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Secret Revealed: The Best Way to Learn a Language on Your Own

Learning A Language on Your Own

Can You Really Learn German Alone?

Learning a language on your own or without traditional classroom instruction may seem quite daunting at first. What if you run into questions? How do you stay motivated and on track to achieving goals?

Don’t worry, not only is it possible to learn German or any language without traditional classroom instruction: GermanPod101 has created the world’s most advanced and extensive online language learning system. Not only is GermanPod101 specifically designed to help you with learning a language on your own, it’s actually faster, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom options!

Let’s look at some of the benefits of learning German or any language alone.

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3 Reasons to Learn a Language Alone

Learning Alone

1. Learn at Your Own Pace and On Your Schedule

In today’s fast-paced world, there just isn’t time for traditional classroom instruction. Between getting to class and studying on some professor or teacher’s schedule, traditional classroom learning is simply impossible to fit in. But when you learn German alone, you can study in bed if you like and whenever suits your schedule best, making it far easier to actually reach your goal of learning and mastering the language.

2. Learning a Language on Your Own Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Speaking in front of a class, pop quizzes, and tests are just a few of the stressors you will encounter when you learn a language in a traditional classroom setting. Specifically, these are external stressors that often derail most people’s dream of learning a new language. But when you learn German alone, there are no external stressors. Without the external stress and anxiety, it becomes much easier and more exciting to study German and reach your very own goals—all on your own!

3. Learning German Alone Helps Improve Cognitive Function and Overall Success

Learning a language on your own is indeed more challenging in some ways than being taught in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, while classroom instruction requires more rote memorization and following instructions, studying a language on your own requires more problem-solving and higher cognitive function to self-teach lessons and hit goals. So while it’s more challenging and requires higher levels of cognition, teaching yourself a language pays dividends throughout life by better preparing you for social/work opportunities that arise.

How to Learn a Language on Your Own with GermanPod101

Learning with GermanPod101

1. Access to the World’s Largest Collection of German Audio & Video Lessons

The best way to learn a language on your own is to study from native speaking instructors. Ideally, you want audio and/or video lessons that teach vocabulary, grammar, and provide actual German conversations and dialogue to help you with pronunciation. GermanPod101 has hundreds of hours of HD audio and video lessons created by real German instructors and every lesson is presented by professional German actors for perfect pronunciation. Plus, all lessons can be accessed 24/7 via any mobile device with Internet access. And, if you download the PDF versions of each lesson, you can even study without Internet access once the lesson is stored on your device!

2. “Learning Paths” with German Courses Based Upon Your Exact Needs & Goals

Although GermanPod101 has more than thousands of video and audio lessons, you need not review each and every one to learn the language. In fact, GermanPod101 has developed a feature called “Learning Paths”. You simply tell us your goals and we will identify the best courses and study plan to help you reach them in the shortest time possible. So even though you are technically learning a language on your own, our team is always here to help and make sure you reach your goals FAST!

3. Advanced Learning Tools Reduce Learning Time and Boost Retention

When you have the right tools and German learning resources, it’s actually easy to teach yourself a language! In the past 10+ years, GermanPod101 has developed, tested, and refined more than 20 advanced learning tools to boost retention and reduce learning time, including:

  • Spaced Repetition Flashcards
  • Line-by-Line Dialogue Breakdown
  • Review Quizzes
  • Voice Recording Tools to Help Perfect Pronunciation
  • Teacher Feedback and Comments for Each Lesson
  • German Dictionary with Pronunciation
  • Free PDF Cheat Sheets
  • And Much More!

Armed with our growing collection of advanced learning tools, it’s truly a breeze to learn German alone and reach your goals!

Conclusion

Learning a language on your own is not only possible, it’s actually easier and more beneficial for you than traditional classroom instruction. In fact, when you learn German on your own you can study at your own pace, eliminate stress, and actually increase cognitive function.

GermanPod101 is the world’s most advanced online language learning system and a great resource to help you teach yourself a new language. With the world’s largest collection of HD audio and video lessons, more than 20 advanced learning tools, and customized “Learning Paths”, GermanPod101 makes learning a new language easier, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom instruction.

