Whether you want to learn German for business, travel, or just because it’s the most widely spoken language in Europe, there are lots of options for getting started. But before you jump in, figure out what your goals are—do you want to be conversational in a month or do you just need the basics? Then choose the lessons that work for your lifestyle and learning style.

Online German classes can be a great option for consistency and accountability. Lessons at Lingoda begin with a placement test to understand your level, then you meet with a tutor online and over the phone around your schedule. From 30-minute sessions to two-hour lessons, there’s a lot of flexibility for people with hectic lives.

Make time to read in German every day, including news articles, blogs and comics. This helps build your vocabulary and exposes you to different sentence structures. Listening is also important, so try to catch podcasts or talk shows in German whenever you can.

You can also use your downtime to improve your German by switching the language settings on Netflix so you have subtitles or audio in German, or by watching sitcoms and chat shows with friends who speak the language. You can also use a fun trick to help remember German vocabulary—simply associate each word with a picture or sound that is associated with it in your brain. For example, the word for deer (der Hirsch) sounds a bit like the English word “deer,” so you can picture all masculine nouns with deer antlers to help remember their pronunciation. German lessons