Das Ende der deutschen

Last weekend I described my new German routine that I’ve honed from the original 240+ minutes down to 140 minutes or so. But you know what? That’s still a lot of minutes.

My goal from the beginning has not only been to experiment with learning languages fast, but also with how to learn a lot of them. At first I thought I was going to be spending each month diving into one language only, followed by a different language the next month, etc. Ever since I became convinced that this wasn’t going to work, the idea has been to spend each month setting up a language practice for a particular language, while continuing practice of the languages I set up in previous months.

Obviously, the number of languages I’ll be able to practice at once will depend on how much time I spend practicing each one. As I add languages, this will take up more and more time.

I don’t know what the right amount of time is to spend on each of these languages, or how long I should spend setting up a new language practice. One thing I am sure about is that 140 minutes is too long to spend on German if I’m also going to start setting up French. For September, then, I’m thinking about paring German practice down to just three items: Anki 10,000 sentences, Anki MCDs, and shadowing.

Based on what I’ve gathered from the most sources, shadowing is the key to getting fluent. Even 15 minutes a day is enough according to some people; 30 minutes a day should be plenty to keep me improving.

I’m less positive about the usefulness of Anki 10,000 sentences, but I find it interesting enough as an experiment that I want to keep trying it. I’ll lower the number of new cards per day from 60 to 30 or so to keep the time under 30 minutes per day.

Anki MCDs is just a relatively painless way for me to force myself to review and understand the transcripts of the material I’m shadowing in order to make it more comprehensible. I can probably keep this under 10 minutes a day if I don’t let it slip.

What about the other stuff?

Creating new Anki cards is something I don’t have to do every day. I can shadow the same audio for a week or more and still not have it mastered, so I really only have to add new material occasionally. NBD.

Warming up, watching Harry lost in time, etc., isn’t even really studying. It’s not that important. Better taken off the study list and put on the (sort of) fun list.

Semi-active listening and conversation are two things that I think it’s best to keep doing when I can, but not force it to be at a particular time, or a certain number of minutes per day. At least for the languages other than the one I’m actively setting up.

A note about Slow German

There are currently six dialogues on Slow German. I’ve been shadowing the first one, Im Café, which as I mentioned before is great, not least because it has a slow version of the dialogue followed by a natural speed version with convincingly natural intonation.

I was dismayed when I realized the other five dialogues didn’t have the natural speed version. Today I realized this is because these natural speed dialogues are part of the site’s premium content. I think it costs about a euro per audio, or 20 euros for a year subscription with a bunch of other content.

I don’t know if I’ll use the other content, but as a beneficiary of the high quality work the author of Slow German has created, I’ll probably subscribe.

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