Is German Easy to Learn? How Hard Is It to Learn It?
“Is German hard to learn?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions by students interested in learning German. We wish we could say that it’s not difficult at all, that it’s an incredibly easy language for everyone, but unfortunately the answer isn’t as simple as that.
In fact, learning German (or any other language) is neither easy nor hard. It’s a process that can go smoother for some, and have more bumps for others. The factors that determine how difficult learning German will be for you include your reasons for learning, your motivation, your time commitment, your learning style and preferences, and of course, the quality of the course or learning method you choose. Even the most difficult language on the planet can be easy to learn if it is presented and taught in the right way!
On the bright side, this also means you have some control over how difficult learning German is — be clear on your reasons, use them to fuel your motivation, set aside enough time to dedicate to your studies, take advantage of your preferred learning style, and above all, find a high-quality language course, and learning to speak fluent German will feel like a piece of cake.
Is It Worth Learning German? Pros and Cons of Learning German
Have you ever wondered how long does it take to learn German? What about if learning German is worth all the time and effort it will take? After all, you don’t want to spend your time on a language that won’t help you down the road, right? Well, rest assured that there are many excellent reasons to learn German.
If we look at the numbers, German ranks as the 11th most spoken language in the world, with around 75 million native German speakers around the globe, and about 130 million speakers total. After English, it’s the second most widely spoken Germanic language, and one of the most commonly used languages in Europe and in the world of business. So if you’re wondering if you’ll ever even have the opportunity to use your German, you definitely will!
What might those opportunities be? Well, that’s entirely up to you — German will help you in nearly every sphere of your life. If you’re looking to give your career a boost, learning German will certainly help you do that. Employers often look for foreign languages when they screen resumes, and with one of the most useful languages listed on yours, your resume will be sure to catch the hiring manager’s eye.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking to further your studies, speaking German fluently will open doors to many top-ranked study programs in German-speaking countries. You will also be able to learn from a much wider range of literature, thanks to being able to study and read in German.
And even if you put work and studying aside, learning to speak German is a great choice for your own personal development. With German being an official language in not just Germany, but also Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg, being fluent in German opens up a world of opportunities for traveling, meeting new friends, and discovering new cultures. You can take a look at our blog post on the 7 best places to learn German in Germany, Switzerland and Austria if you want to have a clearer idea.
What Is Easier to Learn: French or German? Brief Comparison
Along with English, French and German are two of the most highly sought after and commonly spoken languages in the world, so it’s no surprise that people often get stuck when trying to decide which foreign language they’d like to learn. The deciding factor often ends up being, “Which one is easier to learn — French or German?” Well, unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this question either.
French and German do have similarities, but they ultimately have different roots — while French is a Romance language, German, just like English, is a Germanic language. This means that the answer to which one will be easier for you may depend a great deal on what your native language is and whether it is a Romance or a Germanic language.
The good news for English speakers is that you will find many things in common between English and German, and therefore German is quite easy to learn for native English speakers. However, we cannot reduce the answer to just that, as there are many factors which influence how hard German is to learn, such as the ones we have mentioned above.
If you are lost, you can check out our article on what are the basics to start with for learning German?
Should I Learn French or German? Criteria to Keep In Mind
There are several key factors which can help you decide if you should study French or German.
Which language is spoken in the places where you’d like to study or travel?
Whenever you start working hard at something, always keep your end goal in mind. Why are you learning a foreign language? Is it to boost your career prospects? To be able to study abroad? To travel and meet new people? To develop your brain? These are all valid reasons, but a particular language may be much more useful for some reasons than others, depending on what exactly you’d like to accomplish. If you have a particular place in mind that you’d like to move to, work in, study in, or travel in, take into account which language is most spoken there. If you wish to move to Germany you can find the best local language courses in German in the world!
Which language do you like more?
Motivation is everything — you have to be motivated and enjoy the language you are learning in order to keep studying it and reach fluency! Listen to the sounds of the languages: which one sounds more pleasant to your ears? Think about the cultures associated with the languages: which one speaks to you more? Answering these questions will help you clarify which language you are more drawn to, and which language you will feel more motivated to immerse yourself into. You can even learn German for children with the best resources.
