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    Blog Posts - How To Learn German

    Why You Should Learn German

    German is very important language. Obviously you are interested in learning German or you wouldn’t be looking at this web page, but here are some great reasons for learning German. Of course not all these reasons my apply to you, but remember the best reason for learning a language is your reason.

    1. Your family was from Germany. Germans made up the largest group of immigrants to the United States, and it’s great to get in touch with your past.
    Read More . . .

    When Should I Say Möchte, Würde or Hätte?

    The English sentence “I’d like some tea” can be translated into German in three different ways:

    1. Ich möchte etwas Tee. (I want something tea – I want some tea, please.)

    2. Ich würde gern etwas Tee haben. (I would like something tea have – I would like some tea, please.)

    3. Ich hätte gern etwas Tee. (I would-have like something tea – I would like some tea, please.)

    These sentences essentially all mean the same – somebody would love some tea and is asking for it. The difference between the three ways to say it – the difference between “möchte” (1), “würde” (2) and “hätte” (3) – is the following: Read More . . .

    How to Fahrt in German

    Exit in a car.

    If you’ve ever been on a German Autobahn, you’ve seen this sign:

    To English speakers it is a funny word that sounds a lot like the English word fart.

    Now…what exactly does the German word “Ausfahrt” have to do with the English meaning of “fart”?

    To be exact … nothing.

    However it has everything to do with the German love for making new words by simply putting together existing words. Read More . . .

    German Vowels

    Do you realize that whenever you say “a,“ “o,“ “u,” and “i,“ you actually make two sounds, not just one? Say “a” out loud; you just said “aa-eeh.” Try the same with “o” (“aw-ooh”) or “u” (“y-ooh”). English vowels are diphthongs.

    In German, however, vowels do not consist of diphthongs; they are “pure.” Whenever you try to pronounce German words, then, be careful to pronounce all vowels “the German way.”

    The German alphabet, just like the English, has five main vowels: a, e, i, o, u. In addition, there are so called “umlaute”: ä, ö, and ü. Also, these vowels can be paired to form different sounds—just like in English: “boat” makes a different sound than “boot.”

    Now before you start looking at the pronunciation of the various vowels and possibly go nuts trying to memorize it all, relax. You will learn how to pronounce German the right way by closely listening to the audio clips in the lessons, not by worrying about every individual sound described here. The purpose of this article is to help you figure out how to form the sounds with your tongue, mouth, and lips when you don’t have a clue why you just can’t say it the way it sounds in the recording. Ok? Let’s go, then!

    Let’s first take a look at the main vowels:

    “a” – almost sounds like the “u” in “but,” just a little brighter. It’s an open sound, which means you must drop your jaw to make it. The tongue touches the back of the lower teeth. It might help to think of the Southern way of saying “I.” Remember, though, it’s not a diphthong!!
    Read More . . .

    German Consonants

    Most of the consonants in the German alphabet are very much like their English counterparts. A few, though, have striking differences. Others have only very subtle differences, and these are the ones you will want to pay the closest attention to, since the proper pronunciation of these consonants will determine whether or not you have a strong accent.

    For the sake of your time, only the German consonants that are pronounced in a different way than in English are listed here. For all of the consonants you cannot find below, the German pronunciation does not differ from the English way of saying them.

    The German consonant “c” is pronounced in two different ways after vowels:

    (1) “c” – before “a”, “o”, and “u”: Pronounced like an English “k,” yet in the front of your mouth, not the back. You may not be able to tell the difference, but native speakers of English usually pronounce the “k” sound in the back of the mouth, Read More . . .

    German Articles – For Grammar Lovers Only

    Articles – ever paid much attention to them? These are those short little words like a, an, and the. If you are a native speaker of English and if you have never tried to learn a language like Spanish, French, or German, you probably haven’t.

    If you want to learn German, however, you may want to start paying attention to articles. German has three articles that are used at different times where English only uses the word “the”. In German “the man” is “der Mann”, “the woman” means is “die Frau”, and “the child” is “das Kind”.

    Every noun in German is either masculine (and has the article “der”), feminine (“die) or neuter (“das”). Using the correct article with each noun is important if you want to avoid sounding like a foreigner but it’s not that important if you just want to be understood.

    Matching the right article to every noun very important to German teachers. However it’s very important to Read More . . .