Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,

Ich verstehe nur ein bisschen Deutsch

Ich verstehe nur ein bisschen Deutsch: "I only understand a little German."

Given that two of my best friends, pdx42 and coradee, are fluent in German, as is my father (who's lived in Germany for the past two decades, I might add), it seemed only natural that I should want to learn the language. There's really no reason I need to learn the language, though, other than a love of learning. Still, being trilingual can't be a bad thing.

I purchased the Pimsleur "German in Ten Days" course. Having already learned French, I'm not so naïve as to believe that I'll be speaking German in ten days but hopefully I'll pick up enough to be able to terribly embarrass myself.

Feeling rather nervous about this, I wasn't planning on telling coradee since she's German and I was certain I would butcher the language, but I had dinner with her last night and had some questions about pronunciation which I couldn't exactly ask the Pimsleur course. Fortunately, she informed me that my pronunciation was excellent, so there were no worries there.

I'm rather torn about the Pimsleur course. Since it focuses exclusively on spoken German, there are no written materials. I'll not be able to read or write German while I'm learning to speak it. On the plus side, it means less of a distraction and I can focus on the spoken part more readily. Still, it would be nice to have transcripts. The word for "only", nur, sounded like "nua". When spoken quickly the distinction is subtle and can be lost. I had to look the word up since I couldn't quite hear what was being said.

The introductory course is a series of ten half-hour lessons. The course promises that I can "spend just thirty minutes a day on each lesson." Uh, nein. That's a crock. I'm doing one lesson a day (I'm on lesson four today) and I have to repeat each lesson four or five times to get it down. Maybe I'm a bit slow, but unless one is phenomenally gifted, I doubt anyone is going to get by on a half-hour a day. I knew that "spend just thirty minutes a day" was a lie when I picked it up, but it still irks me that they would be deliberately deceptive.

Assuming I finish the ten lessons and feel comfortable, I'm going to buy the "Pimsleur German Level 1" course. It's thirty lessons and should give me a good start.

Auf Wiedersehen.
Tags: family, friends, language
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