German is one of my personal favorites and not just because my husband is from Germany. I love the structure and logic of the German language. My own native language, Dutch, used to have a lot in common with German. Over the past century, Dutch has evolved a lot whereas German still has a richness in both vocabulary and style that make it a wonderful language to learn. You can read this if you want to know more about my personal experiences with German.
Unfortunately there are some misconceptions about this language that can make people hesitate to learn German. German language is often parodied as a harsh and loud language. People often associate German language with World War II, giving it a negative connotation. Lastly there is a strong misconception that German grammar is too difficult to learn because of the different cases (die Fälle: Nominativ, Akkusativ, Dativ, Genitiv) that don’t exist in many other languages. Although the correct use of them can make a big difference in the meaning of a sentence, learning a language is about communication in the first place and a native German speaker will usually understand your meaning despite any errors in grammar. There’s always that thing called “context” that will make your message clear. I’ll write more about some misconceptions about the German language here soon.
German is the official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (in the North of Italy), Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and a small part of Belgium. It’s spoken by almost 100 million people as a first language making it the most widely spoken native language in Europe. Interestingly it is the second most used language on the Internet after English. Also second after English, sharing the second place with French, German is one of the most commonly spoken foreign languages in the European Union, making it the second biggest language in Europe overall. You can probably imagine that such large numbers make German quite important in international affairs. Having knowledge of German looks great on your CV.
With so many native speakers, mostly in countries with high welfare, it’s hard not to encounter German speakers in most corners of the world. German speakers seem to love travelling and there are German speaking expats and exchange students in nearly every university city in the world. Usually, the German speakers that you encounter abroad are very open and friendly, so it shouldn’t be difficult to meet and get to know native German speakers to practice your language skills with and perhaps even build a lasting friendship with.
Linguistically German is in the same family as English, Dutch and Afrikaans and also has many similarities to the North-Germanic languages Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. If you speak any of those languages, you already have an advantage when starting to learn German.
If you want to learn German on your own way in your own pace, you’ve come to the right place. On this page I will provide you with tips and tools to get started or you can find ideas on how to improve your German if you’ve already learned it in the past.