“… Vier, Fünf…” I murmur to myself on a humid Monday night. I’m trying to teach myself German after watching some children’s videos on how to say one to twenty in German. Germany has always been my dream country ever since I was a little girl. Besides that, I’ve always been fascinated by the German language. So what better time to pick up German than now?
One thing that I regret now though is that I should’ve picked up German earlier. I could’ve learnt more and better when I was 14 or 15, when my brain had the ability to absorb just about any kind of information I can get my hands on. Now that I’m out of school, I feel a tinge of remorse over the fact that I didn’t include studying the German Language alongside balancing all my other subjects in my daily study schedule in secondary school. Then again, it’s never too late to start anything, so long as you our your mind to it.
As the ancient Chinese proverb goes, “千里之行，始于足下” ( qiān lî zhī xíng shî yú zú xìa). The translation to this proverb would be “a journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step”. When starting out anything at all, one must have the intention, or the drive to want to attain that goal that he or she has set up for themselves. Like for instance, my primary goal of learning German is so that I can (hopefully) go to Germany and mingle with native speakers and have a great time there, not without knowing what to expect. Besides that, knowing an extra language also prevents you from being tricked or swindled of your money in an environment you’re not familiar with. So it’s always a good idea to learn the language of the country you’re travelling to before going over.
The fastest way to grasp a language is with lots of exposure. Constantly speaking, listening and reading is the best way to pick up a language quickly. Although quick fire solutions exist, learning anything still requires persistence and endurance. New habits need to be made and followed through. One should also force themselves to be more disciplined.
For beginners, I recommend using the app Duolingo. It’s a fun, interactive app that allows you to learn any language you like at your own pace. But for those who tried Duolingo and didn’t like it, there’s always other options to choose from, like Busuu or Memrise. It basically boils down to personal preference and the kind of approach you’d like to take when learning a new language. Here’s a list of learning apps currently trending in the App Store.
Learning something new may pose as a challenge to some, but it’s definitely worth it when you manage to conquer it one day. Now excuse me, as I log into my Duolingo account for my daily German lesson.