No MOTIVATION to LEARN GERMAN? Try these 6 Tips!

No MOTIVATION to LEARN GERMAN? Try these 6 Tips!

Have you been learning German for a while and you are losing motivation? Ich will Deutsch lernen, aber ich bin manchmal zu faul. (I do want to learn German, but I’m feeling lazy sometimes.)

Ich bin Denisa von Spring German. Here are my top 5 tips to be really motivated again! Go get your notebook to take notes. Los geht’s !

1. Du brauchst einen guten Grund, um motiviert zu bleiben (You need a good reason to stay motivated)

DENISA
Wieso willst du Deutsch lernen?
(Why do you want to learn German?)

VANESSA
Weil es im Lebenslauf gut aussieht?
(Because it looks good in the CV?)

DENISA
Das glaube ich dir nicht. Du musst einen Grund haben, der dich motiviert.
(I don’t believe you. You need a reason that motivates you.)

Motivation depends a lot on how good your reason is to learn German. If you just want to learn German to improve your Lebenslauf (CV), you won’t be successful because the reason is too weak. So if that’s the case, it’s important to look for better reasons to stay motivated long-term.

Chunk alert!

Das glaube ich dir” (I believe you) can be translated to “I believe you” in English. It is often used to express trust or faith in what someone has said. You can, of course, not believe the person in front of you. In that case, you can say “Das glaube ich dir nicht” (I don’t believe you).

If you don’t know what chunks are: Chunks are word combinations or phrases that are commonly used by native speakers and that you can learn by heart without the grammar behind it. For more helpful chunks like this, check our free essential German chunking kit. The link is in the description.

It’s not about passing a German course, it’s not about learning a ton of vocabulary at once.

Es geht um … (It’s about…) traveling to German-speaking countries and really get to know the people and culture! Es geht um… (It’s about… ) improving your relationship with your community, with your friends, and with that special someone.

2. Deutsch lernen muss relevant für dich sein (Learning german needs to be relevant to you)

DENISA
Du kannst zum Beispiel einen Trip nach Deutschland als Motivation nehmen.
(You can, for example, take a trip to Germany as your motivation.)

VANESSA
Ich kann leider nicht nach Deutschland. Ich muss arbeiten.
(Unfortunately, I can’t go to Germany. I have to work.)

DENISA
Das macht nichts
(It doesn’t matter…)

VANESSA
Aber ich habe deutsche Freunde.
(But I have German friends.)

DENISA
Na schau! Das ist doch perfekt. Wenn du Deutsch mit denen sprichst, freuen sie sich bestimmt.
(Well, look at that! That’s perfect. If you talk to them in German, they will surely be pleased.)

You can try to make German more relevant to your life. If you don’t have the opportunity to live in a German-speaking country, maybe you can go there on a trip. If you can’t go on a trip, maybe you can go to the neighborhoods in your city where there are more German-speakers, mit denen du üben kannst (to practice with.)

If that’s not a possibility, make it a point to go to a German restaurant and order in German. Even if it’s something simple like: Ein Bier bitte. (A beer, please.)

The more relevant the language is for you, the easier it is to apply what you learned right away. And as a result, your motivation will go up.

3. Lokale Sprachentreffen (Local language meet-ups)

Find local groups to practice German with. Could be natives, but could also be other people that practice the language. You can find these type of gatherings more and more all around the world. Es lohnt sich, danach zu googeln. (It’s worth doing some googling about it.) Maybe you’ll find a coffee shop where people meet to practice German every week!

DENISA
Sollen wir mal nach Tandems in der Nähe googeln?
(Should we google for tandems close by?)

VANESSA
Ich denke, ich bin zu schüchtern dafür. Was ist, wenn sie viel besser sprechen als ich?
(I think I’m too shy for that. What if they speak way better than I do?)

DENISA
Das macht nichts. Aber wenn du dich wohler fühlst, kannst du auch erstmal online anfangen
(That doesn’t matter. But if you feel more comfortable with it, you can first start online.)

You can also find tandems online, of course, e.g. in tandem apps, or you book language tutors that you can find online. Interactions like that will keep you motivated.

Remember that a lot of German speakers want to practice their English, too!

4. Nutze Hilfsmittel, die dich interessieren (Use assistive devices that interest you)

DENISA
Welches Thema interessiert dich?
(Which topic interests you?)

VANESSA
Ich lerne gerade viel über das Gärtnern.
(I’m learning a lot about gardening at the moment.)

DENISA
Perfekt. Schaue YouTube-Videos oder Serien auf Deutsch darüber.
(Perfect. Watch YouTube videos or series in German about it.)

VANESSA
Das ist eine gute Idee.
(That’s a good idea.)

Find interesting material like YouTube videos, books, podcasts, series, Reddit threads, movies and songs. Having boring material or that simply doesn’t interest you is very bad for motivation.

Use material about subjects that already interest you. If you’re into gardening, Schaue Videos übers Gärtnern. (Watch videos about gardening.) If you’re into soccer, watch soccer matches but with commentary in German.

Du magst zum Beispiel die Serie “Dark”. (For example, you like the series “Dark”.)

(Clip 0:30-0:35) → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrwycJ08PSA

Once you binge-watched the whole thing, you can google articles in German about it. You’re going to read and understand much easier an article about that series.

5. Arbeite in kleinen Schritten (Work in small steps)

DENISA
Arbeite in kleinen Schritten.
(Work in small steps.)

VANESSA
Wieso ist das wichtig?
(Why is that important?)

DENISA
Weil du schneller deine Ziele erreichst und so motiviert bleibst.
(Because you reach your goals faster, and you stay motivated that way.)

It’s better to have small goals that can be reached within a week or 2 weeks. This keeps you motivated, and you get more often the feeling that you achieved something.

You can start with something small, for example:

  • Ich will lernen, mich vorzustellen. (I want to learn to introduce myself.) We have the video for that here, by the way.
  • Ich will mein Abendessen auf Deutsch bestellen (I want to order my dinner in German.)
  • Ich will über meine Hobbys sprechen. (I want to be able to describe my hobbies.)

6. Summary

Everyone is lazy from time to time. Das Wichtige ist (The important thing is) that you don’t give up. Learning language is your thing, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. Here is a little summary for you:

  • Finde einen Grund, der dich motiviert. (Find a reason that motivates you). Of course, it looks good on your Lebenslauf (CV), but why do you really want this? Is your boyfriend or girlfriend from Germany or do you need it for your job? You need to find good reasons to stay motivated, and just learning for the CV isn’t enough.
  • Es muss relevant für dich sein. (It needs to be relevant for you.) When you found your motivation, include it in your routine. Even if it’s just ordering ein Bier (a beer) in a German restaurant.
  • Finde Leute zum Üben. (Find people to practice with.) You can go to local language meetings or practice online if you want. If you find the right people, it will keep you motivated and make it a lot more fun!
  • Nutze Hilfsmittel die dich interessieren. (Use assistive devices that interest you.) It’s no shame to learn through social media, movies or series. Im Gegenteil (On the contrary), it will help you a lot using these tools to learn more about your hobbies, for example.
  • Arbeite in kleinen Schritten. (Work in small steps.) You will not be a pro in a day. Sprachenlernen braucht Zeit. (Learning languages takes time.) Start small and Sei stolz auf dich (Be proud of you).

I’ve given more tips for your German learning journey in this video right here. See you there!

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