Germany is considered the fourth most powerful country in the world, according to the 2021 Best Countries report. It’s easy to understand why: it has a huge influence in the European Union, and it’s a hotspot for startups, scientists, and engineers. Plus, when we group up the three major German-speaking countries, we get over 70 Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Medicine. So, it’s not a coincidence that German is the second most used language in science. But the arts are also well represented, with 11 German-speaking winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature. However, learning German offers more than a career boost or easier access to scientific studies. Germany is one of the few countries where university education is completely free, even for international students. This means that if you learn German, you can get your degree from a first-rate college without having to pay student loans for the rest of your life.
Why Learn German With Language Learning Software
Because of German’s popularity, it doesn’t take much research to find various strategies, tips, and other resources to help you study. However, since German is such a unique language, it’s challenging to learn without a carefully built study plan. Above all else, years of research mean that language learning software offers a course structure that will help you quickly learn German.
Another reason to use software to learn German is to better memorize the 20,000 words required to reach fluency. Language learning platforms introduce new vocabulary at the right time to make this process faster. They even include revision sessions to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Language learning tools also help with the complex German grammar system. It explains all the different verb forms, when to use one of the three genders (male, female, neuter), and more. Finally, since spoken German is so different from its written form, you’ll also need to study how to create sentences so that you can have conversations with a native speaker. And let’s not forget that German pronunciation isn’t the easiest. By integrating speaking exercises with speech recognition, many language learning platforms can evaluate your pronunciation and tell you exactly where you need to improve.
Recommended Language Learning Apps for German
Busuu is one of the most comprehensive platforms on the market. It offers flashcards for vocabulary, exercises for grammar, and dialogues for speaking. The well-structured German course is ideal for beginner and intermediate students, as it teaches you all the way up to B2 level – and provides you with official certificates. Busuu is also perfect for meeting native speakers. It comes with a built-in social platform where you can start conversations, ask for feedback about exercises, or record yourself and ask for advice on how to improve your pronunciation. The best part is that you can use Busuu for free forever. Even if it’s a limited version of the Premium plan, it offers more than enough content for those just starting out.
As an entirely audio-based language learning app, Pimsleur is excellent for those who want to focus on improving their listening and speaking skills. The curriculum follows the Pimsleur Method, which combines organic learning with the principle of anticipation and periodic reminders. Students who get Pimsleur’s premium version get some extra learning resources, which include interactive games and reading exercises. The Pimsleur German course is divided into five units and takes around 80 hours to complete. When you consider that the software will teach you how to speak German with fluency, ease, and a near-native accent, that’s not too long. You can try out Pimsleur’s first lesson for free without even entering your payment details.
If you prefer a more traditional approach and want to learn German with a tutor, Lingoda is the app to use. It allows you to book one-hour sessions with native teachers 24/7. You won’t always learn from the same tutor, but everyone follows a strict curriculum designed by Lingoda. That’s why the platform offers a smooth learning experience, as your lessons follow a constant progression. The German program teaches you from A1 up to C2, and Lingoda provides a Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) certificate after completing each level. For students who are ready to commit to studying German every day, it’s possible to get the full course for free by conquering Lingoda’s 90-day challenge.
The Challenges of Learning German
Although German and English are both West Germanic languages and share some vocabulary, the truth is that German is far more complex than its distant cousin. That’s in part because the language is constantly expanding with new terms created by a process known as Wortbildung – you might know them as those catchy words like ‘Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaft’. This means that German has dozens of ways of expressing the same thing, making it even longer to memorize all the necessary vocabulary. On top of that, you also need to learn when to use a particular expression. Language learning software won’t make this challenge go away, but at least it can make it more fun and ensure you don’t forget any words that you’ve already learned. And let’s not forget that Germans use three genders (male, female, and neuter), which follow some vague rules.
Spoken German is very different from how it’s written. Even if you understand everything you read, you’ll still have a hard time understanding what people are saying. That’s because Germans don’t speak with proper grammar as we know it. They substitute the genitive with the dative, rearrange sentences to emphasize the most important part, use incorrect verb forms, and the list continues. So, using a language learning app that offers both writing and speaking exercises is essential, but you already knew that since German also has such challenging pronunciation.
Best Ways To Learn German Online
Language learning software will guide you through your German learning journey, but there are a few ways to improve your experience even further. The fastest way to memorize any language is through immersion, which means having contact with the language as much as possible. Fortunately, Germany is the home of fantastic TV shows, movies, and music. For example, if you’re into The Office, you can improve your listening and speaking skills by watching the German version of the show – Stromberg. Meanwhile, if you’re into crime drama series, Tatort has been running since the seventies and follows an ever-changing cast of police detectives.
German literature is also full of excellent books for you to read. The novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind was an international sensation in 1985, and it also got a Netflix adaptation. Last but not least, 6% of all websites are written in German, so you’ll easily find online articles about all kinds of topics.