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If you study German in your HS, why?


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What are your reasons for choosing this language over others?

 

What resources have you found for learning German with children?

 

Our family has German ties and dh and I both speak and read German. Having lived there when they were young, our older kids already have a base knowledge.

 

Adventures with Nicholas from Berlitz Kids

 

Tamburin a Deutsch als Fremdsprache for kids, you can get text, workbook and cd/tape audio.

 

Deutschmobil another German course book for kids.

 

You an also find loads of books in German. Eric Carle books are almost all translated into German. The Rainbow Fish was originally written in German.

 

You can find Sesam Strasse (Sesame Street) episodes on You Tube. There are some German kids shows available via streaming like Loewenzahn and I think Kapitan Blaubaer.

 

I have also found some good resources in iTunes, from BBC, Deutsche Welle and German TV networks.

 

You can find some German kids' magazines online. National Geographic World GeoLino

 

International Book Import Service (IBIS) was a good book importer a few years back. We've also done large orders from Amazon.de if you order a good sized order, then the shipping isn't too awful.

 

And I'll never discount the power of Donald Duck comics of movies in German. My kids know that if they ask for Star Wars in German the chances of watching it go way up.:tongue_smilie:

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Check out this thread . HTH!

 

Thanks! Actually, I was the OP on that thread. ;) I didn't feel as though my "itch got scratched," if you KWIM?

 

What I'm asking is this: The common wisdom seems to say, "Learn Spanish, it's the language of the future (in the US), there are so many people here who speak Spanish, it's easy to visit a Spanish-speaking country." While I don't want to denigrate Spanish in any way, my interest was more academic, less utilitarian. Spanish may be useful, but what could German teach a student, or produce in a student, that you wouldn't be able to achieve with Spanish.

 

I was reading about a time (prior to WWII), when Latin and German were the most commonly taught languages for American high schools. During and after the war era, German fell out of popularity. It died, and it never was resurrected in the schools. I know we live in this day and age, but I was curious about the current possible benefits of German language study.

 

When we think of learning a modern foreign language (MFL), we usually tend to think of "how often am I actually going to use this," as in, have the opportunity to speak that language. And that's a fine reason to learn a MFL, but I was looking into the academic/intellectual benefits of the study.

 

The argument was made that there are so many good, academic reasons for learning German:

 

http://www.vistawide.com/german/why_german.htm

 

 

  1. German is the most widely spoken language in Europe.
  2. Germany has the third strongest economy in the world and is the leading export nation in the world.
  3. Knowing German creates business opportunities.
  4. Germans are innovators.
  5. Germans are the biggest spenders of tourist dollars in the world.
  6. The German presence on the Internet surpasses most others.
  7. Germans form the largest single heritage group in the USA.
  8. One in 10 books in the world is published in German.
  9. German-speaking countries have a rich cultural heritage, including art, architecture, philosophy, music, theology, and literature.
  10. German is not as hard as you may think.
  11. German is required or recommended by many undergraduate and graduate programs.
  12. Germany financially sponsors over 60,000 international exchanges per year.

 

I just wondered if anyone else had pondered this, or had any thoughts that might help me work it out. :bigear:

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Why? For us, we study German because my husband's career means that we will spend a bunch of time living in a German-speaking country. We are not homeschooling full time right now, as my children are attending a local, German-language school, but at home we study German and use Rosetta Stone.

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German was historically widely studied in this country because it was the largest heritage group in the US (it still is) and because a lot of scholarship took place in German. It's still a 'family language' if not a 'home language' for more people in the US than any other language, including Spanish. However, Spanish may be more widely used in common speech--that would not surprise me at all, as lots of German language heritage families have not preserved the language down to the present day in this country.

 

It was not uncommon during the 1800's for American students to do their graduate work in Germany. When I studied Chemical Engineering during the late 70's, you had to be able to read either German or one other language (I forget which one) to pursue graduate level studies in that field or in chemistry, on the assumption that then you would be able to read the scholarly literature in that language and that that was a basic skill that Masters and PhD candidates needed to have.

