10 tips when learning German
May • 29th, 2020
by Expat in the City Team
Learning German made (a little) easier with these tips
Are you learning German and having a bit of a tough time? Especially for expats new to Germany learning the German language can feel overwhelming. At Expat in the City we know learning German can feel like a long and slow process for some of you. Besides taking that online German course there are some things you can do yourself to speed up the process.
Here is our list of 10 tips for learning German.
Good luck, have fun and do't give up!
1. Watch German music videos on Youtube while reading the lyrics.
You can also listen to German radio stations. Did you know that even though you are not actively listening your brain still picks up words and sounds? Thank you for the music :)
2. Talk in full sentences
Force yourself to talk in sentences, so with a noun, verb, adjective and articles. Write down the German sentences you often use. Make sure you do this correctly, you don't want to teach yourself mistakes.
3. Add new German words you’ve learned on post-its allover your house.
You add them on your fridge, the mirror in the hallway, the wall in your living room or, why not, on the door of your bathroom. This way you will see them often and repetition is still the key to getting those new words in your head.
4. Watch TV and movies in German.
Start with soap opera’s as they are continuous and the topics not so difficult. Or day-time gossip shows are also an entertaining way to learn not only new words but also about the German celebrities. You might even be able to join in on the conversation at the coffee machine at work after watching these shows!
5. Write your grocery list in German.
This daily (or weekly task) could become more fun when you write the grocery list in German every time. It will help to increase your vocabulary and why not cook something really German while you're at it? We can recommend Spätzle.
6. Use the new words you’ve learned in conversation with Germans.
Get to know Germans, the more you are forced to speak German the faster you learn. Join a club, or take a painting course or just converse with the tram driver, the boy behind the counter or the woman waiting next to you at the busstop. And if they switch to English, tell them that you are learning German and would like them to speak German to you.
Send your friends messages in German only!
7. Install language-apps on your phone.
There are many apps out there that can help you practice your German. We have good experiences with the duolingo app.
8. Read comic books, children's books or newspapers
You can join the library and find a large selection of any kind of book on any kind of topic. More about the Münchner Stadtbibliothek here. Perhaps there is a book you really loved in English or your mother-tongue that you can now re-read in German?
9. Go to (free) lectures about topics you enjoy.
You might not understand it all but you will learn new words, meet new people and learn about new places. You can find lots of free events on for example Meetup.
10. Dare to make mistakes.
Sure, you'll make many mistakes and most likely there will be times when the person you are talking to looks at you funny. But don't worry, they know you are learning and it will probably be a funny story afterwards. The more mistakes you make, the more you will learn. And most of the times making mistakes by following the grammer rules is just a step before you really start to get the exceptions.
And finally, not really a tip but important nonetheless: don’t give up! Imagine how great it will be when you will be able to speak German fluently. And be proud of every progress you made!
Want to read more tips about other topics, check out our expat info section for more articles.