| Some words about didactics
The question how to learn a language the
easiest way is discussed widely. Thinking about the practical
part of it, the answer is quite easy.
| If you want
to learn a language you need to do three things.
| Get used to the
sound of the language
Learn vocabulary (as boring as it might sound)
Study the grammar of this language
||How fast you can get used to
the sound of a language, depends on the difference
between your mother tongue and the language you
are about to learn. French find it easier to learn
Spanish than they find it to learn German or English.
With more technical support it is faster and easier
to get used to the sound of a language.
|| A language consists of (what
a surprise) of vocabulary, approximately 40 000
words. This sounds quite a lot, but learning vocabulary
can be trained. If you are used to the sound of
a language it is possible to learn about 20 words
per hour. If you study for one hour a day, you have
20 words a day. Within a year you get 300 x 20 =
6000 words, which is about the double the words
you need to manage every day life or even read a
newspaper. There are people thinking about the importance
of a word, whether it is necessary to learn it or
not. During this time the person thinks about this,
it could be saved in your mind. A useful method
to learn a language is for instance to read a newspaper,
i.e. Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung', to write down
the unknown words. Newspaper usually use the actual
vocabulary, which is not necessarily true for literature.
'Das Niebelungenlied' cannot be considered a contemporary
book. You might be surprised how fast you'll be
able to read quite fluently.
You can also use any creative idea you have. For
instance some put the German vocabulary of the
all the things in a house on this thing, on the
mirror in the bathroom, the fridge, the computer
etc. You can read them aloud or learn them before
going to bed (perfect sleeping pill!).
You'll need some disciplin a bit time and a good
dictionary. Then it's only up to you and your creativity
how fast you will be able to talk in German.
||The question about grammar
is not that easy. How much grammar does a man (respective
woman) need? This manual has analysed the grammatical
structure of the German language. We know that
grammar is already overused at school, in universities
and other courses. We know that a child does not
learn a language this way. We also know that the
human brain does not work in a chaotic but a quite
structured way. So why not using this to bring some
order in the chaos of a language. If not knowing
at least part of the grammar, all you can do is
repeat what you hear. Producing own thoughts can
only succeed if the structure is clear.
How much of this is needed is another thing. Some
will notice that they find the correct way just
automatically, some things need to be trained longer.
We suggest to get an overview over the grammatical
structure and to find the similarities and differences
to your own language. If you know them passively
and recognise them in a sentence you have already
managed the first step. A second step is to finetune
the details of the grammar and use them actively
when talking and putting your own thought into your
However there is this allround truth that you only
learn a language if you speak it. There is no use
in all the grammar in the world. If you don't use
the language, you will forget it.
There is also the possibility to read original literature.
Here you find some interesting works that are easy
to read and still very nice.
| An suggestion
||Something is said
and the possibilities of answers is limited. Typical
for situations as a tourist, in a hotel, a restaurant,
at the beach etc.
||An abstract topic is discussed.
Since the other person knows your possibilities
of talking in his language he/she will be careful,
speak more slowly. You have the chance to steer
the discussion since you are part of it.
||Read some newspapers. It might
be a bit more difficult, but you have time enough
to search for the missing words.
||Read some good literature.
You can enjoy the literature part and you have time
enough to find the words you need and to follow
the string of narration.
||Understanding news on TV or
the radio. They are spoken usually very clearly
and without saying that might change. They do not
use slang. They are close to the written language,
and you can understand without really understanding
because usually one gets the idea.
||Listen to a discussion of two
native speakers. It will be much faster than if
they discuss with you. The language will be full
of sayings and maybe even slang or dialects. You
don't have the chance to influence the topic, you
only can follow.
||Watch movies in the orinial
versions. It might be about a difficult topic and
the string of narration can be difficult. It's fast
and you have no chance of influence.
The main thing about languages is not about grammar or vocabulary.
In any language of this world you have the chance to say something
nice or interesting or important. The ability to do this has
nothing to do with the way you learnt the language, but only