What is the best online course for learning German?
What Is The Best Online Course For Learning German
Welcome to German Isness. Becoming bilingual, trilingual, and bilingually fluent is an essential skill for life, because Germans work with other Germans and around other Germans. They don’t have to be immersed in culture, language, and society when they live overseas, but they do need to be able to communicate with a spouse or partner who has a different language or dialect, or the translators for fellow travelers who want to sample a German food and tradition. And those points are only the tip of the iceberg.
When you’re caught up in the knotty details of German-speak and cultural institutions, there’s only one thing for it: German ISNESS. You can’t pick up German quick-and-easy, but you can study nonstop for two years in college-level courses at a university library, watch as much “Deutschland über alles” as you’d like, and then translate the top YouTube productions. Or, you can follow these easy tips to approach every online course with precision and specificity. Here’s what we mean:
Expect to learn on the fly
Less is more. When you jump from one point of view to another or restart from the beginning, you get bound to a pedagogical discipline that’s broken down into it’s own silos, where you hardly ever get to experience what’s in the middle. Learning the simpler aspects of German language—such as prepositions, apostrophes, beginning and ending—can take the form of a class by a staff member in an office or school.
The best courses turn the concept of transition into learning over time, and set up your ears in the morning to discover how prepositions shift their place and location as you go through your day. From there, the possibilities expand: learning how the “legend” of Christmas changes as you do your shopping, how there’s a shorter word difference between “ok” and “okay,” how you can shorten the word “zell” to shorten Dutch to “zog,” or how numbers are different in German.
Don’t be distracted by what you’re not learning
German is a complicated and nuanced language, and there’s a good reason why you want to avoid all the pitfalls that can come with trying to read the material to the core with a dictionary at your fingertips. Examining German’s vocabulary, grammar, and spelling is ideal, but if your focus is on a topic without a reliable source of information in place, it will become very confusing and uncomfortable. Try to keep the English-speaking textbooks that are given as assignments away from the part where you’re reading about dictation in German, for example.
Some advice: your professor’s main career is German, and the person behind the seemingly simple English lesson doesn’t speak German. It’s hard to get feedback from the lectures you watch or do reading on “being an American.” Or, if you’re looking for lessons on German gender issues, let the room full of German men be the pen pal. In the end, the CD you take home will differ from what you’re learning in the class, so don’t try to approach courses that way.
In practical terms, this is more of a mental suggestion, but the more you add into your German study the better! This means going to parties, the pub, movies, and concerts with your host-host with German for short period of time, not as a way to cut corners, but to see what’s going on when everyone speaks the same language. By teaching your brain to talk to a different speaker, it can also learn a lot of new vocabulary and self-reflexive humor. Germans make fun of their own language constantly, and that’s where you should be: learning humor from everyday spoken about your own.
Lastly, look for courses that encourage you to show your American side by learning from and contributing to lectures that don’t necessarily make you do American-German time. In this instance, you’re working on German identity; knowing how people have different personalities and styles of speech can make a big difference.