1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Speaking German level by level


Speaking German level by level

Let's face it, speaking is what we all long for, but it can feel hard to find our way there.


The below videos show you what speaking levels actually look like at the various Common European Framework Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels. (A1,A2,B1,B2, etc.)

TELC and Goethe are companies that do language testing. If you ask me these TELC oral tests look a little bit harder somehow than the Goethe ones I've seen in the past, but I can't say for sure why off the top of my head. :) (Must go think...)

A1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQO4zjppdr8

Sidenote: I did a shortened version of such a test unexpectedly when I went just to visit a private language school I heard was good and wanted to attend. I could not form full sentences yet like these students, but I understood the questions and could give basic replies when they asked my name, phone number, etc. I passed and was able to begin at the A2 level saving 3 months and lots of money. I'll do this again with any other languages I study - teach myself the basics, and jump to at least A2.

A2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hPns0XBOCs

Sidenote: At this level I remember the listening tests we did in class using the cd's in our textbook were very helpful, although the sound was sometimes fuzzy. These are a great way to test your comprehension, but do them at the right level so you don't get discouraged. By practicing you gain really important skills for picking out meaning although you don't know all the words. This is a super important skill and you must test it. You listen to something and then you realize, I know I didn't hear that, or I know I heard this, and you get better at answering the questions/understanding. Yes!

B1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lkyjt0j3Bs

Sidenote: Here they are still introducing themselves. It's endless, so get it down and spice it up if ya can. :) Here's the other thing to notice: you can tell some of them have spent time with German speakers or watching German t.v. and they can throw in some nice extras that make their speech just a little more natural. All of the speakers in these videos make mistakes though so let that give you some relief. You can still be understood if you are practicing it like they are.

The B2, C1, and C2 levels are also on Youtube. Just search by Goethe or TELC and the level you want to see.

Tip: Write down your personal introductory information in German, make sure it is correct, then train it. Say those words everyday, even if it's just to your dog. Perhaps make a video, share it here, have folks critique it and then you can get it down pat. You will be saying this stuff endlessly if you talk to anyone other than your dog.


Lastly, decide what fluency means for you: http://blogs.transparent.com/language-news/2014/08/27/flawless-impossible-fluency/

Have fun with your German! :)

February 20, 2015



An old discussion text of mine. When I wrote this text, I did not take care to reduce the number of German cases, sorry. I just collected some useful sentences.

'28' means, there is a little risk to put something wrong inside.

ä=ae; ö=oe;ü=ue; ß=ss

the most important words:

<pre>ist (inf. sein) = is (to be) bin (inf. sein) = am (to be) heiße (inf. heißen) = to be called komme (inf. kommen) aus = come from lebe (inf. leben)= live wohne (inf. wohnen)= live, (reside), stay Jahre ('die', fem., plu.) alt= years old sehr alt= very old habe (inf. haben)= have die Katze, der Hund= cat, dog die Schwester (fem., sing.)= sister; die Schwestern (fem., plu.)= sisters der Bruder (mas., sing.)= brother; die Brüder (mas., plu.)= brothers zwei Geschwister ('die' only plu.)= two siblings; |das Geschwisterkind (n., sing.)= one sibling| das Kind (n., sing.)= child; die Kinder= children; das Enkelkind(er)= grandchild(ren) der Sohn (mas., sing.)= son; die Söhne (mas., plu.)= sons; die Tochter (fem., sing.)= daughter; die Töchter (fem., plu.)= daughters Meine Kinder sind [noch klein/ schon groß/ erwachsen]. = My children are still small/ already tall?/ adult. liebe (inf. leben)= love (to love), like (to like) arbeite (inf. arbeiten) = work (to work) der Beruf (mas., sing.)= profession </pre>

Hallo, / Hi,

  • mein Name ist [Marie]. / ich bin [Peter]. / ich heiße [Uta].

  • Ich komme aus [Texas28]. / Ich lebe in [Mexiko28]. / Ich wohne in [New York].

    Ich bin [17] Jahre alt. / Ich bin schon sehr alt.

    Ich habe einen Hund. (/) Ich habe eine Katze. / Ich habe [zwei] Katzen und [zwei] Hunde. Ich habe eine Schwester und einen Bruder. / Ich habe [zwei] Schwestern und [drei] Brüder. Ich habe [fünf] Geschwister. Ich habe einen Sohn. Mein Sohn hat [zwei] Söhne. Ich habe eine Tochter. Meine Tochter hat [zwei] Töchter. Ich habe ein Enkelkind. Mein Enkelkind heißt [Julia].

    Meine Kinder sind [noch klein/ schon groß/ erwachsen].

