It is the aim of the FSI German Basic course - of which this is Volume 1 of 2 - to provide the student with a useful control of the structure of the spoken language and of a basic vocabulary which meets at least some of the specialized needs of the Foreign Service. After completion of the basic course the Foreign Service Officer should be able to make limited practical use of the language in his official duties and social obligations. He will furthermore have the means, given the proper surroundings and personal motivation, for continued rapid and efficient development of proficiency.
The materials in this first volume of the text are organized into twelve lessons or units. Each unit contains a set of basic sentences for memorization. These are in the form of a dialog based on one or sometimes two specific situations in which a person might find himself in Germany. Note to the basic sentences are provided as necessary to clarify occasional difficulties in vocabulary and idiom and to provide additional background on some cultural features unfamiliar to Americans.
Notes on pronunciation are included in each of the first eight units. Phonological features which have been found to be particularly difficult for American students are here presented with explanations and pronunciation practice drills. The notes on grammar in each unit single out those structural features illustrated in the basic sentences which are appropriate for systematic consideration at that stage in the course. Substitution drills provide for the manipulation of forma by substituting specific items in fixed sentence frames. They are in-tended to build habits of association, so that in a given syntactic environment the appropriate grammatical form automatically comes to mind. As the German vocabulary is all familiar, no English equivalents are given in these drills.
Variation drills provide for the manipulation of larger syntactic patterns. In each group a model sentence, underscored, serves as a guide. Associated with it are additional sentences incorporating the same syntactic pattern but in which most of the individual word items have been replaced. English equivalents are given to serve as cues for recall of the German variant sentences. Vocabulary drills provide both practice in the use of now vocabulary items and also allow for manipulation of sentence elements whose particular form and arrangement depends upon their association with that vocabulary item.
The manipulation of both variation and vocabulary drills depends on the use of English equivalents. Specific translation drills are also provided, however. In most cases they present the material of the basic dialog in the form of a narrative. They thus provide content review of the basic sentences and practice in the transformation from active dialog to descriptive narration. The response drills are question and answer drills on the situations of the basic dialogs. Conversation practice and additional situations in out-line bridge the gap to free conversation with small pieces of supplementary dialog for acting out and situations providing for a freer play of the student's imagination. The finder list in each unit notes all new vocabulary which has been presented.
You can find the next volume of the FSI German Basic Course
here: FSI - German Basic Course - Volume 2
German is a West Germanic language. It derives most of its vocabulary from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. A number of words are derived from Latin and Greek, and fewer from French and English. Widely spoken languages which are most similar to German include Luxembourgish, Dutch, the Frisian languages, English and the Scandinavian languages.
German is spoken in: Germany
German is also called: Alemanic, Alemannic, Alemannisch, Alsacien, Alsatian, Elsaessisch, German