How to Learn German Starting from Zero?

How to Learn German Starting from Zero?

BlogLanguagesGermanStages to Start Learning German: How to Learn German Starting from Zero?

Learn basic German lessons
Identify common mistakes in German
Learn some basic phrases in German
Techniques to progress
Use the best bilingual dictionaries
“We get tired of everything, except learning,” said Virgilio, a famous Latin poet.
The accumulation of knowledge may be the only source of inexhaustible wealth in a world of limited resources. It is spread and reproduced without denying access to others.
Learning the German language is one of these resources and of course the progress made, even for a beginner, will keep us constantly motivated.
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What procedure to follow when we start to learn the German language?: How to Learn German Starting from Zero?

However, you don’t learn German, or any other foreign language, in the blink of an eye. It requires time, rigor, will, and above all, an effective learning method.
Regardless of age and professional partner category, it will take a step-by-step step for anyone starting with an introductory process to elementary German.
Some will go to German classes in a language school, others will look for strategies to learn German for free, mainly online.
There will also be those who immerse themselves in the language of Goethe in their daily life.
In this article, Superprof offers its readers the steps to learn elementary German.

Learn basic German lessons: How to Learn German Starting from Zero?

First, it is important to know the basics of the German language . By making fact sheets and practicing German exercises regularly, we will make learning German very effective.
The investment – in time and motivation – in the study of German will create what economists call ” a leverage effect “: the progress generated by the revisions will increase language skills more than proportionally.
In other words: we learn the basics of the German language – alphabet, grammar, conjugation – in order to master some basic German words and then we realize that we know how to form complete German sentences.

Learn the german alphabet: How to Learn German Starting from Zero?

The first stage in learning elementary German, when we start from scratch, as for any other kind of language, is to learn the alphabet.
Fortunately, it is not about learning Arabic, Chinese or Japanese kanji.
Beginner in German? Why not sing the alphabet so you can see that our mother tongue is not very different?
The German alphabet is almost identical to our modern Latin alphabet, used in our mother tongue, Spanish.
Still, there are some notable differences. Here are some things to know:
We will have to abandon our beloved accents, as happens with English.
Only words of foreign origin, such as “coffee”, or foreign brands (Nestlé, Chloé, etc.) are accented.
The letter “c” is only used before the vowels ä, e, i, ö, ü, y, and is pronounced “ts” in that case, but rather “k”,
The vowels “a”, “o”, “u”, can have an umlaut and become “ä, ö, ü”, which indicates a different pronunciation of the initial base vowel: they are the vowels called “umlaut” in German ,
The German spelling has a special letter, called ” eszett” , or ” sharfes S” : written “ß”, it means the union of a long “s” and a short “s”. For example, the word “straße”, for “street”, although after the 1996 spelling reform, more and more words are written without the eszett: “strasse”.
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Become familiar with the loudness of German letters: How to Learn German Starting from Zero?

When you want to learn a new language, it is always interesting to become familiar with the sound of each letter.
German also contains sounds that are totally unknown to Spanish speakers.
Before learning German pronunciation, becoming familiar with the sounds could greatly facilitate learning.
To do this, music and games are great ways to memorize. For example, listening to each letter and singing the German alphabet helps to internalize the bases for learning pronunciation.
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German pronunciation
To speak German well , one must obviously begin by knowing the pronunciation of Goethe’s language.
The vowels and consonants are not all pronounced the same as in Spanish.

Let’s look at some examples:

The letter “b” can be pronounced in two ways, like “b” or “p”: for example “aber” (per) is pronounced with “b”, but “die Abfahrt” (the exit) is pronounced with “p” ,
The letter “d” can also correspond to “t”: “oder” (where) is pronounced like “inside” in Spanish but “der abend” (the afternoon) is pronounced like “vermouth” in Spanish.
Each letter has its own variants.
You need some German classes to be able to memorize them when you start, to get a better listening comprehension.
In German, all letters are pronounced.

The pronunciation of German is different from Spanish

You also have to learn to use the tonic accent correctly , one of the peculiarities of the pronunciation of this language. It consists of accentuating a syllable in each word.
The position of the stressed accent, German, varies in each word, so it is important to memorize this stressed stress for each of the words.
That’s it, now that we know how to pronounce the words, let’s move on to conjugation.

