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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


6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

There are plenty of destinations where you can get by with English, but sometimes you want to do better than just ‘get by’. Here are 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination.

What are the 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination?

1. You will be able to discover your destination better than other tourists.
Getting by is one thing, but actually experiencing a trip abroad is quite another. No amount of guidebooks and online research can compensate for a basic lack of language ability. Speaking the language of your destination permits you to explore that destination beyond the regular tourist traps. Your language skills will not only allow you to dig into all the hidden gems of your destination, but they will also allow you to mingle with the locals to get a true experience on your holiday. Think of it this way: you’re not restricted to talking to the people at the tourist desk anymore.

2. Knowing how to communicate with local police or medical personnel can be life-saving.
Before you leave for your destination, make sure you learn how to ask for help in that destination’s local tongue. Do you know how to ask the waiter if this dish has peanuts in it? Or tell your host family that you’re allergic to fish? Can you tell the local doctor where it hurts? Moreover, an awareness of an environment improves your chance of remaining safe inside it. For example, walking around a busy marketplace, dazzled by an unfamiliar language, signs and accents will instantly render any tourist a more attractive mark for pickpockets. Communicating with other people, asking questions and looking confident will make you look like a semi-local yourself, and will ward off potential thieves.

Click here for German Survival Phrases that will help you in almost every situation

3. It helps you relax.
Traveling is much less stressful when you understand what that announcement at the airport was saying, or if this bus line reaches your hotel. These things stress you out when traveling and they disappear when you understand the language. This allows you to focus on planning your trip in a better, easier way.

Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.

4. Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.
Sometimes those relationships turn into friendships, and other times they’re nothing more than a lively conversation. Either way, as Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” When you approach someone – even staff at a store or restaurant – with English, rather than their own language, an invisible divide has already been erected. Making even a small effort to communicate in the language of the place you’re visiting can go a long way and you’ll find many more doors open up to you as a result.

Click here for the Top 25 German Questions you need to know to start a conversation with anyone

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

5. You’ll be a better ambassador for your country.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we know very little about other countries and cultures, especially the local politics. And what we do know is often filtered to us by the media, which tends to represent only certain interests. When you can speak the local language, you’re able to answer questions that curious locals have about your country and culture. Are you frustrated with how your country is presented in global news? Are you embarrassed by your country’s leaders and want to make it clear that not everyone is like that where you’re from? This is a very good opportunity to share your story with people who have no one else to ask. We all have a responsibility to be representatives of the place we come from.

6. Learning another language can fend off Alzheimer’s, keep your brain healthy and generally make you smarter.
For more information, check out this blog post about the 5 Benefits of Learning a New Language.

You’re Too Cool for School: Master German at 26% OFF & Get a FREE Audiobook

Click here to get 26% OFF & a free Audiobook!

Hello Listener,

Did you start this year out with a resolution to learn German? Haven’t found time to make it happen yet? Well, with students everywhere going back to school this month… Now’s a perfect time to renew your dream of truly learning German.

Even if you’re a complete beginner. Even if you’re out of school…
You can and will learn German with 160+ hours of lessons from real teachers. The Too Cool for School Sale at GermanPod101 starts today:

Click here to get 26% OFF & a free Audiobook!
Click here to get 26% OFF & a free Audiobook!

Start speaking German from your very first lesson and get our entire German learning system at 26% OFF! That’s just $2.96/month with Basic or $7.40/month with Premium and up to $62.40 in savings. So if you upgrade now, you instantly receive:

How does it work? And how will you learn German?
Learning German in a class simply isn’t an option for most of us with work, family and busy schedules. Between the excessive costs and the inconveniences of getting to class and working around someone else’s schedule, classrooms aren’t realistic.

But at GermanPod101, you get fun, effective and proven lessons from real German teachers. The entire learning system was designed to help you overcome the obstacles of traditional classes, because:

  • GermanPod101 is a Mere Fraction of the Cost of Classrooms
  • You Get 160+ Hours of Audio & Video Lessons from Real German Teachers
  • You Access Lessons & Study Tools With Your Computer or Any Mobile Device
  • You Learn at Your Own Pace and When It’s Convenient For You
  • There Are No Extra Textbooks To Buy (But you do get a FREE Audiobook!)

Click Here to Get 26% Off Any Annual Subscription & A German Audiobook FREE!

That’s right: You learn whenever and wherever is convenient for you and at a pace you choose! And during the Too Cool for School Sale, just sign up for any annual Basic or Premium subscription by clicking on any link and we’ll instantly discount the price by 26%!

And with a Premium plan, you’re unlocking the entire system….

