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Topic: Best language resource(s) to use?  (Read 3340 times)

  • Colonel Rebel
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Best language resource(s) to use?
Firstly,  :cheers: to all!

I need to learn conversational German before September arrives. I am all too well aware of Rosetta Stone, but I am unable to justify spending $300-400 on it's equipment. Anyone know of any decent language resources that might be available, or indeed, that anyone on here can vouch for personally? Free would be nice, but I am willing to go up to about $35 or so, if need be.

I have downloaded Duolingo and Mindsumo on my IPad, but don't know much about them, other than they are free. I'll be trying them shortly.

Thanks to all, and hope you all have an excellent year!

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #1
There's http://livemocha.com/ which might be worth giving a go.

You could also try to see if something out of copyright appeals. A quick search gave https://archive.org/details/exercisesinconv00schrgoog (although that's to assist teachers)

There's also open textbooks.
Community: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/German
Professional: https://courses.dcs.wisc.edu/wp/readinggerman/

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #2
Goethe Institute might be helpful.

Also there are a big number of resources around.  YouTube has plenty, the challenge is to pick out the good from the dross. Sweden doesn't have a British Council or Goethe institute, so as an immigrant to Sweden I got an "official" list of Swedish language resources, which included random acts of YouTube.

Rosetta-LiveMocha use the one size fits all-approach. All languages use the same structure as if they were the same, and that is absolutely not the case. What's hard in Czech is not hard in Standard Chinese and vice versa. On the other hand if you learn many languages it makes learning e.g. Hindi more familiar.

  • ersi
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #3
I would also endorse Goethe-Institut, even though I am not directly familiar with them. In the French equivalent Institut français I made some real progress with French against all expectations.

Normally I learn best on my own. This means I am very bad at recommending methods to others, because what works for me works only for me.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #4
This looks pretty decent http://www.learndutch.org

Maybe there's something like that for German too :P

  • Colonel Rebel
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #5
Thank you everyone for your help! I appreciate it!  :beer: :cheers:

  • rjhowie
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #6
Heavens above Colonel you are really aiming high learning it by September and you don't even come from Glasgow.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • jax
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  • Global Moderator
Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #7
Of course you should also get hold of some German speakers, not too many, not too few, and some German beer, not too many, not too few. That is the beer immersion method.

  • Colonel Rebel
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #8

Of course you should also get hold of some German speakers, not too many, not too few, and some German beer, not too many, not too few. That is the beer immersion method.

Quite liking the sound of this method, especially the latter bit!   :cheers:

ETA: No Mr. Howie, not the whole language; that would take years. I just want to be able to communicate basic, conversational German.

  • ersi
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #9
An amazing new Russian discovery: Etruscans are Russians (along with the discovery that the whole world was originally Russian). The most convincing argument that makes the case goes as follows:

As for me, the name "Etruscan" (Этрусский) is enough. As with many Russian words, it's a composite: "Et" ("Эт") means "this is/these are", while "ruscan" ("русский") means, well, "Russian". You can't get a clearer message than that!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg itself can be found at chronologia.org. They have well-produced documentaries on YT too, but I'm not going to link to them.


Another amazing discovery: According to Johannes Goropius Becanus, his home town dialect was the original language in paradise, because words in it are shorter than in Latin and Hebrew, and a name like Noah obviously comes from Flemish nood.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #10
but I'm not going to link to them.
You could always use CODE.
Code: [Select]
http://link I don't want to actually link on account of search engine algorithm stuff

Quote
The global historiography simply can not permit the very thought that the Slavs (and, in particular, Russian) were not simply the inhabitants of Pripyat marshes in the early Middle Ages, but the direct co-tribesmen of the ancient tribe of the Etruscans, who lived in Italy in the II millennium BC, whose culture, as is commonly believed, laid the foundation for the Ancient Rome.
Boy, someone's got an inferiority complex. Inventing a direct lineage to Rome is so a thousand years ago. :P

  • Belfrager
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #11
 
An amazing new Russian discovery: Etruscans are Russians (along with the discovery that the whole world was originally Russian). The most convincing argument that makes the case goes as follows:
:lol:

That Putin man must think that the world is full of idiots like his compatriots that supports him. And rjhowie.
A matter of attitude.

  • rjhowie
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #12
Nah Belfrager you are one of the real idiots as you just get brained by Western propaganda led by America.

