Wednesday, March 25, 2009

?Learning German With Free And Paid Resources

By Adrian Fletcher

Anyone learning a second language is unlikely to plump for German. German has a bit of an image problem lets say. It doesn't have the romantic connotations that a language like French has. It doesn't have the utility that Spanish or even Mandarin might have in the near future. Indeed, it is only probably good if you plan to visit German and many of the neighboring countries, like Switzerland and Austria. With this said, Germany is a powerhouse economy in the European union. It holds much sway and many industries are dominated by German companies. So if you work in fields where German companies dominated, learning German may be a help to you.

Indeed, many jobs are available in Zurich and other northern parts of Switzerland for software developers and whilst you can get by in the workplace just speaking English in many cases, you will have a better time if you can speak German. You will assimilate into the greater community if you speak German too. Another reason to learn German, if you don't need it in your chosen career, is for cultural reasons. Possibly your family originate from German or other parts of Europe that speak German and you would like to retrace their footsteps or even visit distant relatives.

If one of these reasons explains why you want to learn German then your first step is to get a good German program to start your learning. To begin with, you can find a wealth of material on the internet. Much of it is free and pretty good too. Here are some things that might help you learn German.

German Language Games And Other Resources

Language games are good idea if you need to practice your vocabulary. They are primarily focusing on your written abilities but knowing a word can also help your spoken skills too. Traditional games like hangman, crosswords and flash card games a great fun. You can find many on the internet just by searching. Look a bit harder and you can find more complex games that help your comprehension too. These are games that give you puzzles or clue like scenarios to solve.

Some deeper browsing of the internet will dig up other mediums for learning. So you will find many audio and audio visual means by which you can learn German. Audio is obviously useful as that's the primary skill you are interested in. Look out for free podcasts that you can listen to on the go.

If you prefer video with your audio, then sites like youtube have plenty of German language videos you can watch. Some of these may be interviews or short films. Some may have subtitles which makes it easier if you are just starting out.

Alternatives You Pay For

There are many paid courses that you can use to learn German. Some common and popular courses include Rocket German, Rosetta Stone, Michel Thomas and Pimsleur. They vary in their price points and indeed their objectives. Courses like Michel Thomas and Pimsleur are more focused on speaking or conversational skills. Rosetta uses an immersion system that tries to replicate how we learn language as a child. Rocket German is a mixture of the three but not as comprehensive.

Rocket German, Pimsleur and Michel Thomas come as mp3 or CD's so you can use them wherever you want. Michel Thomas gets you speaking petty quickly but it is quite limited in depth and vocabulary. Rosetta Stone is a computer application which also requires a headset if you want to use all the features.

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