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megshoe

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Everything posted by megshoe

  1. I find these charts to be really adorable and fun Hope you enjoyed them!
  2. It's easy to fall into the trap of using the same basic words over and over, so here are some more descriptive and precise replacements words. I'll start off with "gehen" (to go or to walk). Bummeln - to stroll, wander Eilen - to hurry, go very fast Flanieren - to saunter, stroll, amble Flitzen - to speed, to whiz Stapfen - to trudge, to plod Schlurfen - to shuffle (with feet), to drag your feel Huschen - to rush, to dart by Schleichen - to crawl, to creep Hope these were useful!
  3. Jeden Tag habe ich viel Stress, weil ich als Au-Pair-Mädchen arbeite, und muss viel putzen und auf die Kinder aufpassen. Am Ende des Tages, rede ich mit meinem Freund, und lese ich ein bisschen vor ich ins Bett gehe. Was ist Ihr Ausgleich gegen Stress?
  4. Thank you for this breakdown! This is debated, but personally I find it extremely useful to have an understanding of the basic or root meaning of a kanji. Of course you'll come across kanji compounds whose meaning is indiscernible from their components, but I think it's important to have a deep understanding of the characters to remember them.
  5. My favorite German word is probably "Glühbirne." It means a lightbulb, but literally says "glow pear." I just find it to be a really adorable and accurate image
  6. There's probably not a student of French who hasn't laughed or scratched their head at "quantre-vingt-dix-neuf." French numbers past 79 can be a pain to read out. However! If you decide to travel to Belgium or Switzerland you won't have this problem. In Switzerland "huitante," is 80 and though they also use huitante in Belgium, "quatre-vingt" is still more common. In both countries, however "nonante" is the standard for 90. I've also heard "octante" in parts of Switzerland and Southern France, but you're safer with huitante. Just thought I'd share this interesting little tidbit
  7. No problem! It's definitely a vital tool to make sure you're writing correct and/or natural sentences. It can be easy to think you understand everything because you can complete the textbook exercises, but posting to lang-8 was definitely a wake-up call for me. I'm improved so much through that site!
  8. It took me a while to figure out the difference between "damit" and "umzu," so I thought I'd make a post here in case anyone else was confused by this. Both words indicate a reason for an action. You'd use them if you wanted to say "I went to the store to buy eggs," or "I spoke slowly so she could understand me." The difference between when to use the two German words is already evident in the examples I just gave you. Umzu is used when the subject of both clauses is the same. So, in the example I gave, the umzu sentence would be " Ich bin zum Supermarkt gegangen, um Eier zu kaufen." Umzu also gets broken up, with the "um" directly after the main clause, and "zu" before the infinitive verb. Obviously "I" isn't used twice in this sentence, but "I" as the buyer of the eggs is implied. Damit is used when the subjects differ. For example: Ich habe langsam gesprochen, damit sie mich verstehen konnte. I am doing the speaking, but "she" is doing the understanding in the second clause, therefore this sentence requires "damit." Also note that damit is not broken up in the same way umzu is, and that the infinitive in damit clauses (here, verstehen) does not come at the end of the sentence, but rather before the main verb (konnte). I hope that was clear and helpful!
  9. Immersion is obviously the quickest and most helpful way to learn. That being said, my flawless English speaking German boyfriend had never been in an English speaking country until he came to visit me in the US, so it's definitely possible to attain functional fluency without traveling. Here are some tips that I think will make your life a lot easier learning Japanese: 1. Take time to learn the onyomi and kunyomi of the kanji, as well as the basic meaning of it. This won't always work out to help you guess the meaning of a kanji, but it often times it will, and it will definitely give you a much fuller and deeper understanding of the characters, which helps with memorization. 2. Use lang-8.com to post your writing samples in Japanese and have it corrected by native speakers. Without a teacher or a Japanese friend, this is your best bet for getting a native speaker to help you, and it's free! Everyone will correct your writing, and lots of Japanese people are willing to be language exchange skype buddies. 3. Download rikai-chan mouseover translator extension for firefox and use it to help you read Japanese online. You'll learn so much faster and retain more vocab the more authentic Japanese you read, and this app will make finding the readings of all those kanji much easier. 4. Watch some Japanese TV on a site like asianrice.tv The more exposure you have to the sound, pace, and rhythm of Japanese, the more your listening skills will increase, and the more precise your pronunciation will become!
  10. The Goethe Institute offers tons of great resources on the website, and one that I find most interesting are German language learning games. It seems they can be played online or with a smartphone. There's two as of right now, one for A2 level and one for B1. They can be a little cheesy, but I find that playing through the game helps create memory links for vocab/grammar. Check it out! http://www.goethe.de/lrn/duw/lad/enindex.htm
  11. I would suggest reading novels, and reading/listening to news reports. I find that novels especially expose you to a different kind of writing and use of language than you'll find in normal conversation. My German boyfriend is totally fluent in English, but has trouble reading adult novels in English because it's a much more advanced, complicated style. I think you could also pick up a lot of unique/advanced vocabulary from news reports. Just read something that would be somewhat challenging to you even in English!
  12. Here are two really useful smart phone apps for practicing/looking up the gender of a noun: 1. Der Die Das It's basically a dictionary, but the only thing it tells you is the gender of the noun. You can click an extra button to show you the translation, but if you want a really simple interface just for finding out the gender, this app is for you. I prefer using it over a normal dictionary like dict.cc when I just need to know the gender really quick. 2. German Nouns This is a quiz app that has a few different options for game play, but essentially just quizzes you on the gender of German nouns. You can create custom lists of vocab, or simply use the pretty extensive ones that come with the app. It also includes really handy rule lists for memorizing gender.
  13. AsianRice (http://www.asianrice.tv/) is my favorite website for streaming Japanese TV shows. It's not live TV, but they have a really huge and great collection of different dramas and live-action shows. There's not a lot of anime on there (I would suggest crunchyroll for that), but it's updated pretty frequently and has many Chinese, Korean, and Thai shows as well.
  14. In Japanese schools (and Japanese language classes) they use grid composition paper rather than western style lined paper. Though this paper can be a pain to write on (think: if you mess up one character the rest of the composition is thrown off), it's fun and authentic to use, and it can help you practice keeping the size of your characters consistent. Haven't we all written beautiful stings of hiragana only to have it thrown off by an abnormally large and awkward kanji? Here is a link to an explanation of how to write on genkoyoushi, with PDFs to print out at the bottom of the page: http://www2.palomar.edu/users/ftachibana/about_genkoyoshi.htm
  15. Lang-8 is an absolutely amazing resource for having your writing corrected. You can just just upload anything you've written, in any length, select the language, and other users on the site will correct it -by-line. It's completely free and the community is really nice. I've never waited more than a couple hours to have something corrected, from small paragraphs to full essays. Highly recommend!
  16. Here's just a couple more to add to the list: 鼻が高い - Hana ga takai (to be proud) lit. nose is tall 口が軽い - Kuchi ga karui (to gossip, to be loose with talking) lit. mouth is light 腹がたつ - hara ga tatsu (to be angry) lit. stomach/belly stands
  17. Here's a link to a website with collections of children's books in many languages, including Japanese: http://www.childrensbooksforever.com/childrenpages/Japanese.html There's only a few in Japanese, and I doubt they'd be considered classics, but I think it's a good place to start, especially if you're looking for new vocab!
  18. If you ever need to look up how a specific phrase (or word) was translated, you can put it into Linguee and the program will display excerpts from real-life translations where these phrases were already translated by professionals. I find it's a fantastic resource when you need to look for more obscure or idiomatic expressions, or when you're not sure what sounds natural in German (or English).
  19. Hey! Thanks for sharing, that sounds like a really awesome idea. I was using a very similar game to practice my French a while ago and I found it to be a somewhat useful tool. I'll definitely be interested in checking out your Japanese immersion game when it's finished. Please keep us updated on its progress!
  20. This app was absolutely indispensable to me while I was completing my Bachelors Degree in Japanese. It's a Firefox extension (not sure if it exists for other browsers) that allows you to mouse over any Japanese word and see the English translation(s), root verb, unconjugated forms, etc. It's a really valuable extension that makes it possible to read more complicated passages (newspaper articles, etc.) with relative ease. You can also look up kanji by just mousing over them, rather than by stroke order, radical, etc. I highly recommend it! Just be careful that you take not of the Japanese word and don't over-rely on the English translation
  21. megshoe

