German language resources to get you started.

author's avatartechjobmarktUpdated Mon Jun 19 2023

Introduction

Moving to a new country can be a daunting experience, especially if you don't speak the language. If you're an international professional moving to Germany, you might be wondering how to navigate the language barrier. Luckily, there are plenty of language resources available to help you learn German and communicate effectively. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most useful German language resources, including online courses, language schools, and language exchange programs to make your transition to Germany as smooth as possible.

Why Learn German?

German is one of the most widely spoken languages in the European Union and is the official language of Germany, Austria, and parts of Switzerland. Learning German can open up new opportunities for international professionals, whether you're looking to work in Germany or simply want to communicate with locals during your stay. Learning German is an important step in finding employment in Germany. Not only does it help you communicate with potential employers and colleagues, but it also allows you to integrate better into German society. Listed below are a few helpful resources:

  • Goethe-Institut:The Goethe-Institut is a globally renowned institution that promotes German language and culture. They offer German language courses online and at their language centers across Germany. Their courses are designed to meet the needs of learners at all levels, from beginners to advanced speakers. The Goethe-Institut also offers language exams for those who wish to prove their proficiency in German. You can find more information about their courses and exams on their website.
  • Deutsche Welle: Deutsche Welle is a German international broadcaster that provides news and information in multiple languages, including German. Their website includes a section called "Deutsch lernen" (Learn German) which offers free online courses, audio and video resources, and a mobile app to help you learn German. They also offer a language learning program called "Deutsch im Fokus" which is designed specifically for job seekers in Germany.
  • Babbel: Babbel is an online language learning platform that offers courses in multiple languages, including German. Their courses are designed to help you learn German in a fun and engaging way, with lessons that are tailored to your individual needs and interests. Babbel's app allows you to practice your German on the go, and their courses are available at a reasonable price.
  • Lingoda: Lingoda is an online language school that offers courses in German and other languages. Their courses are taught by qualified teachers, and they offer flexible scheduling to fit your needs. Lingoda's courses are available at a reasonable price, and they offer a free trial lesson to help you get started.
  • Tandem: Tandem is a language exchange program that connects you with native German speakers who are learning your native language. Through Tandem, you can practice your German skills with a native speaker, and in return, you can help them practice their skills in your native language. Tandem offers a free version of their app, as well as a premium version with additional features.
  • Volkshochschule: Volkshochschule is a public institution that offers courses in various subjects, including German language courses for foreigners. These courses are often taught in a classroom setting, and they provide an opportunity to practice your German with other learners. Volkshochschule courses are usually available at a lower price compared to private language schools.
  • Rosetta Stone: This is a paid language learning program that offers German courses at various levels.

If you prefer to learn in person, you can hire a private tutor. Many language schools offer private lessons, or you can find a tutor through websites like:

  • Superprof
  • Preply

Private lessons allow you to learn at your own pace and focus on the areas where you need the most help

In addition to these resources, there are also many language exchange groups and meet-ups available in Germany.

These groups provide an opportunity to practice your German with other learners and native speakers in a social setting. You can find language exchange groups on websites such as Meetup (a social networking site that allows users to find and join groups based on common interests, including language exchange groups) and Facebook.

Here are some groups on Facebook and Meetup that could be helpful for foreign job seekers in Germany:

Facebook:

  • Expats in Germany
  • Foreigners in Germany
  • German Language Learners
  • Deutsch lernen - Learn German
  • Job Seekers in Germany
  • Professional Women's Network Germany
  • erlin English Speaking Expats
  • Munich International Friends

Meetup:

  • Munich International Women
  • Frankfurt International Friends
  • Berlin New and Not So New in Town Meetup
  • Cologne Language Exchange Meetup
  • Hamburg New in Town Meetup
  • Stuttgart New Friends Meetup

These groups can provide a great opportunity to network with other expats, practice German language skills, and learn more about job opportunities in Germany.

Common German Phrases

  • Learning some basic German phrases can make a big difference in your day-to-day life in Germany. Here are some common phrases to get you started:
  • Hallo (Hello)
  • Guten Morgen/Tag/Abend (Good morning/afternoon/evening)
  • Wie geht es Ihnen? (How are you?)
  • Mir geht es gut, danke. (I'm doing well, thank you.)
  • Ich spreche kein Deutsch. (I don't speak German.)
  • Können Sie bitte langsamer sprechen? (Can you please speak more slowly?)
  • Entschuldigung (Excuse me/sorry)
  • Ich hätte gerne... (I would like...)
  • Wo ist...? (Where is...?)
  • Wie viel kostet das? (How much does that cost?)
  • Auf Wiedersehen (Goodbye)
  • Danke (Thank you)
  • Bitte (Please/you're welcome)
  • Ja/Nein (Yes/no)
  • Ich verstehe nicht. (I don't understand.)
  • Wie heißt du? (What's your name?)
  • Mein Name ist... (My name is...)
  • Woher kommst du? (Where are you from?)
  • Ich komme aus... (I'm from...)
  • Prost! (Cheers!)

