What I want most

Discussion in 'Community' started by matt459, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. matt459 macrumors member

    #1
    I have a dilema, and I need some help as to what i should do about it. Right now I am in the 10th grade. I'm in German 2, which is very much like German 1, because of my class. There not serious at all, and they joke constantly. My teacher is good, but she does not yell at them enough, in my opinion.
    My school, is a very small school, and it does not have much to offer. It is a "sports school" and if you don't play sports, then your nothing in their eyes. I very much dislike my school, but am not desperate enough to leave. The only thins keeping me is my german teacher, Frau T. Shes a wonderful lady, and shes brilliant.
    I've decided that I would like to become an exhange student my next school year. Ideally, I would live in Germany for 9 months. Now, what I want to know, is what do you think i should do about this.
    I don't get the best grades in my class, but I'm confident in saying that I am one of the most dedicated. I try so hard, because I want to do everything I can to make my dream come true.
    Has anyone here been an excange student, or have any advice for me? I heard about this rosetta software that is supposed to be very effective. Does it really work, or is it just another one of those, works only so far programs. I want to become fluent, and I have the drive to do so. What works best, good old fashion vocab drills?
    There is not much oppurtunity for me to use my german, so it is not getting as good as I would like.
    Does anybody have any advice for me, and what I can do to make my dream come true? thank you
     
  2. 18thTomorrow macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Is there any way you could meet with your german teacher outside of class for some private practice? Perhaps you could do an exchange of services--offer her something for the chance to learn more of your favorite language. Share with her your exchange aspirations, and see what she says. Search the internet for good exchange programs. And don't give up. You can do much that you set your mind to and go after it with all your heart. I think sometimes teens are surprised at what they are capable of.
     
  3. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

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    #3
    The above suggestion is a very good one. Many teachers will be more than willing to do this.

    The best advice I can give for a pre-exchange student is this: Find as much SPOKEN german material as you can listen to. As I'm sure you're aware, Germans (or whomever) speaking German is WAAAAAAAAAAY different from your book german, or your "listen and repeat" tapes speaking german.

    Being able to listen to fluent speakers speak will be the single most valuable asset when being in a foreign country. Reading...eh, you can take all the time you want to read something. Speaking...eh, you can speak in simply and survive. If you don't understand... well, "Bitte, langsam" will be your best friend.

    Watch German TV, Listen to German Radio whatever. It will help the most.
     
  4. CubaTBird macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #4
    listen to falco, hehe....

    nevertheless, its interesting how u let one class make u want to move to another country..... talk to ur teacher, talk to ur parents... its an "wholeistic" experience if u will.
     
  5. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #5
    lol us history/government makes me want to move to the uk lol
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    I took one class in 5th grade that taught Japanese history and knew I wanted to be a Ninja!

    Go to Germany if you have the opportunity. I don't see why your parents would stop you, even if you'll only be in 11th grade. You're not that young, and if the exchange is free or quite cheap, it'll be a great experience. Germany is beautiful. :)
     
  7. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #7
    I guess before the thread is completely hijacked by non-Germans I'll post. :D
    Seriously though, the tips are good ones. Try to get your teacher to give you private lessons this will help you a lot.
    In my opinion, from having learned a couple of languages, there is 3 things to learning a language perfectly. First off learn the grammar and vocab(Without proper knowledge of grammatical structures you'll never be perfect as you'll learn incorrect structures. etc. when you solely learn things in that country and once you learn the incorrect ones it's hard to correct this). Second, having learned enough vocab will enable you to read newspapers/magazines/webpages and watch TV/videos(This is a crucial part, do this as often as you can). Third(the most fun one :D ) get a German girlfriend.
    So what I'd recommend now is just trying to learn the grammatical structures and a lot of vocabulary. Reading and watching German stuff should be way to hard right now, but will help you heaps once you can understand about 20-30% of it.
    I have the Rosetta Stone programm for another language and although I'd recommend it for beginners I wouldn't recommend it for people who already have studied for more than a year.
    Get yourself iFlash for example and make yourself a vocab list and study this(This is how I learned Spanish vocab) And try to get grammar lessons.

    Just my 2 cents.

