How to study German more easily?
German, Deutsch is an official language of both Germany and Austria and one of the official languages of Switzerland. German belongs to the West Germanic group of the Indo-European language family, along with English, Frisian, and Dutch (Netherlandic, Flemish). The recorded history of Germanic languages begins with their speakers’ first contact with the Romans, in the 1st century BCE. At that time and for several centuries thereafter, there was only a single “Germanic” language, with little more than minor dialect differences. Only after about the 6th century CE can one speak of a “German” (i.e., High German) language. German is the native language of more than 100 million speakers, spoken by a total of over 130 million people. German is ranked among the languages with the most native speakers worldwide. German is widely studied as a foreign language and is one of the main cultural languages of the Western world.
As a written language, German is quite uniform; it differs in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland no more than written English does in the United States and the British Commonwealth. As a spoken language, however, German exists in many dialects, most of which belong to either the High German or Low German dialectal groups. The main difference between High and Low German is in the sound system, especially in the consonants. High German, the language of the southern highlands of Germany, is the official written language.
Let's now look at a few tips and tricks that will be of immense help when trying to learn German German through classroom or self-study.
- Improve your listening skills with multiple online resources such as talk shows, German news, audiobooks to name a few!
- Create a Mini-Germany in Your Home by labelling objects around their house with their German names.
- You could turn your computer multilingual initially and then into a German-only system!
- Watch German films with English subtitles and English films with German subtitles to accelerate your learning.
- Learn with songs, podcasts and anything that you can lay your hands on to get maximum of some spare time.
- Set realistic goals!
- I recommend you stay focused on your priorities to speak good German, and not get lost in trying to be a nerd starting off with grammar that’s not going to get you any closer to speaking good German.
- Choose a learning method that helps you reach there sooner, with simpler, smaller sentences conveying the same meaning as complex ones.
- Identify your unique style of learning that helps you ace the language.
- Read aloud to clear your pronunciation
- Find a conversation partner to practice speaking with and seeking feedback.
- Identify German genuine and fake cognates
- Don’t be scared to try and make mistakes. We all do it. Why let that deter or embarrass you?!
- Remember self-studying is NOT meant for everybody!
- Beginners could also take help from Spaced Repetition Systems (SRS), that is a great method for memorizing vocabulary and phrases.
- Use your imagination to create mnemonics that will help you create associations and recall German words easily when needed.
- Watch out for fake online German learning tools!
- Sign up for an intensive course.
- Restrict translating German words/phrases into English to when you are just new.! As you progress move away from it consciously.
- Avoid writing in your head
- Maintain a journal of new phrases that will help you build your first conversation and not just words.
- Keep a German dictionary handy.
- Prioritize. Start with spoken German if the idea is to learn for business or travel!
- Be aware of grammar and spelling mistakes in media content online. If you prefer to be on the safe side, you should stick to official media because their content is usually double-checked.
- Choose commonly used words to start a conversation rather than tougher ones that dont find a way into day-to-day usage!
- Try and link German words/ phrases to images and visual situations, not English words.
- Be consistent. 20 minutes a day, six days a week will get you 120 minutes of practice.
- Focus studying with the Pomodoro Technique, which allows you to break up your study sessions into smaller chunks of time resulting in better focus and a more effective learning experience.
- Study a language every day in short intervals or for about 2-4 hours, as much you can spare. Goes for German too. Studying regularly, for a short time, helps dramatically than trying to do it all in one sitting over weekends, in one sitting, which can be overwhelming!
- Practice without a blink. There’s no escape from practice and no shortcuts.
- Engage in constant review to measure your progress – repetition is the key!
Remember, German is an easy language to learn because it has:
- No tones, as there are in Chinese or Thai
- No liaisons between words, as there are in French
- Many of the same letters as English, unlike Japanese or Korean
- No postposition or preposition suffixes, like in Hungarian or Turkish
- No strings of difficult-to-pronounce consonants like in Czech.
German is a phonetic language. This means that (with very few exceptions) you know exactly how to pronounce a word when you see it spelt. Likewise, when you hear a word you can almost always write it out.
While all the above will help you ace your learning smoothly, the best way to learn great German still remains through the full immersion method. A technique sworn by best of best, that can be daunting at first, but has been proven to scale up your German Learning immaculately, in no time. To avoid feeling completely lost, you can reach out to any language center in Russia to feel secure and anchored; that offers programs for all levels.
There’s an amazing new way to learn German! Want to see what everyone’s talking about!