And the best part is: With GermanPod101, you can study in bed, your car, or wherever you have a few spare minutes of time. Create your Free Lifetime Account now and get a FREE ebook to help “kickstart” your dream of learning a language on your own below!

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Language Learning Tips: How to Avoid Awkward Silences

Avoid Awkward Silences

Yes, even beginners can quickly learn conversational German well enough to carry on real conversations with native speakers. Of course, beginners won’t be able to carry a conversation the same way they could in their native language. But, just knowing a few tips like which questions to ask to keep a conversation going are all you need to speak and interact with real native speakers! But before we get to specific suggestions, let’s first take a closer look at how having real German conversations is so vital to your mastery of the language.

Learning to Carry a Conversation is Vital to Mastery of Any Language

Communicating with other people is the very point of language and conversation is almost second nature in our native tongue. For beginners or anyone learning a new language, conversations aren’t easy at all and even simple German greetings can be intimidating and awkward.

However, there are 3 vital reasons why you should learn conversational German as quickly as possible:

  • Avoid Awkward Silences: Nothing kills a conversation faster than long periods of awkward silence, so you need practice and specific strategies to avoid them.
  • Improve the Flow of Conversation to Make a Better Impression: When you know what to say to keep a conversation going, communication becomes much easier and you make a better impression on your listener.
  • Master the Language Faster: Nothing will help you learn to speak German faster and truly master the language than having real conversations with native speakers. Conversations quickly expose you to slang, cultural expressions, and vocabulary that force you to absorb and assimilate information faster than any educational setting—and that’s a great thing!

But how can you possibly have real conversations with real German people if you are just starting out?

3 Conversation Strategies for Beginners

Conversation

1. Ask Questions to Keep a Conversation Going

For beginners and even more advanced speakers, the key is to learn to ask questions to keep a conversation going. Of course, they can’t be just random questions or else you may confuse the listener. But, by memorizing a few key questions and the appropriate time to use them, you can easily carry a conversation with minimal vocabulary or experience. And remember, the more German conversations you have, the quicker you will learn and master the language!

2. Learn Core Vocabulary Terms as Quickly as Possible

You don’t need to memorize 10,000’s of words to learn conversational German. In fact, with just a couple hundred German words you could have a very basic German conversation. And by learning maybe 1,000-2,000 words, you could carry a conversation with a native speaker about current events, ordering in restaurants, and even getting directions.

3. Study Videos or Audio Lessons that You Can Play and Replay Again and Again

If you want to know how to carry a conversation in German, then you need exposure to native speakers—and the more the better. Ideally, studying video or audio lessons is ideal because they provide contextualized learning in your native language and you can play them again and again until mastery.

GermanPod101 Makes it Easier and More Convenient Than Ever to Learn Conversational German

Learning German

For more than 10 years, GermanPod101 has been helping students learn to speak German by creating the world’s most advanced online language learning system. Here are just a few of the specific features that will help you learn conversational German fast using our proven system:

  • The Largest Collection of HD Video & Audio Lessons from Real German Instructors: GermanPod101 instructors have created hundreds of video and audio lessons that you can play again and again. And the best part is: They don’t just teach you German vocabulary and grammar, they are designed to help you learn to speak German and teach you practical everyday topics like shopping, ordering, etc!
  • Pronunciation Tools: Use this feature to record and compare yourself with native speakers to quickly improve your pronunciation and fluency!
  • 2000 Common German Words: Also known as our Core List, these 2,000 words are all you need to learn to speak fluently and carry a conversation with a native speaker!

In all, more than 20 advanced learning tools help you quickly build vocabulary and learn how to carry a conversation with native speakers—starting with your very first lesson.

Conclusion

Although it may seem intimidating for a beginner, the truth is that it is very easy to learn conversational German. By learning a few core vocabulary terms and which questions to ask to keep a conversation going, just a little practice and exposure to real German conversations or lessons is all it really takes. GermanPod101 has created the world’s largest online collection of video and audio lessons by real instructors plus loads of advanced tools to help you learn to speak German and carry a conversation quickly.

Act now and we’ll also include a list of the most commonly used questions to keep a conversation going so you can literally get started immediately!

How to Transform Your Daily Commute Into Learning a Language

Learn a language during your commute!