    If you have any questions regarding exchange programs(I did one when I was 16) and/or Germany feel free to ask.
    German is an interesting language and although by far the hardest of the Germanic and harder than the Romanic languages I'd say one of the most versatile and expressive in the world. Though you can debate the "beauty" of the sound :D It's quite harsh to some people. :rolleyes:
     
  8. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #8
    Erm, English is a Germanic language. And of course, so is German.

    I took one year of German and two of French in High School. The German stuck easily, the French I can barely muddle through. Of course, I live in Pennsylvania Dutch country and speak a dialect of English that has a lot of German grammar in it, so it all made sense to me.

    I watch Deutsche Welle occasionally (it's on the local PBS affiliate untranslated and uncaptioned). As a matter of fact, it's on now. I can catch about 40% of what's going on.

    As far as studying abroad, I'd visit first.
     
  9. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #9
    Yep, you're right. I'm just thinking in Spanish right now, which is a Romanic language :D . Too much wobbly wobble in my head. :D Fixed it.

    Edit: Just saw the last sentence. Why would you visit first? It takes all the fun away. The fun of the unknown, the totally new experience, etc.
    I guess if you're(not you personally :D ) someone that cannot cope with a lot change at once and susceptible to culture shocks then visit first. But I had the most fun whenever I didn't know what was coming.
     
  10. Davito macrumors member

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    Jun 16, 2004
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    Zurich, Switzerland
    #10
    Sounds funny, but after all it's not such a bad idea. I improved my english a lot by listening to english music and reading the lyrics at the same time. It also worked to improve my french. Maybe Falco is not so good, his german is not so normal. But try other german singers. Everything "Neue deutsche Welle" from the early 80s might work quite well. Usually, the language is quite clear and simple in these songs. Viel Glück! :)
     
  11. AmigoMac macrumors 68020

    AmigoMac

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    #11
    Greetings from Germany... :)

    Nice to read your wishes to come here, it's a very nice place, wether you will enjoy it, of course, as always, it's up to you, meet good people and don't follow the bad guys (Those are a lot here) :D ... I'd recommend to look for a nice place on the north-west (NRW) but try to avoid Cologne :D :D (Joking)... Düsseldorf is nice... or try something like Hannover, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt ... Talk to your teacher and parents about that, oh... and DO NOT think about training your German in Austria or Switzerland :p :p ...
     
  12. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #12
    Its odd when I strarted reading this thread 99 luftbaloons was ending in iTunes. :)

    I would say if you want to go to Germany go for it. Immersion is the best way to learn a language.

    As for the German girlfriend. I had one once. Wonderful woman.

    Viel gluck!
     
  13. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

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    #13
    While I'm Swiss, I have to agree :D
    Swiss-German would probably only serve to confuse you
     
  14. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #14
    It would be like learning Quebecois French
     
  15. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    #15
    umm might want to correct that 2 English is a dual base language. It is Germanic and Romintic (Spanish french....) That part of the reason English is consinder among the most diffecult language for some to learn because we have rules spreading across 2 bases plus 4 times the words that most other languages
     
  16. matt459 thread starter macrumors member

    #16
    Thank you everyone for your posts, very imformative and the such. I have wanted to do this a long time, and I think it would be an amazing experience. One thing though, I do not have the option to watch many things in German. Beside one or two programs, which are probably on at 2 in the morning or something, I do not have access to a foreign network. I suppose i could listen to plently of music and radio programs online, spoken in German of course.
    I asked my teacher about it, and she said that it would not be difficult to set this whole thing up. There is a company that she knows of, which does the student exchange program. Since then, which was last year, I have been doing a lot of research on the topic. The requirements are as follows:

    ~ Between the ages of 15 and 18- check

    ~Gpa of 2.75- mine is about 3.1 and im working on getting it higher.

    ~Two years experience of the language- will have by the end of this year

    ~Maturity to adapt to new environments- I think this describes me pretty well

    ~Successful score in a personal interview- Ahhh heres the kicker. I know my German all right, for how long I've been learning it. But I am a little worried about this interview. Im guessing he/she will ask me questions in German, or what I feel about Germany, the culture etc. Has anyone gone through this "personal interview?"
     
