10 Best Ways to Learn German (Scientifically Proven Methods)

You must have heard a lot of people say German is hard to learn. Yes, their umlauts and guttural ch can be intimidating, but nothing robs the unknown’s hold over you better than educating yourself. The most effective way to educate yourself is to find the method that works best for you.

Something else that might make you hesitant to take the plunge into German territory is the supposed costs involved. This might have been true a decade ago, but with more and more language learning apps at your disposal, learning a new language can even be free!

However, if you have the funds and your preferred method of learning is through guidance, there are great, affordable online German courses to choose from. And they all offer a unique take on learning.

With no reason to leave your home to learn another language, there has never been a better time to say, nutze den tag (seize the day).

10 Steps to Learn German (From Beginners to Advanced)

Sometimes, you need a plan to get started or a list of options available to you. An advantage of living in a technologically advanced society is the endless range of resources accessible from anywhere in the world, which includes any materials you might need to optimize your studies.

Go through this list to find the methods that resonate most with you, whether it be classes for a more formal approach, or media to introduce some fun or social interactions for a more authentic experience. Any and all of these are great ways to immerse yourself in German. Sometimes, it’s a combination of all 10 that provides the best education:

1. Set a Goal

Breaking a hefty task into mini-tasks is a great way of tackling a big project. The same is true for languages. Start yourself off with learning the basics and progress as you become comfortable with each new concept.

Consider learning the alphabet first or studying German pronunciation to get a feel for the language.

Whatever you decide to do and in whatever order, plan it. Set goals for yourself to master X by the end of Y. When you have your plan written down, you are more likely to stick to your schedule and hold yourself accountable.

2. Pick Some Apps to Help You

Your phone/computer links you to the world’s collective knowledge. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it. Different language apps offer different approaches to learning.

  • GermanPod101 and Busuu are multifaceted sites that help you with reading, writing, and speaking, with the option of connecting with a personal tutor. You can grab mini lessons whenever you are free or book a session for more intense learning.
  • DeutschAkademie offers grammar and vocabulary courses modeled after textbook learning, although you can also book group sessions with a teacher.
  • der|die|das focuses on up-to-date language usage in Germany, with specific emphasis on these confusing articles. This site is however restricted to participating institutions, so find out from your university or company if they are a member.
  • MindSnacks is a game-based mobile app that helps you expand your vocabulary and become more comfortable in conversation.
  • AmazingTalker is a language learning platform providing 1 on 1 tutoring. 

AmazingTalker‘s APP is available on:

 

 

Source: Unsplash (Jonathan Kemper)

 

3. Find a Tutor

Some of us need help when learning a new language. There are platforms that connect people like us with a multitude of tutors. AmazingTalker allows you to book classes as you need them, with no binding contracts. The lessons are customized to your needs and the tutors are highly qualified.

Other sites that offer a similar experience are italki, Verbling, FluentU, and Classgap.

Tutors usually offer a trial lesson where you can decide if their skills satisfy your needs. You should be able to see the number of lessons they have taught and any accreditation that proves their expertise.

4. Learn German Songs

Because of their repetition and use of everyday language, songs are a great way to learn a new tongue. By choosing songs from the genre you enjoy most, you’ll be more willing to listen to them often.

When watching a music video online, first with English subtitles, then with German subtitles, and then without any, you’ll compound your learning experience through sound and sight. Some music videos add context, helping your brain build stronger connections with the words.

Songs that are good for learning German include:

  • Rammstein’s Ich Will, a metal song that won international acclaim;
  • Leider Gail by Deichkind, a quirky, satirical look at contemporary life;
  • Ein Bisschen Frieden by Nicole, a Eurovision winner in the ‘80s;
  • the German version of Ed Sheeran’s Perfect, for something more familiar;
  • one of the many versions of Fünf Kleine Fische available with subtitles, if you want your kids to join in.

5. Memorize German Vocabulary

One of the biggest stumbling blocks when learning a new language is the millions of new words you need to learn. Although some German words might seem familiar (because they’re part of the same language family) many words will be gibberish to you.

If you don’t find yourself in a German-speaking country where you’re constantly exposed to new words, the easiest way to broaden your vocabulary is to download an app.

Many of these apps are flashcard-based, making it easier for you to associate. Tobo, WordPic and Anki are all great pocket dictionaries that are available from the App Store and Google Play.

6. Try to Learn the Easy Parts First

If you’re a beginner, it’s always a good idea to start with the basics. Sentence construction in German can seem backward, so don’t try to jump straight into conversational lessons.

