Alex (electricdruid) wrote in linguaphiles,

German resources?

Hi, all

I'm looking for some online resources to help me improve my German skills. I don't think my background is all that unique, but all the same I could use some help narrowing down where to start.

My mother is German and spoke the language to me for a few years when I was quite young (until I was four or five years old, if I had to guess), so some of the basic vocabulary and grammar is as intuitive to me as English. Later she tried to teach me by making me read German children's books aloud, but thanks to crippling anxiety those sessions often ended in tears and I eventually refused to continue with them. Smart move, preteen-me! From age 13-18 I took German classes in school (high school and my first semester of college). Textbook learning seemed to work well for most of my classmates, but not for me, and I am still completely baffled by cases, articles, and conjugation, and obviously my vocabulary needs expanding. As a result, I can follow the majority of simple conversations, but I cannot engage in one. Yes, I can ask where the bathroom is or how much a sandwich costs or tell you that I'm cold and need an extra blanket, but I can't carry a conversation, in any capacity.

I don't really know where to start. I've been looking at some lessons on YouTube (hopefully someone can direct me to a better resource) and of course the beginner lessons are too simple for me- leading me to get bored and distracted- but the more intermediate ones are a bit out of my depth. Alternately, I've considered trying to watch TV shows in German, because I know that's how a lot of immigrants (my mother included) learn a new language. If I go this route, are there certain types of shows that I should watch and others that I should avoid? Are soap operas and films going to be easier to pick up than, say, late night talk shows, or does it not matter?

tl;dr
I have an intuitive grasp on basic German and can follow a conversation, but I don't know enough to participate in one (cases and conjugation are my weakest points, but I very much need to build up my vocabulary). What are some good resources for me to use to practice that aren't so basic that I get bored, but aren't too intimidating for someone with a very major confidence issue?
Tags: german, learning languages
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