Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

German: massive input in Berlin

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
295 messages over 37 pages: 1 2 35 6 7 ... 4 ... 36 37 Next >>
patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 25 of 295
30 December 2013 at 5:53pm | IP Logged 
I just saw a afternoon showing of Oh Boy! (2012). It's my favorite German film I have seen this year, and if you get a chance to see it, it's well worth it.

The basic structure involves Tom Schilling, who carries this film effortlessly, playing the somewhat hapless and passive Niko, as he has semi-chance encounters with strangers, friends and relatives over the course of a day and night in Berlin.

The black-and-white cinematography does an excellent job of capturing contemporary Berlin. I have heard that this was essentially a graduation film, and if so it's really amazing.

Edited by patrickwilken on 31 December 2013 at 2:32pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



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

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 26 of 295
31 December 2013 at 2:41pm | IP Logged 
Wow. I just finished my personal Super Challenge: 10150 pages and 302 movies by the end of 2013.

The challenge has been really helpful in developing my German skills (esp. for reading and listening, but also for speaking and writing).

My goals for 2014 are relatively practical:


  • Read 10000 pages more of German
  • Watch 300 films and TV shows (90 mins TV = 1 movie)
  • Avoid English language media as far as possible: stop reading The Guardian and other English language newspapers, switch to Die Zeit (that will be hard); no more English shows or movies (glad Breaking Bad is finished!).
  • Switch to German with my wife all the time.
  • Not sure what this means to my reading of HTLAL etc, but I'll need to find a way to quarantine my English consumption of the Internet somehow


10000 pages is about 30 pages a day with a four week holiday so this should be doable.

EMK had made a similar point earlier: I think there is a balance between quantity and quality. My sense is that it's better to read significantly more of simpler text, than struggle through a much harder book slowly. From my experience with the SC I think 30 pages a day for me is quite doable. Up until now I have been reading English translations of (mostly) young adult series as the text is at a level I can manage. I hope next year to start tackling recent German literature, but I am not sure how quickly I'll manage it. It's really a question of when my German is sufficiently good that I can read this sort of literature at a reasonable rate. In this way the goal of reading 10000 pages in a fix period of time dictates the sorts of books I can read, which I think makes things much easier in a way.

Edited by patrickwilken on 31 December 2013 at 3:24pm

7 persons have voted this message useful



montmorency
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3127 days ago

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

 
 Message 27 of 295
31 December 2013 at 3:31pm | IP Logged 
Patrick, congratulations on reaching your personal challenge goals.

On future reading, while it's not exactly recent German literature, you might think about
Erich Kästner. I can see that at least some Kästner titles are available on Kindle. He is
normally regarded as a children's author, but some of his output was aimed at a more
general audience I think.

Slightly later in period, a recent discovery for me has been Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Max
Frisch may also be of interest. Both of those were Swiss. More recent again is the
Austrian Daniel Glattauer. I mention these because they are authors for "grown-ups", but
whose language does not seem over-complicated, although some of the ideas behind the
writing are fairly deep.
3 persons have voted this message useful



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

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 28 of 295
31 December 2013 at 4:00pm | IP Logged 
montmorency wrote:

On future reading, while it's not exactly recent German literature, you might think about
Erich Kästner. I can see that at least some Kästner titles are available on Kindle. He is
normally regarded as a children's author, but some of his output was aimed at a more
general audience I think.

Slightly later in period, a recent discovery for me has been Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Max
Frisch may also be of interest. Both of those were Swiss. More recent again is the
Austrian Daniel Glattauer. I mention these because they are authors for "grown-ups", but
whose language does not seem over-complicated, although some of the ideas behind the
writing are fairly deep.


Hi Montgomery:

Many thanks for the suggestions. I will have a look into them. I am really looking forward to moving out of young adult market! Though I think this may well happen more in the latter half of 2014.

B2 seems like a long road. No longer really expecting to leave it next year. I'll just have to wait and see, but as the literature gets more interesting it gets more and more interesting.

best, Patrick
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 29 of 295
31 December 2013 at 4:12pm | IP Logged 
I haven't updated my list of books read since August. I'll list my films in a couple days as I may still watch one or two day before the end of today.

As you can see after finishing Harry Potter I tried more complex books - Murkami, a hard scifi book by Richard Morgan, and book of short stories set in 1950s LA by Ry Cooder. All three were enjoyable, but I couldn't read them quickly enough to finish the Super Challenge, and was getting discouraged at the slowness of my reading speed in general -- I find a good book can become quite unenjoyable if you are forced to read it slowly over a month -- so I stepped down to the much easier Percy Jackson series that I could mostly read extensively (I would recommend PJ for those at the B1 level) and then started reading what Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris (basically chic-lit with the undead, which formed the basis for the True Blood series on HBO). I found the Harris books much harder than any of the other books I have read (apart from Morgan perhaps) so while the quality is somewhat questionable I definitely find them helpful for German. The sentences are noticeably longer and more complex, and unless you are at a certain level of vocabulary would be quite difficult to parse.

