🇩🇪 Why is learning German easy and why it is hard


Learning German is one of the important steps in getting a German permanent medical license. In this article, we explain to you what is easy and what is hard in learning German. All in all, we think that it is easy and getting a B2 certificate in German is not a hard task.

You can think of German as a hard version of English. The grammar is complicated and the pronunciation of the words is harder. Nonetheless, for those who speak good English, learning German would be relatively easy. The reason is that both languages have the same origin.

• What is easy:

• Almost all letters are similar

The German language uses the Latin alphabet, which consists of 26 letters, the same as in English (English has 26 letters). However, German also uses three umlauted vowels: ä, ö, and ü, which are considered separate letters and are placed after the letter “z” in the alphabet. Additionally, German has a special character called the “ß” (Eszett), which is used to represent the “ss” sound in certain words. So in total, the German alphabet has 30 letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, Ä, Ö, Ü, and ß.

• Many identical words

If you pronounced an English word in German, then you will have a real German word. 😅 Here are examples of words that are written the same in English and German (and, of course, have the same meaning):

Places:Hospital, Kindergarten, Zoo, Park, Museum, Festival, Bank, Labor, Restaurant, City
General words:Situation, Problem, Synonum, Forum, Information, Bonus
Transportation:Bus, Taxi
Food:Pizza, Sandwich, Burger, Cocktail
Devices:TV, Radio
Sport:Golf, Tennis, Rugby, Yoga, Fitness

• Many identical words with slight differences


🇺🇸 English🇩🇪 German
CommunicationKommunikation, die
Months: January, February… MayJanuar, Februar… Mai
Days of the week: Montag, Friday…Montag, Freitag…
Father/MotherVater/Mutter, der/die
CameraKamera, die
MouseMau, der

• Medical jargon is like English

Many medical words in German are similar to those in English.

🇺🇸 English🇩🇪 German
MeningitisDie Meningitis
EncephalitisDie Enzephalitits
GastroscopyDie Gastroskopie
ColoscopyDie Koloskopie
OperationDie Operation

• Some English words are more and more used in the German language

Like everywhere in the world, English words are used in Germany as-is

For example:

🇩🇪 German🇺🇸 English
Das ist niceThis is nice
Das ist coolThis is cool
Mom, Dadsame
TVTV (spelled but differently)
Exam/TestDas Exam/der Test

• Some grammar rules are similar to English

• What is hard:

• Gender of the words

The gender of German words is reflected in the articles. Many times, there are no rules and you should learn it by heart.

🇺🇸 English🇩🇪 German
The man, the womanDer Mann, die Frau
The ballDer Ball (muskulin)
The StreetDie Straße (feminin)
The hair (singular)Die Haare (plural!)

• The declination (Die Deklination)

Because the gender of the words is reflected in the articles, this is reflected too in the declination. What??

🇺🇸 English🇩🇪 German
The man came/I met the man/I went with the man/I went with the menDer Mann kam/Ich habe den Mann getroffen/Ich ging mit dem Mann/Ich ging mit den Männern

• Plural forms (die Pluralformen)

In English, in most of the cases, you simply add “s” or “es”, then you have the plural form of a word. In German, there are mostly no rules and the two words are a bit different.

• Conjugation of verbs (die Konugation)

🇺🇸 English🇩🇪 German
I went/he went/they went/you wentIch ging/er ging/sie gingen/du gingst or ihr gingt

• Pronouns (die Pronomen): Respect form

🇺🇸 English🇩🇪 German
You went (one person or more)Du ginst (one person)
Ihr gingt (more than one, informal)
Sie gingen (more than one, respect form)

• Pronunciation

German has certain letters which many find hard to pronounce: ä, ö, ü

• How long do doctors need to learn German?

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