Reading working knowledge: German... some ideas.

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Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Jan 15 2019 11:47 AM

Hallo power users:

Interesting topic to share: German reading working knowledge.

Supposedly there is a lot of theological articles in German that treat topics from a very different perspective, and that unfortunately are not translated.

So trying to find out a bit more about gaining a reading working ability in German, I came across some interesting ideas.

Some author in a webpage suggested that to understand well how a language works, it would be beneficial to learn a bit of Latin grammar. (L8 has resources to that respect).

Another author suggested that understanding Latin grammar would help you understand German grammar. (this perspective was validated by a native speaker).

Another poster in a particular thread mentioned that memorization is an essential basic part of the game.

In this respect I found out that in "Anki" (a card studying app) one can find many decks that can help with practicing and memorizing basic information:

Among other card decks available via "get shared" option from within the stand alone Anki computer app:

Wheelock's Latin complete vocabulary.

Medieval Latin.

Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciations.

In theory Latin should not be that hard for those of us that master a Romance language.

In a Logos talk article, the recommendation to learn Latin was tied to the ability to explore theology which was written in that language for a long time in the past. (L8 has also the resources to explore that).

Anki also has free deck about Hebrew (including Futato), Koine Greek, German, etc.

Then there is a wonderful idea by a sophisticated blogger:

When translating theological concepts, the author of the above article searches in Logos for the German term, and affirms that many times finds a discussion of the term in footnotes in English resources.

An even cooler system is that he uses the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament alongside the German version (as a diglot).

In another article, he mentions the "Modern Theological German Dictionary" that comes with a reader, and is a way to sharpen skills when in a more advanced level.

In yet another article, Mr. Cerone mentions the following resource:

Which I hope it goes into development some day.

So in the article the author suggests that using semantic domains aids in learning a language, something I have to look into.

As a spin off it would be nice to get the semantic domains considered very important in theology, and do a comparative / cross language analysis.

For a given concept, to explore the related English, Latin, Koine Greek, Biblical Hebrew and German words for it, and even have within resources info links in a visual mind map like index.

A very kind power user also shared: the global daily lectionary "Die Losungen" (Daily Texts, Moravian Daily Watchwords) for the  year. 

It can be used to have daily reading and help improve reading and comprehension:


Native speaker and power user also recommended for beginners:

 To start with Bonhoeffer:  "Gemeinsames Leben".

And to venture into ST in German: "Glaube kompakt" by Friedhelm Jung.

Both resources available in L8.

So in some ways, it would be interesting to follow a "submerge in" strategy where following a structure like the one found in "Lexham Theological Wordbook" and "Catholic Topical Index", one could do comparative study of theological terms across languages (not only traditions and denominations).

So in theory my own travel: Spanish (L1), English L2, reading German would be 3rd, together with a bit of Latin grammar (had some in high school), to then facilitate Koine Greek and finally Biblical Hebrew. (after negotiation with my id this was the path deemed less painful, maybe I am wrong, LOL).

Not sure if it will work, but sure will be interesting.

My own learning of English started by reading Magazines dealing with sports and particular secular topics.

To my surprise, there are not that many Journals / Magazines in the German base packages. Bummer, as usually easier magazines are the way to go for me to get acquainted with the language.

Feel free to bounce off ideas, share your experiences, ideas, suggestions, etc. L8 is a real versatile tool, that allows incredible research and study if used well.


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