  • Exclusive! App for the iPhone, iPad or Android
  • Full Lesson Library Access: 940+ German Lessons
  • Read Along with Every Lesson with PDF Lesson Notes
  • Get Instructor Feedback & Comments on Each Lesson
  • Stay Motivated & See Your Progress Grow with Progress Tracking
  • Know Which Lesson to Study Next with Learning Guidance
  • Hear the Conversation Line by Line with the Line by Line Dialogue
  • Get Full Lesson Transcripts, Translations & Review Tracks
  • Get Extra Practice with Review Quizzes for Every Lesson
  • Master German Words Fast with Smart Online Flashcards
  • Reach Conversational Fluency with the 2,000 Top German Word List
  • Save Words & Phrases for Later Review with the Word Bank
  • Perfect Your Pronunciation with Voice Recording Tools
  • 24/7 Access via Any Device with Internet Access
  • Get All the Vocab from a Lesson Season with Season Vocabulary
  • Exclusive! Create Your Own Word Lists with the Custom Lists App
  • …and much more!

Click here to get UNLIMITED access for just $0.24/day or $7.40/month!
(Your FREE Audiobook will instantly be available in your welcome email.)

So for the next few days, that means you gain full access to our Basic plan for as low as just $2.96 per month or our most popular Premium plan for just $7.40 a month – a mere fraction of what you would pay for traditional classroom instruction!

Don’t Forget Your FREE German Audiobook!
Get the best of both worlds with real-life conversation and the in-depth explanations of a textbook! Listen to over 6.5 hours of lessons and read along with 200+ pages. You’ll get your free Audiobook instantly when you upgrade, inside the welcome email.

Click Here To Learn German At 26% OFF & Get Your Free Audiobook!

And Upgrading is Risk-Free.

Remember, you get a 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee so if plans change or you are anything less than thrilled with our language learning system – we’ll promptly refund your entire order without any hassles or questions.

But hurry: Although it’s never too late to make a fresh start and realize your dream of learning German, the Too Cool for School Sale ends soon, so….

Click here to learn German with 160+ hours of German lessons & save up to $62.40
(Your FREE Audiobook will instantly be available in your welcome email.)

To Making a Fresh Start,

Team GermanPod101

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!

Click here to get UNLIMITED German learning for just $0.24/day or $7.40/month!
(Your FREE Audiobook will instantly be available in your welcome email.)

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

Get a hot 29% OFF!

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!
  2. A New Season Has Started: New, Free, Weekly German Lessons
  3. Free Feature Alert: Speak More German With Word & Phrase Lists

1. Summer of German Sale ends Friday! Get a HOT 29% OFF!
Want to speak and understand German like a native speaker? Get 29% OFF and start speaking German with lessons by real teachers. Unlock our entire German course and learning system – 160+ hours of audio and video lessons, mobile apps, lesson notes, study tools and more! Just $2.84/month and up to $69.60 OFF! Ends 7/31/2015!

Click Here to Save up to $69.60 on the Most Effective German Course!
(Discounted prices ONLY available until Friday, July 31st, 2015!)

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!

Click Here to See the New Lesson Publishing Schedule!

3. Free Feature Alert: Speak More German with Word & Phrase Lists
Here’s another non-stop way to boost your German – German Word and Phrase Lists. They’re based on holidays, current events and all-around useful topics. Our listeners learned how to talk about their summer plans in German with a recent list! Just click below, access any list and review with definitions, sample sentences and audio pronunciation.

Click Here to Access the Free German Word & Phrase Lists.

To your German fluency,

Team GermanPod101

P.S. Ends Friday! Get a HOT 29% OFF the Most Effective German Course!
Ready to master more German this summer? Get 29% OFF any plan and start speaking German with lessons by real teachers. Unlock our ENTIRE learning system – 160+ hours of audio and video lessons, mobile apps, lesson notes, study tools and more! Just $2.84/month and up to $69.60 OFF! Ends 7/31/2015!

Click Here to Get 29% OFF the Most Effective German Course!
(Discounted prices ONLY available until Friday, July 31st, 2015!)

Get a hot 29% OFF!

Your Summer of German Starts Now! Get 29% OFF Lessons from German Teachers

Get a hot 29% off!

Hello Listener,

The Summer of German is in full swing at GermanPod101. That means we’re helping thousands of people like you to learn German this summer! Yes, we are helping to make your dream of learning German easier and more affordable with a LIMITED TIME 29% OFF Basic and Premium.

Up to $69.60 in savings! Click here to get a BIG 29% OFF!
Click here to get 29% off!

Ready to learn German? During our Summer of German Sale, you gain full access to our ENTIRE learning system – 160+ hours of German audio and video lessons from real German teachers, exclusive apps, plus loads of additional study tools and resources for just…

But you might be wondering: Which plan do I choose?

