Online German lessons are a great resource to help you learn this rich language. They’re also a way to get feedback from native speakers to correct your mistakes in German.
Articles (der, die, das) go alongside nouns and indicate a lot more information about the noun than in English. The pronunciation of these articles is also different, especially for the vowels that German doesn’t share with English (a, o, and u).
When you’re learning a new language, grammar can feel like a thorny snag. But luckily, there are some really helpful ways to approach this tricky subject.
The most important thing is to find a course that uses a communicative approach, whereby you’re actually practicing speaking the language rather than just studying grammar rules. This way, you’ll get a feel for how the German language works. That way, when you start attempting to speak in German (rather than just translating from English) you’ll have a much better sense of what’s expected of you. It’ll make it less likely that you’ll accidentally say something wrong because of the differences between how German and English work.
Also, consistent practice is essential. This is because grammar rules are difficult to internalize, especially when you’re trying to remember them all at once. A good course will filter out grammar that’s too difficult for your current level of German, so you’ll only learn what you need to know at the time. For example, you’ll probably only be learning about German noun genders and article usage at beginner levels, and later, you might be focusing on more complex grammatical concepts.
One of the most important steps in learning German is building your vocabulary. There are a few different ways to do this, and the best way is to stick with it consistently over time. Trying to learn large numbers of words in short bursts will be more frustrating than helpful – it’s like hitting the gym once a week for 12 hours and seeing zero muscle growth compared to going 3-4 times a week over a longer period.
Vocabulary apps such as FluentU use spaced repetition to help you commit words to memory. The app presents you with a German word and English translation, then repeats it at increasingly long intervals until you’ve committed it to memory.
Another excellent resource for building your German vocabulary is to read a lot in German. Reading helps you understand the meaning of new words, as well as familiarize yourself with grammatical structures such as cases. The easiest case to learn is the nominative, followed by the accusative and then the dative.
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced student, you can find classes to fit your German learning needs. Look for an instructor with a strong track record of student success and accreditation, and make sure the syllabus and classroom environment align with your learning goals.
Listening to native speakers can be tricky, especially at the beginning when you’re trying to understand their fast speech and often miss some of their vocabulary. Slow German mit Annik Rubens makes it easier by slowing down the audio and providing detailed transcripts, grammatical explanations, pronunciation help, and quizzes.
Another great option is ‘Coffee Break German’, which is a series of short detective stories that are fun and engaging. It’s a B1-B2 level podcast and includes paperback book versions so you can read along while listening. These shows are ideal for beginners who want to learn German at a conversational speed. They are also fun for advanced learners who just want a bit of light entertainment!
At a basic level, learning to pronounce German letters can be intimidating. It also takes practice to master the sounds that don’t exist in English, like the “z” sound and the rounded vowels. Luckily, YouTube’s “Easy German” series offers dozens of man-on-the-street-style videos that make these rules clear and accessible for new learners.
To get to a conversational level, you need to learn more than just words and grammar. That’s why lingoni provides German lessons with native speakers that teach you useful phrases for everyday conversations, like discussing the weather, ordering in restaurants and expressing opinions.
You can also use a variety of apps to help you expand your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation. One example is Memrise, which allows you to create flashcards with text or images and then test yourself against your friends. Other German learning apps, such as Babbel and FluentU, take authentic videos (like music, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks) and turn them into language lessons.