I can't really explain the issue I am facing precisely but it is that I find it difficult to follow german in speech. In English, I can listen and process what is being said actively but in german I have to wait till the end of sentence to know what the sentence is even talking about (if there are two verbs).

Similar issues with ideas of switching pronoun and verb to make a sentence into a questions in speech.

Is there any sort of therapy / rehab to do away with the way we think how a sentence should be written from experience with english?

  • 6
    Yep. Listen. Talk. Exercise.
    – tofro
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 10:18
  • Try Tagalog and then feel happy that your problem is just English-German!
    – Olafant
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 14:00
  • 1
    Yep. Forget what you learned about language structure as a toddler, start to speak German, not “English using German words”. I am facing the opposite every day when my team members or even company leaders “speak English”. Only when you have reached the level where you don’t stumble over the different grammar patterns have you truly mastered the language, imho.
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 15:20
  • 3
    This seems to be a question on language learning in general rather than on German. Perhaps the LL SE would be a better place for this question.
    – RDBury
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 21:33

2 Answers 2


There is no magic "fix" to this problem. The only answer is time. Once you've spent a lot of time listening to german being spoken, the neural paths in your brain will get used to the structure of a german sentence. Just as they are used to the structure of english (which is why it feels so "natural" to you to process things in english).

All it takes is practice! If you don't have anyone to speak to in German, try translating all of your thoughts into German or narrate what you are doing. It will further help your brain get used to the sentence structure. Unfortunately the only rehab or therapy you can undergo is called "language classes".

  • 1
    The real rehab is immersion. But apart from that, that answer pretty much sums it up.
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 15:22

Turns out I got a lot better with practice over four months. Firstly, I'd suggest getting a subscription to some site like Netflix or amazon prime where one can watch movies. After that, there are extensions for web browser which provide double subtitles for the show. I wrote down words which I didn't knew in a paper with translation. One will found that in a single show there are oftne many repeating words, so if one continues watching the show it becomes easier and easier. This process is not very fun as you'll be pausing every four seconsd but it does pay off.

One other thing I learned is to have a set of few films that one has rewatched more than two or three times. The idea behind rewatching is to some level memorize script of the scenes. This will allow you to translate the German directly into the meaning without going German to English then meaning as you understand the situation independent of language (hopefully this makes some sense).

Final thing, do not give up if you see a grammar that you haven't seen before.. there is a certain sort 'finiteness' to the stuff you can learn. In sense that, if you keep learning the stuff and moving on with that, you'd be well prepared for most situations. There is only so many variations of complex grammar which are used in common speech.

The two verb issue is actually much rarer than what I thought it would be like. It can be encountered in writing but if one sees Channels like Super Easy German on Youtube, then it is clear that most short sentence are short enough that one can take the whole sentence and translate it without difficulty.

  • Careful: I have seen movies that were dubbed into German (or original German), with German subtitles, and the subtitles and spoken words were often totally different.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 23:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.