Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hello! (Hallo!)

I am still alive (yay!) and still learning German. My active language learning attempts were sidetracked by the great nemesis - life. I have been...

- watching a lot of German movies (or, rather, movies in German)

- listening to German music (Schlagers!)

I finished the two Goethe language courses in August. The advanced course was pretty good. The instructor was a real pro. The intermediate course was weak. The class felt at times like a nest of bald eagles (eek!eek!eek!). The best and most engaging class I had was with a substitute.

Although I've never formally studied German, I managed to integrate well into the more advanced class. My vocabulary was easily the most advanced, my repertoire of ready-made grammatical constructions a bit lacking. A couple of the students had majored in German.

My first attempts at communication resulted in a few errors, often word-order-related. My all-German learning experience apparently did not manage to imbue me with the awesome power of being able to put the verb in the right place. I do have a "feeling" for it but real-time execution is another matter. The class has certainly helped me to overcome the embarrassment of speaking in a new foreign tongue

Written assignments - few mistakes and I managed to put together some impressive sausages er sentences but writing even one page took forever. Very tiresome. If I can only force myself to do more of it.

Reading - I recently bought two ebook readers. One is the new Sony reader, the other is the Astak EZReader. I will post about it when I actually finish a book. So far I am pleased with the Sony. I bought the EZReader because of language and format support. I still have to play with it a little but I am afraid it's not a good machine.


Keith said...

Oh, there goes life, getting in the way of another great language learner!

Welcome back to the internet, Reineke.

frenkeld said...

Embarrassment of speaking in a foreign tongue? I thought that was just me ...

Anyway, welcome back. Looks like you've been busy!

Ivone said...


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Alex said...

Here's a good tip for verb positions: In simple sentences, the verb goes in the second position (i.e after the first idea). All other verbs go at the end.

The main exception to this rule is yes/no questions, in which case you start with the verb. I hope that helps!

reineke said...

Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.

- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court