How can you quickly learn German at home?
Do you dream of changing your environment, working abroad, or maybe you are looking for new challenges? These types of specific goals, which will motivate you to keep learning German, are the first step to success. Without a clearly defined foundation, it is hard to find the determination or to achieve quick results, which are the outcome of systematic work. It will be difficult for you to persevere without a clearly defined goal – a motivator!
Once you choose the right course, select the tools and accessories that will allow you to quickly achieve your goal. Fortunately, there are tons of teaching aids available today to help you learn a language. At your disposal you have:
Statistically, we spend about 3 hours and 15 minutes a day using our mobile phones. It’s worth making the best of this time! One of the applications that will teach you German in an effective and fast way is SuperMemo. The SuperMemo intelligent repetition method used in this tool allows you to adjust the pace of learning to your individual preferences and abilities.
In addition to mobile apps, desktop German courses are still popular. Online learning is growing at an extremely fast pace. Of course, a very important factor influencing this dynamic growth of interest in online learning is the coronavirus pandemic. Online German courses are safe and allow you to learn the language without pressure from the environment and fellow students. However, to learn German quickly, you need to set goals clearly in a timeline.
Home office lessons
Just like online courses, online lessons with German tutors and teachers have recently become extremely popular. Without leaving your home or wasting time commuting, you can learn a language in an equally effective, and often more comfortable way than during classroom activities. Of course, this mode does not suit everyone. Therefore, if you want to learn German quickly, it is worth trying various methods to find the one best suited to your preferences.
Cards on which words are embedded in a certain context are still popular and, most importantly, effective tools. You can use both traditional and more innovative versions of flashcards, e.g. in the SuperMemo application you have special MemoCards available. You can create new ones yourself, by adding the words that you want to learn.
A German course with properly selected vocabulary
Are you at the beginning of your learning journey, and wondering where to start learning German quickly? We have a quite universal hint. First, learn the most commonly used German words. By mastering them, you should become able to systematically improve your language skills. Where do you look for such words? Lists of frequently used words and phrases in a given language can be found on the Internet, and it is worth starting your search, for example, on Wiktionary.
About 800 words are needed to understand most everyday spoken messages. Therefore, by learning regularly, you should achieve satisfactory results quite quickly. Of course, if you want to start reading the Magic Mountain in the original, we advise you to be patient. After just a few weeks of learning German, you will learn more practical skills, such as ordering a coffee in Berlin, or asking in German for directions to the station, and understanding the reply.
The Extremes Deutsch course from SuperMemo, designed strictly with the aim of expanding vocabulary, will be helpful in acquiring new words. The properly selected tool will certainly speed up learning.
How to learn German. Forget conjugation
Learning all the forms of verbs, which change depending on time, case or number in German, can be hard and takes a lot of time. Fortunately, you can use a trick that, at least at the beginning of learning, will make things a little easier and faster.
It’s a good idea to master the conjugation of six modal verbs, such as:
- können – to be able, to know how,
- wollen – to want,
- sollen – should,
- dürfen – to have permission,
- müssen – to have,
- mögen – to like.
Why is it worth learning them? So as to learn German quickly and not have to think about conjugating a verb every time you speak. If you use one of the modal verbs in a sentence, the other (the one responsible for the meaning of the sentence) will appear in the infinitive form. For example, instead of saying “I will buy a bicycle” – “Ich kaufe ein Fahrrad”, it is easier to say “I would like to buy a bicycle” – “Ich möchte ein Fahrrad kaufen”. You can build almost any sentence this way – relying only on conjugation for modal verbs.
And to quickly learn the modal verbs themselves, it is worth using traditional or virtual flashcards. The latter function as MemoCards in the SuperMemo courses and application.
How to quickly learn German articles
Der, die, das are three German articles that can cause a lot of trouble while learning. They specify, of course, the gender of a noun, as well as its number and case. Why are they often a nightmare when learning German?
One reason may be that the German article does not always correspond to biological sex. Example? The first one that shows the scale of the difficulty – das Mädchen, which means literally that the girl is neuter, not feminine. Die Gabel means literally: this fork. So in German, a fork has female gender, and there are many more examples of this.
So, how do you learn articles quickly?
It’s best to take the noun and the article as an integral bundle and learn them as sets. When learning, regularity is important, and the SuperMemo intelligent repetition method should help in consolidating new vocabulary (along with articles). It is based on the work of an algorithm that adjusts the repetition frequency to the student’s learning pace.
When learning German articles, it is also worth trying assigning nouns of a certain gender to different-coloured cards. To increase the effectiveness of this method, you can support it with mnemonic techniques, e.g. by imagining a given item in a specific color. Then you assign one color, e.g. green, to the masculine gender, and when you try to remember the noun der Hund (dog), imagine a green dog – this will make it easier for you to remember both the word and the gender.
Immersion, or a crash German course
Do you want to learn German quickly? Make sure that, as far as possible, it accompanies you at literally every step. That is the basis of the method called linguistic immersion. It involves total immersion in a language. The easiest way to follow this path is to actually go to Germany, but don’t worry if you don’t have that option. This doesn’t mean that you are at a disadvantage when learning German.
How to immerse yourself in the language:
- Change the language to German in the operating system on your smartphone and computer.
- Switch the language to German on social networks.
- If you are a football fan, start watching the Bundesliga with the original commentary.
- Also, switch to German on Netflix.
- Listen to German podcasts:
- Slow German – a podcast created by a German social media specialist. The thematically divided sections efficiently convey sets of essential German words to the listeners.
- Easy German – The philosophy behind this podcast is to learn German from real people and from real conversations.
- Coffee Break German – episodes just long enough to listen to during a coffee break. The podcast will take you through all the levels of German proficiency from basic to advanced.
- Warum nicht? – the podcast created by Deutsche Welle and the Goethe Institute is characterised by its rather traditional approach to learning German. You can start listening to the podcast starting from level A0 and finish it at B1.
- Radio D – a podcast for beginners that encourages learning German using the theme of detective puzzles.
To achieve linguistic immersion, it is also worth using German books. In the initial stage, it may be, for example, early school reading. Comics are also a good idea, where the written word is combined with pictures, which makes it easier to understand the content.
Are you thinking about increasing the pace of learning? Try to switch to German at home. However, for this to be possible, your family or friends should also have a similar goal. Do you have someone in your family who speaks German? Take the opportunity to talk to him or her at home. You could make an agreement with your roommate that you will only communicate in this language one day a week. This will certainly accelerate your learning and bring you closer to your goal.