 

German is a key root language to English, and not a fully Latin-based one, so knowing German AND Latin would make you able to figure out the bulk of unfamiliar English words from their roots and associations. So it would be a great broadening force. Also, older English such as that used in the King James Bible is much more similar to German than new modern English, so knowledge of German and understanding of older English literature kind of go hand in hand.

 

During WWI and WWII the use of German terms and the use and teaching of the German language was very strongly suppressed in this country. In San Francisco, many of the major streets had had German names until those wars and then were renamed. Lutheran and Catholic churches who had maintained German services in parallel with English ones largely dropped this practice. The predominance of German-language heritages in the US was quietly ignored and unacknowledged, and in movies ever since then being of German background tended to taint you with a faint smell of being Nazi--a very unfair characterization. I think that the predominance of German language heritage in this country is sort of a big invisible dead elephant carcass in the living room of our national psyche. We don't acknowledge or deal with it at all, to our detriment. What that does is define the biggest ethnic group of our land as faintly suspect, and it tends to feed the 'dark side' of German culture as being the only thing available as an identity for those who need one and are German. So that to feel good about your heritage you almost have to be sort of Nazi-ish or white supremesist (sp). Not good.

 

Thankfully for me, I have always convoluted my German background with my Lutheran one, and so I have a positive slant on it it, but I have learned that that is pretty uncommon.

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I love the internet and the ability to listen to international radio stations!

 

Also I've seen this German language bookstores advertised in Multilingual Living, which unfortunately is soon ceasing publication: http://www.abckinderladen.com/

 

(I don't speak German at all, but I think it's a good language to speak for academic reasons, and certainly for any other reason that inspires someone to stick with the language.)

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German was historically widely studied in this country because it was the largest heritage group in the US (it still is) and because a lot of scholarship took place in German. It's still a 'family language' if not a 'home language' for more people in the US than any other language, including Spanish. However, Spanish may be more widely used in common speech--that would not surprise me at all, as lots of German language heritage families have not preserved the language down to the present day in this country.

 

It was not uncommon during the 1800's for American students to do their graduate work in Germany. When I studied Chemical Engineering during the late 70's, you had to be able to read either German or one other language (I forget which one) to pursue graduate level studies in that field or in chemistry, on the assumption that then you would be able to read the scholarly literature in that language and that that was a basic skill that Masters and PhD candidates needed to have.

 

German is a key root language to English, and not a fully Latin-based one, so knowing German AND Latin would make you able to figure out the bulk of unfamiliar English words from their roots and associations. So it would be a great broadening force. Also, older English such as that used in the King James Bible is much more similar to German than new modern English, so knowledge of German and understanding of older English literature kind of go hand in hand.

 

During WWI and WWII the use of German terms and the use and teaching of the German language was very strongly suppressed in this country. In San Francisco, many of the major streets had had German names until those wars and then were renamed. Lutheran and Catholic churches who had maintained German services in parallel with English ones largely dropped this practice. The predominance of German-language heritages in the US was quietly ignored and unacknowledged, and in movies ever since then being of German background tended to taint you with a faint smell of being Nazi--a very unfair characterization. I think that the predominance of German language heritage in this country is sort of a big invisible dead elephant carcass in the living room of our national psyche. We don't acknowledge or deal with it at all, to our detriment. What that does is define the biggest ethnic group of our land as faintly suspect, and it tends to feed the 'dark side' of German culture as being the only thing available as an identity for those who need one and are German. So that to feel good about your heritage you almost have to be sort of Nazi-ish or white supremesist (sp). Not good.

 

Thankfully for me, I have always convoluted my German background with my Lutheran one, and so I have a positive slant on it it, but I have learned that that is pretty uncommon.