I am bit uncertain whether I will continue to read Harris next year or switch to something else. I guess that's something I can worry about tomorrow!

-----
DECEMBER 2013

23. Club undead. Charlaine Harris. 288 Seiten.
22. Untot in Dallas. Charlaine Harris. 288 Seiten.
21. Vorübergehend tot. Charlaine Harris. 336 Seiten.
20. Percy Jackson – Die letzte Göttin Rick Riordan. 464 Seiten.

-----
NOVEMBER 2013

19. Percy Jackson – Die Schlacht um das Labyrinth. Rick Riordan. 432 Seiten.
18. Percy Jackson - Der Fluch des Titanen. Rick Riordan. 368 Seiten.
17. Percy Jackson - Im Bann des Zyklopen. Rick Riordan. 336 Seiten. Finding the reading easy and enjoying this children's retelling of the Greek myths
16. Percy Jackson -Diebe im Olymp. Rick Riordan. 448 Seiten. This level I find fairly easy to read, though there are still lots of new words to learn.

-----
OCTOBER 2013

15. In den Straßen von Los Angeles. Ry Cooder. (2013). 196 of 352 Seiten. Found this collection of short stories difficult to get into. Perhaps because Latino slang from 1950s LA was translated into German, which made understanding difficult. Decided to cut my losses and start a new book. 6/10.

-----
SEPTEMBER 2013

14. Das Unsterblichkeitsprogramm. Richard Morgan. 606 Seiten. Much harder than Murakami, but after the first 300 pages became somewhat easier, though still a difficult read. I would love to follow-up with the last to books in the series, but they haven't be released as ebooks yet, and I don't think I could management in paperback format yet.

Edited by patrickwilken on 31 December 2013 at 9:07pm

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 30 of 295
01 January 2014 at 4:46pm | IP Logged 
I recently posted this on a different thread and though it might be helpful for people thinking about native materials to watch in German

German Dubbing

Dubbed TV shows are a really rich resource for German learners.

I personally haven't found any TV shows where the dubbing was particularly bad. I also go the cinema and find the dubbing is really good (even though I was a snob about dubbing until I started learning German). In the last few months I have regularly been going to the cinema and enjoying dubbed films not only from the US, and UK, but also France, Spain, Chile etc. The whole market here revolves around dubbing, and there are only a very few cinemas you can see films in the original; forget about this in smaller towns like Magdeburg. My wife, who grew up near the Dutch border, would go on school excursions to Holland, so they would watch English language films in the cinema.

One thing that surprised me is that accents etc that are used to denote in English shows class etc are lost in the dubbing. The most extreme example I know is The Wire, where both blacks and whites speak in the same Hoch Deutsch. Great for learners, not so great for the shows.

I really don't think there are that many good German series out there at the moment. I borrow videos from both the local video store and the library (good tip for anyone living in Germany!) here in Berlin and there aren't any German series that you can borrow, other than some episodes of Tatort at the library. There are, however, lots and lots of US shows dubbed. All successful HBO shows come out with about a 12 month delay (I'm still waiting on the last episodes of Breaking Bad, for instance). I am not sure how recent a phenomenon this is. I haven't seen older shows on offer like Star Trek, Buffy etc. So this is either a recent phenomenon or it is hard to access shows dating back more than about five years in the video store.

Tatort

Tatort is really the classic murder-crime show dating back to the 1970s. What makes it unique is that it is filmed by different local stations across Germany (as well as Zürich and Vienna), all with their own crime teams, all with their own styles. Different people like different teams better. I like for instance Kiel and Leipzig and Vienna, all of which have darker stories, and find the Münster and Weimar teams a bit silly. You will get a lot about German culture and concerns watching the show. It's not preachy, but it does cover issues like human trafficking, crime within immigrant communities, etc; a recent show revolved around a battle in Brandenburg between a local village that didn't want a pack of wolves that had moved into the area with an environmentalist (a wolf was recently killed on the Berlin Ringbahn!). The quality varies a lot, it's certainly not a flashy CSI type affair, more old fashioned mid-budget crime procedural show that always starts with a murder and ends with the murderer being caught (something about German culture right there! I bet the French wouldn't necessarily do that.). However, as it's often hard for native speakers to know what's going on in the plot it can be hard for German learners to follow. In Berlin there are about 50 bars that show it live on Sunday evenings, and often offer beers associated with the particular city team of the week. German learning at it's best!

