Plans to replace speakers

Prough

Is there anything in the works for redoing the Rocket German Plus in terms of speakers? I try and try to hear Matthias and Sandra but cannot. I realize that not everyone is going to speak with the same speed and clarity but it does me no good if I can't grasp the material.

Byron-K21

Hi Prough, I had great difficulty at first too, but I'm guessing that Mathias and Sandra are pretty much typical German speakers. Sandra speaks faster than Mathias but I think in general women tend to speak faster than men. That is something we need to deal with. If you listen to the recordings repeatedly it will come to you. Don't be discouraged, Byron

Shannon-S

Hi Prough and Byron I'm guessing Sandra and Mathias' speech was too fast for a lot of people. When you get to the Platinum course, the two speakers (Mathias and Sabina) speak slowly and clearly throughout.

Byron-K21

While I agree the lessons would be easier if the speakers spoke more slowly, I'm not at all sure that would be the best thing for us as students. I'm of the opinion that by the time we are halfway through the 2nd level, we should be getting exposure to normal conversational rates. Although I haven't spent a lot of time in Germany, I don't think Mathias and Sandra speak any faster than average. So, I say we should bite the bullet, or to use the German expression, bite the sour apple. I've found that when you travel through the smaller towns in Germany they don't usually repeat the boarding instructions in English, so it is good to train our ears for normal or even slightly above normal conversational speech.

coolcader

Sorry to hear that. :l

Yi-Yen-C

I found Matthias' speech at the level 2 Grammar lessons really difficult to tolerate. He sounds like he is actually the one trying to learn German. Nobody speaks this way in real world. I guess this is due to all the complaints about the girl at level 1 grammar lessons, but Rocket German is CERTAINLY overcorrected it. Although the girl mumbles, she speaks real German. Matthias does not (at lv2 grammar lessons)!

Byron-K21

The inconsistent pacing of the speakers is hard to explain. The level 2 lessons were created quite a long time ago before I read any complaints about the level 1 speaker so I don't know that it was slowed down for that reason. Also, when you get into some of the level 2 lessons, the pace picks up quite a bit. Sandra, for example, talks very rapidly. Oddly, when you get to Platinum, at least as far as I've gotten, the pace slows way down. Sabine talks unnaturally slow when you would expect the opposite at the most advanced level. A number of us have commented on this already and I think it's valid feedback for the Rocket German staff. While individual speakers vary and it's OK to mix it up a little, I would suggest that overall the courses should be structured to begin with slower speakers and speed up as you go along so that by the time you get to Platinum the speech patterns are pretty much typical of native speakers.

David K

Interesting thread.  I just finished the Premium Level 1 course and did not have a problem with the speed. I listened ahead with the all conversations summaries and found Sabine's speech not only unnaturally slow, but also sounding artificial as if she is reading from a script.  Also some of the acting emotion in certain spots seemed unnaturally.

Oh well, one suggestion for people having trouble with the quick pace of natural German speech:  Get an internet radio APP and listen to German News every day. I keep WittStock RBB 87.7 on when I'm falling asleep, waking up, swimming, or sometimes even working.  When I first started doing this last November when I purchased a Kindle Fire and Bluetooth speakers for a pittance at a BlackFriday sale, the words darted by so quickly they were completely unintelligible.  It was like a wall of noise, where I might be able to even hear only 1 out 20 words as cognates or words that I knew.  I was really discouraged.

Now after 8 months or say of listening as well as taking about a dozen free online courses, as well as GermanPod101 and for the last month this Rocket  German course it is as if a fairy God Mother spronged me with a magic wand.

I can hear every word on the radio, and usually even be able to spell the ones I don't know so I can look them up later.

My theory is that perception and the human brain is a lot more complicated than we realize, and it takes some time to build new neural pathways, (or activate latent ones with neurotransmitters or how ever it is that learning occurs.)  But over time with persistent effort learning can occur even in older students.  I'm 61.  The brain turns out to be much more plastic than scientist believed in a decade ago.

There is also some research going on around certain supplements that may accelerate language learning, however, caution is warranted as most of the marketing offers one sees on the internet are not certified and some can be dangerous.

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