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German resources
Tags: German
July 1, 2011
12:51
cangirl
Germany

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These are my favourites:

- the online interactive course at Deutsche Welle: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,9572,00.html. It's free, and it's really good. It covers vocabulary and dialog for actual situations you might find yourself in (e.g. grocery shopping, going to the gym). You have to do both reading and listening, as well as some fill-in-the-blank excercises, and some times you're supposed to give your answer aloud (although there is no recording/answer checking functionality). This was the absolute most useful tool for me (besides going out and interacting with people ;) ) for learning German.

 

- other beginner-German resources at Deutsche Welle (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,2547,00.html), e.g. loads of podcasts, re-written (to be easy) versions of current news articles, etc.

 

- the magazine Deutsch Perfekt (http://www.deutsch-perfekt.com/). Has articles in 3 levels of German (easy, medium, hard) and includes grammar and comprehension excercises. Mostly it's articles about current events, culture, and cities in Germany and other German-speaking countries. If you can read a basic level of German *and* are interested in learning more about Germany itself, it's a good resource.

 

- "slow german" podcast. Slowly-spoken podcast in German (http://www.slowgerman.com/). Topics are generally about German culture. You can also read along with the text on your iPod (or computer). There are excercises to go along with the podcasts--the podcasts themselves are free but you pay for the excercises. I haven't tried the excercises so I can't comment on them.

Native:  English      Fluent:  French   German    Learning:  Norwegian
July 1, 2011
13:57
Martín Raúl Villalba
Argentina

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Let's make this into a really big and useful list of German resources, shall we?

 

Some newspapers/newsfeeds (Zeitung?):

FSI German:

http://www.fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php?page=German

 

Martín.

July 1, 2011
14:45
Benny
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One thing I'll be doing in this forum is taking the best resources shared by the community and turning them into a blog post when relevant. So keep up the good links (in all languages), and I'll be sure to share them beyond this forum! :)

I'd add the leo dictionary http://dict.leo.org/ since it is incredibly versatile. It even has Irish slang in it!

Speaks: English Spanish Italian Portuguese German Irish French Esperanto Mandarin (Taiwan) Nederlands American Sign Language
July 1, 2011
17:15
cangirl
Germany

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The Duden website: http://www.duden.de/sprachwissen

In the "suchen" tab you can type in a word to find info about it (proper spelling, gender, plural form, etc.)

In the "überprüfen" tab you can paste in a bunch of text and use it as a spell/grammar check.

Native:  English      Fluent:  French   German    Learning:  Norwegian
July 12, 2011
23:06
TaisaJai
United Kingdom
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A good one I found when I started was http://www.busuu.com/enc/home 

(If the link works)

 

It's a free language learning based community, offering exercises to complete. You can have it marked by native speakers who I've always found to be very friendly. There are even options to talk to people via something akin to Skype.

Fluently Speaks: English Basic understanding: French Currently Learning: German, Irish Hope to Learn: Dutch, Japanese, Russian.
July 12, 2011
23:14
Benny
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Google "review of Busuu" and see who comes up first ;)

It's a great site, but the basic premise is to copy Rosetta Stone's learning approach which I find terrible, and explained many drawbacks in their exercises in my review.

I did however find many friendly German speakers willing to help me in their conversation partner search. The interface works OK, but I'd personally ask for the Skype details and skip it. Especially when a language learning website can't handle non-English character inputs in its chat!

Speaks: English Spanish Italian Portuguese German Irish French Esperanto Mandarin (Taiwan) Nederlands American Sign Language
July 12, 2011
23:17
TaisaJai
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Oh lord you famous bugger you.

 

As for the rest of what you've said, I've never encountered Rosetta Stone so forgive my lack of knowledge there. As for your review, I just gained something new to read.

 

Cheers for showing me the error of my ways. <:

Fluently Speaks: English Basic understanding: French Currently Learning: German, Irish Hope to Learn: Dutch, Japanese, Russian.
July 15, 2011
19:37
skwirking
Australia
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I'm still just a beginner, but I've found DWDS [www.dwds.de] a very useful resource.

The site has a number of different panels – you can configure which panels are shown, and there are more than just the default. You search for a word, and the results are displayed in various panels.

Each panel has a different function, such as a dictionary, thesaurus, etymological listing, etc. My favourite is 'Die Zeit & Zeit Online' panel, which shows usages of the word in real newspapers – very useful resource for mining for example sentences that contain a specific word. There even a few views which show statistics, or a 'word cloud' of words which are often found together with the searched item.

 

It even has an audio pronunciation example for each word.

July 16, 2011
21:18
cangirl
Germany

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Hey, thanks--I'd never seen DWDS before but it looks really good!

