Herzlich Willkommen zurück to “Secret Benefits to Learning German!”
This is the second installation in a three-part series on what I think are benefits to learning German that you might not have heard of or thought of yourself.
Up until now I’ve only shared these ideas with clients, so this is a look behind the curtain…
Secret #2: Learn to Plan.
There is no swaying my thoughts on this: I whole-heartedly believe that learning German can help you learn how to plan better.
This is a ripple-effect from having learned to think ahead, an essential skill you can acquire when you learn German.
Some people are natural planners, some people learned it early on in life, some of us had teachers who helped us learn how to plan and how to organize in a way that helped us plan. A lot of people just kind of make their way through life and just get things done, but they could be more successful if they learned a few more planning skills.
Here’s why I think German helps you plan better.
1. You can’t change what you want to say in the middle of the sentence.
You can do this in English, say, by interjecting something or adding another clause, however if you do want to contradict yourself or add another point to your sentence, then you can simply keep on talking and talking, such to the extent that you end up with a whole long run-on sentence and everybody has lost interest in what you’re saying, but #seewhatididthere? English can be downright chaotic.
This is what I think that paragraph looks like as a visualization:
German can be flexible, but only in its own, unique way. There is no chaos in speaking German because you must follow the structure.
Ich möchte etwas auf Deutsch sagen und deswegen schreibe ich einen Satz. Wenn ich über etwas anderes sprechen möchte, dann kann ich das machen, aber ich kann nicht ohne Ende reden. Ich muss zuerst den ersten Gedanken zu Ende bringen und danach spreche ich das zweite Thema an.
And here my exquisite visualization of that German paragraph:
2. You have to know which verb comes at the end of the sentence, therefore you must know what you want to say before you open your mouth.
When you get beyond the absolute basics of German, then you can use modal verbs like “wollen” and “können.” To use the past tense, you need the helping verbs “sein” and “haben.”
If you want to say “I went to the train station to pick up my sister,” then you have to start the sentence and end it with the two parts of the verb that make it past tense! You have no choice!
Ich bin zum Bahnhof gefahren und habe meine Schwester abgeholt.
You have the same situation with modal verbs:
Ich will zum Bahnhof fahren und [und ich will] dort meine Schwester abholen.
If you want to improve your planning skills, I can definitely recommend German. Find out what kind of a ripple effect this could have on your life. Es könnte interessant sein.