I'd like to be fluent

Hi all, I’ve been studying German off and on for almost five years now. I’m not nearly as competent as I should be, but that’s because I haven’t really been consistent with it (hence the “off and on”). I used to live in Germany–now I live in the States.

I know it’s not going to happen overnight, but my overall goal is to achieve a very high level of fluency in German–I want to be able to understand virtually everything I hear, comprehend most all I read, and express myself without any hindrance in speaking. You see what I mean. :slight_smile:

In essence, I’d like to achieve a near-native fluency in the language. My question is, how much should I be studying a day? How much should I be listening? Reading? Writing? Should I analytically dissect most every text I come across or be more passive about it?

Maybe I’m being too “intellectual” about this, but I’d be so thankful to anyone who can help me! Grüsse aus den USA^^

My 2 cents. Do as much as you have time for and enjoy doing. Make your motivation to read certain writers, to listen to certain kinds of content, in order to learn more about Germany, German things and things in general through your German. Don’t be too fixated on achieving specific language goals, although these things can be motivating, instead just focus on enjoying the language.

The more you write and speak, the better you will do. This will push you, and enable you to see your gaps.

Try to be attentive to those aspects of the language that give you trouble, your gaps, but don’t force yourself to get them right. They’ll right themselves eventually.

A minimum of one hour a day.

Question: Does it matter if I spread out my hour over a whole day–e.g. 10 min. here, 15 there, another 30 min. there–or do I have to do it all in one sitting?

Thanks so much for your answers! This’ll be really helpful to me.:slight_smile:

It depends on the time available to you. Every minute counts. The key is intensity. If you can find 3 hours a day that is better than one hour a day. If you start to lose focus or interest, stop.

I use a both approaches. It’s easy to listen for 30 minutes up to an hour to a few podcasts or some chapters from an audiobook in one sitting, while I sometimes find it difficult to read for that long. If I get bored, I change activity and/or language.

The less “start up”/“preparation” time (locating the books/pencil/eraser/mp3 player/starting the computer) it demands, the more it adds up during the day/week. I can do flashcards for just one minute if I want (I just have to log in), and it’s still 1 minute more than zero. A couple of minutes of listening here and there may not be that “effective”. Depending on my/your skill level (and the level of the content), it might take a quarter of an hour to get into German “mode”.

But of course, every minute counts.

I also find it also difficult to achieve a fluency in German. I’m learning this language for the past 2 years and now I’m studying in Germany. However I don’t manage to speak fluently with people here. I find that they also speak very fast for me.
How did you manage to improve your German skills?

“Study” at Lingq!

when I was studying German I listened to german bands frequently (Rammstein, Oomph!, Megaherz and Eisregen) and translated the lyrics in my head… also watched german movies. it helped very much. i forgot most of it now because ive been deployed to middle eastern countries and have had no time to keep up on it :frowning: i think doing this plus LingQ will be very efficient at improving your speaking and listening skills