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Learning German in Vienna

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Studying German Effectively

General

German, which is the mother tongue of 100 million people is in Europe as important as English, although English can be used nearly everywhere.

To fulfill a job in Austria, even in the simplest of professions, an applicant should speak good German. But it is necessary to manage official business, to fill out endless forms, and for everyday life itself, too.

In German the grammar is more difficult (word order, inflection), a big part of the learning is conning. German language reminds of Lego, as in its logical structural disciplines. This led to German being the language of new age science and philosophy. The German literature and poetry can seem a bit sterile at first, but if one gives more time to it, getting to know the usual themes, their cultural heritage, one will discover the ability to hide a lot “between the lines”.

Grammar

German is a strict language. The word order and the order of clauses is very strict. Verbs could be stacked but their order is strict.

With the nouns one also have to learn the prepositions. Difficulty not only comes from learning the different nouns and cases of things and abstract notions, but that the words should be carefully examined concerning case and number. If one would use a wrong preposition, the sentence could get another meaning.

In German it is a constant challenge to collate the nouns, this takes a big part of learning te language.

You might ask what is the practical use of different prepositions to different nouns? Nothing. At most it increases the number of the “available domains”. (Some nouns have more than one preposition and meaning.)

Furthermore the German language is unique in having not just two but three grammatical genders! One should get familiar with all of them.

And the most difficult problem in German language is for foreigners even after long years of usage is to adjust the prepositions to the nouns, to use proper inflection, and to use them properly in speaking.

They often use the indefinite article (e.g. ein schöner Wein).

Using the past tense is not easy as well. There are less tenses than in English but the general concept of using auxiliary verbs is the same.

It is often useful that the German language keeps the means of impersonal phrasing.

The prefixes have meanings by themselves and they could be assigned to almost all verbs and most of the nouns.

The dual used (accusative and dative case) prefixes can mean different things.

Using formal language and the usage of proper auxiliary verbs might seem complicated.

Pronunciation

For people with Slavic mother tongue the pronunciation is not easy. But it is not just them who complain about the sharp sounding.

For people with eastern or southern European languages as a mother tongue it is almost impossible to pronounce the „R” as a back vowel. Most of them surrender to this task. But for Bavarians, Franks, in the German part of Switzerland and South Tirol the „R” is pronounced in front.

The silent „en”-s at the end of words are not so difficult (e.g. gehen), but the „er” ending can prove itself some trouble (e.g. Vater).

Combinations of words are quite often in German, which is favorable considering it can be understood at first. Unfortunately in everyday German contractions are used instead.

Suggestions for learning languages

german

It is important to listen to native language speakers, especially for basic conversations. Listening materials should be bilingual, and text books should not only contain the script of the conversation but the related grammar and vocabulary as well in the working language.

I aim to use topics that the students can easily relate to, and are very handy in everyday communications:

  • Business trips
  • Looking for an apartment
  • Residence permit
  • Working permit
  • Labor contract
  • Insurance
  • How to fill out forms
  • Requests to helping organizations
  • Matters of relatives and school
  • Austrian legal knowledge
übersetzung dolmetscher kurs class