Learning German

Cheers for all the advice fellas,. This thread got moved from int so only just found it again.

Im 33 now. To expand further - Will my brain ever become fluent at that age?
Another issue - based on the books I have.. They all assume you have a perfect command of English grammar. I have no idea what nominative, dative, accusative...you get my drift.. actually means in real terms. That is one big issue I find. does anybody know of somewhere I can get explanations in layman's terms?

Cheers
 

Bugsy

LE
supermatelot said:
Cheers for all the advice fellas,. This thread got moved from int so only just found it again.

Im 33 now. To expand further - Will my brain ever become fluent at that age?
Another issue - based on the books I have.. They all assume you have a perfect command of English grammar. I have no idea what nominative, dative, accusative...you get my drift.. actually means in real terms. That is one big issue I find. does anybody know of somewhere I can get explanations in layman's terms?

Cheers
Supermatelot,

You run the risk of confusing yourself and becoming disheartened if you go at this from the "technical" side. I have a few sheets that I used to use in my own classes which explain things in simple, life-relevant terms. I'm a bit pushed work-wise at the moment, but I'll dig them out and either PM or e-mail them to you. They're the result of 35 years of teaching English, Italian and German to folks.

Don't worry about becoming fluent at your age. I started to learn German when I was 24 and it never stopped me becoming fluent in the language. Don't believe all this you hear about only bilingual folks being able to speak both languages fluently. It's simply not true.

You have it in your own hands. I know full well from personal experience how daunting the task looks at the moment, but whatever mindset you decide to adopt, you'll always be right. You can say either: "I can't do this", or you can say: "I can't do this YET". Your choice.

MsG
 

zulu-uhlu

Old-Salt
supermatelot said:
Cheers for all the advice fellas,. This thread got moved from int so only just found it again.

Im 33 now. To expand further - Will my brain ever become fluent at that age?
Another issue - based on the books I have.. They all assume you have a perfect command of English grammar. I have no idea what nominative, dative, accusative...you get my drift.. actually means in real terms. That is one big issue I find. does anybody know of somewhere I can get explanations in layman's terms?

Cheers
You might become fluent, but you'll always have an english accent.

As for the nominative,accusative etc, there are a few on here that seem to be exceptionally brilliant at it. Much better than me any day.

Do you need to know all that, erm......it would be nice, but you'll get by without it, as you get by in English without it.

As a beginner, learning German should be fun, not all hard graft. As you get better you might want to learn a bit about the academic side.

Ikke bin Berliner, Wat Du kanns, Kan ikke schon lange!
 

Bugsy

LE
[quote="zulu-uhlu]You might become fluent, but you'll always have an english accent.[/quote]
Chascht nödd vo' dir sälbe immer uusgo, Alter. Wänn i räd, hann i aas perfächte Schwitzer Dialäkt. Die Düutschen dänchen dass i dahercho.

[quote="zulu-uhlu]As for the nominative,accusative etc, there are a few on here that seem to be exceptionally brilliant at it. Much better than me any day.

Do you need to know all that, erm......it would be nice, but you'll get by without it, as you get by in English without it.[/quote]
The cases in English have no immediate or visible influence on the language, since it's no longer inflected. He will need to learn the cases in German if he wants to become fluent and, in addition, avoid misunderstandings. You may believe that you can get by without them, but I shudder to think of the level of German you produce.

MsG
 

zulu-uhlu

Old-Salt
Bugsy said:
[quote="zulu-uhlu]You might become fluent, but you'll always have an english accent.
Chascht nödd vo' dir sälbe immer uusgo, Alter. Wänn i räd, hann i aas perfächte Schwitzer Dialäkt. Die Düutschen dänchen dass i dahercho.

[quote="zulu-uhlu]As for the nominative,accusative etc, there are a few on here that seem to be exceptionally brilliant at it. Much better than me any day.

Do you need to know all that, erm......it would be nice, but you'll get by without it, as you get by in English without it.[/quote]
The cases in English have no immediate or visible influence on the language, since it's no longer inflected. He will need to learn the cases in German if he wants to become fluent and, in addition, avoid misunderstandings. You may believe that you can get by without them, but I shudder to think of the level of German you produce.

MsG[/quote]

Bugsy,

You can shudder all you like. :D

Your standard of German is too serious for a beginner.
It's too much hard work & no fun at all!

Der, Die, Das plus Er, Sie, sie, Es sie is hard enough for anyone to start with! :)
 

Bugsy

LE
zulu-uhlu said:
Bugsy,

You can shudder all you like. :D

Your standard of German is too serious for a beginner.
It's too much hard work & no fun at all!
OK, fair one. Like most folks, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but also a professional translator. I was never satisfied with just being able to stumble something together and hope for the best. However, if you’re content with that, fine.

zulu-uhlu said:
Der, Die, Das plus Er, Sie, sie, Es sie is hard enough for anyone to start with! :)
And what about dem, den, des, dessen, deren, denen, not to forget ihr (collective familiar)? Don’t you think they might be important too?

I realise it’s a lot to learn (having actually gone through the process myself), but it can be done. That’s when it starts to become fun.

Believe me, there’s no finer confirmation of all the work you put into learning a language than when native speakers ask you to produce your passport because they won’t accept that you’re (in my case) Irish.

MsG
 
I'd say watch german tv, read their papers, listen to their radio and try to speak with the Germans. Don't be afraid to make mistakes - that's how you learn. When I said listen, I meant just that. Don't try to translate just sak it up and tune your ears to the different way the words are spoken/pronounced; you wil be surprised how much you understand after a short while.

