Tips for learning German

– Motivation and desire are very important in any action. Learning German is no exception to this. The first and most important step is to determine your motivation, which means you need to have a clear idea of why you want to learn German. If you have a clear and well-defined goal, you will have a desire to achieve it. (Even psychologists advise you to print out a short statement of your motive and hang it up in places in your home where you are most likely to be).

– Don’t be misled by the myth that German is a difficult language to learn. At first sight, every language is difficult. German is in fact a very logical language, if you remember the rules, everything goes smoothly, there are not too many exceptions. German is not as difficult to learn as many people think.

– Buy CDs with recordings in German, which can be audio books or music CDs. Even if they are played in the background, the benefit is enormous. You will get used to the rhythm of the language, pronunciation and intonation.

– A very important point is communication with native speakers. Look for a German penfriend. With native speakers, you can practice your conversational German very well.

– Learn the etymology of words. It will not only expand your knowledge but it’s also fun =).

– For many young people, a good motivation to learn the language is music from a favorite German band that you want to understand and sing along to.

– Watch German films/cartoons/series with subtitles. Here you learn in both directions – you can hear and see.

– Get a “visual” German dictionary, i.e. a dictionary with a picture translation. For people with a good visual memory, it is easier to remember a new German word when it is accompanied by a picture.

– Try to memorize words and sentences at once with correct German pronunciation (as far as possible). It is better to get the phonetic pronunciation right from the beginning because it is very difficult to learn it later. It means, whenever you hear new words, read their transcription, or listen to them pronounced by audio. Sometimes mispronunciation can lead to misunderstandings or awkward situations.

– Buy German newspapers and magazines from time to time. If you read the news about Germany and in German, it will not only help you to learn the German language but it will also help you to keep up-to-date with the country whose language you are learning.

– Also read books in German (books meant for language learners, such books usually have helpful explanations and translations of words right on the page). The reading method by Ilya Frank can be very useful in learning the language.

– It is also important that you keep newly learned words always in front of you. You can do this by writing “der Kühlschrank” on a piece of paper and every time you go to your refrigerator, you will see the word and it will stick in your memory. You can do this with all objects.

– Take at least 30 minutes every day to learn the language. Whether it is a grammar exercise or a cartoon in German. The most important thing in any action is consistency. It is better to do less, but every day, than a lot, but with long interruptions.

– Get to know other people who speak better than you do and whose language level is higher than yours. It is important to always have someone close by who can help you when you need it.

– The only way to speak fluently in any foreign language is to be prepared to make mistakes. Don’t worry about not being good in the beginning. Learn, try your best and try to communicate with Germans. If you get corrected, don’t take it personally.

– Germans are used to hearing others speak German with a strong accent, so don’t be shy. Germany is a very international country and your accent does not surprise them.

– All German nouns have articles like “der”, “die” and “das”. Learn words together with articles. One word can mean 6 different things, and it depends on the context and on the article. So, remember e.g. “das Haus”, not just “Haus”. It’s important, because using the wrong article can lead to misunderstanding.

– Keep in mind that in German there is no limit on the number of root words that can form a compound word, so you can often find very, very long words. But even with a little experience in German and a dictionary, you can still make out the word. Of course, when you see the word “Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft”, you get scared. But if you break it down into the roots “Donau-dampf-schiffahrts-elektrizitäten-hauptbetriebs-werkbau-unterbeamten-gesellschaft” and translate each part separately, things become much clearer.

– Note that all nouns in German are always written with a capital letter.

– Be optimistic and don’t give up, even if you encounter difficulties.

– As soon as the study of the German language becomes uninteresting, add new elements to it: games, music, online conversations with native speakers, movies, etc. Don’t let boredom break your desire to learn the language.

– But the best way to learn German is obviously complete immersion. At least one month of intensive German courses in Germany with a teacher and you will have progressed more quickly and far than if you had studied the language at home without any contact with the country or the language.

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