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People across 42 countries have the German language as their mother tongue. It is indeed one of the most popular languages in the world along with French and Spanish. You may often hear that the German language is difficult to learn, however, if you are fluent in English, it will be easy for you to learn German since both languages stem from the same roots.
There may be multiple reasons to learn the language but if you plan to study in Germany or live in Germany, knowing the language would make you feel at home. You will be appreciated by Germans for making an effort to speak their language. It also helps in integrating with the population, making new friends and networking easily. Also, if you are living in a small city, most people would speak the German language.
Concurrently, since German is the language of one of the most powerful economies in the world, knowing the language would add significant weight to your resume. It will not only enhance your work opportunities within the country but also across the globe. Research reflects that higher proficiency in the German language leads to better integration into the labour market and higher salaries.
For many, Germany is a dream destination to study or find employment since it is one of the most powerful economies in Europe. Even though the country is becoming international, it has a strong bond/affection towards the German language. Therefore, if you wish to pursue your education in Germany, it is suggested to learn German. Some of the courses at universities are taught only in the German language and require German proficiency. In most cases, a B1 level is required.
Even if you choose a study program that is taught in English, you will see the importance of the language after entering the job market. In international companies, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that, German language proficiency will give you an upper hand in the application pool. The company will see the benefits of having a German-language-speaking member in the team who can interact with fellow team members easily. The same goes for expats who intend to work in Germany. Moreover, the willingness to learn German impresses the employer as well as the German people enormously.
Germany is the amalgamation of global and local cultures. Germany has maintained its identity, culture, and language from the financial capital Frankfurt to the industrial center Stuttgart to minor towns and villages. While you can navigate your way through with English in the major cities, it is a bit challenging to communicate with the locals in towns and villages if you do not know the German language, particularly in a café, a train station, or at a bus stop.
Languages are the representation of the history, beliefs and culture of a place and its people. Speaking German as an expat will help you understand the significance of everyday things. For example, If you were visiting a castle in Germany, the tour guide would be much better equipped to explain the depths of topics like values and culture in German.
A stereotype that we often hear about Germans is that they keep to themselves. However, The NextGen Germans are more welcoming. Even though Germans will take ample time to allow you into their friend’s circle but the moment they accept you as a friend, you will be theirs for the rest of your life. To break the ice, a simple “Hallo” or other pleasantries are quite helpful and will lay the foundation of a new friendship. Locals will be impressed to see you trying to speak German, which is considered to be one of the toughest languages in the world. Most Germans will help you as an expat by sharing local laws and regulations and showing you the best places in the neighbourhoods.
First, you need to decide the level of German language you are aiming to accomplish. In today’s digital world, we have many resources available both online and offline to help us speak the language fluently. However, learning a new language can be overwhelming at times and may require consistent/patient efforts from your side. Since motivation is one of the decisive factors when it comes to learning a foreign language, it is advisable to choose a method that will keep you motivated throughout your journey.
If you want to study in a proper classroom, you could check out the nearest language centers like Goethe Institute which has a great reputation and a global presence. You can also search for providers in your home country who offer courses by native speakers. These classes will be open to customization as per your schedules and requirements. Besides a traditional learning method, there are multiple online tools available to learn the German language as an expat/student. Let us look at some of the ways to learn German digitally.
You can check out ‘Deutsch perfekt’, a monthly German magazine for beginners. It includes training materials, news and articles on hot topics in Germany. There is a box next to the article that will explain the vocabulary in simpler words for advanced learners. It will help you expand your vocabulary, learn grammar, and explore various aspects of life in Germany. You can search for -Fintiba which offers a free three-month trial period.
Babbel and Duolingo are the most famous digital platforms to learn foreign languages. There are various courses to choose from depending on your level of German. You can complete the courses which are created by experts based on grammar exercises and vocabulary. Through this app, you can enhance your foreign language skills in reading, writing, listening, comprehension and speaking.
There is a famous YouTube channel called ‘Easy German’ that published weekly vlogs for language enthusiasts. The way of teaching is very handy, especially for tourists and temporary visitors. You can learn German off the streets and listen to different dialects spoken across the country through these vlogs. If you like the format and wish to have intensive language training, Easy German has many paid language learning programs.
Deutsche Welle is a popular German language course provider. The best part is that it is completely free and will give you many opportunities to study and practice German, too, at your own pace. Another famous website is FluentU which uses real-world videos to teach the language. You will find videos of popular German TV shows, news channels and movies on this platform which will significantly help you understand language usage in different scenarios. The website would suit you well if you already know German. A free version for beginners is also available. You can opt for the paid version to get access to advanced classes.
There are many language providers like Lingoda who offer proper private lessons as well as group lessons online for different proficiency levels. They have their own learning material which can be downloaded by all.
This is one of the most effective ways to learn any language. Finding a tandem partner will help you pick up the spoken language really fast. Just like you want to speak German, someone might want to learn your language. The purpose is to talk about diverse topics, thus helping each other improve their speaking skills. The best place to find a tandem partner is VHS-tandem or tandempartners.org.
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