Learning German – Tips for Beginners

A graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, Andrew Whiteman resides in Royal Oak, Michigan. A Michigan native, Andrew Whiteman is conversational in German, a language he learned while participating in a student exchange program.

Like English, German has West Germanic origins linguistically. It was also influenced by Latin and Greek. Fortunately, for beginners whose first language is English, German possesses numerous cognates that ease the learning process. In linguistics, cognates are words that are similar in spelling and pronunciation. Some examples of German cognates include der Garten for garden, and das Haus for house.

A German-English dictionary is a good resource when beginning to learn the language. Individuals should purchase a comprehensive volume that contains at minimum 40,000 entries. Useful for translation, a dictionary also helps a person practice German writing and to learn proper pronunciation. Other useful tips for learning German include striving to use the language in everyday situations to improve conversational skills, and endeavoring to learn nouns simultaneously with their corresponding, gender-related, definite articles.

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