View Full Version : Learning German - need advice

27th April 2011, 17:23
Hallo! I'd like to begin learning German, but I can't decide on the best approach. I realize that immersion with live speakers is ideal, but I need recommendations for books or software. Reviews, specifically for products like Rosetta, Tell Me More and Instant Immersion are conflicting.

My kids (4th/6th grade) are also enthusiastic, but there aren't classes available for their age group. Ideas there? My daughter loves punching phrases into Google translator - is that reliable, or reviled?

Appreciate any advice, experiences, etc.


27th April 2011, 23:31
Welcome to the forum!

There is no such thing as reliable electronic translation. The best you can hope to achieve with Google and the likes is understandable gibberish.

Example: I formulated the above two sentences in German and fed them into Google translator. This is what it thinks is English:

"Something like good electronic translation does not exist. The best hope for what can do is understand gibberish."

Nice try. And English as a target language is actually relatively easy to get right because of its lack of grammatical transformation and its relative structural rigidity. My English above, fed into Google, yields:

Es gibt nicht so etwas wie zuverlässige elektronische Übersetzung. Die besten kann man hoffen, mit Google zu erzielen und das mag, ist verständlich Kauderwelsch.

In both cases there's not much in the second sentence which resembles the target language.

28th April 2011, 02:54
Hallo Matt!

Welcome also from me.

There are some very good free courses on the internet. Look at this article (http://www.aboutgerman.net/AGNforums/content.php?152-Recommended-German-Courses-for-Forum-Members). I've found the Deutsche Welle courses (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,2547,00.html)quite good. These courses are primarily verbal, so you will learn by hearing, but they also include grammar explanations. I think if you go through those as a family, then practice together what you've learned, you will be able to get along quite well when you first arrive in Germany. :)

As Robin said, do not try to learn German by using translators. You will just have to forget almost everything you've learned. :eek:

Viel Spaß beim Deutschlernen! (Have fun learning German)


30th May 2011, 16:19
Hi Matt:

I began learning German with the Pimsleur cds - they are quite comprehensive and give an excellent sense of the grammar usage, even as a beginner's course. I listened every day on my way to work, lol (quiet country roads mind you - I wouldn't advise it on busy highways, as you do have to concentrate quite a bit :) )

I went to Germany on a 7 day visit and managed quite nicely with my limited vocabulary.

And no, I wouldn't trust Google translations!