When I was in college, I took four courses in conversational German, and following a year abroad spent studying in Frankfurt, I was almost completely fluent. The funny thing about it was that a very good friend of mine, who is of Swedish and German decent and was studying in the United States, had warned be against taking German because she thought it would be too difficult. I have to say that it was never hard for me to learn to speak German, and I am always glad that I chose that language.
I will never forget the first day of class when the teacher introduced herself in German, and then asked each of us to read a passage from the textbook, which was also written in German. She got to me, and I read my paragraph with almost perfect diction, and several of my classmates clapped for me. It felt really great, and the professor nodded to me and simply said, "Sehr Gut!" I felt really good about that day, and I knew that it would not be hard for me to learn to speak German after that confidence-building moment!
Within a few weeks, I was already able to speak a little German with my professor and some of the other students, and the best part about it was that it really came naturally to me. It seemed like I just understood what was being said and how to respond in most situations. My professor even came up to me one day and told me that she had never had a student who was able to learn to speak German as quickly and proficiently as I had. She asked me if I would be interested in being a tutor, and I said I would.
It was when I became a tutor that I really started to learn to speak German well. The fact of the matter was that I was constantly around her and other upper-level students, who spoke practically nothing but German, and I had to adapt or fail. It was shortly thereafter that the opportunity to travel to Germany presented itself to study for a semester, and I jumped right on it. A couple of my classes in Germany were taught in German, so I really had to sink or swim then, and it could not have worked out better.
It was never difficult for me to learn to speak German. I am still fluent to this day, and I love the language and the German culture. I am so glad that I chose German as my second language and could easily see myself living in Germany one day.