How to learn German my way: From A1 to C1 in one year!

Before I tell how to learn German superfast and how I got from A1 to C1 in one year, I would like to tell you a few things about me.

My name is Alex Zed *.

  • I’m working in Product Management in a large corporation in Austria
  • I’m passionate professional German teacher
  • I’m a proud dad of two daughters, who are both in school
  • I’ve been living since 2010 in Germany
  • And I’m the creator of germansuperfast.com

I’m a regular guy, just like you,who has made a passion of helping others succeed in a German speaking country.

 

 

Bottomline of what I do is

  • I teach
  • I create courses
  • I serve

people like you, who want to speak German so they succeed in their work and life in a German speaking country.

How to learn German when you are 20 years old

But how it all began with my passion for learning German?

I was about 20 years old and I was madly in love with this girl who was also a colleague with me in the university.

She could speak very well German, she and her parents have lived in Germany for a couple of years, and she used to go to school there.

 

One day, sitting on a bank in this park, in Bucharest, I was telling her how frustrated I was after several attempts to learn German in the past. 

How to learn German in a fast and easy way? I asked her.

We agreed that the best way for me to learn German was to go to the courses of one of the famous German institutes and start there from zero.

The next day she brought me about 7-8 books for learning German. Maybe they will also help, she said.

I put them aside and a few days later I went to this German language training center to ask which course would be most appropriate for me.

 

My goal was to obtain a certificate, the equivalent for C1 today (basically medium to advanced), that would allow me to study abroad one day, in Germany or Austria.

So I asked the secretary how long it would take to obtain this certificate.

She asked back if I learned German in school before.

I said no.

In this case, she said, you would need about 10 years of courses to reach this level.

What? 10 years? I swear, I will never ever forget that day.

So I went home and I made a commitment to myself that I would obtain this certificate in less than 2 years.

It had to be a way to get this certificate faster.

How I learned German by myself

I took out the books I borrowed from my girlfriend and I started to learn. A few hours per day. Every day. No exception.

How have I learned?

I went through every lesson, I was doing all the exercises, over and over again, I was searching in the dictionary for every word, I started to read my first novel, “Sansibar oder der letzte Grund”, just a few weeks after I started to learn German.

I was watching only German television, I was speaking aloud, I tried to break down the logic of the sentences, the phrases, of the composed words.

I borrowed German magazines, such as “Spiegel”, and I was trying to read through.

I did everything possible. Exactly like in a survival situation.

I tought myself how to learn German. And I succedeed.

I’m still wondering what gave me this energy, the motivation to learn German so fast ... 

Many years after I understood what it was: I remember I was visioning all the time what opportunities speaking German would bring into my life.

I was seeing myself in Germany, I was seeing myself talking to people in German.

And of course I wanted to make my girlfriend proud of me.

Six months later I went back to this German institute and I could directly attend a B2 course.

I was so happy with my accomplishment!

Another 6 months have passed and I was admitted to the preparatory course for the certificate I needed to study in Germany.

Finally, in the next summer I passed the exam and I obtained the C1 certificate.

Was it hard work? Yes, it was.

Was it worth it? 100 percent!!!

Speaking German has opened for me new possibilities

And influenced my life completely.

  • I studied in Germany for two semesters
  • I obtained my first job thanks to speaking German
  • I obtained my second job thanks to speaking German

A few years later, my girlfriend, who borrowed me those books for learning German became my wife.

10 years later and after our first daughter was born, my wife told me that the German company she was working for, offered her a job in South Germany.

No problem, I said. Let’s go. We’ll figure it out. I’ll find a job.

And this was no problem indeed. After a few months in Germany I could choose between several job offers.

Beside experience and qualifications, the big plus was that I was speaking German.

So you see, the reason for learning German was not learning German itself.

It was for all the things that speaking German allowed me to do.

 

 

Maybe you'll say now: Alex, it’s great, but this has nothing to do with me...
What you have described here doesn’t really fit my situation…

How to learn German superfast?

 

Problem no. 1

It requires a lot of time and I don’t have this time.
I have to work, I have a family. I cannot invest a few hours per day learning German. How to learn German in a smarter way?

Look...

I completely agree.

You’re right.

You don’t have so much time. So what can you do?

Give up?

No, I don’t think you want that.

You want a much simpler solution, that would help you, in your particular situation, to go forward.

That’s why the solution I recommend is:

Don’t focus on learning everything!

Focus first only on the situations you need to speak German.

This will definitely save time and money and will bring you quicker to your goal.
Stay with me in this presentation and I’ll show you what tricks I used right after I arrived in Germany and how you can use that, too. 

 

Problem no. 2

It requires the presence of a language training center nearby, but you would say, there’s nothing around me

I know from my friends, colleagues and readers how difficult it is to find a language training center nearby.

And when you finally find it, you have to often wait months or even years to get a place there.

And then, the big surprise is, that after you start you don’t see progress. And you’re disappointed, and you give up.

I know how it is.

My solution here is online courses.

You can basically stay at home or at work and learn German.

For my German courses I’ve been using this platform that makes the access to the courses incredibly easy.

You’ve got video, audio, exercises, you can chat with the trainer, you’ve got a mobile app.

