The best way to learn to speak German is to invest the time and immerse yourself in the language. As with most worthwhile endeavors, there aren’t any real shortcuts. There are several factors, however, that will influence how quickly you’ll learn German, including how long and how often you practice.
But it’s also true that the method you choose and the way in which the program is built can have a significant effect on whether you learn to speak German fluently. That’s why Rosetta Stone encourages teaching foundational concepts first, packing each lesson with practical exercises that get you speaking German and working on your pronunciation consistently.
In addition to learning German through Rosetta Stone’s software, you can also bring the language with you in bite-sized lessons that fit in your back pocket via the mobile app. This approach to learning German anywhere can let you increase the frequency and length of your practice time. You can also use a few of the following methods to accelerate your understanding of German and start speaking the language.
1: Focus on connectors.
Connecting words in German are fairly important and you can start to string together complex ideas if you know the basic structure and phrases of German vocabulary. For instance, you may be commenting on whether or not something is too hot or too cold at the dinner table. If you only know the words for “no” (nein) and cold (kalt), it may be a bit difficult to get your idea across. But once you learn the word for unfortunately (leider), you can begin to construct a more comprehensive response like “Unfortunately, it’s too cold.”
Leider ist es zu kalt.
2: Studying hacks.
There are a few methods of time management, studying, and note taking that suggest breaking down learning into specific smaller intervals of time or spacing words in a certain way can accelerate understanding. Spaced repetition, sometimes referred to as SRS, can help with vocabulary acquisition and involves spacing out recall into consistent intervals. It usually works best in conjunction with a few other learning techniques, like the Pomodoro method. The Pomodoro method suggests breaking work or learning into 25-minute intervals, with short breaks of 3-5 minutes to allow your brain to catalog your memories and assist with better recall.
3: Memory tricks.
There are a host of memory tricks that can assist you with learning how to speak in German. One of the most popular techniques is mnemonics, where you can break down a larger set of vocabulary into an easier to remember acronym or a word association. For example, those who are learning to speak German as beginners sometimes struggle with gendered nouns. It can be difficult to understand the rhyme or reason behind assigning some nouns female genders while others have male identifiers and still others have a third type of identifier called neuter. To keep it straight in your head, you could image that all your male gendered nouns are red, female gendered nouns remained blue, and the neuter nouns were yellow as you visualized them. This gives your brain an easier way to recall the correct gender for each noun.
4: Start speaking right away.
Practicing speaking in German from your very first lesson enables even beginners to feel more confident with German pronunciations. Whether you’re trying to acquire vocabulary, practical phrases, or a deeper understanding of sentence structure, speaking German daily and getting feedback on your pronunciation is an invaluable way to accelerate your language learning.
Picking up a few German phrases and words is helpful, but to really learn how to speak German with confidence, you’ll want to take some next steps in your language learning journey. From immersion techniques to good old-fashioned practice, Rosetta Stone can help you read, write, and speak German.
Rosetta Stone’s approach combines learning vocabulary with practical, real-world situations that build towards a greater contextual understanding of key German phrases. Rosetta Stone will also help you hone pronunciation, comparing your accent to that of native speakers for a more authentic language learning experience.
Immersion is about more than just practicing and speaking German every day. Stream German movies like Das Boot with the subtitles off or bounce along to German heavy metal from Rammstein when you’re in the car. If you’re extra ambitious, you can even change the voice-command settings on your phone or Alexa to speak to you in German. Reading in German is also an excellent way for more advanced learners to immerse themselves in the language. You can begin with a simple children’s tale like Emil Und Die Detektive (Emil and the Detective) by Erich Kästner and work your way towards more complicated tales as your learning progresses.
There are six modal verbs in German and while they have some irregular conjugations, learning these verbs can give you a good handle on basic German sentence structures. Modal verbs are usually used to describe the relationship to a second verb. The six German modal verbs are:
Once you learn these modal verbs and how to properly conjugate them in a sentence, you can speak and understand German phrases like the following with confidence.
Ich möchte gern ein Bier trinken.
I would like to drink a beer.
There’s no substitute for practice when learning some of the trickier elements of speaking German. Gendered nouns, modal verbs and more will eventually become a force of habit the more often you practice and the more frequently you speak. One of the things you can do to accelerate your learning is to practice with another language learner. Rosetta Stone allows learners to connect, chat, practice, and ask each other questions through a community available online.
If you’re traveling Europe and you want to learn just one language, German is a good first choice. 16% of Europeans say German is their first language, and it’s the official language not only of Germany but also Austria and Liechtenstein. German is also an official co-language in Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.
Germany is the powerhouse of the European Union for a reason. They have a strong manufacturing sector coupled with being the leaders in the European automotive and aviation industries.
German is the second most widely used scientific language and Germany has a long history of invention and a strong presence in engineering, environmental science, and medical fields. In fact, throughout the early 1900s, German was widely seen as the primary scientific language and only began to lose dominance in the aftermath of World War I.
Those who are bilingual earn more than those who are not, but let’s translate that into actual value for those who speak German. A study of salaries in the United States for those who speak a second language found that German had one of the highest rates of salary increase at 3.8% in comparison to what non-bilingual counterparts earned.