Today is day 89 of my ongoing effort at learning to read the German language by using the DuoLingo application and web site. As with previous days, this post will describe my progress during the last couple of days. This is also the first time in a while that I've participated in one of the Steemit initiatives, because #learnwithsteem feels like a perfect fit for this series.
Um die Ecke (Around the corner): Pixabay license, source
As described in previous posts, I continue to face three categories per day that decay away from completion and need to be done again in order to get them marked as complete. In spite of that, I also managed to complete the "Accusative prepositions" category and advance to level 2 (of five) in the "Numbers 1" category. As noted previously, I learned how to count to twenty as a child, so I already knew how to pronounce the numbers, but I had no idea how to spell them. After today's practice, I think that I can now correctly spell the numbers from one to nineteen. Here, I'll try (from memory, so mistakes are possible):
|sechzehn||sixteen (note the missing "s" from "sechs")|
|siebzehn||seventeen (note the missing "en" from "sieben")|
In the "Tips" sections for "Numbers 1", they also introduce a new phrase for "there are" when talking about quantities, es gibt. Unfortunately, I didn't read the "Tips" section until after doing the exercises, so I got that wrong a few times before I got the hang of it. In the tips, DuoLingo notes that there are two phrases for "there is", and we need to know which one to use when. We would say es gibt (or gibt es) for quantities. For example, we might say: Es gibt sieben Pferde (there are seven horses), but da ist is used for pointing out a location, such as da ist die Ecke (there is the corner) or da ist irgendwas (something is there).
Which reminds me of another one of the Nena videos I've been listening to: ;-)
Anyway, back to the "Tips", that section also mentions that German speakers will often use the word, zwo instead of zwei over the phone because that avoids the possibility that the listener could confuse zwei with drei.
Other words I learned in the "Numbers 1" section today included the following:
|die Zahl||the number|
|die Zahlen||the numbers|
|die Nummer||the number|
|die Nummern||the numbers|
|zählen||to count (same as "Zahl", but lower case 'Z' and umlaut over the 'a')|
|die Summe||the sum|
|die Telefonnummer||the phone number|
(No idea whether there's a distinction as to when a person would use "Nummer" vs. "Zahl".)
It may not be a hard and fast rule, but so far, it seems like most nouns that have something to do with numbers get the feminine form of "der words" and "ein words". Seems like if you're not sure, you can't go wrong by guessing "die" and "eine".
In addition to new work in "accusative prepositions" and "Number 1", I also completed three categories per day that had aged away, and also practiced at "Conjunctions" yesterday because I'm still struggling with the word ordering around "Hauptsatz" and "Nebensatz" in that category. I also plan on practicing "Conjunctions" again later tonight.
Finally, here are my current numbers in the application:
- Streak: 89 days
- Hearts: 3
- Crowns: 143
- Crystals: 1128
- Lingots: 416
- XP today: 155
- Total XP: 15,687
- League: Diamond
- XP in league: 682
- Place in league: 6
- Time left in league: 3d 0h 44m
- Followers: 4
- Words learned: 543 in app, 678 on web site
No new special characters in today's post, so the full table (so far) looks like this:
If you want to learn a foreign language (or Klingon or High Valyrian), my recommendation for DuoLingo continues to be "thumbs up". According to the app, you can also use DuoLingo to learn dead or endangered languages like Latin, Navajo or Hawaiian.
My guess is that no one is going to learn to speak a language perfectly through DuoLingo, but I think it can provide a solid foundation that can be used to build additional knowledge through other, immersive techniques.