One of the main issues for people when it comes to language learning is having to deal with the grammar that accompanies the language. This for many people appears to be the breaking point, and can often be the reason why some people choose not to learn a language as they might not be use to such terms as Dative, Accusative, or Genitive. And even gender nouns which we don’t have in English may seem alien when learning a foreign language.
Of course, there are ways of dealing with complicated grammar, but not every language has complicated grammar. In my recent post I discuss the grammar of Afrikaans as I believe it to be quite simple when we compare it to other languages. Firstly, there is no gender in Afrikaans, which of course is good news to English speakers. There’s also no case system which another positive aspect that makes this language so simple to learn. On the other hand, the grammar of languages such as German may seem daunting at first, but it can be over come.
Firstly, before tackling German grammar we should break it down into it’s components:
Der – Masculine Ich – e (Ich Habe – I have)
Die – Feminine Du – st (Du hast – You have)
Das – Nueter Er, Sie, Es, Ihr – t ( Er, Sie, Es hat – He, she, it has)
Wir, Sie – en (Wir haben, sie haben – We have, they have)
Cases Masculine Feminine Neuter
- Nominative Ein Eine Ein
- Accusative Einen Eine Ein
- Genitive Eines Einer Eines
- Dative Einem Einer Einem
As you can see, German grammar is of course far more complex than the style of grammar we are use to, as a result, it if often the reason why many people choose to avoid learning it. But there are ways of coming to terms with complex grammar that don’t include hours of strenuous study.
Many language courses such as Teach Yourself or Assimil include dialogues of the language being spoken in real context. These conversational dialogues are an excellent way to come to terms with grammar because one can identify the syntax and word order of the language when reading or listening to the dialogues.
Listening to music
This is of course very similar to using dialogues, listening to the language being sung helps you to memorize vocabulary more effectively than reading. You are also listening to and learning the grammatical rules of the language, which of course it is one of the most important aspects of language learning.
Speaking with people
Even native English speakers struggle with grammar from time to time. Another effective method of quickly processing through the grammar of a language is to talk with native speakers. This way, there is a chance they are likely to correct you and this way you remember through trial and error.
There is no avoiding grammar when it comes to learning a foreign language, but it does become an important, and even fun part of the learning process particularly at the later stage. When I study the grammar of a language, I see it almost as understanding how the language works of even thinking “So that’s why that’s written the way it is”. Remember, making grammatical errors when learning a language could in fact be the best way of learning efficiently.