Linguivocal

podcast and blog about my English learning

DWN- struggle at the beginning

Posted by shashi on May 17, 2006

Deutsch-Warum nicht?  (German-Why not?)

I am getting familiar with German as I progress in it. Right now, my strategy is to just listen to contents over and over again. I am a bit lingered, as I didn’t find authentic content on the Net. However I feel that I should study some very beginner level content, as I am totally new to German.

There are some basic differences in German as apposed to English and I am trying to understand them. Firstly, in German, there are different articles for nouns depending on the gender of noun. In English, we use only “the” as a definite article, like the tree, the car, the book etc. However, in German, we use der, die, das before noun as a definite article. If the noun is masculine then we use der, e.g. der Man (the man), and die for feminine nouns e.g. die Frau (the woman) and das for neuter noun. So, it is better to learn the nouns with their gender to avoid confusion.

Also, when you meet with a new person or someone who is older than you, then you should address him more politely or more formally. There are different pronouns for formal situations and for familiar one. In German, people don’t use first names until you are close one (and some times it would take many years for you to become familiar). This is a good example of how language and culture are intertwined, and you need to be aware of this to avoid embarrassing yourself and others.

I’ve found two interesting sites, which provide good audio and texts contents for very beginner students. It is very difficult to retain the words that I have studied. It is also difficult to use online dictionary, as I didn’t find good electronic dictionary. I would try to form good foundation so that at least I could understand some basic words and phrases.

I would like to state here that even though I believe in Steve’s method, initially I prefer to study some basic grammar rule. At first when I started to study German, I found it very difficult to understand it, as I knew nothing about grammar. Then I decided to study some basic grammar rule like pronouns, verb table, alphabets and so on. This helps me understand the structure of sentences. Now I just read and listen to contents over and over again and build my own vocabulary.

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