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Although German can be an intimidating language due to its long compound words like Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften (which means means "insurance companies providing legal protection") or its different verb conjugations, you’ll find that German is an incredibly logical language which is not as challenging as it appears at first glance, especially once you get familiarized with its rules. On top of that, you’ll find that there are many German and English words that are very similar due to the fact that both languages are partly derived from the ancient Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family, so learning German vocabulary will be much easier than you think. In fact, there are plenty of German words that you already use in everyday English, like angst, rucksack and hamster, and there are also many English words that are used in German, like computer, hobby and boss.
As you can see, there’s no reason to keep postponing learning this fascinateing language, which can bring many benefits to your life in Canada, such as a better job, a more active social life that includes more international friends, and also unique access to some of the most interesting cultures in the world. Although fluency won’t happen overnight, if you follow our guide to how to learn German today, you’ll become a proficient speaker in next to no time!
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1. Why Learn German Today
Learning German is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself this year! Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should become bilingual as soon as possible.
To Boost Your Career
Want to take your career to the next level? If so, you should start learning German as fast as you can. This is because once you can communicate confidently, you’ll be able to apply for well-paid corporate positions in top German companies that operate from Canada, such as K+S Potash Canada GP, BASF Canada and SAP Canada, or even get a job abroad. On top of that, if you own a business or are planning on starting one soon, learning German is a great idea, as it will open many doors for you to access new clients that are part of the foreign-born community, expand to European countries like Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and take advantage of the successful economic relations between Canada and it’s fifth-largest trading partner, Germany, which accounted for 25.8 billion dollars in 2021.
To Travel Around The World
Speaking German will allow you to communicate effortlessly in many wonderful countries, which include Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Austria, where it has official status, but that’s not all, as it will also come in handy in some regions of countries like Italy, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Namibia, where it’s recognized as a minority language. As you can see, due to how widespread it is, learning German is a great idea if you’re planning on visiting as many countries as possible since it will allow you to get by in all these countries much more easily, and don’t have to worry about finding something who speaks English or getting the help of a local guide to move around and connect with the locals.
Are you visiting Austria soon? Then you might want to check out What German You Need to Know Before Visiting Austria on our blog.
To Expand Your Social Circle
Want to meet more people and make incredible friends in Canada and abroad? If that’s the case, don’t give it a second thought and start learning German today! If you do, you’ll be able to become closer to some of the approximately 400,000 German speakers that live in Canada, learn about their culture and get familiarized with the values and traditions of the Canadian German community. On top of this, you’ll be able to meet some of the more than 100 million German speakers that live in Europe and other parts of the world at local language exchange events or online, so if you enjoy making international friends and expanding your horizons, learning German is just what you need!
”I have only positive things to say about my instructor and lessons! Brad was the perfect instructor for me and gets an A+ rating! He is an excellent teacher: Professional, knowledgeable of the German language & culture, personable, responsible, kind, and patient! He really helped me to improve speaking, reading, and writing in German, as well as to learn more verb tenses, vocabulary, and to become comfortable conversing about everyday life in the German language. I am so grateful to Language Trainers for the opportunity you gave me to help further my German language learning! It was truly a wonderful experience taking lessons from Brad!”
Shawney Garbe - German course in Birmingham (Alabama)
2. Tips to Learn German More Effectively
Now that you know some of the most important reasons why you should start learning German, let’s take a look at some useful tips that will help you learn this wonderful language more effectively.
Set Clear Goals
Before you start learning German, you should ask yourself why you want to become bilingual in the first place. Many people that start learning a language just “because” end up quitting when things get difficult since they don’t really have a good enough reason to keep going, so it’s really important that you set clear goals that help you stay motivated throughout your learning journey and commit in the long run. In addition to motivating you, having clear goals will help you choose which aspects of the language you should focus on first, so for example if you are learning German because you want to improve your career, you’ll need to learn specific vocabulary that’s used in your particular line of work, whereas if you want to become fluent to travel the world, you should concentrate in learning useful phrases that help you communicate in hotels, restaurants and touristic places. What’s more, if determine what you want to get out of the language, you’ll know exactly what kind of German course you need to take, and what your requirements are, which will help you find the perfect teacher.
Want to know more about all the different German courses that we offer? Check them out here.
