German always stands out when compared to other foreign languages. It’s more closely related to English than most other language groups, but not as closely related as the romance languages and some of the Nordic languages.
It’s grammar is known to be taxing. It’s pronunciation and long words are nearly infamous. But German is still beloved by millions of learners around the world. Here’s 3 ways using Yabla will help acquaint you with this unique and fascinating language.
1) Yabla will help you with those pesky German articles
The German articles der, das, and die are vital when learning the language. While there are rules that govern them there’s also a lot of exceptions.
Here's a good primer on the German articles
It’s hard to get a handle on their usage without using them over and over until you know them by heart. The best way would be in conversation with a native German speaker who can correct you.
The worst way is probably rote memorization, because it’s boring and not that effective. Yabla’s video player offer you a middle ground between these two study methods.
You’re not speaking with a German native speaker, but when you watch their videos you are listening to one. Use the German subtitles in Yabla’s video player to pick out the articles and how they're used.
If you really want to challenge yourself turn off the subtitles and try to pick them out by what you here. You can also work backwards from the English subtitles. If you come across an instance in English that you don’t know how to translate to German see what Yabla’s German subtitles say.
2) Yabla will help you breakdown German pronunciation
German words can be notoriously long and difficult to pronounce. Try putting long words into a full sentence at native speed and your mouth and tongue are in for some gymnastics.
But you can’t ignore the German sound system because pronunciation is key no matter what language you’re learning.
Yabla’s video player is ideal for developing your German accent. Pick a section from one of their German videos and play it back at a slower speed using their slow play button.
Now loop the segment and focus on a specific sentence or group of sounds. As you play it back don’t try to think in terms of which words you hear. Try to think only in sounds.
To nail a native accent you’ll want to focus on syllables and how they push and pull together in native speech. Do your best to mimic the sound and character of each syllable one by one and then play it back and try to say them altogether with the native speaker.
You can then record yourself saying it and compare the audio to the video. This feedback centered exercise will help your tongue and mouth get used to making German sounds, and your ears will start hearing individual sounds as well.
3) Yabla will help you learn German words without forgetting them
Yabla’s videos help you learn German words in the context of a conversation or situation. This is huge when it comes to remembering new vocabulary. The more information (context) your brain can connect to a new word the more likely you are to remember it.
Watching a video provides this context through visual and audio information. Not only do you hear and see the video but you can also readily see all the words being used in the subtitles.
All these information points will help you recall that German word the next time you try to remember it. One cool thing I like to do is to take a screenshot of the scene I find a new word in and paste it into a flashcard system like Anki.
Did you know Yabla is often used by high schools to help foreign language students?
I then try to remember the word from only seeing that picture. The picture helps me remember the video scene which in turn helps me remember the new word. It’s not magic, but this technique really does help make remembering words a bit easier.
Alternatives to Yabla German
Starts at $15 per month
5+ minutes a day
Fluentu is a site that helps you learn a language through native videos. It's very similar to Yabla (though it costs a little more). You can wse in site flashcards, captions, and games to learn new words in context while watching German TV shows, movies, commercials, and more. It's a great way to push your listening skills and vocabulary.
From $4+ per month
15+ minutes a day
Germanpod101 features audio lessons in a podcast format. Lessons are great for grammar and vocabulary. Each lesson is designed around a German conversation between native speakers, and the teachers do a great job of keeping things engaging.
Germanpod101 is more structured than Yabla and it's a substantial German learning tool. The site features transcripts, an in-site flashcard system, and many other useful features.
20+ minutes a day
Rocket German is built around recorded audio in the form of dialogues. The dialogues have English explanations and usually teach the language in "chunks" or phrases versus individual words (this is great for conversational German).
Rocket German is for those who want a more thorough and comprehensive course. It does an excellent job of incorporating German speaking and listening, as well as reading and writing.
German isn’t the easiest language to learn, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Yabla is a great way to work through 3 of the most common problems German learners face: articles, pronunciation, and remembering new vocabulary.
A monthly subscription to Yabla starts at $9.95 for a single month. The site also has some free German videos you can try out with their player for free. If you’re learning German go check them out!