Today, classrooms are no longer the only or even best place to learn a new language like German. More and more people are finding that they can easily learn a language just about anywhere they have a few minutes of spare time, including their daily commute to work. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spends over 50 minutes a day commuting to and from work, or over 300 hours a year.

Rethinking Your Daily Commute to Work

But rather than simply sitting in traffic and wasting the time, you can instead use your daily commute to literally learn German in just a few short months! GermanPod101 has developed specialized learning tools that you can use on your commute to work (and home again) to master the language in your spare time. Keep reading to learn how to get your free audiobook to use on your next commute so you can see for yourself how easy it is to transform “dead time” into realizing your dream of learning a new language!

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But before we look at how to transform your commute home into a mini-classroom, let’s take a closer look at 4 reasons why traditional classroom settings just aren’t the best option for most people in today’s fast-paced world.

  • Difficulty Getting to and From Class
  • Learning on Someone Else’s Schedule
  • Very Expensive and May Cost $1,000’s to Complete
  • Can Take Years to Finally Complete Classes and Learn the Language

The simple truth is that traditional classroom instruction is simply not a viable option for most people in today’s very fast-paced, time-starved world. Now let’s examine how you can learn a language faster, more easily, and at far less expense than traditional classes—all during your commute to work and back home again!

Bus

3 Reasons Your Daily Commute Can Help You Master a Language

1. The Average Commute Time is More than 300 Hours Per Year

Between the commute to work and getting back home again, over 6 hours a week is completely wasted and not helping you reach any goals or objectives. But thanks to online language learning platforms with audiobooks and other resources that you can access during your commute, you can easily transform wasted time into tangible progress towards learning a new language. With over 300 hours available annually, your daily commute could provide you with enough time to literally master a new language each and every year!

2. Increase Your Earning Potential While Commuting to Work

How would you like to transform all those spare commuting hours each week into more money for a new car, house, or even a dream vacation? According to research, someone making $30,000 per year can boost their annual income by $600 or more per year by learning a second language. Added up over the course of a lifetime, you can boost your total earnings by $70,000 or more while achieving your dream of learning a new language during your daily commute!

How? From work-at-home translation jobs to working overseas, there are many ways to leverage your second language into more money in your bank account! So instead of wasting your precious time, you can make your commute more productive and profitable and the more languages you learn, the higher your income potential.

3. Repetition is Key to Mastering a New Language

Not sure if it’s practical to learn another language while commuting to and from work each day? Well not only is it possible—learning in your car on the way to and from work each day can actually help you learn and master German or any language much faster! The simple truth is that repetition is absolutely vital to truly internalizing and mastering any language. So, if you listen to audiobooks or even audio lessons on your commute to work and then repeat the same lesson on your commute home, the information is more likely to be “locked-in” to your long-term memory!

Learning

5 Ways GermanPod101 Makes It Easy to Learn a Language On Your Commute

GermanPod101 has been helping people just like yourself learn and master German in the comfort of their home, during their daily commute, or any place they have a few minutes of spare time. Here are five features provided by GermanPod101 that make it easy to learn a new language while commuting to and from work:

1. The Largest Collection of Audio Lessons on Planet by Native Speaking Instructors
Every single week, GermanPod101 creates new audio lessons by native speaking instructors. All lessons are short, to the point, and guaranteed to improve your mastery of German.

2. Word of the Day
Simply exposing yourself to new information and vocabulary terms helps increase your fluency and mastery of German. So every single day, GermanPod101 adds a new Word of the Day for you to learn and memorize during your commute.

3. Daily Dose Mini-Lessons
Have a short commute to work but still want to make progress towards learning and mastering German? Not a problem! Our Daily Dose Mini-Lessons are 1-minute or less and designed to improve your grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

4. All Content Available on a Convenient Mobile App
You don’t need a PC or tablet to learn German during your daily commute. At GermanPod101, all of our lessons, tools, and resources are available 24/7 via our Mobile App. That means you can access all of our audio lessons and other tools during your commute to work or any time you have a few spare moments!

5. Audiobooks and Other Supplemental Resources
In addition to the world’s largest online collection of HD audio lessons, GermanPod101 has also created several audiobooks to enhance your understanding and make it more convenient than ever to learn a language during your commute!

