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How to learn German for beginners?

I have just decided to learn German a few minutes ago and I don't know how to get started! I think that I must study the alphabet first! Is it right? If you know anything about this topic, please help me to get started! Thank very much for reading!

May 15, 2018



Start with lesson One.


Hi Nana, just start with the first lesson and then keep on doing. ;-) If you have any questions you can ask in the forums. And by clicking on the bulbs you will get some tips on German grammar.. Good luck with your studies.:-)


I'd say alphabet is an excellent starting point.
There are the same 26 letters in the official alphabet. In theory! Phonetically we have more and also some weird inconsistencies you just will have to live with. (English does the same imho. Some languages are much more: writing=speech. At least Hungarian is.)

ß, ä. ö. ü are already nowhere in the alphabet and i guess anyone who never spoke ä, ö , ü will have fun getting those right. There are probably videos out there and a lot of explanations how to.
ä can be written as ae, ö as oe and ü as ue. But I have no idea if duolingo accepts that.
SS=ß in speech (the Swiss eliminated ß already...so writing ss instead of ß should also be A-OK)
SCH is like the S in sure (and not like in sad, so at least we treat our s consistent)
PH should be its own letter imho and is just F (very much like in English; phone, but fax)
V is sometimes F and sometimes W (Vogel= "actually" Fogel (bird) Vase= "actually" Wase (vase))
Vowels can have different lengths without any indication. I advise simply just don't worry about it.
Vowels can also have a following H that indicate extra length (Wal (whale) / Wahl (election or choice) so this is then really important) and that H itself is not spoken.
Or there can be two vowels to indicate also length (and not modify them like in English) Meer=ocean/big sea (phonetically it is the same as mehr, but that means more)
IE is a long I not I+E. Wien/Vienna = English~Veeen (and not English Veean, how you would say it without knowing ie)
TH is pretty much a normal T and the H is not spoken
Y can be either Ü or I. Psyche="Psüche" (psyche), Baby="Bäbi" (baby)
au, ei and ai (spoken aij, the j is barely there), eu and äu (spoken oij, again j barely there) are special combinations. e.g. Laiche (spawn) Leiche (dead body) are phonetically identical
CH is either "hard" (Dach/ roof) or "soft" (ich / I) or even a K (Chaos="Kaos"=very similar to English chaos.)
SP = SCHP (i think both only when in front. Start="Schtart" (start))
-er on word endings are a little like a(r) pretty similar to English mother, father, butter, cutter and so on.

Not even including French words we shamelessly have absorbed without altering them in any meaningful way. eg. Etablissment = "Etablissmo(n)", not to be confused with Establishment, which we took from English, also unaltered, no sch.

The scary compound words are probably even an easier part of the language. They should become easy once you see the Matrix (the words within the word). Don't worry about them now.

Get familiar with the letters first, watch some videos to get a feeling of the pronunciation and then start here.


The first thing you should do is learn the German conjugations for seid and trinken, etc. It'll help you a lot, and in later having to conjugate others. (Vocab can always come later) Good luck!


I've just recently got started with German also but I am also a year into the process of learning Latin. What was super helpful for me was just to learn the alphabet and then some of the simple rules as well as the vocab to go with those rules. The most important thing for beginners in learning a new language is to learn the rules and memorize those.


The alphabet was the most useless thing I learned in German, but this is coming from a guy who gets really annoyed when people ask me to spell things.

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