How do you get good at writing German Language?

I can confidently say that I am getting somewhere with German reading and Speaking. But writing German is still a Big NO!!!
So, how can I improve this aspect of language learning?


“Übung macht den Meister!”
Writing is a tough discipline but you must trust that you will get better if you just keep practising!
A few suggestions:

  1. Try to set yourself a target: some do “journaling” every day, I prefer to write a weekly essay and get that checked over by a native speaker. It is amazing how this written work all adds up, and this “step by step” process is summed up in a book by Anne Lamott “Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life”.
  2. At first adopt the KISS principle of “keep it short and straightforward”. You can get into a terrible tangle if the thoughts and sentence structure get just too complex. Steve Kaufmann wisely suggests you try to start writing as you might speak, so that you gain early momentum. Until you are an advanced writer just try to keep to discrete short and snappy sentences for a description, an idea or a concept, rather than try to emulate Germanic writers who can go on (and on) for very lengthy sentences - and then, as Mark Twain suggested, pile up all the verbs at the end…
  3. Above all, write at first about something that really “grips” you. You may already have some command of the vocabulary for such a topic without the deadening effect of having to look up every other word.
  4. As with any good examinee spend an appropriate time planning what you are going to write, before starting to write. It is often very helpful to jot down a few ideas about a topic and then maybe re-order these thoughts so you know where you are going with an essay.
    5.:A simple “sandwich structure” is often very effective: an introductory paragraph, paragraphs for the “filling” in the middle, and then rounding off with a conclusion that ties everything together.
  5. Keep honing your favourite phrases. As discussed elsewhere people naturally talk (and write) in “collocations” or chunks of a language. Gather some synonyms so that you do not use “meiner Meinung nach…” absolutely all the time, but IMO (sic) phrases like that are mighty useful! After a while they become second nature and, having had them corrected or double-checked, you can be confident that the phrasing is accurate.
  6. Just as with any good writer or journalist go back over your product and be ready to revise. Can you express something more succinctly? In German pay particular attention to the sentence structure - part of a verb in second position, the other part (or parts) clustered at the end? Did you get those pesky prepositions and the cases they govern correct? Are you sure of the gender of a noun - and if not, can you think of an alternative where you are sure, or can you maybe “work around” the idea.
  7. Definitely keep submitting your efforts for checking by a native speaker or, a very good tip by Peter Bormann (who will probably be along shortly to give you some further advice) go to DeepL and get suggestions as to how you might improve the phraseology.

But just keep going!
“Ausdauer ist ein wichtiger Bestandteil von Erfolg” (“perseverance is an important element in success”).
At any level of a language when looking back you can cringe at the “howlers” you made in written work (all that red ink expended by my teachers at school eventually makes for laughter later on…).
But resilience really does pay off in the long run…
All the best.



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Excellent advice - there’s almost nothing more to add :slight_smile:

Perhaps only two more suggestions:

  1. It’s a good idea to use “Deepl Write” (apart from Deepl Translator) in German (it’s still beta, but awesome).
    Even native speakers of German in my company use it regularly to get alternative sentences. The AI results are usually very impressive!

  2. What’s also nice is to play “AI ping pong”:

  • Write your first draft (say your summary of news, Wikipedia articles, etc.) in German.
  • Then use ChatGPT to rewrite your draft (selecting the tone you prefer: informal, formal, business-oriented, academic).
  • Finally, use Deepl Write to correct what ChatGPT has produced.
  • Work again on the end result - if necessary.

If there are things (grammar points, slang, etc.) you don’t understand, just ask here in the forum. Usually, the native speakers of German on LingQ can come up with answers fast…

Good luck!

PS -
How many words do you have to write before you feel at ease in writing?
It’s hard to tell, but from my experience in English, French, and Spanish, I’d say ca. 250k - 300k words. At least, you’ll then be at an advanced level.

However, it’s probably even more for native speakers of non-Germanic / non-Romance languages (say, for people from Asian countries).

Unfortunately, there is no shortcut here, because good writing is a marathon even for native speakers, especially if they want to write professionally.
In brief: Good writers are made - not born :slight_smile:


hey, thanks for this comment! I am now using Deepl for writing!!! :slight_smile: Plus, I want to know more about AI ping pong comment. Right now I have only learned about 750 words and I only remember a few of them but I will start writing soon because I learn best when I type as well.


