Any Bilinguals Out There ?
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16-04-2017, 03:01 PM
RE: Any Bilinguals Out There ?
(16-04-2017 02:52 PM)Sturm Wrote:  I have a recent experience of learning a foreign language as an adult (and a language very similar to german actually). I moved to the Netherlands 15 months ago, so I had to learn dutch. To start with learning dutch, I took a subscription at Babbel, I think their website and app are very well done (it's not too boring, and you actually learn and remember what you learned). After finishing the beginner level, I could read a bit texts written in dutch, exchange some sentences with people, but my level was still much too weak for conversing with people, so I always switched to english (dutch are very good in english) which prevented me from getting better. I finally signed in for evening courses, I started last november, it was a lot of personal work (10h/week between the classes and the homework), but I can now read and write much easier and I can have conversation with people, even though I still tend to switch to english each time the conversation becomes too difficult for me.

If you already learned some german in high school, it will come back quite fast when you start learning it again. I studied german in high school, I thought I had forgotten a lot since I hadn't practiced in 15 years (especially as I was quite bad in german), but before choosing to move to the Netherlands, I considered moving to Germany, so I studied it again, and it came back very fast. Even when I learned dutch it helped me a lot, because the languages are very similar.

Do you already know which part(s) of Germany you're planning to visit ?

A lot of people here use Babbel. I might look into it in a sec...

I have a friend in Hamburg that I promised I'd go see someday. Smile
My husband also wants to get drunk at Oktoberfest... XD
Do you have any recommendations?
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16-04-2017, 03:05 PM
RE: Any Bilinguals Out There ?
<- is a native German speaker as well. PM me if you need help/practice.

German grammar is quite more difficult than english. Quite a lot more irregular verbs, more complex in general (as you already mentioned talking about pronouns). "High German" can be very complex, but, much like any other native speaker, we do use very much reduced vocabulary and syntax out there on the street.

Thats what i can recommend, if you arent aiming for school classes in German with grades. Focus on "street German", learn the most used and useful parts first. Try out speak to native German speakers as mch as possible. Like anything else, language needs application and practice.

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16-04-2017, 03:06 PM
RE: Any Bilinguals Out There ?
(16-04-2017 03:01 PM)Larai19 Wrote:  My husband also wants to get drunk at Oktoberfest... XD
Do you have any recommendations?
Dont go Oktoberfest. Its a yuge ripoff. Tongue

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16-04-2017, 03:12 PM
RE: Any Bilinguals Out There ?
That was Bulgarian, actually Tongue (granted, the word is the same in both languages. And I do speak Russian. Somewhat)

English I learnt in Bulgaria - went to a special school where for one year you only study English (we have such schools with various other languages, incl. Chinese, Korean, and many others). Then, we studied most subjects in English. Still, can't say that everybody was fluent when they left school. I then studied English philology (lots of linguistics and literature and what have you) at uni. Been working with English ever since and besides speaking it with the people around me (and translating stupid books into it, of course) I don't use Bulgarian as much as English, I think. Or at least, I use it as much, as Bulgarian (but possibly more. I often use both simultaneously with my Bulgarian friends, when writing at least)

I did learn Portuguese as an adult - did several courses in Portugal. And then (and now Rolleyes ) lived in Brazil for a bit. In my experience, learning the language in the country where it's spoken is the best way to do it. If not, at least go for an intensive course, like for a month or two, do just this - study every day, with individual classes as well as group ones, if possible. And then - just practice, practice, practice. Read, watch stuff, talk to people. Write! (I used to write fairy tales in Portuguese. Quite enjoyed it, actually). It's a lot of work but after you've reached a certain initial level, it's fun work. At least imho Yes

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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16-04-2017, 03:17 PM (This post was last modified: 16-04-2017 03:25 PM by Sturm.)
RE: Any Bilinguals Out There ?
(16-04-2017 02:50 PM)abaris Wrote:  But rest assured, I have the same difficulty understanding how native speakers make a distinction between who's close to them and who's not when only the you is available. I think it's more of a cultural than a linguistic thing.

Yes, it's cultural and it's sometimes confusing. In dutch, there's also the distinction between the formal and informal (like the french vous/tu), but they mostly use the informal, and it's not very surprising to have people using the informal form in shops, or in the street while in France we would definitely use the formal form in the same situation. There is even a difference between culture inside the same language, for instance, in southern Belgium they also speak french, but the informal form was a lot more used than the formal form.

From what I remember in german, the use of the formal/informal is rather similar to its use in french, if you don't know someone, you use the formal form. And even if you make some mistakes, I don't think they would take it badly as they will obviously notice it's not your language, they will already be happy that you make an effort to speak their language (at least, they never looked angry against me, and I'm sure I made a lot of mistakes Smile)

(16-04-2017 03:01 PM)Larai19 Wrote:  I have a friend in Hamburg that I promised I'd go see someday. Smile
My husband also wants to get drunk at Oktoberfest... XD
Do you have any recommendations?

It depends on what you are looking for, more big cities or some beautiful quiet countryside ? Personally, I'm a big fan of the south (the Black Forest and the Bavaria), even though I met the nicest people in the north (in the south some people were a bit distant, especially is very small villages where they are not very used to tourists). Hamburg is a nice city to visit, and even the countryside in this area is beautiful. The Bavaria is very busy in summer (a lot of tourists), but it is really beautiful.

