July 8, 2010

German Language Lessons

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I started learning German about 3 ½ years ago. Why? Like most Americans my ancestry traces back to Europe, and I grew up hearing countless stories about all those hard-working Germans I was somehow related to. My dad would say, “Great- Great-Great Uncle Frank came to America with a team of horses, a wagon, and his wife” (in that order too). So in college I decided to fulfill one of my degree requirements by learning German. Taking German was one of the best things I have done and after completing roughly a thousand hours of German language lessons, I definitely have a few opinions on the matter.

Coming from a native English speaker’s point of view German is a difficult language. In English there is one main article, “the” and it works for just about everything. However, in German there are three different articles “der, die, das” and how you use them changes constantly depending on what part of speech you are using. This was a difficult thing to learn, but after tons of practice and some amazing teachers I ‘d like to think I have a pretty good handle on these tricky little articles now.

German also has some very long words, making it pretty intimidating until you realize that they are just compound words. Which is the point where most people sigh and realize they can break the word apart and take it in piece by piece. Not to mention, that German comes off as a very harsh language to most people. It doesn’t sound anything like the Spanish, French, or Italian, but it definitely has its own charm. Once a person starts to understand what’s being said the “harshness” fades away into a distant memory.

German language lessons help explore these difficulties by offering experience. Personally, I would definitely recommend spending some time in Germany. It sure beats doing countless grammar exercises in class, and this “harsh, difficult” language actually becomes fairly easy once you are immersed in it. International Projects offers several courses in Germany that are designed specifically for those of us wanting to learn this fascinating language.

So when considering your next venue for German language lessons, forget about those classes at home, book a ticket to Germany, and learn to “do as the Germans do”.

Get started on your German language lessons with one of our German courses.