 

 

Have I ever told you that I love you? :D

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Ah, you were looking for a practial reason? I had answered my personal reasons in your other thread, so I didn't answer again. But if you're looking for practical reasons, here's my experience:

 

I am trilingual in English, Spanish and German. You keep hearing that Spanish is more "useful" than German, right?

 

Well, I ended up working in International Marketing for software companies for 10 years. Which languages did I need? French and German. No Spanish. The software wasn't even translated into Spanish (and I worked for multiple companies). I learned to read software manuals in French, but my Spanish wasn't used at all in 10 years in the industry. I talked daily on the phone to our German and French subsidiaries. I got to travel to France and Germany and demonstrate our products at a German trade show.

 

This has probably changed somewhat in the past 15 years or so since I quit working, but the money is in those countries (you could probably add Chinese and Japanese to these now - those were already starting to become important around the time I quit working), so that's what is most needed in those high-tech industries.

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Some of our acquaintances from church work for a local technology company. It seems like they are constantly making work related trips to Germany. Also a family member made quite a few trips to Germany for his line of work. I think it was dealing with fuel cells(?).

 

Thanks for the thread. It's been an interesting read.

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I don't think Spanish will be useful for students today (and I say this as a Spanish and German teacher). There are many American citizens who have been raised bilingual from birth. If you were a business owner who needed someone who spoke Spanish, would you hire one of them or someone who did Rosetta Stone for two years? Obviously you would hire the bilingual person.

 

I think studying German would be a lot more useful, AND will get you noticed and make you stand out. There are many German companies with branches in the US. German is extremely important in Europe.

 

I am doing German with my younger children (I might add in Spanish if they show interest). My oldest did 3 years in high school. My two middle children are learning Spanish (because she wants to, not because it's the default) and Swedish - and yeah, try finding materials for that LOL!

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Just realized that I didn't answer the "why" - I love German. I also love Spanish. I love learning languages in general. I think a background in German is better for my dc, even though I could easily do Spanish. Ideally I will do both.

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I agree -- you cannot always correctly predict what will become useful. Plus, if you really love something, you can find a way to make it useful. If you speak an unusual language, you may actually be more valuable than someone who speaks something common. There are, for example, geographic pockets in the US where speaking Russian makes you very desirable, but I don't think Russian is being promoted as the new international language. But if you live in those areas, you'd be in demand.

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I don't think Spanish will be useful for students today (and I say this as a Spanish and German teacher). There are many American citizens who have been raised bilingual from birth. If you were a business owner who needed someone who spoke Spanish, would you hire one of them or someone who did Rosetta Stone for two years? Obviously you would hire the bilingual person.

 

I think studying German would be a lot more useful, AND will get you noticed and make you stand out. There are many German companies with branches in the US. German is extremely important in Europe.

 

I am doing German with my younger children (I might add in Spanish if they show interest). My oldest did 3 years in high school. My two middle children are learning Spanish (because she wants to, not because it's the default) and Swedish - and yeah, try finding materials for that LOL!

 

See? Now that was my argument, LOL! I said that to my husband, verbatim, even the part about Spanish being the "default setting." It's as though we are pre-programmed in the USA to think "Modern Foreign Language = Spanish." But I was questioning this assumption, trying to think outside the box: Why Spanish? I could understand if you could only say that so many people here speak Spanish, but if it's also true that so many of these people are bilingual. Since I am convinced that, short of living in a Spanish-speaking country, my children will never be as bilingual (in Span & Engl) as my friends' children (who are truly bilingual), then why spend hours and hours trying to "study" what these children are blessed to learn naturally? My friends' children are bilingual in the home/family, so they are free to study Latin and French! This is the train (wreck) of thought that prompted me to ask: What's the point of Spanish (other than to have a blast in Latin America, which might be a very good reason)? Instead, why not just swim upstream (since as monolinguals, we have to, anyway), and learn German?

