1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. What sparked your interest in…


What sparked your interest in German? What has made you successful in learning German?

Hallo allerseits! I was wondering, what sparked your interest in the German language? Was it due to your family heritage? Do you know many German speaking people? For those who speakt it conversationally and or fluently, what was the one source that helped you the most?

I started to learn German in high school. I had become friends with our 3 German and Austrian exchange students, and one of them gave me a book in German, "Der Schutzengel." She said if I wanted to read a good book, I'd learn German. (Der Schutzengel was actually written by an American author, Dean Koontz, and neither of us knew the original American title...it was only a few years back that I found out the American title is "Lightening.") I was 14 when I had started to learn. I wanted to learn because of the book, and because I started to have a deep respect for the language due to hearing it every single day in or out of school, as the 4 of us hung out a lot.

To learn German, I picked up "German for Dummies." It has to have been the best book I've used to learn German. It's been 16 years now, and I've managed to become very fluent, but still make mistakes, which still makes learning fun...at least it has for me. I don't think I will never not make mistakes, but that's okay.

Anyway, I'd love to hear about your experiences and what caught your eye!

February 14, 2018


[deactivated user]

    I was browsing for apps and saw the Duolingo owl. It caught my eye so I've installed it.

    Fast forward five minutes... "hummm, think I'm gonna learn German".

    The end.

    Hardly the most interesting story ever.


    It is a story though, right?


    Definitely German classical music. Especially opera. Opera basically saved my life when I was 19 (I had no experience of classical music before that) and I love basically all of it, but I'm particularly drawn to the German operatic tradition. I didn't really start out intending to seriously learn German, but the language is so magical to me because of the musical associations I have with it that I got completely obsessed and didn't want to stop studying.

    I don't know any native German speakers, but my best friend is a few decades older than I am and grew up in Vienna and Berlin in the context of the Cold War (his father was a CIA agent) and I get completely enchanted by his memories of being young there. So that's really motivating too, since he lives far away and I miss him and it's nice to feel a sense of connection.


    I love German opera, I just cannot understand it. I think it's just the way it is sung that kind of throws me off. One of my best friends is from Berlin. I've only seen the city once, for just a few days. I, much like yourself, just love the language so much that I couldn't stop learning. I am happy that I didn't give up, because now I speak it fairly fluently. It's opened up doors for me professionally as well as personally. Have you ever tried looking up German language meetups in your area? I am sure there is one.

    • 1140

    I took German in H.S. because I had to have a language in order to go to college (at least in that day and age it was said to be required). I do have a lot of German heritage. I took German because I was interested in science and German or Russian was recommended. Years later, when I joined the army I took a MOS that almost guaranteed that I'd be stationed in Germany; and I was. I took German in University while I was in Germany. I lived off base because I was married and spoke German with the locals. Fast forward - I hardly remember any German and I became interested again. So I started the Duo English>German course. This is the short version.


    Oh, it is still very much a requirement to learn a foreign language in University or Community Colleges. I've taken, mostly German, but Italian once semester, too. My husband is originally from Belgium, but he lived in Germany for some time, too. He spoke German pretty fluently until he moved to Bavaria lol. How long were you stationed in Germany for?

    [deactivated user]

      I'm a reader and when I picked up Little Women and read about Mr.Bhaer I fell in love, head over heals with his German accent and HIM. So after a while I started watching stuff, and readings stuff, and looking at stuff that's German, and I fell in love with it. Have been for like three to four years now. I'm even planing on going to Germany when I'm 20(five years to go!! XD) I've been learning German for like two weeks now. Hopefully I'll be ready in five years


      You will certainly be ready If you practice diligently! Good luck to you :P I started to learn German some time ago as well and created a club for those who learn the language. It's called 'carpe_diem'. You are more than welcome to join if you wish to. Here is the code: 9FKHKY. And everyone else who is reading this comment, why don't you become a part of our committed team? Hurry up! Or there will be no slots left :)


      If you keep up with it, you absolutely will be able to do more than just read it. Don't push yourself too hard either. I am a perfectionist, and that may, sometimes, seem like a good thing, but honestly, it's not so great. I pushed myself so hard that all I did was stress myself out and I almost gave up learning German. I am happy I took a small break, relaxed a bit, and when I jumped back into it, I made sure that I didn't push myself too hard.


