We aren’t all lucky enough to be able to spend time in an English speaking country, but many of us are required to speak English in the workplace. So how can you make your English sound more natural quickly?
Firstly, I would recommend using more idioms in your speech. This website has a list of English idioms in a flashcard format: http://www.flashcardexchange.com/cards/english-idioms-german-translation-1851237
It’s useful because you can try to guess the English equivalent before finding out what it is in German. Not all idioms translate: this website here has German idioms, with an explanation underneath in English. Sometimes that explanation is the English equivalent: http://german.about.com/library/blredew_intro.htm
Secondly, I would recommend using more phrasal verbs. They’re not difficult to remember, but there are so many that it’s difficult to master them all! Don’t worry about it: remember them as and when you come across them. This website here has a list of English phrasal verbs and an example of when to use them: http://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/phrasal-verbs-list.htm
Thirdly, I would think long and hard about which English you want to use. If you want to speak more British English, don’t mimick phrases you hear on American TV shows. Try to watch British TV shows instead. If you are not sure what to look for, try googling for “British TV comedy” or “British TV documentary” to see what comes up. Listen to British radio (the BBC has an app which can be used outside of the UK). Try to properly listen to the accent and mimick it. If you have time, record yourself speaking and note where you have difficulties with the accent.
If however, you want to speak American English, I would recommend watching American TV series or films. The most important thing to remember is that the vocabulary between both countries changes and something may mean one thing in Britain and another in America….
Likewise, degrees of politeness change between both countries too, so it’s important to be aware of what is considered polite in one country and what is considered polite in the other.
Neither American or British English is better: they stem from the same root, but they’ve evolved differently to match different cultures. Anyone who judges you for speaking American/British English is an idiot: speak the one you feel more comfortable with. However, it is important to note that you will sound like you don’t understand the language if you mix the two.
I hope this helps for now! What else would you recommend doing?