Learning how to speak German

What’s the best/quickest way to learn how to speak German?

Take classes at the local community college. Immerse yourself in the language. Speak German as much as possible. Do not rely solely on books or language tapes–you will never achieve fluency with those.

Good luck on learning the genders, plurals, and adjective endings.

Get a German girlfriend/boyfriend. Nothing beats a horizontal dictionary. :smiley:

German isn’t really very hard to learn. It’s a lot like English. I don’t know how I would have learned any at all without taking classes in it, though. Even now, since I’ve been out of college, I’ve forgotten at least half of what I learned.

My advice is to take a class at a local community college or adult education center, and to find some people who speak German so you can practice. Barring actual classes, you could get a high school level German I text book, but you might never learn how to really pronounce the words without oral input.

I wonder if the “learn while you sleep” audio tapes ever work.

Life is too short to learn to speak German.
/Have listened to it for 16 years and I still have a vocabulary of drunk, retarded traveler.

//not my fault.

I’ll back up the statement that German is “Easy” to learn.
No language is a snap, but it is very simliar to English. Which is a good and bad thing.
It is good because there are many words that are similar that you can figure out and remember easily, like the alphabet and numbers, But it gets a little weird around saying “the” in german. Both languages have their foibles but its still a good language to learn. Good luck.

I’m going to be the voice of dissent with this “easy” business.

I don’t think German is that easy–like I said before, you have the three genders, the weird plurals, plus all of those cases that mess everything up. There don’t seem to be hard and fast rules for genders and plurals like there are in French (and other languages, I’m sure). Also, the sentence construction is bizarre.

Not that I’m trying to discourage you or anything. I just don’t think you’ll be able to breeze through German.

You stole mine. I was going to tell remisser to fall passionately, deeply, madly in love with a German of the appropriate gender. If said German doesn’t speak English, all the better. I would probably have retained more of my high school German that way.

Oh, I should probably add that I didn’t find any difficulty at all in learning German.

There are 4 cases, 3 genders, 6 conjugations, several verb tenses, a whole slew of irregular verbs, odd sentence construction, and several dozen false friends (the same word in each language with different meanings, e.g. “Gift” is “poison”, “Mist” is “manure”, “absolvieren” is “to finish a test”), but I didn’t think it was too bad.

This makes me glad I only had to learn Korean. :eek:

The best way is to move to some area of Germany that does not have a lot of people who speak English.

However, if I read your post correctly, you live in Massachusetts? If so, my guess is that you are not all that far from some university. Call the language departement at the local university and ask if there are any German students who would like to give German lessons. Most students don’t have a lot of money, especially foreign students on a scholarship - so I can imagine you won’t have a problem finding one to meet with a few times a week.

This is much better as you will get the correct pronunciations and you will have a real person to speak with. You will still need some kind of textbook, but that can be decided after your teacher/tutor figures out your level.