Conclusion

The average commute time of most Americans is over 300 hours each year and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn and master a new language. In fact, you can use the “dead time” during your daily commute to learn a new language and potentially boost your lifetime earnings by up to $70,000 or more! Whatever your motivation, GermanPod101 has the tools and resources necessary to help you learn a new language each year during your commute to and from work. Act now and we’ll even provide you with a free audiobook to try out on your next commute!

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7 Outstanding Resources for Learning German

learning german

German is a beautiful, important and challenging language, but fluency is definitely within your reach if you go about learning it in an efficient and intelligent way.

Many people think they don’t have the time, money or dedication to learn a second language—especially a grammatically challenging language like German—but there are so many ways to avoid breaking the bank and reach fluency faster than ever before!

e-learning

Just by learning German through the intelligent use of these hand-picked online resources instead of paying for courses at a college or language school, you’ll save yourself literally thousands of dollars and also create the system that works best for you.

Ultimately, one of the biggest drawbacks to language study programs at schools is that they have to be a “one size fits all” method to help the most students.

This is a great way for many people to learn languages, but with these online resources you’ll sidestep the things that don’t help you learn and be speaking German sooner than you thought possible!

Below I’ve listed some great resources to help you get started on your self-taught language journey. They’re not arranged in any particular order, so make sure to check them all out and find which ones work best for you!

Speaking German

1. HelloTalk

HelloTalk is a fantastic language partner application that puts the world in the palm of your hand—literally!

Within minutes, you could be talking to native German speakers that will correct your German, help you learn in context and maybe even become your friends!

Establishing real, connected memories is half the battle in language learning, so why not start by making a new German friend?

The only payment necessary is that you share knowledge of your native language with the people you encounter in return. Not bad, right?

GermanPod101

2. GermanPod101

If you’ve been learning German for a while, you probably have previously stumbled upon some of GermanPod101’s widely-known daily podcasts or YouTube videos.

While doing dishes, slicing potatoes or driving to work, plug in your headphones and pick up an audio or video lesson from the whopping 1,400+ available at GermanPod101.

GermanPod101 shares only the finest German learning content on the internet. There you can find a variety of culturally relevant, fun and informational lessons.

Why settle for boring whiteboard, caveman-level lessons when you have free access to this up-to-date, fun and easy-to-understand German learning resource?

finding resources

3. Deutsch-Lernen

I don’t know if I’m the only one who has spent hours going from website to website trying to find just one or two helpful German sites.

If you’ve done the same thing, you know how good it feels to find a site where you actually have good learning materials. Deutsch-Lernen is definitely one of those “Aha!” moments because it has material that is actually helpful for learning, testing and exploring German.

You get access to free beginner and advanced courses as well as to tests that will assess your German level. No more wondering if you’re beginner, intermediate or advanced!

Each lesson has useful exercises for learners of all level that will help push your German studies to the next level.

4. FluentU

FluentU is probably the closest thing you can get to moving to Germany without ever leaving your couch.

Why?

On FluentU, you’ll find a collection of well-chosen, authentic content that will give you everything you need to advance to the next level.

There is a giant collection of videos, audio and other learning material in tons of different languages, so it’s the perfect place to go and jumpstart your German learning journey!

Not convinced? Then take advantage of their 15-day free trial and see for yourself. You’re going to love it.

talk

5. Babbel

If you’re looking for a one stop shop for everything you need to reach fluency from zero, Babbel would be a good place to start your search.

With the use of interactive conversations with the conversation bot, you can easily practice any new material at your own pace.

Essentially, Babbel does all the difficult leg work for you so you can take advantage of your lunch break to learn German without having to look at textbooks, boring grammar exercises or verb charts.

You can start learning German as it’s actually spoken and skip the difficult class work that you would inevitably run into in any university course.

6. italki

Whenever people tell me that they cannot learn a language because they don’t know anybody who speaks it, I always tell them about italki.

This is a website where you can hire language tutors that will connect with you over the internet to teach you their mother tongue.

Not only can you find a teacher that you like, but you can find one that doesn’t empty your wallet either.