  • Linguee: First, try out some basic words with this online translator. It will also give you the different German words that are homographs in English.
  • Memrise: This app has the benefit of letting you choose the length of your lessons, so doing a quick 5-minute multiple choice quiz or speed round is possible.
  • The German Project: Here they include a fun section that gives you German fairytales to read with an English translation on demand. Simple language and short sentences are ideal for beginners.

7. Memorize Common German Phrases

Many people use common phrases to familiarize themselves with a language. It’s also a good way to ingrain vocabulary. Saying cheers in German or “I love your country” is a sure way of making Deutsche freunde (German friends).

Repeating these phrases will give you confidence in your vocabulary and pronunciation. The more phrases you learn, the more words you will become comfortable with.

Source: Pexels (Pavel Danilyuk)

8. Start Watching German TV Shows

Watching native speakers converse in everyday life will give you a better feel for the language. Natural flow and colloquialisms are important aspects of sounding authentic. So, if you can’t go to Germany, bring Germany to you (with subtitles)!

Choosing a series that appeals to your tastes will help you become more engaged in the storyline and possibly pick up linguistic nuances you might otherwise have missed.

  • Türkisch für Anfänger is an ideal program that showcases everyday life living with teenagers and revolves around a German and Turkish family living together.
  • For the more daring, Blackout and Unbroken offer thrills, mystery, and crime. These are more serious shows but do a good job of pulling in the viewer.
  • Although set in the ‘60s, the mini-series Ku’damm 63 is not outdated. It gives a realistic portrayal of family drama and also offers insight into Germany’s evolving social struggles during those times.
  • Tribes of Europa is for sci-fi lovers who like post-apocalyptic action. The Hollywood feel of the production and German/English dialogue throughout the series will give you the chance to ease into the idea of watching entertainment in a foreign language.

9. Try to Speak Confidently

Even if you haven’t mastered your vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation yet, speaking with confidence will help you become more comfortable with the idea of speaking a foreign language. The positive association of learning a new language, coupled with your growing competence, will trigger a willingness to learn.

Fake it until you make it. Over time, you will fake less and less…

10. Read Some German News

The largest online news website in Germany is Der Spiegel. It is reported to be the most up-to-date, making it a great way of getting a different perspective if you’re into global affairs.

Bild is an online tabloid for juicier stories and gossip, but be prepared to deactivate your ad blocker.

For the more advanced, Die Zelt is known for longer articles. Consider their site once you’re more comfortable with the language or if you’re ready for a more challenging exercise.

Source: Pexels (Ingo Joseph)

 

FAQ

1. Is German really difficult to learn?

Although the rules around the language might make it seem confusing, once you have learned what they are and practiced them yourself, you will find that the language actually makes sense. Trying to learn the language without understanding the reasoning behind its structure will make it more difficult. Once it makes sense, the language is easy to learn.

2. Does immersing in German culture really help when learning German?

Yes, the constant interaction and exposure will help you remember your vocabulary and grammar better. Exposure is more effective than rote learning. Hearing the words spoken will also automatically help you correct your own pronunciation. Having German speakers to talk to gives you the added benefit of on-the-go assistance.

3. Is learning German for free really possible?

Learning German doesn’t have to cost you a cent! Some tutor sites offer free trial lessons or 14 days free subscription; others offer free interactions with their tutors-in-training. You’ll also find sites that offer free learning materials with only their one-on-one sessions costing you anything.

Check out AmazingTalker, DeutshAkademie, or Duolingo for examples of what you can expect. It’s easy to choose the best one for you once you know what the options are.

Before you pack your lederhosen or dirndl…

Before you set off on your great German adventure, note that there are some aspects of the language that could be difficult for you to understand. There is no shame in needing assistance with the gender of articles, differentiating between ch and sch, and knowing when verbs are broken up into two words and separated.

Unlike English, German is a language with few exceptions. If you need someone to help you learn its rules, sites like AmazingTalker offer quality tutors that can untangle its complexities. They have a mere 3% tutor passing rate so you know you’re working with the best.

AmazingTalker has helped over 1.5 million students reach their dreams, with 102 languages and subjects on offer.

Don’t wait for tomorrow to start living your dream. Match with a tutor within minutes with AmazingTalker.

About AmazingTalker

About AmazingTalker

AmazingTalker offers professional online language tutors and teachers from around the world. We offer personalized one-on-one online tutoring that can help you master Korean more quickly and know your needs more clearly. flexible schedules with no joining fee. It’s a great way to start your Korean learning more systematically with a low budget.

Check now

Related Articles