 

When I was in school (Stone Ages), I signed up for Spanish, but somehow got "stuck" in French. By the time the school told me that they had mixed up my request with Sheila Ryan's (who had wanted French, but got Spanish), we were halfway through the first year. Whatever. I stayed with French for five years, but never had any immersion (and the teacher was, um, less than fluent, shall we say?). :tongue_smilie:

 

A few years after high school, I lived in Central America for several months, and picked up more Spanish in that brief time than I had learned in five years of French. When I came back I was speaking Spanish all over the place, and my sister was disgusted. She had studied Spanish for six years, and still couldn't hold a simple conversation. I have retained more Spanish than anything else. For a while I attended a Brazilian church in Philadelphia and had no trouble "picking up" Portuguese. That was a fun language!

 

For all these reasons, and because we are committed to studying Latin (a Romance language), it started to dawn on me that we might not want to put our energy and effort (and $ and time) into Spanish. I love Spanish, but I think it's easier to "pick up" than some other languages might be. And it might not have the same academic/economic/cultural payback as German. Because there are so many bilingual Spanish-English speakers in the USA now, our family would always be "second rate" at it, never competitive. German might make us stand out, or open up doors for travel or education, or lead to greater insight into English and the German/English connection, or lead to an interest in literature, music, theology, engineering, architecture, exports/imports, international law. I don't know what German-instead-of-the-usual-course-of-Spanish might mean for us. That's why I asked! :D My husband says I think too much.

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I am trilingual in English, Spanish and German.

 

How did you become trilingual in these languages? :bigear:

 

Also, if you were (are) teaching children, at what ages would you begin (a) exposure; (b) formal study; © immersion (if possible)?

 

And what materials, activities, experiences, resources would you use?

 

Thanks, Matroyshka!

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How did you become trilingual in these languages? :bigear:

 

Sure had nothing to do with school! :) My mom is also trilingual.

 

For general exposure, I'm pretty sure she exposed me to songs etc. when I was fairly little.

 

She started teaching me German when I was 8. When I was 9, I went to visit relatives in Germany for 6 weeks, and again when I was 11 - by that time I spoke German the whole time I was there. I took 3rd year German in high school when I was 13, but it was weird - the teacher took a year's leave of absence and came in once a month to give us assignments - the rest of the time we did them with a non-German speaking teacher just making sure we didn't goof off. After that they cancelled the German program, so a big hiatus. Then when I was 17-18 I spent a year attending Gymnasium in Germany, and ended up minoring in it in college.

 

As for Spanish, my mom taught me Spanish I at home when I was 12, then I took Spanish 2-4 in high school. The summer I was 15 I spent 8 wks in Mexico, then my senior year took a conversation class at the local state college. In college, I spent a semester abroad in Spain, and minored in Spanish as well.

 

Also, if you were (are) teaching children, at what ages would you begin (a) exposure; (b) formal study; © immersion (if possible)?

 

I started exposing my kids as soon as they were born, mostly with music. I also read to them some. I joined a German playgroup when they were 2 1/2, and they started German Saturday School when they were 4. I took a trip to Germany with them a couple of years ago, and one of my dds spent 6 weeks going to school in Germany last spring (she was 10yo).

 

Spanish has been more problematic. They had a Spanish tutor once a week starting when they were 6, I think? I wasn't so happy with their progress after a few years, and took over Spanish instruction last year. My older two have been working through Spanish the Easy Way since last year (5th grade) - they'll finish; my younger will start it in the fall. I'm trying to figure out immersion - that really is the key!

 

And what materials, activities, experiences, resources would you use?

 

I know a lot of people here use Das neue Deutschmobil for German - that's also what my kids' Saturday School uses. It may be harder to use, though, if you don't speak German yourself, as it's all in German.

 

For songs, José Luis Orozco has great CDs in Spanish, and anything by Rolf Zukowski is great in German. I also have a region-free DVD player and during the week I require anything they watch to be in either Spanish or German (or be science/history if it's in English).

