Just a few tips I found to be helpful when I was learning German and which also helped others when I passed them on.supermatelot said:Cheers for the helpful replies. I've read about sticking post-it notes everywhere with the German word and article for it. I find that helpful. I've also read that the key to learning German is to learn & concentrate on the verbs and the rest falls into place. Is this correct?
Reading the books I have I find the word order difficult and also the der die das aspect. One thing I wonder though is - if I used "der" instead of "die" or "das" - would what I said be still understood or could it change the whole context?
I did French & Spanish at school, got GCSE B's in them and could probably only count to ten in them now! I'm keen to now learn a language and see it through!
Don't neglect the numbers! It's easy to do, I know, but you can easily practice them by looking at the registration plates of parked cars as you walk along and reciting the numbers. First singly, then in pairs and so on.
When you're learning vocabulary, always learn the gender of the word (der, die, das). It'll help you later when you begin to understand the grammar of the language.
German pronunciation is very regular. Learn it and you can practically read yourself into the language. When you're reading, read out loud. This is to get yer gob used to actually forming the words as you would in conversation.
In certain cases, the wrong use of der, die or das can actually change the context. Examples are:
Das MaÃ - the measure(ment)
Die MaÃ - a litre of beer
Der Gehalt - contents
Das Gehalt - wages, earnings
You also have to be aware that some German verbs change according to context. For instance, the verb "erschrecken" - to scare. If somebody scared you, you'd say: "Er hat mich erschreckt". But if you were referring to your own reaction in the same situation, you'd say: "Ich habe mich erschrocken".
I realise that all this sounds very complicated, but the thing to do is keep plugging at it, even if you've got the feeling that you're not really getting it. The point is that it's impossible to learn less, and even if you have the feeling that you're not making progress, you are.
I say that because folks tend to reduce their commitment with things when they find the going a bit hard. They should be doing the exact opposite.
I learned German on my own, and what kept me going in moments of doubt was that I said to myself: there are about 150 million folks who speak German as their native language. With so many, it stands to reason that some of the fÃ¼ckers have GOT to be thicker than me, but they learned it.
If you think I can otherwise be of help, let me know.