Forum Rocket German German Grammar Sie sind in der Stadt lesson 1.7

Sie sind in der Stadt lesson 1.7

sebongela

sebongela

Hi

I so frustrated by the grammar. Frankly why even bother! Call it a language course and then tell you to use text books would be more appropriate. 

I get that der Stadt has something to do with cases, but then there should be a note stating that Stadt is normally feminine and what case it is in.  I picked this up, as have been introduced to cases, but in the first section when one is trying to learn gender it is annoying. Considering that so much of the grammar and cases hinges on gender.

Leads to confusion which is unecessary. Not just German, but in Italian too

Sebongela

sfpugh

sfpugh

There is some teaching on cases towards the end of level 2 which doesn't help when you are in level 1.

I did suggest a while ago that they use a mechanism like the literal button to provide help when grammar is used before it has been taught.

 

The rule is quite straight forward but not always easy to apply.

“In” is a preposition that can be folowed by either the accusative or dative case. Datitive is used to indicate a static postion so “in der Stadt” means they are already in the town. Accusative is used when there is motion towards, so “in die Stadt” would be used if they were going into town.

 

I suppose the philosophy of Rocket languages is to get people to learn how to have simple conversations by learning phrases without worrying too much about the grammar. If you are like me and like to understand, you have to use a grammar book. The touble is that if you are a complete beginner, you might not even know where to look in a grammar book without a hint.

 

 

sebongela

sebongela

Hi sfpugh 

Thanks yes, still need to get to level 2. Was just so frustrated yesterday. Normally I don't get so cross, but learning all the genders is tough and I know important. As I said knew it had to do with cases, but then it should have a note. I then run around making sure I have it straight in my head. I'm just the kind of person who wants to know why with a logical explanation. Otherwise I feel like Polly the parrot.

Have a great weekend

Sebongela

sfpugh

sfpugh

If you are feeling frustated, Mark Twain wrote a humorus essay called “The Awful Geman Language” which appeared in his book “A Tramp through Europe”. I found a PDF of the essay here:

https://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/texts/twain.german.html

Unfortunatly it is not in a very nice format for reading. Maybe there are better versions around.

Google books has A Tramp through Europe, but unfortulately it is not complete. Much of it about travels in Germany in the late 19th C.

sebongela

sebongela

Hi sfpugh

Thank you humour always helps. That day I was lacking any sense of humour for sure. Will look it up.

I know that someone famous made a comment about “das Madchen” and a girl being neuter. Will have to look that up again, I know it was in my text books. I am reverting more and more into textbooks for grammar. Find it less frustrating, generally explanations better too.

Have a lovely day

Sebongela

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo Sebongela und sfpugh, 

 

Sorry to hear you had a frustrating day, Sebongela, and our apologies for the confusion. I hope you have found sfpuph's explanation helpful and if you have further questions, feel free to ask here. If you're interested to learn more about cases at this point, you can jump to lesson 3.8 and 4.5 to give you a bit more insight into the basic rules for dealing with the nominative and accusative case, and lesson 9.11 for the dative case. Unfortunately German cases are hard to avoid sometimes but I am happy to pass your feedback on to our development team to look at. 

 

Viele Grüße,

Julia

 

sebongela

sebongela

Hi Julia

i understood it was due to the cases and have worked through Nominative and Accusative, still on level 1.

My frustration is that as level one I am trying to learn genders, as get how important they are in the cases. I thin doubt myself when I see der Stadt. I personally think at this stage it would be helpful if there is a note stating which case it is in and the gender when in the dictionary.

So I understand the cases, well the first 2, but just frustrating when there is no explana tion as in the conversations.

Thank you for your feedback

Sebongela

sfpugh

sfpugh

In common with a lot of people, I didn't pay enough attention to genders when starting German and still suffer for it.

