How great would it be to travel to Germany and interact with locals? Do you want to learn their language? Is German easy to learn?
Is German hard to learn? (spoiler alert- no, it’s not)
German is your top choice now that you’ve decided to start learning a new language (a great choice, by the way). You’re wondering if learning German is difficult now that you’ve made some progress.
The immediate response is, “No! The German language is accessible to all.”
And now for my first piece of advice: no matter why you’re learning a new language, have fun with it.
The good news is that you will learn German and enjoy yourself while doing so; however, a few factors will determine how easily or quickly you learn it.
Let’s begin by quickly going over the main factors that influence how someone learns and comprehends a new language:
- Predisposition: Everyone is aware that some people find it easier to learn a language than others. They have that quality, such as a sharp musical ear or a strong sense of direction. Even if this gives them an advantage, there are numerous other factors that influence how difficult a person perceives a language.
- Motivation: Whether or not you have a natural talent for languages, being extremely motivated can help you learn new languages quickly and effectively. Transfers to Spain in the near future, the prospect of a career abroad, or the prospect of a romantic partner from Spain have always been excellent motivators!
- How similar German is to your native tongue: German is a romance language, which implies that its roots are in Latin. Depending on your first language, learning German could be simple or difficult.
Even so, learning it is far easier than learning many other difficult foreign languages.
If you are a native speaker of French, Portuguese, or Romanian, or if you are fluent in one of these languages, learning German will be a breeze. These languages share many words, grammar rules, and structural similarities.
Even though learning German will require more time and effort, you will be surprised at how simple it can be if you have the right resources. German is, in fact, very similar to those languages.
Easy ways to learn German
So, is it difficult for English speakers to learn German? Learning German can be intimidating at first.
Rumors of complex grammatical structures, super long words, and a million different articles don’t help either. So, if you’re considering learning German, you might be wondering how difficult or simple it is.
Let’s look at these rumors and see if they’re as scary as they sound. It turns out that learning German isn’t as difficult as you think. So, after that much time spent learning the language, you should be able to hold a basic conversation and participate in a variety of German-language activities.
In the end, they are just numbers; everyone learns differently and has different needs. Having said that, let’s talk about the easiest and most difficult aspects of learning German and strategies for overcoming any obstacles you may face. Let us begin with the good news.
1. Nouns are easily recognized in German
Even if you never studied German, you may have noticed that several words in German are written with a capital letters in places like instruction manuals. These are nouns: whether common or abstract, they always have a capital letter in German. This method dates back to Luther’s time and has been contested for a long time but never abandoned: Germans are too convinced of the improved readability of a text.
2. Germans have rules to abide
Although English is one of the world’s most widely studied and used languages, English grammar remains a mystery to many native and foreign speakers. English has no academy (unlike French’s Académie française or Spanish’s Real Academia Espaola), and debates over verb tenses continue to this day.
It’s easier in German because there are rules that must be followed. They may not always make sense,’ but the inner struggle eventually fades.
3. There are few pronunciation rules
Aside from the difficulty of the aforementioned sounds, one cannot say that German has strict pronunciation rules. Unlike English, where every word is pronounced differently, or French, where the rules are strict and dictations are required even in the most advanced course levels.
The only sounds that change in German are certain diphthongs (such as eu=oi and ei=ai) and the v, which is read as f. The rest of the words are pronounced exactly as they are written. And this is unquestionably noteworthy.
The harsh pronunciation of German is frequently exaggerated. The “ch” and “r” sounds can give the impression that it is a very aggressive language. Of course, this is not the case. German is a melodic language, just like any other. And with enough practice, you’d be fluent in no time.
Clear rules make German pronunciation simple. While there are many inconsistencies in English, German is much more straightforward. Once you’ve mastered all of the rules, you can apply them to the entire language. German, like French, does not have silent letters. This also makes reading German much easier.
Why German is a bit hard to learn
Learning German, like any other foreign language, has some more difficult parts. The most important thing to remember is to not let yourself become overwhelmed; with a little research and practice, everything will be much easier for you.
However, the following are some factors that can make learning German difficult for some students and necessitate a little extra effort.
German grammar is difficult, frustrating at times, and will most likely take some time to master.
The majority of students struggle with grammatical cases (to be fair, they can be a pain even for native speakers). But once you realize how useful they are, you’ll understand why the effort is worthwhile.
For example, cases allow us to be very precise and definitive when it comes to who does or receives the action in a sentence. Finally, this improves the clarity and efficiency of our communication.
On the bright side, understanding English grammar can help you understand German grammar.
Learning German: where should you start?
Now that we’ve cleared up the difficult aspects of the language, it’s time to give you some basic strategies for learning German quickly, easily, and amusingly.
Examine the fundamental structure. You can begin by enrolling in a German course, reading a book, or using a variety of free online resources. Still, you should begin by focusing on and practicing the fundamental German grammatical structures.
Begin with the fundamentals and gradually add features. Starting with simple statements, you can progress in complexity.
1. Learn basic German conjugations
The verb should be worked on as soon as possible because it is the element that holds the phrase together.
To a native English speaker (who does not have to deal with conjugations in his or her native language), German conjugation may appear to be a lot of work. However, you could begin slowly and focus on the most important aspects.
2. Don’t be shy and have fun with it
To learn a language, you must speak in order to practice speaking. If you’ve mastered the essential structure, learned 100 new vocabularies, and are comfortable with auxiliaries and modal verbs.
What if you first choose the wrong verb or pronounce a word incorrectly? That is only the first stage of learning a language! So relax your guard and strike up a conversation with the first German you meet.
Furthermore, learning a new language is similar to putting together a jigsaw puzzle in that it is a very rewarding cerebral exercise. The best part is that you can “play” with so many different tools and media forms.
The best way to remember vocabulary and grammar structures is to immerse yourself in the language from the start by reading and listening to authentic content. Best of all, you aren’t even aware that you are learning! Don’t worry if you only understand about 10% of what you’re reading or listening to at first.
Pay attention to the keywords, the articles, the verb conjugations, and the words that appear English-like, and then listen or watch for recently learned simple phrases. Building with Legos is similar in that you keep adding various tiny bricks until the desired result is obtained.
Do you believe that German is easy to learn?
Thanks to its simple rules, German is not as difficult to learn as most people believe.
And, because English and German are related languages, you might be surprised at what you learn without even trying!
And, on top of that, it’s unquestionably useful.
German is the 11th most spoken language in the world, with approximately 130 million speakers.
So, what are you holding out for?
However, the truth is that it is not as difficult as many people make it out to be. It is unquestionably something that English speakers can master in the medium term. We won’t lie to you: it does have some difficult aspects.
The simple answer to whether a language is difficult to learn is that it depends. The language and the learner determine it. Let’s look at some of the aspects of standard German in terms of vocabulary, grammar, and culture and how each of these contributes to making it an easy or difficult language to learn for English speakers.