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The immersion approach to language

Xaerun

"toxic and negative"
So, I'm planning on going to Germany next year (if I can afford it... >_<) with one of my best friends. We'd be staying in Berlin for roughly a year, the only problem is... I don't speak a word of German. He's rather fluent, though.

I've heard a lot for the immersion approach, which is essentially being drowned in the language and you just sort of... pick it up, but... does it work? Does anyone here have any stories/cases of it working?

I'm just a little worried I'll be kind of lost amongst all the Deutsch, is all...

Oh, a bit of background; when I was really little, I visited my grandparents a lot and they spoke German at home. I *used* to be able to understand it, and speak a little, but that's all gone now...
 

Irreverent

Member
If you can find it, immersion might work. The french language program's here do work, but they start early; often kintergarden or no later than grade 2 and end in grade 11.

Much call for German language immersion in Oz? Could you find a program or a community to get into? Conversational language lessons might be better, and you'd pick up more of the idioms and slang used day to day; region to region.
 

Shark_the_raptor

I'm in love with a pizza.
So, I'm planning on going to Germany next year (if I can afford it... >_<) with one of my best friends. We'd be staying in Berlin for roughly a year, the only problem is... I don't speak a word of German. He's rather fluent, though.

I've heard a lot for the immersion approach, which is essentially being drowned in the language and you just sort of... pick it up, but... does it work? Does anyone here have any stories/cases of it working?

I'm just a little worried I'll be kind of lost amongst all the Deutsch, is all...

Oh, a bit of background; when I was really little, I visited my grandparents a lot and they spoke German at home. I *used* to be able to understand it, and speak a little, but that's all gone now...

I think you should speak to Arc about it. He is a native speaker after all.
 

Adelio Altomar

Rat-Sized Superiority Complex
It's been said that it becomes harder for a person to learn another language after ten, so there explains "no later than the second grade" bit in Irreverent's post.

And as for immersion, I find using a dictionary alongside things just to look up not only the words you're looking for but also just plain ol' random words helps.

Going on the Internet and watching news stations, listen to music, and just YouTubing videos about the language I'm studying also helps you gain more comprehension, still! That's how I'm figuring out Swedish, slowly but surely!* :D

And learning German shouldn't be too hard since it's related to English (albeit quite a strange and great distance from it, but you can still make connections if you think about the words). *The above is why I can figure Swedish out do easily. ^^;
 

Takun

Wof Wof Wof Wof Wof
If you want to get a cab you just hold your arm out and yell "HEIL HITLER"

True fax.
 

M. LeRenard

Is not French
It's the best way to go, really. Though it helps a great deal to actually have something of a knowledge of the language beforehand. But learning it by just being exposed to it is how you learned English, right, so it works the same way for other languages. If you spend enough time there, you end up sounding like a native speaker (including making all the same grammatical mistakes they do). Though it does take a while; years, usually.
Anyway, my French speaking abilities sky-rocketed during my stay in France. When I went, I could barely follow a conversation, but by the end of it I felt totally comfortable conversing with perfect strangers. And that's just within 5 months.
I spent a few days in Berlin. I learned that 'danke' mean 'thank you', and 'guten dag' means 'good day'. Also, currywurst.
Berlin is a beautiful city. Half of it is forested park, with all these hundreds of trails and paths, and reflecting ponds that look like something out of a fairy tale. Kind of weird, though; one minute you're walking around the old district, with all of the baroque and renaissance architecture, and then suddenly you step into a huge swath of weird modern designs. Wherever that line is drawn, that's where the bombs fell back in the 40's. And it's home to THE creepiest Holocaust memorial in the world.
 

Term_the_Schmuck

Most Interesting Man on FAF
I've found learning foreign language in a classroom doesn't help. You simply don't have any reason to use it, therefore there's no time or place to practice it unless you surround yourself with other people who know the language. I say this after being 'taught' Spanish most of my life and I still can't speak a lick of it to save my life.

Hopefully this immersion thing works out for you.
 

Adelio Altomar

Rat-Sized Superiority Complex
I've found learning foreign language in a classroom doesn't help. You simply don't have any reason to use it, therefore there's no time or place to practice it unless you surround yourself with other people who know the language. I say this after being 'taught' Spanish most of my life and I still can't speak a lick of it to save my life.

Hopefully this immersion thing works out for you.

Same here. I was 'taught' Spanish for four yearsat my elementary school and got tired of it after nothing but verb conjugations, and more irregular verbs.

