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German is a beautiful, important and challenging language, but fluency is definitely within your reach if you go about learning it in an efficient and intelligent way.
Many people think they don’t have the time, money or dedication to learn a second language—especially a grammatically challenging language like German—but there are so many ways to avoid breaking the bank and reach fluency faster than ever before!
Just by learning German through the intelligent use of these hand-picked online resources instead of paying for courses at a college or language school, you’ll save yourself literally thousands of dollars and also create the system that works best for you.
Ultimately, one of the biggest drawbacks to language study programs at schools is that they have to be a “one size fits all” method to help the most students.
This is a great way for many people to learn languages, but with these online resources you’ll sidestep the things that don’t help you learn and be speaking German sooner than you thought possible!
Below I’ve listed some great resources to help you get started on your self-taught language journey. They’re not arranged in any particular order, so make sure to check them all out and find which ones work best for you!
HelloTalk is a fantastic language partner application that puts the world in the palm of your hand—literally!
Within minutes, you could be talking to native German speakers that will correct your German, help you learn in context and maybe even become your friends!
Establishing real, connected memories is half the battle in language learning, so why not start by making a new German friend?
The only payment necessary is that you share knowledge of your native language with the people you encounter in return. Not bad, right?
If you’ve been learning German for a while, you probably have previously stumbled upon some of GermanPod101’s widely-known daily podcasts or YouTube videos.
While doing dishes, slicing potatoes or driving to work, plug in your headphones and pick up an audio or video lesson from the whopping 1,400+ available at GermanPod101.
GermanPod101 shares only the finest German learning content on the internet. There you can find a variety of culturally relevant, fun and informational lessons.
Why settle for boring whiteboard, caveman-level lessons when you have free access to this up-to-date, fun and easy-to-understand German learning resource?
I don’t know if I’m the only one who has spent hours going from website to website trying to find just one or two helpful German sites.
If you’ve done the same thing, you know how good it feels to find a site where you actually have good learning materials. Deutsch-Lernen is definitely one of those “Aha!” moments because it has material that is actually helpful for learning, testing and exploring German.
You get access to free beginner and advanced courses as well as to tests that will assess your German level. No more wondering if you’re beginner, intermediate or advanced!
Each lesson has useful exercises for learners of all level that will help push your German studies to the next level.
FluentU is probably the closest thing you can get to moving to Germany without ever leaving your couch.
On FluentU, you’ll find a collection of well-chosen, authentic content that will give you everything you need to advance to the next level.
There is a giant collection of videos, audio and other learning material in tons of different languages, so it’s the perfect place to go and jumpstart your German learning journey!
Not convinced? Then take advantage of their 15-day free trial and see for yourself. You’re going to love it.
If you’re looking for a one stop shop for everything you need to reach fluency from zero, Babbel would be a good place to start your search.
With the use of interactive conversations with the conversation bot, you can easily practice any new material at your own pace.
Essentially, Babbel does all the difficult leg work for you so you can take advantage of your lunch break to learn German without having to look at textbooks, boring grammar exercises or verb charts.
You can start learning German as it’s actually spoken and skip the difficult class work that you would inevitably run into in any university course.
Whenever people tell me that they cannot learn a language because they don’t know anybody who speaks it, I always tell them about italki.
This is a website where you can hire language tutors that will connect with you over the internet to teach you their mother tongue.
Not only can you find a teacher that you like, but you can find one that doesn’t empty your wallet either.
There are hundreds of options for German teachers on the site, most of whom offer a discounted trial lesson so you can “shop around” before settling on a teacher.
If you’re trying to avoid paying to connect with a formal teacher, you can always just find a language partner and use italki’s messaging system to practice with each other and connect over Skype to practice your speaking ability.
With italki, you never have to worry about finding someone to talk to in German.
7. Deutsche Welle
Deutsche Welle, a public broadcasting network in Germany, has actually developed a German course that is available completely free on their website.
This website is perfect for people of all levels who are looking for a different perspective on learning German.
By selecting your level at the link above, you can get material that is tailored for your level that will help you target the areas in German that you’ll most likely struggle with at each level.
