Learning a new language to the point where one is flawlessly fluent is quite challenging, especially in the years of adulthood. As a child, or when at school we are physiologically and psychologically more prone to picking up faster as our lack of higher responsibility, stressful duties and the rhythm of our lifestyles dictate meanwhile being an adult means less concentration, less time and less space on our hard drives.
Learning a language the hard way, forcing ourselves into boring intensive courses with ages of complicated grammar and academic vocabulary we ain’t even able to spell is most probably beneficial at some point yet mostly it tends to get frustrating and resentful.
The art of learning a new language must be natural, fun and exciting keeping one attentive enough to feel comfortable to dive deep into exploring all the open doors and possibilities these magical letters offer, making a game out of it to gladly challenge and impress the self and the ones we interact with.
All the hopeless attempts into reaching for the goal are insightful to at least let you know which way not to go next time therefore among a pile of dos and don’ts individually we come up with some solid steps on how to approach an issue and progressively start implying the unwritten rules.
A rather unorthodox yet very practical and promising few steps will lead you to a memorable journey of learning German, one of the most difficult languages to comprehend at first and the most fascinating and extravagant language afterwards. For the ones who are not afraid of change, voila… challenge accepted.
If you are really serious about learning German there are some radical changes you have to consider. First off, take a year off! Find a job online in any city you would like to live, hunt for a type of job that acquires less talking and more walking so your lack of German won’t pose a problem. Book a flight and pack your bags, and FYI some prior research won’t do any harm you might even find a place to stay among youth forums and travel guides like this one.
Once you’ve settled to change your whole routine, start with upgrading your iPod with some great German music. Slowly-slowly, your ears will get a grip on the pronunciation and the language will become more familiar for your ears. Besides internationally famous bands like Rammstein and Kraftwerk there are other awesome musicians like Silbermond, 2raumwohnoung, Xavier Naidoo or even the rapper Samy Deluxe.
Whatever you do, have a TV and cable in your apartment. Cherry-pick a soap opera, the cheesier the better and start watching it. ALERT- no English subtitles whatsoever. In no time you will start picking up words and phrases based on the body language, intonation and the whole plot of the series. Might be boring in the beginning however after a few days you will instantly catch yourself smiling at their jokes or getting annoyed by a rather irritating situation and then EUREKA… you got it, you are able to understand.
Get an app on your smartphone which includes German learning through games, crosswords, pronunciation and writing. Gazillion similar apps exist on these virtual stores so fish for the one that doesn’t bore you; on the contrary it must get you hooked on using it. This trip is all about learning German so be patient, the good stuff is yet to come.
Talk, talk, talk
Once you start going out, don’t be afraid to talk to the girl in the bakery, the old guy in the market over the corner, the cute guy at the neighborhood coffee shop or the handsome bartender at the club. Germans are quite friendly when you get to know them and most importantly they appreciate highly the effort you are putting in communicating in broken German. Talk, talk, talk… its usually cute and considered friendly moreover it’s a great mean to get vis a vis with your softer spots. Practice makes perfect, so keep on repeating the pattern.
American Date in Germany
Start dating! Invite someone on a romantic American dinner and a movie and choose to watch a movie you’ve seen before. All the movies in the cinema are synchronized in German, so you’d just experience the plot from a different perspective. Afterwards pick a traditional restaurant and read the menus out loud, it’s ridiculous, mental and so much fun.
Friends can be helpful in many ways; anyhow, the dynamics of life sets limitation to free time for our newcomer who is learning German. After setting your comfort-zone, go out there and get yourself a German boyfriend/girlfriend for the time being. If everything goes right, invite him/her to live with you, split the rent and share the love. If he/she speaks English like you speak German there is no doubt you will both benefit out of this compromise. Writes letters to each other, and correct the mistakes together afterwards. Cute, isn’t it? Go out into town and find a library that sells book for children, adventurous fairy-tales that you will read to each other later on, for a goodnight sleep. Day after day you will realize that your life also is becoming a fairy-tale of its own, and isn’t that awesome.