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I'm teaching my kids German because they are German citizens so they should know how to speak the language. ;)

 

My brother (German citizen only) has lost his native language. He know only speaks English

 

My sister (duel citizen) speaks no German

 

I'm the only one who knows German out of my siblings. Yet we are all German citizens. I find that sad.

 

I want it to be different for my boys.

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. There are, for example, geographic pockets in the US where speaking Russian makes you very desirable, but I don't think Russian is being promoted as the new international language. But if you live in those areas, you'd be in demand.

 

Russian is one of the official UN languages too. Knowing it would open employment doors in the many UN agencies.

 

Rosie

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because i spent several years in germany as a child and it is part of our 'family language'. my oldest 2 (5th & 7th) decided they wanted to. we got rosetta stone this year and we'll see where it leads. fascinating posts!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started learning Spanish at age 12 and continued all the way through high school until I was basically fluent. I've let it drop off a little, but I have used it to communicate with Spanish speakers whose English is weaker in this country (the US).

 

I started learning German at age 20. (I'm at an upper-intermediate level now, but man, is it hard to achieve fluency a new language and have the responsibilities (not to mention the mind) of an adult at the same time!) The reason I started learning German: It, and French, are the two languages that are most useful for many intellectual pursuits in grad school. (Philosophy, philology, music, etc. Probably sciences, too, but I am not a science person.)

 

Part of me wishes I had learned French in middle/high school instead of Spanish, since it would have been easier to meet these grad school reading proficiency requirements!

 

Folks in the US think of Spanish as "useful" -- and they're right. Depending on your profession/the region of the country you live in, Spanish is very useful and sometimes necessary. Folks in Europe think of German as "useful" -- and they're right, too. I believe it's the most widely-spoken second language in Europe after English, partially because Germany is an economic and intellectual force.

 

I think it's fair to say Germany is more prominent on the world stage than any Spanish-speaking country. On the other hand, I saw an article recently -- in Spanish -- about how the majority of Spanish citizens themselves are decidedly not enthusiastic about learning a foreign language (or even willing to learn one), whereas, taking into account my experiences in Germany, I would suppose most Germans are more excited about bi- and multilingualism.

 

Does this answer your question at all? I hope so! There are strong pros of each. If you've got a crystal ball and you can tell say, whether your dc will be interested in working in public heath or law or teaching in the US or as academics or for multinational corporations with branches in Europe then your decision might be easier. :tongue_smilie: If not, you can certainly be comforted knowing that any foreign language is better than none at all!

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All Germans speak English, as far as I know. So traveling, doing business, etc. with Germans is not really a reason to learn German. I took 3 years of German in high school and that was plenty to find my way around Germany in my 20s.

 

I personally think German is fun to learn - on an elementary level. I quit when it got too hard. Mark Twain wrote a hilarious essay titled "The Awful German Language."

 

My daughter will be taking Spanish ;)

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because i spent several years in germany as a child and it is part of our 'family language'.

 

Us too. I lived in Germany for much of my childhood. I was fluent (although my college professors didn't like my "slang"), but am not now. My father is still fluent in German, and gets by in Spanish. When we moved to the states, I was in High School and German was not offered :glare:. I took French and had absolutely NO problems learning it. The languages are so similar, it was just a matter of learning new vocabulary. The structure, articles and basics are the same. There were times I would answer a question thinking I had spoken in French and my teacher would laugh and say, "Must have been German!" :lol:

 

We'll be teaching German and/or French because it's what I know. We live in an area where Spanish is spoken, and my kids are becoming knowledgeable because they live it. I think it would be good for them to learn a little more structure, but I'm thinking that's something they can do in College.