Find a Native Tutor
Although many people attempt to learn German on their own, if you’re truly committed to becoming a proficient speaker in close to no time, the smartest thing you can do is to find a native trainer. This will ensure you have someone to guide you through your learning process who can build a perfect learning plan for you that covers everything you need to know to communicate confidently. On top of that, having a teacher means you’ll get to practice your skills with a native speaker every week, which will have a huge impact on the way you speak, so if you want to sound like a pro and learn expressions that people in Germany actually use, contact us today and we’ll match you with one of our qualified German trainers.
Take a Language Test
If you know a little bit of German, but you’re not sure how fluent you are, you should take a language test. If you do this at the beginning of your journey to fluency, you’ll be able to choose better materials to study that are not too hard but not too easy either, and you’ll know exactly what to look for in a language course. On top of that, knowing what your level is now will allow you to check your progress in the future, so go ahead and take our FREE German Language Level Test which consists of 70 questions you can answer in no more than fifteen minutes. After you take it, you’ll get a score and you’ll find out which one of these language levels you have.
Use Your First Language to Learn the Second
German and English are both Germanic languages, which means they share a lot of cognates which will make it easier for you to learn new vocabulary. Don’t believe us? Here are some German words that look similar to their English counterparts and mean exactly the same thing.
|English words||German words|
Although these and other words will be pretty easy to understand and memorize, you should be careful with false cognates, which are words that look similar to English words, but have completely different meanings.
|German Word||English Translation|
Learn the Grammatical Gender of Nouns
As you’ll soon find out, German nouns can have three different grammatical genders, feminine, masculine and neuter. For English speakers, it can be quite tricky to remember what the gender of a noun is, and because of that, they may end up using the wrong article before it, which makes them sound illiterate to German listeners. To avoid this, the best thing you can do is learn new nouns with their corresponding articles, which are Der for masculine nouns, Die for feminine and Das for neuter, so for example instead of learning the German word for house, which is Haus, in isolation, you should memorize it as Das House and you’ll always remember it’s a neuter word.
Use Language Apps
With so many free language apps at your disposal, there’s no excuse not to practice German every day regardless of where you happen to be. Don’t know any? Here are our top picks that you need to try.
- One of the best German apps for beginners is Mondy, which focuses on teaching you the basics of the language quickly and covers all the important topics you need to know to have your first conversation in German.
- Do you want to learn both the German language and culture? If so, you need to try Mosalingua, an app that uses a huge variety of flashcards to teach you essential words and phrases but also teaches you many interesting things about German culture that you won’t find in other apps.
- LinQ is an innovative language app that allows you to convert books, articles, videos and even podcasts into interactive lessons you can use to learn new words in German. The app has many interesting features that you can use to develop your skills, like creating your own vocabulary lists and showing you the words you’ve just learned in different contexts.
- If you enjoy making flashcards to study more efficiently, you should start using Anki, which allows you to create your own deck for free or download others that were created by other users. Using this app frequently will help you remember all of the German words and phrases you learn in your weekly lessons, and expand your vocabulary in no time, so if you find that you’re starting to forget what you’ve been learning in the past few weeks, give this app a go and you won’t regret it.
Immerse Yourself in German Language
Learning a new language can be a really entertaining experience, especially if you surround yourself with meaningful input that helps you understand the language and the culture of the countries where it’s spoken. There are many ways you can do this, but in case you can’t think of any, here’s a list of things you can do to immerse yourself in the German language.
- Listening to podcasts in German is a great way to get exposed to actual conversations between native speakers, hear different accents and pick up useful idioms that help you sound more natural when speaking. One of the main advantages of podcasts is that you can listen to them while commuting, cooking or even when you’re having a shower, so it’s pretty easy to squeeze them into your routine, no matter how much free time you have. Some of the best podcasts you can listen to are Slow German mit Annik Rubens, which is totally immersive and includes useful transcriptions of all the episodes, Learn German with LinguaBoost, which offers many episodes that get progressively more difficult the further you go in and Long Story Short, where you can listen to fascinating short stories that are told mostly in German and are then discussed in English.
- Watching German films and TV shows is another fun way of learning German that you can start doing right now. If you have a Netflix account, you can check out the amazing selection of German films and TV shows that are available there, such as the German series Dark, which tells the gripping story of a fictional town called Wenden and its inhabitants, and Türkisch für Anfänger, one of Germany’s biggest comedies that gain a huge following and it’s set in Berlin. On the other hand, if you prefer movies, you can watch 3 Türken & ein Baby, which literally translates to Three Turks and a Baby, a hilarious comedy that follows the lives of three brothers who suddenly have to take care of a baby and have no idea what to do or Alles ist Gut a heartwrenching drama that won its director Eva Trobisch the Best Director Award at the Stockholm Film Festival.