There are hundreds of options for German teachers on the site, most of whom offer a discounted trial lesson so you can “shop around” before settling on a teacher.

If you’re trying to avoid paying to connect with a formal teacher, you can always just find a language partner and use italki’s messaging system to practice with each other and connect over Skype to practice your speaking ability.

With italki, you never have to worry about finding someone to talk to in German.

DW

7. Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle, a public broadcasting network in Germany, has actually developed a German course that is available completely free on their website.

This website is perfect for people of all levels who are looking for a different perspective on learning German.

By selecting your level at the link above, you can get material that is tailored for your level that will help you target the areas in German that you’ll most likely struggle with at each level.

What better way to start learning German than with an authentic German news station?

Whenever people tell me that they’re going to start studying German, I get excited about the prospect of having another German speaker in the world.

The German language is rich both culturally and linguistically and offers a genuinely interesting challenge for those who study it.

Hopefully, after seeing the plethora of available online sources, you’re convinced that learning German without enrolling in courses at a language school is definitely possible.

Using just the seven resources above you could reach fluency, but part of the fun of learning a language is experiencing the culture that comes with it.

So get out there, study German and find more websites. Give yourself the opportunity to grow linguistically and culturally that you would never get in a classroom.

Viel glück!

Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a HubSpot certified content strategist, copywriter and polyglot who works with language learning companies. He helps companies attract sales using content strategy, copywriting, blogging, email marketing & more.

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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The 5 Review Tactics that Will Sharpen Your German

top 5 review tactics to boost your german

Have you ever returned to GermanPod101 lessons you’ve completed?

Accessing a lesson once is enough to learn more German. But to master what you’ve learned, to understand German the second you hear it, to read with just a quick glance, and to speak smoothly, without thinking… you need to review.

In this blog post, you’ll learn the 5 review tactics and learning tools that will truly sharpen your German (all of which I’ve been able to resources for on GermanPod101.com).

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1. Listen to lines over and over again!

One of the best ways to learn German (or any language) is to listen to native speakers over and over again until you understand what they are saying. By listening closely and often, you start to pick up the rhythm of a language and pronunciation from a native speaker. It’s not surprising, then, that Innovative Language offers a great line-by-line feature that lets you listen (and read along!) as many times as you’d like. I really recommend taking advantage of this feature— aside from moving to Germany, it is the best way to immerse yourself in the language.

2. Use a voice-recording tool to perfect pronunciation.

No one likes to hear themselves recorded, but it is a great way to perfect your pronunciation! Record yourself and compare against a fluent speaker. If you sound different, repeat after the fluent speaker until your pronunciation matches. Innovative Language has a great voice-recording feature that makes recording super easy. Never hesitate or be shy about your pronunciation again.

review tactics

3. Master recorded conversations.

Another excellent way to review your German is to record conversations and go over them again and again until you have the entire conversation mastered and can repeat it line by line. Now, it might be kind of awkward trying to explain to someone why you are recording them speak so it is fortunate that Innovative Language has dialogues available for download right off of their website. I found these also come with transcripts of the entire conversation, which is great if you don’t want to spend tons of time translating the conversation yourself.

4. Use mobile devices to reinforce previously learned conversations.

It might sound redundant at this point, but constant review is the best, and only, way to perfect German. In that spirit, I strongly recommend downloading the recorded dialogue to your mobile device and incorporating it into your music playlist. You’ll be amazed how effectively quick reviews throughout a day can reinforce what you’ve learned.

review tactics

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5. Read with line by line notes.

The guaranteed accurate transcript of the recorded dialogues is one of the most useful features Innovative Language offers. You can read along with a fluent speaker to really master pronunciation and natural conversation. You should start slow at first, then slowly increase the speed with each pass through. Every time you read through, your pronunciation will become more intuitive and your ability to understand fluent speakers will greatly increase.

Imagine a child who just learned how to read. At first, they slowly struggle through a sentence, but on the second try, they know what the most of the words sound like and so they read a bit faster and easier and on the third try, they read that sentence at normal, native speed.

review tactics

Improve Now your Reading Skills by Learning More Vocabulary

Using these five simple review techniques the most challenging parts of learning German will become your areas of comfort. Conversations will no longer be excruciating and embarrassing, but rather offer a chance to show off your new skills and communicate with someone from a different culture in their natural language. You will be able to casually listen to German and understand everything. Reading, too, will become natural and enjoyable.

