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The 13 best tips to learn German

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As with pretty much any foreign language, learning German requires proper preparation. After all, with a good plan, learning German will be a breeze. Although everyone has their own tactics for learning, we’ve summarized more tips to help you learn:

Deutsch lernen

Important topics for learning German

These pages are relevant for successful learning of German:

Author: Leon Pobuda

Position: Managing Director of Approbatio

Updated: 13.08.2021

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1. Learn German with the right app

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By now there are some super apps on the market to learn German. With these apps you can easily learn German anywhere in the world. You can find the best apps here: The best apps for learning German.

2. Learn german with the right books

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One of the best ways to learn German is to study with a course and workbook for the German language. With the help of the right literature you will quickly make great progress. You can find the right literature here: The 5 best books to learn German.

3. Buy a dictionary

A German dictionary is an absolute must-have when learning German. As a reference work, the dictionary shows you the correct spelling, pronunciation, meaning, grammar and translation of words.

4. Create a learning plan and set goals

Learning German is a challenge. With the right planning you will reach your goal faster. Therefore, you should get an overview at the beginning and divide the learning material into small portions. The best way to do this is to make a list of all the topics you need to work on. Then plan when you want to learn the topics.

Tip: Try to be realistic in your planning. Do not make too high demands on yourself.  

5. Speak german with native speakers

Do you know someone who speaks German as a native language? Then arrange meetings to speak German. Is there no one in your social environment who speaks German? No problem! The social networks offer you some possibilities. For example, there are groups on Facebook that connect native speakers with German learners. Another insider tip is the app Tandem. Through this app, you can easily exchange ideas with German native speakers and improve your German.

6. Watch movies & series in german

Learn German while watching TV? Yes, you can! Many streaming providers like Netflix or Amazon Prime offer the possibility to watch movies and series with subtitles. Watch the videos in German and set the subtitles to your native language. With this variant you train your listening comprehension and pronunciation. In addition, you can remember the vocabulary easier.

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7. Listen to german songs, podcasts or audio books

Another way to practice your listening comprehension is to listen to German songs, podcasts or audio books. It is important for your listening comprehension that you familiarize yourself with the sound and pronunciation. When listening, pay attention to what you already understand or what the song, podcast or audio book is about. For songs, you can do great research on the internet for the lyrics and translate the vocabulary or phrases you don’t know. The advantage of podcasts and audio books is that they speak more clearly.

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8. Eliminate all disruptive factors in learning German

To really learn German effectively, you must not be distracted while learning. Try to stay away from anything that can potentially distract you. Turn off your cell phone and focus completely on the subject matter.

9. Learn german nouns always with the articles

The articles (definite: der, die das; indefinite: ein, eine) are very important in German. Therefore, it is best to get it right from the beginning. Learn the vocabulary directly with articles. For example, don’t just learn the noun „book“, but with the article „das Buch“.

Tip: Also learn the plural forms: „das Buch“ and „die Bücher“.

10. Use post-it to learn german

Schreibe Vokabeln oder wichtige Merksätze auf ein Post-it und verteile diese in deiner Wohnung. Wähle am besten Orte, an denen du dich oft befindest. Beispielsweise in der Küche oder im Wohnzimmer. Dadurch, dass du an den Orten immer automatisch einen Blick auf die zu lernenden Vokabel werfen wirst, lernst du die Vokabeln „im Vorbeigehen!“

11. Mark important contents

If you use a book to learn German, then marking important content is especially helpful. By marking you memorize faster what is important. This makes it easier for you to repeat what you have already learned. A nice side effect is that the fun of learning and your motivation increases automatically.

12. Study regularly to improve your German

Learning German is a question of motivation. Some days you just don’t feel like sitting down and learning. On other days, you spend hours studying German vocabulary and grammar. However, it is much more important to study regularly. It’s best to study one hour a day instead of five hours once a week. This way you will make the most progress!

13. Take breaks when learning German

After 30 – 45 minutes of intensive German learning, it is recommended to take a 5-minute break. Especially when learning, meaningful breaks are important to process what you have learned and to gather new energy. During the break, it is best to go out into the fresh air or open your windows. The oxygen will help you to concentrate better.

Leon Pobuda

Managing Director of Approbatio
Personnel Psychologist (M.Sc.)

Mr. Pobuda studied psychology in Göttingen with a focus on personnel psychology and health and sports psychology. Within his scientific work he researches the leadership behavior of physicians. Mr. Pobuda’s main occupation is managing director of the personnel consultancy for physicians „Approbatio“.