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How to learn German faster

Even though learning German, as any other language, should mostly be fun, it also requires consistency and work, the willingness to speak and to learn from mistakes.


But whether you are learning German from scratch or want to make progress faster, there are some strategies to learn German faster and more easily.


In this article, I will share them with you.



The four key skills you need to master a foreign language

There are four key skills that you will need to work on when you are learning a foreign language:

  • Speaking

  • Listening

  • Reading

  • Writing

That doesn’t mean that you need to be equally good at all of them. In fact, no one really is.


We all have our preferred skills, even in our own language:

While some people start chatting to any new person immediately, others will prefer reading or just listening, so they won’t feel like they might embarrass themselves.


Take a moment to think about your own strenghts –

both in your own language and in German.

What is your preferred skill?


If you can’t use the preferred skill of your own language in German as well as you’d like to, this can easily become a source of frustration.


And if you have mainly focussed on one or two of these skills during your language studies, looking more into the other ones might be what really fuels your progress.



We will learn what we practise

Do you mainly fill in grammar sheets?

Then you will surely become very good at filling in grammar sheets.


Do you study your vocabulary diligently?

Then you will be very quick at answering if someone asks for a certain word.


Of course: both grammar and vocabulary are essential elements of learning a new language.


But if you want to apply the grammar rules or the vocabulary in a real life conversation, you will need to practise just that – having real life conversations and applying the new rules and words.


The same goes the other way round: If you avoid writing and reading, you may even be really fluent in speaking - and yet feel very insecure when you are supposed to write an email.


What do you really want to learn? That is exactly what you should prectise!


Speaking in and listening to German

Even if you have have been attending language courses, there may not have been enough opportunity to speak, especially if the school doesn’t follow the communicative approach or it the level of the students in that class varies very much. That can be very demotivating.

But now you know that you will only learn to speak by speaking, so just jump in!


You can start by going to a German beer garden, … any place where you know you’ll find people speaking German.


If you come to a German restaurant, beer garden or café, and all tables are taken, it is completely ok to ask others, if you my join them at their table.

You simply ask: „Ist hier noch frei?

And unless you join a couple on their first date, most people are very open to having a bit of conversation.


Maybe you'll find a speaking partner via Zoom?


Or, you can join an online conversation class. That means that you will talk about an interesting topic, either privately with a teacher or with a very small group of people. You will have a lot of time to speak and at the same time practise your listening skills in a real life situation.


Whether with a German-speaking friend or by taking private German lessons with a professional teacher, speaking German online will improve your speaking abilities and without leaving the comfort of your own home!


You can also improve your pronunciation with audios: Just download these 10 tips:




Reading and writing in German


Find books that mathch your current level of German.


However, the level shouldn’t be the most important criteria: Choose a book that you would also love to read in your own language. Then you will keep on reading, even if you might get stuck along the way.


In our digital and globalized world, it has become so easy to find articles on the Internet.


The best we can do is to take advantage of it and find quality content matching our interests: news in German (for example: www.heute.de, www.tagesschau.de) or other websites with interesting articles (especially for German learners - check out my other blogpostes in German: www.charlingua.de (many of them with lots of vocabulary) - and

if you get stuck, you can even read them in English - or www.dw.de).

The options are infinite!


If you want to learn how to write correctly or in a certain style in German, there are many things you can do to improve your writing skills:

  • starting a diary in which you can record your personal experiences and daily activities

  • taking a workshop in writing to reinforce your specific weak points

  • or just ‘chatting’ with a German-speaking friend!

Another excellent way of improving both listening and reading skills while having fun is to watch German movies with subtitles.



Trust your inner voice


Imagine being told about this amazing person who learned German really quickly and easily.


You are getting asked. “What do you think – how did he or she manage to make such a great progress and to get to speaking so fluently?”


Hint: this person was not more gifted than you are and didn’t speak more languages than you do.


You might come up with some answers like:

  • Using every opportunity to speak German

  • Listening to podcasts in German

  • Reading a German newspaper or magazine

  • Taking conversation classes

If those thoughts come up in your mind, it is quite likely your inner voice telling you what you should do.


People often think that studying a language has to be boring and dry.' After all, it's 'studying'! .Instead, you can do exactly the things that you enjoy - and you will be more successful than before!




Conclusion:

No, these are not the usual tips like: 'learn five new words every day and review them regularly'.

Instead, you can use these strategies to find out what you want to learn and then work on it in a targeted manner.


If you trust what your intuition tells you, you can avoid many detours - and maybe it's even a great relief if you're just 'allowed' to listen to a podcast instead doing of boring exercises.


Hopefully, these simple tips will help you to boost your language journey.


And don’t forget:

Don’t stress out or give up if you feel stuck in the progress of learning German. That’s a completely normal phase everyone will go through when learning any foreign language.



If you persevere now and follow my tips, you will soon see success again - I promise!





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