The Big Question: Is German Easy to Learn? (2023)

The Big Question: Is German Easy to Learn? (1)

ByThe Big Question: Is German Easy to Learn? (2)Joe Warnimont Last updated:

That's easy!

That’s the answeryou might hear from a Germanwho finds it easy to learn English, or any other language for that matter.

In fact, from my travels to Munich andBerlin, it seems like most Germans already know how to speak English by the time they’re walking around in grade school.

(Video) 25 Questions for absolute beginners | 25 Fragen für Anfänger | Learn German

But what about the other way around?

Is German easy to learn if you’re anative English speaker? What about if you hail from a country that speaks primarily Spanish, Italian or French?

This is the big question that everyone wants to ask beforesetting out on the journey of learning a new language. It’s understandable, since you’ll want a challenge, but it can be frustrating tostudy for a year or twoand realize that you’ve gotten nowhere nearfluency.

Now, if you’renew to the German language, you’ve probably seen somebooks with absolutely insane-looking words. There’s also a chance you’vechecked out moviesandTV showswith dialogue that moves fast and aggressively to the point that you’d rather just sip a beer and wolf down a bratwurst to get your German fix.

Heck, the Germans are known for stringing togetherlong compound wordsthat look more like sentences:

(Video) Which German Band Sold the Most Records? 🎸 | The Big Easy German Quiz Show

  • tokens of friendship(demonstrations of friendship)
  • legal expenses insurance companies(insurance companies providing legal protection)
  • speed limit(speed limit)
  • high-speed rail system(high-speed rail system)
  • extinguishing water feed(fire hydrant)

Whoa! Those words have lots of letters. Imagine pronouncing something like that just to talk about the speed limit.

There’s no reason to worry, however, because I’m just scaring you a bit for fun. You won’t use most of the longer words in everyday conversation, and once you start to realize that these words are easy to break down (because they are just a bunch of smaller words mashed together) German isn’t all that bad.

Therefore, we encourage you to keep reading for a full analysis ofwhat challenges you can expect while learning German. At the same time, we’ll outline some of the easier areas that willmake you a German pro in no time.

Download:This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere.Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Factors That Come into Play When Judging German Learning Difficulty

As with all languages, you can generally locate a handful of factors that make the language learning difficult. For Japanese, the alphabet is completely unique, while the English language is known for generating completely random words for complex items instead of just makingmore understandable compound words, which languages like German focus on.

(Video) Basic German Question Words | All A1 Question Words You Need to Know

So, what factors are going to affect your progress? We have a few questions to prepare you:

  • Have you learned a language in the past?If so, you know that training to become fluent in a new language is no cake walk. However, you’ve already trained your brain to absorb language-related information, understand new grammar and memorize bunches of new vocabulary.
  • Did you successfully gain fluency inthat language?If you gained fluency, German shouldn’t be that tough for you. If not, consider making a list of the elements that caused you to have troublewith the last language.
  • Have you learned through classes or on your own?Depending on your past learning tactics, decide the ways in which you learn quickest. That way, German will come easier to you. For example, some people just can’t retain information unless they go to classes. Others get bored with classes and need the freedom to explore on their own.
  • Are you a native English speaker?If so, beginner and intermediate German will look more like English as you practice. The two languages are fairly similar, but the more advanced you get, the farther they move apart.
  • Do you live near or know people who speak German?Can you speak to them on a regular basis? This is the strongest way to figure out whether or not you’re going to have a hard time with German. If you have someone to speak with every day or every week, you should be good. If not, your chances of having difficultyincrease that much more. That being said,you can always find someone online.

This is the big question, and it doesn’t have a simple answer.

The German language can be easy to learn, but it depends on your commitment and a few other factors. Apart from that, you can consider the difficult and easy linguistic areas in German thatwe’ve outlined below. As talked about above, English is related, but that’s not going to bring you all the way to German fluency.

Tricky Parts of the German Language to Watch Out For

Whether youpick up a textbook, go to a class or learn German naturally through videos, you’ll see similar guides, exercises and chapters to touch on. Some will stink, others will be a breeze. So, what parts of German do many people struggle with?

