1. Home
  2. German
  3. Introduction

It's never too late to learn a new language! Perhaps you want to know German for business purposes, or you want to travel in the German-speaking countries. Maybe you have a keen interest in German literature and no longer want to read translations. Or maybe you're interested in Germany itself because Grandpa Schmidt came from Bavaria eighty years ago and you just have to know more about his hometown and your family history.

No matter what your goal is in learning German, right now is the right time to start, and The Everything® Learning German Book, 2nd Edition gives you want you need to know. With a lot of enthusiasm and a little self-discipline, you can soon be on your way to acquiring the skills you need to speak and understand German.

German and English are brother and sister languages. At an early age they became separated and were brought up in different locations: the brother on the continent, the sister in England. This relationship makes learning German relatively comfortable for English speakers, because there are many words and elements in both languages that are still quite similar.

If you look at just a few words in the two languages, you'll see the close relationship between them very clearly:

gut (good) Mutter (mother) habe (have)
mein (mine) Lampe (lamp) Papier (paper)

The word language comes from the Latin lingua, which means “tongue.” That's an important fact. Articulating utterances by moving the tongue inside the mouth creates the sounds that we call language. Language is, therefore, fundamentally a spoken form. And when you use this book, you should discipline yourself to practice everything you learn out loud. Just “thinking” a new phrase or writing it down isn't enough. You have to practice speaking German to learn German well. You'll find the CD that accompanies this book helpful, as it allows you to hear words and phrases pronounced correctly, which you can imitate and practice.

The contents of each chapter will guide you smoothly to understanding new structures and words. They are designed like building blocks. Understanding Concept A will help you learn Concept B. Understanding Concept B will help you learn Concept C, and so on. And you can move from idea to idea as slowly or as rapidly as is comfortable for you. The choice of a timetable for acquiring your German skills is yours.

If this is your first attempt at learning a foreign language, you will probably be surprised at just how simple the process is. If you know other foreign languages, you will discover that The Everything® Learning German Book is an efficient vehicle for developing your next language—German.

With new language skills, you open up many new avenues for yourself. The number of books available to you will be vastly increased. You'll have access to a wider range of magazines and newspapers and, thereby, to new points of view. There will be more movies and theater productions to enjoy. And you will no longer be limited to meeting and getting to know only people who speak English. It will truly help to make you what the Germans call ein Weltbürger—a citizen of the world.

However you approach this learning experience, enjoy yourself. Experiment with words. Be creative with what you know. As long as you are consistent and enthusiastic, you will succeed. Have fun! Viel Spaß!

  1. Home
  2. German
  3. Introduction
Visit other About.com sites: