Everyone has their reasons and motivations to learn other languages, but German remains one of the most popularly spoken languages globally, with more than 200 million speakers globally. So if you have not decided on a new language to learn, German is an excellent choice for you. However, you want to ensure that you can estimate the timeframe it will take you to learn this language.
Fortunately for native English speakers, German is a relatively easier foreign language to learn than many others. However, few things can determine how quickly you can learn the language, such as:
- The amount of effort you are putting in
- Your regularity of practice
- Suitability of your method or learning technique
Estimated practice hours
The German language is considered a similar language to English and is in the category two language rating. According to an FSI estimate published by proofreading services, it takes approximately 750 classroom hours or 30 weeks to learn German. They arrived at this estimate after a study conducted on some language students that spent 25 hours every week in the classroom and had three hours of individual practice learning the language.
Thirty weeks might seem like a lot of time, but when you consider that other languages closer to English than German, such as French and Spanish, require 600 hours and 24 weeks, you will see that 30 weeks is relatively short. For more perspective, other complex languages such as Japanese and Mandarin Chinese require 2200 classroom hours and 88 weeks to learn.
Factors that influence the time required to learn German
Several factors may determine the length of time that you need to understand the German language.
Motivation is essential to learn any language. So maintaining a high motivation level throughout your language learning is crucial. The more motivated and enthusiastic you are about the language, the more committed you are, and consequently, you learn faster. In the same way, you lose interest, enthusiasm, and passion when you lack motivation and stop learning even though you are in the classroom.
You can help yourself by making a list of reasons you are learning the language, how it benefits you and what you want to achieve with your proficiency in the language. This will keep you motivated.
The quality of time spent studying.
How much time you invest in studying the language is also a significant factor determining how soon you learn it. As with any language, you gain proficiency faster if you put much time into learning. An ideal option would be to go to Germany and immerse yourself fully in the culture and language while attending classes. Unfortunately, this may not be possible in reality for many reasons.
Everybody learns differently, and some methods are more effective for some people than others. So discovering your ideal learning method and investing the time into it would help you learn more efficiently. Generally, you become more comfortable with a language when you expose yourself to it regularly. For example, it would help if you read German books, listen to German discussions, write new words or phrases in german, use language learning apps, and try to hold conversations in German. However, you still need a tutor for guidance.
Find the right tutor.
Finding the right tutor may be a challenge at the start. The different personalities and teaching styles may come into play, as well as your learning style. Ensure to explore other options and go for the one that suits you best. You should participate in a conversational Stammtisch, a German retreat, or an online German-speaking club if you have the opportunity. The idea is for you to regularly interact with the German language and start communicating in the language.
If you are using a learning method and not making as much progress as you would like, try out a different method and see which one suits you better. Then, try out other methods till you settle on the best one. You may also combine resources and techniques to create a strategy to learn this language efficiently successfully.
You also need to practice regularly outside the classroom to help you learn faster, even though you have a good teacher. In the same way, if you are regularly practicing on your own without a good teacher, you will fail to maximize your learning.
Why German can be difficult to learn
The German language is relatively easy to learn, and it does not take as much time compared to some other languages. However, you may find it challenging to learn if some of these factors come into play:
- Loss of motivation due to inability to grasp complex grammatical concepts.
- Lack of practice or exposure.
- Inefficient learning methods
- Wrong tutor
In the absence of these factors, you will do pretty well in learning.
Jessica Chapman is a writing editor from Chicago. She also provides assignment writing services and is into sport and politics and enjoys travelling.