I talk a lot about my learning method on here because it worked best for me and I truly believe that you can do exactly as I did so that you can get speaking and most importantly UNDERSTANDING German as quickly as possible.
You are not going to master any language in three months. You can go from crappy to a lot better in that time but if you want to be able to listen and understand what is being said to you then you will need to put in the time. I’m not talking about hours a day (although you could). I’m talking about consistent compounded time. So like 30 min to 1 hour a day. So when I say fast I mean you can really begin to understand people within 6 months. In a year you will be fluent. And I think that is pretty fast. Will you be able to talk politics and science? Well that depends on you. If that is something that you are interested in then you can study those things.
How to Get Started
So one of the first things you should be doing is getting your hands on any and all things German that you can listen to. That can be music, videos, movies, whatever. Throughout this whole process you should be building your arsenal of German entertainment. Stuff that you can enjoy and just relax with. Learning is a lot easier when you are relaxed. If you want to be able to start speaking (and not poorly) on day one I recommend you get the Pimsleur courses. The program is all audio and it takes 30 minutes a day. I think that it is the only audio course out there that I would use as a BEGINNER. There are some other great ones but they are more geared towards the intermediate learner. I like to use them but after I’ve put in some time. The best intermediate audio course that I’ve found is Glossika. You can always look on youtube for German videos, but if you want to get some that have transcripts with them then you want to use Yabla. So you don’t need to do all of this at once. I would say the timeline looks like this:
Days 1 – 30: Pimsleur audio course
Days 30 – 60: Pimsleur + some sort of entertainment like music, movies, etc.
Days 60 – Infinite: Pimsleur + Entertainment + Heavy Duty Audio Course like Glossika
You can really start to phase out your Pimsleur in that second month. You will be making such quick progress that you may want to move on to the intermediate audio course sooner, and that’s fine. But don’t be afraid to go back to your base. And make sure you are having fun and learning from materials that interest you.
A Quick History Lesson
So what good is it to learn a language without knowing about the culture? If you notice, the image that I have posted with this article may not seem to fit to you. But once you know the history of this item it most certainly will.
It is a Schultüte! A Schultüte is a cardboard cone that is given to German children on their first day of school. It is given by the parents and it contains a bunch of fun stuff such as school supplies, candy, and little toys. It’s a pretty big deal for the little ones. I decided to use that picture because a Schultüte means that school is starting! And with you wanting to learn faster – your school session is starting as well. So where is your Schultüte? 🙂