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Learning German can appear a little intimidating at first glance. For learners of German, the difficult-to-learn pronunciation, the extensive vocabulary and the quite complex grammar in particular are hurdles that must be overcome when learning the German language.
Despite all the hurdles, learning German will be worthwhile in the long run for many reasons. In addition to the exciting German history and culture you will learn about, learning German will open up new opportunities in your career. Excellent German language skills open up the possibility of finding a job in Germany and thus gaining a foothold in Germany.
To make learning German a little easier for you, we will give you some useful tips below that will not only make learning German easier, but also more exciting and varied.
As with any language, German has a 6-level system according to the European Framework of Reference for the classification of language levels. To begin with, you should know your language level. A placement test is suitable for this. Knowing your language level gives you the advantage of being able to work out an individual learning strategy based on your current German language skills. In the following, we will give you tips and support for each language level that will make it easier for you to reach the next level.
Learning German for beginners can seem overwhelming at first. The reason for this is the difficult German pronunciation and grammar. So that you don't despair, especially at the beginning, you should develop a good learning strategy from the start, which will introduce you to the German language step by step.
As a beginner, you should concentrate on basic words, phrases and grammar rules. In this way, you will make quick progress and be able to use your first German skills. A successful learning strategy for beginners should cover the following areas:
Vocabulary: In order to build up your German vocabulary efficiently, you should focus on everyday words. Among other things, you should focus on German words that appear in recurring everyday situations. For example, you should know greetings, be able to introduce yourself or tell something about yourself. In this way, you will quickly be able to use your first German words in everyday life.
Pronunciation: Learning German pronunciation can be combined well with learning new words. The more words you encounter while learning German, the more German sounds you will get to know. You should then practise the new sounds regularly in combination with learning the words. You should also learn German pronunciation patterns and rules.
Grammar: When learning German grammar, you should proceed step by step, especially as a beginner. This is very important because the complicated German grammar can quickly seem overwhelming. Therefore, concentrate on the conjugation of important verbs, such as haben or sein, at the beginning. You should also familiarise yourself with simple German sentence structure. As soon as your German is at A2 level, you should also start actively practising the tense presence.
With an advanced knowledge of German, learning German will be much easier for you, because as an advanced student you can make your learning more varied. With your acquired German skills, you can use various media to learn German. For example, you can improve your listening comprehension with the help of German music, series and films. You can build up a better understanding of texts by reading German articles and books, and you can improve your pronunciation in everyday conversations in German.
With B-level German skills, you should continue to actively learn new grammar and vocabulary. Learning new words will be much easier as you will constantly come into contact with new words that are missing from your vocabulary while reading German texts and watching German videos and films.
You should not neglect learning German grammar when learning German at level B1 or B2. You can now try out more complex sentence structure and learn new tenses. The tenses you should learn as an advanced German learner are present, preterite, perfect, future tense I and future tense 2. It gets difficult when learning the German definite articles (Der, Die, Das). We have covered this topic in our Sprachcaffe magazine. If you are interested in learning more about definite articles in German, you can read our blog post.
Once your German language skills are at C-level, you have almost as good a command of the German language as a native speaker. Therefore, learning German for experts at C-level is about understanding the details of the German language. It is especially important at this level to eliminate grammatical errors. You should therefore identify your individual sources of error in German grammar and undertake targeted learning units in these areas.
As a German expert, the door to varied and indirect learning is wide open. You can use a wide variety of media to put your German to the test again and again. In addition, you can watch German films and documentaries, read German books and news articles or dare to read academic texts in German. As you come into contact with different media, you will learn topic-specific German words. The consumption of different media from different subject areas will help you to develop your German vocabulary even at C-level.
Another way in which you can develop your German language skills, even at C-level, is by actively working on learning German phrases and idioms that are often used by native German speakers. By using phrases and idioms when learning German, your German will gradually become more natural. For those who really want to put their German skills to the test, you can try texts by German philosophers such as Immanuel Kant.
Learning German does not have to be boring. You can use a variety of different tools to make learning German more exciting and varied. In the following, we will introduce you to the best methods and tools for learning German.
Learning German with videos, films or series is a relaxed way to improve your German language skills and offers you a welcome change from traditional learning at your desk. Most videos on platforms such as YouTube are very well prepared learning videos that help you get a good start in learning German.
On YouTube and the like, however, you can also find good learning videos for advanced learners that explain more complex grammar rules in a comprehensible way. Learning videos for learning German are particularly suitable for visual learners, who can learn German best with the help of graphics, diagrams or pictures. With the help of videos you can learn German very well. Learning videos cover many different areas that can help you improve your German. In addition to the actual content of the video, you also learn German pronunciation and listening comprehension.
When you learn German with German texts, you deal intensively with the language and in this way improve your German reading comprehension. In addition, you will learn German spelling and come into contact with a wide variety of idioms and phrases while reading German texts. By learning German with short stories and dialogues, you will come into contact with different phrases, sentence positions and ways of using the German language. This way you will quickly build up a feeling for the German language and thus raise your German to a new level.
Learning German with the help of books is not only very promising, but also a lot of fun and trains your creativity. As you can see, learning German with books not only helps you to improve your German language skills, you also train your reading comprehension and experience exciting stories while reading.
