by Tom Jager
Are you thinking about whether to learn German?
The real question is, why not?
Here are some reasons:
So if these reasons sound good to you, then let's see what you need to know before you start. Learning such a challenging language like German requires hard work, passion, and the following tips.
German has quite a reputation among learners for its complexity but at the same time, it's very difficult to find a list on the Internet where it's named one of the top 5 most difficult languages in the world. In fact, German isn't considered that difficult to learn if compared to European languages (Slavic languages, Finnish, Albanian, and Icelandic are undisputed leaders there).
Anyway, when you begin learning German (like any other language regardless of the difficulty), you'll have more questions than answers, so a good dictionary is a must-have. There are a number of good (and free) online options that we recommend, including:
They present good explanations of words, examples, pronunciation, and other helpful information. And, of course, don't forget printed dictionaries!
False friends are those words that are the same in English, either in punctuation or in spelling (or both!). German learners often name them the hardest thing about learning because they are very tricky. Indeed, it's very easy to confuse them with English words, so here's the list of the sneakiest false friends you need to know:
“Undoubtedly, genders are the hardest thing about German,” says Marcus Borg, an educator at Essayhilfe. “Fortunately, they are also the least important aspect of grammar.”
German has more genders than many European languages, including English, so leaning them will be a bit of a challenge.
Don't worry, though, you'll master them with your hard work and dedication. Keep in mind these two keys:
Listening to music and podcasts are a common technique used by language learners. Luckily, modern German music has pretty much anything you want in terms of genre and quality.
Also, listening is a great activity for learning language because it allows practicing your capacity for hearing and pronunciation. For example, the best thing happens when find yourself signing alongside the artist and try to match the syllables exactly. By the way, don't you worry if you're not a great singer! Learning how to sing is not what you're after.
Here's a list of classic German songs for you to check out:
Another good way to improve listening skills is podcasts. They are a perfect tool for learning for busy people who have some time on the go. Here's the list of good podcasts in German that you may find useful:
Learning languages with apps is so popular these days, and for a good reason: they provide an interactive experience and can really accelerate your progress. Some of the best free ones for German include:
Learning German, like any other language, requires hard work, passion, and following the laws above. Use this recipe for success and discover an exciting new world of German language!
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