AMD 2 – Facebook in Deutsch

For this AMD, I decided to switch my Facebook language to Deutsch and see how many words I could recognize. The first word that caught my attention was the word for ‘homepage’, which is ‘Startseite’. I thought it was interesting to note how literal this translation is. Reading my friends’ posts in Deutsch was a bit more difficult, but I was able to pick up words here and there, such as Wochen and Jahre. The search bar, which said “Suche nach Personen, Orten und Dingen” was easy to translate. ‘Dingen’ is pretty close to things, and Personen is a cognate. The hardest word here was Orten, which I found out means places. I figured out that if I think of “Wo” meaning ‘where’, the o will remind me that Orten means places, which could answer the question, where? I also learned that Facebook in Deutsch does not use a word for the singular “they”. Instead, a post shared by a non-gendered page will show up as, zum Beispiel, “Michigan Cru hat seine/ihre Veranstaltung geteilt”. The seine/ihre literally translates to “his/her”, which I took to mean “their”. I thought this was an interesting distinction from English, because technically in English we should also use his/her instead of the singular they, grammatically speaking. It made me think that maybe Deutsch is a little less fluid than English, in terms of strictly following grammatical structure. English, at least recently, has adapted a lot to popular culture in terms of word meanings, e.g., the singular they or the word ‘literally’. I would be interesting in investigating if Deutsch has any words that have adapted like that in recent years.

Now that we have learned how to conjugate some verbs in class, reading some posts was relatively straightforward. A clickbait article that showed up on my timeline was captioned “Alle seine Schüler lieben seine Klasse, aber sie haben keine Ahnung, was er nach der Schule nach Hause geht…”. I didn’t actually read the article, but I could understand the vast majority of this caption, which was pretty exciting! I also now know another word for der Student, which is der Schüler. From the little bit of searching around that I did, Student means student, while Schüler is more like saying “pupils”.

Overall, Facebook was pretty easy to use in Deutsch! The many cognates were helpful in navigating the pages. It was fun to try and read as many posts as I could in Deutsch and then check them with the English translation to see how well I did. It seems to me like this would be a good way to practice learning new vocabulary and review sentence structure in a casual way.

AMD 2 – Deutsch Duolingo – Pheebe

I decided to try out duolingo for my second AMD 2 because I have heard others talking about it a lot regarding learning a new language. Honestly, I was not very excited about trying this at first, but I have to say that duolingo is the cutest and most user-friendly language learning app/website I have ever used.

I started out with this little questionnaire asking if I would like to start as a beginner or with higher levels. I thought I might as well start as a beginner and see since I have only started learning Deutsch this semester. As I went through the little “challenges” to achieve my “xp” (like a game) goal, I realized that I was able to answer almost all the questions without any hesitations because I knew the answers by heart. This amazes me so much. I have no clue that I understand a lot only learning. There were only a few words that I did not know, but I was able to guess the answers by how they are spelled or sound. For example, “Brot” means bread, “Mädchen” means girl, and “Wasser” means water. One of the features that helped me learn more easily is that they provided pictures above the vocabularies. This shows that the website does want to help people learn, instead of just quizzing people without any additional guidance. Another feature is that when I was asked to translate a german sentence into english, I was able to hover over every word in the sentence with my mouse to understand the meaning before translating.

Overall, I think duolingo is a very helpful tool to help people learning Deutsch or other languages and I really encourage everyone to try it out and see how cute and useful it is. After Deutsch 101, I can definitely see myself using duolingo even for other languages I might want to learn. I honestly want to see how good I am when my “German Fluency” on the profile gets to 100%.

AMD2 – Flash Card

I am glad that I finally downloaded the flash card on my phone and started using it to practice vocabulary.  I found it is extremely helpful in terms of getting familiar with and memorizing those words.

As we moved into the Kapitel 2, I realized that the vocabulary this time is much more challenging compared to Kapitel 1.  I felt it is really hard to get to know those word only during the class time.

I actually learned about the flash card from the very beginning when I went through the course information page.  However, I didn’t find a time to really try it until the computer session.

I use the flash card app on my phone mainly when I take the bus or wait at the bust stop, trying to utilize those “extra” time.  I think the best thing of flash card is that the word comes up several times when it is being moved from “don’t know it” to “know it”.  Usually it takes times to truly remember a word.  So I think this feature of flash card makes sense and helps the whole process more efficient and effective.  I also enjoy the audio function, which gives me a better idea about the pronunciation.

During my personal experience, I also think there are some minor things it can be improved.  First, it does not allow me to save the progress for coming back and continuing study later.  Usually I am not able to finish the entire list all at once.  And for the next time, I have to start all over again.  Sometimes it is just frustrated when you could never make the progress bar to the end.  The other thing is that it does not provide examples for each word.  I like those examples on the vocabulary worksheet, which help me to understand the word and learn how to use it.  For some words, I am confident with its meaning and pronunciation, but not confident in using it.  If the app could also combine the example feature from the worksheet, then I would say it is a perfect app!

My intent was not to be picky or criticize.  The flash card app did help me a lot with vocabulary and I am pretty sure that I will continue using it through this semester.