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Cacao

Speedy and effective way to learn language

I am learning german and my target is to know german language at the end of this year in limited sense of course. I have a lot of time. I study a bit so far and its going good, but I am looking for methods to speed up the learning. So any suggestions are welcome. I am currently using flash cards a bit and I have a small dictionary and a german  monolingual dictionary that I read everyday. I also watch youtube videos of german stuff, and downloaded whatever german book that I could find for free. I also have one book with german lessons and few study books. I read some german wikipedia here and there and I also have an electronic german dictionary. My target is to know decent grammar so I can write in proper word order and in proper inflection etc. and I also want to have some 6000 word vocab so I can use all the most basic words plus speak roughly about some common topics. I dont hope to achive too much beyond basic ability to get around in everyday life and getting a simple job in german speaking country.

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You can find someone from Germany who wants to learn English, and communicate with him/her using Skype. I know people who do it, they help each other, and it works. Also you can do a job or pursue your hobby using German. When my friend was learning English, she tried to find different programmes for her job only in English (she builds websites using the Joomla templates or Wordpress), and it really helped her not only to learn new words, but to improve her web designer's skills. I think that the best way to learn the foreign language is to make the process of studying interesting, because if you're bored, it won't bring the results.

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@LittleLady has it right.

Immersion is the best technique if you can find a location. Most Eastern European countries have pockets of German speakers; go to one and deal only in German. If you have to know a language in order to eat, it speeds the process and makes it more deeply bound.

When I lived in Germany I would go weeks without even thinking in English; same when I lived in Colombia. When you begin to dream in German, you'll know you're there.

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4 hours ago, LittleLady said:

You can find someone from Germany who wants to learn English, and communicate with him/her using Skype. I know people who do it, they help each other, and it works. Also you can do a job or pursue your hobby using German. When my friend was learning English, she tried to find different programmes for her job only in English (she builds websites using the Joomla templates or Wordpress), and it really helped her not only to learn new words, but to improve her web designer's skills. I think that the best way to learn the foreign language is to make the process of studying interesting, because if you're bored, it won't bring the results.

 

2 hours ago, byhisello99 said:

@LittleLady has it right.

Immersion is the best technique if you can find a location. Most Eastern European countries have pockets of German speakers; go to one and deal only in German. If you have to know a language in order to eat, it speeds the process and makes it more deeply bound.

When I lived in Germany I would go weeks without even thinking in English; same when I lived in Colombia. When you begin to dream in German, you'll know you're there.

Thanks guys. I already thought about this, but I plan to learn first and then immers my self. Pin the basics down on my own and then go on to learning in real time in job where I will be using german. As for having someone to speak to that would be great and I think interesting. At the moment I am learning phrases and trying to learn to write so I can actually write something on german forums. As for having someone to talk to I assume I can find someone somewhere over the internet. Skype sounds interesting.

I actually have pretty big vocabulary of german words since I learn some 20 words a day if not more, the issue is that its random words and I cant put them yet into meaningful sentences. However other than that I immers my self a lot. I read weather sites, news sites, wiki in German and downloaded a lot of books and classical works in german.

I also plan on making a list of shows that I want to watch and list of interesting documentaries in german as well as whatever I can find. I watched a childrens story on youtube which was pretty cool.

Edited by Cacao

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It can also be helpful to watch subtitled movies in the target language.

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It depends a lot on where you are in your knowledge of the language and how you learn best.  I tried immersion at one point and it was a disaster.  I needed lots of book work before anything close to immersion would work for me.  I spent a lot of time learning vocabulary, conjugating verbs, and working on other parts of the language.  Only after I had done a lot of that did anything close to immersion start to help me.

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1 hour ago, Monte314 said:

It can also be helpful to watch subtitled movies in the target language.

Yes I know and I have some download movies in german. I think I have Dr. House in German with subtitles. Or something else.

