The following text is from my book The A to Z of Learning German: 26 ideas to make learning German more exciting and fun!
When you start reading German text, don’t worry about the words you don’t understand yet, instead enjoy the words you DO understand. It will get better!
It is so tempting: You had a few German lessons and then you come across a German text. You read it, or better said, you attempt to read it and get frustrated because you don’t understand a word. What’s the point of learning German? You might as well give up.
Does that sound too harsh or silly? No, because I’ve come across people like that. They seem to have forgotten, that they only just learned a few German words and phrases and unfortunately it isn’t enough to read a German text. It’s no different than going to the gym. You’ve been instructed to use the cross trainer, for example. At first you only manage 5 minutes without going out of breath, but with perseverance, you manage more each time. Gradually you increase your level and a few months or so later, as you’re happily treading away at level 5, you suddenly remember how much you’ve struggled at level 1 and thought you would never achieve anything on the cross trainer.
Try an experiment. Find a German text from a newspaper or a book or any text you can find online. It doesn’t really matter what text it is. Start reading and every time you come across a word you know, highlight it with a marker pen. If you do this when you’ve just started with your lessons, there may be hardly any words, maybe none, that you have highlighted. But don’t worry. Put the text away and a month later, read through it again and mark any new words you now know. If you have several different colour marker pens use a different colour. Put the text away again and try again a month or even a few months later. Gradually you will see more and more text which has been highlighted, and one day you’ll look at the text and think “Oh, I remember when I used to struggle with a text like this!”
Final thought: We always tend to see the negative points, but try and reverse that. Ignore the words you don’t understand and enjoy the words you do. There will be more!
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