5.2 Increasing linguistic accuracy
When someone talks clearly, like Yvonne Zehner, you have the opportunity to concentrate on how they are saying things as well as the meaning of the words. It can be a good idea to focus on some of the phrases and grammar you are learning as well as the content for what they are saying. One of the ways you can improve the accuracy of your own language is by listening carefully to the way people express things.
Watch and listen to Frau Zehner again and this time listen to some of the things she says, and how she says them. Listen out for Yvonne using the phrases from the previous activity - click back and reread these if you need a reminder.
Noticing the way language works may lead you to further investigation. There are many resources available, whether in the form of published grammar books, or information on the internet. If you wish to find out more about grammatical explanations then you can do so, but reading about explanations is not the only way to learn new language. Language being used in context, such as here, is also an invaluable resource.
Box 5 Learning from things you hear people say
Here are some of the things Yvonne Zehner said. They could all be useful to you as they are the sort of phrases and expressions you could easily use or adapt as approriate.
Talking about jobs
… ich bin klassische Gitarristin. Note how you describe your job in German - she does not say 'eine klassische Gitarristin' as you would say 'I am a classical guitar player' in English.
sofort wusste ich schon, ich möchte Gitarristin werden…
Word order in subordinate clauses, using wenn
... ich bin sehr froh, wenn ich nach Hause komme…
ich hab’ den gröβen Spass, wenn ich die anschau’…
Here you can see a wenn clause, with the verb being sent to the end of the clause.
Using adjectives to describe yourself
Ich bin eigentlich ein sehr ruhiger Mensch … Yvonne Zehner is describing herself here. You can replace ‚ruhig‘ with any adjective which you would use to describe yourself.
Using the imperfect when giving opinions
Und das fand ich so wunderschön…
Das war ziemlich klar
Here you can see the imperfect of the verbs finden and sein. Finden is a weak verb, when you come across verbs like this it can be really useful to learn them in a simple phrase to help you remember their imperfect form.
Using the expressions in Box 5, write five sentences about yourself, or say them aloud if you prefer. Make sure you adapt what Yvonne Zehner said, when describing yourself.
Compare your sentences with this spoken version. You can see that it uses some of the language you have just been working with, but it has been adapted to describe a completely different person. You can look at the transcript of it, if you want to see a written version.
Ich bin Mathelehrerin. Ich bin meistens sehr müde, wenn ich nach Hause komme. Schon in der Schule wusste ich, dass ich Mathelehrerin werden möchte. Das war ziemich klar. Am Wochenende habe ich mehr Kraft, ich bin ein sportlicher Mensch und fahre oft Rad. Das finde ich wunderschön.