If you are planning to stay or you already are in a foreign country, the best thing to do is to learn the local language. In case you are in Berlin, do consider learning German, because it helps you to become approachable. You can easily find German courses in Berlin and learning the language will help you feel at home. Learning a language goes hand in hand with finding ways to comprehend the local culture, and this understanding enables you to rely less on others. You can survive in Berlin speaking English, but with some German, life becomes easier.Schools such as “speakeasyBerlin” offer good German learning experiences.
There are many different options to learn German fast. The aim of learning a language is to be able to use it in normal conversation. Thus, the approach to learning should be a functional one: goal-driven, communication-based. The more you speak, the more fluent you will become! Additionally, here are some useful tips to achieve fluency in German.
1 Work on word frequency
Learning a language means focussing on word frequency and a good way to practice this is touse a particular word daily in your conversation. Every language has frequently used words, and it is the same with German. Concentrate on those words first. There is a flash card software to help you memorize by studying the same words again and again. There are videos presenting frequently used vocabulary for everyday situations.
2 Modal Verbs
In German, verbs change according to person and tense and often need a particular grammatical case. Learning all verb forms may be exhausting. But here is a trick: you can learn to express anything with merely seven modal verbs, such as:
· können (can)
· sollen (should)
· wollen (want)
· mögen (like).
· müssen (must)
· dürfen (may/be allowed to)
· möchten (would like)
These modal verbs cause a little change in the normal sentence structure: the modal verb takes the normal verb position and the second verb moves to the end of the sentence in its infinitive form. Consider these two sentences:
· (I am going home.) Ich gehe nach Hause.
· (I would like to go home.) Ich möchte nach Hause gehen.
Here gehen is conjugated in the first and is infinitive in second.
3 Gender and Color Codes
There are three genders for nouns : feminine, masculine and neuter. These are denoted by der, die and das, while ein, eine and ein are indefinite articles. One of the challenges when learning German is that there are hardly any rules about which gender a noun should have.
But also here, there is a good tip: always learn the article together with the noun. Assign a colour to every gender and write nouns and articles together in the colour of the gender. Visualisation helps you remember. However, only with regular practice, you will master the articles.
4 Comfort of being similar
German, as well as other languages, did not develop in complete isolation, the good news is that there are many words which are easy to understand and to recognize thanks to their resemblance to English words. There are tonnes of such words. There are thousands and more German words that are similar to English words and have common roots.This, of course, makes learning them rather convenient.
· water becomes Wasser (t → s after a vowel)
· father becomes Vater (th → t)
Of course, do consider the consonant shift to make real sense of how the words changed. This is a real shortcut to become fluent in German. Yet, learning a new language initially may be intimidating and tough, especially with German that has noun genders and unusual verb conjugation but with a few tricks, it becomes so much easier!
Honestly, German is not really difficult.
5 Understand your style of learning
Everyone learns differently. Do not get stuck in a method that may have been adopted by one of your friends. It may not work for you, so move on. Learning things in your own way is better. A visual learner can try to explore new options online. There are software programs and websites teaching new languages visually. Or maybe you are a communicative type? Stop getting bored with grammar tutorials, try communicating with some German pen pals and learn by experience or practice. Ensure this pen pal helps you to boost your language skills in a normal way. You can try a traveler’s course for entry-level German and acquire some German basic language lessons.
6 Learn new words and test weekly
Learn new words and use them in different sentences. It is fun to communicate in more languages. Your dedication to learning is a must to keep your interest alive. Get an English to German dictionary and also check a German standard vocabulary list. Initially, improve your language skills by enhancing your memory.
Track your progress weekly. If you are attending a German class, there might also be an exam. But if you are teaching yourself, it is a good idea to measure your progress weekly. Study at your own pace. If you are following a textbook, do the tests at the end of each chapter. Here, check what you get right and wrong. Repeat the wrong exercises again next week.
7 Reason out Why?
Find why you want to learn German, here are few reasons that may be your Why:
- To converse with German people
- To get a job in Germany
- To know German culture
Find the Why, and you will see German becomes a language you love to learn.
8 Use shortcuts
Using shortcuts help in learning language faster. A few of the shortcuts are:
- SRS (Spaced Repetition Systems) – This is a fascinating way to memorize phrases and vocabulary. It is effective in picking new vocabulary.
- Mnemonics- This helps to create associations to recall German words.
There are lots of ways and methods to learn the German language. To improve, speak from the first day you initiate learning German. This is the most effective and fastest way to learn German.
9 Join German courses in Berlin
The German language courses are best offered in schools in Berlin. Speakeasy Berlin has a very good range of course types and times. Choose appropriate courses such as:
- Intensive courses–these include levels such as A1, A2 or B1 in 48 teaching units per course week.
- Super-Intensive courses–this course combines intensive courses with conversation courses and allows you to learn the language 30% faster.
- Eveningcourses–if you are working, choose the evening courses offering to complete a level in 4 months.
- Individual courses–this is for people with tight schedules who have difficulties in finding the time for a regular course. There is a discounted package for 10 hours to suit the individual learner’s needs.
10 Watch German Films and TV programs
This is an ideal way of improving German and fun. It is a handy way of learning everyday speech and the slang. Turn the German subtitles to understand the dialogue.