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To all you German speaking forum members out there

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
During the last few weeks I recognized there is quite a fair number of forum members out there whose command of German is pretty amazing. I had always thought that German was kind of difficult to learn and therefore not a very popular subject in school, so I started to wonder who of you has given it a shot nonetheless. How did you like it? Have you ever been to Germany? Anybody who would like to share his or her experiences?
Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland

ccffm1
post #2 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccffm1
During the last few weeks I recognized there is quite a fair number of forum members out there whose command of German is pretty amazing. I had always thought that German was kind of difficult to learn and therefore not a very popular subject in school, so I started to wonder who of you has given it a shot nonetheless. How did you like it? Have you ever been to Germany? Anybody who would like to share his or her experiences?
Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland

ccffm1


you will find a number of extremly intellegent people on this board, who seem to have great skills in a lot of things. I can think of a half dozen who are not German born but have good comand of German.

I am not one of them - I lived in Germany for a while (during the year when the wall went down), and have traveled there extensivly. my german vocabulary is pretty good, but I make it a point not to use verbs, so, if what I need to say is possible by stringing together enough nouns, then I can say it, otherwise I can't.

german has two difficulties, from the perspective of a student - first the verbs are more complex than in many langueges, with more "houses" (I am not sure if this is the correct term in english). secondly, german structure puts words together into very long compound words - which is a very effitient system, but for novices it can make it hard to understand.

I like germany a lot - a great country, with a lot of great culture, a lot of great nature, and I have a fondness for a lot of things german. not to mention the beer and sausages.
post #3 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter

I like germany a lot - a great country, with a lot of great culture, a lot of great nature, and I have a fondness for a lot of things german. not to mention the beer and sausages.


And the riesling GT, don't forget the riesling.

aus
post #4 of 49
How easy it will be for a person to learn German will greatly depend on their native tongue. Dutch speakers always amaze me in that. As a native French speaker, I found it much harder than English, but less so than Russian, for example. It's infuriating that I can understand 80% of Spanish or Italian without ever having studied these languages, whereas Russian still evades me after 5 years of study.

I always had a fondness for the German language, partially because it was a challenge. Particle verbs, prepositions, declensions, tenses...

I have little problem understanding High German, I think I speak decently enough (with a slight French accent that apparently they find sexy- go figure).
My biggest problem, however, is with dialects or strong regional accents. I must admit to being often lost.

I get Prosieben and Deutschewelle through Dishnetwork, and it helps to be exposed to the culture and the language on a regular basis, as I am otherwise rather isolated with regards to German.

I use it for work as well, but not often enough, perhaps one interaction a day, that's about it.

I've never lived in Germany, but visited a good number of times, starting with entire summers when I was a kid.
post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aus_MD
And the riesling GT, don't forget the riesling.

aus
can't forget that
post #6 of 49
I've picked up a little and will be beginning an intensive program in the fall. I actually think it's one of the easier foreign languages to learn for a native English speaker. I think its lack of populairty in schools is more due to it not being a "fun" or "useful" language.
post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
I like germany a lot - a great country, with a lot of great culture, a lot of great nature, and I have a fondness for a lot of things german. not to mention the beer and sausages.
Oh, there’s one German thing I don’t particularly like. Yes, the long string of what appear to be like ‘chained’ words in English are rather confusing. A simple example would be: Silver Arrow in German would read: Silberpfeile. Jon.
post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
Oh, there's one German thing I don't particularly like.

Yes, the long string of what appear to be like "˜chained' words in English are rather confusing. A simple example would be: Silver Arrow in German would read: Silberpfeile.

Jon.


Jon.

what is most confusing about that is that they are usually not in the order that you would have in english, and often include negetives - so you could be struggling to understand the meaning of the first 3 parts before you really understand the word.
post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
It's infuriating that I can understand 80% of Spanish or Italian without ever having studied these languages, whereas Russian still evades me after 5 years of study.

Don't feel too bad about that. My wife's parents, who are both native Russian speakers, spent a year tutoring a Russian language and literature PhD candidate. They said it was like talking to a very young child.
post #10 of 49
Pfeil, no "e".
Most of the time, it's fairly simple, like "Geltungsbeduerfnis", but it can get a bit bewildering when you add a third component or, as GT said, a negation.
post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by chorse123
Don't feel too bad about that. My wife's parents, who are both native Russian speakers, spent a year tutoring a Russian language and literature PhD candidate. They said it was like talking to a very young child.

Thanks for the encouragement. I have not given up on Russian, I am actually gathering books to start studying again, and a Russian friend from St Petersburg has agreed to spend some time speaking to me in Russian when we have lunch together on a weekly basis. I will conquer that language. If only so I can better read my kid's Russian books!
post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Pfeil, no "e".

Are you sure? Oh, wait the "˜e', would make it plural, no? Thus in English it would be Silver Arrows.

Jon.
post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
Are you sure? Oh, wait the "˜e', would make it plural, no? Thus in English it would be Silver Arrows.

Jon.

Schnell wie ein Pfeil, sie antwortet: yes, the plural is in -e
post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Schnell wie ein Pfeil, sie antwortet: yes, the plural is in -e
Ok, so I actually miswrote in English and not in German (ironic, no?). Jon.
post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
How easy it will be for a person to learn German will greatly depend on their native tongue. Dutch speakers always amaze me in that. As a native French speaker, I found it much harder than English, but less so than Russian, for example. It's infuriating that I can understand 80% of Spanish or Italian without ever having studied these languages, whereas Russian still evades me after 5 years of study.

Spanish is easy. Well, at least it is as easy for me as French is for you.

Italian is very closely related to Spanish, so knowing one helps you understand the other. The same applies to Portuguese (from Portugal, not from Brasil).

Jon.
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