Learn German

Learning German can be a fantastic experience for people of all ages and backgrounds, offering numerous benefits and opportunities. Whether you are interested in exploring German culture, advancing your career prospects, or simply expanding your horizons, the German language offers a wealth of benefits for language learners. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and global influence, German is a language that has much to offer to those who take the time to learn it. In this article, we'll explore why learning German is important, the challenges that learners may face, and some tips and strategies for mastering this fascinating language.

Learn German with EF

Article overview

Want to learn German?

Here's why you should choose EF for your German course abroad.

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Learn German in Germany

Why learn German

Learning English is a good way to improve your professional future and expand your horizons. More and more people around the world use English as a way to connect with people from different cultural backgrounds. The English language has become the lingua franca of international communication, trade, business, diplomacy, and many other areas. Mastering the language will open doors for you, both expected and unexpected.

According to the EF English Proficiency Index (EPI), the world's largest ranking of countries and regions by English skills, more than 1 billion people speak English as a first or second language, and hundreds of millions as a third or fourth. English proficiency helps scientists, researchers, tourists, and business professionals exchange information. On an individual level, people who speak English get better jobs, earn more, and have access to more of the information available online.

5 benefits of learning German

If you're not entirely convinced about learning German, let us provide you with some more compelling reasons to consider it:

  1. Enhanced career opportunities: Knowing German can give you an advantage in industries such as engineering, manufacturing, and tourism, where German-speaking markets play a key role.
  2. Greater cultural immersion: Learning German can provide a gateway to understanding and appreciating German culture, literature, and art, as well as enable more meaningful travel experiences to German-speaking countries.
  3. Improved cognitive function: Studies have shown that learning German can help improve cognitive function, such as memory, problem-solving skills, and multitasking abilities.
  4. Expanded social and personal networks: Learning German opens doors to communication with German speakers around the world and fosters connections with people who share similar interests.
  5. Boosted confidence and personal growth: Learning a new language can be a challenging yet rewarding experience that boosts self-confidence and opens up new avenues for personal growth and development.

How to learn German

If you're interested in learning German, there are many resources and strategies that can help you get started. One of the best ways of learning German is immersion. Being surrounded by the language 24/7, whether through travel or creating a German immersion environment at home, can greatly accelerate your language learning progress. Here are a few simple steps to create a German immersion environment at home:

  1. Change the language settings on your phone, computer, or other devices to German. This will expose you to the language on a daily basis and help you learn new vocabulary.
  2. Watch German movies or TV shows with subtitles to improve your listening and comprehension skills. You can also watch with German audio and English subtitles, and then switch to German subtitles as your skills improve.
  3. Listen to German music, podcasts, or audiobooks while commuting, exercising, or doing chores. This will help you get used to the sound and rhythm of the language and improve your listening skills. You can start with songs that have a slower tempo and clear pronunciation and gradually move on to more complex materials.

To stay motivated while learning German, it's important to set specific, achievable goals, such as passing a language exam or holding a conversation with a native speaker. Tracking your progress can also help you to identify areas that need improvement and celebrate achievements, which can be done through keeping a journal or using language learning apps to record new vocabulary and grammar rules.

Challenges of learning German

Learning German can be an exhilarating experience, but it also comes with unique challenges that learners may encounter on their language journey. Some of the most common obstacles for German learners include:

  1. Pronunciation: German has a distinct sound, and the language features several unique vowel and consonant sounds, such as the "ch" sound and the umlaut. These sounds can be difficult for non-native speakers to replicate accurately.
  2. Grammar: German grammar is notoriously complex, and there are many different verb tenses, grammatical cases, and noun declensions to learn. The rules for gender and agreement can also be confusing for learners.
  3. Vocabulary: German vocabulary can be vast, and some words can be challenging to memorize due to their length and complex compound structure. Learners may also encounter words with multiple meanings, making it difficult to determine the correct context.
  4. Regional dialects: German speaking countries has many distinct regional dialects, and it can be challenging for learners to understand the variations from standard German.
  5. Sentence structure: The syntax of German sentences can be different from that of English, and the word order can be tricky to master.

Despite these challenges, learning German is a highly rewarding experience. With practice and dedication, learners can overcome these obstacles and become proficient in the language. Resources such as textbooks, language learning apps, and language exchange programs can be helpful in supplementing classroom instruction and improving language skills. By immersing themselves in the German language and culture, learners can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of German culture and language.

