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To all you German speaking forum members out there - Page 2

post #16 of 49
"I know a little German.........he is sitting right over there"
post #17 of 49
Thread Starter 
Oh yes, the compounds. The ones that induce headache even to Germans are most often legal terms. Just have a go on these:

Fernstraßenbauprivatfinanzierungsgesetz or

Steuerverkürzungsbekämpfungsgesetz or

Schuldrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz.

I will not even try to translate them. Okay, perhaps the first one, which means about

Statute of private funding for the construction of highways. Does that make any sense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
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.

You´re not alone. My girlfriend is from Schwerin. Most people from Northern Germany speak what is considered to be High German. When she moved to Mannheim in Baden - Württemberg in the South she had a pretty hard time holding a conversation. It took her more than a year to get used to it.
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccffm1
Oh yes, the compounds. The ones that induce headache even to Germans are most often legal terms. Just have a go on these:

Fernstraßenbauprivatfinanzierungsgesetz or

Steuerverkürzungsbekämpfungsgesetz or

Schuldrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz.

I will not even try to translate them. Okay, perhaps the first one, which means about

Statute of private funding for the construction of highways. Does that make any sense?



You´re not alone. My girlfriend is from Schwerin. Most people from Northern Germany speak what is considered to be High German. When she moved to Mannheim in Baden - Württemberg in the South she had a pretty hard time holding a conversation. It took her more than a year to get used to it.

Thanks for the great examples- let me just say that I'm from Bremen (thus priding myself to speak an excellent german without any unsophisticated accent...) and am about to move to Freiburg in the far south to study law and therefore concern myself with nice compound words like the one's mentioned previously...

But it's true- I'm always amazed how well so many members of this forum have mastered the german language. My host brother from the US is coming over this summer (starting HS, had one year of geman in school) to improve his german. I can honestly say that I'm proud as something that he chose to learn german and not another language he had the possibility to learn.
So, I do my bit in teaching him german (and did when I was over there, already).

I really have to start leaning french though (I'll go to France this summer and have plenty of opportunities studying 30 mins. away from the french border).
It's funny though that I can actually read alot of french based on my knowlede of English, Latin and Spanish though. Hopefully this won't be too bad with all the accents and so on...
post #19 of 49
I love how German words contain whole paragraphs.

It seems to me, Chinese would be a difficult language of foreigners to learn.
post #20 of 49
From what I understand Germans tend to be able to pick up Greek reasonably well, probably a lot to do with the fact that both Greek and German share the complexity of underlying syntactical structure - and the word stringing (not as much as German of course). The clear hard consonant sounds used in German make it easier, I think, also. I should probably give it a shot, especially as I have forgotten most of my French and Italian. Woohoo, a new language for me to forget
post #21 of 49
Since I am German I can tell you that when learning the language grammar is much more inportant than it is in English. When I started to learn English it was never, with the exception of irregular verbs, an issue.
As far as grammar is concerned I would think German is about as hard to learn as French or Latin.
When I started learning Russian I was intruduced to the true difficulties...

It is correct to combine words ad infinitum to make new words. Official or legal German words tend to be rather long already. A pilot becomes a Luftfahrzeugführer, a truck becomes a Lastkraftwagen. It can basically go on forever, to quote a classic: A mashine that sows on the emblem of a captain's cap of a Rhine shippingline becomes "Rheinschifffahrtgesellschaftskapitänsmützenabzeichennähmaschine".
How about a person who trains the engineers who build such machines?
"Rheinschifffahrtgesellschaftskapitänsmützenabzeichennähmaschinenkonstruktionsingenieursausbilder"

The software can't handle it and inserts ramdom spaces
post #22 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

Ich habe fur drei jahren in Deutschland gewohnt, aber ich war einer junger kind - sorry about the umlaut I took German in high school, and spent a couple of weeks visiting my parents friends one summer, but it's Greek to me now Teenage boy + German bier =
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by muelleran
"Rheinschifffahrtgesellschaftskapitänsmützenabzeichennähmaschinenkonstruktionsingenieursausbilder"

LOL, I mean I know the Donaudampfschiffahrtskapitän (an actual term for the captain of a steam ship on the danube) but that one is really good. The last part doesn't make thaaat much sense anymore but remains within the limitations of german grammer, so we're good.
post #24 of 49
I learnt german by being in a german-immersion program for 12 years, grades 1 through 12. Half the day was in english, half in german. I suppose I never really found it all that difficult because I sort of grew up with it in school. The one problem I always had was figuring out the Artikel of different nouns, whether something was der, die or das. Words don't follow any specific pattern that would make identification easier except for the fact that all words that end in "e" are feminine (die).
post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by muelleran
Since I am German I can tell you that when learning the language grammar is much more inportant than it is in English. When I started to learn English it was never, with the exception of irregular verbs, an issue.
As far as grammar is concerned I would think German is about as hard to learn as French or Latin.
When I started learning Russian I was intruduced to the true difficulties...

