Taking GCSE French and German

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Aquasauce
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#1
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#1
Hi guys
Hear me out...
Today was my option day and I chose German as one of my subjects although my dad want me to take both. I feel that German is easier for me to grasp even though the grammar for GCSEs is harder but I feel like if I put the time in I can learn the grammar so I should be fine for the exam hopefully! My dad however wants me to change and do German and French , I find french harder to remember than (vocab etc.) and am worried about mixing the two languages up and spending too much time in one and not grasping the other! I also don’t enjoy sometimes french as much but I am willing to have an open mind!
Is there any advice you can give on taking french and German for GCSE sinaltenously and wether you think it’s worth it, any tips and tricks, anything would be appreciated!

P.S If I was going to take French I would be dropping PE which I really enjoy and think would be beneficial for biology and knowledge in the muscles etc. Compared to french I enjoy PE more.
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redmeercat
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#2
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#2
I'm doing a French and German degree, so naturally, I'm going to think that taking both is a great idea. In reality, though, it's best to take subjects that you enjoy and are prepared to work hard for. German is a great language, especially in the business world, and learning any language will mean that it'll be easier to take up another language in the future if you want or need to. I know people say that German grammar is harder than French grammar, but I don't think that's necessarily true... of course there are cases and so on, but it's also (as far as I'm concerned, anyway!) more predictable than French.

General languages tips and tricks:

listening
- regularly listen to music/ podcasts in the language, both at your level and at native level. Even when you don't understand much or anything of what's being said, practicing picking out the words you do know and getting used to the pace of the language will really help in listening exams and in learning to actually speak the language!
- if possible, listen to voice recordings of words you're learning.
- watch TV in the language - a very random German program I watch to destress is called Wer Kann Der Kann. I've never watched anything that has confused me so much, but the language is relatively easy to follow! Kids shows like pepper pig can also help - I watch quite a lot of Peppa pig in Russian because they repeat all the important words so often!
- actively listen to stuff by scribbling down words/ phrases as you go, and by relistening to phrases and trying to work out what they may mean.
- Lyricstraining

Reading
- read the news. I use Aktuelle news for German. Even if you just look at the headlines every day, getting that little bit of reading in regularly can help so much!
- put subtitles on whenever you watch tv in English, and practice reading the German as you go along.
- Put your phone into German
- learn the official vocab list (there are memrise and quizlet sets, but you could also convert them to anki) - there will be about 1300 words, probably, so definitely doable!

Writing
- keep a diary in German
- write to do lists in German
- practice writing 50 word paragraphs and really focusing on getting the grammar right
- use a workbook (I liked the CGP French higher workbook when I did my GCSEs) to practice translation and writing tasks in particular. Translations will show you both your weaknesses in terms of vocab and in terms of grammar!

Speaking
- talk to yourself
- try only to talk to your teacher in German
- keep a diary in German and practice writing spontaneously/ without planning. THis mirrors some of the skills in speaking, but without actually having to speak, so useful for evening study sessions if you have younger siblings!

Generally, just keep practicing and remember that it's a long process, but that every grammar exercise you do and every time you immerse yourself in the language, you're improving. Also, though, don't work too hard at the beginning and then burn out! You have to learn about how you learn best and well as how to balance your time.
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Aquasauce
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#3
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#3
(Original post by redmeercat)
I'm doing a French and German degree, so naturally, I'm going to think that taking both is a great idea. In reality, though, it's best to take subjects that you enjoy and are prepared to work hard for. German is a great language, especially in the business world, and learning any language will mean that it'll be easier to take up another language in the future if you want or need to. I know people say that German grammar is harder than French grammar, but I don't think that's necessarily true... of course there are cases and so on, but it's also (as far as I'm concerned, anyway!) more predictable than French.