Native:  English      Fluent:  French   German    Learning:  Norwegian
July 17, 2011
18:22
sanguine
Bern, Switzerland

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Not sure if this fits here, but a resource I've found very useful over the last year is the Android app "QuickDic". It's just a English/German – German/English dictionary downloaded onto my android phone, but it's useful in that

  • It's free
  • It's downloaded directly onto the phone so no net connection needed
  • You can save whatever you look up into a document directly
  • It contains phrases and conjugations associated with the word looked up, even colloquial stuff
If you're here, then who's piloting this thing !? Speaks: English Learning: German  / Swiss German
July 17, 2011
18:38
Silenz
Australia

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I might try validate my argument for needing a smartphone, by saying it's a tool for me to learn with :P

I speak: AusFlag I am learning:  German Russian
July 17, 2011
18:42
Alexander
Ukraine

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@sanguine

Thanks! Very useful app.. I've just tried it. It's amazing.. that's exactly I've been looking for 

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July 18, 2011
11:43
sanguine
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@Alexander

No worries – happy to share cool

@Silenz

About the smartphone – I rarely use it for calls/texts – mostly use it for this app if being truly honest.

If you're here, then who's piloting this thing !? Speaks: English Learning: German  / Swiss German
July 19, 2011
23:49
Chrystal G.
Las Vegas, NV USA

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I recently began learning German and was told by one of my Polish-American friends (who speaks Polish, Russian and English fluently) to find video resources. Does ANYONE know where to find German (dubbed or original) videos in America?? I am having an awful time trying to find things. I can hardly even find audiobooks…though I do have Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen and Bis(s) zum Morgangrauen thanks to iTunes and the Internet.

I did find one app on my iPad called DonauTV that let's me view news broadcasts out of Germany, but it is very unreliable sometimes and crashes when I try to view too much! Any ideas?

Native: English Learning: German (active), Polish (active, secondary)
July 20, 2011
10:28
cangirl
Germany

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@Chrystal, well, this isn't quite answering your question about where to find videos (I guess you mean hollywood kind of stuff?), but here are a couple of ideas anyway.

 

The Deutsche Welle news website has a section for learning German that includes a few videos… there is a telenova here: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,13121,00.html which is a series of short episodes (I admit I haven't watched them) and there is a news-video once a week here: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/0,,12165,00.html (it's a video about a particular topic; not just a general news report). Both the telenova and the news vids have transcripts so you can read along, and I think there are excercises (they're meant for people who are learning German).

 

You can also try watching German TV--for example if you go to the ARD Mediathek (http://www.ardmediathek.de/ard/servlet/) you can live stream shows or watch previously broadcasted stuff under the "Fernsehen" tab. I live in Germany so I'm not sure if you can stream this stuff from outside Germany (please let us know if you try!) (I can't watch a lot of North American stuff from over here. Boo.)

 

You could also try video podcasts… I'm not sure if you want to pay for TV series or whatever, but if you want to watch videos of the news (I recommend kids news… kindernachrichten), then you can definitely find free podcasts.

 

Another free-or-cheap suggestion is to do an inter-library loan to get your public library to loan German materials for you from another library. (They might charge a fee for it, depending on the funding situation…) You would need to know exactly what you want to loan though. You could check where there is a large historical German population (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American) and then look up the library's catalogue online to see if they have some German stuff.

Native:  English      Fluent:  French   German    Learning:  Norwegian
July 20, 2011
10:34
cangirl
Germany

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Someone posted this for a good place to watch TV… you can try that as well: /forum/general-discussion/using-tv-for-your-languages/

Native:  English      Fluent:  French   German    Learning:  Norwegian
July 20, 2011
18:53
Chrystal G.
Las Vegas, NV USA

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@cangirl:

Thanks so much! It's funny that I never actually thought of the library online… I know my local library doesn't have a great variety of German material…the only things are language learning, which I have tons of! I just want to watch the videos as the Germans watch, and that is very hard here…even though we have a lot of Germans in and around the area. When I go to Germany in November, I will attempt to pick up some DVDs (my player is non-regional), so that will help!

I will try your link for ardmediathek and see how that works. A lot of Germany-located items do not allow streaming to the US, which is why it has been so difficult for me. I will find something, and the they say that the video is not available for my area.

Vielen dank!

Native: English Learning: German (active), Polish (active, secondary)
July 21, 2011
02:24
Chrystal G.
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@cangirl:

Ohhh! Your link worked. Thank you. I only watched one video so far, but it works on my iPad (which is a plus), and it was a bit beyond my ability, which is perfect. Lol. I want to learn NEW things, not things I already know. Sehr gut!

Native: English Learning: German (active), Polish (active, secondary)
July 21, 2011
11:20
cangirl
Germany

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@Chrystal, if you want to watch something all the Germans watch, try the show "Tatort". It's been on TV for a few decades I think--it's a crime investigation thing. ("Tatort" means something like "scene of the crime".) It's on that ARD site. You will see right away that they haven't updated the opening sequence, ever! It's kind of cool in that every episode takes place in a different city (well, they cycle through 20 or so cities) so people have a chance of seeing something filmed in their home town.

Native:  English      Fluent:  French   German    Learning:  Norwegian
September 6, 2011
00:04
Robodl95

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This is a great online dictionary for German: http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/de-en/lists/index.html It also has vocabulary lists for tons of subjects that would be very helpful to study from. (including really specialized ones, biochemistry? coastal engineering? music theory?) 

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