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Ski instructors' exam, and learn German

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
eng_ch wrote:
DB, I think we need to make sure dingdong knows what articles are before we move onto cases - oder?


Yes you are right but Vetski did use the word "torture" and they have certainly given me enough pain. Sure we can find a few other things to hit him with before turning up the screws. Toofy Grin
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
DB, good thinking Batman!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Bring it on! Shocked
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Okay!!!

dingdong, Articles - what are the definite and indefinite articles?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ok.. Knew nothing about Articles, so I've done a bit of investigating on the interweb...

The = definite
a, an = indefinite

?
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Yup, quite right. In English, nouns have no gender or habit of agreement, so we just use a, an, the. The meanings are rather different.

'Darling, will you pick the cat up from the vet's?' - though there's no possessive pronoun, there is clearly a specific cat in mind.
'Darling, will you pick up a cat from the vet's?' - pick a cat, any old cat, never mind if you're stealing an old lady's sole companion!

Gender you know - masculine, feminine, neuter. German has all 3, French has m & f only.
Habit of agreement - this is a trickier concept. English nouns exist as singular or plural. That's it. The only agreement required is numerical - 1 cup, not 1 cups; 3 bears, not 3 bear. However, most European languages do have a habit of agreement, hence the French 'le' and 'la' - which means that the article must agree with the noun, and so must any adjectives used.

So with German, which has 3 genders, you can have articles, nouns and adjectives which are:

Masculine singular Feminine singular Neuter singular
Masculine plural Feminine plural Neuter plural

OK so far?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
vetski, Yes, so german is quite similar to english in that way..
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
dingdong, sorry, I don't quite get you. In what way?
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vetski, in that it's not very nice to go nicking an old lady's cat.
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dingdong, bSpeaking as someone who's german is of the more than basic learnt through speaking type (and yes - if I say ich bin warm my clients do understand that I'm a little too hot) it sounds like a good idea for this course. You can get by without grammar, but obviously it's better to learn it properly. Also total imersion is a good idea. If you are persuing ski instructor quals in europe you will need a 2nd language anyway. Enjoy. Very Happy
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dingdong wrote:
vetski, Yes, so german is quite similar to english in that way..


vetski, Sorry, I meant that as a question. German and English are the same when it comes to gender?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
easiski, Thanks. fingers crossed, hopefully we can work out the finance bit! Smile
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
pam w, quite. Apart from revoltingly long nouns, they are very decent people. Laughing

dingdong, No. English nouns do not have genders. In most European languages, including German, French, Spanish, Italian..., nouns do have gender. I'm sorry if I've confused things!

Gotta go and do some work now - back in a while!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Some good advice I received from a German teacher was always learn the article with the noun.

Had I actually used this advice, I'd have a lot fewer problems with the German language now. rolling eyes
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Dingdong today's homework is to provide a short translation of this ... (quiet at the back eng_ch)

Quote:
Lech und Zürs derzeit nicht erreichbarLech und Zürs sind derzeit auf dem Straßenweg nicht erreichbar. Der Arlbergpass ab Stuben und die Flexenpassstraße sind wegen Lawinengefahr gesperrt. In der Region sind seit Mittwochmittag mehr als 70 Zentimeter Neuschnee gefallen.


Weitere Schneefälle erwartet
Bis wann die Straßensperren aufrecht bleiben, sei noch unklar, sagte Günter Dönz von der Straßenmeisterei Arlberg der Radio-Vorarlberg-Verkehrsredaktion. Für Donnerstag sind noch einmal rund 20 bis 30 Zentimeter Neuschnee prognostiziert worden.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
DB wrote:
Some good advice I received from a German teacher was always learn the article with the noun.

Had I actually used this advice, I'd have a lot fewer problems with the German language now. rolling eyes


Yes, I've heard that alright. Die Katze, Das Huhn und der Schmetterling..

On the exercise, I think you're confusing my with someone who can speak German.. Puzzled
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
DB wrote:
Some good advice I received from a German teacher was always learn the article with the noun.

Had I actually used this advice, I'd have a lot fewer problems with the German language now. rolling eyes


Not just the article but also the plural - that's how we did it at school

e.g der Schrank - die Schränke
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
eng_ch, So is the plural always feminine?
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dingdong, obviously you asked eng_ch, but I can answer this one.

Plurals take die in the nominative case (where the item is the subject of the sentence, i.e. in 'the cupboard is in the cellar', cupboard is the subject).

However, saying they are all feminine is not really accurate, plurals take die in the nominative and accusative case, just like feminine nouns, but in the dative case they take den, whereas feminine words take der. In the genitive they both take der.

This doesn't make all plurals feminine, the noun itself determines gender, but plurals follow a similar pattern to feminine nouns, except for the dative case.

Does that help [scratchy head icon]??

D
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What about dem and des ?
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dingdong,
The paragraph just says there is 70 cm new snow in Lech and the alberg pass is closed because of the avalanche risk. Another 20-30cm of new snow is expected today.


just to add a couple of examples to the above .....

The cat = Die Katze (feminine)
With the cat = mit der Katze (Dative)

The cats = die Katzen
mit den Katzen (Dative, plural)


The car = Das Auto (Neutral)
With the car = mit dem Auto (Dative)

The cars = die Autos
mit den Autos (Dative, plural)
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
This might help
http://german.about.com/library/blcase_sum.htm

For "des" as used in the masuline & neutral genitive case see here
http://german.about.com/library/blcase_gen.htm
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Another link on the cases
http://fll.smu.edu/~pflum/The%20Four%20Cases%20in%20German.htm
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andy, dem and des appear in the masculine and neutor articles (dative and genitive respectively), which I didn't mention in my discussion of feminine and plurals, to avoid confusion!

