Learning business German alongside your existing language certification like a B2 level is crucial for your future career in Germany. To help you with that process, I put together all resources that I used in the past to learn business German fast.
- First, I provide you with recommendations regarding online courses to learn business German.
- For some of you, it might be better to learn business German with a coursebook instead of watching online videos.
- What helped to learn business German fast, amongst other things, is trying to speak only German at work and not falling back into English or your native language.
- Some other recommendations are: Paying someone for German online conversations classes, learning your work-specific vocabulary as best as you can, learning how to write emails in German, and using Youtube as a training option.
- To finalize this article, you will learn more about which websites or magazines you should read in German related to your profession.
- For me, it was also beneficial to listen to German podcasts that are about work-related topics and follow those discussions.
Topics in this article
Online courses for business german >>
Coursebooks for business German >>
How to speak at work >>
Take German conversation classes >>
Learn work-specific vocabulary by heart >>
Learn how to write emails in German >>
Videos with job-specific situations >>
Videos from the Federal Employment Agency >>
German websites and magazines >>
German podcasts on work-related topics >>
1. Find an online course for learning business German
Here you will find some online courses for learning Germany quickly. Those are helpful, especially at the beginning of the learning process.
If you had German at school, you might already have a basic understanding and knowledge of the German language. However, nothing is better from my point of view than listening to a native speaker.
Udemy* is a great platform to learn languages and learn way more than that. There are two specific courses that I’d like to point out to you that stands out amongst others, in my opinion.
First, there is the course German for you – Intermediate: Business Language & more* by Ester Hartwig, which is getting excellent reviews. She’s a professional language teacher and covers many situations in a work environment that you should be mindful about.
The second one I’d like to mention here is Lernen Sie Deutsch: Deutschkurs für Anfänger*, which is especially good for learning German as a beginner.
Both courses are pretty long, and they help you be prepared in the best possible way for your new job in Germany.
Lingoda* is a tutoring/learning platform that provides online live courses with few attendees. Usually, those groups are no larger than 3 – 5 people, which allows you to get constant feedback and benefit from actively participating in conversations.
The courses are provided 24/7 so that you can organize your daily routines around that. They also guarantee that all teachers are native speakers of their language, and you may choose courses based on your reading, writing, and speaking level.
Besides offering courses in German, you may also improve your Spanish, French, and English or Business-English knowledge of lingoda.
2. Learn business German with a coursebook for business German
If you are the type of person that learns better by reading, I can recommend the following business German course books for German at work to you:
Deutsch für die Arbeit im Büro*: Business Deutsch – by Irina Schröder-Beck
This book provides those who have learned German as a foreign language with useful phrases for their work in the office. You get ready-made sentences that you can adopt. At the same time, you get an insight into the working world in Germany.
Bürokommunikation Deutsch*: Mustertexte, Textbausteine und Übungen – by Josef Wergen
This book from PONS Verlag offers more than 800 sample texts and text modules for reference and practice for every business occasion.
While working through the book, I occasionally noticed that some points are no longer entirely up to date. However, the sample texts and building blocks are a great help in everyday business.
3. Want to learn business German? Speak only German at work
One of the essential parts of learning German is by speaking it regularly. I tried to speak only German at work which helped me significantly. Of course, when you are starting, you may fall back to English, which is widely understood in more prominent companies in Germany or your native language.
Over time, you can improve on that and try to explain and speak everything in German. From my own experience, trying to speak only German at work is crucial.
I have a small minority of colleagues that are too shy to speak German at work, so they always fall back on English. As they describe it, it’s a significant setback for their German skills.
If you are one of those, please don’t worry too much. German colleagues are usually very helpful and understanding with people working in Germany and not yet having the language experience they would have after a few years. So my recommendation is to go for it, try your best, and don’t be shy.
4. Pay someone for German online conversation classes
If you want to improve your conversational skills, the best recommendation I can give you is to pay someone for German online conversation classes. A good source for that is the platform italki.com.
italki.com offers 1-on-1 lessons in more than 150 languages, free practicing opportunities via their online community, and learning from certified teachers with proven experience. The link above directly leads you to their platform’s landing page for German teachers.
Courses of 30 minutes start from as low as about 10 Euros.
The option to take a “Probeunterricht” or trial lesson is available to almost all teachers. If you are very ambitious, you may even learn local dialects as you can find teachers who teach local German dialects.
5. Learn work-specific vocabulary by heart
Learning work-specific German vocabulary by heart can be very helpful as well. Depending on your industry or profession you are working in, it may be crucial to understand contracts, emails, letters, and colleagues properly.
The more qualified you need to be for your job, the more likely you have to use job-specific vocabulary. Imagine that you are a doctor and write notes for your colleagues or nurses; they must understand what you write down.
For some professions, you may find specific English-German dictionaries online that are work-related. So, for example, you can find German-English medical dictionaries. Here is a link to Amazon*.