At least here in Germany you can watch the latest episode free on ARD:

http://www.daserste.de/unterhaltung/krimi/tatort/index.html

Edited by patrickwilken on 01 January 2014 at 4:49pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



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

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 31 of 295
01 January 2014 at 6:59pm | IP Logged 
I haven't done an update for my film viewing for a few months. At the end of August I bought a Yorck Kinogruppe 1/2 Jahre Karten for 129 Euros. The Yorck group has about 10 arthouse cinemas in Berlin, mostly showing dubbed films.

I saw the following German films:

***** Oh Boy! (2013).
**** Sein leztes Rennen (2013).
**** Feuchtgebiete (2013).
*** Exit Marrakesh (2013).
*** Eltern (2013).
*** König von Deutschland (2013).
*** 00 Schneider (2013).
* Zum Geburtstag (2013).
* Der Geschmack von Apfelkernen (2013).

I really like "Oh Boy!" a tragic-comedy set in Berlin (see previous post). I liked "Sein leztes Rennen" which revolved around an old man who gets put into a strict nursing home in Berlin and decides despite the rules to run one last marathon. A bit of tear jerker, but fun. "Feuchtgebiete" (lit. damp places) is based on the controversial book of the same name. It's definitely worth seeing, but I am not how much I really liked it in the end. "Exit Marrakesh" is a coming of age story for a son visiting his father who's doing a show in Morocco - I thought it was OK, but not great (say 6/10). "Eltern" dealt with a stress of a family when the father (not mother) goes back to work and how the wife who has worked since the children were born deals with this. Its' a topic inversion of issues here in Germany, where women who go back to work less than two years after the children are born are called "raven mothers". "Koenig von Deutschland" was a comedy about the average German being used by a political group to predict voting preferences. Somewhat silly, but the lead played things nicely. "00 Schneider" was a surreal film about a police commissioner - reminded me a bit of Tati. Very strange and not really to my taste, but filled the cinema here in Berlin. "Zum Geburtstag" was a present day thriller/mystery involving secrets from the DDR - the acting was bad, and my wife got really used quoting lines from it in fun - since we saw the promo so many times (He is the devil - in German - sounded particularly funny to us). "Der Geschmack von Apfelkernen" was a somewhat silly love film with quasi-magic-realist touches. To be avoided.

If anybody wants to know more about the films please let me know.

-----
DECEMBER 2013

304. Crank 2: High Voltage (2009). NS. Started watching 23:30 as any other film would have been spoiled by the constant sound of fireworks. 7/10.

303. The Cooler (2003). NS. 7/10.

302. Oh Boy! (2013). NS. Kino. 8/10. Went with K to see this in the afternoon.

301. Iron Man 2. NS. 6/10. Watched it because it was on TV directly after Tatort. Slowly starting to understand it.

300. Tatort: Borowski und der Engel (Episode 892). NS. 6/10.

299. Falling Down (1993). NS. 6/10. No trouble with the dialogue.

298. Juno (2007). NS. Had trouble following quite a bit of dialogue, perhaps because I was watching with speakers. 7/10.

297. Der Blaue Engel (1930). NS. 6/10.

296. Oh Boy! (2013). NS. Kino. 8/10. Very satisfying how much more I understand this time round. V. nice film set in Berlin. Understood most of the dialogue.

295. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013). Kino. NS. 7/10. Overrated.

294. Matrix Reloaded (2003). NS. 8/10.

293. Blue Jasmine (2013). NS. Kino. 6/10.

292. Ocean's Eleven (2001). NS. 8/10

291. Rosemary's Baby (1968). NS. 5/10.

290. Red Planet (2000). NS. 4/10

289. The Crimson Rivers (2000). NS. 6/10.

288. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013). Kino. NS. 5/10.

287. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989). NS. 5/10.

286. Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God (2005). NS. 5/10.

281-285. True Blood - Season 6 (2013). NS. 6/10.

280. Killing them Softly (2012). NS. 8/10.

279. The Bourne Identity (2002). NS. 8/10.

278. Crank 2: High Voltage (2009). NS. True Grindhouse. Made me nostalgic for LA. 8/10.

277. Ocean's Twelve (2004). NS. 2/10.

276. Alien: Resurrection (1997). NS. 8/10.

275. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013). NS. Kino. Decided on impluse to see this in the afternoon at the cinema after going to the library. Understood most of the dialogue, and much better than the first film. Hopefully by the third film I'll be understanding 99%. 8/10.

274. Riddick (2013). NS. Didn't understand large parts of the dialogue for some reason; should rewatch again soon to see if I can get more of it. 7/10.

273. Alien (1979). NS. 5/10. I used to love this movie, but re-watching it this time just made me long for the stupid crew to die.

