Learning and improving vocabulary is an integral part of learning a new language. In fact, we may even consider it as the first step. Just observe how children pick up words and say them one at a time to make themselves understood initially when they start speaking. If you know the right words, you can use them with a few gestures and convey your message to the other person without much difficulty. Reading, writing, listening and speaking are the four skills of language learning. Learning and improving your vocabulary can be an important step in achieving a proficiency level in German. Let us look at some most used words in German before we understand how to improve our vocabulary in German.
- Hallo – Hello
- Nein – No
- Ja – Yes
- Danke – Thank you
- Guten Tag – Good morning
- Kommen – come
- Gehen – go
- Kaffe – coffee
- Tee – tea
- Tschuss – Bye
These are just a few words in German.
Things to keep in mind
Start with the most commonly used words
You don’t need to memorize the entire dictionary to have a good vocabulary. Start with the most basic and very commonly used words. Combination of these words can help you further improve your vocabulary. This would mean learning around 1000 words which can be broken down into smaller chunks and learned over time.
Use proper tools
Starting with your good old pen, paper, and dictionary to all the technological apps and online resources there are many tools that can help you learn German vocabulary and build on what you already know. Make the best use of these tools as much as possible.
Learn every day
Though it sounds very simple, it may not be an easy task to achieve. Instead of learning 30 words in a single day and doing nothing for the next few days, learn 5 to 8 words every single day and practice them throughout.
Learn relevant vocabulary
Focus on learning relevant vocabulary. Learning basic greetings can help in small talk. Similarly learning words related to day-to-day activities, your profession or your lifestyle might be more helpful when compared to just memorizing random words which you may not use for a long period of time.
Review the words that you learn after every few days. This would ensure that you are able to ingrain them into your memory forever.
Focus on synonyms and antonyms
You can use different words to say something. This comes naturally to native speakers. By learning synonyms and how they work in different expressions, you can also build on your vocabulary and have a meaningful conversation without sounding repetitive.
Read aloud and write them
Reading aloud not only helps in memorizing but also plays a crucial role in learning the right pronunciation because you hear what you say and can correct yourself if necessary. Writing things down is a very effective and old method of memorizing things. Thus, follow these good old practices to build your German vocabulary.
German movies, videos, or songs can also be a good source of learning vocabulary, but only if you are listening actively. This means that when you are watching a movie or a video, pay close attention to the words that are spoken. Write down anything that sounds new. You may also find words that you already know used in a different way. These are also excellent means to learn contextually.
Practice everything that you learn
It could be nouns, prepositions, verbs, or conjunctions, practice every word that you learn. Try to use the same word in different sentences or group similar words and use them in a short paragraph or description.
Apps, flashcards, mnemonics, online learning, etc. are all other tools that you can use to learn and improve your German vocabulary.
Learning any new language might seem to be an uphill task, however, with a focus on your reason to learn and the goal that you would like to achieve, learning and improving German vocabulary can be a rewarding challenge.