I have many friends who learned to speak German fluently. Most of them say that German is easy. However, some people from Germany and Austria have said that German would be hard. Today I am going to share with you 4 points why German is easy for English speakers to learn.
But before I want to mention that I have learned now German myself for about 4 months. I remember that I “studied” German at school 10 years ago but I didn’t really learn it because I didn’t any motivation. Back then I didn’t know that German is actually easy. I didn’t know about good language learning techniques. So 4 months ago I practically started from zero. I didn’t even remember how to say, “Hello! How are you?” in German.
But now I have made quite a good progress with German and I am on my way to fluency. I hope that this article will motivate and help you to reach fluency with German. Remember, German is not hard, GERMAN IS… EASY! 😉
1.German Has So Many Similar Word With English
German and English has surprisingly many similar words because they have same Germanic roots. I just realized it when I started to study German. Before I thought that only French and Spanish would be easier for English speakers. But nowadays I know that English is very close to German in many ways. Many words resemble each other and many words are exactly the same. I can give you some examples:
These words are exactly same in English and German:
- warm = warm
- boss = Boss
- winter = Winter
- trainer = Trainer
- volleyball = Volleyball
- kindergarten = Kindergarten
- hunger = Hunger
- ideal = ideal
And I could continue the list with tens or even with hundreds of examples. Sometimes the pronunciation is a little bit different. But if you know the English word, then you just need to pronounce it in a German way.
2.German Grammar Is Straightforward
I have many Finnish friends who speak German fluently. All of them said that German was very easy to learn. Much easier than other languages. One reason is that in some languages grammar is more complicated. There are exceptions and exceptions and exceptions. But German grammar is not full of exceptions. You have the rules and you follow them. Quite simple.
Verbs have simple conjugation pattern. It is said that Swedish is easy to learn because grammar is very simple and easy but I would say that German grammar is even easier. German “cases” (dative, accusative, nominative, and genitive) are a bit different compared to other languages but that only takes some time to learn. Anyway, if you make some mistakes with German articles, in a spoken language it doesn’t matter at all because everyone will understand you.
3.You Will Always Find German Speakers to Practice
There are more than 200 million German speakers in the world 2016. The huge number doesn’t make German grammar or vocabulary easier to remember. But makes German much easier to practice!
When I started to study German, I was surprised that I heard German everywhere. I went to school and some people were speaking German in the corridor, I went to a store to buy food and two women were talking German, I went to our church and I saw two German people, I wrote in Italki and Hellotalk “I want to learn German.” And immediately German people contacted me. It was so easy to find German language partners.
Now you may think, “I am not living in Finland, there are not so many Germans in my.” That can be definitely true. There are not so many Germans living in every country but in 2016 it’s not a problem anymore. You can always get to know many German people through the Internet. I recommend Italki because it has worked very well for me.
In general, German speakers are also quite rich if we compare the situation worldwide. Because German speakers have many, they also tend to travel all around the world so you can find German tourists, exchange students and expats from many different countries.
4.German Pronunciation Is Simple
German grammar is straightforward and so is pronunciation. You just need to learn a few rules and stick to them. For example, Ei is pronounced “eye”. In a word Zeit, you just pronounce it like “ts-eye-t”. You just need to remember this and only some other simple rules and you can pronounce German perfectly. German is pronunciation is easy because it’s pronounced like it’s written.
Compare for example to French or English. There are far more exceptions and things that you need to remember. And if you have already learned to speak English or French I am sure that you will learn German much quickly. If you learned English as a mother tongue, remember that it took probably at least 4 years to speak the language perfectly. You will learn German pronunciation in a few months or even much faster if you are ready to dedicate more time to learning.
Do You Want to Learn German Fast? Try This!
The man who revolutionized my language learning is Benny Lewis. He teaches much faster techniques to learn languages than what they teach you at school. Benny speaks +10 languages himself and knows what he is talking about. He is probably world’s most famous language teacher today.
His teaching doesn’t concentrate very much on grammar but speaking plays a big part. After reading and watching Benny’s articles and videos, I gained lots of confidence to speak foreign languages. Before I was often afraid of making mistakes but not anymore. If you want to learn to speak German with confidence I would recommend checking Benny’s German course “Why German Is Easy“. I know that Benny’s methods work because I have seen the change in my own life.
Here is what Benny says about German:
The World’s Most Famous Language Guru Benny Lewis Teaches “Why German Is Easy”-> Start Here!
What do you think about learning German? Have you found it easy? Why/Why not? Leave a comment below!
I never knew that German was so close to English to where dozens of words were the same. I always thought only Spanish was close to it like that. Are the pronunciation and grammar rules pretty similar too?
How long were you learning German before you felt you were fluent in it or can you ever really be fluent in it without actually visiting the country and staying there for a bit?
yeah before I thought the same that German and English wouldn’t be so close to each other like Spanish and English. Pronunciation and grammar a little bit different in German and in English but in my opinion German is more straightforward and there are much less exceptions than in English.
I am still on my way to speaking German fluently. So far I have studied it for 4 months but I have still very much to learn. Even though I can have conversations in German it needs more practice. Yes, one can reach fluency without even visiting in a country because there are German speakers all over the world. One great place to find German speakers is Italki.
Now I am currently living in Austria so now it would be easy for me to practice German if I want.
This makes me wish I took up German in school! I had no idea it was so similar to English. I know they say that English is one of (if not the) hardest languages to learn and master so realistically, everything else should be easier. I am going to look in to learning German now because of this post. I am curious!
I haven’t heard that English would be one of the hardest languages. But you are right that it’s harder than many others. For example, pronunciation with English takes usually much more effort to learn than with some other languages. Finnish people say that Finnish is hard to learn, German people say that German is hard to learn. Maybe they just want to feel proud of their own language but their claims are not true :). There are studies of hardest languages in the world and usually Chinese, Japanese and Arabic rank quite high.
But it always depends about many factors: what is your native language, how much you have already heard a new language, do you have somebody to practice it and so on. In my opinion, any language can be easy. Enough practice and you will master it 🙂
German is a closely related language to English (due to the Anglo-Saxon Invasion) but I always heard it was difficult to learn. However, though, this article is saying that’s a falsehood, so what do you think is the reason German is seen as difficult? I thought it was the grammar, but it seems to not be the case.
Many people say that languages are hard to learn because they didn’t know the right techniques or they had bad experiences at school. Then other people easily agree with them and it becomes a common myth.
Of course, you need to put effort if you want to learn any language but practice makes progress and helps you to reach mastery. I made a huge progress when I studied German for 2 months in Finland.