Learn German the lazy (and free) way

17th January 2016

Today is Sunday and like most Sundays, I'll probably be overtaken by a strong urge to sit in my PJs all day eating chocolate. This means that the chances of me opening a German grammar book are very slim. I've been learning German for over two months now and I'm loving it. That said, anyone who's studied the grammar system will know, it can be a real pain in the backside. In fact, most days I'd rather cover myself with bees than revise the German case system.* Fortunately, there are more pleasant ways to learn German that are compatible with my Homer Simpson lifestyle. YouTube is full of free video resources which offer a bit of light relief for lazy language learners like myself.

German Extra

Imagine the sitcom Friends and the BBC learn German website had a love child and you'll get an idea of what German Extra is all about. It follows the story of four young friends who share an apartment in Berlin. It's cheesier than cheese, but if you can get past the hammy acting and over the top dialogues, it serves as a really enjoyable resource for beginners. The actors speak very slowly, using basic vocabulary, simple sentence structures and lots of repetition. The episodes have subtitles in German so you can pause and look up any words you don't know without being distracted by English all the time. This series is my go-to resource for when I lose the will to do any real studying (which is most of the time).

Easy German

Easy German is a series which takes place "on the streets" of Germany. The presenters visit various locations across the country and talk to people about current affairs and topical events. The interview format is ideal as it gives you the chance to hear German as it is used by native speakers in the real world. To help lower level learners follow the dialogue, there are big subtitles in German and small subtitles in English. I find this feature really handy as although I try to follow the German subtitles as much as possible, I can glance down to the English ones when I don't know a word. The episodes are also very short, so you can squeeze them in between whatever else you're doing.

Learn the lazy way

Sometimes, giving yourself permission to sit around in your pants and watch silly videos is the best thing you can do for your language studies. It exposes you to grammar and vocabulary in realistic contexts, helps you pick up some new expressions and boosts your listening skills. Above all, learning the lazy way gives you the chance to recharge your motivation, so before you know it you'll be ready to take on that German case system again.

What do you think?

What do you do on days when you can't face studying from books? Do you have any favourite "lazy" language learning strategies? Share them in the comments below! *No bees were harmed in the writing of this article.      


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