The big advantage with recorded video courses is that you can always go back, and prepare yourself for different situations you are about to be confronted with.

 

Problem no. 3

It’s about a certificate.

Many of my students say: I don’t need a certificate.

I don’t want to start learning grammar rules, expressions and stuff that nobody needs.

I just want to speak German.

That’s all.

For a certificate I need to learn everything by the book.

Instead I need a solution that helps me learn German fast exactly for the situations I need.

I don’t have the time to go through all the steps required by a certificate. I need to speak German now, not in 5 years.

Maybe in 2-3 years I’ll return to my country, so it is more important for me to speak than to get a certificate.

Moreover you’ll see.

When you live in Germany or Austria the reality is completely different than in the books.

So I started to develop a strategy on how to overcome such situations.

I asked myself how to learn German especially for these situations?

I started to prepare myself, to visualize those new situations, to imagine what could happen and what I needed to say, so I could reach my goals.

Next time when I went to the doctor with my daughter, I spent a few minutes preparing myself.

First, I visualized the situation:

What could happen at the doctor's office? What was the dialogue about?

I practically constructed in my mind the whole dialogue with the doctor and doctor's assistant, before it happened.

I was then looking for the words that I potentially didn’t know.

I eventually wrote them down, and I would read them aloud a couple of times, to get used to them.

Here is a funny story to understand that this can help a lot.

I cannot forget the moment when I made the confusion between “Zöpfchen” (which means bunches of hair in German) and “Zäpfchen” (this means suppository).

The doctor has prescribed “Zäpfchen” (suppositories) for my daughter.

It was a winter evening, lots of snow.

I went to the pharmacy, the pharmacist came from home especially for me and I stood in front of him and I asked for ... “Zöpfchen” (bunches of hair).

He laughed, he made a joke and corrected me.

For me it was really embarrassing but it seems the pharmacist had a good sense of humor and didn’t perceive this situation as awkward as I was perceiving it.

For him it was just funny.

For me it was another lesson that helped me improve myself.

I’ve been using and optimizing this strategy since then.

Not only that this worked for the doctor’s visits but it also worked for job interviews, visits at the repair shop, discussions with clients, presentations at work, and so on.

 

This is what speaking German has made possible 

So what has speaking German enabled me to do since I’ve been living in Germany and working in Austria?

First and foremost is the quality of life.

I’ve been having a fantastic life in a superb little town in South of Germany, surrounded by nature and very close to the Alps.

We even have two pets, a big dog and a black cat, that are like family members.

So my kids, my wife and I spend a lot of time outside, in nature, biking, skiing, swimming, playing tennis or meeting friends, German, Austrian or international families, who share the same interests as we are.

It’s so nice to be able to speak at the same level with native speakers, to be able to organize and to visit parties, to have relationships with the people around you, without being stressed out that they cannot understand you and you don’t understand them.

When we are not home we travel all over the world.

Our favourite destinations are France, USA, Italy and nordic countries, especially Sweden and Finland.

How my dream of becoming German teacher has come true

So week after week, month after month I was getting better and better, and foreign colleagues and friends living in Germany or Austria, started to ask me how could I speak so well German, how come that I know so many words, and expressions, and how come that I am so confident in any situation...

They started to ask for my advice.

And I was sharing my advice.

I started to tell them about my simple strategy and to encourage them to start speaking German. Right away.

One of the first people who listened to my advice was a friend and colleague of mine, Saurabh.

He comes from India.

He kept postponing the moment to start learning German for different reasons. No time, no available course, no mood, and so on.

One day I told him: Look, Saurabh, today, 28th of August, you go to the bookstore and you buy a book for learning German.

Any book…

You read through, you make some notes, you learn some words and you start to speak.

I shared with him my simple formula to master different situations and German and he immediately started to make progress.

He started to speak and he’s been improving his German since then.

As more and more people were asking for my advice regarding learning German, one crazy thought came to my mind:

I would like to help as many people as possible to speak German fast, but in order to do that I first have to learn the methods for teaching German.

My feeling was that I needed a solid theoretical background in the most modern teaching methods.

And I also wanted to make sure that my special method, my 5 step formula, is also backed-up by professional teaching methods and research.

So, what about becoming a certified German teacher?

This dream has been chasing me for many years, that’s why one day, after almost nine years in Germany, I decided to apply to a postgraduate study programme of the German Goethe Institute and University of Jena in Germany to finally become a teacher for German as a foreign language.

Although the next one and a half years, the whole duration of this course, were very hard for me, because I was working full time in my product management job in Austria, what it came after was very rewarding.

Since I began my studies for becoming a German teacher until today I’ve been teaching many students only and offline, in face to face classes.

The results are amazing:

My students get better and better everyday.
Their confidence has been growing with each lesson, we no longer use English for explanations.

But most important for them is what speaking German facilitated for them.

And this is how GermanSuperfast was born!

 

Check out my social media channels:

https://www.facebook.com/germansuperfast

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGlOgmxr5vUOZjItfLZEZnQ?view_as=subscriber

 

*I have a long an complicated name, which you can see in Impressum. The link can be found in the footer. To make things easier I have chosen a shorter, easy to use name. By the way, my friends and family call me Alex.

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