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How to Start Thinking in German

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in German

Going through German lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of German, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in German. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between German and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the German vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in German

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through GermanPod101.com.

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1. Surround yourself with German

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with German constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a German radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of GermanPod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then German words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in German.

GermanPod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach German.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in German not only gets you in the mindset of German, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With GermanPod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native German speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but GermanPod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with GermanPod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

Conclusion

Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that GermanPod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

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4 Reasons Why German Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

Learn 4 honest reasons you need German slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning German slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak German? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning German or any new language.

reasons to learn german slang words

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1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout German Culture

If you turn on any popular German TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning German slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, German culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

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3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate German slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

Learning German slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual German people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from German TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right German slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

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So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

At GermanPod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the German slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

German slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
At GermanPod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on GermanPod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in German!

German Slang Part I

For German learners: You need to know that, unfortunately, the real world looks a bit different from what you learnt, more confusing and less structured with the use of slang. Here we will tell you why you must study slang, and you will learn 5 of the most used German slangs in everyday life and how to use them properly!

learn german slang expression for everydaylife free slangs

And if you didn’t start yet and want to learn German, click here to access our Absolute Beginner video course to master German basics in few hours for FREE!

Slang is an aspect of language that isn’t usually taught in the classroom but is an important part of becoming proficient in any language. A person learning German might attend daily classes. They might study the grammar and the formalities and might even produce complex and coherent sentences. But, take this student out of the classroom and away from the textbooks, and they will encounter a world of language that breaks the rules they learned.

Although studying proper German rules is important, slang is unavoidable, no matter what language you’re speaking. In drama and music, conversations and advertising, language becomes less formal and goes less and less “by the rules”. Real-life German is so different from the textbooks.

Taking the time to understand slang and informal speech will boost your communication and language skills, and save a whole lot of confusion. Slang will allow you to use language in a current, useful way. No amount of time in class can prepare you for the contemporary nuances you’ll be faced with when you put your language knowledge to practical use out in the real world.

Click here to discover 10 monthly goals that will help you reach fluency in German!

It’s time to cover common German slang expressions that are used every day in Germany!

1. In den sauren Apfel beißen müssen - have to bite the bullet

The phrase In den sauren Apfel beißen müssen literally means “to have to bite into the sour apple.” But when it’s used as a slang expression, it means “have to bite the bullet.” You can use this expression when you have to get through difficult times or if you have to force yourself to get out of your comfort zone. This expression is used often by everyone.

Ich möchte nicht, aber ich muss jetzt in den sauren Apfel beißen und Hausaufgaben machen.
I don’t want to, but I need to bite the bullet and do homework.

2. Alte Liebe rostet nicht - An old flame never dies.

The slang expression Alte Liebe rostet nicht means “old flame never dies.” You can use this expression when you think you are still in love with your ex. This expression is used often by everyone.

Ich bin mit meinem Ex-Freund wieder zusammen. Alte Liebe rostet eben nicht.
I am with my ex-boyfriend again. Old love just never dies.

3. Mit Haut und Haaren - To be involved 100%

The expression Mit Haut und Haaren literally means “with skin and hair.” But when it’s used as a slang expression, it means “to be involved 100%.” You can use this expression when you want to express that you are giving all your efforts to something. This expression is used often by everyone.

Ich bin mit Haut und Haaren dabei.
I’m 100% involved.

For you German Learners, The 15 Best Tips to Remember German Words For FREE

4. Auf die Pelle rücken - to crowd someone

The phrase Auf die Pelle rücken literally means “to move to one’s skin.” But when it’s used as a slang expression, it means “to crowd someone.” You can use this expression when you think someone is getting too close to you physically or when someone is getting on your nerves. This expression is used often by everyone.

Du rückst mir zu sehr auf die Pelle.
You’re too close to me.

5. Durch die Lappen gehen - to let slip through fingers

The phrase Durch die Lappen gehen means “to slip through his fingers.” You can use this expression when something gets lost. This expression is used often by everyone.

Das ist mir wohl durch die Lappen gegangen.
That actually slipped through my fingers.

Check out this list to learn more German expressions to be a good lover and sounds like a native speaker!

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The Top 5 Shortcuts To Learning German!

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Hey Listeners!

So you’ve decided to study German, now what?

Chances are you’re looking to become fluent and conversational as fast as possible, right? Well then, look no further! This is the list for you!

Without further ado, here are the top 5 shortcuts to learning German!

Click Here To Start Learning German Right Now!

Click Here To Start Studying German!

1. Create A Study Schedule And Set Some Goals:
This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many unorganized language learners there are in the world! Creating a schedule allows you to manage your time wisely, enabling you to free up time to study consistently. Goals are also a key component of learning German. These give you motivation and something to strive for.

2. Make It Fun:
You may roll your eyes at this one, but it’s true! If you learn how to make your study time enjoyable, chances are you’ll be more inclined to study! Try changing it up every now and then with something new. Watch a TV show in German or listen to some German music! The sky is the limit!

