If you want to learn to speak conversational German in the shortest time, learning German online is usually the best choice.
There are a number of very good reasons for this. By learning online you are setting yourself up for structured daily practice.
That daily reinforcement of what you are learning is great for retention and rapid learning.
Other methods do not have this structured frequency, and fall short as a result.
But when learning German, there are some factors which you should consider in your choice of tools.
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While learning online is the best way to learn to speak German, you will only be successful if you have chosen the right course or program to follow. That stands to reason – bad tools won’t get the job done!
There are a number of characteristics which you should watch out for in any learning German program you are considering.
Obviously, you will want to make sure that the program incorporates appropriate tools to assist you with learning new vocabulary and also mastering verb and tense rules. There is no avoiding having to learn and remember a lot when learning German on the internet or by any other method.
Two points on this – First, most of the premium online programs do a good job of this, so you won’t find much differentiation. Despite what their marketing materials will try to tell you!
Second, and more importantly, using these tools is not actually the best way of learning German online. They have value, and can get you started, but you should not be relying on these for learning German.
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The reason is very straightforward! The best way to get conversational in German is to get placed in the middle of conversations in German right from the start. Unfortunately, many of the learning German programs available don’t do this, or don’t do it effectively.
But learning a language through conversation, or simulated conversation, is absolutely the most effective way to do so. Getting your brain to think in complete sentences means your brain is always searching for the translation of words and the treatment of verbs and tenses in context.
It’s like a push – pull analogy. If you’re trying to force knowledge into your brain, your brain is not naturally inclined to retain it. But if your brain is actively seeking the answer, and fulfilling its own request, it is more than likely going to retain that better.
Even better than that, if you are thinking in whole sentences, you are being exposed right from the start to correct sentence structure. Remember, German sentence structure can be very different to sentence structure in English.
So choose wisely, and with the right course you can learn German fast and engaging in real conversations in German in eight weeks or so.
Our favorite tool for Learning German Online is Rocket German Premium.