German is a language you have to admit is not easy to learn, and few are those who manage to master it quickly or even after several years in the country. In less than two years, I have managed to speak this language as I speak French today. Personally, I find that quite incredible. I have had flattering remarks like “It is amazing how you express yourself and with no accent” or “I was convinced that you were born here”.
Before we begin, I will pick up prejudices and say that I am not a language genius. I am even far from it! Or that I had to drink energy drinks every night to stay awake and learn. No!
If you also want to learn quickly and effectively (which is not impossible in fact), you can do the following:
1. Learn the language directly in the country.
Immersing yourself in the language will offer you much faster progress. I have completed all my language levels (from A1 to C1) here. In broad terms, it allows you to get used to the accent of the locals from the beginning. Without even noticing it. In the beginning, it will not feel good to hear something but not be able to understand a single word. However, in this way your hearing will develop faster in terms of understanding.
In addition to the fact that, words have to be heard and answered in repetitions, it makes you assimilate the bases more naturally and say them again in a natural and immediate way.
Additionally , even the one who starts later can quickly get used to it. It all depends on your personal motivation, your attention span, or even your German frequentation. Everyone decides about their own development, whether you have started here or not!
2. Imitate what you see and hear.
It has certainly happened to you before to imitate someone or something, for pleasure or just for teasing; with relatives or alone.
During your walks, your activities or courses, you will hear people speak. It will therefore be easy to imitate their accent over time in order to make it your own and thus ease your fluidity later.
I did it when I was in a situation where you had to express yourself in German. And I have to admit that sometimes it was very amusing to hear yourself. People noticed that it wasn’t my accent at all and seemed to appreciate it for a reason I didn’t even know. Many may see someone try something with a smile and pay no attention to prejudice. This shows your imperfection and your self-confidence.
Most will then encourage you and enjoy your company. Others who will have something negative to say about it just can’t care less. Just ignore it! Who knows, some may even find it attractive 😉 I’d rather not say anything more about it.
3. Learn new words.
Vocabulary is one of the foundations of a language. It is therefore essential to develop it as early as possible. Why? because thanks to this small base you will learn other words more quickly at any moment, because in this way you can learn the meaning of the unknown words from conversations. Besides, in order to answer, you have to understand first. That makes sense! Without these words or a minimum of vocabulary you will have a lot of difficulty. To memorize them, you can use different technique, like:
Make voice registrations and listen to them regularly, anytime and anywhere.
Write down files with words and their meanings and give you a reasonable time (to respect) to learn them.
Stick etiquette to all what you have at home, with appropriate names in German.
Child shows are also a good way to learn with fun. You can also sing along. Sing mit Kinderlieder, is one of the most popular among Germans in childhood. As a music lover, I have added some of these sounds to my playlist, and now I know them by heart. It’s kind of funny when I think about it.
Very important! Learn these new words directly with their articles!!! I didn’t do it and so far I bite my fingers so don’t make the same mistake.
4. Speak a lot to move forward quickly.
That is I believe, the main reason of my fast success with this language. If it was enough to stay at home, read my books and hope to be able to speak one day, it is clear and certain that I would not have succeeded so quickly. Imagine for a moment someone who decides to learn their language and then stays at home all the time, learns and reads without end, without ever putting his knowledge into practice, and then complains that he still doesn’t express himself correctly. If you care a little about him, you will probably advise him to go out and practice, because the whole theory of the world without practice is useless. Believe me, this point makes all the difference!!!
But! Don’t put pressure on yourself. It’s not about threatening someone to talk to you, but about being open to others, communicating, showing interest in others, maintaining and strengthening good contacts. The rest will follow, I am convinced! This has enabled me to have new friends from my own culture as well as from the German and foreign cultures. If it worked for me, there is no reason why it doesn’t work for you.
By that I don’t mean just to stop speaking your motherly language but to make a 50/50 for a start. In this way, you will be forced to speak only German. You can also have a conversation with yourself if to find partners turns out to be little complicated.
Thanks for reading! This is my very first article. If you liked it, feel free to write in the comments.
Read also… How can you learn german quickly? Part 2