What better way to start learning German than with an authentic German news station?
Whenever people tell me that they’re going to start studying German, I get excited about the prospect of having another German speaker in the world.
The German language is rich both culturally and linguistically and offers a genuinely interesting challenge for those who study it.
Hopefully, after seeing the plethora of available online sources, you’re convinced that learning German without enrolling in courses at a language school is definitely possible.
Using just the seven resources above you could reach fluency, but part of the fun of learning a language is experiencing the culture that comes with it.
So get out there, study German and find more websites. Give yourself the opportunity to grow linguistically and culturally that you would never get in a classroom.
Author: Yassir Sahnoun is a content strategist, writer, polyglot and co-founder of WriteWorldwide.
Learn all the German New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join GermanPod101 for a special German New Year celebration!
Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.
So, how do you say Happy New Year in German? Let a native teach you! At GermanPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these German New Year wishes!
Silvester is the German word for the last day of the year, in other words, December 31. The name “Silvester” dates back to Pope Silvester I, who died in Rome on the last day of the year – the 355th day.
What purpose did fireworks in Germany serve originally?
If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep reading!
On December 31, shops are open till 2 pm. Those with jobs need to work, while others finish their shopping before noon for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, known as Neujahr, for the following celebrations. Some pass the time with parlor games and in the evening, they eat raclette or fondue together.
In the last days of the year, people wish each other a “good start for the New Year” which is known as Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr, and literally translates to “a good Head-Start into the new year.” At big public places such as the Brandenburg Gate or Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, many people celebrate the change of the year together. Church bells ring on New Year at midnight, and many people watch New Years Eve fireworks, which are called Neujahrsfeuerwerk. Others set off fireworks themselves, including rockets or firecrackers, or welcome the New Year with sparklers.
At midnight, most people clink glasses filled with champagne and wish each other a “Happy New Year” or Frohes neues Jahr in German. Some dress up and go to a New Year’s party and celebrate in high spirits until the early morning. Others celebrate quietly at home or watch the British comedy sketch Dinner for One on television, which has traditionally been broadcast since 1963.
On Silvester afternoon, people entertain themselves with the old fortune-telling custom of lead-pouring; to get one’s horoscope for the new year, lead is melted with a candle and poured into cold water. The lead hardens into a shape that is interpreted to have a certain meaning.
Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-
What purpose did fireworks in Germany serve originally?
The old Germans, who lived in the fourth and sixth century BC, expelled evil spirits with fire and noise. This tradition is a forerunner to today’s Silvester fireworks displays.
Happy New Year!
Frohes Neues Jahr!
2. Must-Know German Words & Phrases for the New Year!
This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in German could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?
The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!
3- New Year’s Day
In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.
A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.
Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.
Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.
These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.
German Holiday Words with Alisa – New Year's Day - YouTube
This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!
9- New Year’s Holiday
In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.
In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
11- New Year’s Eve
This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?
Learn German Holidays - New Year's Eve - YouTube
A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!
Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!
New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At GermanPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what German New Year celebrations are like!
3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions
So, you learned the German word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at GermanPod101 - what are yours?
Learn these phrases and impress your German friends with your vocabulary.
1- Read more
Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more German in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your German language skills!
2- Spend more time with family
Mehr Zeit mit der Familie verbringen.
Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.
3- Lose weight
Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!
4- Save money
Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to GermanPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!
5- Quit smoking
Mit dem Rauchen aufhören.
This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.
6- Learn something new
Etwas Neues lernen.
Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!
7- Drink less
This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!
8- Exercise regularly
Regelmäßig Sport treiben.
This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.
9- Eat healthy
Mich gesund ernähren.
If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!
10- Study German with GermanPod101
Deutsch lernen mit GermanPod101.com
Of course! You can only benefit from learning German, especially with us! Learning how to speak German can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. GermanPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.
4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.
Make decorative notes of these in German, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read German incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!
5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
Still undecided whether you should enroll with GermanPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.
As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in German could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in German - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.
6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages - YouTube
Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with German - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.
7. Why Enrolling with GermanPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!
If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn German! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that GermanPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!
Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning German at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with German that makes sense!
Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!