 

 
 
...... added to this post 4 minutes later:
 
1 hour ago, Warrior said:

It depends a lot on where you are in your knowledge of the language and how you learn best.  I tried immersion at one point and it was a disaster.  I needed lots of book work before anything close to immersion would work for me.  I spent a lot of time learning vocabulary, conjugating verbs, and working on other parts of the language.  Only after I had done a lot of that did anything close to immersion start to help me.

I agree. While I also agree that immersion is necessary to speed up the learning process I want to have a decent foundation in the language in order to make the most of the immersion. I tend to forget words, but once I get more acquianted with language I tend to recall better. I remember going into a french speaking school and all I knew was how to say "My name is ... " and that was it. My teacher refused to use english and I was lost for 45 minutes. Plus he was really going fast for me so I was barely taking away anything from the classes. Later after few years I become better and started picking up on the language slowly, but I was really not doing well. I had every class in french and it was horror.

 

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14 hours ago, Warrior said:

I tried immersion at one point and it was a disaster.

I spent 3 days in France, alone and only coming across French speakers, or a-holes who wouldn't communicate with me in English. When you're unable to communicate and you've got nothing to eat, nothing to drink, nowhere to sleep, etc, you LEARN to communicate. By 2.5 days, I was having half-decent conversations. Remember that necessity is the mother of invention. Nothing like the threat of impending death to motivate a person's brain.

I already knew some French vocab and grammar from school. But it didn't really stick then, while when I NEEDED it to survive, it was surprising how naturally it all popped into my head.

Edited by scorpiomover

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3 hours ago, scorpiomover said:

I spent 3 days in France, alone and only coming across French speakers, or a-holes who wouldn't communicate with me in English. When you're unable to communicate and you've got nothing to eat, nothing to drink, nowhere to sleep, etc, you LEARN to communicate. By 2.5 days, I was having half-decent conversations. Remember that necessity is the mother of invention. Nothing like the threat of impending death to motivate a person's brain.

I already knew some French vocab and grammar from school. But it didn't really stick then, while when I NEEDED it to survive, it was surprising how naturally it all popped into my head.

I had much the same experience, but that isn't learning the language.  I knew enough to survive in the situation I was in, but I didn't know why I was saying what I was saying.  I was a rat in an experiment and I knew if I made a series of sounds, I could expect some results.  I didn't know why I was using a certain conjugation at the time or even what the words meant. 

Edited by Warrior

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3 minutes ago, Warrior said:

I had much the same experience, but that isn't learning the language.  I knew enough to survive in the situation I was in, but I didn't know why I was saying what I was saying.  I was a rat in an experiment and I knew if I made a series of sounds, I could expect some results.  I didn't know why I was using a certain conjugation at the time or even what the words meant.

You may have consciously felt that you were incompetent. But the highest level of competency is unconscious competency, like walking or eating. You don't really need to think how to walk on pavement, or how to eat shredded wheat. You just do.

People who have a perception of conscious competency, may have read all of the books and think that they know what they are doing. But they frequently don't. Like a guy who comes to a martial arts class you're in, who read a book on it and thinks he knows it all, but doesn't even know how to do a punch correctly. The essence of these things is in the understanding of how they work in practice, which frequently fails to be understood from simply reading a book that tells them the rules.

Normally, a much better indicator of competency is to put the person with those who are clearly competent, such as native speakers, and see if they feel the need to start speaking in the person's language, as that indicates that their difficulty with a language that they are not as good at as their native language is still less than the difficulty of hearing the person mangle their language. If they are happy to converse with him in their language, then he's probably pretty decent.

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Why don't you put some feelers out on couchsurfing or tinder? Date some Germans?

 
 
...... added to this post 0 minutes later:
 

My German improved exponentially with a German speaking bf.

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The best way is to post content that emotionally activates other people on german language forums. You and your german partners will be emotionally activated and so your motivation will not falter.

You will need these expressions:

"Donald Trump sollte Deutschland nuke"

"Puerto Rico ist besser als deutsche Fußballmannschaft"

"Mein Führer, die Leute sind Idioten.!"

You can also download an app/dictionnary on firefox that will translate individual words automatically in German I bet. I downloaded one for Chinese and it is very helpful.

Edited by GhenghisKhan

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