Update Time! So you want to learn German…
Duolingo has made a couple of updates to their program. There’s now a male voice, instead of just the female voice, which is imperative for hearing words pronounced differently in the language you’re trying to learn. Also, the real pictures of items have been replaced by terrible, childish clip art. Oh, well. That’s a change I can live with, even if I don’t like it. The program is free and it’s working! The final change, Duolingo will now interface with LinkedIn and put a notation of your proficiency level on your profile. I’m at 30%, which I find hard to believe. But, after all, it has been more than a year now since I started.
I’m still struggling with the grammar, but, once again, I remind myself as well you readers that even native speakers can struggle with the proper grammar. It’s simply going to take time. Considering I am at elementary proficiency, it’s not all that surprising that this is still a struggle. Patience and perseverance sees improvement.
So what else have I been up to in my German language travels? Well, I just tried sauerkraut for the first time. Yup, it was the first time. You can check out the recipe and my review here.
Other than that, I’ve just been making friends online and browsing German immersion possibilities, like television, film, websites and videos. On Google+, I follow FluentU German and The Germanz. The latter likes to post multiple choice questions where you fill in the blank. I have yet to be able to complete one. They’re beyond my level. However, I am still checking in because it lets me know how I’m improving. For instance, how much vocabulary can I recognize from the sentence? I might not know what the correct missing word is, but it teaches me that in the end, and bolsters my enthusiasm.
Immersive resources is a real help, especially for students like me who are distant from the native area of the language they’re learning. I’m very nervous to use what little I’ve learn before actual speakers, not to mention my concern at not being able to understand what they may say back to me. Watching films and television help diversify the auditory experience, a beneficial tactic we took for granted while growing up and learning our native tongue.
My next task is to find their equivalent to Sesame Street and see if I can stream it on YouTube. Why a child’s program? Because I believe that we learn language best when we learn it the way that worked with our first language. Programs for children are geared toward simple learning and building on limited skills. That’s exactly where I’m at in my learning level, so why not take advantage? Besides, they must have adorable puppets with weird voices. The auditory diversity of the experience is seriously useful.
Let me know if you have any questions about learning German, or give me some suggestions for topics and tools that I can use and share with other readers.