Myth 1: I’m Not Good with Foreign Languages
The mind is a powerful thing.
If your mind thinks you can’t learn a foreign language, you’ll have an extremely hard time changing that belief.
So, do yourself a favor and change your perspective!
It’s simply not true that you’ll never understand German just because it’s not your native language. Even though we develop native-language maps in our brain from a young age, our brains can still absorb new knowledge. Every day we collect new information. It’s no different when learning a new language.
Simply changing your mindset gives you the best chance to learn something new.
Top Tip: Use your native language to boost your German learning! Find blogs, articles or short stories and rewrite them in German.
Myth 2: I’m Embarrassed to Speak German
The famous poet James Joyce said, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” This means that every mistake you make helps you learn something new. This is very true when learning a new language. You need to see every mistake as an opportunity to learn.
There’s no reason to feel embarrassed if you say the wrong word, sentence or pronunciation. Everyone has been a beginner at some time in their lives! Accepting that you’re a learner will help you not be critical about yourself, and teach you to enjoy the mistakes you make while learning.
Still feel silly when you say the wrong word? Telling people that you’re learning German can help take the pressure off. It’s also a great way to find new learning opportunities because others might want to help you.
Top Tip: Record yourself having your own German conversations. This is a great way to build your confidence when speaking. You can also listen for things that you could improve.
Myth 3: I’m Too Old to Learn German
Yes, younger people easily learn new languages, but that doesn’t mean older people can’t learn German. An adult has more experience and focus to solve problems.
Instead of believing your age is stopping you, take a closer look at your learning. What exactly is it about learning German that’s difficult? Is it the content you’re learning? Could it even be the place or people in your learning environment?
After you’ve identified the real obstacles, you can start to introduce some changes to make learning easier and a lot more pleasant.
Top Tip: Write difficult German words on Flashcards and study them daily. This simple exercise makes you feel successful every day. It boosts your confidence and makes you feel happy about your improvements.
Myth 4: I Don’t Have Enough Time
We get it, you’re busy.
The whole world seems to be busy. Everyone is moving so fast.
We have so much to do and are always out of time.
However, believing that you need a lot of time to learn German is false. You simply need to know how to organize your time.
First, think about what time of day you learn best. Not the part of the day you have the most time or the least disruption. We’re talking about the time your brain is working at its best. When your focus is sharp and learning feels easy. This is the time you need to use for language learning.
Now you plan your day and schedule your language learning to happen during this time of day. Even if it’s only half an hour, write it in your schedule or to-do list. Be consistent and study at this time every day.
There are small things you can do to make it easier to stick to your routine. Lay out your books and resources for easy access, download your videos and audio so they’re ready to play and make a specific learning area so you’re always ready to learn, learn, learn!
Top Tips: Fill the gaps in your day with quick learning lessons. For example, listen to German podcasts as you stand in line at a store. Or play with German learning apps while riding the bus. Turn every spare moment into a learning opportunity!
Myth 5: I Need to Visit a German-speaking Country
In the past, learning a new language was difficult because it was harder to travel to other countries. But with the Internet, we can now bring foreign languages into our homes with the click of a button.
To improve your knowledge, you need to actively look for learning opportunities. Use these opportunities to bring German into your life. Choose food from German menus. Read German instructions and follow German signs. You can discover ways to learn German in your own life, without the need for a plane ticket.
Top Tip: Surround yourself with German speakers, and simply listen. This way you can recreate the experience of traveling to a German-speaking country by immersing yourself in others’ conversations.
Myth 6: I Can’t Afford It
Money is a common excuse that many easily use to explain why they can’t do something. You may think that you don’t have enough money to buy textbooks or that an online course is too expensive. Well, I’ve got some great news for you: you can learn german for free!
The best learning experiences are the most memorable, not the most expensive. Real world interactions are a fantastic way to learn German because they’re interesting, relevant and free! Get involved by speaking to people and reading newspapers magazines and blogs. With the help of tons of free German online sources, you’ll be improving your German without even spending a dollar.
Top Tip: Label objects in your house. Seeing and saying the words every time you pass them will transform any household task into a German lesson!
Myth 7: I’ll Never Get the Accent Right
Accents are pretty amazing. They celebrate the differences of people around our world and also bring communities together. But just because you don’t sound like a native, you shouldn’t think learning German is impossible.
Pronunciation can help communication, but you can still communicate even if you have an imperfect accent. It takes time to learn how to say difficult sounds, so make sure you create opportunities to listen to spoken German. Set realistic German speaking goals and give yourself more time to do them.
Top Tip: Watch German YouTube videos and subscribe to German learning channels. The more you listen to spoken German, the more you’ll learn the accent and pronunciation. Don’t be afraid to try it! Remember, even if you don’t get it absolutely correct, your message will probably still be understood!
Myth 8: Learning German Isn’t Engaging
Some people give up learning german because they don’t find it engaging (stimulating or interesting). They may believe the effort, time and energy they put in doesn’t give them great rewards. Those who believe this myth are likely to get stuck and give up.
You often lose interest when you take a passive approach towards learning. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s time to make your learning more active and exciting!
To make learning German something you really want to do, you need to have a proactive attitude! This means putting yourself into more challenging situations. Do something new. Do something different and unpredictable. Do something that forces you to use your German skills and knowledge. This makes you set bigger goals and gets you excited to reach them.
You have the power to learn the way you want to, so make it fun and interesting!
Top Tip: Call or video chat with friends who speak German. This is a great way to put yourself into situations that require all your German skills at once. Video chats are a fun and challenging way to improve your understanding of listening, speaking, vocals cues and body language!
Myth 9: My German Skills Don’t Develop Naturally
How amazing would it be if we could learn things naturally! Like if our brains already had all the information, and we just had to access it. Imagine if learning was really that easy!
Unfortunately, we know that it isn’t. German learning doesn’t just happen without any effort. But that doesn’t mean learning English is impossible. It just means that to learn German, you need a good plan.
Planning is all about organizing your purpose (why you’re doing something) and goals. Thinking about your learning in this way will help you achieve what you want to achieve.
Ask yourself: Why am I learning German? What parts of the German language do I want to learn about? What do I need to learn to reach my goals?
Questions like these help you understand your motives and organize your lessons, and give you the momentum to learn successfully.
Top Tip: In your learning plan, include activities that make commitments to other people. For example, find a German pen pal to exchange emails or messages with. That’s a great way to keep you accountable. Not only will you not want to disappoint them, but they’ll encourage you to communicate in German regularly.
Myth 10: Learning German Is Boring
If you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that learning German is boring, please put down your pencil and step away from your textbook. The problem isn’t german, the problem is with the learning method you’ve chosen.
Stop boredom by giving your English lessons a makeover, Swap the books to movies, replace the flashcards with a visit to the theater and start singing German songs in the shower!
Whatever it is bring excitements into your learning, do it! Everyone has their own ideas about what makes learning fun, so explore new methods and find what works for you.
Top Tip: Grab some friends and play German board games. Make sure you understand the rules and then sit back and enjoy the fun, laughter and learning!