Someone on tumblr asked me if they could reach an advanced level in German by themselves. They didn’t have teachers who worked enough with them and I felt really sorry because sometimes teachers/schools just suck and you can’t reach the language level that you want to reach.
So I want to give you advice and share personal experiences. I hope it helps. I already want to apologize for mistakes in this text because I’m not a native English speaker.
Classes: I can’t stress it enough: Language classes are so important! If you are at A1/A2/B1 level, you really really really should take classes so you can improve your German. At B2 or a higher level, it’s still good to take classes but you have already reached a good level you so don’t necessarily need a teacher. Teachers are important, they can make it or break it but especially at lower levels, you need them. I want to learn Dutch & improve my Italian with an app and a website but I am too lazy. I really need a teacher who gives me homework, explains things, hands out sheets with exercises, who makes you read stuff out loud, wants you to write grammar rules down and tests you. It is important and it’s a great motivation to do things because you really have to do them unless you want to get in trouble. Teachers are very helpful. If you can’t take German classes at school or if you don’t go to school anymore, try to find a language club or classes in your freetime. I really recommend it. Language classes are very important and helpful. I don’t say that apps and websites are useless but take classes if you can!
Books: Reading helps you when you want to reach an advanced German level. If you read books in class, try to write down and translate the words you don’t understand. Start a journal about the book, summarize the chapters, add some descriptions of the main characters and their relations… I always did this (especially when I had a (oral) test about the book) and it was very helpful! Sure, it can be hard work but it’s worth it. I recommend to read books in your freetime, that’s what helped me to reach higher levels and to get an advanced vocabulary. You can start with simplified versions of German classics or with ‘normal’ German books. On my blog, there are so many posts about books and you can always ask me if you want me to recommend you one based on your interests. You shouldn’t start with reading books written by Schiller or similar authors because their ancient German can be quite confusing (even for native speakers like me). Read the books, keep a journal, look online for opinions and discussions about it. By the way, I always read foreign language books out loud so I see which words are difficult to pronounce for me.
Movies: Movies are perfect to improve your German skills. Watch them in German with subtitles in your language. Then start to watch movies with German subtitles. If you find a German movie without subtitles, try to watch it. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t understand everything they say! Actors tend to mumble so not even native speakers understand 100% of what they say! Watch as many movies as possible, check out the pages on my blog, ask me if you want me to recommend one! If there’s a film you really loved, try to find informations about it on the Internet or write a review in German. Movies are great to learn more about slang. You could also watch kid’s movies or shows because they speak slowly. German YT Channels are also a great possibility.
Writing: If you want to reach advanced writing skills, try to find a penpal. You can do this on my blog. Write them text messages, mails or letters on a regular basis. Ask them if you have a question about grammar, slang or the country. Tell them to correct your mistakes. Maybe you can visit them one day, it’s really so much fun! I highly recommend it! Try to write texts in German; poems, short stories, thoughts, diary stuff… None has to read it if you’re not comfortable but please write and look up the words you don’t know. If you have to write something for class, make an effort and try to write a very good text! Correct your mistakes afterwards and try to remember what exactly you did wrong so you won’t do it again. Join an internet forum and talk about your interests.
Grammar: Pay attention when your teacher talks about grammar stuff. Write the important things down, buy a grammar book if you don’t have one (you can also buy a more advanced one if yours from your class is too easy). Work with it on your own, try to understand the rules and ask your teacher if he/she could explain you what you don’t understand. Ask him if he/she could give you extra exercises or grammar stuff (that’s what my teacher did because she knew I had a higher level than others). Do as many exercises as possible. There are B2/C1/C2 level books with speaking, writing, listening and reading exercises, I highly recommend them.
Music: Listen to German songs. You find tons of examples on my blog. Listen to German radio, look at songs lyrics, try to translate them or look up translations. Try to sing along, try to understand the meaning behind the songs.
