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German: massive input in Berlin

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montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3127 days ago

2371 posts - 3675 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Danish, Welsh

 
 Message 17 of 295
08 September 2013 at 4:17pm | IP Logged 
BTW, that link for sentence-mining is dead, and searches for the same article also come
up with dead links. I've read Khazumoto's article on the "how", but it's a bit Japanese
specific.

I'd be interested in knowing how someone studying a European language (and specifically
German) goes about this. Thanks!

e.g. How do you go about choosing your sentences?
1 person has voted this message useful



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

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 18 of 295
09 September 2013 at 10:23am | IP Logged 
montmorency wrote:
We have friends in Münster (which I like very much), although we don't know the area
towards the Dutch border so well. My friends tell me they never actually visit the NL
(except perhaps to pass through). I half understand this and half not. To them, I
think, the culture (e.g. the cycling!) is so similar, that they'd rather spend their
precious vacation time somewhere a bit different (like the UK!), or somewhere hot (not
(usually) the UK!).


I like Münster too. My father-in-law works there, and in fact my wife and I even did the  English translation for the audio guide for the city. However, I've only been there a couple of times as it's a good hour from my wife's family farm.

I think closer to the border there is a lot of back-and-forth. I know alot of German's near the border go to the Dutch supermarket's or weekly markets to shop and visit the local festivals. My wife has a cousin who married a Dutchman and lives on the other side of the border now.

montmorency wrote:

As a matter of interest, why have you done little active speaking over the 9 months?


My relationship is based around English and it's hard to switch to the language that one partner is weaker in, especially when they are much weaker. Nine months ago I was only B1 in German. Until recently my wife was working in London so I was alone most of the week, and I wasn't hanging out with German's here in Berlin - though of course I use German whenever I get the opportunity - though I wouldn't kid myself that the amount I use is particularly useful for learning.

More broadly I have really taken a "strong input" line with my language learning, and so speaking has been a much more incidental part of the process. Of course, as my German gets better I speak more and more, and now, for instance, if we had German friends over for dinner we would only speak German, but that's a fairly recent development, and is being led by the growth in my German not the other way around.

montmorency wrote:

I'd be interested in knowing how someone studying a European language (and specifically German) goes about this. Thanks!
e.g. How do you go about choosing your sentences?


Some years ago I did the Goethe Institutes's German A1-B1 courses here in Berlin.I still had the textbooks, each of which had a word list and reading the lesson. I converted all the word lists and each sentence of the texts into Anki cards. This was useful as the text build up a sort of grading reading, which I could sentence mine.

However, by the time I was mid-way through A2 I stopped doing this, as my German had become sufficiently strong that I was able to read real e-books, at which point I would grab sentences with words I didn't know from the Kindle (if you make a note in the Kindle you end up with a text file you can edit and import into Anki). In addition to sentences from books I read, I would go to the dictionary definition on the Kindle and make a note of that as well and import the various example phrasings given as separate cards into Anki. In addition, I just added sentences from any source that seemed interesting and worth learning (e.g., odd Twitter sentences, a sign on the street, an example sentence for a word I wanted to learn, etc).

At a certain point you are reading so many sentences in real books that 'sentence mining' in Anki is redundant. I stopped using Anki after a year, but I could have probably stopped more effectively after six months or so and just read more.

Edited by patrickwilken on 09 September 2013 at 10:40am

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montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3127 days ago

2371 posts - 3675 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Danish, Welsh

 
 Message 19 of 295
09 September 2013 at 11:44am | IP Logged 
Thanks for the comprehensive reply Patrick. You have prompted me to remember Khazumoto
(I think it was, in an article in praise of mono dictionaries) saying that the
definitions in monolingual dictionaries could be a good source of sentences.

It sounds like you have backed off from monolingual dictionaries a bit, but I guess
they could still be useful for this purpose. As you say, if one is reading fairly
extensively, perhaps actual "mining" for SRS purposes is not necessary. I don't use
Anki, but I do write down interesting sentences from time to time. I sometimes think I
should do it more systematically though.

I think one of my problems is a weakness in speech in proportion to a relative strength
with understanding the written language (especially classical literature). There is
obviously a disconnect between the spoken and written language in any language,
especially when you add in the evolution of the language over decades and centuries.