Learning any language takes time and dedication. With the right focus, however, you can ensure the maximum impact of your efforts. Consistently listening to fluent speakers, recording your own voice and comparing it against fluent speakers, mastering conversations, listening to them on go, and following along with written transcripts will put you on the path to becoming fluent in German. Learn from the mistakes that so many have made, myself included, don’t let what you’ve already learned slip away.

Review, review, review!

How to Overcome the Top 4 German Learning Fears

Every German learner will have these fears“I’m not good enough yet.” “I don’t think I’m making any progress.” “What if I never reach my goals?” German learning fears – we all get them from time to time. What are yours? And are they worth being scared of?

how to overcome learning fears

In this blog post, we’re killing the top 4 German learning fears – 1) what are the fears learners tend to have the most and 2) how you can overcome them!

Here are the top 4 language learning fears according to our users:

1. “I’m not good enough to start speaking yet.”

Do you feel like you’re not good enough to start speaking yet? It’s a pretty common fear or misconception that most learners have. Here’s how you overcome it:

  • The best way to get good at speaking is to start speaking from day 1.
    So if you’re holding yourself back, because you think you’re not good enough, well, that’s exactly why you’re not good enough. You need to open your mouth and start talking!
  • If you think you’re not good enough, just learn German lines you want to say!
    In our lessons, you get the exact phrases and scripts for introducing yourself making small talk, ordering food, expressing opinions, and much more! So if you think you’re not good enough, the lessons will give you the exact lines to say.
  • learn german

    Want to speak German with confidence? With Learning Paths, get your personalized courses based on your goals and interests. Check it now!

    2. “I’m afraid I’ll never be fluent.”

    Many successful German learners worried about that, only as a beginner. They started learning German and, it’s funny because the better their German got, the less they were worried about that. So, how can you overcome this?

  • You’ve got to set small, specific goals.
    Fluency is a big vague goal. Arguably, we don’t even speak fluent in our native language. There are over a million words and we use about 2,000 words only. So you should focus on smaller goals like being able to introduce yourself or having a 5-minute conversation. Or 10 minutes. Something you can measure so you know you reached it because you can’t really measure fluency. It’s a pretty vague goal! But you can measure small goals like having a 5-minute conversation. And as these small goals add up, you’ll be speaking very comfortably!
  • learn german

    Discover now 10 Monthly Goals that will help you on your way to German fluency!

    3. “I’m afraid that I’m not making any progress.”

    In other words, getting stuck. If you’re afraid you’re not making progress, there are two things you can do right now.

  • Use the dashboard to track your progress.
    If you need numbers to believe it, our dashboard tracks all the lessons you’ve completed and shows how much you’ve accomplished.
  • Try a harder lesson on the site.
    It sounds crazy and you might not understand it but you will in minutes. Our lessons come with line-by-line translations and the lesson hosts explain everything. THEN, you’ll be making progress because you now understand something you didn’t minutes ago.
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    From Beginner to Advanced, get the lesson that is perfect for you! Start learning German now!

    4. “I’m afraid of not understanding anything I hear”.

    This is very common. You hear advanced grammar and vocabulary and it goes completely over your head. To beat this…

  • If you’re taking an advanced lesson, simply read along.
    Reading along with our line-by-line tool is the best way to instantly understand advanced conversations. The translations between German and English and scripts are right in front of you.
  • For real-life situations, learn useful phrases.
    Like “Can you say it more slowly?,” “Can you use simpler words?” or “I don’t understand what that meant.” There’s nothing wrong with saying that you didn’t understand something or with asking for help. And our Survival Phrases lessons cover must-know phrases like this.
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    So, these are the top 4 fears and how to overcome them. And if you want to have the perfect tools to overcome them, don’t forget to create your Free Lifetime Account at GermanPod101.com!

    3 Reasons Why Playing Games Helps You Learn German Faster

    Discover 3 ways that German learning games and video games can help you learn and master German faster, retain more, and enhance your language skills.

    reasons why playing games helps you learn faster

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    Can You Learn German Using Games?

