Learning how to speak German can be difficult, particularly if you are one of those people who find all languages hard to master. Thankfully, there are some programs that are easier than others and allow you to learn at your own pace from the comfort of your own home.
However, there are some key facts that will help you to succeed when you wish to learn how to speak German effectively.
1. Decide WHY you want to learn
Deciding why you need to learn another language will determine how to tackle learning how to speak German as a foreign language. Basically, there are four reasons why people want to learn a new language.
? If you are going on holiday for a few days you only need to pick up the basic everyday usage so should be able to do this quite quickly, perhaps a free course would be sufficient for this.
? If you intend living in Germany, obviously you will need a better grasp of the structure of the language itself as well as a greater command of the vocabulary to get you started. Once there, immersion into the culture will quickly help you on your way.
? Do you need to learn how to speak Germany for business reasons? Again, the vocabulary you might wish to learn may tend to be more specific to your business aims and you should also pay more attention to reading and writing the language sufficiently for your needs.
? Finally, you may just want to learn another language for pleasure or to communicate more easily with friends. In which case, you would obviously tackle the basics first and it would then be your choice where to go from there.
2. Decide HOW you want to learn
The standard options for learning how to speak German would include a college or evening class or a home study course which may be either digital (i.e. on tape or CD) or in book format. The benefits of a college or evening course is that you have access to a real person who is trained to teach you and answer your questions, although a downside is finding the time to attend the course regularly. Home study is an easier option although you are unlikely to have any personal contact with a physical tutor. Some are fortunate enough to be able to supplement their learning with friends who already speak the language proficiently and this will speed the process greatly in either learning situation.
3. Be confident in your abilities!
Learning any language is easier for some people more than others – so why should learning how to speak German be any different? Success will be down to the individual?s determination and self-belief but ANYONE can learn to speak German up to the level they require. There are many scientific theories as to how easy or hard learning a second language will be, but it is often suggested that learning any language is easier before the age of 12. It is suspected here that if you are reading this, then you will be older than 12 and may have to put a little more effort in!
4. Which system do you use?
Now you?ve decided HOW you are going to tackle learning how to speak German which system will you use? College courses are obviously going to be local to the individual so I cannot comment on these and you must do your own research. If you are going for home study, then three of the best are Rocket German, Linguaphone and Rosetta Stone. The latter two possibly more established than the first although my personal choice would be the Rocket courses – but why? The Rosetta Stone courses are excellent but currently priced at $549 putting it out of reach of many; similarly the Linguaphone course comes in at around $350. With the Rocket courses you get an awful lot of material for less than $100 it is significantly cheaper with no loss of quality. It is easy to use, interactive and fun AND, with Rocket German you have access to a Free six-day taster course so you can try it first before you commit to spending any money.
5. Mastering the vocabulary and syntax
Obviously, when learning how to speak German a German dictionary and a quick grammar guide would be useful, these should include a phonetic guide and if these should include a guide for pronunciation of each phoneme in a glossary as well (you tend to find these in standard first language dictionaries if you look) this could also prove useful.
Finally, don?t give up! Many people just stop when they reach the confused stage but this is when you need to just push through. Remember when you learnt to drive and all of a sudden you just ?got it?? Learning how to speak German is the same; once you?ve ?got it? you?ll be well on your way to understanding and being understood in the German language.