    Genetiv

    Littleredcookbook is absolutely correct that even though use of the Genetiv is going out of style and can often sound stuck up or too formal, it's very important to recognize it and use it in formal situations and writing. The Genetiv is being increasingly replaced by the Dativ in modern German (though I've actually heard this isn't as new of a phenomenon as some think). For example: "Wegen" ("because of") requires the Genetiv in proper grammar. "Wegen des Wetters" = Because of the weather. However, you'll often hear "Wegen dem Wetter," in conversational German (dem is Dativ). Using the Dativ where you should use the Genetiv is a tricky thing. Oftentimes, it makes even German people sound a bit uneducated and country-bumpkin-ish if they use it too often or in the wrong context. Personally, I always err on the side of using Genetiv because if a non-native speaker is using Dativ instead, it might just be interpreted as a mistake. Better to have too nice/formal German than too casual or slangish German. In some cases, especially where the noun is feminine you can't really get around using Genetiv. Here's why: Proper Genetiv: "Das Haus meiner Familie" (My family's house) Dativ Version: "Das Haus von meiner Familie" Essentially you're inserting a completely unnecessary word ("von") and it sounds really awkward and wrong. So, in summary of a very complicated topic: Learn Genetiv, err on the side of using it rather than Dativ, even if you hear native Germans foregoing it. Once your German is good enough to have a sense of when you can be more casual with it, by all means through it out the linguistic window If you're interested in reading more on the subject, check out the article series "Der Dativ ist dem Genetiv sein Tod," which is about modern German grammatical phenomenons and changes, especially with Gen/Dat.
  22. SirTenenbaum, I couldn't agree more! Starting out at a level higher than what you're at is a sometimes frustrating, but great way to learn. If you're reading a children's book of colors, you're probably not going to benefit that much. "Arc-En-Ciel : Le plus beau poisson des oceans" is a children's picture book that I think is both easy to read and useful for learning new vocab
  23. This isn't app designed for studying, but the game 94 Seconds is available in most European languages. Basically you're given a category and a letter and you have to find words that fulfill both. It's a really fun, addicting game and I found it to be a pretty good tool to keep up my French! I use it in German too.
  24. I use Duolingo a lot too, both the app and the website, but to be honest I don't think it's of much use on its own. It should rather be used as a supplementary study tool to reinforce concepts you've already learned, or perhaps pick up some new vocabulary. The immersion idea behind it doesn't translate well to reality and leaves users without grammar explanations. It's also somewhat buggy and filled with bad literal translations and just flat-out incorrect translations. Duolingo is fun and pretty, but don't hope to become fluent from it.
  25. This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone learning German! It's a wonderful and fantastic tale of two adventurers and their locomotive train by the author of The Never-Ending Story (yup, it's originally German!). It's about a B1 reading level and it's full of great vocabulary. Personally I love this story and learned a lot from it. Does anyone else have suggestions for young adult/middle school level reading?
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