 

As for what languages will get you ahead in this world, ANY language will. It depends on what you want to do with your life. If you want to work in business, any language will give you a leg up. If you want to work for the Govt, right now they desperately need people that can learn/speak Arab. I have a friend that took Chinese in College as an elective and fell in love with it. She is fluent in Chinese and is very hireable, but only for jobs that include living or traveling often to China. If she moved to the west coast, she might find a job that would keep her stateside, but they're pretty happy in Minnesota. That's why I don't sweat it anymore. ANY language is good, any language will work.

 

Blessings!

Dorinda

ps I haven't found a good curriculum to help me either. I have a lot of German books from when I was a kid, and I'm thinking about buying a textbook when they get to highschool. There's also a website: http://www.livemocha.com that I've looked at. DD loved it, but we haven't had time this year to delve into it.

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ps I haven't found a good curriculum to help me either. I have a lot of German books from when I was a kid, and I'm thinking about buying a textbook when they get to highschool. There's also a website: www.livemocha.com that I've looked at. DD loved it, but we haven't had time this year to delve into it.

 

I am wondering if you guys looked at www.continentalbook.com for German curricula. They have many choices for German textbooks.

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  • 3 months later...

My husband has German/Dutch heritage, but he doesn't speak either of them. My daughter was attending German K and is going to Saturday's German Language school this year. Her boyfriend(she is only 8:)) moved to Germany last year. His father is German and the boy had a chance to visit his grandparents there. My daughter is very motivated in learning German because she wants to be able to communicate with kids in Germany while visiting her boyfriend.

My daughter was exposed to 3 languages since she was born and 6 more when she turned 2. She used to play computer language games in different languages(French, Japanese, Chinese, German, Korean, Indonesian) so she understood most of the vocabulary for 4-7 years old child.

We told her if she speaks 5 languages it will be sufficient so that is her plan for now. We also have plans for Latin/Greek but those we don't count as MFL.

My daughter has a friend whose father is fluent in 9 languages(he knows 25 languages including classical). I think that earlier introduction to foreign languages is very important.

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DD will be learning German because... well, because I am learning it!

 

I am a history student, specifically European history. I have to learn German, so I figure might as well teach her. Plus, we will be traveling to Europe when I have to do research on my dissertation and hopefully many papers/conferences down the road, so it will be practical for us also.

 

She is learning French for the same reason.

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All Germans speak English, as far as I know. So traveling, doing business, etc. with Germans is not really a reason to learn German.

 

That hasn't been my experience but I guess it depends on how you define "speaking English". My husband is German and we lived in Germany for many years. Most Germans that I've met do not speak English very well or at all. The few who are fluent are the ones who have been exchange students.

 

We live in the U.S. now and my husband works for an American company that also has offices in Germany. It is an advantage that he speaks German because the German office has so few people who speak English well.

 

I definitely think that German is worth learning. It is, afterall, the language of Dichter und Denker. :laugh:

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My family is also ethnically German (not all, but a big chunk of 'em). I have a minor in Germanic Studies. It's very easy for me to teach. Heck, I'm not even using a curriculum right now. I bought a children's picture dictionary on Rainbow Resource and we are just going through the dictionary together and lumping words into groups - numbers, days of the week, greetings, animals, etc.

 

From a formal standpoint, I was told in college that a lot of people who are going into International Business minor in Germanic Studies. It's a very valuable language from a business/corporate standpoint.

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That hasn't been my experience but I guess it depends on how you define "speaking English". My husband is German and we lived in Germany for many years. Most Germans that I've met do not speak English very well or at all. The few who are fluent are the ones who have been exchange students.

 

 

I definitely think that German is worth learning. It is, afterall, the language of Dichter und Denker. :laugh:

 

I think it depends on which part of the country you visit. I heard that a region's tourism industry determines the foreign language capabilities of its natives. :tongue_smilie:

 

Also, the language of Goethe!! :D Who wouldn't want to be able to read Der Erlkoenig in its original text? :tongue_smilie: I'm such a nerd. :D

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We do because we have lived, currently do live again, and will continue to live in a German speaking country. :)

 

At home we have used Rosetta Stone. This coming fall I may hire a tutor (we will be in Germany).

