JeSuisBaguette
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#1
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#1
Hi there, I am starting university in September doing French and Ab initio German. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me about their experiences doing beginners languages at university, eg. how difficult is it, and any advice for languages at university in general.

Also, I wanted to find out exactly how beginners is ab initio. For example, would it be wise to spend the summer learning as much basic german as possible, or is this something the university is likely to teach us when we get there? (I will still do lots over the summer as I love it)
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Snufkin
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#2
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#2
(Original post by JeSuisBaguette)
Hi there, I am starting university in September doing French and Ab initio German. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me about their experiences doing beginners languages at university, eg. how difficult is it, and any advice for languages at university in general.

Also, I wanted to find out exactly how beginners is ab initio. For example, would it be wise to spend the summer learning as much basic german as possible, or is this something the university is likely to teach us when we get there? (I will still do lots over the summer as I love it)
The only TSRer I know who did ab initio German is Saracen's Fez - if he has time, hopefully he can give you an idea of what it's like. But yes, you would be well advised to get to grips with the basic grammar before you start uni.
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Saracen's Fez
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#3
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#3
(Original post by JeSuisBaguette)
Hi there, I am starting university in September doing French and Ab initio German. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me about their experiences doing beginners languages at university, eg. how difficult is it, and any advice for languages at university in general.

Also, I wanted to find out exactly how beginners is ab initio. For example, would it be wise to spend the summer learning as much basic german as possible, or is this something the university is likely to teach us when we get there? (I will still do lots over the summer as I love it)
I really loved doing ab initio German, so you're in for a treat. As German is a language with quite a lot of grammar rules (and exceptions to them), it might be advisable to make a start on some basics beforehand, but the whole point of the ab initio course is to guide you through learning the language (though you will need to work through things yourself alongside the teaching). They might get in touch beforehand with stuff they want you to do – they did for me – but otherwise other than looking through some basics (if anything, to make the first few weeks a bit less overwhelming) you should be OK.
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JeSuisBaguette
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#4
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#4
Thanks a lot! I really love the language but have never had the chance to study it properly! I can’t wait to start uni! 😁
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Simbess
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#5
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Hi! I took up both Russian and Spanish ab initio at university - although they're both very different languages, the concept of learning them from scratch is really similar. I didn't do anything for Spanish over the summer (only took it up once I got to university) but for Russian I just familiarised myself with the alphabet and learned a few basic phrases. Something which really helped me with prep for taking up a beginners language was to practice speaking it out loud - it helps with the confidence of taking up a new language! Especially for German (as I should have done with Russian) learn what cases are! They will definitely teach you about cases themselves so there isn't the need to delve deeply into them, but it helps to make the first semester less overwhelming if you have a rough understanding of them Congrats on uni! Where will you be studying?
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JeSuisBaguette
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#6
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#6
Thank you so much for the advice! I'm going to the University of Kent. They gave me an unconditional offer which was amazing and I loved the uni. Where do you study at the moment?
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Simbess
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#7
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#7
(Original post by JeSuisBaguette)
Thank you so much for the advice! I'm going to the University of Kent. They gave me an unconditional offer which was amazing and I loved the uni. Where do you study at the moment?
Oooh lovely, congrats! I'm currently at Uni of Sheffield
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Chatterbox7
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#8
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#8
Howdid you find the ab initiiert for German, please!
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University of Bath
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#9
Report 2 years ago
#9
Hi!

I study Spanish and ab initio Italian at Bath. Learning from beginners hasn't been super easy, as it can be frustrating being at such different levels and feeling like you're at square one again. I didn't personally learn any Italian before uni but I also wouldn't say it would hurt to. It might make some of the basics just a bit easier at the beginning and fill in the blanks. After all, with Fresher's and making new friends you might find yourself thanking yourself for doing some prep ahead of starting.
I'd say I've realised after starting a language again that learning vocab at the beginning is so important just to fill in the gaps of all the exercises you do etc. It's easy to forget you don't learn vocab overnight! I personally think Memrise is by far the best app for building your vocabulary.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
Katie, 2nd year Modern Languages student
(Original post by JeSuisBaguette)
Hi there, I am starting university in September doing French and Ab initio German. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me about their experiences doing beginners languages at university, eg. how difficult is it, and any advice for languages at university in general.

Also, I wanted to find out exactly how beginners is ab initio. For example, would it be wise to spend the summer learning as much basic german as possible, or is this something the university is likely to teach us when we get there? (I will still do lots over the summer as I love it)
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