In order to learn German effectively and efficiently with books, you should have at least a basic knowledge of German. With a basic knowledge of German, you can easily learn German with dialogues and short stories. Children's books are also excellent for beginners, as they are usually written in simple language and the choice of words is deliberately kept simple. With an advanced knowledge of German, you can also dare to read more complex books and texts.
The main area that you train while reading is text comprehension. You learn to read books and short stories in German while reading a variety of German texts. While reading, you will also come into contact with different words and practise understanding the new words in context with other words. This will help you in the long run not to translate words from your mother tongue when writing and speaking German. This is an important step that everyone must go through when learning a new language in order to be able to speak the language fluently. When reading German texts, you not only come into contact with new words that are unfamiliar to you. You also see how grammar rules are applied in continuous text.
Learning German with audio books and podcasts is particularly suitable for those who already have a relatively good listening comprehension. Especially fast-talking German podcasts in which more than one person speaks can quickly become overwhelming for beginners and the learning effect is lost. Therefore, beginners should make sure to choose audio books and podcasts that are spoken in simple language and that are not spoken too quickly. However, there are also audio books and podcasts that German beginners can understand well. However, these are usually individually tailored to the language level of beginners. They are spoken more slowly and care is taken to use simple language.
Learning with German podcasts and audio books is a very good indirect learning method. So you can listen to podcasts while doing sports, going for a walk or driving and thus indirectly develop your German language skills. In addition, audio books and podcasts are a great way to learn the German pronunciation of new words. Since the new word is immediately pronounced by native speakers, you will immediately hear the correct pronunciation and be able to internalise it. In addition, podcasts and audio books are a great way to expand your vocabulary. Depending on the topic of the podcast, you will come into contact with a wide variety of words and in this way you can also build up your topic-specific vocabulary.
✔ There are about 130 million native speakers of German worldwide.
✔ The German language is also called the language of poets and thinkers.
✔ There are three different definite articles: "Der, Die, Das". The ending of the nouns can give an indication of which article should be used.
✔ About 45% of German articles are feminine, i.e. "Die". But it is called "the girl", for example
✔ In the German language there are three genders: feminine, masculine and neuter.
✔ In German there are words for that have no translation: Fernweh (longing for the distance/for a holiday); Erklärungsnot (not being able to explain something).
✔ The letter "ß" only occurs in the German language and is pronounced like a long S. Example words: fun or street.
The average length of a German word is 10.6 letters.
Especially for the business world, it is always good to have a knowledge of German. Many international companies have jobs in Germany or German companies have their headquarters abroad. The job market in Germany is very popular because of the good working conditions. Among other things, knowledge of German is an advantage in the scientific or automotive industries. Germany is also a popular place to study, as German universities are highly regarded abroad.
German is the language of many artists, such as Goethe or Schiller. Speaking it allows you to read world-famous works in their original language. Moreover, German is not only spoken in Germany, because you can also converse in German in Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg or parts of Belgium.
Here you should first ask yourself what your goals are. Do you need to learn German by a certain date? Is it enough for you to have a basic knowledge or do you want to communicate at a scientific level? Learning a language always takes time and cannot be mastered perfectly overnight. It is likely that after 6 months you will be able to converse in German with a native speaker. Since learning a language is an ongoing process, it may take several years before you speak perfect German.
You probably know that German is a difficult language to learn. It is inevitable that you will have to put a lot of effort into speaking the language. In order to make learning German easier, we would like to give you a few tips: Start by reading a grammar book in your mother tongue to learn the most important rules and basic vocabulary. This will give you a good feel for the language. Break up your learning - don't cram vocabulary once a week for 4 hours, but rather take 20-30 minutes every day to learn something new in German.
Be creative, it doesn't always have to be looking at a book. For example, you can watch simple German films or listen to German music. Reading simple children's books can also get you further. It is important that you surround yourself with the language as much as possible in order to learn German effectively. A stay in a German-speaking country is highly recommended, as you will be confronted with German everywhere and will be able to talk to the locals. With a language study trip to Germany, you combine theory with practice for optimal learning success.
There are various certificates for the German language that are officially recognised. It always depends on what you need the certificate for. The TELC certificate, for example, is recognised for residence permits and citizenship, while the TestDaF certificate is often required for studying at a German university.
Learning German in a playful way is a very good method of learning, because learning with games will bring variety and fun into the otherwise so monotonous learning routine. With playful German learning, you can develop your German skills in groups in a relaxed atmosphere.
One of the main functions of sleep is to process the impressions, experiences and new knowledge gained during the day. For this reason, it is quite possible to learn German while you sleep. With enough sleep, you can better recall your newly learned German vocabulary the next day. For this reason, it is especially worthwhile to go through your German vocabulary again in a relaxed atmosphere shortly before going to bed. However, you should only repeat words that you have already learned.
Learning German is a very big challenge that requires a lot of effort, patience and commitment. If you don't give up and learn German regularly, you will quickly make progress and soon master the German language.
To learn German successfully, you should definitely develop a suitable learning strategy that will keep you motivated in the long term. A good learning strategy for learning German should cover all important areas of language learning. These areas include pronunciation, listening comprehension, spelling, grammar and vocabulary. If your learning strategy covers these areas, you will soon be having exciting conversations with native German speakers.
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