How to Learn German Language
- How to Learn German Language
There are myriad of reasons to learn German (Work, Live, Relationship, Study among others). This article will teach you how to learn basic German language to get you started, different varieties of German as well as dialects and about the most effective ways of learning German. This article will also show you some simple tips and practical techniques to help make your learning of German more effective, faster and easier.
German belongs to the West Germanic family of languages as well as English, Afrikaans, and Dutch. German and English are closely related and with a little effort and time you can learn German too! Read below for some helpful guidelines to learning the language.
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Understanding the Basics
- Pay attention to how vowels sound alone, versus how they sound when they are used in conjunction. Much like English, two vowels together sound very different than either of them alone.
- Similarly, the consonants can sound very different when used in certainly places in a word or when used in conjunction. Learn these variations so that you can pronounce words correctly.
- Don’t forget that German has a few extra letters that are not present in English. ( Ä Ö Ü ß ) You will need to learn these, as well as how they’re pronounced, if you want to understand and be understood.
- Start with important singular words, like “yes”, “no”, “please”, “thank you”, and the numbers 1-30.
- Move on to basics like “I am” (Ich bin), “You are” (Du bist), “He/She is” (Er/Sie ist), etc.
- Germans will generally be able to understand what you are trying to say, even if you get the word order wrong. Pronunciation goes much further towards being understood, so worry about that much more in the beginning.
Furthering Your Study
- Nouns are subject to a case system, gendering, and will also change based on how many of that thing there are. Learn how all of these things affect nouns while you are increasing your vocabulary.
- Examples of good nouns to start with include food words, the objects you find around the house, important places around town, and important people you may need to talk to or find (such as a doctor, police officer, etc.).
- Learn the most basic verbs before you learn complex ones. To run, to walk, to jump, to stop, to fall, to be, to have, to say, to do, to get, etc. These will be the most useful in the beginning and are easier to say and learn than more complex words.
- You can go to Germany through an exchange arranged by your high school or university, or you can apply to a university or community college in Germany. Student visas will be granted to allow you to stay in the country and tuition is much less expensive than in many other places. You may also be able to get a job and work, rather than going to school. If you are young enough, it is even possible to work as an au pair (or nanny). English-speaking nannies are coveted in Germany.
- You can read online copies of German newspapers and magazines. Examples include Der Zeit, Frankfurter Rundschau, or Der Spiegel (which tends to be of a slightly lower reading level than the newspapers).
- You can write letters, a journal, movie reviews, or anything else you can think of.
- Don’t go too long between studying sessions. This can lead you to forget a great deal of the material. Spend at least two or three hours at a time studying and try to study every day.
- Look up any word you hear or see that you don’t know. Keep a notebook with you at all times and write down the word, if you don’t have time to look it up right away. Even if you don’t necessarily know how it should be spelled, Google is pretty good at helping you fix it so don’t worry too much.
- German is known for having long, complex words (like Pfändungsfreigrenzenbekanntmachung!) but don’t be intimidated. After a while, you will become used to how German words are constructed and how they sound. Once you have those skills, it becomes very easy to see where the larger words break apart.
- Look up a list of the most common nouns, verbs, and adjectives in German. Adding all of these words to your vocabulary will give you a great starting point. You can also look up the most common words in English and find the German equivalents for any words which do not show up on both lists.
- As with any language, practice makes perfect. Try submersing yourself in the language and using it on a daily basis as much as possible.
- Visit Germany. Meet people and visit places in Germany so you can get a better perspective of what the German language is like.
- The German language is close to Dutch & Afrikaans. If you can speak either of these, you will find the pronunciation much easier.
- Buy a German dictionary.