is VITAL if you don't remember much of your grammar terms from school
annnnd of course, a Langenscheidt's English/German dictionary.

So, um, there ya go, that's what I'm doing. Start off with the freebie stuffs online, see how you do with it, if you can stick with it, and then if you can - go from there. :)

Oh, and one last thing ---- All students or potential students of German should read this: http://kombu.de/twain-2.htm It's hilarious, and the further you get into your basic learning, the Twain's essay makes sense. ;)

Thanks very much. Also, thanks everyone else that has contributed ideas. If anyone else has any suggestions then I would be happy to hear them :)

p.s. rammestein ftw (however its not the reason i want to learn the language)

Teg_Navanis
April 24th, 2007, 11:34 PM
I never learned with tapes and I find it hard to keep motivated if you're not interested in what is actually being said. You will need to spend a lot of time speaking/listening/writing/reading German if you really want to learn the language, so I suggest that you try to combine it with your fields of interest. Listening to and translating German music is one example, as is watching Germand TV. Perhaps you prefer engaging with written texts for a start, since this gives you time to look up the meaning of words et cetera. Perhaps there's a German-speaking online-community (forum/irc) you'd like to join?

Ich wŁnsche dir auf jeden Fall viel Erfolg!

Axis
April 25th, 2007, 12:30 AM
Ich wŁnsche dir auf jeden Fall viel Erfolg!

The same to you

Teg_Navanis
April 25th, 2007, 12:59 AM
Thanks, but I'm a native speaker of German ;)

I was talking about how I learned English. I guess it is a lot easier to stumble over English text that have not been translated to German and that you want to understand than vice versa, especially on the internet.

I've also heard of children eager to learn English so they would not have to wait half a year for the translation of the newest Harry Potter book :) Whatever floats your boat.

dbbolton
April 25th, 2007, 02:15 AM
memorise the contents of dict.leo.org

and you'll be good to go. i also like the rammstein suggestion.

i don't know much german, but what i do know is the collective snowball effect of casually flipping through a Langenscheidt dictionary over the last 12 years. my school only teaches french and spanish. anyway, i was able to carry out fairly lengthy (but casual) conversations with a german exchange student this year.

this will probably sound lame, but if you just chat with german people online, it will help you greatly. most have had 7+ years of english, and are more than willing to help us learn their language.

Axis
April 26th, 2007, 02:48 AM
this will probably sound lame, but if you just chat with german people online, it will help you greatly. most have had 7+ years of english, and are more than willing to help us learn their language.

How would you suggest going about something like this?

u.b.u.n.t.u
April 26th, 2007, 03:04 AM
As an Englander living in Germany I can recommend:

1. Linkword - This system will help build a vocabulary, but won't do anything for your Grammar.
2. Watch DVDs in German or in English with German subtitles (have a look on the back of the box to see what languages are available).
3. Listen to German Radio over the internet.
4. Move to Germany!

5. Let Germany move to you! No wait, that was tried wasn't it. Oh well, 3rd time lucky hopefully ;)

Try "The Rosetta Stone German".

English is a Germanic language so I am comfortable with that. Though English is hardly English anymore. For example, I speak Australian-English.

I think the "English" have lost the patent for "English". It is the universal language and quite rightly so, not the least reason being that it is my foremost language.

Alles gutes mit deinen Deutsche leren.

matchstich
April 26th, 2007, 03:12 AM
i didn't read all thru this thread but
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/german/

dbbolton
April 26th, 2007, 03:54 AM
How would you suggest going about something like this?
i'm sure there are jabber/irc chats in german. the majority of friends i have in germany primarily use icq, though.

edit:

(i am not speaking from experience but...) i've seen a lot of suggestions to move to germany or the like. from my understanding, it is quite difficulty to get a lengthy visa, and nearly impossible to get german citizenship- unless one of your parents has it.

dbbolton
May 7th, 2007, 03:49 AM
i just noticed that the original post was made by "Axis."

i hope we don't have a sympathiser of certain defunct political factions on our hands.

euler_fan
May 7th, 2007, 03:55 AM
There is this little book entitled "German in Review" which is a strait grammer drill book. It's pretty good, I did an independent study in school at one point where all I did was work out of that little book. If you actually put in the time and start at the beginning it will pretty much drill grammar into you head.

Otherwise, German movies and audio books. It might work out fine (if you are willing to spend the money) to actually get German versions of films you know so that you can better match up what is going on without needing to read subtitles.

Good Luck!

diskotek
May 7th, 2007, 07:04 AM
the best and most effective way to learn a new language is to live in the country where its spoken natively for a while. however, thats not always the most practical option for most.

you could try one of those audio tapes, but i don't know how effective they are.

absolutely true... your speaking & pronunciation will be better than your writing :)


Get a german girlfriend/boyfriend, just kidding, try searching torrents, I recall seeing some language instruction stuff there, was looking for spanish.

heheh that's also right...

result: go to germany & have a german boyfriend/girlfriend :D
i took 4 years of german class, but i still can speak few words (yeah it's just because we didn't care of it at that time, i feel sorry now..wish i learnt german better.