Great question. The answer depends on your goals, budget and situation but here are a few guidelines to help you choose. People choose the Basic plan when:

  • Budget is a primary issue
  • They have plenty of time and want to learn at a comfortable pace
  • There’s no pressing need to learn German by a set date

With Basic, you get just the Basics of GermanPod101 – the effective lessons and on-the-go mobile access. You can learn at your pace with:

  • Full Access to 940+ Audio & Video Lessons
  • Full Access to PDF Lesson Notes for Each Lesson
  • Instructor Feedback & Comments on Each Lesson
  • 24/7 Access via Any Media Device with Internet Access

Click here to save 29% on Any 1-, 3-, 6-, 12- or 24-month plan!

People choose the Premium plan when:

  • They’re low on time but truly want to learn
  • They want to learn German faster than traditional methods
  • They want UNLIMITED access to the entire learning system

With Premium, you get unlimited GermanPod101 accessAll lessons, lesson notes, study tools, smart flashcards, apps and more – and dramatically reduce your learning time. Premium is our most popular plan and is the fastest track to learning German.

  • Exclusive! App for the iPhone, iPad or Android
  • 940+ Audio & Video Lessons from German Teachers
  • PDF Lesson Notes for Each Lesson to Read Along With
  • Premium Study Tools: 2,000 German Words List, Smart Flashcards, Word Bank, Lesson Checklists and More!
  • Voice Recording Tools to Perfect your German Pronunciation
  • Line-by-Line Dialog Translations & Review Quizzes
  • Progress Tracking & Guidance For Your German Lessons
  • Feedback & Comments From Our German Instructors
  • 24/7 Access via Any Media Device with Internet Access
  • All Resources Available in Electronic Downloadable Format
  • Exclusive! Custom Lists App to Create Your Own German Word Lists
  • …and more!

Click here to unlock unlimited Premium access for just $7.10/month or $0.23/day!

So essentially, if you are in no rush and want to learn German, then select Basic. But, if you want full access to more than a dozen time-saving tools and resources so you can learn German as quickly as possible, then Premium is best for you.

But no matter which plan you choose, you get a full 29% off any length Basic or Premium plan during the Summer of German sale. Don’t delay. This ends July 31st, 2015.

Click here to save 29% on 1-, 3-, 6-, 12- or 24-month Basic or Premium!

Just select the plan that works best for you and remember:

Your investment is 100% risk-free. Your purchase is backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not speaking German as fast as you’d like and if you’re not blown away by the results, simply contact us for a full refund. So what are you waiting for?

Click here to get 29% OFF plus UNLIMITED access to ALL lessons, tools and apps!

To a Summer of Mastering German,

Team GermanPod101

P.S. Stop “dreaming about your dream” of learning German and make it a reality by signing up during our Summer of German Sale. With Premium, you get UNLIMITED access to our German learning system and save up to $69.60 instantly!

Click here to save $69.60 and learn German with lessons from real teachers!

5 Tips To Motivate Yourself While Learning A Second Language

5 Tips to Motivate Yourself

1. Schedule your time.

One of the most important factors in keeping your motivation up is developing it into a habit. Whether it be 20 minutes or 3 hours, schedule time to study every day and stick to it. Regular exposure solidifies what you learn and keeps you progressing. To make sure you stick to your routine, a great idea is to build a schedule for your day and decide that every day/Monday/weekend, you study from 6pm to 8pm. Just remember that 30 minutes a day, every day, is better than a binge 8-hour study session at the end of the week (though it’s obviously better than nothing).

2. Learn a word a day with our great Word of the Day learning tool.

Trying to learn everything at once and getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of words in your new language is not a good idea. Sometimes, even if you do learn new words, you forget them quickly because you haven’t heard them enough in context. As mentioned above, daily exposure to new words is an important factor in solidifying your target language. Our Word of the Day tool delivers you daily words and phrases, shows you how to pronounce them and use them in different contexts. Since you can get the WOTD via email, Facebook, or Twitter, this is a passive way of learning a language that fits into your existing daily social media routine. It only takes 3 minutes to review a word and practice its pronunciation, so you can do it on the way to work, in the gym, or even before you go to bed.

Click here to get the German Word of the Day for FREE!

3. Make friends!

Make friends!

If there’s a community of people who speak the language you want to learn in your city, start attending those events! Friendship is the easiest way to get comfortable with the slang, intonation, and mannerisms of a new language. The key to learning any language is speaking a lot, so try to find a native speaker who can be your conversation partner. Having friends that speak your target language means that you will find yourself in situations where you have no choice but to speak that language. But since they are your friends, you will be doing things you enjoy with them. So these situations will probably have little or no stress. These friendships will also mean that you have someone you can ask about language, culture, and so on.