    Ich liebe [Tomaten/ Äpfel/ CDs]. ~ This sentence is used for countable things.

    Ich liebe [Musik/ Wasser/ Natur/ Sport]. ~ This sentence is used for uncountable things. This words stay in sing. (The sentence is also used for 'Brot', 'Bier', 'Fisch', 'Fleisch', vegetables ending at 'a' or 'i' like 'Paprika', 'meinen Vater', 'meine Mutter'.)

    Ich arbeite als [Maler]. / Ich bin von Beruf [Maler]. Ich bin [Maler]. (mas.) / Ich bin [Malerin]. (fem.)


God… that looks terrifying! I hate oral and practical exams!!


Yep. If it were me, "Hallo, ich heiße albernegiraffe und ich habe angst vor Ihnen."


Warum hast du Angst vor mir? I get sad, if you say this. :( Very sad.

Hast du Angst vor ihnen? -The oral and practical exams? -that's okay. But please don't be frightened of me. That would be 'albern'.


Normalerweise würde ich gar keine Angst von Ihnen haben - Sie sind immer hilfreich und freundlich. Aber wenn Sie mich prüften, hätte ich nichts außer Angst und Schreck. Ich bin ein bisschen schüchtern :P Ja, ich weiß dass das ganz albern ist. (Ich habe keine ahnung ob du/Sie im Internet zu nutzen)


(Ich habe keine Ahnung, ob du das Internet nutzt.) -Ah, you mean: "Ich habe keine Ahnung, ob man es im Internet braucht." [man~one: If one need it ...], A bit oral training might be good, some English persons are hardly understandable.


I think (on cheeky days) I used to toss in "Ich kann nicht Deutsch sprechen." ;)


hahaaha. Ya, I feel their pain watchin' 'em sweat like that! ;) I remember hearing myself begin to speak German - it almost felt like someone had taken over my voicebox!


Du hasst mündliche(=oral) und praktische(=practical) Prüfungen/Tests. Which exams rest, or do you hate just all exams. Are written exams something else than practical exams? How should I image a practical exam?


I hate any exam where you are being watched/listened to. Written exams are fine. Practical exams are anything where you have to perform a task in front of the examiner, might be a driving test or a University Physiotherapy exam etc etc. Oral, anything where you have to give a spoken answer rather than a written one


Okay, I thought of school exams and there the practical exams were ... did not exist.


This is awesome. I was always wondering about this in actual practice and what it looked like. It is one thing to read the descriptions, but another to actually see the levels in action. May I say tnel1 you are always very knowledgeable and are excellent at finding resources that are helpful. You are an super instructor(explainer of material) on duoLingo when answering questions (yes, I said instructor). You are organized, clear, and thoughtful in your grammar and language answers. Have you ever considered being a language teacher or researcher? Just a thought!!!


You really cheered me up! Thank you sincerely for your kind words. It's been rough at times learning German, but the memory of being a Beginner is still fresh in my mind, and if I can help anyone avoid any amount of suffering over it and make others feel good about climbing this mountain I'm gonna do it - even if I suffer more embarrassment in the process! :) I had professors who were kicked by their professors and so took it out on us when they could have just helped. I never wanna be like that, so I try to help. But I promise you, I am not that good at German. :) I am just good at trying to learn German, and making that transparent. :D

Anyway, over here in Europe people seem to think because I speak English I also teach it. They say it so much I am tempted to try. ;) But really, in the US I taught History, Politics, Race and Gender Studies, Film stuff, etc, etc.. So, I am not sure about me being an English language teacher. There is a great guy from Scotland here on DL who teaches English and posted a cool video of himself doing his teacher's training. It is tempting! ;) And you? :)


hahahah. If I had YOUR ability….

kinda sorry I didn't go to school to teach something though. You've been so helpful and kind. Thank YOU


Dankeschön für diese Videos! Sehr hilfsbereit! Ich bin weiter als ich dachte!


Wow... considering I practically failed German in high school and college I actually understood the A1 and A2 levels! Just goes to show that way too much grammar is emphasized in classroom settings sometimes. Totally encouraged to try again though, specially now that I've gained some confidence in Italian.


That's cool!! I need to search around and see if they have these kind of things for Spanish and Italian. :)


Just curious: What have you included in your 'personal introductory information in German'?


Mein Name ist [whatever]. Or "Ich heisse [your name here].

Ich bin achtzig jahre alt. (Not really! ;) Just learn the right number and insert it here)

Ich komme aus den USA. [I couldn't totally understand why it was "den" because we hadn't done Dative case yet. I just knew I and the student from Turkey had some kind of exception to deal with.]

