The myth that German is hard to learn for English and Spanish speakers is becoming increasingly annoying to me. There is nothing more frustrating than learning a new language, especially when you find yourself memorizing a never-ending list of grammar rules, pronunciations, and words. Yes, that is also true of German. There are also some German learners who become flustered by the absurdly long words and unusual grammar structure of the language.
As well Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Finnish, and many other languages, I have heard countless times that they are very difficult to learn. Nevertheless, so many polyglots, including myself, have disproved this claim! I do not believe that any language is more difficult to learn than another.
Is German more difficult than French, for example?
As far as I am concerned, it all boils down to perseverance and passion. Let us take a look at it from a different perspective. There is a good chance that you took learning the language for granted if you are a native English speaker. In order to communicate with those around you, you were required to learn it. This has resulted in your fluency in a language that is extremely complex.
There are a number of inconsistencies in English that leave non-native English speakers scratching their heads in confusion. There are many ways in which German can be easier to learn than English.
Is German More Hard To Learn Than Other Languages?
It can be intimidating to learn German. Plus, there are rumors of complex grammar structures, super long words, and a million different articles. It’s fair to ask how hard or easy it is to learn German if you’re thinking about it. Here’s a look at these rumors, and if they’re true. It turns out learning German isn’t as hard as you think.
Every language is different. They can be easier or harder depending on their unique features. Learn why German is actually an easy language to learn, how to overcome the difficulties, and why it’s difficult for English speakers. German is considered hard for 5 reasons, but it’s actually a lot easier than other languages.
How Similar Is German And English?
A language’s difficulty depends on how close it is to the learner’s native language. You’re in luck if English is your native language. The German language is closely related to the English language.
The West Germanic language family includes both German and English. One of the reasons that English speakers can easily learn German is because of this.
German Learning Time: How Long Does It Take?
Fluency will come faster if you learn a language easily. By looking at how long it takes to learn a language, we can estimate how easy it is. Despite the fact that we cannot provide you with an exact answer, we can provide you with some estimates. With the right motivation, strategy, and language learning method, you can always make your studies easier and faster. Therefore, these numbers should be viewed with caution.
In order to estimate how long it takes to learn a language, the US Foreign Service Institute ranked languages by difficulty. There are five categories of languages, with German being the only one in Category II. In order to master German, you will need 30 weeks or 750 hours of study. In comparison with other languages, German isn’t at all difficult. With the right methods, you can learn it quickly and easily.
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Why German Is Hard To Learn?- 5 Reasons And Best Ways
There are definitely some aspects of German that are harder to master. However, the fact that there are only 5 is great. By tackling these five obstacles, you’ll be able to learn German fluently. We also show you how you can make these difficulties work for you while still having fun.
German Words You Need To Know
There’s nothing more terrifying than seeing a word like “viertausendeinhundertsiebenunddreißig” (4137). This is the linguistic equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster. There’s a reason for that: German uses compound words. Words are combined to express a new idea, which often results in grotesquely long words. You can’t use hyphens or spaces.
Let’s take the German word for the fridge: “der Kühlschrank”. The word “kühl” means cool, and the word “schrank” means closet. Refrigerators are cool closets. It’s a new idea you come up with by combining the two.
Long German Words: How To Learn Them
It’s all about building your vocabulary. The more words you know, the easier it will be to understand compound words. Be careful, though.
It’s not about how many words you know when you’re learning a language. It’s all about knowing the right words. A fraction of Germans’ vocabulary is used for most conversations. Therefore, there is no need to stuff unnecessary German words into your head.
It Can Be Frustrating To Learn German Genders
The luxury of not having genders is available to English speakers. However, German does. It is even more difficult to master German because it has three genders. There are only two genders in French, so the Foreign Service Institute deemed it harder than French.
The German language has three genders: masculine (der), feminine (die), and neutral (das). Some genders are self-explanatory (der Mann – the man), while others are less obvious (das Mädchen). According to the case, these articles in front of Genders change. You’re also not helped by the grammar of German genders.
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The Best Way To Manage German Genders
Words can always be associated with genders and articles. Likewise, training your brain to remember them isn’t a bad idea. No language learning website will ever tell you this trick if you’re lazy like me: Germans don’t care.
There is no problem with mixing up “der” and “die” among Germans. It is not uncommon for even locals to get confused between the genders. Don’t worry about which article you should use when you’re speaking. You shouldn’t try this if you’re learning German for school or for an exam. Chances are, your examiner will not tolerate it if you use the wrong article.
The German Sentence Structure Is Different, But Not Difficult
The German sentence structure is much more liberal than the English sentence structure. It is clear that English is an SVO language (subject-verb-object). In the meantime, German is often SVO, but sometimes it becomes SOV. It’s especially important when there’s conjunction involved. For clarification, let’s look at some examples:
A piece of apple is eaten by Mary. – Mary isst einen Apfel.
