"Guten Tag!" No language is easy, but if you really want to learn German, you can. German is a language with a logical order in syntax and with some foreign words adapted to its vocabulary. German belongs to the Germanic language family as well as Danish, English and German. German and English are closely related and with a little effort and time you can also learn German! Read the help below to learn German.
Method 1 of 3: Understanding the Basics
Step 1. Begin by learning vowels and consonants
Vowels and consonants have a different sound in German than in English. Learn these sounds so it will be easier to learn new words and pronounce them correctly.
- Pay attention to how vowels sound alone versus how they sound when used together. As in English, two vowels together sound different than when they are alone.
- Similarly, consonants can sound very different when they are in certain places in a word or when they are together. Learn these variations so you can pronounce the words correctly.
- Don't forget that German has a few more letters than there are in English (Ä Ö Ü ß). You will have to learn them and how they are pronounced, if you want to understand and be understood by others.
Step 2. Learn the most basic words
Learn the most basic words, so you will have an outline of how to start and know where to put the nouns, verbs and adjectives that you will learn later. It is also important to know some basic words before traveling to Germany or trying to speak German.
- It begins with important singular words, such as "yes," "no," "please," "thank you," and the numbers 1-30.
- Follow with other basic things like "I am" (Ich bin), "You are" (Du bist), "He / She is" (Er / Sie ist), etc.
Step 3. Learn to build basic sentences
Get a basic idea of how to construct a sentence. This will not be too difficult, since German is quite similar to English in this. There are some slight differences, but you can learn a few now and you will learn the more complex ones over time.
Germans will usually be able to understand what you are trying to say to them, even if you have misspelled the order of a word. Pronunciation is much more difficult to understand, so worry about this a lot when you start
Method 2 of 3: Encourage Study
Step 1. Learn the names
Once you have the basic outline of how to learn and use this language, you will want to learn more words. Names are a very good thing to start with. Try to start with the most basic and the most necessary, the names of the things and the people that you will see and use every day.
- Nouns or nouns are subject to the case system, gender and will also change based on the number of those there are. Learn how all of these things affect names while increasing vocabulary.
- Some examples of words that would be good to start with include the names of foods, objects that you will find at home, important places in town, and important people you may need to talk to or meet (such as a doctor, an officer police, etc.).
Step 2. Learn the verbs
You will also want to learn the key verbs. This will give all those words you've learned something to do! German verbs are conjugated. You will have to learn the basic conjugation system while increasing your vocabulary.
Learn the most basic verbs before learning the most difficult. Like running, walking, jumping, stopping, falling, being, having, saying, doing, getting, etc. These will be the most practical at first and are easier to say and learn than some more complex words
Step 3. Once you have the nouns and verbs, you will want to learn some adjectives so that you can make more complex sentences
Adjectives are nouns too, so make sure you understand the basics when learning.
Step 4. Read
While you are learning all these words, try to read. It will give you the opportunity to practice as well as look up the words that you do not know. Read basic books, like children's books, as it will be easier for you to follow them at this early stage.
Step 5. Watch movies
Watch movies with subtitles. This will allow you to enjoy the movie but you will also get used to how the language sounds. This is a good way to learn some basic vocabulary words. Try to pay attention to how the translation is related to what they are saying on the screen.
Method 3 of 3: Gain more advanced knowledge
Step 1. Take advanced classes
As your knowledge advances, you will want to take classes that correspond to the level you have. These will be challenging and introduce you to more complicated things in the language. Advanced courses are available at local colleges and universities, but it is also possible to take an online course from a reputable site, such as the Goethe Institute.
Step 2. Try to study in Germany
The German government strongly encourages cultural exchange and you will find that there are many opportunities to study there. Living in Germany will increase your language skills more than anything else, as you will be immersed in the language and will be able to see how it is used first hand.
You can go to Germany through an exchange with your institute or with the university, or you can apply to enter a university or college in Germany. The student visa will guarantee you permission to be in the country and tuition is much cheaper than in any other country. You might get a job and work instead of going to school. If you are quite young, it is even possible to work as an au pair (nanny). English speaking babysitters are highly sought after in Germany
Step 3. Make German friends
Making German friends will give you the opportunity to practice your German, you will have pronunciation and grammar advice, you will learn new words as well as their culture. You can chat with them online, call them on Skype, or you can try to find German friends in your area (like students at your university).
Step 4. Read a lot
Read everything that falls into your hands. Try to read things appropriate to your level of progress, so the vocabulary will begin to change. You can read things from anywhere, but try to read from sites that have good use of grammar or writing. It will help you learn the language correctly.
You can read copies of German newspapers and German magazines online. Examples of this: Der Zeit, Frankfurter Rundschau, or Der Spiegel (which tends to use slightly simpler reading language than newspapers)
Step 5. Watch movies without subtitles
It will be a challenge to understand the language without the help of subtitles. You may not understand all the words but over time you will learn more and more. This can be a good way to learn less common vocabulary and you will hear language that is not normally spoken.
Step 6. Write
It doesn't really matter what you write about, just write. Writing reasonably well requires a fairly decent understanding of the language and grammar, but it will help you learn quickly and become more comfortable with the language. If possible, find a native German person to read what you write and give you a comment or criticism.
You can write letters, a newspaper or magazine article, movie reviews, or whatever else you want
- As with any other language, practice makes perfect. Try to immerse yourself in the language and use it as much as you can on a day-to-day basis.
- Don't let too much time pass between each study session. This can make you forget how to use the material. Spend at least two to three hours each session studying and try to study every day.
- Finds the names of a list of words, verbs and the most used adjectives in German. Add all of these to your vocabulary and you have a fabulous starting point. You can also look up the most used words in English or Spanish (in the language you speak) and look up their German equivalents for any word that is not listed in both lists.
- German is known for having very long and complex words (like Pfändungsfreigrenzenbekanntmachung!) But don't be intimidated. After a while, you will get used to how German words are constructed and how they sound. When you have that ability, it will be very easy to see how those long words separate from each other.
- Look up any words you hear or see that you don't know. Take a notebook with you and write the word, if you don't have time to look it up right then. Even if you don't know how to spell it, Google is pretty good at helping you spell it right, so don't worry too much.