The Key To Learning To Speak German Fluently

Published: 09th August 2010
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Are you planning to visit a German-speaking country? Tackling your German genealogy? Getting ready to take an overseas business assignment? How much German do you really know? If you've read this far, you need to learn to speak German fluently - and we'll show you how!

But there's good news - learning German isn't nearly as hard as you think! You just have to develop an ear for the German language. Pay close attention to a native German speaker as he speaks. Right away, you'll realize that many German vowels and consonants are not pronounced the same way in English. German speakers pronounce the letter combination "Th" like an English "T." German speakers always pronounce "G" as a hard sound, whereas in English, it's sometimes pronounced like a soft "J." Features like this make German sound harsh and hard to the English ear. But internalizing these German sounds will actually help you learn to speak German fluently.

To continue your "sound education," rent a movie starring a German-speaking actor such as Arnold Schwarzenegger. Repeat the actor's lines, trying to make your accent sound as much like his as you can. Yes, you're still speaking English, but the Germanic accent forces you to hear the differences between the two languages. As you learn to speak German fluently, you'll use these sounds to perfect your accent.

Of course, neither of those steps really teaches you German. Learning a language requires a systematic program of study. If convenience is a factor, you may enjoy studying online. Others prefer learning from CDs or through taking a class. Whatever method you choose, make sure your program focuses on conversation. Learning German is a dynamic activity, and you can't learn to speak the language from a book because the book can't speak back. In the end, there's only one way to learn to speak German fluently - listening and talking back.

One of the challenges you'll face in learning German is its three genders - feminine, masculine, and neuter. This may be new to you, because English has no gendered nouns. Dog (der Hund) and coat (der Mantel) are considered masculine in German. Feminine nouns include blanket (die Decke) and vacation (die Ferien). Neuter nouns include house (das Haus) and pig (das Schwein). All three words - "der," "die," or "das" - mean "the," but they show the gender of the noun they accompany. There's no way to predict whether a noun is going to be masculine, feminine, or neuter, so if you want to learn to speak German fluently, always remember to learn the proper article at the same time you learn the noun.

Finally, here is the most important way to learn German fast: find a German friend to talk to! Dialogues on tapes or CDs are great, but to really get the feel of a language, you need to speak it just as you would your own. Find a partner to practice with, and the sky's the limit! You'll not only learn to speak German fluently that way, but you'll improve your social life at the same time!

Are you frustrated learning German? Gerrit reveals the #1 secret to learning German online. Click here to learn the secret how to learn German fast and easy by reading his review of Rocket German.

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