Is German Hard to Learn? The Beginnerís Guide, Without Sugarcoating
Mar 27, †∑ Although some aspects of German, such as the ones weíve looked at in this post, may seem difficult, once you break the language down, itís not actually that hard. Thanks to regular patterns and easily recognisable rules, German grammar can be very straightforward. Yes, it takes some time to learn the rules and truly master them, but thatís the case with any language you might learn. In this sense, it can be difficult to call any language harder or easier to learn than another. The Defense Language Institute considers German to be a Category II (out of IV) language for difficulty. Their class lasts for 35 weeks and includes about hours of study.
Determining whether German is a hard language to learn is highly dependent on subjective factors such as your native language, how many other languages you speak, and your personal motivation level. In this sense, it can be difficult to call any language harder or easier to learn than another.
Their class lasts for 35 weeks and includes about hours of study. At the end of the class, students are expected to have a Level 2 comprehension where Level 5 is completely fluent. This means that the above languages derived from a common ancestor and generally have some similarities. A native speaker of these languages might find learning German to be easier than a native speaker of another language.
We will also cover ways in which German can seem easy to learn and compare it to some other languages that are considered difficult. Anything different from what you know can seem difficult until you learn the rules. Most languages have their own specific grammar rules and learning these can feel difficult, especially if it is your first time learning a new language.
German uses four cases including nominative, accusative, dative and genitive. Nouns and pronouns take on different suffixes depending on the case. Articles are also case-sensitive. English uses three cases including nominative heaccusative him and genitive his and only the pronouns are affected. Unlike English, German nouns are masculine, feminine or neutral. Definite articles include der Mdas N and die F in nominative case, but they change with each case.
In English, plurals are generally made by adding an -s or -es to the word. In German, a plural word can take an -e, -er, -n, -en, -s or nothing at all at the end. On the flip side, German has its easy points, too. For example, the German language has been standardized. So, even though you will find a variety of dialects, words and language rules are the same wherever German is spoken.
English, on the other hand, is not standardized and this is most notable when comparing British English and American English. For example, American English uses cookie or french fries.
British English refers to those same words as biscuits and chips, respectively. It is easy to see how one could easily be confused even when speaking their native tongue. In all German-speaking areas, asking for keks will always be understood that you want a cookie.
A few other ways in which German can be an easy language to learn include:. German letter pronunciation is consistent and phonetic. The sound of the letter is always the same. Consider the English c in words like circus. As a non-native English speaker, words like this that include both the hard and soft sounds of the consonant can be a major headache.
Likewise, spelling is uniform and structured. Diphthongs like the German ei will always be pronounced as eye. In English, the same diphthong can be pronounced at least two different ways, and there are no clear-cut rules for spelling the sound.
For example, both weird and ear sound alike but are spelled differently. German verbs, both regular and irregular, follow a pattern for conjugating. Though it may seem difficult to learn at first, once you figure out the pattern, it becomes much easier.
Cognates are words in different languages that are spelled similarly and mean the same thing. For example, the English athlete is athlet in German. Since language learning is so subjective, it is hard to compare the difficulty in learning How to monitor compliance to procedures to the difficulty in learning other languages.
Russian, along with Chinese, is often considered one of the most difficult how difficult is german language to learn to master. It uses the Cyrillic alphabet, which is mostly different from the German alphabet. Chinese uses how difficult is german language to learn, basic characters and verbs remain the same independent of the subject. The alphabet does not share any common characters with the German alphabet.
The length of time it takes to learn German is highly dependent on the individual. A native speaker of English may pick up German quicker than a native Japanese speaker because the languages are more similar. A few other factors that will influence how long it takes to how to track order number German include:. Gaining complete fluency, which is thinking and speaking in the language, can take between three and five years.
However, this is not a guaranteed time parameter. Just like with learning to speak German, it highly depends on the learner. Another factor that contributes to fluency is immersion. Immersion is living in a German-speaking community and using the language daily. German uses the character Latin alphabet like English. Many of these letters are pronounced the same in German and English making it super easy to learn. Here is a resource that can help you master the German Alphabet.
If you are considering learning to speak German, you can test the waters with a few different free resources. Duolingo German is one of the most fun sites for language learning. Its game-like platform and variety of speaking, writing and reading exercises keeps learning fun and interesting.
Duolingo will not give you in-depth coverage of German, but it is a good supplement for a more comprehensive program. Another free language learning platform is Deutsch Leren. It offers 10 beginner lessons with German exercises how to mental telepathy someone alphabetical word lists.
After mastering the beginner lessons, move on to advanced German lessons. One of the most comprehensive courses for money is GermanPod by Innovative Languages. Another paid resource is Mimic Method developed by Idahosa Ness. As a musician, he uses music and sound as the basis for learning.
Similar to the Pimsleur Method, the Mimic Method claims to teach you the same way you learned your native language, by listening and mimicking. Though German can seem difficult for some and easy what is the upside down v in math others, we feel that overall it is on the easier side of language learning.
With proper time and immersion into German, anyone willing to put in the time can succeed. Skip to content Determining whether German is a hard language to learn is highly dependent on subjective factors such as your native language, how many other languages you speak, and your personal motivation level.