General languages tips and tricks:

listening
- regularly listen to music/ podcasts in the language, both at your level and at native level. Even when you don't understand much or anything of what's being said, practicing picking out the words you do know and getting used to the pace of the language will really help in listening exams and in learning to actually speak the language!
- if possible, listen to voice recordings of words you're learning.
- watch TV in the language - a very random German program I watch to destress is called Wer Kann Der Kann. I've never watched anything that has confused me so much, but the language is relatively easy to follow! Kids shows like pepper pig can also help - I watch quite a lot of Peppa pig in Russian because they repeat all the important words so often!
- actively listen to stuff by scribbling down words/ phrases as you go, and by relistening to phrases and trying to work out what they may mean.
- Lyricstraining

Reading
- read the news. I use Aktuelle news for German. Even if you just look at the headlines every day, getting that little bit of reading in regularly can help so much!
- put subtitles on whenever you watch tv in English, and practice reading the German as you go along.
- Put your phone into German
- learn the official vocab list (there are memrise and quizlet sets, but you could also convert them to anki) - there will be about 1300 words, probably, so definitely doable!

Writing
- keep a diary in German
- write to do lists in German
- practice writing 50 word paragraphs and really focusing on getting the grammar right
- use a workbook (I liked the CGP French higher workbook when I did my GCSEs) to practice translation and writing tasks in particular. Translations will show you both your weaknesses in terms of vocab and in terms of grammar!

Speaking
- talk to yourself
- try only to talk to your teacher in German
- keep a diary in German and practice writing spontaneously/ without planning. THis mirrors some of the skills in speaking, but without actually having to speak, so useful for evening study sessions if you have younger siblings!

Generally, just keep practicing and remember that it's a long process, but that every grammar exercise you do and every time you immerse yourself in the language, you're improving. Also, though, don't work too hard at the beginning and then burn out! You have to learn about how you learn best and well as how to balance your time.
Thanks so much! This is so insightful and a set of amazing tip, I honestly really appreciate it! Wow thanks so much I will definitely take all of these on board!
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redmeercat
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Aquasauce)
Thanks so much! This is so insightful and a set of amazing tip, I honestly really appreciate it! Wow thanks so much I will definitely take all of these on board!
No problem, let me know if you have any more questions!
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tinygirl96
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#5
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#5
Hello

This might help
French
Watch old French films. Analyse some classic old time French books etc as well. Translate English into French and purchase a good quality tape recorder to use. Write out questions and so on using written French. Speak loudly and confidently in French too, the little and often method really makes a difference here particularly. Listen to popular French songs and also try to learn a few different tough French dances off by heart. Buy handy revision guides to use.
Enrol on a popular recommended French conversation practice class in addition. Borrow a marker pen or get one to use for correcting any mistakes in your written coursework essays and the like. Another advisable option is to improve your spoken French by always tuning into a well known adult only radio show in France online or finding a decent local French teacher. Make notes to use as fodder for essays.

German
Try the same methods for success
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Aquasauce
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#6
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#6
(Original post by tinygirl96)
Hello

This might help
French
Watch old French films. Analyse some classic old time French books etc as well. Translate English into French and purchase a good quality tape recorder to use. Write out questions and so on using written French. Speak loudly and confidently in French too, the little and often method really makes a difference here particularly. Listen to popular French songs and also try to learn a few different tough French dances off by heart. Buy handy revision guides to use.
Enrol on a popular recommended French conversation practice class in addition. Borrow a marker pen or get one to use for correcting any mistakes in your written coursework essays and the like. Another advisable option is to improve your spoken French by always tuning into a well known adult only radio show in France online or finding a decent local French teacher. Make notes to use as fodder for essays.

