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How to learn German fast part 6

How to learn German fast part 6

Using the Internet and Online learning to complement your German skills and knowledge

Having done a lot of advanced grammar and having improved your vocabulary of German up a notch, it's time to take things further and more fun. There are many ways to study German online and here I suggest two different methods that can be either employed one at a time or simultaneously. 

The first idea is to use free, accessible, easy to use and online resources that can help you with increasing your experience with German. 

The second idea is to use online, perhaps paid, resources such as Rosetta Stone language services or any other similar language computer programmes or online services (or my favourite Berlitz) to learn German specifically and for examinations. By the way, of course the online programmes and language programmes will be able to teach you any subject and any language you choose, except that you choose German if you want to prepare for that examination. I will expand on these further.

The first idea is to use free, accessible, easy to use and online resources that can help you with increasing your experience with German. For me this means services that are free to access but do not teach you German per se. You will be surprised, but now here is the really fun part that allows you to learn German and enjoy at the same time. Trust me and do follow the programme if you can.

Youtube, Der Spiegel Online, TV Total, Ehrensenf, und Hauptseite Wikipedia ... what do all these sites have in common? They are basically free to use and accessible to everyone, and they have German resources. We can all understand the other sources being in German, but what about youtube? That's where you need to find something that you are interested in. Let me explain.

If you type Nena Kerner or Stefan Raab into the search function of youtube, you'll get a lot of German songs and German videos. The point is that this first key idea to learning German is NOT to become a German singer or to learn massive number of songs (unless you want to, of course) but to get a feel for the language. How does the language sound like? How does German feel and sound when it is sung, and when it is spoken? Can I understand what is being said in the youtube video? These are the questions you'll ask yourself. You can type in many searches by the way, so don't type in "the German language", try Udo, try Lustige Sache, try Hindenburg, try DDR, etc. You can do anything you want and anything that interests you.

In addition, do you like anime? There are many German anime series on youtube, whether legal or not is not my business to say, but you can basically watch German anime like Sailor Moon, One Piece, Gundam Seed, etc (actually it's Japanese anime, but dubbed in German, but I was too lazy to type the whole phrase out...).

Der Spiegel Online is a news service, and is the one that I use the most to listen to the German language. Of course there are many other news services that you can use and they are all valid and very interesting too. Deutsche welle was the one I literally grew up with all those years ago, because in Singapore they had an international radio selection and it was on 96.7 or something like that. With the rise of the Internet, simply visit any news website, although I'd recommend Der Spiegel, and then either read the news articles or look through the podcasts. Most of you know what podcasts are, but for those who don't, podcasts are just videos, soundclips, and links that sort of allow you to view the news, as if it were some kind of TV. You probably won't understand anything on your first try; you won't understand most of it on your second try; but by your third try listening and watching the same podcasts and online TV you'll get the hang of things. Trust me. It usually takes a while for this effect to kick in, but it eventually will - a sense of understanding the sounds and cadences of the language. The German language is hard but NOT that hard.

TV Total and Ehrensenf are basically entertainment sections. You can laugh your head off once you understand these shows, but when you first start watching them you'd probably be lost. I suggest watching TV Total first because sometimes they invite English-speaking guests, and having a show half in German and half in English would probably boost your morale a little bit. Then, try Ehrensenf - it's totally fast, they speak like bullet trains, the language is both formal and colloquial at the same time, and then you can enjoy the show after a while. You can take my word and try out these programmes first, and then after that progress to go on to other sites. Now I will talk a bit about online courses and German programmes on the net.

Linguaphone and Rosetta Stone are rather famous online language companies. As we all know the Rosetta Stone was a stone that had language on it and convinced archeologists that they could transcribe and learn Egyptian, I think. Nonetheless, if you are serious about learning German, you can try an online programme or a real course. There are many resources for you to explore, some are online courses that are free and some are online courses that have to be paid for. I must warn you a little bit that usually the free courses are for beginners and not really for intermediate users of the language, and since you're here in the part 6 of my How to Learn German Fast course, you're probably quite advanced by now (I wouldn't imagine total beginners listening to Angela Merkel or watching anime auf Deutsch). Linguaphone and Rosetta Stone both try to make language learning fun and easy and efficient at the same time, so I'd say that they probably have programmes to suit your needs. They teach all sorts of languages including the German language and so I would say that they are recognised, accredited and trustworthy. I learnt German on my own and at the National University of Singapore, so I had a real teacher to assist me, so I never really experienced any of those courses. By the way, you don't have to take my word for it; just experiment and explore and settle on something that you choose.

In the next post, we will learn and go through ideas on how to do fun stuff that will definitely improve your German while feeling just like fun and enjoyment. Cheers!

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