How can I improve my German?

Hi, people!

I know this isnt the right place to ask, since its an English forum, but I know there are a few German speaking people here. So, Ive been asking myself how could I improve my German. I know about 2000 words, I dont have much problems with the grammar of a sentence. Will it be better to watch TV, read German writings or just enrich my vocabulary?
What would you advise me?

P.S. Is it just my lack of comprehension or Germans speak godly fast?
Thanks in advance

Hi Skiluck!

Well, although I?m German, from the first day of my life on until now, I, anyhow, am in the same situation. I mean, you wonder how to improve your German skills and I?m wonderring how to improve my English skills while we?re not living in an environment that uses the language we are eager to become experienced at. In that sense every of our daily behave/actions can help us. The best for us might be a visit in any country where the language, we want to learn, is spoken. If there isn?t any occassion to do that we need to use every possibility to learn/become experienced with the language.


You should do lots of listening (movies are good), lots of reading AND lots of writing. My German improved by leaps and bounds when I built my house. I suddenly had to do a lot more reading and writing than I’d ever had to do before. Because there were endless problems when my house was built, I had to write tons of faxes and email to the builder and I also asked (wrote) tons of questions in German forums (housebuilding). So all those house problems were good for my German. :wink:

As far as speaking goes, that depends entirely on the individual. But, the more listening you do, the slower the speech will begin seem. :lol:


Thanks for your respones.
Amy, reading and writing are OK, but as for the movies, I can rarely assimilate what is being said, maybe mostly due to lack of words?

Hi, SkiIucK!
My experience with German confirms that listening and generally using the language is the best way to get used to it until it starts to come to you intuitively. And this means lots of reading, perhaps listening to Deutsche Welle (if you don’t find it too boring) and speaking (if you have someone to speak with in German). Nothing you haven’t heard already…

As for the movies, you could try watching German ones with German subtitles, or get a DVD of an English/French/… film that is also dubbed in German [size=75](by the way, what’s the difference between ‘film’ and ‘movie’?)[/size] again with German subtitles. Then, you read the subtitles but also pay attention to what is said. It won’t be exactly the same because subtitles are shortened, but you’ll get used to listening and understanding. Hopefully, there’ll be some different German accents in the movie which will enable you to understand a wide variety of Germans :slight_smile: For words that you don’t understand, just hit ‘pause’ and look them up in the dictionary.

I myself am relatively good in size=75[/size] German compared to most of my classmates, but there is a lot of room for improvement, and when I have the time I do the afore-mentioned things.


Hi SkiIucK

Audio books might be helpful. You can do some pure listening practice, but you could also try doing some listening and reading at the same time. Listening comprehension gets better with practice and of course your overall knowlegde of the language plays a big part, too.

One of the reasons the speech seems so fast is that you’re probably listening for every word. Native speakers and advanced non-native speakers don’t have to hear every word spoken because they know the typical collocations and word patterns extremely well and any unheard or unclear words are simply filled in unconsciously.


I would say ‘film’ is more general whereas ‘movie’ usually describes a ‘motion picture’ that was created to be shown in cinemas.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A building with railings[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

‘Movie’ is much more common in North American English whereas ‘film’ is the normal choice in Britain.