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How to Start Thinking in German

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in German

Going through German lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of German, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in German. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between German and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the German vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in German

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through GermanPod101.com.

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1. Surround yourself with German

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with German constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a German radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of GermanPod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then German words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in German.

GermanPod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach German.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in German not only gets you in the mindset of German, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With GermanPod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native German speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but GermanPod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with GermanPod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

Conclusion

Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that GermanPod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

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5 Ways To Improve Your German Speaking Skills

5 Ways To Improve Your German Speaking Skills

Speaking is usually the #1 weakness for all German learners. This is a common issue among language learners everywhere. The reason for this is obvious: When language learners first start learning a language, they usually start with reading. They read online articles, books, information on apps and so on. If they take a class, they spend 20% of their time repeating words, and 80% of the time reading the textbook, doing homework or just listening to a teacher. So, if you spend most of your time reading instead of speaking, you might get better at reading but your speaking skills never grow. You get better at what you focus on.

So if you want to improve you speaking skills, you need to spend more of your study time on speaking. Here are five tips to help you get started:

1. Read out loud
If you’re listening to a lesson and reading along, read out loud. Then re-read and speed up your tempo. Do this again and again until you can speak faster. Try your best to pronounce the words correctly, but don’t obsess about it. Read swiftly, emote and put some inflection on the sentences. Reading aloud helps to train the muscles of your mouth and diaphragm to produce unfamiliar words and sounds.

Read out loud!

2. Prepare things to say ahead of time.
As you may know from experience, most learners run out of things to say. But, if you prepare lines ahead of time, you won’t be at a loss for words in conversations. This will help you not only to learn how to say the words, but how to say them in the right context. A good way to prepare yourself before conversations is with our Top 25 Questions Series, which teaches you how to ask the most common conversational questions, and how to answer them, in German:

Click here to learn the top 25 German questions you need to know.

3. Use shadowing (repeat the dialogues as you hear them).
Shadowing is an extremely useful tool for increasing fluency as well as improving your accent and ability to be understood. Shadowing helps create all the neural connections in your brain to produce those words and sentences quickly and accurately without having to think about it. Also, as mentioned in tip #1, shadowing helps develop the muscle memory in all the physical parts responsible for the production of those sounds. Depending on what your primary and target languages are, it’s quite likely that there are a lot of sounds your mouth just isn’t used to producing. Shadowing can be done, for example, when watching TV shows or movies or listening to music.

Each one of our lessons begins with a dialogue. Try to shadow the conversation line by line, and you’ll be mastering it in no time.

Click here to for a FREE taste of our Absolute Beginner series!

4. Review again and again.
This is the key to perfection, and we can’t emphasize it enough. Most learners don’t review! If you review and repeat lines again and again, you’ll be speaking better, faster and with more confidence.

Review again and again

5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES!
You’d be surprised by how many people try to avoid talking! The more you speak, the faster you learn – and that is why you’re learning German. Practice speaking every chance you get: whether it’s ordering coffee, shopping or asking for directions.

Sneak Peek: Review More German with This Feature, Badges & Your 26% OFF


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Hello Listener,

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P.S. All subscriptions are fully backed by our 60-day money-back guarantee meaning you can lock in your savings now and if you later decide that you’re not learning German as fast as you’d like, then we’ll refund your entire subscription amount. You have nothing to lose but you have to ACT NOW before this Too Cool for School Sale ends!

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3 Consistent Ways You’ll Learn German Fast: All New Lessons, Word Lists & 29% OFF!

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Hi there Listener,

When you’re learning German and want real progress…look for the consistent method. One that’s non-stop and keeps you going. What’s a good one? GermanPod101 Lessons – free audio and video lessons, every week. In fact, a new season of lessons has started this month that you can grab. Anything else? Vocab lists, where you learn new words and phrases all the time. And don’t forget that our 29% OFF Summer of German Sale ends Friday!

In this month’s newsletter…

  1. Sale Ends Friday! Click Here to Get 29% OFF Basic or Premium!
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2. New Lessons Started this July – Here’s the 2015 Lesson Schedule!
Now, we know that you want more lessons. They’re non-stop, free and get you speaking more German in minutes. So, you should know that new lessons and seasons started on July 6th. What kind of lessons? And what days do they come out on? Check the publishing schedule. And if you want to get our entire system – over 160+ hours of lessons – grab the 29% discount above!

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To your German fluency,

Team GermanPod101

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Is Your Coffee as Strong as Your German Apologies?

Is Your Coffee as Strong as Your German Apologies?

One of the most important things to learn about a language, aside from introductions, is how to apologize in case you find yourself in the unfortunate situation that you need to do so.
In the case of German, the most general word of apology is “Entschuldigung“. This literally means “apology“, and
it’s used in most situations:

  • when you’ve accidentally done something bad
  • when you want somebody’s attention
  • when you want people to make room

Keep in mind though, that you should not use it when somebody tells some sad news about themselves, because that is not something you
should apologize for – unless you had any stake in it.

If you need something stronger than “Entschuldigung”, use “Es tut mir leid“ (literally translates to ‘ it does me
harm’ ).
And you can make it even stronger by adding an adverb before the “ - leid”.
For example,

Es tut mir wirklich leid. - I’m really sorry.
Es tut mir sehr leid. - I’m very sorry.

And what to do in case that a friend is the one that is apologizing to you? In this case, the words used to accept an apology informally are:
Es ist (schon) okay. - It’s okay (now).
Kein Problem. - No problem.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From GermanPod101.com!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at GermanPod101.com! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn German together!

And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study German with GermanPod101.com!

Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

From the GermanPod101.com team!