We all know the drill. You’ve diligently learnt some basic German.
Apps, Podcasts, You Tube and such are great but it’s all just theory and learning. Applying what you have learned and talking in a non-simulated conversation with the natives is a complete different ball game.
How to learn German fast? Curb your self-consciousness and get speaking!
You approach a service employee at the supermarket, town hall, restaurant, train station, hotel, bank or hundreds of other conceivable places to ask them a question which you have practised 10 times over before leaving your home.
And then after you’ve finished speaking, probably nervous and shaking, they calmly respond with the answer in English.
Or worse still, they frown, shrug and rudely ask you to repeat what you have just said, possibly because your accent is so thick that they can’t decipher what you are trying to say.
So how to learn German fast? What can you do to get out of the fear of speaking German?
Well, first of all, ask yourself the first question:
Are all your friends foreigners?
Now, I empathise with this one to a large extent.
Most of the Germans I have befriended tend to have been through work, or contacts through expat networks & meet-ups, or dates who went on to become good friends.
There is certainly a good deal of truth in the stereotype that Germans can often be tough to befriend until you get to know them, and it often takes time and effort to penetrate their close social circle of friends.
The German workplace culture is one example of evidence of this. Germans tend to see chit-chat as being superficial and false. It’s not them being rude. They just have smaller circles of closer friends, and it takes time before they drop their guard and open up to you.
So if you want to have conversations with native speakers in a non-simulated environment to overcome your fear of speaking German and improve your spoken language skills, what to do?
Use italki to practice with native speakers through Skype
If you’re looking for a less self-conscious option of how to learn German fast, then an online tutoring service is a fantastic option. The biggest and most well-known is italki.
Italki connects you with both professional teachers and online conversation partners, whom you can book through their platform and then schedule lessons with via Skype.
This video I put together on the LWG YouTube channel explains in more detail how it works and walks you through some hacks for using the platform.