Good ways to cram German
November 21, 2018 3:00 AM   Subscribe

I’m applying for a job which will require my German language skills and if I get an interview it may be in German. I haven’t practiced much German for the last 10 years so I need to start brushing up now. Any ideas how I can do this? Recommendations for books music films or TV shows that could help? Bonus points if you can tell me how to learn the kind of jargon I’ll need to sell myself in an interview!!
posted by EatMyHat to Writing & Language (10 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: PS i don’t have a streaming service so would need to be able to find things on DVD, iTunes etc.
posted by EatMyHat at 3:07 AM on November 21, 2018

- set a copious daily goal with Memrise or similar spaced-repetition app — and make sure to say the words out loud, even if not required, if you want to improve your speaking!
- friends of mine have found online language tutoring like Lingoda helpful
- watch free German TV at ARD Mediathek, z.B. Babylon Berlin
- Deutschland 83, German TV series, is available on iTunes for money (mit englisch Untertiteln)
- consider German radio, z.B. 88 vier oder Deutschlandfunk mit das TuneIn Radio app
posted by daveliepmann at 4:18 AM on November 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love Lach und Sachgeschichten from Die Sendung mit der Maus. It's short educational videos on everyday things interspersed with little animations (which I tend to skip).

Podcasts are good for getting as close as you can to immersion. The two that I listen to regularly are Omega Tau (really in-depth interviews with experts in science/technology - the recent one on anaesthesia was particularly good) and Mensch, Otto! Mensch, Theile! (I guess you'd call these human interest interviews - good for lots of different vocabulary and accents).
posted by neilb449 at 4:38 AM on November 21, 2018

See what’s available via your local library, as many people donate their learning system materials. You can see if there are any English Conversation Partner programs with a German participant, or hire a tutor from a local college to run you through a series of interview questions.
posted by childofTethys at 5:18 AM on November 21, 2018

Duolingo and Drops for your smartphone.
posted by bile and syntax at 6:17 AM on November 21, 2018

It would be helpful to know the field so as to help with jargon. Assume it’s basketbweaving and there is basket weaving jargon - fins some kind of introductory materials, something like basket weaving for dummies/basket weaving 101 level material in German - something aimed at trainees/students and read that and talk to yourself about the topic. For the purpose of formulating ideas in German and retrieving relevant vocabulary you may as well talk to yourself. Also, find some German broadsheet newspaper and read - they all have online versions.
posted by koahiatamadl at 6:17 AM on November 21, 2018

You could listen to Deutsche Welle radio. They have a news program geared towards language learners. Lots of other good learning resources on their site, plus there's the regular broadcast.
posted by the_blizz at 6:43 AM on November 21, 2018

I don't know about German resources in particular but seems like in addition to watching German TV and doing like advanced German DuoLingo or whatever, you need to be practicing actually talking to people to get back up to speed. There are a number of online free language exchange websites where you can find a partner to talk with.
posted by latkes at 6:55 AM on November 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

you need to be practicing actually talking to people to get back up to speed.

Yes this is super-important, no passive enjoyment of the language will give you the confidence, fluency and vocabulary you need to speak it.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 9:22 AM on November 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

On a practical note, to prepare for the interview:

I‘d probably take the most likely interview questions, write down answers in German, let a German speaker go over them and then practice saying them with confidence.

In particular, compose answers to questions like „name a situation where (you proved you have the following skill we ask for in our job ad)“

I‘m willing to check any written stuff for you and provide feedback, if that sounds useful to you.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:48 PM on November 21, 2018

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