The specificities of the German conjugation

When we decide to start learning a living language , it is essential to master the conjugation.
The same goes for German. If its conjugation has a reputation for being easy, you still have to know its specificities.
To begin with, each student must become familiar with infinitive verbs and their structure. Usually every German verb is made up of a radical, followed by “n” or “en”.
Later, you will have to learn to distinguish weak verbs, strong verbs and mixed verbs:
Weak verbs have a regular conjugation, their stem is invariable.
On the contrary, strong verbs are irregular whose stem varies,
Mixed verbs can be considered as a mixture of both. Its stem can change like that of a strong verb, but the conjugation will be the same as that of weak verbs.
To check the German conjugation correctly, making tables of verbs allows you to orient yourself and memorize the conjugation tables more easily.
Finally, knowing the conjugation is a stage that allows you to advance in the mastery of German grammar.

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German grammar
The grammar of the German language is characterized above all by its famous inflections. This will sound familiar to readers who have received Latin classes at the institute.
The declensions are inseparable from the training in German. Every German teacher addresses the topic of declensions from the beginning of classes.
How to discover the structure of German?
Contrary to our mother tongue, in German pronouns, adjectives, articles and nouns are declined. The four possible declensions are the accusative, genitive, dative, and nominative.

Have your hair stand on end?

Do not panic! With regular practice , you will soon get the hang of it. You also have to know that in German there is one more gender, in addition to masculine and feminine: the neuter.
There are two basic rules:
Compound nouns always take the gender of the last word,
Nouns derived from adjectives and infinities are always gender neutral.
To go further in your language skills , let’s look at the different forms of the plural: there are seven forms of plural, but in most cases, it will be enough to add a suffix to the end of the word.
However, there are numerous suffixes, which must be associated correctly.
It is best to do exercises in German to improve and make summary tables.
This process will give the student an understanding of the order of the words in a German sentence.

Goethe’s language syntax

The German syntax has nothing to do with that of the Spanish. Do not try to translate a phrase in Spanish literally into German: it is the best way to make mistakes.
Depending on the form of the sentence (declarative, interrogative …) the structure of the sentence will be different.
In a declarative sentence, the verb is always in second position. However, the same sentence can be constructed in two different ways without changing its meaning.

Identify common mistakes in German

Very frequent mistakes can be made at first .
This is the way to identify them if you want to have an advantage in your learning.
Trace the structure of Spanish
Although Spanish and German come from the Indo-European language family, both languages ​​belong to different branches.
Spanish, the Roman language, has great differences from German, which is a Germanic language.

How to learn German without making mistakes with your vocabulary?

At first we tend to forget this essential element when formulating a sentence.
It is one of the most frequent mistakes in the German language.
Copying and pasting hardly ever works when learning another language.

Speak English

When an elementary German learner is in front of a native speaker, they are likely to speak English to facilitate communication. Although spontaneous, this reflex should be avoided.
How to learn a language without practicing it? Indeed, communicating German , even if we make mistakes, is the best way to learn.
In addition, our interlocutors will be delighted to see that we make the effort to speak their mother tongue , even if it costs us.
It is enough to go abroad for a few days – to any non-Spanish speaking country – to see that the locals are always delighted when we articulate some words in their mother tongue, no matter how few they are.
Conversely, does it not bring us joy when a foreigner speaks to us and uses all the vocabulary he knows to express himself in Spanish?
Speaking English does not facilitate speaking German . Quite the contrary, to improve you will have to put into practice what you learn in German class.

Forget the different sense of manners

Manners are an important part of a good learning of the German language.
A fundamental point to keep in mind: not all manners have the same meaning!
Indeed, manners cannot be used to express the same thing.
For example, “müssen” and “sollen” express duty.
However, “müssen” is used when we speak of a personal obligation, while “sollen” is used more to evoke an obligation that comes from another person.
Understanding the nuances of manners is essential to progress in German.

How to avoid this error?

Practicing often!
Confusing german words
In the German vocabulary , some words are very similar. The incorrect use of these words can be frequent when we start with German classes.
It is therefore recommended to identify the words that may be similar in order to differentiate them well.
For example “dann” and “denn” are two very close words, which can be easily confused. However, “dann” means “then”, while “denn” serves to connect two words to each other.
Being attentive to this type of confusion avoids falling into it and therefore improves our level.

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