Going through masculine, feminine, neutor and plural nouns (in that order), definite articles are as follows:
Nominative case is der(M), die(F), das(N), die(P)
Accusative is den, die, das, die
Dative is dem, der, dem, den
Genitive is des, der, des, der

D
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Sorry DB, cross-posted, your links are more informative than my ramblings!!
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andy wrote:
What about dem and des ?


with the man's car = mit dem Auto des Mannes

"mit" (with) is always dative so the first half of the sentence is dative and the second half is genitive

with the man's cat =mit der Katze des Mannes

with the man's skirt = mit dem Rock des Mannes (as skirt is masculine in German)

with the cat's skirt = mit dem Rock der Katze

Confused yet because I am .....
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
[brain very sore about to fall off icon]
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
dingdong,

That's a good sign at least it hasn't exploded yet ......

Probably best to chose 3 words (one Masculine, one feminine and one neutral) and then play around with the different cases making sentences using only these three objects. I'd suggest Man, women and car = der Man, die Frau, das Auto as the gender is easy to identify. Write the English statement on one side of a card and the German on the other, then test yourself ca 352,6478,162 times until you get the hang of it.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Thu 3-04-08 11:56; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
dingdong, yep - happened to me when I first learned (and forgot) the little table of Deliaskis, above. If all the words were different or logical, I might have stood a chance.
Worst thing for me though is the prefix parts of verbs that get split up from the base part of the verb. I can only just cope with infinitives that come near the end.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
dingdong, before doing so, it might be worth your learning - or making sure you know - the purpose of the cases. Cases are used to indicate the function of the word in the sentence (as we were discussing on the last page). There are four cases - nominative, accusative, genitive and dative. What does each of them indicate? (clue the answers to 3 of them are further up in the thread)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
And while we're on cases, did you know that English retains the genitive?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
dingdong, Hello again, assuming this terrifying discussion of abtruse German grammar points hasn't sent you running for the (English) hills then I have news from my friend who did the course.

She had an absolute ball and really enjoyed it and found the ski tuition brilliant. With regards to the language tuition she said it was good but there were a couple of obstacles that prevented her achieving the fluency she might have hoped for:-

1. She was studying alongside other English speakers who naturally tended to converse in their native language outside of class.

2. The Austrian dialects are very strong so even when you achieve some competence in textbook German it can be frustratingly hard to understand the locals who understandable prefer to chat in their excellent and mutually intelligible English.

However she did observe that her own primary objective was achieving the ski instructor qualification and that if you were to take a more committed approach to the language learning element than she did you would almost certainly achieve more, - she had no criticism of the quality of teaching.

One thing that would probably assist you greatly would be listening to German language talk radio and watching TV while you are there, - however tedious this is initially. I found this helped my fluency in Spanish immeasurably. There are also excellent free podcasts you can subscribe to either in German for a German audience, or aimed at learners of German, - again I have found their Spanish equivalents a terrific aid.

Whilst in Val d'Isere last week (Oh God was it really only last week?) there were adverts for people seeking language exchange; this is where you and a native meet up once or twice a week to speak half & half in each others language thereby both improving your ability in your target language and hopefully making friends across the language divide that might provide further opportunities.

Don't be put of by how complex the grammar discussion above sounds. We had a Spanish/German au-pair who thought that chocolate milk was a non fattening drink with medicinal properties; believed in unicorns; and was adamant that she would prefer to wake up to find a psychotic axe murderer in her bedroom than a ghost "because I don't like the way they (ghosts) move" (!) - and she learned fluent English in 3 months with hardly any visible study just through feeding her Friends (as in American TV show) addiction by watching my daughter's DVD's in English on a loop.

Let us know if you decide to go ahead, it sounds brilliant.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Thu 3-04-08 21:10; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Abstruse???? Heck, if people think this fundamental basic grammar is abstruse, no wonder they have problems learning languages!!

But I think Hullite's advice is very sound
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eng_ch, with you there, it's all perfectly normal basic stuff...the linguistic equivalent of snowplough and side-slipping. With the occasional 360 thrown in.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Hullite, That's fantastic.. Thanks a lot, I'll pass it all on to Mrs dingdong. Smile
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just when i've been thinking about taking a sabbatical next season to train as a ski instructor and dismissed it as a possibility...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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I haven't done the course above but I have done a German course in Kitzbuhel and it was great. You'll find it much easier to practise your German in Austria than in Germany - they seem much more keen to speak German rather than slipping into English as soon as they realise you're a foreigner! Beware the Tirol accent though - my German was pretty reasonable by the end of my course (I'd done A Level only a couple of years before) but I still had no idea what the true locals were talking about!!

As for German itself, I find it quite logical - there may be quite a few fairly complicated rules to learn, but at least they're reasonably consistent and pronunciation etc is always exactly the same! Always made far more sense to me than French, and English must be a nightmare in comparison!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

Its basically 12 weeks in Kitzbuhel learning German and preparing for the Austrian Ski Instructors exam


AUSTRAIN INSTRUCTORS EXAM??? as opposed to??? do the austrians have a different instructors exam to the rest of the skiing nations, i ask as i would like to do a ski instructor course in the near future and would LOVE to try and work in Austria eventually.
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brendan88, each nation has their own system. Many will qualify you to work in other countries, but it's worth doing some research.
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Cheers, playing golf in austria in may with an instructor from St.Johann so will pick his brain a bit... Very Happy
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