Newbie first post

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jeannot18
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Newbie first post

Postby jeannot18 » 2018-12-08, 14:50

Hi there, a quick note to introduce myself. I am French guy living in the UK, i speak obviously French, English and Spanish. 2 weeks ago we went to Cologne for a 3 days break, and loved it but was really disappointed in myself for not being able to communicate other than using my English and French. Anyway I decided to start learning German and I don't know how far I will go. I personally find it quite hard, thus at my age is probably hard to remember things, but where i am struggling most is the pronunciation and mainly those long words. Other than breaking them down in syllables any other tips that more seasoned learners could pass on to learn to pronounce them. Thank you
J
Last edited by jeannot18 on 2018-12-08, 15:15, edited 1 time in total.

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langmon
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Re: Newbie first post

Postby langmon » 2018-12-08, 15:03

jeannot18 wrote:Hi there, a quick note to introduce myself. I am French guy living in the UK, i speak obviously French, English and Spanish. 2 weeks ago we went to Cologne for a 3 days break, and loved it but was really disappointed in myself for not being able to communicate other than using my English and French. Anyway I decided to start learning German and I don't know how I will go. I personally find it quite hard, thus at my age is probably hard to remember things, but where i am struggling most is the pronunciation and mainly those long words. Other than breaking them down in syllables any other tips that more seasoned learners could pass on to learn to pronounce them. Thank you
J
Bienvenu, J, und herzlich willkommen.

One way to get closer to German pronunciation could be to use the Spanish one as a starting point. This is because both languages are very phonetic, most words are written exactly as they are pronounced. Also, in German there are no nasal vowels :) (I really love them), nor countless vowels that are written as a single one, but pronounced as a combination of two (as in English).

Another learning tip could be to not try too hard to actively memorize vocabulary. Yes, there are persons who did have some learning success by repeating their word lists over and over. But there are others, too, who found it easier to simply re-visit the language again and again. If this allegory isn't entirely clear, I surely could explain it some more ;).

By the way, I, too, am among the German native speakers on this forum.
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jeannot18
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Re: Newbie first post

Postby jeannot18 » 2018-12-08, 15:21

Thanks B for the reply. That's what i have been doing using the Germanpod101 site, going back to lesson, writing down some stuff and repeating them (some of their lessons are only 3 mins long which is perfect). I am just going to try to practice once a day and see how it goes, I can get quite obsessional when I decide to learn something :D . I saw also the post with exercises posted in here somewhere, so I may give a go at that too. You probably will see my posts popping in once in a while asking for help/tips.
Thank you again
Danke nochmal

J

PS: thanks God for Google translate!!

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langmon
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Re: Newbie first post

Postby langmon » 2018-12-08, 15:49

jeannot18 wrote:Thanks B for the reply. That's what i have been doing using the Germanpod101 site, going back to lesson, writing down some stuff and repeating them (some of their lessons are only 3 mins long which is perfect). I am just going to try to practice once a day and see how it goes, I can get quite obsessional when I decide to learn something :D .

There could be others with a similar obsession :).

I saw also the post with exercises posted in here somewhere, so I may give a go at that too. You probably will see my posts popping in once in a while asking for help/tips.

Whenever I am able to do, I do like to respond to some of them, or even many. And if I do, you shouldn't worry about my time either. (Telling you because of being a rather, well, direct, person, who at the same time also tries to be as polite as possible). If I answer any language question, it also could make me advance with my own language learning process (related to others than German and English). Because I connect each of them to each other (mentally).

Thank you again
Danke nochmal


Thanking three times in total?
I do appreciate your gesture. Just wanted to subtly hint to something, too. I wouldn't expect something like this ;). But please don't get me wrong, d'accord?

PS: thanks God for Google translate!!

Google Translate is among the tools that I, also, am using. And it has more than one helpful feature, I would say. At the same time, it could also be good not to forget that it has some limitations, too. I'd like to especially point out that when entering a single word, it would display one possible meaning only. Others could be known by clicking on the translated word (or doing something similar with a mouseless device). Also, it sometimes is able to translate full phrases and sentences, but sometimes not. The results can really vary.
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Re: Newbie first post

Postby kevin » 2018-12-08, 15:52

Don't be afraid of the long words. It may sound counterintuitive, but in the long run they are one of the things that make German easier than other languages, because they are generally compound words and German loves to use compound words rather than completely separate words for concepts. When you know the words they consist of, you can guess the meaning of the combination even without having learnt it explicitly.

For example, if you're struggling with "Krankenhaus" (hospital), things will become a lot easier to remember once you realise that it's not a completely arbitrary long word, but you got "krank" (sick; ill) and "Haus" (house) in it.

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langmon
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Re: Newbie first post

Postby langmon » 2018-12-08, 16:12

kevin wrote:Don't be afraid of the long words. It may sound counterintuitive, but in the long run they are one of the things that make German easier than other languages, because they are generally compound words and German loves to use compound words rather than completely separate words for concepts.

We have been using them since our childhood (at least many of us), and back then, some of us have been playing with them as if they were Duplo / Lego building blocks. There are too many possibly variations.

When you know the words they consist of, you can guess the meaning of the combination even without having learnt it explicitly.

Definitely.

Just would like to add one little thing for you, J.

If it will be possible to advance a great deal with German as the time goes on, you might want to return to this very topic later once again. Because then, it could be the appropriate time for a rather useful tip related to these Noun Building Blocks. But at least I personally wouldn't mention it right now, unless you would ask. If "you were me", you would ask right now, because this is how I handle things like these. But of course you aren't me, that's why I am only adding a small clue right now ;).

For example, if you're struggling with "Krankenhaus" (hospital), things will become a lot easier to remember once you realise that it's not a completely arbitrary long word, but you got "krank" (sick; ill) and "Haus" (house) in it.

Very true. And learning even a single word like Krankenhaus opens the door to some new possibilities. "Krankenschwester" (nurse) isn't far away either. It literally means the sister of a sick/ill person.

The same principle applies to many others of these compound words.
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Re: Newbie first post

Postby linguoboy » 2019-01-24, 18:51

jeannot18 wrote:I personally find it quite hard, thus at my age is probably hard to remember things, but where i am struggling most is the pronunciation and mainly those long words. Other than breaking them down in syllables any other tips that more seasoned learners could pass on to learn to pronounce them.

The sounds of German are pretty much the sounds of French. Probably the biggest challenge is learning to differentiate /x/ from /r/ because the most common realisations in Standard German, [x] and [ʁ], are both treated as allophones of /r/ in French. Also the strong initial stress, but if you've mastered English, you've already got that down.
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