Well this is my favorite question to answer!
I lived in Germany for a year after studying German for 2 years. Let me tell you when I stepped off the plane it felt like I had studied for about 10 minutes. After about 3 months I had no problem holding a conversation with someone. Everyone learns languages differently. I know people who learned a language fluently in only 3 months, well others take longer. But 10 years?? Maybe if you never go and live in a German speaking country. I don't know if it's just the German language, but I have always found that it is easier to write than to speak. Mind you, I'm also studying Spanish, and after only one year I find it's much easier to speak and learn than German. Source(s):
Personal Experience don't give up, it is possible! Have you thought about an immersion program? It will force you to learn to speak more fluently... I think that it takes about 10 years to be fluent. You need to talk face to face with german natives. You need to practice their accent. I started learning spanish about 10 years ago, it was in school and I wasnt very good, but I started talking to people and I am very happy with my Spanish. It seems as the older I get it can be harder to learn a different language. The younger you are it seem you maybe able to understand quicker.
LC if you already know the basics of a particular language, all you need is constant practice and communicate with people who actually speak it. In your case, since you already know German, all you have to do is to actually talk with Germans. i dunno some people struggle with diferent things (i think its cool your learning German--ive always wanted to learn German) i took 2 months of Mandarin (chinese) --i had to stop because it was 100 miles to drive once a week and i couldnt afford to go anymore (gas prices)-- i excelled in the speaking but i had a hard time writing. i would say that the chances are good that you will be fluent in your own time just practice every day (just a little) Grammar and vocabulary are relatively easy, depending on the language. But speaking? I have had Chinese students who had studied English for 15 or more years and yet couldn't speak.
Some people with English as a background can go to Haiti and start speaking Haitien Creole in a couple of weeks. If you start with French or English, Spanish is pretty easy to pick up. German is a bear, as is Russian, and Chinese (a right-brain language unlike the left-brain English) is terribly difficult.
Listening (and hearing) are learned skills and you need years of practice. Don't give up! I would have chosen an easier language, but since you've started with German, keep going...In your lifetime, you'll be able to speak it, but you must practice, pratice, practice, and practice some more. It's hard to learn another language because if you think about it you're going back to the basics. You're relearning from the beginning. Think about it like having to learn how to walk again, etc. Keep trying and you'll get it down soon enough. Is there any way you can hang out with some people who speak German? There are alot of Spanish people at my job and I'm catching on! Try and try until you learn. if u have basic knowledge of german and some dough with u go settle down in germany to learn to speak it i am learning french and i sometimes find it difficult to learn and understand due to the grammar it is often difficult because you have to learn a new set of grammar rules. what i suggest you do is stick at it and get as much practice as you can. contact a German person or find a pen friend and ask them to speak slowly( i am sure they wont mind) to you and you will pick up what they are saying given time you will be able to speak as fast as they can. stick at it get as much practise as you can and you`ll be fine I had the same experience as an exchange student. After three years of A's, I got off the plane and WHOA! I did not understand word 1. However, six weeks into my stay I could follow conversations without translating into English.
The general goal of 'school language' should be to get you to a level where an immersion experience in the language will develop fluency.
I think several years in school and an immersion experience should help you become more fluent. If an immersion experience is not possible, seek out books on tape in German and German-speaking friends to chat with you. i am the other way around i could write and read english , buy sucked eggs at talking. but once i hit the ground in Ky and was surrounded by people that had some weird accent i learned to speak fluent english in a synch. I acctually dont give a hood if i mispronounce something., sue me lol hmm i think u should spend sometime gg to germany during the summer..that way u are being force to speak german language. and u will definitely be able to improve on ur fluency in a short time. mayb u can also make some german friends..that way u can also communicate with them in german language. Good luck!
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