-----
NOVEMBER 2013

272. Where the truth lies (2005). NS. 7/10.

271. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013). NS. 3/10.

270. X-Men 2 (2004). NS. 8/10.

269. The Graduate (1967). NS. 4/10

268. Mission Impossible 2. NS. 3/10.

267. Sherlock Holmes. NS. 8/10.

266. Cuba (1979). NS. 6/10.

265. Sein leztes Rennen (2013). NS. Kino. 8/10.

264. The Last Seduction (1994). NS. 5/10.

263. Eltern (2013). NS. Kino. 6/10.

262. Das Mädchen Wadjda (2012). NS. Kino. 8/10.

261. Exit Marrakesh (2013). NS. Kino. 6/10.

260. Diva. NS. 8/10.

259. A History of Violence. NS. 8/10

258. Iron Man 2. NS. 6/10.

257. The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001). NS. Had trouble understanding lots of the conversations for some reason. 5/10.

256. The Matrix (1999). NS. 8/10.

-----
OCTOBER 2013

255. The Fountain (2006). NS. 8/10

254. Starship Troopers (1997). NS. 7/10.

253. Drecksau (2013). NS. Kino. 6/10.

252. Beowulf (2007). S. 6/10.

251. The Bourne Supremacy (2004). NS. 8/10.

250. Enemies welcome to the punch (2013). NS. 6/10.

249. 00 Schneider (2013). NS. Kino. Despite a likable main character and decent cinematography, I just didn't get the humour. 4/10.

248. Dredd (2012). NS. 7/10.

247. Zum Geburtstag (2013). NS. Kino. 5/10.

246. Paycheck (2003). NS. 6/10.

245. Der Geschmack von Apfelkernen (2013). NS. Kino. 5/10.

-----
SEPTEMBER 2013

244. Portugal Mon Amour (French/Portuguese - 2013). Kino. NS. 7/10.

243. Die Schönen Tage (French - Les beaux jours) (2013). NS. Kino. 9/10.

242. Michael Kohlhaas (2013). NS. Kino. Beautiful film. Had a lot of trouble with the sparse dialogue. 7/10.

241. Total Recall (2012). NS. 8/10.

240. Dracula (1992). NS. 4/10.

239. König von Deutschland (2013). NS. Kino. Interesting, somewhat Truman-like premise. Find average German man and use him as a perfect barometer for public opinion - including creating a new political party from scratch that matches everyone's opinion perfectly. The start and especially the middle where he starts turning the tables on his observers were fine, but the ending was a bit too silly. Olli Dittrich was good in the title role. 6/10.

238. Bottled Life: Nestle's Business with Water (2012) Kino. English/German - too much English to count towards Super Challenge. 6/10

238. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999). NS. 7/10.

237. The Beach (2000). NS. 7/10.

236. Gloria (2013). NS. Kino. (Originally: Spanish). Great story of an independent woman in Santiago and her search for happiness. I had the impression that I was understanding most of the conversations. 8/10.

235. Paulette (2012). NS. Kino. (Originally: French). Made a mistake with movie start times and so ended up seeing this film again. 7/10.

234. The Marathon Man (1976). NS. Difficultly following all the speech here, but still an enjoyable film. 7/10.

233. Paulette (2012). NS. Kino. (Originally: French). A retiree who can't live on her pension resorts to selling dope in a French apartment block. A nice light comedy. 7/10.

232. Cradle 2 the Grave (2003). NS. Trash. 3/10.

231. Feuchtgebiete (2013). NS. Kino. Not sure what I think about this film. The book, of which the film is based, was controversial with it's frank depictions of teenage female sexuality and bodily functions (e.g., two girlfriends swapping bloody tampons as a sort of bonding experience) when it was published in Germany. Can't get around the idea that a lot of this is more to shock, than to really say very much, but given the sexism that is apparent in Germany (e.g. all TV talk shows seem full only with older white men - even if the topic is something like teenage pregnancy) perhaps it is radical and taboo breaking as claimed. At the same time if this is feminist screed it would sit better with me if the main character was clearly a little less psychologically disturbed. I think the actor Carla Juri did a good job with the role, but her accent (she's Austrian putting on a Hoch Deutsch accent) sounded younger and weirder then I think was intended. Certainly the film was something different, which was good, and I am glad to have seen it. 6/10



Edited by patrickwilken on 03 January 2014 at 4:10pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



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

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 32 of 295
01 January 2014 at 10:41pm | IP Logged 
For those of you looking for a guide to more interesting contemporary German literature I recommend this English language blog love German books, written by the longtime Berlin resident and translator Katy Derbyshire. In addition to her blog she has an interesting Twitter feed too.


5 persons have voted this message useful



This discussion contains 295 messages over 37 pages: << Prev 1 2 35 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3750 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2020 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.