So you’re doing everything you can to learn German. Right? You’re taking a class, watching German programmes and YouTube videos, reading newspapers, etc. But what more can you do to improve your practical vocabulary?
Even after exposing myself to as much German as possible, my vocabulary remained deficient. I could not narrow down and focus on the most important words to me. The best German language course with the best results is the best choice if you wish to speak German fluently.
Even though I was utilising German language phone applications, I discovered that they weren’t always customised to expose me to vocabulary that I needed daily. These suggestions can assist you in expanding your fundamental German language by finding novel methods to learn German terms that are relevant to you. Get a portable and accessible copy of this blog article.
6 Innovative Study Techniques for Improving Your German Vocabulary
- Create a Vocabulary Book
While a standard dictionary is crucial for long-term fluency, creating your vocabulary book as you encounter new terms may be quite beneficial. When you can actively interact with new terminology, your brain becomes more acquainted with it. What is the best way to engage with words?
Through detecting unknown words, accurately writing them down, and defining them. Find a tiny, portable notepad that you may bring with you to write down any strange words.
It’s entirely up to you whether you define them at the moment or check them up later—the point of creating your vocabulary book is to get yourself in the habit of being proactive about learning new terms.
If you don’t have a tiny notepad available, another intelligent approach is to use an existing German dictionary and underline terms you’ve looked up; if you look up the same word twice, you’ll notice that this is a word you should pay more attention to.
Another excellent piece of advice for this strategy is to define the term using another German word. This may be beneficial for extending your vocabulary since it allows you to become acquainted with synonyms and practise creating connections between related terms. Don’t bother about arranging words alphabetically—you have a dictionary for that!
If a noun or plural form has an umlaut or has a distinctive shape, always mention the article’s gender.
- Communicate with Yourself in German
This is a less typical strategy, but it can help you determine what terms you’d usually use in conversation that you don’t already know. It’s a terrific approach to highlight practical assignments you may not have learnt yet and should now focus on. I recommend doing this in private, so you don’t feel self-conscious about your blunders in front of others, but if that’s not an issue for you, then go for it!
Choose a topic that you’d ordinarily talk about—it may be anything from how your day went to an imagined exchange between you and a German speaker. Then, speaking aloud in German, figure out the words you lack to communicate the correct message.
Begin by utilising sentences that you are confident are correct. They might be straightforward, such as self-introduction lines. This easy activity helps your brain transition into German mode. After the short phrases, consider something you’d like to discuss that is more complex—perhaps your future ambitions or something you’ve done in the past to practise different tenses.
Talking about how you feel about various things is another fantastic place to start. There are many vocabulary terms for describing sentiments that may add depth to a conversation.
Extra Tip: Before meeting with a tandem partner, this strategy might be more effective than just winging it. This is because it trains you to think in German rather than English. You may also ask your companion if the terms you’re using are correct, and then you can start expanding your vocabulary from there!
- Go through the German Wikipedia Pages
Getting your hands on any published material, from German children’s books to German newspapers, can help you expand your vocabulary. Take a look at German Wikipedia pages as an alternative to traditional reading material.
If you’re anything like me, you could frequently explore the internet and fall into what I term a “Wikipedia Hole.”
Why not utilise trivia to help you stay interested in studying German? I’ve discovered that I’m frequently reading about celebrity lifestyles, future movies, and art—many of which have a German equivalent to the English wiki page.
Articles on German people, places, events, and things will frequently have more information on the German language pages than any other, so you’ll be gaining a wealth of essential cultural knowledge you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.
There is a wealth of German vocabulary (and grammar) on just about any topic on Wikipedia, even if it is not always factually accurate.
You may learn new vocabulary phrases related to your hobbies since you can choose exactly what you want to read about. Interesting in the language you’re studying is essential for becoming proficient, so keep yourself motivated by reading exciting websites!
- Label Items (Mentally or Physically)
Naming items in your surroundings mentally is a valuable practice whether you’re on a train, in your car, in a park, or even in your room. (Or even physically, but this should preferably be done in your room rather than in public places.) You may outsource label-making for the most important German terms by purchasing a Vocabulary Stickers kit, which contains well over 100 words to place on objects you use and see every day in your home and business.)
Consider the English name of the thing, then the German word for it. This improves your brain’s ability to recall and detect variations in language. If you’re a trilingual or polyglot studying German, try doing the same in all the languages you know—it might be tricky!
You’ll primarily be identifying nouns, so this is an excellent task to help you remember the article genders of each word. You may, however, name verbs when you see or hear them being done. This task assists in identifying straightforward actions or comments that you may not have learnt yet. It is always preferable to grasp the fundamentals first to master anything more difficult later.
- Learn through Drawing
Drawing as you study is another enjoyable and helpful approach to acquiring tricky vocabulary terms that appear to be tougher to recall for all the painters and stick-figure experts attempting to learn German.
When you have a vocabulary word in mind that you want to know, prepare an index card and try to draw a picture of the word instead of putting the English term on the back. By practising this, you do not have to write anything in English.
Therefore, you are not necessarily translating English to German. Instead, you identify an image and associate the correct notion with the proper German phrase.
One typical mistake in language learning is immediately translating words from German to English, which does not always work because words in various languages might have distinct connotations and meanings. Knowing a concept rather than a loosely translated term will help you comprehend new vocabulary words more appropriately, which can help you communicate and convey the right ideas. I’
- Read German Comic Books
If you need to learn a foreign language, reading a comic book may be a better alternative than reading any professional writing. Even if you have an intermediate level of German, reading children’s and young adult fiction novels can be a challenging method to maintain your vocabulary.
However, comic books usually generate excitement with their vivid, splashy imagery, and they may also provide you hints as to what particular words may represent through illustrations.
On top of the original lines, they’ll provide you with extra context hints in the form of visuals and phonetically-written sound effects to assist you in learning new words.
Furthermore, comic books are frequently filled with slang, idioms, phrases, and comedy, making studying light and fun while still being functional. Several websites on the internet translate a wide range of comics into German. Wie Manga is a good website for manga lovers that contains a comprehensive collection of popular Japanese manga translated into German.