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  Step 02: Diktat - Write down what you Hear

Write a Dictation

What you need to know

Dictation is a very powerful learning tool that trains almost all skills you need for German learning: listening, reading, writing, grammar, and making assumptions about what is being said. In Dictation you will listen to an audio recording and write down what you hear. You will need either a pen and sheet of paper OR you can type into a word processor. You are already familiar with the first audio recording because it is the first chapter of "Die Tote Frau im Garten". You can choose the slow or normal speed of the audio.

How it is done

First Round

  • Pick 2–3 sentences from the current chapter to listen to. If you are a beginner you will find it hard to remember a full sentence. So pause the audio at will after 2-3 words and write down what you have heard from memory. Try to increase the amount of words that you can keep in your short-term memory over time.
  • You can ignore all other sentences of the current chapter. There is no need to write down all sentences of each chapter. Once you proceed you'll become faster and can write more sentences in the same time and later on in this course you'll drop the dictation completely for another, even more powerful exercise.
  • Do not rewind. If you can't understand a word just leave a gap for now.
  • Do not write while you are listening. Always Listen - Pause - Write.
  • Listen one more time and fill in gaps and correct any mistake that you find in your text.

Get a piece of paper and try it now!

Slow version

Fast version

Second Round

  • Now compare your writing with the original text below and highlight all mistakes BUT: Do not correct anything. That is unnecessary as you will write this text again.
  • Compare every word you wrote with the original text. Be thorough. No mistake is too tiny. Incorrect capitalisation is especially a sacrilege for many Germans. There’s no need to be gentle with yourself in a dictation, but there’s also no need to beat yourself up if your first version looks devastating. You will improve significantly and rapidly if you stick to my approach.
  • Look at your mistakes to try to understand what went "wrong". If a mistake is not clear, put it into your grammar notebook to discuss it with your German tutor or on a German language learner’s forum like lang-8 (NOTE: lang-8 seems to be closed for the moment, so check it out every once in a while. Maybe use for the time being - App only).
  • After your analysis hide the original text and your first writing and write the same sentences again the same way you did the first time. In every round you are listening to the same couple of sentences twice.

Kapitel 01 - Ein schrecklicher Fund

Die Sonne scheint.
Es ist ein schöner Tag.
Wie jeden Montag kommt der Gärtner Klaus Blumfeld
zu dem großen, alten Haus am Ende der Stadt.
Zwar wohnt hier seit Jahren kein Mensch mehr.
Aber Blumfelds Job ist es,
den Garten zu machen und Dinge zu reparieren.
Das alte Haus soll in Ordnung bleiben.
Es ist eine eigene, kleine Welt ohne Menschen.
Der Gärtner mag es, hier zu sein.
Dann ist er ein Teil dieser kleinen Welt.
Bevor Blumfeld in den Garten geht,
sieht er immer erst in dem Haus nach,
ob es etwas zu tun gibt.
Er geht zur Tür und gefriert zu Eis:
Eine alte Frau liegt im Flur. Tot.
In einem Ring aus Dreck und Matsch.

Continue with Step 03 - Grammar Training
before the third round

Third Round

Write the text a third time after a break of several hours and proceed as before.