Jake E. Stief
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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I've always been fascinated by polyglots, and more so, hyperpolyglots. The fact that some people can fluently speak over a dozen languages blows my mind. To think, I have trouble enough with one! whistle

Recently I've decided that I want to pursue a world of languages and to perhaps one day speak a tiny fraction of what the polyglots can speak. My native language being English and having ancestoral roots in Germany I decided that it would be a fine language to start with. I hear it is similar to the English structure in many ways which is also appealing. I took two years of it highschool but I didn't put much effort into retaining anything... But now I'm ready to learn! Now I want to speak German. I've been reading through some grammar books and flipping through endless flashcards but I hear the best way to learn and retain a language is through immersion. Since I am not capable of moving to Germany I must choose the next best thing-- find German speakers in both my physical and virtual communities to converse with in their native tongue. If there is anyone out there who would like to converse with a rookie in German (either through a written chat or a video skype) I would be most grateful.
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Michael
Germany
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Learning a language is always a good use of your time. I am not sure I can make chatting work but if you want to drop me a few geekmails I'd take the time to answer.
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Rusty
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CrazyJake wrote:
I hear it is similar to the English structure in many ways which is also appealing.

Yeah, as near as I can tell, German and English are basically the same.
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David
Switzerland
Buchs
St. Gallen
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Go to Essen...

Good luck to you! Speaking multiple languages is a fun thing!
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Exceptio probat regulam
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Check out this organization:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goethe-Institut
This is a very good organization by the way - in a sense your choice of German is a lucky one - it's probably the best supported second language there is.

A side-comment - learning your first "extra language" as an adult involves learning two things: the most important one is "learning how to learn a language".

As far as I know this can't be taught, though it can be discussed. I've heard a lot of BS on this topic though - people who aren't fluent in at least two languages can't provide much useful insight, but nor can people who learned their second language as children (the mechanisms are different for adults) or when living somewhere where the second language was dominant (being able to fall back to their native language is a problem for native English speakers).

BTW this isn't intended to discourage you - it's definitely possible (and practical) to become fluent in a second language as an adult - not surprisingly, the Goethe Institute's estimates for their A1 and A2 classes look realistic.

I could discuss the process I went through to "learn how to learn", but FWIW I don't think it's the same for everyone - if so I might not be a good source of information, and certainly shouldn't be the sole source.
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
Canada
Chestermere
Alberta
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Life lesson: Hamsters are NOT diswasher safe.
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There are 10 types of people-- those who understand binary, and those who don't.
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I'm learning a lot of Italian online, for free, and with no ads or other trappings of "free" stuff on the internet.
They also do German lessons here, and I believe that German is even better supported than Italian is.

www.duolingo.com

Plenty of native speakers troll the site, as volunteer mods, and there are discussion groups and all kinds of other stuff.

Did I mention that it is all completely free? Just sign up with an email address. They never bother you afterward. Ever.
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Michael Edwards
United States
Everett
Washington
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YA R'LYAH
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Phnglui mglw nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah nagl fhtagn! With cheeze!
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The Germans have an inhuman way of cutting up their verbs. Now a verb has a hard time enough of it in this world when it's all together. It's downright inhuman to split it up. But that's just what those Germans do. They take part of a verb and put it down here, like a stake, and they take the other part of it and put it away over yonder like another stake, and between these two limits they just shovel in German.

-- Mark Twain
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Michael
Germany
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Chanfan wrote:
The Germans have an inhuman way of cutting up their verbs. Now a verb has a hard time enough of it in this world when it's all together. It's downright inhuman to split it up. But that's just what those Germans do. They take part of a verb and put it down here, like a stake, and they take the other part of it and put it away over yonder like another stake, and between these two limits they just shovel in German.

-- Mark Twain


This is such a hard thing to teach
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