  • Verb conjugations.Verb conjugations are super fun once you get the hang of them, but if you don’t have any experience with languages that have conjugations (i.e., French, Spanish, etc.) it’s a bit intimidating at first. This basically means that the verb spellings and pronunciations are going to change based on the subject and tense.
  • Irregular and regular verbs.You must be able to distinguish between the two and remember which of them are used most frequently. For the most part, you’ll need to rely on rote memorization to commit to memory which verbs are the irregular ones.
  • The fact that noun genders are completely random, which makes many words tough.Each noun can be either masculine, feminine or neuter, and most of them don’t follow any rules. So, you typically have to remember genders for each noun.
  • German still uses four grammatical cases:Nominative, Genitive, DativeandAccusative.A noun’s case is determined by its function in a sentence. As an example, anominationnoun is the subject and it’s completing the action.

Easier Parts of Learning the German Language

Now it’s time to look forward to the simple stuff!

(Video) 150 MOST COMMON Questions and Answers In German 🙋 How to Learn German ???🤔???

Although mastering one of the challenging areas above feels really good, it’s nice to take breaks with some of the easier parts of learning the German language. What can you expect?

  • The overall verb conjugationcan be confusing at first, but the pattern is consistent, so it’s generally easy to learn.
  • Irregular verbsonly have irregular conjugations when used withof(you, familiar) andhe she it(he/she/it), giving you a nice pattern to remember.
  • Verbs likebeandhaveare used quite a bit, so you’ll remember them quickly.
  • Many nouns genders follow patterns. So you should be fine with the majority of articles before nouns.

Study Strategies That Make Learning German Easier

If you’re looking to make German easier to learn, you have to put in the work and maybe even invest a little money. Here are some strategies for simplifying your learning.

  • Classes.German classes are best when you’re jumping to a new level, like from beginner to intermediate. Investing in classes, or simply taking them for free online, at the beginning of your German learning process gives you structure that often really pays off in the long term. However, if you had to skip one area of learning, it would most definitely be in-person classes.DW.comis great for online classes and you can search on Google for more options.
  • Tutoring.Pay for tutoring to keep you on a consistent schedule. It’s not necessarily going to make you fluent, but it allows for tons of speaking time which you otherwise might not get. Plus, your tutor will correct pronunciations that you messup along the way—but don’t worry, mistakes like this are all part of the process. You’ll also get to interact with a native speaker (if you’ve chosen a native tutor, which you should). Several sites connect you with tutors, butwe like the Verbling option.
  • Self-training.This is a great bet, sinceimmersing yourself needs to be done at all times. Train while at work, school, home and while out with friends. Every time you’ve got a spare moment or find your mind wandering, give your brain a little bit of German input or try thinking in German.
  • Speaking with others.You must have a speaking partner to chat with at least weekly. Try tomeet up with a language exchange partner online or in your local area!

So, uh, did that answer your question?

Is German easy to learn?

I think a better question, in the end, is whether or not it’sfunto learn, because that’s a guaranteed yes—and if you love the learning process, it will never get too hard for you!

(Video) How to ask the perfect question in German 🧐

You’re going to encounter challenges and super easy spots in the German language, and that’s what makes it so intriguing. There will be ups and downs, and you’ve got to love them all.

Enjoy the ride!

Download:This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere.Click here to get a copy. (Download)

FAQs

What is the quote about German learning? ›

Advertisement
  • "Life is too short to learn German." ...
  • Learning German is "what eternity was made for." ...
  • "The entire language is threatening." ...
  • "No German knows what he actually wants to say." ...
  • It might be hard, but it's still more logical than English.
May 11, 2017

Is German the easiest language to learn? ›

English Partially Originates In Germanic Languages

About 40% of German and English vocabulary are very similar to each other, which makes German one of the easiest languages to learn for native English speakers. So, basically, if you already know English, it should be a piece of cake for you to learn German.

Why is learning German so easy? ›

One of the main reasons German isn't all that hard to learn is that German and English originate from the same language families and share more similarities than you probably realise. Both German and English are Indo-European languages that stem from the Germanic family of languages.

How easy or hard is it to learn German? ›

With plenty of straightforward rules, German is not actually as hard to learn as most people think. And since English and German stem from the same language family, you might actually be surprised at the things you pick up without even trying! And on top of it all, it's definitely a useful one, too.

What is a famous German quote? ›

All beginnings are hard.” “He who chases two rabbits at once will catch none.” “Starting is easy, persistence is an art.”

Is German or French harder? ›

French tends to be easier for beginners, though it gets harder as you get into its intermediate and advanced layers. German has a tougher on-ramp for beginners, but gets easier as you go along.

