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Learning German – Progress 1 May 17, 2007

Posted by Paul Rees in german.
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I’m starting to feel like a parrot. Reciting words, “eins, zwei, drei, vier…”

In my various efforts to learn the language, I feel I am making some progress particularly learning new words and a little about grammar. Pronunciation is another thing and I’m guessing at this stage that this improves with practice and practical application of the language.

I’m also starting to get worried that I am too old to be learning a new language. This one is hard to explain. It seems to me that I have to memorise everything, ie vocabulary, spelling, grammar and pronunciation (including learning to pronounce sounds that are new to me). My brain struggles to memorise this complex and voluminous data. On the other hand I’ve asked some younger people how they manage this and it seems that their brains can just switch from one language to the other. Whereas my brain is firmly, and it would seem irrevocably, planted in English. Am I too old? Am I doing something wrong? Or am I just impatient?

Last Saturday I purchased the textbook required for my formal class. On flipping through the book I was please to see many words I recognised, and some grammatical concepts that I am already familiar with. This was encouraging that I have made some progress. I mean in March this year I did not know a single German word. Now I know a tiny bit, including hard words like entschuldigen!

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