German is not a difficult language
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. German is not at all a difficult language to learn. While you may have come across the word “Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz” at least once in your life and it may have shaken your mind, you’ll be delighted to know that this 63-character word has been dropped by the EU.
It is true that learning a new language takes a lot of time and effort and the same fundamentals apply to the German language. However, if you stay committed towards your goal and give your best shot, you’ll be able to learn the language fast. Why worry when we are here? We got lots of interesting tips and tricks in store for you in this guide. Keep reading to uncover the secrets to learning Germany language in a fast and simple way.
Fact: Research shows that Native English speakers can learn German faster than people speaking other languages.
10 reasons why you should learn the German language
We will never run out of reasons why you should learn the German language. Here are 15 reasons why you should do it:
- German ranks among the top ten commonly spoken languages in the world.
- There is not much difference between German and English. Numerous German words sound like English words such as Finger = finger, Haus = House, Schule = school. Did you know – German and English belong to the same family?
- German is the second most widely used scientific language across the globe.
- Out of all the books that are published in the world every year, 18% of the books are published in the German language.
- Several written pieces of Philosophy, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Literature, etc. are written in the German language and continue to be written in German language.
- The economy of Germany ranks at the top in Europe and fourth worldwide.
- Most of the native speakers in Europe speak German.
- If you are a foreign student who wishes to pursue higher education in Germany, you may be required to clear the German proficiency test in some of the universities of your choice.
- Most of the renowned international corporations are in Germany.
- German is the language of innovators and inventors.
Fact: Both, German and English are a part of the family of Germanic languages (a group of Indo-European languages).
Learning the German language – how long will it take?
If you speak a native language that is not a part of the Indo-European languages group, it may take you a little more time to learn the German language as compared to native English speakers. So, hold your horses and don’t lose patience if you are taking more time to learn German as compared to your friends. Prepare yourself for obstacles and keep going strong.
No specific duration outline can define how quickly you’ll learn the German language. Consistency is the key here. If you think you’ll be able to speak German is a couple of days, that’s not happening. Some people learn the German language really quickly as compared to other because of their dedication and efforts.
If you’re looking forward to becoming a pro in the German language and speaking it fluently, remember that you’ll require a few years of practice.
Beginning the journey towards the German language – how to start?
It’s best to start everything with the basics. Therefore, let’s begin with the basic of the German language, i.e. alphabets.
The number of letters in German is similar to the number of letter in the English language – 26. There are a few letters in German that have different pronunciation – ä,ö,ü, and β. You will not find them in the English language.
The first step towards learning the alphabets is knowing the pronunciation by heart. Use this table to identify the pronunciation of various alphabets in German.
The German grammar review
Well, the words “grammar” and “difficult” are synonymous. Whether it is English Grammar or German Grammar, it is bound to be difficult. However, if you want to obtain fluency in the German language, you must focus on the grammar part.
There are four types of cases in the German language – Nominative, Accusative, Dative, and Genitive.
Nominative Personal Pronouns
I = Ich
You = Du
She = Sie
He = Er
It = Es
We = Wir
You = Sie
They = Sie
Y’all = Ihr
Accusative Personal Pronouns
Me = Mich
Us = Uns
You = Dich
You = Sie
Him = Ihn
Her = Sie
It = Es
Them = Sie
Dative Personal Pronouns
Me = Mir
Us = Uns
You = Dir
Y´all = Euch
You = Ihnen
Him = Ihm
Her = Ihr
It = Ihm
They = Ihnen
Genitive Personal Pronouns
Mine = Meiner
Yours = Deiner
His = Seiner
Hers = Ihrer
Its = Seiner
Ours = Unser
Yours = Euer
Theirs = Ihrer
Yours (formal) = Ihrer
- For feminine nouns – die
- For masculine nouns – der
- For neutral gender – das
Tenses in German
- Prasens or the present tense
- Prateritum or the perfect tense
- Plusuamperfekt or the past perfect tense
- Futur I or the future tense
- Futur II or the future perfect plus tense – “will” and “have”
The use of ‘the’ in German
Common German phrases and expressions used in daily life
|How are you?||Wie geht es dir?|
|Thank you very much!||Vielen Dank!|
|I am fine!||Mir geht es gut!|
|I am not doing well||Mir geht es nicht gut|
|You’re welcome!||Bitte sehr|
|Happy Birthday!||Alles Gute zum Geburtstag|
|I am from Germany||Ich komme aus Deutschland|
|Good morning!||Guten Morgen!|
|Good night!||Gute Nacht!|
|Good evening!||Guten Abend!|
|My name is Sarah||Ich heiße Sarah|
|What is your name?||Wie heißen sie?|
|I am hungry||Ich bin hungrig|
|You are late||Du bist spät|
|Excuse me||Entschuldigen Sie mich|
|Do you want water?||Wollen Sie Wasser?|
|What do you want to eat?||Was wollen Sie essen?|
|What do you want to drink?||Was wollen Sie trinken?|
|Do you want to dance with me?||Wollen Sie mit mir tanzen?|
|I cannot||Ich kann nicht.|
|I must go||Ich muss gehen.|
It’s fun time – funny German words coming your way!