Is 1 year enough to learn German? ›

It is estimated that a total of 30 weeks or 750 classroom hours are necessary to learn German. But you could complete those 750 hours in a matter of months or over the course of many years.

Which is harder English or German? ›

Some parts of German grammar are particularly tricky for English speakers to get to grips with, but German grammar is actually arguably easier to learn than English grammar because it follows set rules that are laid down by the three regional authorities, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (with small differences ...

What is the best age to learn German? ›

German for Kids: Toddlers (Age 2-5)

Three years is said to be the optimal age to start learning a second language. This is because younger kids are better at mimicking new sounds and learning new pronunciations.

How long does it take to learn German perfectly? ›

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) estimates that learning German will take about 30 weeks, or 750 classroom hours, as it is rated as a category two language similar to English.

Is it smart to learn German? ›

German is the most widely spoken native language in Europe

English, French and German are the three official working languages of the European Union. In absolute numbers, German is the second most-spoken language on the continent of Europe. However, when it comes to native speakers, German is number one.

Can I learn German in 3 months? ›

For those new to languages, it may sound like a daunting task to become fluent in any language in 3 months, let alone such a complicated language as German. Nonetheless, Adriana can tell you from experience that it's definitely possible!

Can I learn German in 3 years? ›

It'll take you years to build up vocabulary and grammar in, say, Dutch, and then you'll have to do it all over again for German. Remembering the words might be a little easier, but you'll still be years behind what you'd have if you had started out with German in the first place.

Can I learn German by myself? ›

The short answer is, you can, and with free online resources at your disposal, there's really no reason you can't learn German from home.

What is hi in Germany? ›

The most common way of saying “hello” in German is “Hallo”. This is a casual greeting. You should only use it when greeting friends and family: Hello = Hallo.

What is the best German motto? ›

Germany: No official motto, de facto: Unity and justice and freedom (German: Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit).

What is the most common German phrase? ›

10 common German phrases: the basics
  • Hallo (Hello)
  • Tschüss (Bye)
  • Bitte (Please)
  • Danke (Thanks)
  • Entschuldigung (Excuse me)
  • Sorry (Sorry)
  • Formal: Können Sie mir helfen?; informal: Kannst du mir helfen? (Can you help me?)
  • Formal: Sprechen Sie English?; informal: In Sprichst du Englisch? (Do you speak English?)
Mar 12, 2022

Why Goethe is so great? ›

He studied the psychological attributes of color and our subjective ways of seeing them, as well as complementary colors. In so doing, he improved our understanding of color vision. Besides, writing, researching, and practicing law, Goethe sat on several councils for the Duke of Saxe-Weimar during his time there.

What did Goethe say on his deathbed? ›

"More light, more light! Open the window so that more light may come in." Those are said to be the famous last words of Goethe, the German poet, as he lay on his deathbed.

What are Goethe's famous last words? ›

In 1832, Goethe died in Weimar of apparent heart failure. His last words, according to his doctor Carl Vogel, were, Mehr Licht! (More light!), but this is disputed as Vogel was not in the room at the moment Goethe died.

Which is harder Japanese or German? ›

However, in general, we can say that German is generally considered to be an easier language for English speakers to learn than Japanese. This is because German and English share many similarities in terms of grammar and vocabulary.

What is harder Spanish or German? ›

Overall, Spanish might be easier than German at the beginning stages, but the two tend to even out in difficulty once learners get to the more advanced stages. German has more complicated grammar rules that need to be mastered early on, but once learners get familiar with them, they find that they're pretty consistent.

Is Russian harder than German? ›

Russian and German Language Prevalence

This is likely because German is a difficult language to learn, and many people are not willing to put in the effort. Russian, on the other hand, is a relatively easy language to learn, which has contributed to its popularity.

What level of German is fluent? ›

The German language has 6 CEFR levels – starting with A1 (absolute beginner), and ending with C2 (completely fluent).

Am I too old to learn German? ›

Are teenagers too old to start learning German? You are never too old to learn something new. Most people actually first start learning foreign languages after childhood, and they show that it certainly can be done.

What level of German is required to study in Germany? ›

Depending on the German federal state, level B1 or B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is required.

What is the hardest German word? ›

1. Eichhörnchen (Squirrel) Although squirrel is also tough to pronounce in English, it's a classic when it comes to difficult German words to pronounce. Many English speakers struggle, and some even consider this the hardest German word to pronounce.

