Secrets For Learning a Language Fast in 3 to 5 Months

I’ve been traveling in Europe for the last 6 months already and learned that it’s very hard to live anywhere that you do not know the language.

Originally I was thinking of going to Poland to study, but after much thought I changed my mind because I’m tired of living in the east of Europe. It’s poor throughout, even though Poland is a bit better. Things are not clean and orderly, and I really love to have order. All these run-down buildings in Croatia, and previously in Lithuania, really bothered me.

So while Germany costs more, it will definitely be orderly and clean. And there is far more opportunity there. There are pros and cons to everywhere, but a huge pro to Germany is that university is totally free, and I found a program I really like. So I decided to attend university in Germany.

But I didn’t know German, and experience has taught me I’m tired of living places that I cannot communicate with people and cannot read anything. So I want to become fluent in German. So, I started learning German full time. A week ago I didn’t know a word of German, besides “bitte” and “danke”, and had never studied it in my life. I did however study a couple other languages, but I’m only fluent in English.

It’s different this time because I am motivated with a clear reason, plan, and use for it, and a deadline. I’m going to Germany! While I’d love to go right now, I can’t because of Schengen requirements. I have to finish my Croatia residency first, or complete a German residency. The Croatian residency can take months more, but I might be able to get a German residency in little more than a month. I want to go to Germany right away so I can get established there and also to start practicing German in person with the people there.

My journey learning German

I’m 6 days in according to the German app that I’m using. I now know the days of the week and the months, some introductions, all the numbers up to 99,999 (not that hard), a few words, and some basic conversations.

My goal is to become fluent within 5 months. I read that for a native English speaker, it will take 750 hours to reach fluency in German. This can be done in 5 hours per day, 6 days per week.

It’s true, I am extremely driven, not everyone has this ability. When I worked in sales in big companies, I exceeded the productivity of the best who had been there for years. So I have a special ability to do this level of dedication.

But I think others can too if they stay focused and put aside their other responsibilities. At the rate I am going, I will be able to have conversations with Germans in a couple months.

How I am learning German

I have many courses and paid for an audio language app. I downloaded many video courses and apps, and I also have German textbooks to study. The German app I am using has 242 modules so I want to complete 1 per day. If I studied a whole day, based on my experience so far, I can finish 1-2 modules in a day. Or, I can review the last day’s module and then learn a new module in a day.

At the rate of 1 module per day with 242 modules, it would take 8 months to complete the German app, but that includes advanced modules, so I will be able to speak German before I complete all the modules.

I’m making it a way of life.

Time as your most important asset

“It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste much of it.”
– Seneca

I blocked all social media on my phone and computer. I disconnected the television. I kept youtube because I can watch German movies to learn. If it becomes a problem, and it might, I will spend a day hand-picking German videos to watch and download them, and then block youtube. Learn German (A1) with Nico movie will be at the top of my list. I’m watching it through the second time today, and already know a lot of what they are saying this time.

The biggest thing holding me back in life was television, video games, and social media. Some years ago I sold my game systems so I could not play games. I broke the habit of watching television and stopped watching it. But there was still forums and social media, so I deleted those, and now I have fully blocked anything that takes my time, even though it could be useful.

Quora and Reddit have some useful information and could be useful, and even Facebook has groups that could help, but these sites also draw me in and I find myself asking and answering questions and wasting time, so I blocked them all. I don’t need them, the time they steal isn’t worth the benefit they provide. I also removed them from search results so I will not even see them if I have to search for something.

I have fully cleared it for German. Although I do want to brush up on math and learn calculus too. Some days I learned nearly 9 hours per day before I was too tired to learn any more for the day. After a good night’s rest, I can do it again the next day.

Besides getting groceries, exercise, and making meals, I am just learning German, with a few breaks. And I have started writing more, as a way to supplement my time and fill in the break times when I get a little tired.

I can study nearly 9 hours per day. Not everyone can do this though. I also don’t have to go to work (I saved up enough for my traveling journeys), and don’t have any obligations. There are a couple things I need to do, but they aren’t urgent.

So without work or obligations, I can use the energy most people devote to work, to language learning. The goal is I want to be able to speak German before classes start in the Fall, so I am very motivated and have a clear objective, which helps to keep me focused.

Tips for learning a language fast: Consistency, Goals, and a Schedule

“Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily”
– Epictetus

Take breaks if you get tired. And make sure to eat! Your brain uses a LOT of energy, and if you don’t feed your body, what will your brain use for energy?!


You can spend 5 years learning a language on and off and still not be able to speak it. Trust me! But you can be consistent for 6 months to 1 year (depending on how much time you spend on it, and which language you are learning) and become fluent.

You MUST have goals and a schedule and follow it in order to be consistent. You cannot go by just your feelings for the day. One day you will feel like it, most days you won’t if you live like that. Instead, don’t think about whether you want to. Just do it, you already planned a schedule and at the time you set, it is time for language learning.

You need to study in a place with no distractions, that is quiet and peaceful and allows you to think clearly. If you live with others, you need to talk with them to leave you alone while studying unless the house is on fire. If you live alone, it is much easier.

More language learning tips

Learn from multiple methods. If you only use flash cards you will get frustrated and it isn’t the best to only use that.

But if you learn multiple ways, you can stay excited and motivated, and you can use flashcards too, and all of this will help.

Most importantly, VISUALIZE what you are learning. Use your brain and be creative. You need to make mental associations. Pictures in your mind. Hammering it in by repetition is not only ineffective, it is frustrating. The secret is to make a picture in your mind about it, and make an association.

For example, for fast and slow, I used the Tortoise and the hare story from Aesop’s Fables. It’s information I have clearly pictured in my mind, and associated with fast and slow. Schnell = fast, and lansam = slow. So I picture the tortoise and the hare to remember which is which.

I could do better but would have to make a better association that sounds like the word, like I did for Christmas in German. For Christmas, the German word is totally random. So I pictured someone holding a bottle of wine with a big smile on their face during Christmas while at the door, knocking to come in. It’s cold outside there, and the sun is going down. They want to come in.

Wine, Knocked, In


Got it? I was able to recall Christmas in German because I could recall the picture I made in my mind much easier than a random word in a foreign language. I made an association. Creativity will help you learn a language much faster than trying to hammer random words into your head by repeating them over and over. I still need to memorize the exact spelling, but I got the word and won’t likely forget it now.

I saw the word 2 or 3 times and didn’t bother repeating it over and over, I made this picture in my head instead, and was easily able to recall it by the picture I made. Christmas is my favorite holiday. The picture in my mind didn’t actually happen, and I don’t know who the woman is holding the wine bottle in my mind, I doubt it really happened. The point is you use pictures to create a memory to associate with the word. Use places you have been and come up with a picture and a story for it.

For der Guburtstag, I imagined a boat party for a birthday. I know that “tag” means day, so I needed something for Gubers, and I also needed to remember the gender “der”. So I imagined that it is daring to go on a boat, so I associated it with der Guburtstag – “burt” kind of sounds similar to “boat”, and “der” sounds similar to “dare”. And that’s all you need. It isn’t as perfect as Christmas = Weihnachten, but it’s good enough.

Now, I did repeat a few things the old way, maybe out of habit. Three (drei) and four (vier) were the only numbers that gave me trouble, the rest are close enough. I just repeated those two numbers a bunch of times. But if I made a picture for them, it would be easier, but it’s too late now, I already memorized them.

Maybe the numbers were easier because I had previously watched a video on the numbers right before bed a night or two before. In either case, the numbers were very easy for me. Maybe try that if you’re having trouble?

Anyway, time to get back to German! I hope this helped you, and talk again soon!


Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *