Learning German | Open your heart - Artikel | Open your heart | DW | 26.09.2016

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Open your heart - Artikel

Learning German

Learning German is the most important thing for someone who is new to Germany. Knowing the language makes meeting people and finding work less difficult.

Learn German

When starting a new life in Germany, it is important to learn German as soon as possible. Even speaking English will only get you so far. Most Germans learned English in school, but many people have not used it and forgotten what they learned. Foreign films and TV shows are synchronized into German and this means that Germans may have less contact with English than people in other countries.

Learn German – at language schools and online

Luckily, there are many options for learning German, whether online or in courses near where you live. Anyone who is new in Germany can find out online where there are German courses. There are also free online language courses. Deutsche Welle offers a range of options for learning German. 

There are language courses in almost every city and town in Germany and many are offered by so-called Volkshochschulen, which are public education centers. They offer German courses ranging from the beginning to advanced level and you can also take a test to get a language certificate. This will help later during job searches.

From beginner to advanced – different skill levels

There is a system for measuring language skill level. A1 is for beginners, A2 is for advanced beginners, B1 is intermediate, B2 is advanced intermediate. Learners at the C1 level are advanced and the C2 level is when someone speaks almost perfect German.

For total beginners, there are alphabetization courses suited for those who are not familiar with German letters.

Learning a new language is always difficult. But it’s a big advantage to live in the country where the language is spoken so that you always are in contact with it. It is important not to be afraid to make mistakes. You shouldn’t worry that you won’t be understood and you shouldn’t be discouraged if you progress slower than you want.

Learn German in everyday life

It isn’t difficult to come in contact with German in everyday life. The language is everywhere and there are many ways to learn. You can watch videos online, listen to music, read magazines. If you are on public transport you can listen to people and pay attention to how they talk to each other and try to understand what they are saying. It is also useful to read signs and flyers in public places. You can use apps on your smart phone to look up words you don’t know.

There is a saying in German, “Übung macht den Meister”, or in English, “practice makes perfect” – and this is true! Practicing and learning German every day will help you to advance your language skills quickly.

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