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Supervin
22-02-06, 03:00
Hi all.

Do any of you speak German and at what level?

What's the best place to start the language?

Do any of you have recommended textbooks which are useful for learning the language properly (as opposed to business or travel oriented ones)? A suitable analogy for what a good textbook is would be what Genki is to Japanese. Oh and preferably with CD/tape audio to follow along.

Any input would be appreciated.

sl0815
22-02-06, 03:12
Hi,

I'm a native speaker and I think you should think it over. German is a really hard language and even native speakers have their problems with german. I posted this several times before but you may want to have a look at The Awful German Language (http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html) by Mark Twain.

Unfortunately I don't know about any textbooks, sorry.

Cheers, Jan

thomas
22-02-06, 03:45
I am using "Themen aktuell" to teach German. This series comes with CDs and is highly recommended

=> http://www.germanbookcentre.com/themen_aktuell.htm

Supervin
22-02-06, 03:46
Jan: Thanks for the article. I've been referred to that article a lot too.

However, I've heard that once a learner gets the hang of the complexities of German grammar, which is often said to be the hardest part of German, it is all logical and mathematical - how true is this? I'm sure Twain would think otherwise though, as he describes German as "systemless ... and elusive to grasp". I'm sure it's not as serious as Twain makes it out to be though.

Also, the other good thing I've heard is that German is similar in vocabulary to English in a number of ways, considering both are Germanic languages. Again, how true is this?

When given identical phrases in German, Spanish and Italian, I seem to be able to recognize what the German ones mean the most out of the three - however, does this indicate anything as to how hard I will find learning the language?


Thomas: Thanks for the textbook weblink - looks promising as it follows the Common European Framework language levels.

Why do you recommend this course in particular?


EDIT: Finally, does anyone know of any German language learning forums and discussion boards?

sl0815
22-02-06, 04:17
I wouldn't consider german as logical or mathematical and rather agree to Mr. Twain. But I can't really judge because I never learned german as a foreign language.

There are a number of words which are equal to some degree in english and german but I don't think that this would be really helpful when learning german.

I can't say whether it will be easy or hard for you to learn german but if you can afford the mentioned textbook, just give it a shot.


Cheers, Jan

Supervin
22-02-06, 04:25
I wouldn't consider german as logical or mathematical and rather agree to Mr. Twain.
Twain was being satirical if you've understood the article and its context...

So you're saying that German is completely 'systemless' like Twain satirizes?


There are a number of words which are equal to some degree in english and german but I don't think that this would be really helpful when learning german.
Because?


I can't say whether it will be easy or hard for you to learn german but if you can afford the mentioned textbook, just give it a shot.
Do you propose a cheaper alternative then?


I suppose it would really be helpful if I could get feedback from a learner or someone who can empathize with learners.

bossel
22-02-06, 04:29
BTW, we have already some threads about learning German:

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8680

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11410

You will find that even Germans do not necessarily agree about their language.

Here is a resources list you might find useful:

http://www.learn-german-online.net/

Supervin
22-02-06, 04:33
Thanks a lot Bossel for the useful links.