Here is a link that gives a lot of rules that can help with gender, there are a lot of them but you can pick out a few that seem helpful to you.

https://jakubmarian.com/how-to-recognize-gender-in-german-using-endings/

 

To Julia

I have noticed that the course still includes a lot of nouns given without their genders in the extra vocab sections. Hopefully this can be fixed when the course is revised. 

sebongela

sebongela

Hi sfpugh 

Thank you will have a look. I have a Schaum text book that goes over the top with explanations too. Am working on level 1 survival kit, as those have genders and won't move on until those are firmly lodged. 

At the end of the day all courses have their advantages and disadvantages and Rocket is generally good for vocabulary and speaking. I do hate their grammar though

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo Sebongela und sfpugh,

 

As we aim to provide learners with useful and proper sentences right from the start, unfortunately it is impossible avoid all grammar aspects that haven't been covered. We do take this into account and you can find a disclaimer in lesson 3.8 which I have attached below. Mentioning cases before they have been properly introduced and explained also runs the risk of being confusing for some learners. 

Thank you for your feedback sfpugh, I will pass this on to our German team. 

 

We're glad RocketGerman is helping you with your vocabulary and speaking and hope you will enjoy the grammar content more as you are advancing through the course. 

 

Viele Grüße,

Julia

gottahaveajava

gottahaveajava

Hi sebongela, 

“in der Stadt” marks a giant stumbling block for most of us in learning German. I dipped in and out of German for years, and quite often quit about the time that it became important to figure out the endings. Even with a grammar-first approach, this is a huge and difficult subject, and nobody I know has a clear, easy way through it. 

There's good news, though. Soon enough “in der Stadt” becomes second nature. You hear it clearly all the time in everyday conversation, right along with “in die Stadt." All native speakers get it right 100% of the time, and many couldn't even tell you why. 

Once you've cracked it, it will seem easy and you'll wonder why it was ever a problem. You'll find then that “in der Stadt” will be your tool to lever into managing all of the two-way prepositions. It will help you decode them and make sense of them.

At that point, instead of being frustrating, “in der Stadt” will be a source of comfort and satisfaction! 
 

 

sebongela

sebongela

Hi gottahaveajava

Thank you there is that and always light at the end of the tunnel. I just wish there was more explanation in the grammar cultural lessons. I find the conversations great from that point of view. 

Just for that moment while doing that exercise had a blip, and doubt when I thought hang on a minute have I had in die Stadt wrong as in infinitive gender. As I have said learning the gender is paprmount to getting it right when one deals with the various cases. So to me it is important that I get the infinitive firmly in my memory. 

At the end of the day as long as I can make myself understood is what counts. My Portuguese is not grammatically correct, but I can and have spoken it confidently since a child

Take care

Sebongela

gottahaveajava

gottahaveajava

Hi sebongela,

Portuguese “spoken it confidently since a child”.  I'm jealous, first of all! I play Brazilian choro and so have many Brazilian friends. My Portuguese is really poor, and I tend to get left behind when the conversations become animated.  

But you've touched on something that we should all keep in mind. Speaking enough of a language to be in the conversation is a really important milestone!  It's one of the steppingstones to fluency that is a form of fluency itself.  

I lived in Austria for a few years, and visit regularly because I have family there. It's a bit of work, so I wouldn't call myself confident, but I am a fully operational German speaker.  That's definitely something, but it's a far cry from the mostly-correct adult level I'd like to be speaking (hence my current effort).

Language is a bit like the elephant and the blindfold. Touching parts of the elephant blindfolded without knowing what it is, there's no way to perceive the whole.  

I think that Rocket picked their “part of the elephant,” and that's full-context sentences with minimal explanations. It's a modern approach, in line with “natural learning,” an approach that seeks to address the eternal shortcomings of  the older form of grammar-first, table-driven learning.  

The price of that is that it leaves behind explanations at critical points, such as the “in der Stadt” moment.  

