Learn German Easily

Here are some tips for learning German easily.

  • Above all, remember, it only gets easier.
  • The more words you learn, the more you understand.
  • The more you practice reading words aloud, the better your pronunciation will become.
  • The more sentences you read, the sooner you will start thinking in German.

To build language skills and to learn to read with confidence, the student should:

  • Preview the text: scan the passage for unknown words
  • Familiarize themselves with the unknown vocabulary words
  • Read short passages, and reread passages to build momentum and fluency
  • Read the text aloud; the sound will reinforce the meaning of the words and sentences

After the initial reading, the students should:

  • Review vocabulary to reinforce learning the words
  • Review the same passage many times to build understanding
  • Read the same text more than once to reinforce learning

Every language has certain built-in advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the advantages can make it easier and more fun to learn; knowing the disadvantages can you prepare to overcome difficulties that cause many people to stumble on their path to language enlightenment.

Advantages

  • Nouns are clearly identified by a capital letter.
  • Verb formation is logical: There is only a page or two of irregular verbs, and only a handful of truly irregular verbs--the rest of the verbs in language follow simple, predictable rules for tense formation.
  • Sentence construction is formalized and orderly.
  • German words are formed often by combining basic words.
  • Even with conversation and slang, the language maintains it subject verb pairing and other logical orderings.
  • In some ways, German words are similar to English words and usage, because the two languages share certain ancestral roots. Some English speakers find some of the vocabulary words to be easy to learn because of the similarities.

Disadvantages

  • German sentence structure is more rigid and formalized than English.
  • German restricts the user on where the verb may be placed; second position or at the end of the sentence.
  • German has a number of words which act as flavoring particles, which create many fine nuances in meaning. A flavoring particle is typically a word with many meanings, with one particular one suited to specific grammatical constructions and situations. Flavoring particles are most often best studied in context.

Peculiarities

  • Like many modern languages, German has an increasing amount of Leinworter (borrowed words) entering the standard vocabulary.
  • Sometimes the words are borrowings that an author uses to impart a foreign flavor, such as a German article about a French film director may use the French term for a film director, mise en scene instead of the German term Regisseur because the French term literally emphasizes that the director "sets the scene".

By far the biggest challenge for a student learning German is acquiring a large vocabulary. Of course, a student should have a passing familiarity with the verb conjugations and noun declension paradigms, however, one of the best ways to reinforce knowledge of the forms is through glosses for a text, so that the reader learns the form as applied in context. To acquire a greater degree of fluency, the reader should occasionally look at the syntax rules for examples on usage. Above all, let the reader become immersed in good stories, let the reader be surrounded by good examples of German.

Written by Todd Cook. Language enthusiast, modern outdoorsman, software craftsman. Find him on or

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