In this sentence, “Mary” is the subject, “eats” is the verb, and “an apple” is the object. German sentences follow the same pattern. It’s because it’s a simple sentence. However, let’s take a look at a more complicated sentence with conjunctions:
If I don’t have money, I can’t go to the cinema. – Ich kann nicht am Kino gehen, wann ich kein Geld habe.
“I” (ich) is the subject, “can” (kann) or “have” (habe) is the verb, “cinema” (Kino) and “money” (Geld) are the objects, and “if” (wann) is the conjunction.
In both of these sentences, the object comes before the verb. This is due to the more flexible German sentence structure. The other way around, however, would sound strange.
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What Is The Best Way To Deal With German Sentence Structures?
You have to get used to this part of German grammar. It’s easy to think that a sentence is complicated when you analyze it.
However, this is the way Germans speak in everyday life. The only rule you need to remember when it comes to sentence structure is CSOV (conjunction-subject-object-verb). There is a significant change in sentence structure when there is a conjunction. It will not take you long to become familiar with the rhythm and logic of this language.
German Formal Vs Informal “You”
When addressing coworkers, colleagues, and strangers, it is proper to use the formal “Sie.” It is also used by younger people when addressing older individuals. In most cases, “Du” is used to address friends and peers.
There has been a recent shift away from the formal “sie” in favor of “du” due to the influence of the growing casual business culture. You should always use “sie” if you are in doubt.
Learning False Cognates Can Be Challenging
In the target language, a false cognate is a word with the same or similar spelling as your native language. A good example of this would be the term “gift” in German. There are many English speakers who would think that giving someone a “gift” in German would be a pleasant experience, but they would be mistaken. In German, the word “gift” means poison.
There are several other examples of this type. As German and English are quite similar, it can be equally frustrating to think you understand a word only to discover you are mistaken. It is important to note that these situations are often shockingly different from what you would expect, so you will learn quickly from your mistakes.
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Why German Is Easy And Useful To Learn?
There are many reasons why German is an easy language to learn. It is possible to achieve German fluency for a number of reasons. If you use the right language learning methods, even the best aspects of the language can be improved.
German Is Close To English
German is very similar to English, as I mentioned before. As a result, you’ll see many cognates, words that look or sound similar but have the same meaning. By doing so, you will be able to increase your vocabulary quickly and easily.
It Will Be Easy To Learn The German Alphabet
German alphabet may seem complicated or new to you. It can seem intimidating with letters like “ä”, “ö”, “ü”, and “ß”. The German and English alphabets are almost identical.
In German, all 26 letters of the English alphabet are found, plus four extra letters. As a result, learning the alphabet will be a breeze.
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Pronunciation Rules For German
German is often exaggerated for its harsh pronunciation. Languages with “ch” and “r” sounds can seem very aggressive. However, this is not the case. German is just as melodious as any other language. As long as you practice your pronunciation enough, you’ll be fluent in no time.
German pronunciation is made easy by clear rules. There are a lot of irregularities in English, but German is much more straightforward. Once you learn all the rules, you can use them throughout the language. Unlike French, German does not have silent letters. As a result, reading German becomes much easier as well.
German Is Widely Spoken
German is one of the most popular languages in the world. Many people speak it as their native tongue. Did you know that 289 million people also speak German as a second language? There are currently 15.4 million people studying German. To learn German, you will need a lot of resources. As a result, learning German is much easier than learning a rare or obscure language.
Also, Germans are very kind and helpful. As soon as they find out you’re learning German, they’ll encourage you and even help you. You can always ask a German to correct your grammar or pronunciation if you’re ever in doubt.
Conjugating German Verbs Is Easy
German grammar may seem like a beast to you. In reality, it’s often more logical than you think. Learning German makes conjugating verbs very easy. There are the same rules for regular verbs and irregular verbs.
It’s pretty easy to learn German grammar. It’s a pretty clear set of rules, and there aren’t many exceptions. You can be confident in your knowledge once you know them. Even with the infamous grammar, German is easy to learn because it’s so clear.
How long does it take to learn German properly?
It takes 750 classroom hours to learn German, according to the FSI. A group of language students spent 25 hours per week in class and three hours a day practicing on their own.
Is German harder than English?
There are some parts of German grammar that are tough for English speakers to grasp, but German grammar is actually arguably easier to learn than English grammar because it follows rules set by the three regional authorities, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Is German more difficult than French?
When comparing French and German in terms of difficulty, some of the most experienced linguists would state that German is more challenging due to its accent and pronunciation, as well as its complex grammar rules.
Why is German so difficult?
There are grammar rules in German that other languages don’t have, so people find it difficult. There is a lot of inflection in German, which means that words are used differently depending on their grammatical function.
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