Edited by Novafan
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I don't have advice as we are just starting out, we will be starting German this coming year.

 

My husband's family is German, additionally his Uncle married a German women (moved here from Germany) so we have family reasons.

 

My husband works for a company Osram-Sylvania that regularly sends employees over to Germany for various reasons. While *we* may never go there we saw the process that eliminated some people's option of taking a position that would send them there because they didn't know the language or couldn't learn it in time.

 

I realize that the job thing is probably the same for most languages depending on who you work for but for us it was just one more reason German was a good choice. Like an above poster I think Germany's economic and manufacturing position in the world gives good reason to choose it as a second language.

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I plan on teaching German to m girls b/c I sort of speak it, we have German heritage on both sides of the family, and it's a useful language. I started studying it in high school b/c it sounded more interesting than Spanish. Plus, if I ever want to go on and get a doctorate based upon my BA (Religious Studies), I will need to know German (French is the other modern language they would like you to know).

 

I'll also do Spanish as well. DH and I both know a little bit of it. Heck. I'm hoping either or both of my girls are language-lovers b/c that would give me an excuse to learn more than what I know now. For the moment, we just read to them in German and Spanish from childrens board/story books. One of ODD's favorite books is, "Ich sehe was, du nicht siehst..." (I think I have that right, not at home at the moment).

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I don't teach it, but dd wants to learn to read it. I think it is a great choice for a language. It is very common in public high school in the area I grew up in.

 

German is a more inflected language than English, like Latin is, so learning it is a "gateway" to learning other inflected languages more easily. It also has an influence on our English language. Finally, it is a helpful langauge for studying history.

 

It's funny how the trend for language recommendations changes. When I was in high school, everyone was learning Japanese to go into international marketing and "make big money." :D Then it was Spanish. Right now learning Chinese is big in our area. Maybe German will circle back around to popularity.

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Since this thread has been revived, I thought I'd follow up with what I've ordered for next year!

 

http://www.amazon.com/German-Children-Language-Paperback-Audio/dp/0071407790/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_cart_1

 

I decided this would be the right blend for 5th grade. A gentle, conversational introduction. Something she might be able to do on her own. I'm thinking of a textbook approach using this: http://www.langenscheidt-education.com/titel.der_gruene_max_3389_940.html in 7th and 8th grade.

 

blessings!

Dorinda

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That hasn't been my experience but I guess it depends on how you define "speaking English". My husband is German and we lived in Germany for many years. Most Germans that I've met do not speak English very well or at all. The few who are fluent are the ones who have been exchange students.

 

We live in the U.S. now and my husband works for an American company that also has offices in Germany. It is an advantage that he speaks German because the German office has so few people who speak English well.

 

I definitely think that German is worth learning. It is, afterall, the language of Dichter und Denker. :laugh:

 

Our experience was that English skills weren't that prevalent in the countryside or in smaller shops in cities (NB: it is worth noting that we lived in Berlin and traveled a lot in the former east). However, English was very commonly used by corporations that did business across Europe, because that was the language that staff from Germany, France, Sweden, etc would have in common.

 

The arm of the German government that dh associated with arranged frequent presentations by business concerns for the international group that dh was part of. The gov't organizers were very particular that presentations should be done in German. On several occasions the industry reps appologized that they were not so familiar with representing their company in German.

 

Having said that, I found it very useful to speak and read German. In a perverse way, I might suggest that the easy supply of Spanish speakers might make it less of a profitable skill in the future. My goal is that my kids will have survival levels of Spanish and fluency in German and a good reading knowledge of Latin. We'll probably add one other language just for kicks along the way.

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I know a lot of people here use Das neue Deutschmobil for German - that's also what my kids' Saturday School uses. It may be harder to use, though, if you don't speak German yourself, as it's all in German.

 

QUOTE]

 

Where are you getting Das Neue Deutschmobil? Or are you in Europe?