Is French or German harder for a native English speaker?
If you are an English speaker, one of your concerns may be whether French or German is easier to learn through English. German and English are both Germanic languages, so they have more in common than French and English — and in fact, German is considered one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that learning French is automatically difficult for you, but if you’d like to learn a language that will feel more familiar in its structure and vocabulary, then German may be a good choice for you.
Is It a Good Idea to Study French and German at the Same Time?
If you can’t decide if you should learn French or German, a compromise may be to try learning them both at the same time. There are certainly arguments both in favor and against this, and you will find many language learners for whom learning the two languages together has worked perfectly, and others for whom it was a total catastrophe. So unfortunately, once again, we are not able to give you a definite answer to whether you should learn both French and German at the same time, or choose just one language to study first.
However, we can give you a few tips on what you should consider to determine whether learning both German and French simultaneously might be a good idea for you, personally.
Have you already learned a foreign language?
If it’s your first time learning a foreign language, it might be a good idea to pick just one to start with. If you’re a seasoned polyglot and already have one or several other foreign languages under your belt, then you’re probably more prepared to tackle two foreign languages at the same time. It all depends on your comfort level, experience, and how well you know your personal language learning preferences.
Will you need to use them both together?
Learning both French and German at the same time may be a quite good idea if you will end up needing to use them together in the same situations. For example, if you work in an international team with both French speakers and German speakers, you might like to learn both German and French together in order to progress equally with both and gradually start practicing them both at work without putting one on hold for the other. This will allow you to simultaneously learn words for the same concept in several languages and find connections between the two languages.
Is your native language really similar to either French or German?
If you are already fluent in a language that is very similar to French (such as Spanish, Italian, or Portuguese) or to German (such as Dutch, Danish, Swedish, or Norwegian), that language may feel extremely easy for you to learn. The similarities between your native language and the foreign language will make the language learning process much easier, freeing up more of your attention to dedicate to learning another foreign language at the same time.
How good are you at memorizing?
Learning a foreign language requires learning many new words — so it goes without saying that learning two foreign languages requires learning even more new words. If studying new vocabulary is extremely hard for you, you may want to focus on fewer words at a time and not overwhelm yourself. However, if you are a natural at memorizing, then it may actually be beneficial for you to learn the same word in several languages so that you can draw similarities and differences between the two languages in your mind.
Learn French and German Online With Global General
Whether you choose to learn German, to learn French, or even to learn them both at the same time, Global General can provide you with everything you need to kick start your language learning journey and follow it through until you’ve successfully reached your goal.
Global General is an e-learning method developed by the website GlobalExam. It is aimed at beginners and intermediate students, and offers courses in not only German and French, but also Italian, Spanish, and English. Each of these languages is divided into levels based on the CEFR standards, and takes a minimum of 12 hours of studying to pass (apart from English, which takes 25). This ensures that you have really learned everything that’s needed for each level without skipping ahead too fast, while also helping you progress at a steady pace without spending excessive time at a lower level.
Best of all, because Global General is offered 100% online, you can learn German efficiently without giving up the comfort of your favorite learning environment or wasting time traveling to an academy. Here is what Global General can offer you:
- Flashcards to help present new words easily and train your memory;
- Simulations of real-life situations to help you practice the language in context, with all four skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing;
- “Did you know” sections with advice and tips to help you deepen your knowledge of the language;
- 5000 questions and detailed corrections;
- Personalized feedback from our team of certified language teachers;
- Validation of the acquired competencies after every 5 simulations;
- 150 hours of unique content;
- 500 audio tracks.
Here’s Why Global General is the Best Way to Learn French or German
How hard is it to learn German? Is German or French easier to learn? Can you study both French and German at the same time? In this guide, we’ve found that there’s no black and white answer to any of these questions, and that there are many factors that can make learning a language easy-breezy or excruciatingly difficult. At GlobalExam, we are well aware of these factors and take them all into account when designing our courses. We provide a seamless user experience, with the convenience and comfort of learning from anywhere, the flexibility of a go-at-your-own-pace style course, and the dedication of certified teachers who are with you every step the way — all you need to do is sign up and start learning!
Discover just how easy and efficient learning German or French can be: sign up today for Global General!