If you are constantly FORGETTING German words, DO THIS!

If you are constantly FORGETTING German words, DO THIS!

if you are constantly FORGETTING German words, DO THIS!

VANESSA
Ich vergesse immer deutsche Wörter.
(I always forget the German words.)

DENISA
Wie lernst du denn?
(How are you learning?)

VANESSA
Ich schreibe Vokabeln auf und lerne sie auswendig.
(I write down the vocabulary and learn them by heart.)

DENISA
Das ist der Fehler. Ich gebe dir mal ein paar Tipps.
(That’s the mistake. I’ll give you some tips.)

Hallo und willkommen bei Spring German. Ich bin Denisa. In this video, I will tell you why you keep forgetting German words and how you can learn them efficiently. Ready? Los geht’s!

1. Du lernst Wörter in Isolation (you learn words in isolation)

One of the reasons why you forget words is because you’re trying to learn them isolated. That way, the brain has a hard time retaining the isolated information.

The best way to overcome this is learning by chunks. Remember this part from the dialogue before:

VANESSA
Ich schreibe Vokabeln auf und lerne sie auswendig.
(I write down the vocabulary and learn them by heart.)

Chunk alert!

“Ich lerne sie auswendig” (I learn them by heart) means “I learn them by heart”. It’s a word combination that native German speakers use all the time.

Chunks can help speed up your learning process, because you don’t have to come up with your own way to say things. Use chunks, so you don’t have to try to remember that one word in the middle of a conversation. There’s a link to our Essential German Chunking Kit in the description below.

Zum Beispiel (for example):

Ich lerne sie auswendig (I learn them by heart) is a sentence you learn by heart, but you don’t learn the vocabulary behind it separately, and you don’t need to remember how to conjugate it all.

But to learn them auswendig (by heart) shouldn’t be your way to go. If you learn the vocabulary in a context, for example with chunks, you will learn them easier. But how exactly can you do that? One way is our free essential German chunking kit. But there are of course other possibilities, which I will introduce to you now.

2. Du nutzt die Wörter nicht regelmäßig (You don’t use the words regularly)

Another important reason why you forget words, is because you learn them with the wrong method. Doing brute force and repeating a word over and over again does not get you anywhere. That way, you will not use them regularly in real life.

VANESSA
Was schlägst du vor?
(What are you suggesting?)

DENISA
Das Wichtige ist, die Wörter oft zu hören.
(The important thing is hearing the words a lot of times.)

VANESSA
Aber wie denn? Ich lebe nicht in Deutschland.
(But how? I don’t live in Germany.)

DENISA
Da gibt es viele Möglichkeiten. Du kannst zum Beispiel Lieder und Filme auf Deutsch hören.
(There are a lot of possibilities. You can, for example, listen to German songs and movies.)

When you hear a word over and over again, it starts to stick, even without you actively learning it. That’s why we include the dialogues in our videos. With them, you can practice your listening skills, too.

Try to learn words and phrases in context rather than just memorizing individual words. Read German texts, watch German movies or TV shows, or listen to German podcasts.

VANESSA
Aber dann kann ich ja nur verstehen. Ich will auch Deutsch sprechen können.
(But then I can only understand it. I also want to be able to speak German.)

DENISA
Natürlich musst du das auch üben, zum Beispiel durch Apps oder Online-Freunde.
(Of course, you have to practice, too, for example, through apps or online friends.)

Und das Wichtigste (and the most important): Use the words! Try to include them in your daily or weekly routine.

Other ways to do this:

  • Du kannst einen Text auf Deutsch schreiben. (You can write a text in German.)
  • Lerne ein Lied oder ein Gedicht, das dieses Wort enthält. (Learn a song or a poem that contains this word.)
  • Rede mit Muttersprachlern. (Talk to native speakers.)
  • Erkenne Zusammenhänge. (make associations): Try to associate new words with things you already know. For example, if you’re learning the word Hund (dog), you can associate it with your own dog or a dog you know.

The more you are using a word naturally, the better it will be retained by your brain. That’s why practice is so important.

You will find more tips to learn German efficiently in this video right here.

At the end of this video, I give you a chunk that Germans use too if they can’t come up with a word, so stay tuned.

3. Du lernst zu viele Wörter gleichzeitig (You’re learning too many words at once)

VANESSA
Okay. Ich habe mir jetzt drei Seiten Vokabeln aufgeschrieben. Die lerne ich jetzt einfach.
(Okay. I just wrote down 3 pages of vocabulary. I’ll just learn them now.)

DENISA
Nein, nein. Das ist zu viel. Du kannst dich mit Freunden treffen, aber übe mit ihnen die selben fünf Chunks eine Woche lang.
(No, no. That is too much. You can meet with friends, but practice with them the same 5 chunks for a week.)

The problem is learning 100 new words every single day instead of repeating a lower number. If you learn too many chunks or word combinations at once, it will be overwhelming, für dich und dein Gehirn (for you and your brain). Ich empfehle (I suggest) 5 chunks or phrases at once.

Maybe you noticed a chunk being repeated in your favorite German series? Then you use it with your German friends, write a poem with it, or what ever feels good for you. Sei kreativ (be creative).

As soon as you feel good with the first five, for example, practice the next ones. Stress dich nicht. Sprachen lernen braucht Zeit. (Don’t stress yourself. Learning languages takes time.)

4. A useful chunk when you can’t remember a word

VANESSA
Gibst du mir das mal?
(Can you give that to me?)

DENISA
Was?
(What?)

VANESSA
Das Ding da. Wie heißt es?
(The thing there. How’s it called?)

DENISA
Welche Farbe hat es?
(Which color is it?)

VANESSA
Schwarz.
(Black.)

DENISA
Ah. Die Fernbedienung. Hier.
(Ah, the TV control. Here.)

Sometimes even I and many other native German speakers can’t remember words in our own language. Hier ist ein Chunk, den die Muttersprachler jeden Tag benutzen. (Here is a chunk that native speakers use every day.)

  • Das Ding da (The thing there)

Translated, das Ding da (the thing there) means “that thing there” and native speakers use it when they cannot come up with the right vocabulary.

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