1. Start learning before leaving
Before leaving your current country to join Germany, you have lots of options to take German classes. The best-known is the Goethe-Institut, the official cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany. Find your own Goethe-Insitut on its website. You can also join German language meetups in your country of origin.
2. Put German in your everyday life
Once you master some German vocabulary, an excellent way to improve your German is to integrate it into your everyday routine, reading German newspapers or watching series or TV in German. Preparing for your move, you can also stick Post-its on your furniture and personal objects and make your check-list in German. Podcasts are also a great resource for learning – take these Deutsche Welle podcasts for instance.
3. Use Apps and Websites
You can also try free mobile apps like Duolingo to learn German in the subway or during a break. Other apps like Tandem will connect you with locals and help you speak with them on topics you want. Check also Facebook to see if there are German language tandem or meetups in the city you’ll live in.
4. Just Speak It
The most efficient way to learn German is to just take the plunge and commit to speaking German. Use the few words you know, even if they’re between two words of English. You’ll see that a little practice goes a long way. German is not as hard as you think!
5. Take courses
Mastering the basic vocabulary is good but you should go further. Once you arrive in Germany, you can attend German classes, and get financial help to do so. First, ask your employer: they might have a HR department to help you to find the best training related to your job and perhaps finance the training. Another option is Volkshochschulen, the state-run adult education institution. There you will find affordable language courses. In integration courses [↙], you can combine the learning of German language and culture.
6. Don’t underestimate the German language…
Before ending this article, here are some quick facts about the German language that could finish to convince yourself to take the challenge:
- More than 120 million people describe German as their mother tongue worldwide
- Outside of Germany, German is an official language in Austria, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland
- German is a minority language in the Czech Republic, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Namibia
- … and explore the dialects!
Even if one day you master German better than Goethe himself, you might not understand certain words. Why? Because Germany has some dialects spoken in specific regions. When you’re ready, you’ll have plenty of challenges to learn specific local expressions!
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Here you find the most important information needed to answer your questions about Mastering German language. If you know other tips or want to share your experience, do not hesitate to contact us. You could even send your testimony which could be published on our website! Thanks for your contribution to the Leon community!