As one of the top most widely spoken and understood languages around the world, there is no doubt that fluency in English will open up doors for you. However, adding other international languages to your list of skillsets can not only enhance your CV but also your life!

But, if you are living in Pretoria, why on earth would you need a conversational German course? In fact, what makes you think that you would even strike it lucky by searching German tutors near me?

Firstly, you would strike it lucky, because there are thousands of German natives living all over South Africa – many of whom would be delighted to teach you German.

And, while South Africa is already laden with 11 official languages, it is also true that as a nation we love to travel and are also akin to the odd career stints overseas. Of all of South Africa’s languages, only English is considered to be an international language. Furthermore, if you are planning to work in the UK, it’s important to note that it has strong economic ties with Germany.

Apart from the obvious advantages of travelling and working in Germany or Europe, why would anyone living in Pretoria need to add German courses to their bucket list?

Why Search German Tutors Near Me in Pretoria?

For a great deal of South Africans, the German connection is one ancestral heritage. This goes back centuries when German missionaries and immigrants landed in the Cape. Later they dispersed to all areas of the country, and most especially the northern parts during the time of the famed gold rush.

Today, if you find yourself living in Pretoria, you will notice that a strong community of Germans has even resulted in the need for a German International School or Deutsche Internationale Schule Pretoria (DSP) where education in German is provided until Grade 9.

But with so many German natives living in and around Pretoria, perhaps the reason you are searching for German teachers near me is so that you can strengthen relationships with your German friends and acquaintances

One of the other reasons why you are likely to run into German people all over the world, including Pretoria is because they are a nation that loves to travel. It is even a known fact that Germans will spend more on their holiday travel per annum than on their motor cars. It, therefore, makes sense that after visiting South Africa, they naturally fall in love with the country’s easy-going lifestyle, climate, and culture only to return later as permanent residents!

Furthermore, German is known to be the language for science and business. It then makes sense, that in South Africa, many business-minded Germans have settled in Gauteng, South Africa’s leading economic hub, where Pretoria is an important city.

The influence that Germany has on South Africa’s economy is profound. There are about 600 German companies in South Africa which mean that thousands of employees are exposed to the German language and culture simply through their work lives, on a daily basis.

German street signs in Freiberg
Take a few German lessons to prepare yourself for an upcoming trip. - Source: Unsplash

Consider a Certification Through the Goethe Institute

If for any reason, you need to demonstrate fluency and proficiency in German, there is always the certifications through the Goethe Institute to consider.

Both the TestDaF aimed at students and the TestPro for professionals measures second language proficiency against the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFRL).

These official certificates of recognition are often needed for immigration and work purposes. If you are intending to start a business in Germany, you will need to back up your conversational German course with a CEFRL certificate. This is also something that is needed to gain the German university entrance as a foreigner. The certification is evidence that you have the capability to keep up with the university-level classes given in the German language.

Outside of Germany, the Goethe Institute is the only approved organisation able to administer these exams outside of Germany.

While all of this may sound slightly intimidating, the Goethe Institute has a reputation for being extremely helpful. This makes sense when considering that their main mission is to ensure that the German language is spread as far and wide as possible.

Furthermore, part of their mandate is to offer German courses that can help to prepare students for the exam.

How a Private German Tutor Can Help?

If you are thinking about taking German courses to future-proof and further your career, you could enrol for private tutoring through a search for German tutors near me.   

There are several advantages to using a private tutor, firstly, you will be able to learn at a pace, location, and time that suits you. Not only that, but you will also be able to offer input into the type of content you want to learn. For example, if you clearly communicate that your reasons for learning German are for business reasons, your tutor could include business vocabulary, phrases, and even jargon that is specific to your industry, into your lessons.

There’s no doubt that understanding German for business is an advantage, especially when you consider that there are over 100 million German natives scattered all over the world. By taking German courses, you will be learning a very useful language as well as exposing yourself to a culture that is rich in tradition and history.

When you search for German tutors near me, you may encounter a Superprof tutor because this website allows users to search for tutors by location! In addition, you can match both your level of ability and your future goals by choosing a tutor that is suited to you.

For instance, if you need a conversational German course for a short holiday to a German-speaking country, you will probably not need the help of a German language professor. Having said that, if you are a first language German student and struggling with literature, you may well need that professor. Fortunately, there are tutors to suit every level of learning and budget at Superprof.

Another bonus about Superprof tutors is that you might be able to get your first lesson for free. This gives you the unique opportunity to discuss your goals and find out about their teaching style before committing to ongoing lessons.

As far as learning a new language as an adult goes, there is no doubt that personalised tuition is by far the most beneficial way to fast track progress. Start by searching for German tutors near me and gain the confidence you need.

Supplement Your Learning with Fun Ways to Learn German

Language acquisition is best done through as much immersion into that language as possible. For this reason, try and find fun ways to learn German that could supplement your formal classes. For instance, you could try the following

  • Read German books, magazines, and newspapers
  • Listen to German audiobooks and podcasts
  • Watch German television
  • Listen to German radio via live stream
  • Play German board games
  • Play online games with multiple players and chat with them in German
friends laughing
Learn German by connecting with native German speakers. - Source: Unsplash

All of these are fabulous ways to engage the senses and practice critical elements of language (reading, writing, and listening) learning.

Really, the list is endless. Another fun thing to do is to stick notes all over the house that translate common objects. It won’t take too long for you to know that a Kühlschrank is a fridge!

Language Stays versus Language Buddies 

Language immersion is by far the most effective way to grasp any new foreign language. What it means is being able to live, work, or study in a country where the language you are studying is spoken. Typical examples of how language stays would be the university exchange student or choosing a job where English is sought-after like au pairing for a German family who wants to expose their children to English. This is guaranteed to be more effective than any conversational German course!

Of course, you would need a conversational German course behind you to get going, but after that, just imagine it, every taxi ride or restaurant visit will become a German lesson. Possibly, one that would be more effective than a classroom!

Obviously, packing up to go and live in another country is not always possible, but this should not stop you from adding a similar, ingenious modality to supplement your German courses. Consider, finding a language buddy. This is when two parties benefit from both friendship and the other’s home language.

If you cannot find a language buddy in your community, you could always turn to social media to find one. Here, you could easily find someone who already shares similar interests to you. It’s pretty easy to find German friends on both Instagram or Facebook. The idea is that you will practice your German on them and they, in turn, will practice their English on you. It’s a win-win situation and you don’t even need to leave Pretoria!

Whichever ways you decide to learn German, remember that it is an investment that you will never regret. And remember, like any investment, what you put in, is what you will get out.

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Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.