On Monday, I started doing “All German, All the Time” – where I only watch tv in German, only read books in German, and listen to as much German as possible. I have one more week of this.
Here are the resources I’ve been using -
I’ve not got a tv here, so what I’ve been using is Filmon, which allows you watch streamed tv from a lot of European countries (also includes most British Freeview channels). Sadly, the German channels available are very limited, and aside from a channel that shows only infomercials and QVC, my only choice is RTL which shows horrendous dramas in the mornings. I was hoping for something like the BBC so I could watch the news.
I use Germanpod101.com as well as my Michel Thomas course in the mornings on the way to work. Everyone knows how much I love Michel Thomas, but the Germanpop101 course isn’t that bad either. They base each lesson around a conversation, so it’s good because at the start I listen and think “oh crap, I don’t understand” but then by the end I get the ureka moment when I get what they’re saying. The only thing I would say against them is that the German girl and the American guy running these are about as interesting as a wet rag. The other courses in the “—pod101″ family that I’ve listened to have made sure that the people are quite charismatic. But these guys aren’t.
I mentioned to a friend about my challenge to myself, and he said that he has some German comics – would I like to borrow them? I said yes, of course, and so he brought them into work for me. I joked and asked if the books are rude and have boobies in them, then looked down at the two books. One was the German translation of Paying For It, a pro-prostitution comic about a man who does the rounds with a long list of ladies of the night. The other was Black Hole, about teenagers who get mutilations from sexually transmitted diseases. So far, I’ve read a few pages of Paying For It, and it’s quite entertaining. But I can’t really take it out anywhere (the German title is “I Pay For Sex” in German) so I’m limited to reading it in the comfort of my own room… where I usually choose to sit and blog as opposed to sit and read.
How is it all going?
I think if I was a student and had much more time to dedicate to this, it would work a lot better. However, I don’t see the benefit of watching the tv since I don’t feel I’m getting much from it. The podcasts and books are much more useful – even from a few pages of the comic, I have a long list of things I want to ask my German teacher next week. I think this would be much easier with a language that has a vast range of media – like Japanese anime, or Japanese dramas – that you can get stuck into. It’s quite hard to get stuck into German when my resources and time (and motivation to a certain extent) is pretty limited.
One more week to go!