 

I have an older, pre-spelling reform version but no workbooks or audio. I'm thinking that I can probably get the newer version as easily as the additional items I need for the older edition.

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We study it because we live in Germany. Dh is military and we've lived in Germany 3 times now (97-99, 01-04 and 08-??). Indy was born here and wants to learn it. We encounter it every single day. Even though we'll move at some point in time, I think it's a good language for Indy because almost everywhere we've visited in Europe, people can speak German. This makes communication so much easier. I drove to France one weekend for a HUGE flea market (OMG, it was amazing) and my French is sketchy at best. I was able to bargain with every singe seller though because I asked them if they spoke German and they all did! Hurrah! Even in Spain and Italy, we've been able to communicate in German. Most Europeans do speak English (bless them for that) , but a lot of the older ones don't. They do speak German though.

I have to admit that German is not the prettiest of languages (seriously, the guttural sounds are something), and the words can be crazy long (though one long word can replace several English words), but it's close enough to English, that if the speaker is slow enough (Sprechen Sie langsamer bitte or Langsamer sprechen Sie bitte) we can figure out what they mean.

Indy is also really good at ordering in restaurants. "Schnitzel mit Pommes und Sauce in eine becher Bitte!" (Schnitzel with fries and gravy in a bowl please!)

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I know a lot of people here use Das neue Deutschmobil for German - that's also what my kids' Saturday School uses. It may be harder to use, though, if you don't speak German yourself, as it's all in German.

 

 

Where are you getting Das Neue Deutschmobil? Or are you in Europe?

.

 

I'm here in the US, but the Sat. School procures all the texts for us. :)

 

That said, you can get Das neue Deutschmobil in the US from Continental Books. Scroll a bit down the page I linked to find it.

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I'm here in the US, but the Sat. School procures all the texts for us. :)

 

That said, you can get Das neue Deutschmobil in the US from Continental Books. Scroll a bit down the page I linked to find it.

 

Thanks. Which of the books do your kids use? I'm thinking that text and workbook would be useful, but I'm not sure about the vocab books. Though, in for a penny, in for a pound.

 

(I didn't even realize this was an older thread. Thanks for answering anyway.)

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Well, I ended up working in International Marketing for software companies for 10 years. Which languages did I need? French and German. No Spanish. The software wasn't even translated into Spanish (and I worked for multiple companies). I learned to read software manuals in French, but my Spanish wasn't used at all in 10 years in the industry. I talked daily on the phone to our German and French subsidiaries. I got to travel to France and Germany and demonstrate our products at a German trade show.

 

This has probably changed somewhat in the past 15 years or so since I quit working, but the money is in those countries (you could probably add Chinese and Japanese to these now - those were already starting to become important around the time I quit working), so that's what is most needed in those high-tech industries.

 

 

I worked for a software localization company for nearly 10 years but quit over 11 years ago. During all those years I worked in the Spanish department. There was a German department, as well as a French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch and a Swedish department (they later added other language departments but I was gone already). The Spanish, French and German departments were equally busy in our company. I just wanted to say that while your specific companies may not have used Spanish, the Spanish software localization sector is also alive and well.

 

To the OP, German would give you a knowledge and familiarity with a language with declensions which Spanish las lost. As far as practical purposes, it would give you a leg up in business and travel in Central Europe.

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Even in Spain and Italy, we've been able to communicate in German. Most Europeans do speak English (bless them for that) , but a lot of the older ones don't. They do speak German though.

 

 

In Spain, French used to be the foreign language studied at school before English took over. My own brother, who is only 4 years older than me did French in school, no English was offered at that time. There may have been some schools that used German but that was not the norm. Most likely you may have been able to use German to communicate in Spain because either you bumped into a native German speaker (they holiday and retire in Spain in big numbers) or you found a Spaniard who caters to those groups and learned German for that purpose (usually as a second or third European foreign language).

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