It is correct to combine words ad infinitum to make new words. Official or legal German words tend to be rather long already. A pilot becomes a Luftfahrzeugführer, a truck becomes a Lastkraftwagen. It can basically go on forever, to quote a classic: A mashine that sows on the emblem of a captain's cap of a Rhine shippingline becomes "Rheinschifffahrtgesellschaftskapitänsmützenabzeichennähmaschine".
How about a person who trains the engineers who build such machines?
"Rheinschifffahrtgesellschaftskapitänsmützenabzeichennähmaschinenkonstruktionsingenieursausbilder"

The software can't handle it and inserts ramdom spaces

More like Latin. I took 3 years of Latin and about 5 years of French (a lot of it forgotten, I'm sad to say) and German strikes more akin to learning Latin than French.

Jon.
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by skalogre
From what I understand Germans tend to be able to pick up Greek reasonably well, probably a lot to do with the fact that both Greek and German share the complexity of underlying syntactical structure - and the word stringing (not as much as German of course). The clear hard consonant sounds used in German make it easier, I think, also. I should probably give it a shot, especially as I have forgotten most of my French and Italian. Woohoo, a new language for me to forget

I will admit the one great thing about Rioplatense Castellano (Spanish from Argentina), and its Buenos Aires-based Lunfardo variation is that picking up Italian is relatively easy. Sure, words will escape you, but for the most part you will be able to understand quite a bit of what you are reading (and listening to, as long as it is spoken slowly enough).

Jon.
post #27 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by denning
I learnt german by being in a german-immersion program for 12 years, grades 1 through 12. Half the day was in english, half in german. I suppose I never really found it all that difficult because I sort of grew up with it in school. The one problem I always had was figuring out the Artikel of different nouns, whether something was der, die or das. Words don't follow any specific pattern that would make identification easier except for the fact that all words that end in "e" are feminine (die).

FYI: Some word endings do tip you off as far as their gender is concerned. For example, words ending in -keit are feminine, so are words ending in -tät, -us are masculine, etc. There is a good number of French words in German (merci Napo) or words derived from the French, and these tend to keep the same gender they had in French (of course you still have to decide if the masculine French will end up being der or das, you take a chance, but at least you've eliminated the feminine!).
post #28 of 49
I'm American but did some of my schooling in Europe. Alors, je parle francais and "bin der deutschen Sprache maechtig" (one of the funnier ways to say I speak German).

Hanseat, congrats on acceptance to the Univ. of Freiburg to study law. I studied law there myself. I was an LL.M. student under Prof. Peter Schlectriem, who has since retired. You'll probably use some of his books later as he is the leading scholar on international commercial law. You might also use Prof. Dieter Liepold's books on the BGB...he's a good professor. Anyway, you'll have fun with the Allemanisch accent/dialect you'll hear around town. At the university most speak High German. The Univ. of Freiburg is excellent and the town and location absolutely charming.

I learned German in Vienna, so I still have a bit of an Austrian accent when I want, though I lost some of it in Germany. I am very glad that I learned a dialect so that I can understand Austrians, Bavarians, and some Schwaebisch and Allemanisch without much difficulty. I think speaking a dialect is a great advantage.

Fabienne, how do you get Prosieben and other German channels? Is that only with a satalite dish? I take it you live in the US?
post #29 of 49
Talking about the Hasselhof-phenomenon there's even an article on the "Germany Survival Bible" on Spiegel Online:

http://service.spiegel.de/cache/inte...407072,00.html

There are tons of other very funny anectodetes about Germany- so if you have the time, it's fun to read through some of them.

Freiburg is an excellent university indeed- it's always ranked as the best university for humanities in Germany and has some world-class departments like micromachines (leading together with Univ. of Tokyo and Ann Arbor) and law. Excellent reputation in basically anything they do and thus they'll be awarded the elite-status by the federal government to get more federal funding (plus they get the best students and outside money).
Also, it's a cool place to live- Switzerland, France and Italy close, most sun anywhere in Germany and a vibrant economy with many of the world's leading companies in their field (Baden-Wuerttemberg is the high-tech state together with Bavaria).
Plus, did I mention there are many female med students, all of whom were in the top 3-5 of their class... I'll be spending a lot of time in the library (that is getting a massive overhaul at the moment like many other facilities) so I can just as well look for someone with a Pschrembel on their desk (the medical dictionary). Great food, beer and wine too (Wein, Weib und Gesang). I'm really looking forward to it as you can tell.

Siggy, as you know the drill in Freiburg already (at least today you attend the regular lectures) would you like to share a bit of your experiences with me via PM? What are you doing with the LLM now, was it helpful (and also, what's Freiburg's reputation in the international professional world?). I'd greatly appreciate it.
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siggy

Fabienne, how do you get Prosieben and other German channels? Is that only with a satalite dish? I take it you live in the US?

Yes, I live in the US. I get Prosieben and Deutschewelle through Dishnetwork; a rather substantial satellite dish was installed on the roof of my house. I also get TV5 Monde, a francophone channel, all three channels for $34.96 a month. I upgraded the satellite dish (Superdish) to accommodate the German channels only recently, and I thought I would mainly watch Deutschewelle, but it turns out I have it on Prosieben most often, mainly because Deutschewelle broadcasts many a program in English, and since it's my German I wish to be exposed to, it defeats the purpose. Prosieben has some hilarious programs, like "Schiller Strasse" (an improv show with talented actors), many police TV series, like Inspektor Rolle, and many other series like Lota in love, Kathryn ist die beste (a bit corny and outdated), documentaries, etc. I wish I had time to watch more, but a half hour a day is already better than nothing.
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