Whether you are wondering about the best way to learn German fluently, or whether you want to simply learn German-speaking phrases for a holiday, you have many options to choose from.
Of course, learning new languages can be challenging, but with the right teacher or class it can even be fun, enjoyable and end up enriching your life. If you are searching learn German near me, and if proximity is important to you, you are probably in luck because there are great German classes and available in just about every corner of South Africa.
The first question you should ask yourself is regarding the setting where you want to learn to speak German. For many people, groups are a great way to learn and they can also be a beneficial way to meet new people. If this is you, you could refine your learn German near me search by looking for German classes to suit your level of ability.
If, however, you prefer to learn one-on-one, or if you have specific goals for wanting to learn to speak German, then German private lessons would suit you better.
Why German Private Lessons?
There are several reasons why the best way to learn German is through German private lessons.
It’s not unlike learning anything new in life if your goal for instance is simply to learn German-speaking phrases you could find these online or an app.
This would be easy and of course, cost-effective in terms of both your time and financial investment. If, however, your learn German near me searches are because you need to be able to converse fluently for business reasons, a private tutor could help you learn German-speaking phrases that are specific to your industry of business. The more general your needs are when wanting to learn to speak German, the easier it would be to slot into German classes for beginners.
Other reasons why German private lessons are popular have to do with the flexibility around the logistics of the classes. When you take private German classes you can not only learn at your own pace, but you can choose a time and location that is convenient for you. For many people, the idea of having a private tutor to come to their home and teach them is the best way to learn German. Alternatively, being able to learn to speak German with a private tutor online is also a possibility. It all depends where your learn German near me search takes you.
If face-to-face tuition is important to you, in South Africa, on websites like Superprof, you can even search for a tutor by location which could save you a lot of time and end up being really convenient.
In terms of cost, German private lessons can cost anywhere between R120 per hour and R550 per hour depending on the tutor’s background and experience.
If you have decided that private lessons are the best way to learn German for you, then think about what kind of tutor you need.
If you are searching learn German near me, so that you can quickly pick up a few phrases for a ski trip to the Alps, then you don’t need private lessons with the professor who is tutoring in his or her spare time at a higher rate. However, if you are studying first language German, at one of South Africa’s many Deutsche Internationale Schule and struggling with your German literature, you may well need that professor!
There is no doubt that when it comes to learning anything, one-on-one tuition will take you further. And when it comes to the best way to learn German, there is no doubt that by taking German private lessons you will reach your personal goals sooner.
Reasons Why You Should Learn German
Adding another language to your set of skills can improve your life and even career, in many ways. It will also build your confidence and self-esteem and give you a feeling of great satisfaction because, quite frankly, as adults, we can get stagnant in our learning of new things when in fact it is such a satisfying past time!
Connect with your German Heritage
For South Africans, the German connection goes back several centuries when German immigrants first settled in the Cape and later in other areas of the country. This means that for many South Africans, learning to speak German literally connects them to their ancestral heritage.
Connect with German Visitors to South Africa
Not only that, but Germans still love South Africa for holidays! Germans are well known to be a nation of travellers, even spending more on travel than they do on motor cars, and one of their favourite destinations – you guessed it – is South Africa. With so many German-speaking travellers in our country every year, it makes sense for anyone in the tourism industry, for example, to have a basic understanding of German.
Connect with German Residents in South Africa
Besides the holidaymakers, South Africa is full of German residents who love to live half the year in the Southern Hemisphere summer. In fact, did you know that Cape Town alone has 60 000 German-speaking residents living in it?
In terms of trade and commerce, German influence in South Africa is prolific. There are approximately 600 German companies based in South Africa. Some of the well-known ones include Siemens and Volkswagen. In fact, there is so much German influence in South Africa that it is not surprising that there are German International Schools that go all the way up to Grade 12 in cities all over South Africa, and even a German Chamber of Commerce.
Add an International Language to Your CV
For the ambitious-minded career person, one of the most beneficial undertakings one can embark on is to add an additional, international language to one’s CV. This can prove very worthwhile for South Africans who are well-known for career stints in the UK and Europe which have strong economic links with Germany.
In terms of the rest of the world, there are around 100 million German-speaking people living all over the globe, which demonstrates its widespread influence.
Just considering these reasons shows that being able to speak and understand German will benefit your international career and even your life in South Africa too! With so many Germans living in South Africa and abroad, it is quite possible that you would want to learn how to speak German to better-connect with your romantic partner, friends, and work colleagues.
Finally, German private lessons or group German classes aside, what are some of the ways in which you can immerse yourself in the language and learn it quickly?
Tips to Help You Learn to Speak German
Have German Conversations
There is no doubt that without sufficient practice, no amount of language theory will enable you to actually converse. If you are learning German, it is likely that you know a few German-speaking people, but the aim should be to ensure that you practise your new language skills with them!
Another way to do this is to find a language buddy who wants to learn your native language in return. Some ways to do this if they are in another country would be to schedule regular Zoom, Skype, or WhatsApp calls, or write to each other on social media.
Carry a Pocket Dictionary
Keep a pocket dictionary on you while you are studying German. One of the easiest ways to do this, these days, is to download one onto your smartphone. There are also apps that will speak back to you and help you with your pronunciation. Try MagikApp from the Google Play.
Learn German Speaking Jargon
One neat trick to learning German or any new language is to find the 50 or 100 most commonly used words and then to practise using them in sentences. If you get stuck in conversation, remember that you are learning, and to not take yourself too seriously! Have a laugh, just remember to learn something new at the same time!
Re-Learn Your Alphabet
Learning any new language involves lots of basic steps. The key is to try and not become overwhelmed by too many new things at once. One of the first things you will need to do is master the German alphabet which actually has four more letters in it than English.
Once you know the alphabet, practise pronouncing it phonetically as it is spoken by natives. The trick here is to throw away your adult inhibitions and get stuck into making the sounds as if you were a child!
Use TV and Radio to Help You
One of the ways to fast track any new language acquisition is to use media! By listening to music, podcasts or German radio, you will not only pick up voice inflection and pronunciation but vocabulary too. And by watching German TV programmes and films you will absorb aspects of language that cannot be learnt on paper! You could even try switching between English and German subtitles on a platform like Netflix during the early stages of this exercise.
So if you have been thinking about the best way to learn German, hopefully, you have a few new ideas to make this dream a reality. Viel Glük!