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Getting started with German 1
Getting started with German 1

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9 Summary of Week 2

This week, we mainly focussed on listening and working on pronunciation. Here are some tips on how you can continue to work on this and how to use audios, transcripts and your own recordings as well as online dictionaries to improve pronunciation.

Achieving good pronunciation

You can use the audio recordings and transcripts provided in this course to work on your pronunciation of German. For example, you can repeat words exactly as you hear them, imitating the pronunciation until you are happy that it is close to the original. You can also record yourself and compare the recording to the original. Reading the transcript while listening to an audio can also help you to understand how specific sounds and words should sound and become more familiar with the intonation and melody of the language. Why not look up the lyrics of your favourite German song and try to sing along while listening to it?

If you come across a new word and you are unsure how to pronounce it, it’s worth remembering that some online dictionaries, for example, English German dictionaries such as english-german/ [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] or german-english, provide audio files with each word. There are also useful apps and other online resources that can help with pronunciation.

Once you feel more confident with pronouncing basic sounds, you could try combining words or more complex phrases you have learned in the course into new sentences. Make those words and phrases relevant to you and say them out loud. Repeat them often and, if you know any competent German speakers, practise with them and ask them to give you feedback on your pronunciation.

Your language notebook will probably start filling up. This week, it might contain notes about how to say the names of places in German and some phrases to introduce yourself and others. You may also have started building up a vocabulary section in your notebook with all the new words you’ve been learning so far. As vocabulary starts building up and your lists get longer, don’t feel you need to remember every single word you come across but concentrate on the ones that will be important to you.

Think about the way you might group the words you learn, too. In a dictionary they appear in alphabetical order but in your notebook, you may prefer to keep ‘verbs’ (such as the different forms of kommen you have been learning), nouns (naming words) and adjectives (such as international) in separate sections. Or you might have a section for useful phrases (Mein Name ist Ben).

Take some time to check that your language notebook is up-to-date, and reflect a little on what you’ve been doing this week.

Week 2 Reflection

What was easy, useful or fun this week?

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What was more difficult?

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This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University badged course LGXG001 Beginners German 1: fang an!.