In this article, we will attempt to determine just how difficult German is to learn. Contents Is German Hard to Learn? Motivation of learner Time spent in study Duration and intensity of the course.
The German Case System When people say that German grammar is hard, cases are probably the biggest reason. But Germans learn German from a young age just as well as English speakers learn English. Thereís nothing inherently difficult or complicated about the . Nov 09, †∑ The result is that unlike other languages, where it is pretty much enough to learn a word and move on, in German youíll have to simultaneously learn itís gender and itís plural form. A mental violence, basically. 4. Because certain sounds are really hard to pronounce. German is quite difficult, much more difficult than my previous experiences with Spanish or Italian. But it isn't difficult in the ways I was expecting it to be. The quirks that English speakers (and probably others) have heard about are not so bad in comparison to other issues that I was totally unprepared for.
Many beginner level language students have the misconception that German is an almost impossible language to learn. Seemingly endless compound words and the concept of noun genders is often enough to scare people off learning German for good.
Pick up a copy of German Uncovered. This comprehensive beginner German programme teaches you through the power of story and will have you speaking confident German in no time. Pronunciation is also more straightforward than you might think and grammar is easy to pick up thanks to easily recognisable patterns.
Along with a few tips and tricks, you can learn German in no time at all. English, with million native speakers, and German, with million native speakers, are the two most widely-spoken West Germanic languages.
Since they both developed separately from the same shared ancestor, they still share a large number of cognates. Cognates are words that are pronounced or spelled similarly in two different languages that also have similar meanings.
And the good news is that English and German share a lot of them! Without knowing any German, you can probably guess what the English equivalents are of the following months:. These include the most basic and frequently used expressions. To start decoding German words, it can help to know a few simple tricks. For example, sometimes the English equivalent of a German word can be created by changing pf , ff , or f into a p , such as in Pfeffer pepper , offen open , and helfen help.
Examples include:. Sometimes z changes to a soft c in English. Have a look at these examples:. In English, letters often change sounds without any logical explanation.
You can read my in-depth guide to German pronunciation here. Eventually, it will start to feel more natural. Accept that you will have a foreign-sounding accent in the beginning. At first, it will be easier to recognise words being spoken than to pronounce them perfectly yourself. Take time to familiarise yourself with the alphabet and pronunciation of common sounds and practice regularly.
Regular practice is crucial to improving pronunciation, especially if you have a native speaker to help you. But what about German grammar? German grammar ó and the cases, in particular ó has a reputation for being mindbendingly difficult. German nouns have three different classifications and can be either be masculine, feminine, or neuter.
However, there are a few tips for guessing the gender of a word. For example, nouns are nearly always feminine if they end in:. Verb infinitives used as nouns leben , to live, vs. Finally, the masculine case is given to days, months, compass directions, instruments, and most words ending in:. German also uses cases, meaning words also change according to their grammatical function in a sentence. There are four cases in German:. Believe it or not, in English, we use something similar to the nominative and accusative forms without realising it!
In German, the same concept applies not only to pronouns, but almost all other nouns as well. Additionally, German uses the dative case for indirect objects and the genitive case to describe possession. There are two basic patterns to memorise in order to determine which case applies to a given word. Notice that the accusative case is only used with the masculine singular and the feminine case basically only has two forms.
German prepositions often take on a case of their own. Accusative prepositions include:. German also features two-way prepositions. These can take either accusative or dative, depending on a key question, ó where? Or where to? In German however, it can seem intimidating when you have to choose between an -e, -er, -n, -en, -s , or no ending at all.
German grammar is actually very straightforward if you stick with it! In this case, by using the rules above as a guideline, you can almost always figure out the plural form of any word. Thanks to regular patterns and easily recognisable rules, German grammar can be very straightforward. German grammar may seem intricate and complicated in the beginning.
However, cases, genders, plurals, and other grammatical constructs all follow clear simple rules. The key with German is not to get intimidated. If this post has piqued your interest and you're motivated to get started on your German learning journey, then I've created something I know you'll love.
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These include all the months of the year as well as lots of other common everyday vocabulary. Right away, learning the basics of German just got a whole lot easier! As we can see, even words spelled differently in German can be decoded with little effort.
The best way to learn German pronunciation is by starting with the alphabet. This will change with enough exposure to the language but it does take some time.
For the most part, the gender of a noun has to be learned along with the word itself. For example, nouns are nearly always feminine if they end in: The neuter gender is assigned to most metals and nouns ending in: Verb infinitives used as nouns leben , to live, vs. Finally, the masculine case is given to days, months, compass directions, instruments, and most words ending in: German also uses cases, meaning words also change according to their grammatical function in a sentence.
Prepositions take the dative case if they purely describe location where? Most nouns ending in -er, -el , or -en have no endings. Feminine nouns ó almost all feminine nouns have an -n or -en ending. Neuter nouns ó neuter nouns often use an -s ending after words adopted from English and French. For example, Hotel s , Restaurant s , Team s.
This might seem complicated, but the trick is not to get too bogged down in the details. German Uncovered: German The Natural Way If this post has piqued your interest and you're motivated to get started on your German learning journey, then I've created something I know you'll love. Facebook Twitter Instagram. Download Now. Submit Request.
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