German
Try the same methods for success
Hi thanks so much I will definitely do thjs
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Aquasauce
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#7
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#7
(Original post by redmeercat)
No problem, let me know if you have any more questions!
The tips and tricks you gave me are so helpful, I’ll define you do them while revising but the problem still sticks wether I should take both I don’t really want to but my parents want me to, are there any difficulties , crossovers etc. When taking both at gcse? Just an overview of your experience.
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redmeercat
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Aquasauce)
The tips and tricks you gave me are so helpful, I’ll define you do them while revising but the problem still sticks wether I should take both I don’t really want to but my parents want me to, are there any difficulties , crossovers etc. When taking both at gcse? Just an overview of your experience.
I didn't take both at gcse, but taking them both now and taking them both before gcse was no issue... they're so different that it's difficult to get mixed up! I do occaisionally have trouble code switching if I have a speaking session in French immediately followed by one in German, but ultimately that's something that you adapt to as you do it more and as you get more comfortable in both languages. However, like I said before, don't take a GCSE you're not interested in... at GCSE level, the grades are more important than the subjects in a lot of cases, so it's better to take a subject like PE that you know you love than do French and struggle to motivate yourself the revise. Do you know why your family wants you to take French? I know it's perhaps the more traditional option and so one of your parents might speak it, but I can't really see any other benefits of French over German at GCSE.
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Aquasauce
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#9
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#9
(Original post by redmeercat)
I didn't take both at gcse, but taking them both now and taking them both before gcse was no issue... they're so different that it's difficult to get mixed up! I do occaisionally have trouble code switching if I have a speaking session in French immediately followed by one in German, but ultimately that's something that you adapt to as you do it more and as you get more comfortable in both languages. However, like I said before, don't take a GCSE you're not interested in... at GCSE level, the grades are more important than the subjects in a lot of cases, so it's better to take a subject like PE that you know you love than do French and struggle to motivate yourself the revise. Do you know why your family wants you to take French? I know it's perhaps the more traditional option and so one of your parents might speak it, but I can't really see any other benefits of French over German at GCSE.
Thanks, thast great advice! I am bilingual English and another language (native to India) so I think they want me to push myself to learn two extra languages but I’m not sure?
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redmeercat
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Aquasauce)
Thanks, thast great advice! I am bilingual English and another language (native to India) so I think they want me to push myself to learn two extra languages but I’m not sure?
I love languages and so for me, that would be amazing. However, if you're not going to enjoy it and therefore not going to continue learning it after GCSE level, doing an extra language GCSE is no different to doing a non-language subject, as it just becomes a question of getting the grades for whatever you want to do after GCSEs. If you'd want to continue learning both languages after GCSE, either on your own or at A level, it's a different story. But it's important to do subjects that you both and enjoy and that will help you get to whatever you want to do next. I can't tell you what to decide, but whatever you do decide, it has to be your decision that you're taking that subject and you're going to work hard. If you don't feel like it's your decision, you'll probably find it harder to work for the grades you want.
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username5626598
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#11
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#11
(Original post by Aquasauce)
Hi guys
Hear me out...
Today was my option day and I chose German as one of my subjects although my dad want me to take both. I feel that German is easier for me to grasp even though the grammar for GCSEs is harder but I feel like if I put the time in I can learn the grammar so I should be fine for the exam hopefully! My dad however wants me to change and do German and French , I find french harder to remember than (vocab etc.) and am worried about mixing the two languages up and spending too much time in one and not grasping the other! I also don’t enjoy sometimes french as much but I am willing to have an open mind!
Is there any advice you can give on taking french and German for GCSE sinaltenously and wether you think it’s worth it, any tips and tricks, anything would be appreciated!

P.S If I was going to take French I would be dropping PE which I really enjoy and think would be beneficial for biology and knowledge in the muscles etc. Compared to french I enjoy PE more.
Hello,

I currently take both French and Spanish at GCSE, I started off with French first and had the opportunity to pick up Spanish a year later. I was in your exact position (or at least a similar position ) I'm going to try not to look at this biasedly, as I do enjoy languages, and I hope that my advice helps you a little .

To begin with, I find that mixing up the languages doesn't really happen too often (and I think there are more similarities between French and Spanish than with French and German, although correct me if I'm wrong). If you tend to focus on one language more than the other, sometimes words will come into your head that aren't in the correct language. This happened to me at first with French, because I was concentrating so much more on Spanish that it was naturally slightly more present (it's evened out now), even if French is my dominant language.

However, I would genuinely say with all my heart that you have to choose what you love, and if that's PE then take PE :yep:. My passion is in languages and I would promote them with every ounce of my body, however taking 2 languages takes a lot of effort and time ; putting that strain on yourself when you don't enjoy something will not work out. Trust me, from a personal point of view with a different subject, you need to think to yourself what you'd be happy to do for the next 2 or 3 years and take the subjects that you want, not that other people recommend.

That being said, languages are very good subjects to take, although rigorous and demanding. If you do decide to take PE, then the bright side is that you always have German, which would still open up paths in the future!

The users above seem to have given some very stable advice about revision.

Good luck with your decision :awesome:
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tinygirl96
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#12
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This is a useful site for books https://www.fluentu.com/blog/french/...-learn-french/
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