For German, if I'm not listening to audiobooks or reading, I'm usually listening to
podcasts, which involves contemporary, usually spontaneous, language (not necessarily
in an informal register though). So what I might try doing is "mining" some sentences
from some of these sources, writing them down and then recording myself saying them, or
even just skipping the writing stage. I'll have to think about this. Sorry to think out
loud within your log space! :-)

Edited by montmorency on 09 September 2013 at 11:53am

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

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 20 of 295
09 September 2013 at 12:35pm | IP Logged 
montmorency wrote:
Thanks for the comprehensive reply Patrick. You have prompted me to remember Khazumoto
(I think it was, in an article in praise of mono dictionaries) saying that the
definitions in monolingual dictionaries could be a good source of sentences.

It sounds like you have backed off from monolingual dictionaries a bit, but I guess
they could still be useful for this purpose. As you say, if one is reading fairly
extensively, perhaps actual "mining" for SRS purposes is not necessary. I don't use
Anki, but I do write down interesting sentences from time to time. I sometimes think I
should do it more systematically though.

I think one of my problems is a weakness in speech in proportion to a relative strength
with understanding the written language (especially classical literature). There is
obviously a disconnect between the spoken and written language in any language,
especially when you add in the evolution of the language over decades and centuries.

For German, if I'm not listening to audiobooks or reading, I'm usually listening to
podcasts, which involves contemporary, usually spontaneous, language (not necessarily
in an informal register though). So what I might try doing is "mining" some sentences
from some of these sources, writing them down and then recording myself saying them, or
even just skipping the writing stage. I'll have to think about this. Sorry to think out
loud within your log space! :-)


I think mono-dictionaries are an excellent source for sentences (and for other things), but obviously since I'm not sentence-mining now they aren't useful in that manner for me.

The main reason I focus on reading, not speech, is that written text (at least for German) is obviously much richer than the spoken word. I have no trouble understanding my relatives in a relatively difficult spoken situation, but I still have trouble reading the newspaper, for instance.

I do think listening is important, but in terms of relative time I spend about 2-3x more on reading than listening. Obviously, as my German gets better this will change.I am pretty lazy so I mostly just watch films/tv - which I have ready access to - and skip audio posts, but I am sure they could be useful.





Edited by patrickwilken on 09 September 2013 at 1:26pm

1 person has voted this message useful



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

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 21 of 295
09 September 2013 at 2:21pm | IP Logged 
For those learning German here is a nice blog post giving the long list of the 2013 German Book prize:

http://lovegermanbooks.blogspot.de/2013/09/german-book-prize -2013-my-take-on.html

There are useful links here, which usefully go to the publishers, not Amazon:

http://lovegermanbooks.blogspot.de/2013/08/german-book-prize -longlist-2013.html

Most seem available in ebook format so I clearly have my reading mapped out of the next little while. :)

Edited by patrickwilken on 09 September 2013 at 2:24pm

4 persons have voted this message useful



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

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 22 of 295
09 September 2013 at 3:34pm | IP Logged 
Actually this list of the top ten independent books looks a bit more interesting (and includes foreign translations as well as non-fiction works):

http://www.hotlist-online.com/die-hotlist-2013/
4 persons have voted this message useful



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

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 23 of 295
11 September 2013 at 9:25am | IP Logged 
Last night I have my first dream in German (or at least the first one I can remember). I am not sure that means very much but it's still a nice milestone to pass.
1 person has voted this message useful



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

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 24 of 295
30 December 2013 at 1:09pm | IP Logged 
I have been neglecting my blog over the last few months. This has been pretty deliberate as I wanted to focus on finishing my own personal Super Challenge: 10000 pages and 300 movies by the end of the year.

I have finished both challenges now, but I want to finish the book I am reading (90 pages to go) so I can count the whole book for 2013, before starting on a new book and new challenge for 2014.

I'll try to post some thoughts about the effectiveness my approach in the next few days once I have the final book for 2013 behind me.

All the best for everyone for 2014. Or as they say in German, have a good slide into the New Year!".

Edited by patrickwilken on 30 December 2013 at 1:12pm



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