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How to Say You in German
If you want to say “you” in German, you would generally use “du” (informal singular), “Sie” (formal singular or plural—capitalized in both cases), or “ihr” (informal plural). But German has even more forms of the word “you”, including: dich, dir, euch, and Inhen. Contextually, each is extremely important.
If German pronouns seem a little overwhelming, don’t be too concerned. The rules for their use are pretty clear-cut. Once you understand the grammar behind it all, you’ll start to use the correct one fairly naturally. A little trickier are the German words for “the.” Believe it or not, there are 16 of them, all starting with a d and all made up of just three letters. Much like the words for “you,” however, once you get in the habit of using them, using them correctly doesn’t take much forethought. Plus, because German and English are otherwise so similar to one another, there aren’t many more major road bumps, as you’d find when studying less closely-related languages like French or Japanese.
Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you the language, not just the words. What makes it effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in the real world. So it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. With practice, you’ll be ready to handle situations with confidence.
Learn German Words and Phrases
German is the second-most widely spoken language throughout the European Union, falling just after English in its popularity. This is understandable when you take into consideration the fact that German is the official language of many European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Germany, parts of Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, and Switzerland. Worldwide, there are estimated to be more than 229 million German speakers. This widespread use makes German one of the most practical languages to learn for business and travel reasons.
Rosetta Stone language lessons help beginning German learners to focus on foundational language concepts first. Each lesson offers practical exercises to get you speaking German with accurate pronunciation, right from the start. The lessons begin with helping you learn to understand and say common phrases like hello, boy, girl, man, woman, eating, and drinking. From there, the sequenced lessons build on what you’ve learned so you can acquire a true command of the German language. Rosetta Stone language lessons are designed to help you develop the ability to understand and speak German with confidence. Whether you’re traveling across Northern Germany, skiing your way through the Alps or experiencing city life in Munich or Berlin, learning the German language will serve you well.
One fun aspect of the German language is its distinct characteristic of combining multiple words into one. Where in English you might use two or even three words to describe something, in contrast in German, you might combine those words into one compound word. As one example, the word for orange juice in German is “Orangensaft”. Orangen + Saft = Orangensaft. Of note: these compounded German words have a gender. The gender of the word which comes last (der, die, das) is the gender of the new compound word. For example, “die Orange” is a feminine word, but “der Saft” is a masculine word, so the resulting combined word “der Orangensaft” is masculine.
It’s fair to say that German does have some challenging vocabulary to learn. Mark Twain is said to have taken issue with the “clumsy” practice in the German language of creating complicated compound, multi-syllable words. Take the lengthy word Freundschaftsbezeugung, for example. The word means “demonstrations of friendship.” Yes, it’s extremely long, but you might be able to break it into recognizable and understandable parts. For example, you can see that the word starts with “Freund”. The word “Freund” is a cognate of the English word “friend” and has the same meaning.
Refining your German pronunciation depends on getting immediate and accurate feedback on your pronunciation attempts. Immediate feedback will help you to make needed corrections. From there, you can practice until you are able to readily reproduce the sounds that comprise the German language. Fortunately, Rosetta Stone embeds our proven and patented TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine into every language lesson. The powerful speech engine provides immediate feedback, so you can match your pronunciation to that of fluent speakers. TruAccent was developed by carefully scanning and closely analyzing the speech of native and non-native German speakers. That’s why it can be extremely helpful to you in learning to understand and speak German.
After you have acquired the basics of speaking the language, you will be ready to move onto learning to understand and say the longer phrases that so often come into play in everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s 10-minute language lessons are designed to lead you along the path of learning to understand and speak German with confidence. Rosetta Stone lessons will help you acquire vocabulary and proper pronunciation for everyday, real-world situations.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with German whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app.
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation.
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.