Operation Learn German Has Began

In my pursuit to learn German I have began ‘Operation Learn German’.  Armed with blue, pink and yellow cards, I have “decorated” my place with cards starting the article, noun and plural of nearly everything in my apartment.  My poor kitchen has suffered the brunt of it.

There are still a few items around the house that I have no idea of their German names, like the mirror, the couch and the radiator.  Then there are items where I do know the German names like kissen und federbett but have no idea if they are masculine, feminine or neutral and what their plural is (guess that kissen would be the same and federbett would become federbetten, but don’t know for sure).

I’m also using my love of NCIS to help with my German. I have seasons 1-6 on DVD and they have German audio and subtitles.  So I’ve started watching episodes in German with the German subtitles turned on.  Unfortunately, the subtitles tend to be something completely different to what is being said.  It’s like they tried to make the dialogue more formal or something by adding in extra words or completely changing it.  Still, if I can pick up the difference in what is being said compared to what it written, I figure it is a good thing. Also, I’m understanding more of it seeing the written whilst hearing it spoken then I would just hearing the spoken.  They just speak so fast.

Still I have to start watching more German TV than I have done in the past couple of weeks so I’m hearing German spoken more often.  I think I should probably watch children’s TV rather than normal TV programs as the language will be simpler and spoken slower.  Any one know of some decent German children’s TV shows?

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About Meg

A thirty something queer Aussie geek girl who now lives in Germany.
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7 Responses to Operation Learn German Has Began

  1. Klaus says:

    Love this. Way to go! I also have some notes with Chinese characters sticking on my kitchen cupboard.

    It is: der Spiegel, die Couch (oder das Sofa), die Heizung (oder der Heizkörper).
    Couch and Heizung have no plural that I know of. Otherwise: die Spiegel, die Sofas, die Heizkörper.

    You guessed correctly: das Kissen / die Kissen, das Federbett / die Federbetten.

    Watching German subtitles is a great idea: However, the subitles tend to be different from the dubbing because they are done independently, on the basis of the original version and often before the dubbing process starts. I guess the best way would be to buy DVDs of German movies with subtitles for the hearing impaired (Untertitel für Hörgeschädigte).

    I recommend: Good Bye Lenin, Sommer vorm Balkon (Berlin!), Absolute Giganten (Hamburg!). You will also be able to pick up some (not too heavy) dialect this way. And they are all really fun.

    There are some help-you-learn-German-videos on Youtube where German students ask simple questions to random people on the street and then subtitle their answers word by word. That seems to be a very good way to catch up on understanding colloquial German. If I find them, I will tell you the link.

  2. Klaus says:

    I should say: They have no plural that I remember ever having used and that therefore would be of use to anyone learning German.

    You ever heard of the “Duden”? It is the bible of the German language. Buy one.

  3. Mandi says:

    Deutsche Welle Online also has lots of resources for learning German: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,2547,00.html
    I loved their “Langsam Gesprochene Nachrichten”, which offers up the the top news stories of the day, but spoken at a slower pace and use more accessible vocabulary for German learners: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,8030,00.html
    Also, as part of their “Top-Themen mit Vokabeln”, you can read the top stories and the more difficult vocabulary is listed below the article: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6183303,00.html
    Have fun!

    • Riayn says:

      Thanks so much for the links :)
      My German still isn’t of the level where I can understand the news stories, but I can pick out a few words here and there. I guess the key is to just keep listening and working on it.

  4. wodenhausen says:

    Hi! I’m going through this exact same thing after moving to Cologne three months ago. I have a 9 month old and have also resorted to watching children’s programs with him. Sadly, I like to watch Micky Maus Wunderhaus and Kleine Einsteins. LOL If you can find it on, Dora is really great, too, because instead of telling the English versus Spanish like she does in the States she does English versus German. Good luck!

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