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Tips for learning German

12/05/2016 - 10:50-37 Comments by | poland flag

Even if your study program is in English, it’s extremely valuable to learn German. You’ll find everything a lot of easier with some German—you will be able to join the conversations held in German, go to cinema every day of the week 🙂 (as I mentioned in my previous post, they use German dubbings for ALL the movies! Usually, the original versions with German subtitles are only screened once a week) or understand the announcements in German trains.

Learning German does not have to be difficult or take years. Even if you’re flying to Germany in a week, it’s never too late to start studying! Once you’ll be surrounded in German language, the learning will be easier and take place in the everyday life.

Here are a few tips that could help you!

  • Getting started right away – don’t put it off. If you start learning in your home country, you’ll have an advantage when you come here. Even the basics will help—the grammar will prove useful in further studying, and the simple dialogues will help you to buy meat or set up a doctor’s appointment. Being able to communicate in German, even in the small matters, will boost your confidence and reduce your stress levels.

You could take classes in language schools in your country – Goethe Instituts are one of them. You could also sign up for an online language course. Myself, I am using www.deutsch-uni.com and it has proven useful both in the basic learning process (whole B1 level) and the specified examination practice (TestDaf preparation).

In Germany you’ll probably have an opportunity to take German classes in your university. It would also be beneficial to arrive 1-2 months before the start of the academic year and take summer classes in one of the German language schools in Germany. I took such classes (3-4 hours everyday) for two months and they helped me tremendously!

  • Learning in Germany – try to speak German whenever you have a chance and don’t be shy! Ask for the directions in German, use it in the shops, engage your friends in German conversations… just immerse yourself in the language!
  •  Approach of the Germans – they are actually extremely helpful! They appreciate that you’re taking an effort to learn they language, so they will not interrupt you to point out that you said “den” instead of “dem” 🙂 In everyday conversations, they can be very good teachers! A common pattern that I observed here is that when a German person realizes that you speak/understand German (even a little!) they would abandon English and speak German to you. If you prefer to speak English yourself, or ask for a translation of what they said in English, it’s no problem. However, they will continue in German as long as you understand (or seem to understand 🙂 ).  I find this approach really helpful and sympathetic. Thanks to it, I have an opportunity to practice the language in everyday situations.
  • Learning on the way—finding the rhythm of your learning practice is very important. You should learn regularly, preferably every day. It’s hard to plan it in your schedule, but fortunately there are apps that could manage it for you. For example, https://www.duolingo.com is completely free and motivates you to make short, fun exercises every day.  You can play it on the bus or during a short break in your everyday duties. I found it a little bit too simple for my level, but it will be perfect for the beginners!
  • Watch movies in German! – it’s a great way to learn and relax! Go to cinema often—everything is dubbed in German and the setting will help you focus! If that overwhelms you, try watching the movies that you’ve already seen. Then you will be able to concentrate on the language instead of trying to follow the plot.

German television (ZDF) has the database of their programs accessible online. If you’re a movie-fan you could also buy a Netflix/Amazon Prime/MaxDome access. These streaming services offer movies and TV series that are both dubbed and subtitled in German. Netflix and MaxDome offer monthly 8-9euro subscription. As a student of a German university, you can get discounted Amazon Prime (Amazon Student) for 24 euro for a year.

What are your language-learning strategies? Anything that helps you stay motivated and immersed in German is great!

Tags: English Blog Post, Everyday Life, First Steps in Germany, German Language, Society & Culture, Useful Links & Tips

Comments

37 Comments

    This article reminded me of how I tried and failed to learn German many times in the past.

    Part of the problem was that I was always so busy that I didn’t even have time to eat.

    I also felt that I was too old and that you couldn’t teach a dog new tricks.

    To make it worse, I’m totally tone deaf and no language had ever stuck in my brain!

    Finally, after a lot of disappointment and frustration, I found a way to learn German so that it sticks to my brain like Krazy glue!

    It only took a few minutes a day and was actually easier for an older person like me.

    I’m now practicing my pronunciation so I can sound like a native when I go to Berlin next year.

    If you’re wondering how I did it, you can see the website yourself right here:

    http://www.bestquicktips.com/easygerman

    Hope this helps!

    Comment by Milo Levasseur created 15/08/2016 - 04:07

    That’s not really hard to learn German language, especially when you’re fluent in English. You can use different websites like Duolingo or Memrise to learn a language. And also there are plenty of websites where it is possible to communicate with people and native speakers in the language that you’re learning.