Bugsy stated that the language went through a reformation. Whilst this is true, it is also true to say that both varients live side by side and it will become apparent when you start reading.

Now filling in official German forms is another whole ball game 8O
 
Watch old war movies....

It's amazing how often you will need the phrase "Achtung, Spitfire!!!!!" in everyday use.
 
Watch old porn movies....

It's amazing how often you will need the phrase "Achtung, Spitfire!!!!!" in everyday use.
 

samm1551

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
Recce19 said:
Now filling in official German forms is another whole ball game 8O
How very true...I've had to do a bit of this lately..aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhh is all I can say! :x
 
samm1551 said:
Recce19 said:
Now filling in official German forms is another whole ball game 8O
How very true...I've had to do a bit of this lately..aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhh is all I can say! :x
Same here :( Some of the wording even had my German mates stumped!
 
roadster280 said:
If you can do the mil courses, it helps one to learn the structure of the language. In the JHQ area, it was Basic german for 10 weeks every Tuesday evening or something. Then 6 weeks fulltime at the AEC for Colloquial, and another 8 weeks for Advanced Colloquial at Salmond House.

None of these courses taught the second person familiar (du), which does not really have a translation in English. In French, it is the same as tu. The net effect would be that the mob would teach you how to politely ask a farmer for fresh milk, eggs and bread, but if you tried it on with the ladies, you'd end up sounding awfully posh "I say, would you mind awfully if I got in your knickers?".
The mil courses also concentrated on weapons and military terms, culminating in a day of weapon handling training (all in German) from the Luftwaffe. Mil terms are compound nouns and hurt the brain (but are relatively deducible). I had to give a 20 minute presentation on the Fuchs NBC recce vehicle. Fark me!

Some of the trg material was very dated. "Bitte rauchen Sie diese Zigarette".

Some of the blokes on the course (at least Colloquial) had German birds, and had learned LOTS of bad habits. One of the intrs must have been on Monty's staff, he'd been in that long, and had an apoplectic fit when one of the lads said "Klamotten" for clothing, or just D' for die, der or das. As in "D' Tisch". Terry Waite, where are you now? :)

Brought back some memories, this thread has. Sorry for the ramble.

Viel Glueck!
Voulez vous couchez avec moi, ce soir :D
 
roadster280 said:
If you can do the mil courses, it helps one to learn the structure of the language. In the JHQ area, it was Basic german for 10 weeks every Tuesday evening or something. Then 6 weeks fulltime at the AEC for Colloquial, and another 8 weeks for Advanced Colloquial at Salmond House.

None of these courses taught the second person familiar (du), which does not really have a translation in English. In French, it is the same as tu. The net effect would be that the mob would teach you how to politely ask a farmer for fresh milk, eggs and bread, but if you tried it on with the ladies, you'd end up sounding awfully posh "I say, would you mind awfully if I got in your knickers?".

The mil courses also concentrated on weapons and military terms, culminating in a day of weapon handling training (all in German) from the Luftwaffe. Mil terms are compound nouns and hurt the brain (but are relatively deducible). I had to give a 20 minute presentation on the Fuchs NBC recce vehicle. Fark me!

Some of the trg material was very dated. "Bitte rauchen Sie diese Zigarette".

Some of the blokes on the course (at least Colloquial) had German birds, and had learned LOTS of bad habits. One of the intrs must have been on Monty's staff, he'd been in that long, and had an apoplectic fit when one of the lads said "Klamotten" for clothing, or just D' for die, der or das. As in "D' Tisch". Terry Waite, where are you now? :)

Brought back some memories, this thread has. Sorry for the ramble.

Viel Glueck!
Your post brought back some memories :D
Trying to combine sentences like "Can my officer park 10 vehicles in your barn" and "we need to camoflage the VDLB" into a reasonable chat up line was extremely tricky :D
 
Alsacien said:
roadster280 said:
If you can do the mil courses, it helps one to learn the structure of the language. In the JHQ area, it was Basic german for 10 weeks every Tuesday evening or something. Then 6 weeks fulltime at the AEC for Colloquial, and another 8 weeks for Advanced Colloquial at Salmond House.

None of these courses taught the second person familiar (du), which does not really have a translation in English. In French, it is the same as tu. The net effect would be that the mob would teach you how to politely ask a farmer for fresh milk, eggs and bread, but if you tried it on with the ladies, you'd end up sounding awfully posh "I say, would you mind awfully if I got in your knickers?".

The mil courses also concentrated on weapons and military terms, culminating in a day of weapon handling training (all in German) from the Luftwaffe. Mil terms are compound nouns and hurt the brain (but are relatively deducible). I had to give a 20 minute presentation on the Fuchs NBC recce vehicle. Fark me!

Some of the trg material was very dated. "Bitte rauchen Sie diese Zigarette".

Some of the blokes on the course (at least Colloquial) had German birds, and had learned LOTS of bad habits. One of the intrs must have been on Monty's staff, he'd been in that long, and had an apoplectic fit when one of the lads said "Klamotten" for clothing, or just D' for die, der or das. As in "D' Tisch". Terry Waite, where are you now? :)

Brought back some memories, this thread has. Sorry for the ramble.

Viel Glueck!
Your post brought back some memories :D
Trying to combine sentences like "Can my officer park 10 vehicles in your barn" and "we need to camoflage the VDLB" into a reasonable chat up line was extremely tricky :D
As was "Would you like to see die Vordereranddervertiedigungstellung?"
 

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