How to stay motivated while learning German

Learning German can be a great experience, but it also comes with its own set of unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges that learners face is the complexity of German grammar. German grammar is known for its intricate sentence structures, declension of nouns, and use of cases. The pronunciation of German can also be challenging, with its guttural sounds and vowel combinations. Here are some tips to overcome these challenges while learning German:

  1. Set achievable goals: Setting specific, achievable goals can help you stay focused and motivated. You can set daily or weekly goals for yourself, such as learning five new vocabulary words or completing a grammar exercise.
  2. Celebrate your achievements: Celebrating your achievements can help you feel motivated and proud of your progress. This can be as simple as taking note of new vocabulary or grammar concepts that you have mastered or being proud of yourself for making a mistake and then correcting it.
  3. Make it enjoyable: Find ways to make learning German fun and enjoyable. You could try reading a book by a German author or watching a German film. You could also try listening to German music or playing German language games. By making learning fun, you're more likely to stay motivated and enjoy the process.
  4. Find a study buddy: Studying with a friend or language exchange partner can make learning German more enjoyable and keep you accountable for your progress. You can share study materials and practice speaking and listening skills with each other.
  5. Take breaks: Taking regular breaks can help prevent burnout and maintain motivation. Taking a walk, listening to music, or doing a different activity can help you recharge and come back to your language learning with fresh energy and focus.
  6. Visualize your progress: Visualizing your progress can help you stay motivated and see how far you've come. This could be as simple as keeping a journal of new vocabulary and grammar concepts or tracking your progress with an app.

By using these strategies, you can stay motivated and make progress in your German language learning journey. Remember that motivation comes from within, and the most important thing is to stay committed to your goals and keep learning.

How to measure your German level

Standardized tests, such as the TestDaF, Goethe-Zertifikat, or Telc, provide a comprehensive evaluation of German language proficiency. These tests are designed to assess a learner's reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, and provide an objective and reliable measure of language proficiency. Each test has its own scoring system and corresponds to a specific level of proficiency, ranging from A1 (beginner) to C2 (advanced). Standardized tests can be useful for learners who want to evaluate their language proficiency for academic or professional purposes, such as applying for a job or university program. While these tests can be challenging, they provide an accurate and widely recognized measure of German language proficiency.

If you're interested in measuring your German language proficiency, our free German proficiency test can help. The test evaluates your reading and listening comprehension skills in German and provides a score between 0 and 100 for each skill, as well as an overall score. These scores are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) levels, from A1 to C2, and can help you determine your current language level. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced learner, our German proficiency test is a great tool to assess your language skills and set achievable language goals.

Measuring your German language proficiency is an important step in the language learning journey. We encourage anyone interested in learning German to take our proficiency test and discover their current level of proficiency.

Test your German

How to pick a good German course

An English course is a good idea for beginners and can be a great investment if you know what you’re looking for. Before researching English course options, sit down and make a list of your goals as you learn English. If you’re looking for a broad introduction to the language, that’s a very different course than one that prepares you for negotiating contracts in English or one that gets you ready to take the TOEFL. It’s worth spending 15 minutes putting your goals down on paper.

Once you know what you’re looking for, research which English courses most closely match your learning goals. Here are the main options:


  • Online English courses – unlimited access to the platform + live teacher lessons on demand, or a private teacher to study what you want to study
  • English language schools – once or twice a week in a location near you (just like regular school)
  • English courses abroad – 3-4 hours of lessons a day + a host family (full immersion experience)
  • Self-study – the most common way to learn English. There are extensive English reference materials online as well as English learning apps.

Class size

  • Private lessons – work on exactly what you want (more expensive)
  • Group lessons – follow a set curriculum and meet at set times (less expensive)


  • Long-term English courses – meet once or twice a week all year (usually 2-4 hours/week)
  • Intensive English courses – meet every day for 2-6 weeks (usually 15-30 hours/week)


  • General English courses – a broad spectrum course covering all aspects of the English language
  • Specific English courses – IELTS preparation, TOEFL preparation, medical English, aviation English, English for Academic purposes (EAP), etc.

The more specific your goals, the more likely you are to find an English course that can meet them. And remember, as you learn English, your goals may change, so revisit them regularly and adjust your learning strategy accordingly.

Learning German with EF in Berlin was an amazing experience, with fantastic teachers and an immersive environment that exposed me to the German language and culture all day, every day. This helped improve my language skills and motivated me to progress faster than I imagined.

Jenny, EF New York

Learn German with EF

At EF, we believe that learning German should be an immersive and enjoyable experience. Our experienced German teachers are passionate about teaching and are committed to creating an interactive learning environment that caters to your individual needs and learning style. With a variety of German courses to choose from, including group classes, private lessons, and immersive language programs, we can help you achieve your language learning goals and gain a deeper understanding of the German-speaking world.

If you're ready to take your German language skills to the next level, contact EF to learn more about our German courses and start your language learning journey today.

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Frequently asked questions about learning German

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