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#1540908 - 10/22/10 10:36 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
Haven't read all the posts - just responding to the OP, so forgive me if this is a duplicate.

We lived in Germany from 2003-2006. Prior to our move, my husband got a Pimsleur language CD from the library and listed to it in the car on his way to and from work. (I also used the lessons, but much less. I work at home!) He had quite a good command of conversational German by the time we actually moved.

Pimsleur is based on listening only, so is quite good for conversation. There is lots of repetition, so by the end of a level, you know it pretty well. (I am a visual learner, so I missed the written component, but it works really well for aural learners.)

I'd also like to mention that you will find many English speakers in big cities, and among college graduates (especially younger ones). There is a huge population who does not speak English, though, or speaks it like I speak my two years of high school Spanish from 35 years ago. You should be fine in hotels, tourist sites, and many restaurants. Asking a random stranger on the street where the bathroom is, or where the train station is, may or may not work. I spent 40 minutes in a grocery store once, trying to get someone who could understand me well enough to tell me where to find coffee cream. (Which happens to be a shelf-stable item in Germany, and is kept next to the coffee, which is why my forays up and down the dairy aisle were not productive.)
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#1541142 - 10/22/10 04:13 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Gregor]
ChatNoir Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 1469
Loc: Encino, California
Originally Posted By: Gregor
Some German speak English, some not. But there is a tendency to use Anglicism in German, particularly in advertisements. Researchers found out that this "Denglisch" in ads is liked, but misunderstood. Some examples:

Feel the difference (Ford): Fühle das Differenzial (feel the differential gear)
Powered by Emotion (SAT 1 TV): Kraft durch Freude (ouch, a Nazi slogan)
Come in and find out: Komm rein und finde wieder heraus (come in and find the exit)
Drive alive (Mitsubishi): Überlebe die Fahrt (survive the ride)
But Denglisch is good for English speaking tourists: everywhere you see "service points", "customer center", "sale" and so on. There is a "Verein Deutsche Sprache" wich awards the prize for "Sprachpanscher" of the year.

Gregor


Last time I was in a McDonalds in Bremen, I asked the clerk how they said "to go" in German. Do you say "zu spazieren?" I asked, trying to look innocent. He had no sense of humor, and said sternly: "Nein, wir sagen zu Mitnehmen!" German humor should not be laughed at!
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#1541166 - 10/22/10 04:47 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Dave Horne Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5260
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
German language and culture are very strongly entwined.

Germans historically like to collect things (countries for example smile ) and display the importance of things by the capitalization of nouns.
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#1541521 - 10/23/10 05:52 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: ChatNoir]
Gregor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 431
Loc: Münster, Germany
Originally Posted By: ChatNoir
German humor should not be laughed at!


You are completely wrong. Our humor is just different. Have a look on Loriot, who is a very typical example for German humor:

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=thewurstcase#p/u/21/lliHC7QSiG8

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=thewurstcase#p/u/8/ytLTSJxmMas

And the best is this: German for foreigners. But it´s without English subtitles, so you need a minimum of German language skills:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI6UWf46hN0

My girl friend teaches German as a foreign language. She teaches people from nearly all countries of the world. She says that Loriot is obviously funny only for Germans. She showed her pupils some Loriot sketches, but most of them can´t laugh about it. Give it a try: how about you?

Gregor
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#1541839 - 10/23/10 04:10 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
I believe the reason nouns are capitalized in German is that the nouns and their gender drive the language. You simply can't speak the language without knowing the gender of the nouns.

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#1541847 - 10/23/10 04:22 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Dave Horne Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5260
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
The history of the German capitalization of nouns can be found here .... http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa020919b.htm
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#1541858 - 10/23/10 04:33 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13965
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
People forget that there are millions of foreigners in Germany that speak neither German nor English.

For anybody needing advice how to have the time of your life without even speaking one single word of German, ask any retired GI who spent his time in Nuernberg,Augsburg, Erlangen or Grafenwoehr.

Most of them will tell you they're still all singing "memories of Heidelberg" - a tune that was a big hit in the 60's

Rest assured, German or not German speaking - you'll have one of the most memorable trip in your life!

It's the American food and drink you will have to get used to after again...

Norbert wink
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#1542795 - 10/25/10 01:28 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13965
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
This one's for keepers, both German and English speakers:

Just make sure you will bring large enough suitcase...

http://www.pianoworld.com:80/Uploads/files/IMG_0777.JPG :

Norbert grin


Edited by Norbert (10/25/10 01:30 AM)
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#1542885 - 10/25/10 05:56 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Gregor]
Mark R. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 1865
Loc: Pretoria, South Africa
Originally Posted By: Gregor
Our humor is just different. Have a look on Loriot, who is a very typical example for German humor


Yes, those are classic examples. Even though I speak the language close to perfectly, Loriot fails to amuse me - time and again. The words "corny" or "stiff" come to mind.

Well, each to his own. wink
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#1542927 - 10/25/10 07:48 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Gregor]
tnew Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 158
Loc: Austria
OK, I admit, I found it funny. smile

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#1542947 - 10/25/10 08:30 AM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: mikewu99]
Zindaras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 180
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: mikewu99
English is the lingua franca in most of Europe. I just got back from Rome where there were many non-native English speakers (for some reason there were a lot of Germans and Dutch there last week) using English to communicate with the locals.


Last week was autumn school break in the Netherlands.
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#1545053 - 10/27/10 10:43 PM Re: OT: Learning German? [Re: Piano World]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13965
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
Germans don't suffer fools gladly, at least not German-speaking fools.


I liked that!

Perhaps that's why so many of us emigrated to other shores...

Norbert grin
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