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Need advice for learning German...


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I've decided to leave the UK and live and work in Germany. A friend of mine has a business there and I'm going to work for him. The job doesn't require me to speak any German but since I'll be there, I'd like to learn anyway. I plan to leave in 6 months and work there for 3 to 6 months, maybe longer if things work out well.


I'd like to learn as much German as possible before I leave here. Could anyway give me some tips or recommend a specific website/company that help people to learn languages? I can only speak English and I've only ever left the UK on 4 different occasions in my whole 26 years of existence!



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A prayer perhaps? Good luck. German is a tough language to learn. To start I would buy a book for elementary aged students learning German as a 2nd language. Focus on "inbound German." By that I mean it is easy to learn to read, write and speak a language, the challenge comes when someone is speaking to you quickly, or on the phone -- trying to decipher what the are saying.


Good luck...tell your friend to only speak to your in German for now.

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Fortunately, as an English speaker you already have a leg-up on learning German. English is considered to be part of the "Germanic" branch of languages alongside Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, etc. Therefore, a number of words should sound very similar. Don't be surprised to see signs like "Coca-Cola: Trink eis kalt!" Remember that grammatically speaking, the main verb in German will almost always will come at the end, so proper Hochdeutsch (standardized, "High" German) has a Yoda-esque sound to it "Ich kann Deutsch sprechen" literally is "I can German speak" Naturally there are major differences in regional accents and manners. The part of Germany I was born in and usually visit (Western Germany) mainly say "ch" as "sh", especially after I so words like Ich, sound like "ish." In Berlin and the East, I've heard it pronounced "Ick." The one you're likely to learn in a class is "Ih" Hard sound to make. The best advice I can give is to say the name "Hugh" and then try to place that first H at the end of a word. The Scottish "Loch" comes to mind. Also, words like "Habe" the I form of Haben (to have), we usually pronounce as "Habuh" instead of the Hochdeutsch "Habeh" Complicated, I know. If you reach proficiency though, you'll automatically be able to pronounce "Bücher" (books) and "Büsche" (bushes) no problem. Another thing I've seen people not be able to grasp are the way numbers after 20 are counted. 21 for example would be einundzwanzig literally one and twenty and pronounced "Eynunttsvantsih" or "eynunttsvantsish" depending on the region. I could go on and on about regional expressions or German contractions, slang, etc. Seriously though, not the hardest language for English speakers to learn. Also look out for umlauts, the two little dots above a letter. They change the way something is pronounced big time. A and Ä for example. A is always pronounced as Ah, Ä becomes the English, long A, such as base, vase, case, etc. So, when a word is pluralized, like Hand (same word in English) it becomes Hände, and pronuniciation goes from "Hahnd" to "Hehndeh" Yes, German plurals make no sense, they vary word to word, and the whole der,die,das can be a pain.

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Great post from LAKings.


I was in Berlin last year for a few days and I wanted to learn a few phrases before I went and the people were great and it really opened doors just by saying basic things like 'Guten haben', 'ein bier bitte', 'danke' 'tschuss' etc.

I think in Germany many of the tv shows from USA/UK are dubbed into German so if you are really dedicated to learning the language, you should be able to do it.


Why not buy yourself one of those 'Teach Yourself' books. I think you can get them for under 20 Euros and you can work through it at your own pace - giving you some basic phrases, small grammar exercises and then if you feel comfortable with that, once you get to Germany, you can be able to go to classes.


I don't know if it is the same in Germany but I spent some 3 months in Sweden on a project and attempted to learn Swedish but found it near on impossible because everytime someone would hear me speaking they would switch into English. I suppose they were being polite but it really deflated my interest in learning the langauge as every time I spoke to someone under the age of 50 - I knew they were going to end up speaking in English to me anyways.

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i started learning german at school and visited a few times in my teens. They ALL, no exception, love to speak English to you and are extremely happy the more German you can reply in. just learn the basics, counting to 20, thank you, good morning etc and the rest falls into place. It's a brilliant language and not too hard to understand although they can have various different meanings to same or similar words - usually sexual!


Great country, you'll love it.

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