Well that is a sensible strategy of you colonel to get some basics in as part of your plan to enjoy Germany so good for you.
"Quit you like men:be strong"

  • Macallan
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #13
Quote
The global historiography simply can not permit the very thought that the Slavs (and, in particular, Russian) were not simply the inhabitants of Pripyat marshes in the early Middle Ages, but the direct co-tribesmen of the ancient tribe of the Etruscans, who lived in Italy in the II millennium BC, whose culture, as is commonly believed, laid the foundation for the Ancient Rome.
Boy, someone's got an inferiority complex. Inventing a direct lineage to Rome is so a thousand years ago. :P
Some wacko tribes in western/central Europe tried that, didn't end well.

  • Macallan
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #14
Another amazing discovery: According to Johannes Goropius Becanus, his home town dialect was the original language in paradise, because words in it are shorter than in Latin and Hebrew, and a name like Noah obviously comes from Flemish nood.
Obviously the language of paradise was early modern english, as we know from the King James Bible.

  • ersi
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #15
A click-and-play IPA sound chart https://legisign.org/tiede/ipachart.html

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #16
That's pretty cool. :)

  • ersi
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #17
Here is a book on Russian stress patterns, how they historically developed and all that stuff. I was reading it in order to finally be able to deduce Russian stress for myself if possible. It's a long and complicated read. Then I found the following lecture, which is basically a summary of the book.



The short answer: Russian stress is random. Nobody can deduce it.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #18
On that topic, here's a list of Dutch digital language resources:

https://www.neerlandistiek.nl/2018/09/de-beste-digitale-taalbronnen/

It pretty much agrees with my own go-to sources. I would quibble that there's no need to limit yourself to the WNT, but the link given there seems to (accidentally?) check all the dictionaries accessible through that particular search interface.

  • ersi
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #19
Oh no :(
Finnish radio drops Latin news after 30 years

The last bulletin went out last Friday evening...
The original https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2019/06/11/ylen-nuntii-latinin-viimeinen-lahetys-kuullaan-14-kesakuuta

It was the only regular Latin news program in the world :rip:

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #20
I had no idea that existed. I just listened to an episode.

https://areena.yle.fi/1-50142295?autoplay=true

  • ersi
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #21
By calculating how much information every syllable in a language conveys, it's possible to compare the "efficiency" of different languages. And a study published today in Science Advances found that more efficient languages tend to be spoken more slowly. In other words, no matter how quickly speakers chatter, the rate of information they're transmitting is roughly the same across languages.

[...]

In the new study, the authors calculated the average information density--that is, bits per syllable--of a set of 17 Eurasian languages and compared it with the average speech rate, in syllables per second, of 10 speakers for each language. They found that the rate of information transferred stayed constant--at about 39.15 bits per second, to be exact.
From the abstract of the study,
We show here, using quantitative methods on a large cross-linguistic corpus of 17 languages, that the coupling between language-level (information per syllable) and speaker-level (speech rate) properties results in languages encoding similar information rates (~39 bits/s) despite wide differences in each property individually: Languages are more similar in information rates than in Shannon information or speech rate. These findings highlight the intimate feedback loops between languages' structural properties and their speakers' neurocognition and biology under communicative pressures. Thus, language is the product of a multiscale communicative niche construction process at the intersection of biology, environment, and culture.
Wouldn't it be much easier to study the information rate of texts? Has it been done?

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #22
I saw some study about cross-linguistic entropy a few years ago. Iirc Africa and South-East Asia supposedly have low word entropy.

It might be this one from 2017:

The Entropy of Words--Learnability and Expressivity
across More than 1000 Languages
Christian Bentz 1,2, *, Dimitrios Alikaniotis 3 , Michael Cysouw 4 and Ramon Ferrer-i-Cancho 5

I'd have to check search the archives of the main linguistics-related blogs I follow, Language Log and Neerlandistiek. That's where I'm most likely to have seen something like that.

  • ersi
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #23
Thanks for that suggestion.

By the way, I disagree with the basic premise of the "efficiency" study that more efficient languages are spoken slower. It so happens that Finnish is both more redundant than Estonian (it is basically Estonian with more vowels added, plus vowel harmony) and also slower at the same time. It is to do with syllable structure:

Compared to Finnish, Estonian has dropped vowels wherever feasible, and there is no vowel length distinction in unstressed vowels, which makes for a highly rational syllable structure and easier pronounceability, resulting in a faster-spoken language, perhaps also more "efficient" in information density in quantitative terms. Wouldn't there be something similar when comparing Dutch and German?

  • Frenzie
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Re: Best language resource(s) to use?
Reply #24
If so I'd think it fairly negligible or perhaps in line with the claims of the study. (German being potentially slightly denser and slightly slower.)