“Learn German!” is the advice on the tongues of many a recruiter these days as many jobs in the UK and other countries are within German corporations, and speaking German will give a head start over other applicants for positions there.
Learning this language can be extremely rewarding but it can also be difficult at times. Being related both to English and Dutch, it presents considerable difficulty to the learner due to its rich vocabulary, three genders, case system and rigid syntax. Although it is easy to articulate words, there are some that are difficult to relate to English via direct translation. However, if you are interested in learning German then please keep reading for some useful guidelines. Here I provide some practical tips for language students.
Understand the Basic Principles
1. Begin with Learning to Pronounce Vowels and Consonants:
The vowels and consonants in German are different than in English. You need to learn these sounds first to have an easier time learning words and pronouncing them correctly. Pay attention to how the vowels sound alone and how they are used in conjunction. Apart from this, German has few extra letters that are not present in English. You will need to learn them as well as how they are pronounced.
2. Don’t Memorize the Vocabulary:
Building your vocabulary can take several years. However, starting by learning the most basic words is the an effective way to learn the German language. You can start with the important words that are commonly used in everyday life and move on from there.
3. Learn Basic Sentence Structure:
Learning basic sentence structure in German will not be too difficult as the language is very similar to English. There are few variants but you can easily learn them with time.
Foster Your Study
1. Learn Nouns and Verbs:
Once you have grasped the basic framework, you need to start learning the new words. Nouns and verbs are a great way to start. For nouns, try to start with the most basic necessary nouns like food words, the objects you find around the house and important places. For verbs, you can start with the words like to run, to walk, to jump, to have, to say, to get, etc. This will help you in the beginning and make it easier for you to learn more complex words.
2. Read, Read and Read:
When you’re learning a new language, you must read it every day. Studying small amounts of information on a daily basis gives you an opportunity to practice and look up words that you don’t know. Never ever try to cram everything into one night. This strategy does not work when trying to learn German.
Develop Your Skills
1. Find a Partner and Speak in German:
Making a German friend will help you a lot to practice your German, get advice on pronunciation and grammar, learn new words and get to know the culture. You may be embarrassed at your speaking ability in the beginning but eventually you will get it right. Remember persistence is the key to learning any foreign language.
2. Expand your Horizons:
Have more fun with your German language. Get yourself free eBooks or watch German cartoons and movies. Anytime you feel overwhelmed, stop and come back to it the next day.
3. Write More:
Though writing well demands a decent understanding of the language and the grammar, eventually it will help you learn faster and become more comfortable with the language. You can write letters, movie reviews or anything else you can think of.
Suzanne is a writer for German activities and programs. She has written many books on memory improvement and software for better German language memorization.