I have been thinking about learning another language, since I travelled around Germany, knowing a lot of great German friends, studying about German culture, I found I am very interested in this country and people who live there, for further communication...I decided to start learning German...
So I hope to collect some information about German study...the difficulties, the history....all the things about German language...
Sounds like a great project - the main thing I find hard about German is the various gender cases, which can be very hard to learn. I love learning languages, but only when I can get to practice it in a situation where people won't bail me out with English. The best thing is just taking the plunge and trying words that you're not even sure are right, but at least you're trying!! I'm not sure of any courses, etc.. but I think the best is to find a course where you end up living in with Germans and communicating in it intensively - say a month long course at least. Good luck with it.
I totally agree with Peter. Three genders? I initially thought it would be really simple like inanimate objects are neutral etc. But that wasn't the case. German's a fun language to learn though. Challenging but once you get to speaking it a bit, it's cool. Something that is at once close to english (because of the root of the language) and yet worlds apart.
What you can try are some international schools that teach the language in the country itself. In Canada, we have an immersion program with Travel Cuts that offers courses in German in Germany and Austria. You can check out the prices online at www.travelcuts.com. The price includes accomodations (either with a host family or appartment) and meals (I'm not sure if all courses include this) and you can choose the length of study, from 2 to 4 weeks. Last time I checked, Germany was one of the cheapest destinations to go to for this program.
Peters advice about using words you are not even sure is basically right: the most important is to communicate; sometimes, however it can be treacherous. I remeber the confusion, when I was talking about a "church cake" instead of a "cherry cake", made an announcement that "German goats are slow" when I meant German trains, and once I even insulted a German friend telling him he was "as cold as a pig's leg", when I simply meant to warn him that he might get cold. But it is fun in the retrospective. Genders, yeah, don't complain. My native language has three genders for things, too, but they are DIFFERENT genders for the same things (for example a fork may be feminine in one language and masculine in another), which is even more confusing than starting with no genders at all. However, for native English speakers, the most difficult, I presume, would be to master the so called "elegant", educated German, where a sentence has to go at least for half of a page, or you are a simpleton. It's true, at least among the accademia. Have fun
Yeah I heard about that particularity of German! It also seems that the German language has the longest words seeing as how compound words are quite common. Unfortunately I have not mastered the art of fancy German. My German's a tad hodge podge right now. Stuff like "Ich hebn un bleistift" (I have a pencil), or "Ich möchte kartofelln" (I want potatoes), etc. Gotta brush it up!