Top 15 tips recommended by experts to learn German

11.Learn the cognates (borrowed words) from English to German


What are cognates you ask? A cognate word is one that shares its origins from the same or similar language family. As we mentioned above, given that English and German both come from Germanic roots, they share many borrowed words.

For German beginners, this means that you need to familarize yourself with cognate rules. These are: ‘if X, then Y’ rules that help you translate English words into German words immediately. Where you want to focus is learning the most common cognate rules and build from there.Here are some examples of some German cognates:

  • Ch (English) to K (German) Example: Chin to Kinn
  • Gh (English) to Ch (German) Example: Lighter to Licht
  • X (English) to Chs (German) Example: Fox to Fuchs
  • Y (English) to G (German) Example: Yarn to Garn

The complication with German cognates arise because there are many different variations and possibilities, making it slightly more difficult to memorize. We recommend using digital flashcards like Memrise or Anki to speed up your memorization.

Here is an extensive list of cognates from English to German.

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