How to Learn German Fast and in a Fun Way

Posted in   German   on  July 1, 2017 by  Fluency Spot 13

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How to learn German fast and in a fun way - FluencySpot

Do you want to learn German? Check out these fun and fast tips on how to learn it. A language is more than a bunch of words and rules for how to put those words together; it’s another world. Speaking Standard German (Hochdeutsch) gives you access to the world of over 90 million native speakers, mostly in Germany and Austria. But learning German also opens the door to other dialects spoken in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and by minority populations all across Europe. Worldwide, around 120 million people speak some form of German as their first language.

There are a variety of ways to study the language in a fast and fun way and here are some tips to help:

Use your first language to learn the second

German and English are both Germanic languages with a lot of Latin and Greek thrown in. There are many cognates, words that are similar in both languages. Examples include: der Garten (garden), das Haus (house), schwimmen (swim), singen (sing), braun (brown), and ist (is).

How to learn German fast and in a fun way

Avoid language interference

Learning a second language is similar in some ways to learning your first, but there is one big difference! When learning a second language (German), you have interference from the first (English or whatever). Your brain wants to fall back on the English way of doing things, so you have to fight that tendency.

Learn German nouns with their genders

German, like most languages, is a language of gender. As you learn each new German noun, determine its gender at the same time. Not knowing whether a word is der (masc.), die (fem.) or das (neut.) can confuse listeners and makes you sound ignorant and illiterate in German. That can be avoided by learning das Haus rather than just Haus for “house/building,” for example.

Practice Any Language Online

Stop translating

Translation should only be a temporary crutch! Stop thinking in English and trying to do things the “English” way! As your vocabulary grows, get away from translating and start thinking in German. Remember: German-speakers don’t have to translate when they speak. Neither should you!

Get a good German-English dictionary

You need an adequate (minimum 40,000 entries) dictionary and you need to learn how to use it! A dictionary can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Try not to think too literally and don’t just accept the first translation you see. Just as in English, most words can mean more than one thing. Consider the word “fix” in English as one good example: “fix a sandwich” is a different meaning than “fix the car” or “he’s in a fine fix.”

I prefer studying from a textbook rather than from a PDF. If you are like me, here you can find some great dictionaries.

Langenscheidt Standard Dictionary

German-English, English-German Dictionary

Barron’s German-English Pocket Dictionary

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How to Learn German Fast and in a Fun Way
  • In a FB group that I’m part of, a question was posed – “if you could master anything in 24 hours EASILY, what would it be?” my answer was ‘French’ but I’m pretty sure your tips could be transferred easily because it’s a Gender based language. These are excellent πŸ˜€

  • I grew up in Ludwigsburg, Germany when my parents were stationed there. Loved it and have since lived in Schweinfurt also. Plan to eventually move back for good and raise my daughters there. Thanks for the great article.

  • As Claire mentioned, I think your method could easily be applied to another language! What a great concept. I’m going to have to try this out for myself. Thanks for the ideas!!

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