German Language Blog

How To Learn German In 2017 Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Language

Frohes neues Jahr wünsche ich euch! (I wish you a happy new year!) It is that time of the year again. At the beginning of January, we make gute Vorsätze für das neue Jahr (resolutions for the new year). We want to lose weight, do more sports, maybe finally go to this place we always wanted to go, or maybe learn a new language! If you want to start learning German, look no further! With these posts, you will sure have a good start!

Often, we have gute Vorsätze, and we keep up for about a week or two, and then we drop them. Often because we just don’t know how to start well, what goals we want to set ourselves, and we just get lost, make excuses and stop. So, if you want to start learning German, here are some tips and posts that can help you.

1. Learning should be fun!

Nobody wants to do something that’s not fun. So learn German in a way that you find fun. Whether that’s a German short story, learning about German sayings and expressions or by quizzing yourself. Or maybe you like the traditional way of just going with basics first! We have it all here on our blog!

2. Find the best way for you to learn German

Even if you find a topic you like, finding the best way to learn the language for you is just as important. You could use flashcards, watch videos and listen to German, or listen to songs translated and sung in German in our series Übersetzgesungen… There are plenty of possibilities!

3. Surround yourself with German

Image by Will Palmer at under license CC BY 2.0.

One excuse you may have to learning German is: “I don’t know Germans! I don’t speak German on a regular basis, and so there is no point in learning the language, and I won’t be able to keep it up.”

But: That is not true. You can surround yourself with German, which will stimulate your brain with German all the time. Some examples: Set the language of your devices and programs to German, hang up posters and pictures at home of German places, with German words on them, label items in your home with post-its that contain the German word for it, find a German friend to talk to, or a tutor at Transparent Language. Find a German pen friend, watch German movies or start watching in German where you can, read German books… Endless possibilities!

This will work best if you really immerse yourself in the language, and cut off contact in any other language. Of course, that is not possible in a normal daily life, so just maximize the amount of German in your life.

4. Challenge yourself and set a goal!

An important part of staying at it is to set goals of where you want to be when. Give yourself a difficult goal to reach, for example: I want to watch German news and understand every word. Or: I want to go and visit Germany and have fluent conversations. To reach those goals, set smaller ones that lead there. One way to do that is through courses offered by Transparent Language. You can try them for free!

Also, keep challenging yourself. If something gets too easy, make it harder, add more difficult words. Also, dive into the areas that you are not as good at, and challenge yourself until you become better – hard work pays off, and remember: Übung macht den Meister! (Practice makes perfect).

Do you have New Year’s resolutions related to learning a new language or improving one? Do you want to learn German, maybe? What are your plans to do so? Share your experiences and ideas below in the comments!




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About the Author: Sten

Hi! I am Sten, both Dutch and German. For many years, I've written for the German and the Dutch blogs with a passion for everything related to language and culture. It's fascinating to reflect on my own culture, and in the process allow our readers to learn more about it! Besides blogging, I am a German-Dutch-English translator, animator and filmmaker.


  1. Alexis:

    I got the Everything German book for Christmas and I really like it, the audio CD really comes in handy, and I’m sure this site will as well, though, I do have some trouble with pronouncing words as I read them out loud, my mind automatically has all the letters make the sound that that particular letter makes in English. Any tips to help with remembering all the sounds the letters make?

    • Sten:

      @Alexis Yes – try focusing on the sound, not the letter. And then write the sound as you would write it in English. So just write the words wrong and read them. Then your pronunciation should be better. You can then do an exercise to learn how to write those sounds in German. Always try to source from the languages you already know – makes it easier for yourself! 😉

      I’ll write a post about this, too.

      • Alexis:

        @Sten Thank you! I will definitely do this, I’m sure it will help me out a lot!