What is the hardest part of learning German? ›

The Hardest Parts of German

Look at any of the Slavic languages or Latin, for instance, and you'll see that the noun itself has to change! German has four cases: the nominative (subject of the sentence), accusative (direct object), dative (indirect object), and genitive (possession).

Is Germany good country to live? ›

Global Peace Index ranks 163 countries based on their overall level of peacefulness; Germany was ranked 16th in 2022. The crime rate is low, and Germans place a high value on law and order. Some areas are always more dangerous than others, but Germany is generally a very safe place.

What is the shortest time to learn German? ›

How long does it take to learn German?
Assess your current level & test your German online!Intensive course (20 lessons/week)
A1beginner8 weeks
A2elementary8 weeks
B1intermediate8 weeks
B2upper intermediate10 weeks*
2 more rows

Is it harder to learn after 25? ›

And structural plasticity is when your brain changes its structure due to learning. It's strongly believed that once we hit 25, the brain's plasticity solidifies. This makes it harder to create neural pathways. In turn, this can mean it's tougher to learn new skills.

Can I study in Germany at the age of 40? ›

No minimum age is there for students to study in Germany.

For a master degree, 30 -34 is the maximum as getting a visa is difficult after that age for Masters. For MBA, even 40 years is accepted.

How did I learn German fast? ›

In addition to studying German every day, you need daily German vocabulary practice. Building your vocabulary will make it easier to speak, which encourages you to speak more often. It also gives you a wider range of topics you can discuss, which will keep you feeling enthusiastic about learning German.

How can I learn German fast? ›

10 Steps to Learn German Fast
  1. Use Word Frequency Lists to Learn the Most Useful German Vocabulary. ...
  2. Learn Modal Verbs: Say More with Fewer Conjugations. ...
  3. Make a German-speaking Friend for Constant Speaking Practice. ...
  4. Learn German Syntax: Make Sure Every Word Has Its Place. ...
  5. Learn German with Authentic Materials.
Mar 31, 2023

How long does it take the average person to learn German? ›

So if you're looking for an estimate of how long it takes to learn German, it can take around three years with one hour per day of practice, or one year at three hours per day.

Which countries learn German the most? ›

Interest is particularly strong in the following countries.
  • Poland. Poland is the country with the most people learning German as a foreign language: nearly 2 million. ...
  • France. ...
  • Egypt. ...
  • Mexico. ...
  • Kenya. ...
  • India. ...
  • Russia.

Is learning German good for the brain? ›

Increases cognitive powers

Learning German language is linked to enhanced critical thinking abilities and improved capacity of the brain to absorb complex information. It also helps the brain to develop key learning skills and problem-solving abilities.

Why do people study German? ›

German is an excellent language to learn in preparation for professional careers in international business or law, engineering, government and international affairs, economics and finance, and education, as well as for academic careers in such fields as history, religion, philosophy, art history, political science, ...

Is B1 German enough? ›

The third level in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages is level B1. It is definitely a step beyond the A1 and A2 exams. Passing a level B1 exam means that you are entering the intermediate level of your journey through the German language.

How long does it take to self teach German? ›

Based on how far the language is from English, they assigned approximate times for how long it takes to learn them. For German, they estimate 30 weeks or 750 hours of study. Thanks to how closely related German is to English, it takes a relatively short time to learn it.

What is the hardest language to learn? ›

Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.

What is the B2 level in German? ›

The Goethe-Zertifikat B2 is a German exam for young people and adults. It certifies that candidates have acquired advanced language skills and corresponds to the fourth level (B2) of the six-level scale of competence laid down in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

How many hours is B1 German? ›

The German B1 level, also known as the intermediate level, It will take you at least 80 hours per week (a total of 4 weeks) to finish your German B1. According to Goeth Institut, you'll take at least 350 and 650 45-minute units of teaching depending on what you have retained from your previous A1 to A2 level.

Is Duolingo good for learning German? ›

Duolingo is brilliant for getting to grips with the listening and reading side of a language. You even get opportunities to practice your pronunciation. But when it comes to speaking in a real-life scenario, Duolingo's German course won't get you there by itself.

Can you live in Germany without learning German? ›

Can you live in Germany without knowing German? It is just about possible to live in Germany without knowing much German. But in order to find employment and to fully integrate into society, you will need to be able to speak and read German to a good standard, especially if you live outside the major cities.