      Ich interessiere mich für Sprachwissenschaft, und wollte irgendeine Sprache lernen. Es gibt ein paar Gründe, warum ich Deutsch gewählt habe. Ich finde es interessant, wie Deutsch verwandt mit anderen Sprachen ist und was die Unterschiede sind. Ich finde die Grammatik faszinierend. Außerdem wurden viele wichtige philosophische, mathematische, technische und wissenschaftliche Schriften, sowie andere Literatur, auf Deutsch geschrieben, und werden weiter auf Deutsch geschrieben. Weiterhin interessiere ich mich für Genealogie und habe etwas deutsche Wurzeln, weil mein Urgroßvater Deutscher war. Ich mag deutsche Kultur und das Volk. Ich interessiere mich mehr allgemein für europäische Geschichte und Kulturen, und Deutschland ist genau im Mitteleuropa und mit vielen anderen Ländern verbunden. Aus diesem Grund und die Tatsache, dass so viele Menschen Deutsch können, ist nach meiner Meinung Deutschland sehr wichtig für Europa. Ich denke, dass sehr nützlich ist, einen Gedankenaustausch aufrechterhalten zu können.

      (If anyone feels like correcting this, or pointing out any errors, it would be appreciated)


      Ausgezeichnet ;-). Ein paar Kleinigkeiten: "Aus diesem Grund und (wegen) der Tatsache, dass ....", "Ich denke, dass es sehr nützlich ...."


      Sehr sehr gut!

      Noch eine Sache: "Deutschland ist/liegt genau in Mitteleuropa" oder noch besser "in der Mitte Europas".


      Ja, hab herausgefunden, dass mein Urgrossvater auch aus Deutschland war. Ihn und seine Familie sind nach Kanada ausgewandert als er noch sehr jung war. Ich bin zweisprachig aufgewachsen (Englisch und Quebecois). Ich kannte damals viele Austauschschueler aus Deutschland und Oesterreich, und wegen Ihnen, hatte ich damals beschlossen, Deutsch zu lernen. Ich mache noch Schreibfehler, aber dass kann ich ja nur erwarten, da ich noch nie die Gelegenheit hatte, mich komplett in die Kultur und Sprache einzuleben.

      [deactivated user]

        Thanks for the challenging read. I agree with you reasons. I had to use google translate for a few words, like "Gedankenaustausch aufrechterhalten". At first I couldn't figure out "dass so viele Menschen Deutsch können." Is that colloquial or is it redundant to say "dass so viele Menschen Deutsch sprechen können"?


        Just started learning it last year...5 months running. I started learning German in Youtube up until I felt I needed to enroll in a class. I love the German language - how strong sounds and all. I only hear it from movies and I never really gave it a try until now. I have no German descent and I know very few people who can speak it - like 2 Germans (one of them is my teacher) and 2 Swiss acquaintances.lol It's kinda sad that we are not too exposed in German culture here in Philippines (or European culture in general) but that's not stopping me anyway.

        Hoping to take the A1 exam this year and visit Germany/Austria/Switzerland next year :)


        That is awesome! I hope you'll be able to make it there. I've spent very little time in German speaking countries, definitely not enough that he really helped me along with my level of German. Luckily, where I lived, we had a good sized German community, plus, German was actually spoken as a local dialect for a hundred years or so. Fredericksberg, New Braunfels, New Berlin...these are all towns around San Antonio, Texas. The local dialect there is called Texas Deutsch. It's different, but not so much that it isn't understandable. You should wiki or google it :D learning about different dialects will most definitely give you a respect for the language, at least it did for me =)

        Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.