Monday, 24 October 2011

Reported Speech and Konjunktiv I

To listen to this podcast directly on your computer, please click here.


Enkelkind said...

Thanks for another great show! I need to listen to it again to make sure I got everything straight in my head, but I just wanted to thank you for your methodical approach and dedication to the task of explaining German grammar in audio format. As a more advanced learner, I have found listening to news podcasts to be the best way to learn to recognise (and even produce) Konjunktiv I, but your English explanation helped strengthen my conceptual understanding and deepened my appreciation of some of the nuances of meaning that exist.

Hannibal said...

Thanks a lot for this beneficial podcast blog, Laura.

Mike said...

Thanks, Laura!

I've just been listening and reading "Nominative". They way you convey the grammar rules is very succinct and I believe will help me with long-term grasping of German grammar.

Thanks so much for your work and do please continue!



learn german said...

Yes, there is always a distinction in the spoken and written language which makes it hard to understand and learn the correct grammar.

The spoken language is usually so full of mistakes.

german english translator said...
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KarenA said...

I just wanted to thank you for this series of podcasts.

I've tried to learn German many times, but always struggled with the grammar. You're podcast series did the trick and gave me the break through I needed. I can see real progress in my language ability now! Your explanations and examples are so clear.

Thank you!!

Mike said...

Hello Laura.
Like everybody else - a bunch of thanks for this remarkably useful podcast. By far the best source anywhere, or at the very least - the one that worked best for me.
One question- I noticed that you have not published a new episode in quite some time. Is that because you run out of subjects or time? Either way - I hope you are well.
Would love to see some new additions to the series, although I realize you may have more pressing things to attend to.
Kind regards from Sydney


Laura said...

Hi Mike,

To be honest, I got a bit lazy, partly as I wasn't sure how many people were still listening. People who I know who've listened to them have tended to listen to a few then stop bothering, so I had started to feel like I was talking to thin air.

I've written part of an episode on weak masculine nouns and adjectival nouns (which probably ought to be two episodes), which I should be able to persuade myself to finish by the end of summer at the latest (now I know at least one person is still listening).

There's a ton of stuff left to podcast about. As far as I remember, I still haven't done an episode on when to use the accusative and when the dative with prepositions that can take either.

I was also thinking of doing an episode on plurals (particularly in relation to genders - I reckon there's got to be a way of using the plural to help you with the gender, as I find plurals much easier to remember than genders).

Is there anything else people who are still listening would like to hear about in particular? I'm not sure I do want to continue with this project forever, but I have nothing against doing a few more to fill in gaps for the people who are interested in listening to all of them.

Anonymous said...

If you are looking for suggestions, I'd love to hear your take on Speaking in passive.

Mike said...

Hello again Laura.
First of all - great to see that you are alive and well. I was getting slightly concerned.
As I said before, and I definitely don't mean this as lip service,your podcasts are absolutely sensational (if you could used this adjective in reference to grammar). I have struggled for years to find a source of concise, systematic grammar information. I always ended up with half-baked summaries, or oversimplified material that made me feel like I am missing something. I guess my way of thinking about things must be similar to yours - because your podcasts make perfect sense.
Your suggestions for the next podcasts are great. And in general anything to help with the (apparent) randomness of genders and plurals in German wins my immediate vote.
I have also this faint hope that O would one day be able to conquer the "doch" et al part of the language. So far, while I can sometimes understand it, my chances of using it correctly are practically null.

Thanks again for all your hard work. I know my fellow (rather grown up) students and I are big fans, so you are definitely not talking to thin air.

Best regards from Sydney


Laura said...

Thanks, that's really encouraging. I'm probably going to be quite slow about producing more, but I'll put it back on my to do list. I too am hoping I can come up with more of a system for genders and plurals, but it's currently only at the hoping stage! It all looks pretty random to me as well (give or take the tips in my podcast on genders).

@anon, there's some stuff about the passive already in the Future and werden podcast, but I do get asked that quite often, so I probably ought to put it on my list to do a separate podcast.

Mike said...

Thanks Laura.
I guess I'm just too spoiled with languages where the noun endings usually give a big fat hint about the actual gender. Or my absolute favourite - the ones where the determiners sound reasonably similar so you can cheat your way by doing a bit of word swallowing. Sadly with the German system of cases and adjectival endings - cheating is out of the question...

Anonymous said...

Like Mike I am pleased to hear there is no bad reason for your silence Laura. If you want ideas, the things I and my son (doing A level) find ourselves in need of help with are: du/Sie; written German for reported speech (are there any standards?) and letters (how to address and sign off to various types of people?); odd words like allerdings, jedoch, eben and beziehungsweise, and some generalisations from someone with close knowledge of English and German and good knowledge of Dutch and Polish, it would be interesting to hear your experience of the different cultural markers and values coming through in language - sorry to be vague, but it seems interesting (though perhaps shallow) to me that German is so good at philosophy and English is so good at poetry.

We've found the podcasts and the tables invaluable, thank you.


Laura said...

Hi Jenny,
Thanks for your comment. I'm not sure there's much I can say to help you with written German for reported speech that wasn't in my Reported Speech and Konjunktiv I podcast - although if you read the transcript, you will see how I wrote the reported speech with approporiate punctuation. The only extra thing I can say is that you should think about who you are writing for. Examiners (particularly A level examiners) are probably looking for evidence that you can use Konjunktiv I. Actual Germans would be happy for you to just to use the indicative (i.e. normal German - my preference because it's easy) or Konjunktiv II.
Canoo is also pretty good:

Laura said...

Hi Jenny (part 2),
I forgot to say in my last post, I will add the other topics you mentioned to my list of topics to cover. I've been asked for a couple of them before, so it looks like they're probably areas I should look at.

David Woodruff said...

Hi Laura: Just wanted to supply another message from an impressed and grateful listener to keep you encouraged to do more. As someone who has to fit learning German into small spaces of time, I really appreciate being able to listen to you while washing the dishes or waiting for the bus. Whatever you do next, many thanks for all the hard work so far. Best wishes, David (London)

swaqny Co said...
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Eaalim said...

Great blog, Thanks.

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