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German: massive input in Berlin

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dbag
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3321 days ago

605 posts - 1046 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 97 of 295
04 February 2014 at 1:48pm | IP Logged 
I think that's only really the case if you spend that time reading about the grammar rather than actually working on it explicitly. I would say the whole point of learning grammar explicitly is precisely to avoid a situation like that depicted in the comic.

Nice log by the way, I am very impressed with how many books and films you have managed to get through!

Edited by dbag on 04 February 2014 at 1:48pm

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csidler
Diglot
Pro Member
Australia
chadsidler.com
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51 posts - 59 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Italian, French
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 Message 98 of 295
06 February 2014 at 7:35pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
I am ironically finding HTLAL quite distracting to my goal of immersing myself in German,
so while I love the discussions and community here, the I've decided to try to take a break for a while.

I have to visit family in February in Australia, and will have limited Internet access during that time, so I'll pop back
in March. Or tomorrow depending on my willpower. :)

-----------

EDIT: OK. The break didn't work very well. :( But I am going to try to limit access to the Internet to the late
afternoon/evening. Fingers crossed.


I hope you enjoy your time in Australia!

I'm an Aussie spending the weekend in Berlin! While you are having fun in Australia.
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Tollpatchig
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2306 days ago

161 posts - 210 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Maltese

 
 Message 99 of 295
06 February 2014 at 7:44pm | IP Logged 
I'd really like to go back to Germany. I'm thinking about taking a trip there in
December and staying for two weeks as a birthday trip. I would go to either Berlin or
Muenchen and stay in a hostel. How is Germany in December?
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 100 of 295
08 February 2014 at 10:26pm | IP Logged 
csidler wrote:

I'm an Aussie spending the weekend in Berlin! While you are having fun in Australia.


Hope you had fun. If I was about it would have been fun to have a beer.

Tollpatchig wrote:
I'd really like to go back to Germany. I'm thinking about taking a trip there in
December and staying for two weeks as a birthday trip. I would go to either Berlin or
Muenchen and stay in a hostel. How is Germany in December?


I can't tell you anything useful about Munich, since I have never been there. I love Berlin. It's pretty two-faced though: winters can be cold and somewhat grey. Personally if I had only two weeks to be in Germany I would go sometime between April and November as it's much nicer to walk around, but small two-week doses it's probably very nice.

Do you have any particular plans/ideas what you want to do there?

Edited by patrickwilken on 08 February 2014 at 10:28pm

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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 101 of 295
15 February 2014 at 1:04am | IP Logged 
I've been in Australia for a week now and am increasingly frustrated by my lack of German reading. I am surprised at how much jetlag has knocked out my ability to read German. It's not that I can't function in other ways here, but the cognitive skills I apparently need to read for any extended period of time have been missing for the last week.

Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll get back to a more normal level of learning.
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csidler
Diglot
Pro Member
Australia
chadsidler.com
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 Message 102 of 295
15 February 2014 at 9:53am | IP Logged 
Did you get much done on the plane? Which airline did you fly with?

I find it is always harder going from Europe to Australia than it is going from Australia to Europe.


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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 103 of 295
16 February 2014 at 12:02am | IP Logged 
csidler wrote:
Did you get much done on the plane? Which airline did you fly with?


I managed to watch three films with varying degrees of German:

360. About Time (2013). Slight romantic comedy. All in German, and no difficulty understanding, but nothing super special. 4/10.

359. Captain Phillips (2013). Only really half a film as the the non-English dialogue was with subtitles. Thought it was OK, but nothing super special. 6/10.

358. Finsterworld (2013). Interesting German film - difficult to ignore¬†burnt-on English subtitles on small screen, but enjoyable film. Would like to watch it again properly once I'm back in Berlin. 7/10.

Finsterworld is worth looking out for if you can find it.

Edited by patrickwilken on 16 February 2014 at 12:02am

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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 104 of 295
20 February 2014 at 9:06pm | IP Logged 
Using Anki

My mother still does the crossword every day, as she was encouraged to do so by her teacher when she first emigrated to Australia in the 1940s as a technique to build her English vocabulary. I guess they didn't have SRS software back in the 1948. :)

Yesterday she and I - I'm visiting her at the moment - learnt the word "corona" for a halo of light around the moon.

I guess whether you continue to use Anki for the next 65 years is a question of style of learning more than anything. I am sure it would continue to be useful to build vocabulary for a long time.

I was pretty systematic with Anki, using the program for an one hour a day, for over a year, 'learning' about 8000 cards in that period. Why did I stop?

Unlike my mother I could never imagine using Anki daily for the rest of my life to learn German. That just isn't my style. It's really a question of learning aesthetics for me. Anki always felt like a prop or crutch to get me to the point in learning where I could learn simply by doing the native language, without any extras. So it was always a question of when, not whether, I would give up Anki.

After about six months of using SRS I started reading real books on the Kindle, and diligently added words I didn't know, plus example sentences, into Anki. Over time my reading rate started to increase dramatically, but my learning rate with SRS remained pretty steady at about 30 cards/day. Six months after I started reading I was in the bizarre situation that the cards I was adding for a particular book would - given the backlog of cards already not learnt - remain unseen in my Anki queue for another six-to-twelve months, and the gap was getting ever wider.

Of course, I could have just put in only the important words to Anki, but how do you decide which word is really important before you really know the word? Perhaps "corona" is more important than it seems. I didn't want to stress about trying to work out what words I needed to learn now, as opposed to six months from now, as opposed to sixty years from now.

A major insight I got from Anki was that words embedded in sentences are learnt much much more easily than words alone. But what is a book, but a whole bunch of words - some unknown - embedded in sentences? For learning purposes why not see X sentences once in a book, rather than 1 sentence X times in SRS?

So I decided to stop using Anki and just concentrate on reading books and watching movies and see where that got me. I was scared at first to lose all the words I had learnt in Anki, but despite losing some previously learnt from my Anki deck, my vocabulary has continued to improve at a steady natural rate eight months after I stopped using SRS.

Anki is really useful to get you to a certain point - for me that was ready access to native materials - but after that point it's OK, perhaps even important, to let it go.


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