    Yes, German learning games and even video games can help you learn and master German faster and improve overall comprehension. Research studies have concluded that video games enhance traditional learning methods and make mastering a new language like German fun and exciting. Without the firm foundation in grammar and vocabulary provided by conventional learning programs, however, you will not be able to learn German with games alone. But when you combine the solid educational foundation like you’ll get at GermanPod101 with the benefits of German learning games, you learn faster and retain more than with traditional learning alone.

    Let’s now take a look at three of the biggest benefits of using video games to learn German:

    Video Games Help Improve Linguistic Skills and Cognitive Development

    When combined with a solid foundation in vocabulary and grammar, video games help students improve reading, comprehension, and even speaking skills. The results are even more pronounced in struggling students. According to a recent national survey, more than 78% of teachers noted that learning games, even video games, were effective in helping struggling students compensate for learning gaps in their traditional studies.

    So how do German learning games, or even video games, help students improve their linguistic skills and cognitive development? The key is practice, practice, and more practice!
    Learning games and video games naturally require the integration of several linguistic skills including reading, listening, speaking, and even writing in some games. And by removing the fear of making mistakes so common in students in traditional classroom settings, students are free to practice the language and further develop their linguistic and cognitive abilities in the process.

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    Learning Games/Video Games Provide In-Context Learning

    Students naturally learn faster and comprehend more when they are forced to use the information often and in real-world situations, even the fake ones created by German learning games and video games. Essentially, this is immersion-based learning or contextual learning very similar to what one experiences when living abroad and being forced to interact with people in another language. So by providing both context and constant feedback, video games allow students to actually use the knowledge they gain in classrooms or conventional study to learn and master German or any new language faster.

    German Learning Games Make Studying Fun and Alleviate Stress

    Homework, quizzes, tests, and even in-class assignments can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety in students, particularly those who may be struggling to keep up. This stress and anxiety can actually derail a student’s progress and cause them to feel isolated from their more successful peers. But video games and even most learning games are the great equalizer because they help alleviate stress, increase social engagement, and yes, even help students have fun while learning German or any new language.
    In fact, research recently published in The Washington Post shows a wide range of health benefits from video games and learning games including the fact that they:

  • Help Reduce or Alleviate Symptoms of Depression
  • Help Reduce or Alleviate Symptoms of Insomnia
  • Help Alleviate Transitory Stress Symptoms
  • Scientists have indeed discovered that not only can you learn German or any new language faster thanks to video games, they can also provide a wide range of potential health benefits as well. However, learning languages through video games alone is not really a feasible alternative to progressive, structured learning like you find in classrooms or programs like GermanPod101.

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    The Limitations of Learning Languages Through Video Games

    While great supplemental learning tools, video games and even more formal learning games are simply no substitute for structured learning programs for two reasons:

  • Learning Games Not Designed to Provide a Foundation in Grammar or Vocabulary: Without the foundation provided by structured German learning (classroom or online), video games or even language learning games only teach specific phrases and concepts. Now within the context of the video game, these phrases and concepts make sense but most would have little practical value in the real world.
  • Lessons Are Not Structured or Progressive in Nature: Structured learning requires students to be provided with basic building blocks of knowledge (like grammar or vocab lessons) that are then expanded upon in a progressive fashion until mastery. Video games and even many language learning games really only quiz and reinforce what students already know instead of providing structured lessons that can be built upon for future learning.
  • German learning games and even video games are great supplemental tools to help students learn and master a language faster. Scientific studies and recent research reveal that video games can help contextualize formal lessons from structured learning, enhance linguistic skills, alleviate stress, and even provide a wide range of potential health benefits. However, learning languages through video games (even learning games) has limitations and is no substitute for structured lessons that provide a firm foundation in vocabulary and grammar.

    GermanPod101 is the world’s most advanced online learning system with more than 2500+ HD video lessons created by real German instructors. With more than 500 million lesson downloads and 10,000’s of success stories, GermanPod101 can provide you with a world-class foundation in vocabulary and grammar.

    Combined with German learning games, our cutting edge online language system can propel you to mastering the language faster, more easily, and at far less expense than traditional classroom instruction.

