BUT HOW WILL YOU KEEP LEARNING GERMAN IF YOU’RE NOT IN GERMANY ANYMORE?!
WHAT IF YOU FORGET EVERYTHING??
i swear everyone has asked me that question at least once since i moved to london. like i’d just stop making any effort to keep up my german learning after months of studying. i did not power learn verbs for nothing. unlike my french, i plan to keep up my german. actually, i’d like to take this moment to mourn the fact that i thought learning french was not worth my time. you were a fool, past tara. a fool!
but these questions. give me some credit, people! mother, i’m especially referring at you.
let’s not forget that plenty of people learn a foreign language without having gone a country where it’s always spoken. immersing oneself is obviously ideal but it’s just not possible for everyone. instead, it’s about creating that immersive environment as best you can for yourself. even if it’s only for a few hours a week. sure, you might not learn as many new words or phrases as you’d like but you’ll ingrain what you do know even better and that’s not nothing. kind of like learning to cook one dish and learning to cook it so well that you can do it with your eye closed. then you learn a next dish.
here are the ways that i’m making sure to keep up my german while not being in germany. plus, they’re all free!
many languages will have podcasts dedicated to learning that certain language, albeit you’re not learning something too obscure. my favourite german ones are Grüße aus Deutschland from the goethe institute and Schlaflos in München mit Annik Rubens. annik also has a beginner german podacast called Slow German that i highly recommend. i pop these on whenever i’m in transit. i try to listen to one episode a day. i will also repeat the episodes until i’m sure i know every word. i’ll also write down the new words i hear, as i re-listen to the podcast. i’ve heard that transcribing a podcast is also a good way to learn but i’m just sticking to listening and jotting down the occasional word.
2) TV SHOWS
still watching them! here are my favourites.
3) MEETUPS // LANGUAGE PARTNER
i recently went to a german language meetup here in london. this group meets up every other week for a few hours and just speaks german. if that’s not a great way to keep up german, i don’t know what is! if you can’t find a meet up, the internet is full of people wanting to find a language partner. i signed up for one in hannover and just the other day i skyped with mine! boom! language immersion without having to even leave the house or put on proper clothers. the internet, it can be a wonderful place.
the least fun of this list. i love reading but i do not find reading in german at all pleasurable. i read slower and have to re-read constantly to make sure that i’ve understood everything. i keep doing it because i know the only way it will get better is if i keep doing it. so do that. find something you’ve read in your mother tongue and then read it in the language you’re learning. then you have a translation at hand. a bit tedious, i know, but think of the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel. or something. ugh. i really wish the reading was more enjoyable instead of feeling like work.
i f anyone else out there has ideas or tricks they use to learn languages, feel free to leave a comment! share that knowledge!
your friend and mine,