Our students share their learning tips and tricks! Check out how GermanMind´s students learn German, what has helped them to improve their German language skills, what apps they are using and how they get their had around German articles and pronunciation... have a read!
My name is Aidan and I have been taking lessons since November of last year. I studied German at school and for one year at university, before spending a summer in Munich.
But that trip was in 2001 and after that I did not learn or use the language until I started taking classes with Sarah. Now I hope to become as proficient as I possibly can and am considering moving to Germany. Outside of the lessons, I have tried different things to accelerate the learning process. I downloaded apps on my phone and do not use most of them, but there is one that is indispensable and that is the dictionary app, dict.cc. I use it all the time - when doing my German homework, reading news websites and when watching TV programmes auf Deutsch. The other app that I downloaded and regularly use is a verb app called German Pro and that comes in handy, especially for conjugation purposes. I found the grammar difficult at the beginning but there is lots of help available online and the YouTube channels Deutsch für Euch and Get Germanized were very useful for explaining different things. The presenters are a little too enthusiastic in their delivery but they are smart and have useful information. There is also the website yourdailygerman.com, which has long and detailed articles on individual words that are difficult to grasp for native English speakers, such as 'doch' and 'allerdings'. For everyday German, I spent a few months watching the YouTube daily highlights (‘tägliche highlights’, usually 10-15 minutes long) of a soap opera set in Berlin called Berlin Tag und Nacht. Most of the characters are young and it is full of dramatic incidents. The website of the broadcaster ZDF also has many quality programmes to choose from. On Netflix, Dark is a fascinating show about time travel, it is like a mix of Stranger Things and Twin Peaks. On Amazon, 4 Blocks is an exciting drama series about Arabic gangsters in Berlin, featuring some fine acting performances. As well as German news sites, there are plenty of magazines to choose from on a number of topics. I recently ordered a copy of football magazine Kicker from their website, which features an in-depth interview with Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp. It arrived within three days. After several months of taking German lessons with Sarah, the grammar is no longer as difficult as it was. It can still be tricky but it is definitely manageable. Adding vocabulary and learning more verbs is a challenge now but I know that the same simple rules always apply - keep on practicing and try to absorb some German every day, even if it is just a little bit.