11 Feb 2012

Learning German

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to study the language! I was lucky to be in the comfortable position to be able to start really learning German 3-4 years after my arrival here. At the end, I gave up and started. The Germans broke the proud steed...

How to learn it?
It is always useful to take a language course. Many language schools offer the so-called Integrationskurs or integration course. This course is very slow, though, and I would not recommend it. Just go to a school and after making a short exam, they will determine which course is best for you.

You have to watch a lot of German TV. A good start are Pro7, RTL, RTL II, SAT1, etc. Those channels show a lot of movies and reality shows. My personal favorite is Pro7, but outside the prime times, they repeat old TV series without end (bis der Arzt kommt). The cultural content is low and if you are a refined person, ARD, ZDF and the local state TVs are your choice.

Reading is also a must. Please, don't start with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which is a high level newspaper. Here is my tip: go to a pharmacy and look for the free Apotheken Umshau. It contains a lot of interesting articles on health, nutrition and sport. You can also read online the Bild. This is a tabloid, so be prepared to encounter nudity, scandals, crimes, etc. The level of German is good for beginners. 

Visiting the local library is also a good idea. You will be surprised at the variety it offers and the low price of subscription.

Questions? Leave a comment!

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