The United States has a rich history of immigration from around the world. With its roughly estimated 328 million citizens, the US melting pot embraces a variety of cultures with over 430 spoken languages across its 50 states.

The German migration in the mid to late 1800s was abundant that now over 50 million Americans claim German ancestry and over 1 million people speak German daily across the country. From Southern California to Pennsylvania, German enclaves can be found in almost every major city making German lessons easy to find.

If you’re looking for reasons to learn German or just wanting more information about German language history this is a good place to start with city guides to learn the language in every US major city including NYC, LA, Chicago, and many more.

Reasons to Learn German in NYC’s Five Boroughs

New York City is home to more than 18.8 million people, making it the most densely populated city in the United States. As many as 800+ languages are spoken throughout the city’s five boroughs including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.

It comes as no surprise that more than 36% of New Yorkers speak more than one language. About 1.3% of New Yorkers speak Indo-European languages, German is one of the most prominent in the family with approximately 62,000 New Yorkers speaking it daily.

German lessons in NYC
It's easy to find the right German class in any of NYC's five boroughs. (Photo by Colton Duke on Unsplash)

Even though New Yorkers are diverse, learning a new language can feel intimidating. But in today’s quickly evolving world of technology learning a foreign language has become easier. Learning to speak German in New York or any city has many advantages included the ones listed below.

  • Opportunities to Study Abroad: Germany is the leading country for both science and engineering industries where educational programs are highly sought after. Additionally, most German college and university programs are free with the exception of books and other minor fees.
  • Close Relation to English: German is part of the West Germanic family of languages along with English, which makes it an easier language to learn and master quickly.
  • New Career Opportunities: Germany is ranked as the fifth-largest economy in the world, while also creating upwards of 700K jobs in the United States market.
  • Immersion to a New Culture: From Bach to Beethoven and Gerhard Richter to Max Ernst, both Germany and Austria are homes to some of the most talented classical composers and artists in history. Reading the original musical compositions of both Beethoven and Bach from their native tongue with no translation is a treat in itself.

The Best German Learning Settings Around Philly

Finding the right setting is crucial when learning something new, especially when you want to learn to speak German. From at-home learning to small group settings, finding the best place to learn will set the tone of the journey.

The most prominent setting to take language lessons is in a mid to small classroom. Choosing to learn in group environments gives you the opportunity to meet new people who are also German beginners. Class interactions allow students to practice new German vocabulary while having opportunities to be corrected and reflect on learned grammar rules and pronunciations.

Group exercises also allow German teachers to use more learning strategies to encourage continued interactions, follow-up questions, language comprehension, and corrections. Studies have shown that students retain 10% more information when in an interactive classroom than one that promotes little to no cooperative exercises.

German, Swiss and Austrian societies and associations are also great environments to practice the German language. The German Society of Pennsylvania hosts various events. From film nights to lectures showcasing German culture with times to engage in conversations with other members of the society, community members who most often speak German, and those who are learning the language.

People cheering with two pints of beer for Germany's Oktoberfest
In Munich's 2019 Oktoberfest, 7.3 million liters of beer were drunk throughout the 16-day festival. (Photo by kazuend on Unsplash)

Other German festivals like Oktoberfest are now celebrated in most cities across the US. Munich's Annual Oktoberfest has grown over the years with over 6.3 million visitors from around the world attending in 2019. So, once it is that time of year to bring out the bier Maßkrug, check out your local festivals and start perfecting your PROST!

German Lessons Around the Houston Bayous

The best part about diverse cities is that finding local resources to learn a new language has become effortless. Cultural centers, language schools, and local colleges and universities all offer a wide range of German classes and cultural events to learn at every level.

Cultural centers like the Deutsche Samstagsshule in Houston are a great resource when it comes to learning German. Along with their wide selection of German courses, the center also hosts multiple events a month to bring together Houston’s German community and students who are just beginning to learn.

Even though German lessons offered at colleges and universities can be a bit pricier they also provide a larger variety of resources including a library with a variety of German books to learn from, extensive research access, and office hours with the instructor if there is any confusion with any of the lessons. Student German clubs at these institutions are also an added bonus, with study abroad opportunities and avenues to meet German language beginners.

German Tutors from LA’s Westside to the Valley

Learning German in a classroom setting offers students with added school resources and the ability to engage with other fellow classmates, but it might not work with everyone’s schedule. If you live in a large city like Los Angeles, you also deal with the added time sitting in traffic to get from one place to the next.

Hiring a tutor to learn to speak German, might be the best way to avoid unnecessary traffic and keep a flexible schedule. Private tutors can cost as little as $15/hour while providing the ease of meeting anywhere anytime. Other advantages in learning through a private German teacher include adaptive teaching and learning, pay as you go ease, accelerated learning, and many more.

Online german classes can be accessed by just about anywhere in the world
Taking German classes virtually allows you to access a lesson anywhere anytime. (Photo by Austin Distel Unsplash)

Online communities like Superprof, have made the process of hiring a tutor simple. A simple ‘German lessons near me’ search on their reliable built-in search bar connects you with thousands of tutors nationwide and around the world in seconds. The online resource also allows you to test-run a lesson before committing, so you do not have to stress if your learning style is not a great match. Superprof’s large tutor database is hand-selected and guarantees that each tutor is competent to teach the subject you want to learn.

Perfecting Your ‘PROST!’ in Boston

While hiring a tutor and taking German classes in Boston or at any other major city is great, perfecting the German accent comes with extra practice outside of class time. German language beginners can benefit from complimentary study at home with multiple resources now offered online or by way of textbooks and audio companions.

The ability to read German will vastly improve your learning development because it will increase brain memory, retention and comprehension of the language. For beginners’ children books are some of the best resources to start with. You might feel silly, but picture books are great for making associations to feelings, people, places and things. Once the level is mastered, moving to beginner chapter books will be easier and much more enjoyable.

Four additional strategies to learn quickly are practice, memorization, and consistency. Practice makes perfect will not necessarily make perfect, but it will make everyone better. Memorization of German rules and sounds will make practicing German easier over time and your spoken word will have more clarity.

Finally, consistency is where it gets tricky because certain students deal with unstable schedules that can overpower their study regularity. But, the only way to overcome unstableness is by staying on top of time management and creating weekly schedules where practicing German for at least an hour a day is accounted for.

Joining social groups within your city with other people that are learning German or are German natives can help you practice your skills
Meeting up with fellow German-speaking beginners is a great way to practice. (Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash)

Speaking German in the Windy City

Once you have learned a basic framework of German you are ready to start engaging in real-time conversations while using your new set of German vocabulary and comprehension. One-on-one interactions with others are where major language connections will be made. Although overcoming the nerves to actually speak German can take some time, the sooner you are comfortable the faster you will get the hang of this Indo-European language.

Online communities like Meetup have made it easy to find and join groups in which you can practice German with others in cities like Houston, Chicago, and across the US. Groups like The Chicago German Language Meetup Group and the Chicago Language Cafe are great groups with over 2000+ members who are fluent in German or fellow beginners. Both groups meet monthly for virtual meetups or at local venues around their local and organized city.

Now that you know the best tips to learn how to speak German you will be right on track to mastering German. Just remember that weekly to bi-weekly lessons, consistent at-home study, and frequent interactions with local fellow students are the keys to success.

No matter where you live and are across the US or around the world, Superprof has you covered with conversational courses, private tutoring, and all the tips and tricks of what the best resources to learn are.

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A California desert-native who has a passion for baking from scratch, reading 1950-era novels, listening to soul/jazz, and global trotting.