5 pro tips to learn German easier

Der, die, das? Wieso, weshalb, warum? Yep, German is not the most easiest language to learn. Therefore, the experts of "Studying in Germany" have 5 pro tips for you to make it a little bit easier for you. Happy learning and viel Erfolg!

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One of the most important things people should keep in mind is that learning German will take time. Once you begin with that thought, disappointment is quite far-fetched. You are already prepared that learning a new language from scratch is a task that requires time, commitment, and hard work. Regardless, it is a well-worth-it task, as well. Wherever your mind might stray, keep in mind the well-known cliché: good things take time; because in this instance, it is true.

That's why together with the language learning experts of Studying in Germany we put together a guide for you to make it a little bit easier.

Learning German

Five pro tips to make learning German easier

1. Be Realistic: 

Be realistic from the very beginning. Know that learning German is a journey that requires your utmost attention. Understand this and then commit to it.

2. Perfect the Basics: 

The basics are the essentials. They are the foundation of a language. Start learning one small thing after the other, starting from the letter ‘a’.

3. Motivate Yourself: 

One of the greatest ways to motivate yourself is by setting small, achievable goals each day. Make sure you set goals that both challenge you and are realistic. Here are a few hypothetical dos and don’ts:

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4. Practice Everyday:

Movies, tv shows, newspapers, music… These are just a few of the things you could use to get acquainted with the German language. Anytime you sit down to watch a movie, change the subtitles to German. Download a German newspaper on your phone and try to go through a few pages every day. Start listening to music in German and focus your attention on the lyrics. This is a crucial step because many people have learned to speak German by simply being exposed to German TV in their youth.

5. Plan:

Whether you are learning the language on your own or attending classes, planning is the one step that will keep you organized and help you avoid frustration. Schedule the time you plan on sitting down and practicing your German. Make sure no one and nothing interferes with your plans.

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How to start learning German?

Simply realize that the benefits of learning German far outweigh the benefits of not-learning German. This is when you will find yourself searching for ways to begin learning German. A piece of pro advice would be: start small and start committed, whether you want to attend a class or self-study German.

What is the easiest way to learn German?

Whether it is easier to learn German online, alone, or in a group depends on what type of person you are. Some people tend to be more committed if they are learning with a teacher/group (having homework, scheduled classes, and peers to discuss things with). Some find that learning German online, or individually, is more efficient because they have the chance to do something at their own pace.

There is actually no right or wrong answer to this question. However, what is certain is the level of work you put into after each class/learning session. Just as it is vital to have a great teacher, it is also essential to be a motivated self-learner.

How do you find the right program? 

If you want to find the right program to learn German, you will have to consider the following factors: 

Are there any good apps?

There are plenty of apps you can use to learn and practice German. Here's a list of some of them:

  1. Anki
  2. Memrise
  3. Babbel
  4. Duolingo

Also free online video courses might help you with learning the German language.

How long does it take?

It is estimated by The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) that learning German will take approximately 36 weeks or 900 classroom hours to learn. It can, however, take more/less than that if you consider factors like the amount of time you spend in the classroom, how much time you spend practicing, or how motivated you are. There is really no formula or strict time-table for how long it takes to learn German.

Why is learning German so hard?

German has a reputation for being difficult to learn; even Mark Twain said it in his essay ‘Taming the Bicycle’ where he compared riding a bicycle to learning German, saying: “It is not like studying German, where you mull along, in a groping, uncertain way, for thirty years; and at last, just as you think you've got it, they spring the subjunctive on you, and there you are.”

But, all things considered, Twain used hyperbole to make a distinct comparison. Do not let German’s reputation discourage you. Learning German is deemed to be difficult because it has a rich lexicon, the spoken language is often different from the written one (especially in informal conversations), and well German nouns have three classifications (masculine, feminine, or neutral), and the majority of the time, you have to learn the gender along with the word itself.

Which mistakes to avoid?

Some of the mistakes people usually make when learning German (which should be avoided) include: 

And last but not least: Why learn German?

Well, German is an official language in Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein and a co-official language in countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium. In fact, it is the first language of approximately 100 million people in the European Union.

Long story short, opportunities simply expand once you perfect German. Whether you want to find employment in a German-speaking country, join a study program in German, relocate to a German-speaking country, or simply build bridges and communicate with other people, German will be beneficial.

On the other hand, the personal benefits of learning a new language are numerous. Learning a new language means getting an insight into other cultures. It somehow broadens your horizons in unexplainable ways. German will help you see the world from a different perspective. And it is, after all, the language of Beethoven, Mozart, Nietzsche, and Einstein.

Marie-Theres Rüttiger
HIER SCHREIBT Marie-Theres Rüttiger

Marie-Theres is online editor for health and insurance topics at ottonova. She designs the editorial plan, researches and writes mainly about (e-)health and innovation that make life better.

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Our ottonova team of experts has over 40 years of experience in private health insurance and answers questions about it every day. What are old-age provisions and for whom does private health insurance make sense? What is the actuarial interest rate and which tariff is right for you? They know!

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