  17. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #17
    seeing a swiss or austrian person getting subtitled in german television..priceless..

    have to agree to posters before..hearing german perhaps songs and reading the lyrics might help on pronouncation (i don't think there is a german television channel available in the US... that would have helped a lot)

    informative link for you:
    http://german.about.com/
    very interesting easy and sometimes funny...they have lots of nice articles about the language common mistakes etc. there
     
  18. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #18
    Some things to check out:

    http://www.tagesspiegel.de/hoeren/ news articles read out loud

    http://www.dw-world.de/english/0,1594,1452-184710,00.html Deutsche Welle TV shows, it helps if you have broadband. Also check out the German lessons at DW's site. They have a good variety of levels and situations and it is everyday modern german.

    http://www.vorleser.net This site has a few stories, fairytales, letters etc in German, not much there but every little bit helps.

    http://www.zeit.de/ They have some excellent audio but you have to pay for it, maybe your teacher has a subscription?

    They key thing during your interview is not necessarily your fluency but your confidence level. Don't worry about making mistakes or trying to speak perfect German. They're not expecting that of you only a willingness to adapt to a new language and environment.

    Also, one of my favorite ways to keep current is to rent dvds and turn off the subtitles. A great and inexpensive source for German movies is netflix.com at $20 per month it's not a bad deal especially if you don't have a good video store nearby.

    It will be the best experience of your life! Good luck.
     
  19. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    Back in the motherland
    #19
    Tired? Spellchecker off? Or just an example of how hard the English language really is? :D :p

    Seriously though, I am not too sure I can agree with you as to English being among the most difficult languages to learn. I found French a lot harder to learn. English grammatical structures are very simple and would, could and should are three words that make things a lot easier.
    Of all the languages I know I found English to be the easiest to learn but then again I can only speak for myself.
     
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #20
    Watch Run Lola Run again and again. ;)

    And like I said, your parents aren't likely to stop you from doing an exchange if its free or cheap, and as you don't seem immature, you're going to do fine in the interview. I imagine that they'll probably ask you questions in English, actually, as they can probably understand that you're nervous enough as it is. They probably just want to see if you're a good kid. Its not an interview process as in you'll get rejected even if you're bright and eager. As long as you know why you want to go to Germany, and explain why just like you did to us, then you're golden.

    Have a blast. Make sure you go to Neuschwannstein (sp?) in Fussen/Füssen(?). Its the nicest thing I saw in Germany. :) And if you have the money, rent a BMW and go nuts on the Autobahn. :p
     
  21. matt459 thread starter macrumors member

    #21
    Thanks Ugg for all of those links. Like you said, every bit helps. And that netflix sounds like a good option, does anyone here have it? How is the service, price for selection, and that sort.
    Actually there is a girl in a few of my classes from Thailand, and her English is not so good. One teacher of our, hasn't exactly caught on to that yet. He always calls on her and she gets so embaraased and ends up smiling, but I relize it must be hard/scary for her. Made me think about how it would be for me in Germany. But, I'm up for the challenge and I think i would learn fast. Also, isn't English spoken in Germany a bit? About how much, like walking into a store, seeing people in the city, etc...
    Allright, i'm going to go persuade my mother that netflix is the way to go.
    P.s. Since I go to a "Catholic" school, i'm pretty sure the program would not be much more than tuition, it is quite expensive. In my opinion anyway.
     
  22. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #22
    english as a backup shouldnt be a problem ... most pupils have it as 'first foreign language' in school (at least the younger ones).. older people might have problems with it (aka the famous wrong pronoucation of "the")

    perhaps outside of towns you might run into more problems
     
  23. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #23
    It depends on what part of the country and when. I guess I am showing my age by my friend had Russian as her first foreign language because she was from the (recently fallen) DDR.
     
  24. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    #24
    Geeez, if you call the fall of the DDR recent you must be reeeally old. :D
    Almost 2/3 of my life came after that so I wouldn't quite call that recent.
     
  25. Squire macrumors 68000

    Squire

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    Canada
    #25
    matt458,
    Go for it. Living in another country is an amazing experience. It's not for everybody, though. Here's a little anecdote for you:
    I was studying Italian in my last year of university. There was a scholarship available for graduating students studying Italian. Very few people ever received the scholarship because it was technically a first-year course. Anyway, my prof recommended that I go for it. The red tape was quite a hurdle and I ended up procrastinating. To make a long story short, I missed out on a golden opportunity. Lesson: Don't wait until the last minute to do things (such as send away documents for verification at the consulate).

    Good luck.

    Squire
     

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