    3 Reasons Why Successful Students Learn German In the Car

    Not only is it possible to learn German in your car, there are 3 great benefits that will help you master the language faster and with less effort.

    With everyone so pressed for time these days, it might seem like a daydream to believe that you could learn German in your car—but it’s not! Thanks to a wide range of new technologies and resources, learning a language in your car is easier than ever. Not only is it easy to learn a language while driving, there are actually a number of benefits, especially if the lessons are part of a structured learning program like GermanPod101. Here are three specific benefits to learning German or any other new language in your car.

    3 reasons why successful students learn german in the car

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    1. Transform Downtime into Progress

    How much time do you spend commuting to and from work? Learning a language in your car transforms your commute time into tangible progress towards your dream. So instead of being stressed over how much time you are “wasting” on errands and daily commutes, you can decompress and have some fun while you learn German in your car!

    2. Daily Exposure Leads to Passive Learning

    Practice makes perfect and learning a new language is no different. The daily exposure you get when you learn German while driving helps improve listening comprehension, pronunciation, and of course helps build vocabulary and improve grammar. Don’t worry: You don’t need to memorize everything as you listen in German while driving. Just having continuous exposure to a foreign language helps you improve your vocabulary, learn faster, and ultimately retain more through passive learning.


    3. Learning While Driving is Fun

    Learning a new language does require a serious commitment, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! When you learn German in your car, you get to take some time away from the PC or smartphone and immerse yourself in the language instead of just “studying” it.

    Plus, there are a number of “fun” activities that you can do and still learn in your car, such as:
    - Singing Along with German Songs
    - Playing Word Games or Trivia
    - Just Listening Along and Seeing How Much You Can Pick Up and Understand

    Want to Learn How to Get Angry in German? Pick-Up Lines? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

    Yes, you can learn a language while driving and have loads of fun doing it. Now let’s take a look at some specific things you can listen to while driving to help you learn a new language.

    BONUS: 3 Ways to Learn German in Your Car

    -Listen to Podcasts: Typically designed to focus on one topic or lesson, podcasts are a great way to learn a language while driving. Unfortunately, podcasts are rarely at the same listening/comprehension level as the language learner so listeners may not get their full value. But at GermanPod101, our podcasts are created for every skill level so you don’t waste any time on material that isn’t relevant or suited to your exact needs.

    -Sing Along to German Songs: Remember, just immersing yourself in a language can create passive learning and improve your pronunciation. Plus, with GermanPod101, you can sing along and memorize the lyrics, and then look the words up and add them to your personal dictionary.

    -Playing Word Games or Trivia: There are audio games available online that you can download to any media device and listen to on your commute. Although we recommend this option for more advanced users, games are a fun and productive way to learn German in your car because they require listening and comprehension skills.

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    You won’t recognize or understand every word you hear in a German song, podcast, or game—but that’s ok. The daily repetition and immersion in the language leads to passive learning that gradually increases your knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. And the greater your foundation in grammar and vocabulary, the more you’ll understand and learn from the audio lessons, podcasts, or whatever you listen to while learning German in your car.

    Yes, you can learn German while driving because it leads to passive learning via daily immersion in the language. Although you may not understand all or even most of what you hear at first, the exposure helps improve pronunciation, vocabulary, and even grammar over time. Learning a language while driving also helps transform your commute into exciting “exotic adventures” that secretly teach you German in the process. Podcasts, songs, and even games can all help you learn German in your car while eliminating the “boring commute” in the process!

    At GermanPod101, we have more than 2500+ HD audio lessons and podcasts for every skill level that you can download and use to learn German while driving!
    So don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on GermanPod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in German!

    4 Reasons Why German Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

    Learn 4 honest reasons you need German slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

    Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning German slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak German? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning German or any new language.

    reasons to learn german slang words

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    1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

    If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

    2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout German Culture

    If you turn on any popular German TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning German slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, German culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

    Want to Amaze Native Speaker? Be a Good Lover? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

    3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

    Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate German slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

    4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

    We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

    The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

    Learning German slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

    But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

    The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual German people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from German TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right German slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

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    So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

    At GermanPod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the German slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

    German slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

    However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
    At GermanPod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

    Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on GermanPod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in German!