Well, I’ve been sick this week among just the general being sick part of things…. I wanted to read, look at things that were out of the usual routine and so I started reviewing some German. I dug out my old German textbook Deutsch Na Klar and spent some time with Rosetta Stone as well as Fokus Deutsch. It certainly has been a while (I guess 15 years(!)) Anyway… I’m adding in the words from the German book to the word list that I’ve been working in Mnemosyne. (Spanish still the predominant language in my cards….)
One thing that I’ve tried to make clear to myself is that my goals are somewhat different than they are with Spanish. Just as an overview… with Spanish I have 3-4 cable networks available to watch, a weekly paper that is available locally, and really quite a lot of other materials. Most dvds in our collection have either French or Spanish as a language option. I guess the point is that I have a lot of variety available which has helped me to progress fairly far in my Spanish language learning.
With German though I’m mostly limited to what I can access online. Now, granted that is infinitely more resource material than I would have had 15 years ago…. it’s just a lack of easy variety. So, I don’t know how long or how intensely I will be studying German, but I would at least like to get back to a point where I can manage okay with written German. It seems that I run into the occasional German forum thread online related to my computer work and it certainly would be handier to have a better understanding (machine translation is always hit or miss.)
So…. this is a bit more than flirting with a language I guess and I’m hoping that with the flash cards I will fairly quickly be able to make up that lost ground. At a time I knew German much better than Spanish. (Enough to read newspaper articles from Die Welt.)
At this point I really see two main areas that I need to master 1) vocabulary – this really is, I think, the BIGGIE. and this is where the card programs like mnemosyne can really help someone excel. 2) grammar. The more I learn about foreign language grammar, the better understanding I have of English grammar. This is not to say that I’m a wizard with grammar, but I think that I’m improving my understanding all the time. Vocabulary without grammar is just a jumble of information, but grammar without a good vocabulary won’t do you much good.
As I get a chance I will try to flesh out the existing pages related to German with some of the online resources I’ve been using the last week or so.