The same's happening to me in French, too. That coupled with my first idiot French teacher of the year, who soiled my clean record with his faggy gossipy ass and then saw him get arrested for stealing money from the Senior prom, just diminished greatly my interest in looking at the damn textbook and fueled a desire to learn 'real' French, not any of this 'bpokeork' crap which can only bring you so far! Besides, Québécois sounds so much cooler and more badass compared to that 'perfect' stuff my new teacher's using.

I ain't a book! I don't wanna talk like a damn book! I wanna talk like a native speaker! Both in Spanish and French!! >:-/
 

Mayfurr

Mostly Harmless
There's nothing like necessity being the mother of motivation to learn a foreign language... so yeah, I agree immersion is the way to go.
(It's probably easier than just dumping yourself in country X armed with noting but a Berlitz phrasebook...)
 

Bambi

Joined 2008 - Returned 2022
So, I'm planning on going to Germany next year (if I can afford it... >_<) with one of my best friends. We'd be staying in Berlin for roughly a year, the only problem is... I don't speak a word of German. He's rather fluent, though.

I've heard a lot for the immersion approach, which is essentially being drowned in the language and you just sort of... pick it up, but... does it work? Does anyone here have any stories/cases of it working?

I'm just a little worried I'll be kind of lost amongst all the Deutsch, is all...

Oh, a bit of background; when I was really little, I visited my grandparents a lot and they spoke German at home. I *used* to be able to understand it, and speak a little, but that's all gone now...

Immersion and Arabic doesn't work, unless you understand Muhammads cursive.

Conversational Arabic (or german) immersion could work, just as long as you know in general what certain words are.
 

Shino

Now with more Writer's Block!
I go up to Montréal pretty regularly, and I still don't understand a lick of frog, or french, or whatever they call it up there. Hell, I'm more fluent in C than I am in french. And it's not for lack of trying.

Conversely, I can sorta understand (as in get the general grasp of) spoken Japaneese. I guess watching all those raws paid off.

Hmm... I didn't help at all, did I?
 

M. LeRenard

Is not French
Immersion and Arabic doesn't work, unless you understand Muhammads cursive.

Conversational Arabic (or german) immersion could work, just as long as you know in general what certain words are.
Right, since if you learn one form of conversational Arabic, you still won't be able to communicate with half of the world's other Arabic speakers. That language is so freaking spread out over the globe and has like a million different forms. So I wonder if learning textbook Arabic (literary Arabic, I suppose) wouldn't be the more useful option here.
I talked with a guy (majoring in Arabic, just came back from Egypt) who told me that, for example, Moroccan Arabic is only understood by Moroccans. He thinks it should be considered another language. So I would call Arabic a special case, depending on what your goal was.
 

MattyK

For a Pessimist I'm Optimistic
Meh, I've lost my tongue for French. Our French Teacher was of French Origin, but the main problem is the fact that I went to Special School 'till about sixteen, so I only learnt "snippets" of everything. I picked my Grammar, Spelling, and General Punctuation from Large Novels, Television, all the way up the The Internet and Facepunch's "Smartass" System.
 

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
that should work pretty nicely i guess. both languages have their similarities (except for our unnecessarily complex grammar >.>), you should be fine.
carry a dictionary around and you shouldnt have any problems^^
oh and let me know if you come to a region called "Dithmarschen", thats where i live :B
 

Tryp

Some dry white toast please
Immersion IS the best way to learn another language.

A friend of mine went to Austria for 6 months, didn't know a word of German before he left. Now he can speak it fluently with the German exchange students.

My French improved greatly after just 5 weeks in Saguenay, Quebec in an immersion program.

I would absolutely recommend immersion. It is difficult the first few weeks, sometimes even months, but the benefits easily outweigh the initial confusion. However, I would recommend taking some classes before you go, so that you have at least a bit of experience.
 

Randy-Darkshade

Bike riding squirrel thing.
I have heard of the "imerssion approach" working so i don't think there is any harm in trying. I can understand some french, but it helps to have a friend living in france who is french. I know the real basics of french.
 

Corto

Member
Try to get some basic lessons. I lived in Berlin for 3 months and it helped loads in improving my deutsch, but I had previous knowledge and I still found it hard to understand everyone and I had to deal mostly in english.

Also, fuck you I want to go to Berlin gaaaaaaaaah
 

Wolfsmate

Member
I was stationed in Germany, Schweinfurt area, for 4.5 years. The Army headstart program was very basic. But being completely immersed in the culture is a GREAT way to learn. You will be supprised how much more responsive the locals are if you actually try and pick it up, remember this and dont be afraid to ask often "was ist das in deutsch ?" This is What is it in German ? Also check out http://www.deutsch-lernen.com/ its a start ! GOOD LUCK !
 
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