Ich wohne in [place]. (They like you to toss in stuff about whether you are single, married, whatever. And sometimes I'd describe that I lived near a beautiful lake in a small village.)

Ich kann Englisch, Spanisch und ein bisschen Deutsch sprechen. (I didn't put that last one in til later.)

Ich bin hier nur ein Monat. (danke!) (This wasn't exactly perfect, but after only a few weeks of German in a room with people had already studied it for six months to a year, I thought that was pretty good. :)

Ich bin Lehrerin von Beruf. Ich habe in eine Universität in ___ gearbeitet. (Then she would or would not correct it to "einer" (Dative case) because, little secret, people can't always hear those damned little word endings anyways!! We also hadn't learned the Dative case yet so they let us make certain mistakes and then surprised us later and let us discover that we'd been making mistakes!!!)

Mein Hobbys sind Tanzen and Schwimmen. (We didn't have a lot of words yet so most people said "Lesen." But really, German was my hobby! I didn't do triathlons anymore at that point! And another fun secret they saved til later, there is a cool relationship between nouns and verbs that gives you a lot of extra vocab.!)

Ich habe...(you can add in a pet if want to mention that).

Then at the end I'd smile and say "Das ist alles." :)

Stuff like that. :) That was at the A2 level. That is the benefit of learning it in a room with others. You revise and improve your bio by hearing what others are doing or not doing. I remember one guy whose hobby was fishing so I'm glad he said that and I got to learn that verb from him. (angeln)

At school they are pretty serious here and don't like a lot of clever answers. ;) But you can always have some extras in your pocket. The only thing that matters is that you are understood. :) I didn't get all the grammar til after I was already saying stuff.


Du kommst aus den USA. (den vereinigten Staaten von Amerika.[Ich komme aus dem Haus.]). -without 'den' it sounds wild.

Ich bin nur einen Monat hier in Deutschland. (You are in the internet, we can not know where you are. If you are in Germany, one will omit the 'in Deutschland')

Ich bin Lehrerin von Beruf. (--100% correct) -- Ich bin von Beruf Lehrerin. (correct, too.) ( ;) We all know 'teacher' is a profession. Germans like to speak direct, so one would not add unnecessary information.)

Ich habe in einer/der Universität in Wuppertal gearbeitet. [((this is a lie, I was only there to enjoy a good view over the city and to see the architecture.~Das ist eine Lüge, I war nur dort, um einen guten Ausblick über die Stadt zu genießen und um die Architektur anzusehen.))]

Das ist alles. :)


Oops! hahahaha. Just typos! Ay, ay, ay! Good eye Abendbrot! I fixed 'em so as not to confuse anyone. :) Ich muss jezt unsere Pizza essen. Errinerst du dich an unsere Pizza? :)


Ja, ich erinnere mich. Ich gehe gern mit dir in ein Fischrestaurant oder eine Pizzaria.


If that's any indication of the A2 German test for TELC, I'm ecstatic!. I took a month of A2.1 lessons in Germany a while ago and before I could sit down the first day I got all the who / where from / what do you do / work / personal relationship questions and then we did a role-playing lesson. I definitely agree that learning in a class helps since you pick up things and (for me) broadens your ears to just how variable a language is in terms of pronunciation.


Oh yes, you hear German with every possible foreign accent when you take classes. :) After seeing this I think I'd prefer the Goethe tests to the TELC ones I must admit. The Goethe ones seemed simpler, streamlined somehow. Perhaps they just reminded me more of classes I've been in. But I'm glad I've seen both. :) Good luck to you amigo!


Super interesting! Many thanks! I'd say they were all quite good!


Thank you! I always see you helping folks around here! :)


Thank you for this post. There are so many useful things there. (Lingot)


Thank you! I already bookmarked it for future reference.


:) Natürlich amigo!




I like that! :D


Danke! Das ist Einfach Gut.Es ist Nutzlich.


It makes me happy to hear that! :)


Nice contribution take 30 lingots


Wow!!! Thanks for the resupply amigo! :) I really appreciate it and promise to use it to spread more cheer!


OMG! I was so stressed out watchig the A1 video!


No, it's gonna be okay! You could learn that in under a month! :)


No, I felt sorry for the examinees! I just wanted them all to pass! Especially the Brasilian girl!


Yes, me too! :)


Hola yo soy KEnny el Koala y yo piensen que Espanol es el lenguaje mas buena.


Hola Kenny! Estas perdido? (Hey what happened to my keys with accents?....)


For those who want to train their speaking we have created a group to practice for free . You can join us https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28968296

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