Ideally, Rocket would signal somehow right at that point (like the Lit hotlink) that this could be a bit confusing, and that there is a point of grammar to explore that is out of scope for this mode of teaching (with, possibly, a link to a grammar). 

The problem with the context-driven “whole sentence” approach is that it assumes that the brain will eventually sort out the confusions later on, and that there's no need for in-the-moment assistance.  

A middle ground would be nice.  

But, apart from that, I think the Rocket approach is pretty great. 

Thanks,
gottahaveajava

 

sebongela

sebongela

Hi gottahaveajava

I envy your German. Having said that have a penfriend from Germany and she is adding more and more German to her emails, so I am improving. I do think Rocket is a really good learning program, used Rosetta stone through a distance school here and didn't need to pay for it and glad I didn't. Rocket is so much better. I use quite a few different ones, as they all bring something different to the table. 

I spent some of my childhood in Mozambique (am South African) but live on Vancouver Island now. I battle with Brazilian Portuguese, as fairly different and they have to speak slowly for me to pick up on it. My husband is origianlly from Mozambique, and that is how I have kept it up. 

Sebongela

gottahaveajava

gottahaveajava

Hi Sebongela, 

I have a colleague from South Africa who came by his Portuguese by the same path. The world is a small place! 

Since you're discovering the world of declensions, and about to do serious battle with them, let me point you to a seriously cool insight, with a link (and a caveat).  

When learning declensions, we treat the der- and the ein- paths separately.  And, initially, because of the exceptions in the nominative for masculine and neuter ein- words (and accusative for neuter), it seems that this is a reasonable approach.  Wrong! 

It turns out that the declensions for der- and ein- words are exactly the same across the entire chart of endings for both articles and adjectives! With only 3 exceptions for ein- words (masc nom, neuter nom, neuter acc).  

This applies across the board for all the der-words (dieser, mancher, solcher, etc) and all the ein-words (kein and all possessives).  

This was an absolutely huge revelation to me, and it was like opening a window into a whole new world.  

It's only because the three exceptions are so big and so up-front that we think there are two worlds to conquer.  

And then, if you take that whole cluster of “indefinite determiners” (andere, einige, mehrere, etc) and re-classify them as “indefinite adjectives,” then even the chart for unpreceded adjectives becomes breathtakingly simple. 

Here's the link. Pay attention to the chart.  I find the explanations confusing, and I think the term “determiners” needs to be much more clearly explained (they are der- words, ein-words, and “indefinite determiners”, with the indefinite determiners only coming into play for unpreceded adjectives).  But if you can read past that to the essence of what's in the chart, the whole world of declensions becomes actually quite simple. 

https://germanwithlaura.com/declension/

Best of luck! 

gottahaveajava

gottahaveajava

(P.S., there's another exception in unpreceded ajectives, where genitive masc and neuter take the weak endings.  But it's seriously corner-case stuff, so not worth getting distracted over). 

sebongela

sebongela

Hi gottahaveajava

O my that made me sweat and break out in a rash all that the same time. I think at that stage that is beyond me. I have found her on YouTube and will look at her lessons more closely, as I have said all bits help. Thank you. 

Sebongela

Ps I also speak Afrikaans and that helps with some pronunciation and words, not at all with grammar, as Afrikaans grammar is a dream come true. So easy.

gottahaveajava

gottahaveajava

Hi Sebongela, 

Keep it in the back of your mind as you start working with cases! 

To be honest, in German with Laura, I think she's distilled a lot but her stuff needs more work.  

I think her insights are real, but they need tightening up (especially in her plurals, which are close, but definitely not totally there yet).  And her explanations need to be clearer and more concise.  

But do keep coming back to her declensions chart. It's the real thing, and I've seen nothing like it anywhere else.  And do check back on the explanation above. At some point, if you stick with it (and you seem pretty persistent!), one of these puzzle pieces will drop into place, and you'll have that “Eureka!” moment when it's all suddenly easy.   

Best of luck.  
gottahaveajava

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