Hi @Yoda_Basit,

Well, the general idea of “AI ping pong” is to use a chain or “zoo” of AI tools that people can use as creative sparring partners.
In other words, humans are still in the writing loop, but they let these tools compete against each other to get ideas, gain momentum, generate text / audio / images and video, etc.

1) The first thing is to get good at “prompt engineering”:

I completed his courses a few weeks ago: recommended!

2) Use the generative AIs to create personalized content for you:

  • Language level: You can specify the language level the genAI should use (A1/2, B1/2, C1/C2) to adjust the difficulty of the L2.
  • Vocabulary level: You can also specify whether to use basic, intermediate, or advanced vocabulary (including collocations = conventionalized word groups / idioms).
  • Tone: Select the appropriate tone, i.e.: informal, neutral, formal, business-like, academic.
  • Topic complexity: You can choose a simpler or more complicated topic to discuss.
  • Sentence structures: You can specify whether the genAI should use simple or complex sentence structures.
  • Idioms / grammar: You can specify whether the AI should use idioms or complex grammar constructions (Note: It can also explain the grammar constructions themselves by dissecting them).
  • Summarizing Wikipedia / news articles, blogposts, etc.
  • Chatting with the genAI about the contents it generated (Note: You can also use Memrise, for ex., to talk to ChatGPT 3.5).

Then you can use other tools to play around with the personalized content created by the genAI:

  • Deepl Write
  • The AI voices in Edge (IMO, they’re excellent - much better than LingQ’s AI voices).
  • LingQ’s AI to simplify texts.

And, of course, you can import your personalized content into LingQ to create your own personalized library :slight_smile:

3) If you want to go more “pro”, check out these writing tools tips:

Hope this gives you some ideas…

Good luck & mucho exito! :slight_smile:

PS -
If you’re still at a beginner level, it’s best just to have short daily chats (talking or writing) with the genAIs using the simplifications mentioned above.


bembe and Peter have offered great advice as usual.

What I’ve done (and need to do more), is just try to do a daily journal. Say what you can about the prior day, or for the current day (if near the end of the day). Or you could do a weekly one and hit the highlights. Type it out however you can…You say you only have 750 words known so you might be limited. If you need to use “caveman” language, do that, but as Bembe suggested, keep it really simple. You can say a lot with very simple sentences.

After I do this writing, I’ll either submit it on LingQ writing exchange, or lately I simply go to chatgpt and ask it “Can you correct this German text I wrote and suggest if there are better ways to say things?” (then paste the text after it). I usually save of my original writing, along with the chatgpt version to review later. Or use the chatgpt or writing exchange feedback to import into LingQ.

I’ve not tried taking the chatgpt version into DeepL write as Peter suggests (to @PeterBormann , do you find DeepL’s translations to be better? Or is there a different purpose for doing this?)

A lot of what you write in this journal will be fairly repetitive, but this is also YOUR everyday and will feature words that are closely related to YOUR life. You are creating your own personal vocabulary…a phrasebook. So this should also help with your speaking and being able to reproduce these phrases and sentences with ease.

In the journal, you could talk about trips or other exciting things (and not so exciting things - I brushed my teeth, etc.).

Another nice thing about the chatgpt feedback compared to writing exchange is that I can get instant feedback. Also, if I feel like chatgpt’s corrections might not be getting the exact feel of what I was trying to say, I can either ask it to translate from my english directly, or otherwise tell it that you were trying to convey something different and can it correct it’s interpretation in another way.

Other things you can try to write: fiction, creative writing, summarize something you’ve read (ideally in your target language), write a review of something you’ve seen or read, or a product you’ve used. Some of these may not be so easy with limited vocabulary, but I suggest always TRYING to say/write something in some manner. Perhaps you can describe, or use “caveman” language. If you truly don’t know, then just write down the word or phrase in your native language and use deepL or chat gpt to translate for you.


Hi Eric,

I’ve not tried taking the chatgpt version into DeepL write as Peter suggests (to @PeterBormann , do you find DeepL’s translations to be better? Or is there a different purpose for doing this?)

Deepl Translator is OK and it works for many, esp. Indo-European languages quite well (I’m not sure about Japanese, for ex., though).

However, Deepl Write - DeepL Write: AI-powered writing companion - (for German / UK-US English) is on another level. Unfortunately, I don’t have any stats to prove it, but the experience of my colleagues and me (all native speakers of German) is that it’s superior to GPT models (ChatGPT 3.5 / 4 and Copilot) and Deepl Translator when it comes to German.

