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anachronistic
21-02-07, 01:52 PM
Yes, I am obsessed with Germany, after only taking a semester of it. I want to double major in art and German.

I have a question though, for those of you who speak German, or are from Germany, or even another country whose native tongue is something other than English.

Do you think in your native tongue? Or English? I want to train my brain to think in both German and English. I think mostly in English, but every now and then, a German word pops in.

TheSphinx
22-02-07, 11:10 AM
I've been training in both Spanish and German, lilwing. Here is something I have noticed regarding the issue you've posed:

Spanish, which was learned through books and lecture, requires a brief 1-2 second period in which English thoughts are translated into Spanish.

German, which was learned based only on audio repetition and explanation (Pimsleur Pro Courses) has resulted in a situation in which "self-talk" alternates from English to German unconsciously.

I have a feeling this is why many language majors are required to do immersion semesters abroad, in order to hear the words repeatedly, which seems to ingrain the language in a more effective manner.

anachronistic
22-02-07, 01:34 PM
I've been training in both Spanish and German, lilwing. Here is something I have noticed regarding the issue you've posed:

Spanish, which was learned through books and lecture, requires a brief 1-2 second period in which English thoughts are translated into Spanish.

German, which was learned based only on audio repetition and explanation (Pimsleur Pro Courses) has resulted in a situation in which "self-talk" alternates from English to German unconsciously.

I have a feeling this is why many language majors are required to do immersion semesters abroad, in order to hear the words repeatedly, which seems to ingrain the language in a more effective manner.

I have only taken a semester of German, and I am in high school. It takes me about 3 seconds to translate some things, and other things i comprehend unconciously.

The Great OV!!!
22-02-07, 03:14 PM
I don't like Germany all that much, they have a bad habit of trying to take over the world.

anachronistic
22-02-07, 03:22 PM
I don't like Germany all that much, they have a bad habit of trying to take over the world.

No they're not. Amerika is the place trying to take over the world. Germany is the 3rd ranked in the world, so don't be racist.

You may also be referring to Hitler and Holocaust and whatnot. Might I throw in my two cents that most German people I know are very ashamed of their country for that, and have no pride from where they come. They don't like what Hitler did either, and I am just pointing this out.

Haha, if Hitler came back alive, he should kill all the people who think Germans are Nazis.

The Great OV!!!
22-02-07, 03:29 PM
No they're not. Amerika is the place trying to take over the world. Germany is the 3rd ranked in the world, so don't be racist.

You may also be referring to Hitler and Holocaust and whatnot. Might I throw in my two cents that most German people I know are very ashamed of their country for that, and have no pride from where they come. They don't like what Hitler did either, and I am just pointing this out.

Haha, if Hitler came back alive, he should kill all the people who think Germans are Nazis.

1. It was a joke.
2. German people PUT Hitler in power.
3. I don't care.

anachronistic
22-02-07, 03:36 PM
I don't care if it was a joke or not. Your joke could offend many users on here.

And I really don't want to argue about history, but I will be brief and just say that Hitler tricked the people of Germany into electing him. Who the hell would want to fight a two front war anyways? Don't answer that.

My last statement was a joke.

lovesjoyajm
22-02-07, 09:53 PM
As far as German people putting Hitler in power, that may be true, but that was over 60 years ago. The younger generation of Germans, who weren't even alive at the time, is still ashamed of it, but how can any fault be attributed to them?

Lilwing, I'm a German major - I've been studying German since my senior year of High School, just decided to take it because I had time in my schedule and couldn't fit Spanish in anymore. This is my 4th year studying German and I'm spending my year abroad in Germany, and as time progresses I begin to think more and more in German. Sometimes I don't even notice it. Mostly it's when I'm surrounded by Germans and don't have the influence of the other Americans, who are always speaking English. At the beginning of the year, and before I came here, I had to do a certain amount of translating in my head to understand when someone said something, but eventually you begin to understand things in their original language. I'm not fluent enough to understand EVERYTHING, but all the words which I already know, I understand without having to translate at all, generally.

My Spanish teacher in high school once told us, 'Language is not meant to be translated, it's meant to be understood'. By far the best piece of advice I've ever been given about language learning and it has helped me immeasurably. Plus, although German and English are very similar and related, and therefore 'literal' translations are often seemingly possible, in general it is IMPOSSIBLE to produce a 'correct', 'literal' translation between any two languages - look at the Bible, there are hundreds of translations and no consensus about which is the best, because different translators had different goals (wanted to say 'Ziele' there - that happens a lot too :)) - some tried to capture the meaning the best, some tried to capture the poetry, some tried to make it make better sense in the goal language, etc.

Sorry, that wasn't meant to be a rant.

anachronistic
23-02-07, 07:39 AM
Lilwing, I'm a German major - I've been studying German since my senior year of High School, just decided to take it because I had time in my schedule and couldn't fit Spanish in anymore. This is my 4th year studying German and I'm spending my year abroad in Germany, and as time progresses I begin to think more and more in German. Sometimes I don't even notice it. Mostly it's when I'm surrounded by Germans and don't have the influence of the other Americans, who are always speaking English. At the beginning of the year, and before I came here, I had to do a certain amount of translating in my head to understand when someone said something, but eventually you begin to understand things in their original language. I'm not fluent enough to understand EVERYTHING, but all the words which I already know, I understand without having to translate at all, generally.


It sounds like you started learning German similarly to the way I have; I only took it because I wanted to have more classes with my girlfriend, and German ended up being it. I fell in love with it and now I am going to be a German double-major!

Today one of my friends walked out of school and I accidently slipped a Wo gehst du? and he said nach Haus gehen.. warum? essen. Haha, no translation necessary. But when a professor emails me in German, I often have trouble understanding, because of words I don't know!

I wish my native tongue was German..

Hey, lovesjoy, do they speak mostly in German over there? I thought that they speak English over there, which was very disappointing.

lovesjoyajm
23-02-07, 07:54 AM
Mostly German? Yes, absolutely. It depends on where you are, but if I'm sitting on a Straßenbahn or in the grocery store or in a restaurant, etc., I'm surrounded by lots of German. I also hear a lot of Turkish, but that could be where I am. Hearing English isn't uncommon, but definitely not the norm.
Then again, when you go up and ask someone something (directions, waiter at a restaurant, in a hotel), if they can tell you're a native English-speaker, they will often switch to English. When I was in Berlin and we'd have a large group of obvious foreigners, the waiters would usually ask 'Englisch oder Deutsch?' and we'd usually reply - 'Deutsch, wir müßen unser deutsch verbessern!' Someone told me the Germans don't have much patience for foreigners trying to speak their language, especially when they can much more easily converse in English than we can in German, but I've found them to be pretty patient.