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Further tools and methods to learn German

Hi language learners,

I've been learning German since I was 5 (I'm 15 now) when I encountered for the first time my German family. Problem is that I since then have been busy learning my two native languages French and Norwegian and English. I was however able to learn enough German to raise myself to a quite good level actually. I'm able to understand most of what my German family says and I can have conversations with them. However, since a few moments, I've really been motivated to become closer as I can be to fluent. So I thought of Duolingo, the app that had helped me learn Esperanto so I took the course here. Right now, in order to learn German, I do the course here on Duolingo, I listen to German radio/TV with my step-father, I read some short books with the help of dictionaries. Do you have any more tools or tips for me? Danke für ihre Hilfe :)

November 12, 2017



Writing and reading help, but the best tool I ever had was speaking directly. Finding people with whom you can speak EVERY DAY is the best. I lost most of my German speaking ability after being gone from Germany for so long but I can still read. If your goal is fluent speaking - you have to practice with live people regularly.

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Watch as much of videos/tv shows as you can. I personally prefer sitcoms since there is lots of talking in them. What I'm trying to say is that in 30 minute sitcom you might get as many words/sentences as in 2 hour movie. And so it is much more productive than watching an action movie (with non-speaking action scenes) or a documentary about nature (where you watch 2 minutes of elephants followed by 30 seconds of narrating). Another way to practice listening is podcasts (real radio or amateur ones). Since there is only audio it is also very much "number of words per minute" heavy and so again very productive and useful for your learning.

Speaking/writing helps too of course and in my experience it becomes drastically easier after being exposed to "tons" of video/podcast material. Some people try to write a diary in their new language, I like to think in German about what I did during the day in the evening before I go sleep.

Reading is very much recommended, especially for improving your spelling and word order. I used to read a lot when I was learning English (and it helped me a lot), now I don't read so much when I'm learning German since the spelling is not as hard as in English and the word order can be obtained from video/audio. It sure helps though and I wouldn't mind reading few more books in German in future.

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