How Hard Is It To Learn German? Everything You Need to Know!

Narayani Bhardwaj
Narayani Bhardwaj Guide
12 Min Read
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How hard is it to learn German? The German Language is known for its difficulty. Nevertheless, it is not among the top ten difficult languages to learn either. Meanwhile, learning German is quite a complex task, especially when you have an entirely different language of origin.

However, it is said that native English speakers can learn German better, but that doesn’t make it easy for them either. Meanwhile, it is already appreciable if you want to learn the German language. Also, there is a difference between spoken and written language. This increases the difficulty of learning German proficiency.

Furthermore, this is the eleventh most spoken language around the world, with 130 million speakers. So, without taking further time, let’s find a straight answer in this article.

how hard is it to learn german
Image by Skylar Kang at pexels

1. How Hard Is It To Learn German?

German is not on the list of easiest languages in the world to learn. Meanwhile, this is not the toughest one either. Giving an answer such as Yes or No may not be acceptable. In fact, with lots of effort and consistency, anything can be achieved.

This is merely a matter of time, but you can learn German too. Though, it might not be as easy as other languages.

You may have heard about other languages like French, Spanish, Mandarin, etc. French and Spanish are easy to learn for native English speakers. It’s because these languages share the same origin. So, many phrases and words can be compared as similar.

On the other hand, Mandarin is one of the most complex languages to learn. Now, you can rest assured that German is also not that hard to learn.

Learning German is not quite a difficult task. You merely need to put in a bit more effort and give more time than usual. It is just a challenging language to learn. Furthermore, 40% of German words can be said to be familiar with English words.

Also, several factors make German a tough language to learn. Despite all that, it is not as hard as you think it is to learn. 

german flag over reichstag building
BY Ingo Joseph on Pexels

2. What Makes The German Language Difficult To Learn?

Many factors make the German language difficult to learn. Its complexity is entirely based on these factors. Given below are the reasons or can be said to be the factors that make German difficult to learn.

2.1. Grammar

Grammar in German is way too complex to understand and get used to it. Sometimes, it is so frustrating that you may want to take a break from it. Although, you can get used to German grammar with consistent practice. However, it may take a while to learn grammar and become proficient.

Most of the German learners have issues in learning and understanding the German grammar. However, you better not get demotivated by this factor if you truly want to pursue it. Any skill can get mastered with time and enough effort. Besides, the best approach to learning grammar is practicing it regularly. You can practice German grammar by writing and speaking as well. It will help you observe where you are making mistakes.

Since it is a complex factor, you should spend a little time on it daily. So, you won’t get stressed with too much pressure. Take your time in learning but do not lose motivation and concentration with regularity. Furthermore, many phrases in English are similar to German. So, it may help you understand German phrases in grammar.

Nonetheless, it is enough that you are able to explain and understand sentences as a beginner despite correct grammar.

A1 - Lesson 1 | Begrüßungen | Greetings | German for beginners | Learn German

2.2. Pronunciation

You may have thought that German pronunciation is difficult. Though, it can be tough sometimes. Meanwhile, German pronunciation makes sense, unlike many other languages. Usually, each letter makes the same sound every time you use it for different words. Once you are done with learning sounds. Practice will make your pronunciation easier each time.

All you need to do is read as many books as possible to practice correct pronunciation.

In English, letters generally change their sounds while used in different words. For instance, Vase (va-az), ease (ee-z), and base (bays). When you get a proper understanding of the pronunciation of letters once, eventually, you will get better over time.

Pronouncing a word in German might not be as tough as you think. Gradually, you will find that the pronunciation makes sense of what’s written in this language. Thus, you will enjoy the pronunciation of German words once you learn some of them. So, keep learning and keep practicing German!

Introduction to German: Introduction to German Pronunciation

2.3. Long Words

There is a misconception that German words are quite long to learn. However, several words might be long and could be difficult. But, it is not the same for the rest of the vocabulary of millions of words. Also, as a beginner, if you are thinking of pronouncing Aufmerksamkeitsdefizit-Hyperaktivitätsstörung (ADHD). Then, you are likely to make a mistake. This is the longest word in the German vocabulary. It will only take your confidence down.

You should begin with the basic and small words of German. Learn greetings, introduction sentences, and regular use of words that you use in daily life.

However, there are two best ways to learn pronunciation. Firstly, pronounce a long word by reading it in small portions. Do not try to pronounce the entire word at one time. Take your time, and partially understand it, then finally pronounce the word. Secondly, practice speaking that word repeatedly several times after knowing the correct pronunciation.

In German, most words can be a combination of two words, unlike other languages. For instance, Car Driver in German is known as Autofahrer.

german language textbook page
By PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay

2.4. German Articles and Genders

Genders are another grammatical factor that makes German hard to learn. Genders in English and German are quite different. There are no genders in English for the words we use in sentences. On the other hand, German has three distinct genders. These are masculine, feminine, and neuter gender.

There are only two genders of English speakers, which does not affect the usual sentences much. It is different because the articles we use before the words also fall under the categories of genders. Let’s take an example to understand. Der Stuhl is a German word that means ‘the chair’.

However, if you want to say ‘a chair’, then the correct phrase will be Ein Stuhl. For genders and articles, you have to put more concentration on it. There is the different use of articles for lively nouns and non-living objects.

To overcome this factor, you can try memorizing the usual words entirely with articles depending on their genders. You can go through the flashcards to practice these words.

2.5. Sentence Structure

The Sentence Structure in German differs from the English language. Usually, there are only 1 main subject and 1 main verb as well in English sentences. But sentences in German are a little bit challenging and tricky. Perhaps there can be a number of subjects and verbs as well. Also, these sentences can be arranged in numerous ways as well.

This makes the structure of the sentences complex, unlike the simple structures of English sentences. You can change the ordering of the subjects and verbs in German differently, but grammar will remain correct. However, it is also beneficial once you are done with grammar learning. Initially, it will be tough to understand as a beginner.

Furthermore, reading books with many German sentences can help in understanding and practicing them. Practice is the most prominent when it comes to learning German, as it has quite complex rules. 

Learn German | Sentence Structure | Satzstruktur | Part 1 | German for beginners | A1 - Lesson 9

3. Correct Strategies To Learn German Efficiently

There are many ways to learn German, depending on your ease and suitability. You can adopt the following strategies that will be helpful in learning German. These strategies are for beginners and can work up to intermediate-level learners.

  • Listen to the sounds of the German letters and repeat them several times.
  • Gather German’s regular and simple framework words like greetings, please, sorry, thank you, yes, no, etc.
  • Improve your vocabulary by learning different nouns, adjectives, and verbs.
  • Begin to put the words together to make sentences.
  • Memorize the phrases of regular use and practice them daily.
  • Start thinking in German. It is always better to begin speaking simple words of daily use. Then start thinking to make sentences in German in your mind.
  • You can also try to watch videos and movies as well in German. German songs will be the easy and simple approach for this.
  • Hear and read news in the German language.

Learn German for Beginners Complete A1 Level Beginner German Course with Herr Antrim

4. Conclusion

The German language is a complex language to crack. Still, it is not that tough, so you cannot learn. This is merely a challenging language. If you like challenges, you must go for it. Also, the stems of English and German languages belong to the same family. So, you can find similarities in less than half of the words.

Besides, German is a popular language, which is quite useful for building your career. This language is useful if you want to work in MNCs. You can even get opportunities to go abroad because, besides being hard, it is definitely a demanding language.

With the correct strategies and proper guidance, you can master German proficiency too. It may take a little more time, but you will be able to accomplish it.

For more details, click here.

Last Updated on by Janhavi Ramesh Kowligi

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