Edit : I forgot : I've never been to the Oktoberfest, but I totally second your husband and his idea of drinking german beers : I love german beers ! Sometimes I planned to visit cities and found myself enjoying the afternoon in the biergärten Smile
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16-04-2017, 03:22 PM
RE: Any Bilinguals Out There ?
(16-04-2017 03:12 PM)Vera Wrote:  That was Bulgarian, actually Tongue (granted, the word is the same in both languages. And I do speak Russian. Somewhat)

English I learnt in Bulgaria - went to a special school where for one year you only study English (we have such schools with various other languages, incl. Chinese, Korean, and many others). Then, we studied most subjects in English. Still, can't say that everybody was fluent when they left school. I then studied English philology (lots of linguistics and literature and what have you) at uni. Been working with English ever since and besides speaking it with the people around me (and translating stupid books into it, of course) I don't use Bulgarian as much as English, I think. Or at least, I use it as much, as Bulgarian (but possibly more. I often use both simultaneously with my Bulgarian friends, when writing at least)

I did learn Portuguese as an adult - did several courses in Portugal. And then (and now Rolleyes ) lived in Brazil for a bit. In my experience, learning the language in the country where it's spoken is the best way to do it. If not, at least go for an intensive course, like for a month or two, do just this - study every day, with individual classes as well as group ones, if possible. And then - just practice, practice, practice. Read, watch stuff, talk to people. Write! (I used to write fairy tales in Portuguese. Quite enjoyed it, actually). It's a lot of work but after you've reached a certain initial level, it's fun work. At least imho Yes

That's fantastic advice.
I can't do classes right now but I will as soon as I can.


What made you decide to learn Portuguese?
XD Also I think it'd be cool to write fairy tales in German. I think the Grimm Brothers would be pleased.
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16-04-2017, 03:26 PM
RE: Any Bilinguals Out There ?
(16-04-2017 03:17 PM)Sturm Wrote:  
(16-04-2017 02:50 PM)abaris Wrote:  But rest assured, I have the same difficulty understanding how native speakers make a distinction between who's close to them and who's not when only the you is available. I think it's more of a cultural than a linguistic thing.

Yes, it's cultural and it's sometimes confusing. In dutch, there's also the distinction between the formal and informal (like the french vous/tu), but they mostly use the informal, and it's not very surprising to have people using the informal form in shops, or in the street while in France we would definitely use the formal form in the same situation. There is even a difference between culture inside the same language, for instance, in southern Belgium they also speak french, but the informal form was a lot more used than the formal form.

From what I remember in german, the use of the formal/informal is rather similar to its use in french, if you don't know someone, you use the formal form. And even if you make some mistakes, I don't think they would take it badly as they will obviously notice it's not your language, they will already be happy that you make an effort to speak their language (at least, they never looked angry against me, and I'm sure I made a lot of mistakes Smile)

(16-04-2017 03:01 PM)Larai19 Wrote:  I have a friend in Hamburg that I promised I'd go see someday. Smile
My husband also wants to get drunk at Oktoberfest... XD
Do you have any recommendations?

It depends on what you are looking for, more big cities or some beautiful quiet countryside ? Personally, I'm a big fan of the south (the Black Forest and the Bavaria), even though I met the nicest people in the north (in the south some people were a bit distant, especially is very small villages where they are not very used to tourists). Hamburg is a nice city to visit, and even the countryside in this area is beautiful. The Bavaria is very busy in summer (a lot of tourists), but it is really beautiful.

I made my husband promise me that we would go to Germany one year for Christmas.

I love the Weihnachtsmarkt and have wanted to see them in person for years! Also, wouldn't mind having the spiced wine...
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16-04-2017, 03:35 PM
RE: Any Bilinguals Out There ?
(16-04-2017 03:22 PM)Larai19 Wrote:  What made you decide to learn Portuguese?

You just walked right into that, my friend Tongue

Here's the shortish version: when I was a teen I heard a song (in a movie by a Balkan director, actually) and fell in love with the sound of the language. I didn't have internet back then (did I mention I'm old? And from an Eastern European country Rolleyes ) so me and my dad decided it was Portuguese (it's actually creole, from Cabo Verde, so - close enough) and I thought that I'd love to learn Portuguese one day. Years later, when I was doing my master's degree in Sweden, I didn't want to go home just for two months in the summer and decided to do a Port. course in Porto. Fell in love with the language and later on did a couple more. And here I am today, in Brazil outra vez, so to speak. And I still love it Yes

(This is the song, with spanish subtitles and cute little love story that even a hardened cynic such as myself found rather endearing Blush )




Quote:Also I think it'd be cool to write fairy tales in German. I think the Grimm Brothers would be pleased.

Thumbsup Just don't include nearly as much rape and mayhem, okay? Rolleyes

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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16-04-2017, 03:40 PM
RE: Any Bilinguals Out There ?
(16-04-2017 03:01 PM)Larai19 Wrote:  My husband also wants to get drunk at Oktoberfest... XD

Good place to go if you love to be ripped off.

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16-04-2017, 03:41 PM
RE: Any Bilinguals Out There ?
(16-04-2017 03:26 PM)Larai19 Wrote:  I made my husband promise me that we would go to Germany one year for Christmas.

I love the Weihnachtsmarkt and have wanted to see them in person for years! Also, wouldn't mind having the spiced wine...

One year, great, so you have plenty of time to visit everything !
I've never been in Germany for the Weihnachtsmarkt (I usually went in Germany in summer and in april), fortunately, they export the spiced wine Big Grin (especially in Belgium where the spiced wine seems to be the main purpose of the Christmas Markets Big Grin ), you'll definitely like that Smile
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