Will deutsch lernen?
German is a highly expressive language and among the best known languages in the European Union. Although it might seem complicated, anyone can learn German with enough practice and perseverance.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Get up close and personal with the German language
Grasp the basic concepts such as nouns, pronouns, and articles along with their masculine, feminine, and neuter counterparts. Once you understand the differences of these grammatical concepts and include this in your vocabulary, learning German will become more manageable.
The key here is accuracy in learning the basic grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation to avoid making further mistakes down the line. It will help to take German classes so you can get feedback in real time. For example, getting your subject-verb agreement and sentence structure right before moving on to more complicated lessons is crucial.
Equip yourself with the right prepositions
You may be familiar with the English prepositions like in; on; at; over; under, etc., which express the relation to another word in the clause or sentence. Prepositions can be tricky even for native English speakers, so how do you get around them when learning the German language?
German prepositions can act as a shortcut to correctly using German cases. Many German prepositions are used in relation to the same case. For example, the preposition mit (with) is always used with the dative case, while gegen (against) is always used with the accusative case. In a sentence, this can translate the difference of: “I am with my boyfriend” compared to “I am against my boyfriend.” Who knew one word can change the meaning of the whole sentence?
Learn the modal verbs
In English, using modal verbs such as: can, may, must, could, will, and shall, among others, are used to show possibilities, obligation, likelihood, and permission. A hack to sound like a fluent speaker is to learn the conjugation of modal verbs coupled with the most often-used verbs, which will give you many ways to express ideas. You can come up with some coherent sentences if you learn a few infinitive verbs such as: to go, to eat, and to buy, plus couple this with modal verbs mentioned previously.
It’s all in THE details
Another tip is to watch out for the German usage of “the”. Perhaps you’ve heard that there are 16 different ways of saying “the” in German depending on whether the noun is masculine, feminine, or neuter. Der, die, and das are all ways of saying “the” in German. The trick is understanding the different contexts these types of “the” are used. Reading German texts is a great way to help you understand the appropriate “the” to use in different sentences and situations.
Whether you’ve decided to learn German on your own or through online German courses, you can easily use these tips to help you accelerate your journey to communicating in German like a native speaker.