3. Find A Language Partner:
This is one surefire way to improve your conversational skills. Having a language partner allows you to practice your target language in a conversational manner. This will help you gain fluency even faster!

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Click Here To Start Studying German!

4. Use Word Lists To Build Up A Solid Vocabulary:
This is a great way to build up your fluency, one word at a time. At GermanPod101, you can use one of our many word lists. Choose whichever topic you want to study and go!

5. Make Mistakes:
Lastly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes! In fact, make a lot of them! Nothing helps you improve more than correcting your own errors. If you catch yourself saying something wrong, you’re likely to remember it the next time around. So just remember, everyone makes mistakes! Learn from them!

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Again, there is no magical, overnight way to learn German. However, doing a few or all of these will help you out substantially. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at GermanPod101.com now!

5 Ways To Improve Your German Speaking Skills

5 Ways To Improve Your German Speaking Skills

Speaking is usually the #1 weakness for all German learners. This is a common issue among language learners everywhere. The reason for this is obvious: When language learners first start learning a language, they usually start with reading. They read online articles, books, information on apps and so on. If they take a class, they spend 20% of their time repeating words, and 80% of the time reading the textbook, doing homework or just listening to a teacher. So, if you spend most of your time reading instead of speaking, you might get better at reading but your speaking skills never grow. You get better at what you focus on.

So if you want to improve you speaking skills, you need to spend more of your study time on speaking. Here are five tips to help you get started:

1. Read out loud
If you’re listening to a lesson and reading along, read out loud. Then re-read and speed up your tempo. Do this again and again until you can speak faster. Try your best to pronounce the words correctly, but don’t obsess about it. Read swiftly, emote and put some inflection on the sentences. Reading aloud helps to train the muscles of your mouth and diaphragm to produce unfamiliar words and sounds.

Read out loud!

2. Prepare things to say ahead of time.
As you may know from experience, most learners run out of things to say. But, if you prepare lines ahead of time, you won’t be at a loss for words in conversations. This will help you not only to learn how to say the words, but how to say them in the right context. A good way to prepare yourself before conversations is with our Top 25 Questions Series, which teaches you how to ask the most common conversational questions, and how to answer them, in German:

Click here to learn the top 25 German questions you need to know.

3. Use shadowing (repeat the dialogues as you hear them).
Shadowing is an extremely useful tool for increasing fluency as well as improving your accent and ability to be understood. Shadowing helps create all the neural connections in your brain to produce those words and sentences quickly and accurately without having to think about it. Also, as mentioned in tip #1, shadowing helps develop the muscle memory in all the physical parts responsible for the production of those sounds. Depending on what your primary and target languages are, it’s quite likely that there are a lot of sounds your mouth just isn’t used to producing. Shadowing can be done, for example, when watching TV shows or movies or listening to music.

Each one of our lessons begins with a dialogue. Try to shadow the conversation line by line, and you’ll be mastering it in no time.

Click here to for a FREE taste of our Absolute Beginner series!

4. Review again and again.
This is the key to perfection, and we can’t emphasize it enough. Most learners don’t review! If you review and repeat lines again and again, you’ll be speaking better, faster and with more confidence.

Review again and again

5. DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES!
You’d be surprised by how many people try to avoid talking! The more you speak, the faster you learn – and that is why you’re learning German. Practice speaking every chance you get: whether it’s ordering coffee, shopping or asking for directions.

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6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

6 Reasons to Learn a Language Before You Travel

There are plenty of destinations where you can get by with English, but sometimes you want to do better than just ‘get by’. Here are 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination.

What are the 6 reasons you should learn the basics of the language of your next trip destination?

1. You will be able to discover your destination better than other tourists.
Getting by is one thing, but actually experiencing a trip abroad is quite another. No amount of guidebooks and online research can compensate for a basic lack of language ability. Speaking the language of your destination permits you to explore that destination beyond the regular tourist traps. Your language skills will not only allow you to dig into all the hidden gems of your destination, but they will also allow you to mingle with the locals to get a true experience on your holiday. Think of it this way: you’re not restricted to talking to the people at the tourist desk anymore.

2. Knowing how to communicate with local police or medical personnel can be life-saving.
Before you leave for your destination, make sure you learn how to ask for help in that destination’s local tongue. Do you know how to ask the waiter if this dish has peanuts in it? Or tell your host family that you’re allergic to fish? Can you tell the local doctor where it hurts? Moreover, an awareness of an environment improves your chance of remaining safe inside it. For example, walking around a busy marketplace, dazzled by an unfamiliar language, signs and accents will instantly render any tourist a more attractive mark for pickpockets. Communicating with other people, asking questions and looking confident will make you look like a semi-local yourself, and will ward off potential thieves.

Click here for German Survival Phrases that will help you in almost every situation

3. It helps you relax.
Traveling is much less stressful when you understand what that announcement at the airport was saying, or if this bus line reaches your hotel. These things stress you out when traveling and they disappear when you understand the language. This allows you to focus on planning your trip in a better, easier way.

Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.

4. Speaking the language can provide you with a way to get to know people you’d never otherwise have the opportunity to speak with.
Sometimes those relationships turn into friendships, and other times they’re nothing more than a lively conversation. Either way, as Nelson Mandela said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” When you approach someone – even staff at a store or restaurant – with English, rather than their own language, an invisible divide has already been erected. Making even a small effort to communicate in the language of the place you’re visiting can go a long way and you’ll find many more doors open up to you as a result.

Click here for the Top 25 German Questions you need to know to start a conversation with anyone

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

5. You’ll be a better ambassador for your country.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we know very little about other countries and cultures, especially the local politics. And what we do know is often filtered to us by the media, which tends to represent only certain interests. When you can speak the local language, you’re able to answer questions that curious locals have about your country and culture. Are you frustrated with how your country is presented in global news? Are you embarrassed by your country’s leaders and want to make it clear that not everyone is like that where you’re from? This is a very good opportunity to share your story with people who have no one else to ask. We all have a responsibility to be representatives of the place we come from.

6. Learning another language can fend off Alzheimer’s, keep your brain healthy and generally make you smarter.
For more information, check out this blog post about the 5 Benefits of Learning a New Language.

You’re Too Cool for School: Master German at 26% OFF & Get a FREE Audiobook

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Hello Listener,

Did you start this year out with a resolution to learn German? Haven’t found time to make it happen yet? Well, with students everywhere going back to school this month… Now’s a perfect time to renew your dream of truly learning German.

Even if you’re a complete beginner. Even if you’re out of school…
You can and will learn German with 160+ hours of lessons from real teachers. The Too Cool for School Sale at GermanPod101 starts today:

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How does it work? And how will you learn German?
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Get the best of both worlds with real-life conversation and the in-depth explanations of a textbook! Listen to over 6.5 hours of lessons and read along with 200+ pages. You’ll get your free Audiobook instantly when you upgrade, inside the welcome email.

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To Making a Fresh Start,

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P.S. All subscriptions are fully backed by our 60-day money-back guarantee meaning you can lock in your savings now and if you later decide that you’re not learning German as fast as you’d like, then we’ll refund your entire subscription amount. You have nothing to lose but you have to ACT NOW before this Too Cool for School Sale ends!

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3 Consistent Ways You’ll Learn German Fast: All New Lessons, Word Lists & 29% OFF!

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Hi there Listener,

When you’re learning German and want real progress…look for the consistent method. One that’s non-stop and keeps you going. What’s a good one? GermanPod101 Lessons – free audio and video lessons, every week. In fact, a new season of lessons has started this month that you can grab. Anything else? Vocab lists, where you learn new words and phrases all the time. And don’t forget that our 29% OFF Summer of German Sale ends Friday!

In this month’s newsletter…

  1. Sale Ends Friday! Click Here to Get 29% OFF Basic or Premium!
  2. A New Season Has Started: New, Free, Weekly German Lessons
  3. Free Feature Alert: Speak More German With Word & Phrase Lists

1. Summer of German Sale ends Friday! Get a HOT 29% OFF!
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2. New Lessons Started this July – Here’s the 2015 Lesson Schedule!
Now, we know that you want more lessons. They’re non-stop, free and get you speaking more German in minutes. So, you should know that new lessons and seasons started on July 6th. What kind of lessons? And what days do they come out on? Check the publishing schedule. And if you want to get our entire system – over 160+ hours of lessons – grab the 29% discount above!

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3. Free Feature Alert: Speak More German with Word & Phrase Lists
Here’s another non-stop way to boost your German – German Word and Phrase Lists. They’re based on holidays, current events and all-around useful topics. Our listeners learned how to talk about their summer plans in German with a recent list! Just click below, access any list and review with definitions, sample sentences and audio pronunciation.

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To your German fluency,

Team GermanPod101

P.S. Ends Friday! Get a HOT 29% OFF the Most Effective German Course!
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Your Summer of German Starts Now! Get 29% OFF Lessons from German Teachers

Get a hot 29% off!

Hello Listener,

The Summer of German is in full swing at GermanPod101. That means we’re helping thousands of people like you to learn German this summer! Yes, we are helping to make your dream of learning German easier and more affordable with a LIMITED TIME 29% OFF Basic and Premium.

Up to $69.60 in savings! Click here to get a BIG 29% OFF!
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Ready to learn German? During our Summer of German Sale, you gain full access to our ENTIRE learning system – 160+ hours of German audio and video lessons from real German teachers, exclusive apps, plus loads of additional study tools and resources for just…

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Great question. The answer depends on your goals, budget and situation but here are a few guidelines to help you choose. People choose the Basic plan when:

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People choose the Premium plan when:

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With Premium, you get unlimited GermanPod101 accessAll lessons, lesson notes, study tools, smart flashcards, apps and more – and dramatically reduce your learning time. Premium is our most popular plan and is the fastest track to learning German.

  • Exclusive! App for the iPhone, iPad or Android
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