6. Learn how to write emails in German
Since emails are a widespread way to communicate in a work environment, even amongst colleagues, I recommend you look into learning how to write those emails in German. The following book provides helpful guidance for your daily work-life in Germany, from standard greeting or closing formulas to common phrases.
The author Markus Krenn offers a great book German for the workplace*: writing modern emails and letters made easy”. This book is a very well researched and written standard book.
He offers a wide range of tried and tested text modules, which readers can use to create their business correspondence. Illustrative sample letters and emails from the toy industry complement the collection. As you might guess, this book* may be an excellent tool for you, especially when starting your career in Germany.
Alternatively you can read my article on How to write an email in German.
7. Learn business German by watching videos with job-specific situations on YouTube
Some of my foreign colleagues mentioned that they were also studying by watching videos with job-specific situations on YouTube. Let me provide you with a few examples for some channels or videos here:
The TRAUMJOB channel sponsored by StepStone offers career tips specifically for job-seekers in Germany.
For example, the following video about the job interview offers a full-length sample dialog in German that you can try to follow.
7 Tage unter
Two other good examples are, for example, videos from 7 Tage unter or “seven days under…”. If you are searching YouTube, you might first think that the videos provided are not for you.
The NDR and SWR, both public TV stations in Germany, started this series many years ago. The purpose was to give insights into various professions in Germany just by following their daily work-life. Here are two examples for you that might be helpful.
The first example, “7 Tage… unter Waldarbeitern”, is about foresters working in Germany. That video explains the daily work-life of foresters in a German region.
Another example is the video “Bäcker: Knochenarbeit Zwischen Teig, Brot und Blech“, meaning „Baker: back-breaking work between dough, bread, and sheet metal” in English.
As you can see, most of these videos are focused on blue-collar jobs but provide significant insights into the classic German “Handwerk” or crafts in English.
By the way, most YouTube videos give you the option to turn on captions. This can come in handy when the people in the video use a local dialect. If people are speaking in German too fast for you initially, you may also change the playback speed by using the settings of your YouTube video.
8. Watch videos by the Federal Employment Agency on berufe.tv
berufe.tv is a platform provided by the German Federal Employment Agency or Arbeitsagentur. You can find their platform here. This platform mainly focuses on videos about the classic “Ausbildungsberufe” or apprenticeships in Germany. Here is an example for you:
The video below, for example, is about IT specialists and gives you more information about the profession and the daily work involved.
They use programming languages and tools such as developer tools for their work. They also take on tasks in project planning and control.
In addition, they troubleshoot with the help of an expert and diagnostic systems and advise or train users.
9. Read websites and magazines in German related to your work
If you are interested in reading websites and magazines in German that are directly related to your work, there are two different sources.
The first one, called fachzeitungen.de, is a good directory of many different trade magazines, trade publications, and ebooks. The directory is sorted by trades and industries and currently has almost 400.000 entries.
Another good source would be the category for German trade magazines on united-kiosk.de. There are many different categories or industries available, and you will find lots of exciting magazines there in German.
From both websites, you do have the option to order only a yearly subscription at quite a low price.
For a comprehensive list of internet resources read my article on German Articles To Read.
10. Listen to German podcasts on work-related topics
The last tip I have for you is to regularly listen to German podcasts on work-related topics.
The best way to find those is to search on Google for something like “Podcast für … (your profession)”. I was able to find some good sources that way online by searching for “podcast für ingenieure”.
I prefer that method of finding new inspirational podcasts in German because it’s way easier than searching on every podcasting platform like Spotify, Deezer, or others for a podcast that might fit your needs.
Podcasts are a huge thing in Germany nowadays, and the chance of finding a podcast that talks about your profession are pretty high.
By the way, most music apps or podcast apps allow you to adjust the listening speed. So I’d recommend that you slow everything down by a bit at the beginning and try to catch or understand as many words as possible. You might even work with a standard dictionary while listening to those podcasts.
As you can see, there are lots of exciting and varied ways to learn business German. Whatever method you prefer, may it be learning by reading, listening, or speaking, I hope I was able to provide you with lots of tips for each category.
From my own experience, speaking strictly German with my colleagues was the most helpful way to improve my business German. But if you are not yet in the situation that you found a job in Germany, you should consider choosing one or the other method mentioned in my article.
USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT GERMANY
JOBS IN GERMANY
> How To Get A Job In Germany
INSURANCE IN GERMANY
> 15 types of insurance in Germany any expat should have in 2022
FINANCES IN GERMANY
> Find Best Rates for Loan in Germany [Loan Calculator Guide]
WAGES AND TAXES IN GERMANY
> Tax return Germany – Everything you need to know
> Average Salary in Germany Latest Data
WORKING IN GERMANY
> CV in German with Europass: How to fill in step by step
LEARNING GERMAN LANGUAGE
> How to learn German fast: Top 10 strategies
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