German greetings for specific situations:

Meeting someone for the first time:

  • "Hallo, ich bin [Your Name]." - Hello, I am [Your Name].
  • "Schön, Sie kennenzulernen." - Nice to meet you.
  • Formal business meeting:
  • "Guten Tag, meine Damen und Herren." - Good day, ladies and gentlemen.
  • "Ich freue mich, Sie alle hier zu sehen." - I'm pleased to see you all here.
  • Entering a meeting or office:
  • "Guten Morgen/Tag." - Good morning/day.
  • "Entschuldigen Sie bitte die Störung." - Excuse me for the interruption.

Answering the phone:

  • "Firma [Your Company], [Your Name] am Apparat." - [Your Company], [Your Name] speaking.
  • "Guten Tag, [Your Name]." - Good day, [Your Name].
  • Leaving the workplace:
  • "Auf Wiedersehen, bis morgen." - Goodbye, see you tomorrow.
  • "Schönen Feierabend." - Have a nice evening.
  • Congratulations or special occasions:
  • "Herzlichen Glückwunsch!" - Congratulations!
  • "Alles Gute zum Geburtstag." - Happy birthday.
  • Sending emails:
  • "Sehr geehrte(r) [Last Name]," - Dear [Last Name],
  • "Mit freundlichen Grüßen" - Kind regards.
  • Casual greetings among colleagues:
  • "Hallo, wie geht es Ihnen?" - Hello, how are you?
  • "Guten Morgen, schon fleißig am Arbeiten?" - Good morning, already hard at work?
  • emember to adapt your greetings based on the context and the level of formality in your workplace. Being polite and respectful is always a good practice, regardless of the situation.

If you are a foreign job seeker in Germany, learning German can greatly improve your job prospects and help you integrate into German society. With a variety of resources available, it's never too late to start learning!

Preparing for the German B1 exam:

The German B1 exam is an intermediate level language proficiency test that assesses your ability to communicate in German in everyday situations. It is a widely recognized qualification for people who want to study, work or live in German-speaking countries. If you are planning to take the B1 exam, there are several things you can do to prepare yourself and increase your chances of passing. Familiarise Yourself with the Exam Format The first step to preparing for the B1 exam is to become familiar with the exam format. The B1 exam consists of four parts: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The reading and listening sections test your comprehension skills, while the writing and speaking sections assess your ability to produce German sentences and express your ideas in German. Build Your Vocabulary and Grammar Skills One of the most important aspects of language proficiency is vocabulary and grammar. It is essential to build a solid foundation of German vocabulary and grammar to perform well on the B1 exam. You can do this by taking a German course, practicing with textbooks or workbooks, and using language learning apps and websites.

Podcasts:

  • Slow German: https://slowgerman.com/
  • Coffee Break German: https://radiolingua.com/coffeebreakgerman/
  • GermanPod101: https://www.germanpod101.com/
  • LearnOutLive German: https://learnoutlive.com/category/german/

Movies and TV shows:

  • Deutsche Welle's "Jojo sucht das Glück" series: https://www.dw.com/en/learn-german/jojosucheengl%C3%A4nder/s-32636
  • ARD Mediathek: https://www.ardmediathek.de/ard/
  • ZDF Mediathek: https://www.zdf.de/

Practice Your Listening Skills

The listening section of the B1 exam can be challenging for many candidates. To improve your listening skills, listen to German podcasts, watch German movies or TV shows with subtitles, and practice listening to German speakers in everyday situations.

Improve Your Writing Skills

The writing section of the B1 exam requires you to write a short letter or email in German. To prepare for this, practice writing in German on a regular basis. You can also practice writing formal letters and emails, as these are common in business and academic settings.

Speak German as Much as Possible

The speaking section of the B1 exam assesses your ability to communicate in German in everyday situations. To prepare for this, speak German as much as possible. Practice speaking with native German speakers or with other learners of German, and try to use new vocabulary and grammar structures in your conversations.

Take Practice Tests

Taking practice tests is an excellent way to prepare for the B1 exam. There are many online resources that offer B1 practice tests, including sample questions and mock exams. These practice tests can help you become familiar with the exam format and identify areas where you need to improve.

Practice tests:

  • Goethe-Institut sample exams: https://www.goethe.de/en/spr/kup/prf/prf/gb1/ueb.html
  • Exam.net sample tests: https://www.exam.net/de-DE/Account/Login

It's important to note that while these resources can be helpful, it's also recommended to enroll in a formal language course and study with a certified language teacher to fully prepare for the exam. Good luck with your studies!