Learn German Easily
Created by Lucas Kern
2 ways to relearn German and get your cool back without grammar lessons and all the boring stuff
Switch to the German version of the article here: Deutsch auffrischen nach einer Pause
If you are thinking, I want to relearn German. Where do I begin and how best do I do it, this article is for you.
I will give you the 2 most effective ways to relearn German, starting in order of significance and explaining practically how and why each method works.
- TPRS lessons
I will also explain why some of the advice you may come across if you want to pick up German after a break may not be very effective and then give you an opportunity to try the 2 most effective methods.
1. TPRS: The best way to relearn German
The best way to relearn German is one that does the following:
- Improves your grammar naturally
- Let’s you read in German
- Let’s you listen and speak in German
However, many methods check all these boxes.
What then makes TPRS better than the others?
TPRS is better because there is always a part B to every lesson, where you answer questions about what you have read (just like having a simulated conversation).
This lets you speak German straight away and even if you make a mistake you will hear the correct answer after a short pause and correct yourself.
After a few repetitions you will then learn not only new vocabulary but sentence structure as well and the more you speak and listen to corrections the more fluent you become.
When you want to brush up on your German, you have no time for introductions and grammar lessons.
What you need is a method that gets you going instantly, so that your brain is fired up to rewire itself and reconnect the scattered fragments of German that it had once created.
That’s what TPRS does best and the lessons are short and precise so that you can learn in as little as 10 minutes a day.
The stories are very interesting and funny and they are told in different perspectives.
The biggest advantage with using TPRS is its simplicity of use and it’s very friendly to starters.
The lessons start with simple narrations and then they change to introduce different cases and more complicated vocabulary.
This ensures you get an overall mastery of German one step at a time, especially if you are learning German after a break.
Relearn German for free by trying the TPRS here.
2. Use LingQ for German relearning
This is a great language learning platform which is specially designed for people who want to refresh German or those who want to learn lots of vocabulary.
As expected, it checks all the previously mentioned requirements, but what really sets it apart is that you learn more vocabulary than in any other method available today.
This is evidenced by the fact that LingQ users boast of knowing over 20000 German words while users in other platforms claim to know 12000 – 15000 words at most.
I found these figures on German learning forums and on top of that LingQ has a 4.0 star – rating on Google Play and a 4.5 – star rating on iOS.
Another advantage of LingQ is that you get to learn through topics of your interest and so you are not limited to what is available.
Here is a screenshot of a sample LingQ lesson:
The downside of LingQ is that it can be rather confusing for starters, and while it is very effective, it may seem daunting at first.
The main takeaway though is that new words are shaded in blue and once you pick a meaning they turn yellow and are repeated in other lessons until you master them.
Just like the TPRS, the stories are told in different points of view and if you find the narration to be too fast you can select different speed versions with the provided buttons.
A point of advice, however, is that you shouldn’t lean too much on slow narrations but instead start listening at normal speeds soon enough so you get to understand how native Germans speak in every day conversations.
This will equip you with the necessary listening skills to hold a conversation with a native speaker without feeling like they are speaking fast.
If you want to relearn German and speak fluently the fastest way, you can use the TPRS but if you want to relearn with emphasis on lots of vocabulary you can try LingQ here.
Why you shouldn’t use movies and podcasts to relearn German
These are the reasons I advocate against this:
- You can’t speak back
- You don’t get to hear the story in another perspective
- You don’t get to read what is being said
Even if there are subtitles, what the use of seeing a word whose meaning you don’t understand?
Unless of course you want to watch a movie with Google translate in hand and pause whenever a new word shows up.
The 2 methods mentioned above have a written translation that you can follow and check the meaning of a word as you go along.
Once again, the TPRS method excels because you get to download PDFs and read beforehand, so that whenever you losten you already know all the words and their meanings, and that’s how you will start speaking fluently in no time.
Success rate after 6-8 months
Years in the business
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