Hello everyone and longtime no see! Life has been crazy around here for me, so I haven’t really had time *coughmadetimecough* to write any blog posts. I’m hoping to change this now that I know what my school schedule is like and what the homework load is. In the meantime however…
I have started my German Adventure!
I have to say that I am utterly excited for this one. I started studying it on Friday (September 14, 2012) through the Duolingo website and a Teach Yourself German book (old one from 1964). I have also downloaded a bunch of learning podcasts from GermanPod101 and started listening to them. I have to say that I really, really like the language so far. There are a lot of similarities to English; or rather English is similar to German.
It also turns out that my Esperanto is really helping me, because there are so many words that are similar or the same in German. For example “to drink” is “trinki” in Esperanto and it’s “trinken” in German. Plus I understand the accusative form because of Esperanto, so it’s not so foreign. So I really encourage you to study Esperanto, even for just 2-4 weeks, because it really does help. And it’s a pretty cool language. 🙂
I think I will be aiming for B1 (according to this standard) this time around. As for what I’m using to study, so far I’m using Duolingo and the Teach Yourself book as my main learning tools and GermanPod101 as a supplement and to help me with pronunciation. I think Duolingo will eventually move to being supplemental as well, because I plan to start using a Berlitz Complete German course as the other main learning tool. I also found this really helpful video for pronunciation here.
So I’ve been having a ton of fun with this, even if it is a little frustrating not really knowing much. Hopefully that will change.
I should also mention that I plan to keep studying Japanese, because I really don’t want to lose it at all. So I’ll be taking Saturdays and Sundays to study Japanese and Mondays-Fridays to study German. And I will keep up on my flash card reviews for it as well. Unfortunately my Esperanto has kind of gotten pushed aside. I’m sad about this, but I can’t really do much about it right now. I’m just not sure I’ll be able to really study it or even really keep it up with all that I’m trying to do right now. However, when I’m done with these three months of learning German I’ll have 2 weeks in December “off” before I start Russian in January, so I will use those two weeks to do some intensive studying of Esperanto. I won’t have school then either so I should be able to improve my Esperanto a fair amount. Of course with Christmas in there it might be tough. But I’m gonna try.
One of the best things about Esperanto is that it is really easy to pick back up. I hadn’t really studied or even used it much this summer because of Japanese, but when I asked my friend Kothe to chat with me in Skype in Esperanto it all came rushing back. It was a little rusty at first and I kept second guessing myself, but towards the end I was fine. So I think it’ll be super easy to pick it back up. It helps that I’m still doing a few Anki reviews for it every day.
Alright! So now that you know I’m doing it and what I’m using I’d like to talk about why I wanted to learn it. There are a lot of reasons why I picked German. The odd thing is that it started out with one or two and I have since realized more reasons why I want to learn it. The first reason is that I have a lot of German in my heritage. My great grandma was from Germany, but she refused to teach any of her grandkids (my mom) German. I want to explore that culture more and see where some of my roots are.
The second reason was actually quite shallow. I play Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies with my little sister sometimes and one of the characters that you play is German. It just added a little more appeal to the language. (Oddly, all the languages I want to learn are also languages the 4 characters speak: Japanese, German and Russian. The other is English, but I already know that. :D)
Thirdly, I love WWII documentaries and I would like to see one from the other side (and ones from Russia and Japan as well). It would also be neat to listen to Hitler’s speeches in German. I’m curious as to what made him such a good speaker.
The fourth reason is that I love the band Silbermond.
Fifth, it’s fun to speak! It’s also a little difficult because there are some sounds that we don’t make in English, but it sounds so neat!
The sixth reason is that I would love to read some philosophers’ works in the original languages. Specifically I would like to read some of Immanuel Kant’s works. I would also like to read, even though I don’t agree with them most of the time, Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche.
The last is that I would like to read some of the great Christian authors, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in their original language. I’m sure this list will grow as I learn more of the language and culture.
So I’m off on another Logos Adventure and I think it’s gonna be awesome. What language adventures are you guys on? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!