Are you a native English speaker who wants to learn German?
But you are not sure if your English is going to be helpful or actually stand in your way?
Don’t worry! Your English might actually help you.
We made a list of things that will benefit you and things that might be in your way when learning German.
5 things that will benefit you when learning German
1. Same language family
German and English actually come from the same language family. They both stem from the Germanic language. So they have the same root.
That makes it easier for you to learn the language than it is for someone that speaks a different rooted language.
There are many words that are similar. That will make it easier for you to learn the language!
2. Similar vocabulary
Around 40% of German words are similar to the English ones! That is a lot and will make it easy and even fun to learn the vocabulary.
3. You can even decode words
Take a look at a German text. Even if you have just started to learn German chances are pretty high that you will understand a lot of it just by decoding words.
Sometimes even the sentence structure is similar to the English one.
4. There are so many resources for you!
You will definitely find many resources that are specifically made for you – for English speakers! From apps to websites like ours to courses.
There is basically nothing holding you back from learning the German language. What are you waiting for?
5 things that you should keep in mind when learning German
Are there any things that could hold you back from learning German? We have gathered five things that you should keep an eye on when learning German.
1. It is a journey
That goes for literally everything that you would like to learn in life. It is a journey and a process and you will not be able to fully understand German in a day.
Take the process of learning the language step by step and day by day.
Do not stress yourself out too much!
You will be able to understand German sooner than you think, we are sure of it. Versprochen!
2. Attention when using the word “also”
Also is written the same in German and English. But it is used in different contexts. Also in German means something like so.
The pronunciation is different as well. While in English you might stress the “al” of the word, in German you stress the “so“.
So keep out for this little word!
3. Decoding words already?
We gave you the advice to decode words. And while that might work a lot of the time, sometimes the German and the English meaning of a word that seems to be the same differs!
Do you want to see some examples? There you go!
While the word “kind” means something like nice, the word Kind in German means something completely different. It means child.
Here for more examples?
Aktuell might look like actually. But it means nothing like the English word. It stands for current.
Did you know that Germans call their smartphones Handys? So don’t get confused with the meaning that you know for that word.
4. Watch out before making literal translations
Sometimes when you speak a new language you are translating the words from your language to the language you want to speak in your head.
And while that is a good idea, that can sometimes work out less great than you might think!
If you would literally translate the sentence “I am hot” you would say Ich bin heiß which would have the meaning that you think you are hot in the sense of sexy.
Instead, you should say Mir ist heiß.
But do not worry, we are sure you will get the hang of this super quickly!
5. Numbers can take some time to get used to
Counting is one of the first things people usually learn when taking on a new language. Even little kids know how to count.
But there is a little trap when learning the German numbers with your English knowledge.
Think of the number 22. You would say twenty-two. However, in German, you say it the other way around.
So instead of starting with the twenty-aspect, you start with the second number. Zweiundzwanzig. And that goes for every single number.
That takes some time to get used to, but you can do it!
So, are you ready to take on German? We hope that our list can help you realize that it is not that hard to learn German for you. But there are also some language traps to look out for!