|Ohrwurm||Ear Worm||The term “Ear Worm” refers to a person who listens to a song in the morning and keeps humming it through the day.|
|Kummerspeck||Grief Bacon||The term “Grief Bacon” refers to a person who gains weight due to emotional overeating.|
|Weichei||Soft Egg||The term “Soft Egg” refers to a person who is cowardly and weak.|
|Sitzfleisch||Seat Meat||The term “Seat Meat” refers to a person who can sit in one place for hours together without getting bored.|
|Donnerbalken||Thunder Beam||The term “Thunder Beam” refers to a toilet.|
|Wildpinkler||Wild Pee-er||The term “Wild Pee-er” refers to someone who pees outside a toilet.|
|Durchfall||Through Fall||The term “Through Fall” means Diarrhea.|
|Brustwarze||Breast Wart||The term “Breast Wart” refers to a nipple.|
|Zahnfleisch||Tooth Meat||The term “Tooth Meat” refers to gums.|
|Kopfkino||Head Cinema||The term “Head Cinema” refers to someone who thinks about everything in depth.|
Idioms in German
Da kannst du Gift drauf nehmen
You can take poison on that
You can bet on it
Zwei Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen
Kill two flies with one swat
To kill two birds with the same stone
Eine Extrawurst verlangen
To ask for an extra sausage
To ask for special treatment
Tomaten auf den Augen haben
To have tomatoes on one’s eyes
To be oblivious to the happenings around you
Ich bin fix und fertig
I’m quick and ready
Du nimmst mich auf den Arm!
You’re taking me on your arm
You’re pulling my leg
Sich zum Affen machen
Make an ape of yourself
Make a fool of yourself
Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben
Don’t praise the day before the evening
Don’t count your chicks before they hatch
Klar wie Kloßbrühe
Clear as dumpling broth
Ich habe Schwein gehabt
I’ve had a pig
I’ve had a stroke of luck
Popular German slangs
You cannot expect the people of Germany to always be grammatically correct or talk in a professional tone with each other. Imagine, you’re walking down the beautiful streets of Berlin and finding it difficult to understand what people are talking about – their slangs!
To solve this problem, we’ve gathered some popular German slangs to make this task easy for you. Let’s look at them.
To chill, have fun, hang out with friends
Agreed upon something or settled
Bis nächstes Mal
Until next time
Auf Jeden Fall
In every case or in no case
Being in a good mood
Was geht ab?
Mix of Ja (Yes) and Nein (No). Used when someone is not clear about something.
Aus der Reihe tanzen
Refers to people who act different from others
Die Nase voll haben
To have enough of something
The vibrant German culture and people
Traditional German food
These are soft pork sausages with a beautiful texture. You’ll find them at every barbeque in Germany.
A creamy vegetarian pasta made of flour, eggs, dough, and a little salt.
Also, a form of pork sausage – steamed and then fried.
Smooth beef chunks submerged in tangy hot juices for hours together.
A tasty German side dish – these are crispy pan-friend potatoes.
A German pork meat sausage prepared in the oven. Served in small pieces with mustard and freshly baked bread.
Palm-sized square pockets of pasta dough like ravioli, crimped the edges. Available in pork, beef, and vegetarian versions.
A dish containing finely sliced meat combined with a thick sauce and wine.
A stuffed grilled meat roll prepared by stuffing a thin slice of meat with ham, mustard, and onions.
Sliced veal-meat covered egg, flour, small pieces of bread, and fried in butter or oil until it becomes golden brownish.
Avoid these 8 German language mistakes to stay on the right path
When you start learning a new language, you will make mistakes. There’s no need to feel embarrassed about it as these mistakes will help you in the long run. When you start learning the German language, you’ll notice that you will tend to confuse a lot of things with your mother tongue or your native language. Some of the common mistakes will be your attempt to relate the German words to the words in your native language or the pronunciation. For instance, the German word “bekommen” sounds similar to “to become” in native English. However, its meaning is completely different. In German, bekommen means to get something. While many words might sound similar, it is not necessary that they have the same meaning. Keep this in mind while learning German!
Attention! If you want to learn German the right way, here are a few things that you must remember and avoid.
- The “Also” confusion
In the German language, “Also” does not mean the same as the also in the English language. The “German Also” means thus, therefore.
Here’s an example of the usage of “Also” in German
Es regnet. Also bliebe ich zu Haus.
It’s raining. Therefore, I am staying at home.
- The “Denn and Dann” confusion
“Dann” is an adverb and means “then”, while “Denn” is a conjunction and means “for” or “because.”
Here’s an example of the usage of “Denn” in German
Ich esse zu Mittag, dann werde ich ausgehen.
I am having lunch, then I will go out.
- The “Freund” case
There are two words for the word “Friend” in German, based on the gender. For male, it is “Freund” and for female it is “Freundin.”
The plural form of Freundin is “Freundinnen.” For more than one male or female friend, the word “Freunde” is used.
- The “Für and Vor” confusion
These similarly sounding prepositions have very different meanings. “Für” means “for” and “Vor” means “in front of/before.”
Here’s an example of the usage of “Für” and “Vor” in German
Ich habe gute Nachricht für Sie.
I have good news for you.
Vor dem Abendessen habe ich Wasser.
Before dinner I have water.
- The “Student and Schüler” difference
In German, “student” refers to someone studying in a university, while “schüler” refers to high-school or elementary school students.
Student (Male), Studentin (Female)
Schüler (Male), Schülerin (Female)
- Word-to-word translation
While learning German, you must remember that the structure of sentences in German may be different from the structure of the sentences in your native language while translating.
- The sound of the letter “z”
Instead of zed, “Z” is spelt as “ts” in German language.
- The umlauts “ü” and “ö”
These vowels are pronounced differently in German. There is no such pronunciation in the English language.
7 free apps to learn the German language quickly
- Babbel – easy, fast, and fun
- Memrise – joyful learning coming your way
- Duolingo – 100% free and premium
- Anki – learn with intelligent flashcards
- Wie Geht’s – an award-winning language learning app
- Deutsche Akademie – learning German made easy
- Wordpic – the magic of German words with pictures