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Uncover the hack how to speak easy like a native speaker

Prepare for the hack

The merit of a spoken language is to speak in sentences and link sentences into coherent texts. So, one of the best way to learn a foreign language is to learn whole texts (and modify them) - you get the feel for the language, rhythm, improve on fluency and obtain a vast supply of common and useful expressions. In addition, people with the ear for music have a great advantage there. Does that sound weird? Yes, it surely does - I am not able to learn an entire page of text on my own either…

The hack I want to disclose to you is that everyone can learn a German sentence or a phrase and turn it into a - let’s call it – “model sentence”. What does it mean? Don't be afraid, it has nothing to do with the criticised cramming so common within learning methods of the past. I will show how to find and use a model sentence, which you can permute and hack the time and the effort by learning the (German) language.

Model sentences

Surprisingly enough, there are not so many phrases or common phrases matched to a common word, so finding 3 model sentences per phrase is not a difficult task. Let’s look at the German word toothpaste: die Zahnpasta. In which sentences do you use this word most often? Probably in common sentences such as:

We ran out of toothpaste, we have to buy a new one.

I don't like this toothpaste; it is too minty.

Don't forget the Toothpaste!

Something like that. Perfect, you have three model sentences here already. Good news: almost every sentence finding its regular use on daily basis can be considered a model sentence. Memorising these three model sentences will help you not only to pronounce those readily at any time yet you will be also able to make simple adjustments to your words and modify the meaning of entire sentence. That's why I call that a model sentence.

Of course, one can make indefinite sentences such as: “The explosives had been packed into a toothpaste tube.” :-O but how often can you use this sentence? Forget sentences like this one. Our daily routine means using certain words in just a few repetitive sentences. Let's focus on it: what can you say on daily basis, for example, about a kitchen knife? Sharpen the knife. Wash the knife. Cutting with the knife. Where is my knife? Four main things. Or the word “shoes”: Put on your shoes. Take off your shoes. Those are my shoes. Where are my shoes? Four main sentences.

Let's go back to the model sentence with toothpaste in German: =Ich mag diese Zahnpasta nicht, sie schmeckt zu viel nach Pfefferminz.
You are looking at one German sentence now. All you have to do is to store it in your memory (1) and permute (2) each model sentence through vocabulary of nouns in new sentences later on (3):

Ich mag diese Zahnpasta nicht, sie schmeckt zu viel nach Pfefferminz.
  diese Kaugummi   sie   Lakritze.
  diesen Keks   sie   Zimt.
  diesen Aufstrich   sie   Fisch.

Thanks to the vocabulary (nouns in this case) and a model sentence, you have created 4 more new sentences!

For beginners, I advise let’s focus on this method to permute nouns only, whereas advanced learners can expand to verbs and pronouns. Just out of curiosity, please refer to some examples of permutations of verbs below:

Ich mag diese Zahnpasta nicht, sie schmeckt zu viel nach Pfefferminz.
Ich kaufe       stinkt  
Ich benutze       riecht  

Rocket your foreign language capabilities

This method is very effective when associated with the knowledge of vocabulary one has learnt so far. Even grammar is not of such essence with this method, it is mainly about the vocabulary.

This way can help you extend your ability to speak a foreign language with ease. You only have to memorise to each word (1) of your vocabulary plus three or four sentences (2) as your model sentences and permute the lot (3) - this will boost your capabilities with a foreign language (4)!

Advanced hack

When using a model sentence, you have to understand the meaning of each word in the sentence and the sentence as a whole, of course. Permuting of model sentences seems simple, evident and natural; you may be as well doing it subconsciously now, yet those are more complex model sentences finding frequent use in German. These are too difficult to build from scratch half way through a conversation, hence you need to learn those off by heart and remember them as model sentences. I can assure you that Germans go the same way from their very childhood age. This is where the actual advantage of this method lingers – the following one is a nice example:

Wenn ich es gewusst hätte, dass wir ins Gebirge gehen, hätte ich mich wärmer angezogen.

Please, don't freak out! :-) Let's analyse this advanced model sentence in detail:

Wenn ich es gewusst hätte, dass wir ins Gebirge gehen, hätte ich mich wärmer angezogen.
= If I had known that we would go to the mountains, I would have dressed warmer.

This is a real model sentence for advanced learners. You have to memorise it and it also requires a little bit of grammar literacy. Just memorise it and you will then see your permutation capabilities here, without stressing and racking your brains over:

Wenn ich es gewusst hätte, dass wir ins Kino gehen, hätte ich mich schneller angezogen.
Wenn ich es gewusst hätte, dass wir ins Theater gehen, hätte ich mich besser angezogen. .

Cool, isn't it? :-)

Proven method

Memorising sentences, common phrases or whole texts represents an old and proven method; tested by whole generations of polyglots. For example, the German, businessman, polyglot and archaeologist Schliemann, known for excavating the ruins of Troy, used this method to study studied about 25 foreign languages. Okay, you can say it was for hundred years ago and Schliemann relied heavily on memory recall, but this method has been in successful practice continuously. Viktor Suvorov described this method in his famous book Aquarium - The Making of a Top Soviet Spy: "Foreign language is a problem for me - there is no musicality in me. The sensitivity of the hearing aid is lowered by tank guns. I am doing my best. I'm stretching. But in terms of languages, I'm the worst in the group ... - I had the same problem, - said the Elephant (the nickname of the mentor). Learn whole pages by heart. Then the fluency will appear. Then your oral speech and spelling will always have plenty standard expressions, phrases and whole passages of text in stock.”

Where to draw?

Where did I find this last model sentence? I don't remember yet. The best thing of the whole hack is your option to choose the model sentences on your own – whether heard or read somewhere – if you decide to use those as model sentences.

Don't worry if you are not keen on spending your time searching for model sentences and making flashcards yourself - be smart and use modern apps. I pursued this need to make nice and helpful apps for beginners: At home, on the road or at even during your lunch breaks, you can easy learn it with German with Moritz App on your iPad with over 2,500 example phrases and sentences, memory games, all with native speaker or you may use German flashcards for your smartphone.

The good news is - both are optimized with respect to obtaining the German certificate "Zertifikat Deutsch". Zertifikat Deutsch is a basic must-have certificate for your career in the German speaking world. It proves your knowledge of German at B1-level within the common European framework of reference for languages - which is often the minimum required level of (additional) foreign language for business. For more details disclosing advantages of Zertifikat Deutsch, read here.

Let´s hack German :-)

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