    Awesome!

    Comment by HelenaWilla created 08/09/2016 - 18:52

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    Comment by krishnakuppam created 17/11/2016 - 07:11

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    Comment by Paul Miller created 18/11/2016 - 12:26

    Im no expert, but I believe you just made an excellent You certainly understand what youre speaking about, and I can truly get behind that.

    Comment by Roshini created 19/12/2016 - 15:18

    Hi. I’ve tried different ways to study. But I have not much time. So my last try was when I’ve learned german online with native speakers using skype. To be honest my speaking german now much more better. https://preply.com/en/learn-german-online Now I’m looking for more opportunities to imrove my language speaking skills.

    Comment by Vadim Voronovskiy created 05/02/2017 - 18:57

    The strategy you have updated here will make me to get trained in future technologies. By the way you are running a great blog. Thanks for sharing this.

    Comment by anitha created 08/03/2017 - 06:58

    Hi, I’ve started learning German few months ago. First I tried to learn by different self-studying books and websites. But it was difficult for me and I didn’t have any conversations. I’ve seen the message in this converstaion and found tutor so I take lessons on https://preply.com/en/skype/german-tutors. It’s a good source and I started to practice speaking. As additional sources I read books, watch videos, try to learn as much words as possible.

    You can try this simple way for studying. Maybe it will suit you .If you know some great ways you tried yourself, let me know, please.

    Comment by Valera created 05/04/2017 - 11:11

    I’m looking for possibilitis to relocate to Germany. And want to learn German language.
    On my opinion the best way to learn any language is to have constant speaking practice. In such case the best way is to find a tutor and native speakers. I can advise “preply” for searching native speaking tutors. I’ve started learning German using this website when was living in Poland. But i’d like to know some more ways to learn German.

    Comment by Michele Pacifico created 11/05/2017 - 07:53

      Hi,
      Check out this database of German courses and providers http://www.fadaf.de/de/daf_angebote/sprachkursangebote/
      The Goethe-Institut https://www.goethe.de/ins/de/en/kur.html,
      Deutsche Welle http://www.dw.com/en/learn-german/s-2469 and the
      Alumniportal Deutschland http://www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/deutsche-sprache/ provide helpful online language training.
      We also post useful links for learning German on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Study.in.Germany on a regular Basis.
      Best wishes,
      your Study in Germany Team

      Comment by Redaktion created 12/05/2017 - 07:32

    Hi Admin

    I want to learn german can you recommend me this e-book please help me
    http://get-freeebook.blogspot.com/2016/11/duden-die-grammatik.html

    Comment by emily created 29/05/2017 - 00:20

      Hi,
      DUDEN is always a good source, but there are other ways to learn German. For more information you can visit our website under https://www.study-in.de/en/discover-germany/german-language/german-language_41118.php
      Best wishes,
      your Study in Germany team

      Comment by Redaktion created 29/05/2017 - 14:07

    https://preply.com/ is also one of the ways to learn german online. I used it to improve mine as well. Learning online is easy and you don’t have to travel anywhere

    Comment by Stan Daniels created 26/07/2017 - 14:41

    I simply wanted to write down a quick word to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips and hints you are showing on this site.

    Comment by Giselle aga created 24/02/2018 - 06:38

    I must say this is a very helpful write-up. I am particularly impressed why you said about the Germans and their willingness to appreciate a foreigner’s efforts to learn their language. I am going to try and watch a few movies first before speaking German. Thanks for the helpful tips. Read more – https://thebritishinstitute-languages.com/

    Comment by Brennan created 06/07/2018 - 06:41

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    Comment by MyTb created 24/04/2020 - 09:42

    Thank you for the lovely article. As a German teacher from Germany, I always go the extra mile to motivate my pupils when teaching German. Discovering new sides of a language and developing a love for it helps them the most. Exploring cultural products in the German language, such watching episodes of Loriot or other TV shows helped my pupils to improve their listening skills rapidly. Then they really try sharing their impressions in classroom discussions and start forming complex sentences just for the sake of sharing their opinions. All teachers in my school teach online these days, and I have students from Sweden, France, U.S.A., India and Italy in my virtual classroom. You can read more about our courses here: https://www.online-german-course.com

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