How to learn German fast: saving one billion hours

Mission Statement

  • By 2020 we can save one billion hours of lifetime worldwide. Yearly.
  • This will have a significant impact on the personal development of millions of people
  • With the liberation of such an amount of time comes great economical benefit for everybody.

One Billion Hours

Any language -and I believe any other topic- could be learned up to 2x faster than the way it is taught and learned in most places today (proof one / proof two). The principles that I have worked out over the last years are applicable to any kind of learning but I focus on how to learn German fast.

My calculations are based on the German learning process. An improvement of 12,3% in learning speed would result in 66,6hrs or three weeks of intensive German tuition per learner*. The Goethe Institute, a governmental institution, estimates 15 million German learners worldwide. 15 million learners saving 66,6hrs each make 1 billion hours saved. Even if only 1% (=150.000) of those 15 million German learners are reached, that would still mean 150 000 x 66,6hrs = 10 million hours saved. Still worth the effort if you ask me.

*It usually takes 540hrs in six months to reach level B1

how to learn german fast - We can save Billions of Hours of Lifetime if we optimize language learning
Illustration by Florian Hauer nach Leonardo Da Vinci

The Problem

Currently the way German and other languages are taught, is highly inefficient. After up to 466 hours in 7 months only 50% of German learners pass their exam (page 124 on the linked document). That is a very sad outcome. The results of private schools will most likely not excel this quota by much. Also 50% of university students from foreign countries cancel their studies and go home. One reason is definitely lack of mastery of German.

A Fix

  • Individualized learning with help of smart apps optimizes learning speed and saves travel time (120 hrs and more). Missing classes will have less impact.
  • What can be learned on ones own, should be learned on ones own: e.g. grammar, reading, listening, writing and even part of your pronunciation practice can easily be outsourced with help of well-organized videos and ebooks.
  • Learners learn faster and better when they are instructed in their mother tongue. This way complex matters like the German grammar can be made clear in minutes.
  • No need to speak right away. Learners should get accustomed to the sounds and rhythms of German first. →  less pressure, better pronunciation/articulation.

  All of these things I aim to combine in a German language learning app. I know. There are already plenty out there. But from my experience and the experience of many others I came across, those are horribly designed from a didactical point of view. Even Duolingo’s own “study” found an abortion rate among their more motivated users of 50%.

How to learn German fast – participate

The best idea is worth nothing if no one hears about it. Share this idea and maybe my current free online course if you like it so that people become aware of the problem and gain hope again when it comes to learning languages.

If you see anything that I might need that you are able to provide, just write to me. Maybe we come together. All people I work with get paid properly as they help me save time and fulfil my dream. This project is my life’s vision and already deeply satisfying. But it’s with your support that it gains momentum and will make a significant difference in the way we learn.

Thank you for your time.


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