As you might know already, I’m currently learning Czech. It is rather difficult if you don’t have any knowledge of any other slavic language, since there’s no possibility to derive words from another language.
In Addition, there are many differences to the German language – which is my mother tongue – for an example, the German language knows four cases: nominative, genitive, accusative and dative, whereas Czech has 3 more: vocative (used if directly addressing someone), locative/prepositive (used with a preposition to express a location) and instrumental (used to show the means by which something happens, sometimes also used for localization after certain prepositions). I have to confess that I’m still unable to either use the correct cases at the right time, nor to build the word forms correctly, but I’m really trying to get those things into my brain. 😀
Furthermore, the Czech language has more characters than German. While I knew only 26 characters, the Czech alphabet consists of 8 more, namely č, ď, ch, ň, ř, š, t’ and ž. This makes typing Czech words on the computer even more difficult. The tutorial by Sprachenlernen24.de offers to click on the needed character when it comes to exercises that require text input (see Screenshot below), which is still rather inconvenient – nevertheless, it saves time compared to google those characters and copy-paste them.
The tutorial CD-Rom comes with an MP3-CD that allows you to copy the MP3-Files and -Playlists onto your MP3-Player, so you can revise the whole vocabulary and also the dialogue-texts on the go. You’ll also learn how each word is pronounced and you’ll get some kind of a feeling of how the Czech language is supposed to sound like.
A funny thing: A chair in German (as well as Swiss German) is called “Stuhl”. In Czech, they use a homophone to this word, namely “stůl” as the word for “table”; German “Tisch”… Really confusing… 😀 Our “Stuhl” (chair) is called židle, by the way.
The Sprachenlernen24.de-Tutorial also includes printable vocabulary lists. Since I didn’t like revising and studying with lists, I used to write some old-school vocabulary-cards on paper… Since I usually forgot them at home, I was still unable to study on my way to work or to University, so I looked for an alternative – and I found one: The alternative is called iMemento (*click* to be proceeded to the App’s website *click*). iMemento works like those flashcards on paper, but on your iPhone, iPodTouch and iPad. The flashcards can be produced by typing your vocabulary into an .txt-file; the first line should contain the word in your native language, e.g. English or German, then you type the correct answer or the translation of the word in the second line. Then you leave one line blank and start again with the word in your native language, etc. etc. After transferring the .txt-file onto your mobile device, you can transport thousands of flashcards wherever you are going, just by having your mobile phone with you. I absolutely love this App, I even think it’s the best 4 Swiss Francs I ever invested in an iPhone-App so far. 🙂
What are your recommendations to study a language successfully and to stay motivated? I’d love to read your advices! =)
Lots of Love,