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Suggestions for improving German speaking skills?

According to Duolingo, I am 35% fluent in German (intermediate proficiency). I told my boyfriend, who speaks German fluently, and he just laughed. And rightly so. Maybe I can RECOGNIZE 35% of German language... If I'm reading it. Or expect to know what topic it is (i.e., Duolingo). But I am hopeless at speaking. Which, in my opinion, is probably the most important skill.

How can I work to improve this skill? While not necessarily annoying my boyfriend with baby German (i.e., on my own, partially)?

November 29, 2017



Hi Melissa,

I know it is hard to overcome your self and start speaking a foreign language but there's no other way. And your boyfriend is your best opportunity. Start with little sentences. 'Gib mir bitte das Glas' 'Danke' 'Was hast du gesagt?' 'lass uns gehen' Mix it in your conversation when you are sure you know how to say it. It will help to start speaking.

Your boyfriend can help you doing the same. And if you make a little mistake he can repeat the sentence correct. You say it correct and then go on. No big discussion. You will see your conversation in German will grow.

Nur Mut! Du musst einfach nur anfangen :-)

liebe Grüße Angel


You could check out this guy: https://fluent-forever.com He puts a lot of emphasis on pronunciation (due to his background as an opera singer). The book is worth checking out, and I believe an app is in development, but I don't know much about it.

Also, check out other (non-Duolingo) resources that use real speakers (not TTS). For example: the official courses over at Memrise have videos and audio of native speakers. https://www.memrise.com/course/1098512/german-1/

But your best learning resource by far will be your boyfriend.

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