Listen to Reinforce Your Comprehension

I’ve learned that the only way to really learn a language is to soak yourself in it. I try to maximize my exposure to everything German as often as possible.  One of my favorite ways to do this is to catch as much native content as possible.

The Deutsche Welle (DW), slowly spoken news report offers straight news, reported in German but at a much slower pace. It’s the same news that’s reported to Germans by DW, Germany’s international broadcaster. It is a great resource because it offers language learners a better chance to comprehend what’s going on.

When I am working during the day or when I’m getting ready for bed, I have started tuning in to German radio stations as ambient noise in the background, something I can focus in on or ignore based on what I am doing. Luckily, I am near my PC during the day, so I can stream German radio all day long.  I have a few favorites, and they’re all newsy: Deutschland Radio (news and culture from Berlin), Deutschlandfunk (News from Köln), and Info Radio (24-hour news from Berlin).  You can find everything else including pop, rock, hip-hop, and of course what Germany may be best known for, techno and electronic, online via useful radio directories such as Live-Radio.net and Listenlive.eu.

squeezeboxinternetradioSince I am so devoted to learning German, I have taken this whole immersion thing one step further when it comes to listening to German on the “radio.”  A couple months ago I picked up a Squeezebox Radio from Logitech. The Squeezebox can stream Internet radio from around the world, including by German city, through a series of built-in directories.  So, I have all the aforementioned stations programmed in as well as my favorite Berlin music station, MotorFM, making listening to Berlin radio as simple as punching one button on a funny, red clock radio.

I recommend spending some time listening to news or other German radio, be it slow or not, as often as possible, even if you can’t comprehend most of it.  Focus on what you can understand — on words or phrases.  Let yourself melt into what German sounds like.  The more time you spend learning German with Rosetta Stone, the more you will comprehend when listening to the German news or watching TV, or, hopefully, interacting with German speakers.

In my next several posts, I will continue to talk about my language learning experience and adventures in Berlin. Please let me know in the comments what you would like to know more about, where you would like me to go on this blog, and what you think.

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Chris Abraham

Thousands of people around the world know exactly what Chris Abraham had for lunch yesterday. With 13,000 followers on Twitter, posts on Digital Next blog and SocialMedia.biz, and two popular blogs of his own, Chris has a wide audience and is generally considered an interesting guy. However, his content is far from the despised what-I-had-for-lunch posts, as Chris frequently imparts his knowledge of social media, salivates over expensive cars, and documents his adventures as an American living in Berlin, Germany. In between his trips across the Atlantic to and from his homes in Washington, D.C. and Berlin, Chris runs a social media marketing agency called Abraham Harrison LLC [AHLLC] with his business partner, Mark Harrison. AHLLC has 35 employees from 12 countries. The diversity of culture and language makes staff meetings less like, well staff meetings, and more like a UN summit. Many employees could conduct meetings in English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, or German, or a combination of all five at once. Not wanting to be one-upped by his staff (again), Chris is remedying his lingual shortcomings by learning German with Rosetta Stone. He also would like to impress his friends in Berlin with fluent, witty, dinner party conversation in German. Rosetta Stone has commissioned Chris to share his German language learning journey and his experience with TOTALe on this blog. Chris’s insights on social media marketing, the BMW, and Berlin dinner parties can be found at www.marketingconversation.com and chrisabraham.com. Chris can also be found on Twitter (www.twitter.com/chrisabraham) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/chrisabraham).
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