Can you teach in Germany without knowing German? ›

In short: yes, there are English-speaking jobs in Germany. Foreigners who look for jobs in tech startups or digital departments have a higher chance of finding work in Germany without speaking German.

Is Duolingo actually effective? ›

Good for Practice, Not Always for Learning

Even with some of the well-developed courses, Duolingo may not be enough to completely teach a language to fluency. As mentioned earlier, Duolingo is great for getting a base in a language—but don't expect to get to advanced fluency on Duolingo alone.

What is a famous quote about learning? ›

1. “The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” —Dr. Seuss. A beloved famous quote about education, this simple rhyme illustrates the dynamic possibilities of life and learning outside of the classroom.

What Mark Twain said about the German language? ›

I don't believe there is anything in the whole earth that you can't learn in Berlin except the German language.

What is the value of learning German? ›

German is the most widely spoken native language in Europe

For centuries the language served as a lingua franca (a common language which unifies different peoples) in large parts of the European continent. It continues to serve this purpose as an important second language in central and eastern Europe.

Who said life is too short to learn German? ›

Oscar Wilde's famous line, 'Life is too short to learn German', still brings knowing smiles to German faces.

What did Albert Einstein say about learning? ›

Education is that which remains when one has forgotten everything he learned in school.

What is a deep quote about learning? ›

Top 55 quotes about learning
  • “Being a student is easy. ...
  • “The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”—Herbert Spencer.
  • “Education without application is just entertainment.”—Tim Sanders.
  • “Recipes tell you nothing. ...
  • “It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning.”—Claude Bernard.
Sep 30, 2022

What is Mark Twain most famous quote? ›

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

What is a famous German quote about war? ›

Some better-known German proverbs about war are Besser ein Ei im Frieden als ein Ochs im Kriege (Better an egg in peace than an ox in war), Krieg verzehrt, Was Friede beschert (War devours what peace accomplishes), Geld führt den Krieg (Money runs the war) and Im Kriege schweigt das Recht (In war, justice stays silent. ...

What is the longest word in German? ›

The longest word in the standard German dictionary is Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung – which is the word for motor vehicle liability insurance. But at 36 letters, it's rather puny. Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften, a touch longer at 39 letters, is the language's longest non-dictionary word.

Why do people want to learn German? ›

German is an excellent language to learn in preparation for professional careers in international business or law, engineering, government and international affairs, economics and finance, and education, as well as for academic careers in such fields as history, religion, philosophy, art history, political science, ...

What is hard about learning German? ›

German has a reputation for being pretty challenging for English speakers. There are many factors that make learning it a difficult task – the grammar, pronunciation, and the numerous verb forms just to name a few. But with enough dedication and practice, anyone can learn to speak this challenging language.

What is the famous German quote on love? ›

German Love Quotes
  • Love is blind. Liebe ist blind.
  • When you sow love, joy will grow. Wo man Liebe sät, da wächst Freude.
  • Opposites attract. Gegensätze ziehen sich an.
  • I will love you forever and always. Ich werde dich für immer und ewig lieben.

Videos

1. How to Learn German | Best Tips & Tricks just for you!
(YourGermanTeacher)
2. 75 Questions and Answers in German | 75 Fragen und Antworten | Sprechen | Learn German | A1-C1
(Learn German)
3. Can you answer these 15 questions about Germany? | Easy German 350
(Easy German)
4. LEARN GERMAN FOR BEGINNERS IN MALAYALAM | W- QUESTIONS | W- FRAGE | LEVEL A1 | CHAPTER 1 |MODULE 6
(Learn German with CPTE - Malayalam)
5. How to ask questions in German | Easy German 345
(Easy German)
6. 5 BIG QUESTIONS No German Can Answer
(DontTrustTheRabbit)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Mrs. Angelic Larkin

Last Updated: 09/21/2023

Views: 5919

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Mrs. Angelic Larkin

Birthday: 1992-06-28

Address: Apt. 413 8275 Mueller Overpass, South Magnolia, IA 99527-6023

Phone: +6824704719725

Job: District Real-Estate Facilitator

Hobby: Letterboxing, Vacation, Poi, Homebrewing, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Cabaret

Introduction: My name is Mrs. Angelic Larkin, I am a cute, charming, funny, determined, inexpensive, joyous, cheerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.