When it comes to learning German, many people are overwhelmed by the amount of vocabulary they have to remember and the challenging grammar. But if you pick the right course and follow it closely, you’ll find that German pronunciation and grammar aren’t nearly as difficult as they seem. In fact, the language has a lot of similarities with English, including some easy-to-remember sounds, and the same basic rules apply.
Whether you’re just starting out, or already at an intermediate level, there are German lessons available to suit your needs. For beginners, the free online smarterGerman course offers a great introduction to the German language. Its interactive lessons cover reading, writing, and speaking, and there’s a good range of exercises and drills. This course also covers some cultural information, such as how to address someone, and some idioms and slang.
For more structured lessons, Babbel has a huge library of German lessons designed for all levels, from beginner to intermediate. Their courses focus on listening and speaking, with short audio clips of native speech and short written explanations. They also cover the culture of Germany, with lessons on topics like how to dress for different occasions and how to tip the taxi driver.
The most difficult thing about German is its verbs, which have a complex conjugation system based on word order and grammatical gender. For example, “the” can take 16 forms depending on its role in the sentence – and there are also six tenses (Présent perfect, Präsens, Past perfect, Future perfect, Plusquamperfekt, and Futur I and II). These differences make it hard for a learner to understand their meaning and how they work in a sentence.