How I Learn German

Let’s face it, language learning typically leads to so much terminology it’s ridiculous. Practically need a dictionary at hand just to know what the damn words are, in order to learn what the damn words are. When someone gives you an explanation as to how to say something it’s often met with a ton of gibberish with which not everyone is so familiar. While I do partake in some of the aforementioned gibberish, I also enjoy somewhat of an abstract way of understanding, or just… similar to how a kid understands a language. When we’re young, we don’t have people shoving fancy grammatical terminology down our throats, we just endeavor to understand that something is, rather than why it is. As adults, we get somewhat obsessed with the why, because I guess we’re creatures of contrast and sometimes we need to know why something is different to accept it, or maybe that’s just me.

Do you learn best when you quit trying to shovel those words down your throat along with the already-extensive vocabulary that a language learner typically learns? Or do those fancy words become a necessity in order for you to properly learn?

With German, there are some things that no amount of terminology seems to teach me, and that I only understand after countless times of seeing it used in different contexts, because that’s how we learned as a kid, right?! When mom ‘n’ pops say “No!” to you grabbing that bigass slice of cake, you sort of ascertain that it means the yummy cake is a no-go. Perhaps not at first, perhaps it just becomes a scary sound mixed with obvious unamused body language, but after a while, there’s a link between the situation and that word; an association.

I sometimes find I learn better when I ‘wing it’, rather than constantly ramming my head so far into a book I end up recreating the Never Ending Story, only it’s the Never Ending Book of German! Why? You might ask. Because, I may answer, I’m often creating associations between words which typically have some sort of meaning to me, be it someone giving me some sad and memorable news, or something funny happening in a game that has a link to a certain new word I might come across. This, at least for me, has far more of an impact than simply rattling off words from a dictionary that have no real meaning at that given moment. When you have touch, smell, sight, taste, and hearing linked to words, it, as far as I know, has been proven to improve the chances of you remembering things; this is why it’s common for people with amnesia to use these senses as much as possible in order to hopefully once again remember that which was forgotten.

Just some things for you to chew over.

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