Visit German-speaking countries: If you can, visit German, Austria or Switzerland! It’s great to be surrounded by native speakers. Try to order your food in German. Don’t be shy, people won’t laugh at you unless they’re verdammte Scheissidioten, die in der Hölle verrecken werden (sorry not sorry). If you speak to natives and they laugh about something you said because it sounds funny to them, don’t be sulky. Ask them what you said and how you should say it and let them explain why it was funny so you get a chance to laugh too.
Talking: Talking is very important and to reach a higher level, you really should take classes because that’s where you can talk and learn how to pronounce the words correctly. If you don’t/ can’t take classes, try to talk to yourself in German or to friends or sing or read out loud in German. Try to speak in German when you visit a German-speaking country.
If you want to reach an advanced level by yourself, you have to work hard even though you might not always be very motivated. Just remember that you’ll be very happy in the end! It’s worth it! Message me if you need help or if you have any questions!!!
After numerous discussions with friends I’ve chosen German as a second foreign language in uni. It was a tough decision because we don’t have a Korean course and the idea of learning Chinese or Japanese for the next three years doesn’t fill me with pleasure. I’ll still continue learning Korean by myself, though. After all, aiming at C1 in German and B2 in Korean by the end of my undergraduate degree. Weird combination, I know.
Hello lovely people of Tumblr ! I’ve been around the studyblr community for quite a long time now but I decided to start fresh for my first year of university, so here is my intro post. I’m really happy to be a part of this wonderful community !
You can call me Ruby (she/her)
I live in the french-speaking part of Switzerland
I speak French (native), English (C2), German (B2) and I’m learning Japanese and Spanish (I’d love to help people with French ! Also excuse my mistakes in English °0° )
I love reading and watching tv shows, my favs atm are Game of Thrones and Steven Universe (yes i know i love pretty different stuff haa)
I want to travel a lot in my life. I’ve already visited most of western Europa + a bit of north Africa !
I am a pisces and a INTP
I start university in September, I’ll be graduating in Biology!
My subjects will include biology, maths, physics, chemistry and other projects + all the languages I learn on my own !
I also love sociology and astronomy so you could see a bit of that
I took part in the national olympiads for biology and philosophy and loved it ^^
my goals are to be organized and stop procrastinating. I also dream of studying abroad in Asia, so I’ll need my grades to be on top in order to go there !
I still don’t follow a lot of people, so don’t hesitate to like/reblog this post and we could be friends ! I can’t wait to meet more motivated students :) Hope you all have a nice back to school period <3
Hello! <3 I just thought it could be really fun to have a penpal, so I’m giving it a try. :) I’m Chinese (or so says mi passport!), but was born and raised in Spain and I’m currently living and studying in Barcelona.
The most important thing you need to know about me is that I ramble a lot. And by a lot I truly mean “a lot”. I believe it’s better to know a person by his or her daily little things rather than an infinite list of likes and dislikes. And don’t worry, if we have nothing in common we can learn much more from each other. ;)
I’m very easy-going, so don’t be afraid and like this post! <3
Preferences: — Snail mail only. — Opened to anybody who is interested, regardless of his/her age, gender, country… — I speak Catalan, Spanish and English properly. I can try with German (B2 level) and French (B1), but have some patience! — Mucho love. <3
Holy shit, i just got the news and am out of myself from excitement!!!
I got 25 points in the writing part, holy shit. One of the exam holders said she thinks it’s the highest anyone has ever gotten in the writing part. Oh my god!!!
I am shaking a little bit!!!
I put so much work, effort and money into educating and training myself for this exam. It’s a very hard one, and German IS a pretty hard language to learn. Especially the grammar and writing part. I am officially a certified Intermediate level German Speaker. I can’t wait to get my Certificate!!!
Currently studying English, German, Russian, Norwegian, some French.
Italian (ish) (not really studying it, I just listen to opera and learn)
Studied in the past: Hungarian (will go back to it some day)
Next month I’ll start studying Ancient Greek and Latin.
2. How long have you been studying?
German: 10 years
English: Let’s say 8 years
French: 5 (interrupted) years
Italian: 4 years (of listening to opera, not of studying)
Russian: 1.5 years
Norwegian: 5 months
3. Did you learn through class or
self-study (or both)?
I learned German and English at school until 2015. I had two years of
private French lessons. The rest I learned on my own.
4. Why did you decide to learn this
German: compulsory at school (+ I really liked the language)
English: compulsory at school
French: Because of the French opera Carmen (by Bizet). I fell in love with the
Italian: Never decided to learn it, it just came naturally as I listened to
Russian: After I read Galina Vishnevskaya’s autobiography and came across the
Cyrillic alphabet on the internet
Norwegian: I wasn’t supposed to study Norwegian, I have quite a bit on my
plate, but one day I sort of wanted to see what it looked like and I was
hooked. Later on came Skam. Now I’m in love with the language.
Hungarian (in the backburner): Everyone has always said to me that it is too
difficult. I like challenges and proving people wrong.
Ancient Greek: I’ve wanted to learn it since I was like 10 or 11 and only now
do I get the chance
Latin: offered at uni. Plus it’s awesome.
5. What was a major highlight/milestone in
studying this language?
When I spoke English and German in
English- and German-speaking countries, respectively. Ahhh. It was awesome.
Also, I had the best marks in German at school when I was one of the only ones
who didn’t speak German at home.
Also, I’ve just finished reading my second novel in Russian. #success
6. What was the hardest thing about
studying this language?
GERMAN: Vocabulary – it never ends. Getting the cases right when there
are stupid exceptions to the rules. Silly verbs that mean something entirely
different when particles are added.
ENGLISH: Inconsistencies between spelling and pronunciation.
7. What resources did you find most useful
for studying this language?
English: Harry Potter, other novels, Booktube. Italian: operas.
French: Apart from 2 years of lessons: Grammar exercises and some novels.
Russian: Grammar books and Harry Potter (in Russian). (Esp. the latter)
Norwegian: Skam. Duolingo.
8. Any top tips for studying this
Never give up! Read a lot! Get exposure!
Don’t get discouraged by difficult grammar points / impossible vocabulary!
9. What’s your next major language goal?
B2/C1 German exam and C2 English exam. And maybe be able to speak
Russian to A2 level.
10. Anything we can do in the tumblr
community to get you there?
Share your language learning stories and post pictures of your language
books. That motivates me a lot hahaha.
Hi! I’m just an INFJ girl who has a lot of hobbies: playing the guitar,
singing, writing short stories, reading, drawing. As you’ve probably
noticed, I’m also interested in MBTI. My favourite subject is Maths,
because I believe it’s extremely beautiful.
I’m looking for a friend or a buddy and it doesn’t matter where you are
from, what’s your nationality and etc. I love traveling, so maybe one
day we can meet each other in real life.
My native language is Russian, but I can also speak English (C2),
Romanian (B2) and German (A2). I’d love to meet someone from Deutschland
to practice my skills! I could help you learn Russian in exchange.
Another thing I’m passionate about is Japan. I plan to go deeper into
learning its culture and language after I improve my German a little. I
realize that Japan, like any other country, is not perfect, but I love
it the way it is.
Don’t hesitate to write to me! We can literally talk about everything,
but I admit that I prefer deep conversations to “small talk”. I would be
happy if you wrote your MBTI type in your first message. I can’t wait
to talk to you!
Kind wishes, Stacey.
Preferences: • I’d love to meet people who are about my age or older, but it’s ok if you’re not.
• No romantic relationships please.
Which languages do you speak? Which are you learning and which do you want to learn? (:
Hi! I am a native English speaker and I am B2 German currently! I speak it much much better that I write, haha. I also speak a teeny tiny bit of Welsh. I am starting Uni next week to study German and Japanese. Through the Languages for All program the Uni provides I’ll be doing some beginner Spanish, and I hope to have enough time study a little Icelandic and Swedish, using textbooks, app and the Icelandic online course. I’m also interested in Korean, Finnish, Russian and Chinese