But even my colleague from the US was amazed at how good Deepl Write’s English was.

Esp. Deepl Write’s selection of “writing styles” and “tones” is amazing:

It also shows the corrections it made:

That said, the GPT AIs are still more powerful, But Deepl Write seems to be the top of its AI class when it comes to writing in German.

Anyway, I’ve found it useful to use several AI tools and let them compete with each other. Probably you could use them as follows:

  1. Write your first draft in German.
  2. Interact with the GPT models (ChatGPT 3.5 / 4, Llama 2, Copilot, etc.) to get your text corrected (writing style, tone, etc.) and dissected (grammar, idioms / collocations).
  3. Get a 2nd opinion from Deepl Write using different writing styles and tones.

But learners could also use Deepl Write in stage 2) and then apply the GPT models on Deepl Write’s text versions in stage 3).

In my experience, it’s simply interesting to receive different suggestions/corrections from different AI tools here (and, of course, for nuances that go beyond the capabilities of the AI tools, we can always rely on our skills/intuition as native speakers of German).

The “AI ping pong” doesn’t stop here.
If we want to create “highly personalized content”, we can also use “text-to-image” and “text-to-video” prompts so that the end result is a transmedia experience.

So imagine you want to write stories about vampires, werewolves and zombies at different language levels. Now you can create such stories with the writing tools mentioned above. But you can also listen to them using Edge (for ex.) and add images / videos.

I think that’s a game changer for everyone (not only for kids / teens, but also for many adults).

The era of AI-assisted, highly personalised transmedia content can therefore begin! :- )


Thanks for the feedback Peter. I’ll definitely check it out. I think I played with it when it first came out and didn’t find the “value add” (could be user error!).

Chat GPT (at least 4.0) does also give and explain its corrections, albeit in an explanatory fashion as opposed to crossing out/replacing that you have in your screenshot.

In any event, these tools are definitely amazing.


is LINGQ AI thing available in all countries? I tried looking for it but I could not find it.

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I actually memorized it now phrases related to everyday life in German using Google translate.
Everyday I think of a topic and I try to make sentences revolving that topic.


The LingQ AI simplify text is available everywhere I believe, however, I don’t think all lessons you’ll see it. Only on things you import. i.e. if you go import an article from Nachrichten & Analysen: der globale Blick auf Schlagzeilen – DW then you should see the simplify text option in the 3 dot menu at the upper right of the lesson.


Or just use the generative AIs to simplify the language of a text according to the desired language level (A1, A2, B1, etc.).


The “simplify using AI” feature is available if the lesson is not at the beginner 1 or 2 levels and is shorter than 3000 words. I think it should be available for shared lessons as well.
Since it uses ChatGPT, you can easily imitate it on your own. The prompt LingQ uses is something like “Take the following text and rewrite it so that a 10 year old could understand it. Do not add to it.”
In German it would be something like:
“Schreib den folgenden Text so um, dass ein 10-Jähriger ihn verstehen kann. Füge nichts hinzu.”
Additionally, you could also add some example simplifications to the prompt (multi-shot) to give the machine a better idea what it’s supposed to do.


thanks for this comment!

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alright thanks!
I am just a beginner now at B2 level so this option is not available now.

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Oh okay!
I got your point now. I am just a beginner at B2 so I did not see anything related to AI option now.

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I think bamboozled is specifying that the lesson itself needs to be beginner 1/2–I don’t think it matters that you, yourself, are a beginner If you import something you can specify the level it’s at…in theory you could import something that is truly beginner level and specify that is is actually B1. You’d get the option in the 3 dot menu to simplify. However, it may not do much if it is already “easy”. What this is great for is importing something that is above your current level, import it, call it B1, and then use the simplify lesson option. Then you’ll have text more at your level. Still might be enough, and that’s where Peter’s suggestion of using chat gpt comes into play…

Peter’s suggestion is good as well to use Chat GPT to simplify it. You can specify the level you want. i.e. Take the following text and change it so that it’s at an A1 (or A2, or B1, etc.) level. Then paste your text. This works really nicely and gives you a little more flexibility than the “Simplify lesson” option. You then just copy the text and import it into lingq as a lesson. Bamboozled offers the prompt lingq uses in German, but you don’t need to actually do the prompting in German, it’ll modify according to the text you paste in. Of course you can do the prompting in German for some good practice on your writing!