- Reading in German is also important and you should do it as often as possible if you want to work on your reading and writing skills. If you’re a complete beginner, you can start by reading simple texts like children’s books or song lyrics, and once you get to intermediate level or above you can read German newspapers such as Deutsche Welle, which has a great section for German learners, Nachrichtenleicht, which is written in simple German that elementary and intermediate students will understand and Der Spiegel, a well-known German magazine that’s perfect to read about the country’s most pressing issues.
- Watching YouTube videos in German can be a really entertaining way of learning about grammar and expanding your vocabulary, so if you have some extra time, check out amazing YouTube channels like Learn German with Anja, which is hosted by one of the most famous German instructors on the internet, Anja, who focuses on teaching German in a fun and engaging way. Another channel you might like is Learn German with Herr Antrim, where you’ll find really interesting videos that explain challenging grammar topics in a clear and understandable way, so if you need help with dative pronouns or fixed prepositions, you should really check it out.
- Lastly, if you’re interested in learning German in a more relaxed way, and get used to the sounds of this wonderful language, you should start listening to German music. There are many amazing artists you should check out, such as Sarah Connor, who has many incredible albums your can use to learn new words, like Key to My Soul, Naughty but Nice Muttersprache, Wie Schön Du Bist and Green Eyed Soul or Lena Meyer-Landrut, who rose to fame after she won Eurovision and has beautiful songs in German like Seeräuber-Opa-Fabian and Meine Heimat.
Blog Posts and Articles to Help you Learn German
Five amazing artists to follow if you are learning German.READ THE ARTICLE >
How to improve your German accentREAD THE ARTICLE >
More tips to perfect your German pronunciation.READ THE ARTICLE >
5 films to watch as a German learner.READ THE ARTICLE >
A short guide to learning the German article system.READ THE ARTICLE >
10 German expressions for your business trip to Germany.READ THE ARTICLE >
3. Essential German Phrases to Travel
Do you want to visit Germany but can’t even say hello in German? Don’t worry! Here are some of the most commonly used words and phrases you need to learn to get by on your next trip!
|Phrases in German||Phrases in English|
|Tut mir leid||Sorry|
|Können Sie mir helfen?||Can you help me?|
|Sprechen Sie English?||Can you speak English?|
|Einen Moment, bitte||One moment, please|
|Das ist alles, danke||That’s all, thank you|
|Phrases for Getting Around||Wo finde ich…?||Where do I find…?|
|…den Bahnhof?||…the train station?|
|…einen Geldautomaten?||…the cash machine?|
|…die Touristeninformation?||…the tourist information?|
|…ein Taxi?||…a taxi?|
|…eine Toilette?||…a toilet?|
|Wie viel kostet das?||How much does it cost?|
|…der nächste Bus?||…the next bus?|
|…die nächste Bahn?||…the next train?|
|Ich habe mich verlaufen||I’m lost|
|Wie komme ich zu…?||How do I get to…?|
|Phrases for Eating Out||Ich habe eine Reservierung auf den Namen…||I have a reservation under the name…|
|Ich möchte…||I’d like…|
|…bitte einen Tisch reservieren||…to book a table, please|
|… bitte ein Glas Wein||…a glass of wine, please|
|…bitte die Speisekarte||…the menu|
|…bitte zahlen||…to pay, please|
|Kann ich mit EC-Karte / Kreditkarte zahlen?||Do you take debit cards/credit cards?|
|Phrases to Talk About Yourself||Ich heiße…||My name is…|
|Ich komme aus…||I’m from…|
|Ich bin zum ersten Mal hier||It’s my first time here|
|Ich bleibe für eine Woche||I’m staying for a week|
Although there’s no doubt that using these phrases will make your trip to Germany and other German-speaking countries much more enjoyable, if you really want to master the language and become the best speaker you can be, your best choice is to book a course at Language Trainers! Simply send us a quick inquiry today and we’ll put you in contact with one of our amazing German tutors who will create completely personalized lessons based on your requirements and interests. On top of this, you’ll get to enjoy your classes in the comfort of your home in Canada or online if you travel a lot, so don’t wait any longer and make the first step in your journey to fluency right now!
Want some extra tips to learn German? If so, follow us on social media and take a look at the detailed recommendations written by our language professionals which will help you become a proficient speaker in close to no time!
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