Forum Rocket German German Feedback and Comments Very long sentences in lesson 10.2 (and others)

Very long sentences in lesson 10.2 (and others)

Adam-K22

Adam-K22

Since starting Level 2 of Rocket German I have noticed that in some of the lessons (I have done the first 2 modules) there are some very long sentences that are spoken briefly in the introduction to the lesson, but then included in activities. One of the more extreme examples is "Wenn man in Deutschland eine Wohnung mieten will, muss man - genau wie wenn man bei der Bank ein Konto eröffnen will - eine Menge Papierkram erledigen." (If you want to rent an apartment in Germany you have to - just like when you want to open a bank account - do a lot of paperwork.)

I feel this has issues for two reasons:

a) It contains a fair amount of vocabulary that hasn't been covered by this point.
b) It contains more than 7 pieces of information, which is the maximum anyone can retain in their short-term memory, making it very challenging to encounter this sentence in the "Hear it" and "Write it" sections.

This isn't the only example in the first 2 modules of level 2, and to be honest I found trying to learn them a bit demoralising, especially when combined with the general jump in difficulty from level 1 to level 2. For me it would be better to either not include those sentences in the activities, or break them down in to more manageable parts.
sfpugh

sfpugh

I do rather agree with you about the value of learning these very long sentences - which you have to do because they are included in the tests.
But without going through every word in there I think the only really new word is "erledigen" which does come up later on in the course.

I think the secret of learning these sentences is to break them up into sections or chunks. To me it naturally breaks up into three sections and most of it is covered in the current or previous lessons.
I general I think it is useful to learn little chunks of dialogue consisting of  just a few words that you that you think would be useful when forming your own sentences.
For example "bei der Bank" - you don't have to think about the grammar- "bei" takes dative, Bank is feminine therefore "der".
Peter--252

Peter--252

Adam has raised a very good point here, and I concur that I also had a lot of trouble with this particular aspect.  As you say it can be demoralising.
A couple of things occur to me, though: if I heard a sentence of similar length in English, I suspect I would not necessarily be able to repeat it verbatim every time, but would (hopefully!) be able to convey the meaning by a closely similar sentence. 
I'd say that if you can do that with the German, even if the audio marks you down, that would be sufficient. After all, the point of the course is understanding and communication, nicht wahr?

A second point is that a similar thing occurs in the French course, but for some reason I found that much easier, partly (I suppose) because I knew some French from school, and possibly because French grammar (and sentence construction) seems easier for English speakers. I suspect that there are more cognates, as well.

Anyway, I'll try sfpugh's tip and see if I can 'chunk' the German complex sentences, and see whether that helps. 
Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo Adam-K22,  sfpugh und Peter--252,

thank you very much for your comments and suggestions. I can understand that seeing such a long sentence like the one above can be a bit overwhelming. Sfpugh's tip of  breaking it up into chunks is great! You can use the punctuation and natural short pauses of the speaker to break it up into sections which you can then go through one at a time. Native German speakers do like their long sentences and it could be helpful to have this learning strategy up your sleeve. 

I will, however, pass your feedback on for our development team to look at. 

Viele Grüße

Julia
 
Peter--252

Peter--252

Thanks Julia (and Liss, whose post seems to have vanished). Regarding Adam's example, I've had a go at breaking it into two main phrases and an intermediate phrase:

1) Wenn man in Deutschland eine Wohnung mieten will ...        If you want to rent an apartment in Germany …
2) Man muss eine Menge Papierkram erledigen.        You have to do a lot of paperwork.
and the intermediate phrase:
3) - genau wie wenn man bei der Bank ein Konto eröffnen will -  … – just like when you want to open a bank account – ...
An intermediate stage might be to omit the intermediate phrase and practice with 
Wenn man in Deutschland eine Wohnung mieten will, muss man eine Menge Papierkram erledigen. 

In my case, all the words in 1) are familiar; in 2) the last three words needed to be learnt; in 3) the two problem words (for me) are genau and the preposition bei. (I frequently use the wrong  prepositions I'm afraid.)   eröffnen was introduced in an earlier lesson, I believe.
Once these are familiar the only other issue is to watch the word order when putting them together (Man muss -> muss man).
 
Adam-K22

Adam-K22

Thanks for the replies and suggestions everyone! I think I will definitely try with the breaking things up into smaller chunks.

I notice that some of the main conversations do this with the longer sentences, I wonder if there is a way to do that with these sentences? What would work really well is if the sections always appeared together in order.

Peter - I know what you mean about prepositions.
Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hi Peter--252, 
the way you broke it the three phrases looks good! And it's great that you are aware of the correct word order when putting them back together. 
Regarding the prepositions, there are so many of them and I can understand that they can be confusing at times. The more you use them, the more confident you will become and the easier it will get.

Grüße
Julia
Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hi Adam-K22,

the things to look out for that should help you when breaking up a long sentence into smaller chunks are punctuation such as commas, conjunctions or linking words (such as und, oder, weil, wenn, als) and the natural pauses the speaker makes when you listen to him or her. 

Hope this helps and let me know if you have any further questions!

Julia
Peter--252

Peter--252

Thanks for the reply Julia.
As far as the prepositions go, I have a suspicion that any two different languages would tend to use them differently, rather than English being the 'odd one out' so to speak. 

It looks like another case where, as we are often advised, it's best to learn by phrases rather than just individual words.
Peter--252

Peter--252

Returning to this topic, I recently read through Alexander Arguelle's 'Scriptorum Technique' 
https://members.rocketlanguages.com/members/german/lessons/3592/alexander-arguelles-scriptorium-technique
(hope this link works) and have been trying it out on the long phrases. 
It's a bit of work, but it does seem to help!
 

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