4. Take a break!

Break time

If you’re having an off day or if your brain is already tired of studying, see if you can take a break and do something fun AND useful. Comic books, illustrated stories, and cartoons are a fun way to keep learning while reducing the target language text load for weary eyes. Plus, the images help you plant lasting seeds of memory, as researchers say humor opens up cognitive doors. This is a way to keep the target language active in your brain without the strain of studying a textbook.

Don’t get stuck with the same content though. When things start to bore you, move on. Change up your books, movies, anime, music, dramas, and so on when they start getting old.

5. Don’t give up!

As with any goal, there are going to be pitfalls along the way. You’d have to be incredibly determined to never have an off-day or consider giving up. And when you do it’s ok, but the important thing is to pick yourself up after this temporary setback and keep going. Knowing you’ve overcome a few obstacles is only going to make the moment you have your first conversation in another language that much sweeter. Like the German proverb says, ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight.’

If you need more motivation, check out this list of the Top 10 Inspirational Quotes in German.

5 Benefits of Learning a New Language

5 Benefits of Learning a New Language

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.” - Charlemagne

Learning a new language is an achievement anyone can be proud of and it’s exciting and beneficial at all ages. It offers many practical, intellectual and aspirational benefits. A wave of new research shows the incredible psychological benefits of learning a second language. These benefits extend far beyond being able to order a cup of coffee abroad or ask directions to your hotel.

1. Learning a Foreign Language Boosts Brain Power

Medical studies have shown the positive effect learning a second language has on the brain. A foreign language is a whole new system with distinct rules, etymology, and meaning, which are just a few of the complexities of a language. Learning a new one puts the brain to work by recognizing this new language structure. As the brain works out meaning and makes full use of this new arsenal to express ideas, it sharpens its reading, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. The fact is, language centers in the brain actually grow in the process of learning a second language.

Boost your brain power!

2. Stave off Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Knowing a second language can postpone the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 4.5 years. This is significantly better than the best Alzheimer’s drugs, which can only delay symptoms by 6-12 months. Brain scans have found a noticeable difference in the brain activity of bilingual seniors. Their brains work much more efficiently, more like those of young adults. Scientists believe these seniors’ brains have more reserve brain power that helps compensate for age-related memory loss.

Click here to learn how to introduce yourself in German!

Want to learn how to introduce yourself in German?
Click here to check out this FREE German video!

3. Improved First Language

As we go about our everyday lives, we rarely give a second thought to our own grammatical structure and vocabulary. However, when learning a new language, many people find they have a greater understanding of their first language. Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure. This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator and a sharper editor and writer.

4. Boost Your Memory

We know that people who speak more than one language fluently have better memories and are more cognitively creative and mentally flexible than people who are monolingual. The more the brain is used, the better its functions work. Learning a new language structure entails becoming familiar with vocabulary and rules, and applying this memorized information to communication. This strengthens your memory because your brain’s ability to associate information with mnemonics has been boosted, and it is better at retaining information.

5. Improve Understanding of the World

A language is a doorway to a particular culture. Learning a new language enables a person to have a broader understanding of that culture. You will have access to a whole new array of film, music, and literature, and a greater understanding of the history and culture of the nation – and ultimately, a better understanding of the way the world works, including politics and international relations. You will be able to connect through books, TV, and the Internet and converse with a whole country’s worth of people, which broadens your horizons, interests, and views. A whole new world will be open to you.

Click here to learn new and unique German vocabulary and phrases with FREE Vocabulary Lists!

Open up to a while new world.

Cyber Monday at Ultralingua: For People Who Love German!

Incredible news from our friends over at Ultralingua, the online and mobile dictionary specialists. A good German dictionary can be hard to find, but with Ultralingua and GermanPod101 by your side, you’ll be armed with 2 of the most powerful German learning tools online.

Ultralingua Cyber Monday Sale! Save up to 66% on on Ultralingua Dictionary products! Sale begins Sunday, November 25th, 2012 and ends at midnight Cyber Monday. (That’s November 26th, 2012!)

Check out some of their amazing deals:

The All New Ultralingua Dictionary for iPhone and iPad: Free to download, save 25% on all In-App Upgrades until Monday! Click here to download it free!

Original Ultralingua iPhone and iPad Apps: Save 25% instantly when you purchase during this Cyber Monday sale! Click here to browse Ultralingua apps on iTunes!

Mac and Windows German Dictionaries: Save 25% when you use coupon code CYBER at checkout! Click here to learn more!

Annual Online Dictionary Subscriptions: At just $10 per month, you save a whopping 66% on all annual dictionary subscriptions at Ultralingua. Just enter coupon code CYBER at checkout!

Looking for other language dictionaries? Ultralingua has dictionary products for 13 languages including Spanish, Italian, French and even Klingon! Read more about Ultralingua at the Ultralingua Word of the Day Blog.

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.