Resources for learning German
I’ve been learning the German language for about five months, now. I need a place to put all the resources I’ve found, so here it is. Hopefully it will be useful for other German-learners.
- I’ve been told that Pons.eu is the best German-English dictionary online, because it’s not crowdsourced.
- Deutsche Welle has several courses, for young learners and grownups alike.
- My favorite DW podcast course is Deutsch, Warum Nicht. It comes complete with a text you can download.
- The AudioTrainer looks interesting, as well, although I have not tried it yet.
- If you have specific questions or need live language help, try asking at the Learn Another Language German subreddit
Online and Electronic Text References & Tutorials
- Verbix: Conjugate German verbs
- Deutsched is kind of an online textbook
- German Language Guide has a lot of grammar instruction that is worth bookmarking, for example German Possessive Adjective
- Someone on Reddit posted this handy gender guide
- German Grammar Tutorial: Plural Nouns
- German Dictionary for iOS: I have downloaded several German/English dictionaries, but one of the best is “Free German English Dictionary +” by Ascendo, Inc.. It includes many verb conjugations and has a good speech-to-text.
Textbooks and books
- Textbooks: We are using “Neue Horizonte” by Dollenmeyer. I have to say, I cannot recommend it. It’s exorbitantly expensive and the grammar dwells a lot on college-student vocabulary, such as “student ID” and “student dormitory”, which I don’t find useful, as a post-college learner. If anyone has a good textbook to recommend, leave me a comment.
- Barrons German Grammar is a useful reference
- German childrens books in PDF format
App-based courses & drills:
- Anki: a flashcard program with many German decks
- Memrise online learning website with many German courses
- Duolingo: Free language-learning website and crowdsourced text translation platform. It was originally sponsored by a MacArthur fellowship and a National Science Foundation grant.
- Toms Deutschseite I haven’t tried this online course, but it was recommended on Reddit.
- Perfect German, Michael Thomas Method: This is one of those CD-based courses. It’s not cheap, and I haven’t tried it yet. I might try this after my course is finished, to brush up.
- German is Easy! blog for all who want to learn German
- See if there is a local college near you that has a German program. Maybe they have a weekly social hour for speaking German, often called a Kaffestunde
- There are a number of websites which will match up speaking partners, such as Language Exchange; I haven’t tried them.
- A list of 37 German films suitable for German learners
- Netflix has a selection of German movies
- Extr@ auf Deutsch is a set of awesome German language practice videos cleverly disguised as a television sitcom. These are all captioned in German for easy understanding. I just love this series; it is a lot of fun. If the link breaks, just search “Extr@ auf Deutsch” in YouTube.
- Easy German videos from The Global Experience
- German Pronunciation Guides from The Global Experience
- Fernsehstrom: Free German televison programs, many or all have closed captions in German
There are lots of sources for German music, contemporary and old. You can find tubas and oom-pah music if you want, of course, but there’s a vibrant pop music scene in Germany. Here are a few sources:
- German radio stations streaming on the internet
- Spotify has a lot of German artists. You can listen to a free account with commercials. Spotify is play-on-demand, so you can control what plays. Search for a German artist, and Spotify will recommend similar artists. You can also search for “Deutsch” or “German” playlists from other members.
- Reddit has a subreddit of German music submitted by Reddit members
- There’s an autoPlaylist of music videos from the r/Germusic subreddit
- Amazon.com has a lot of German music for sale; many older albums can be downloaded for $9.99; some newer CD’s can be really expensive there, though.
- If you’re looking for a specific and newer CD, it might not be on Amazon at a reasonable price; try looking for it on eBay.
- If you want some background and information about German music, Deutsche Welle has a really nice German Pop podcast.
Popular groups which come up a lot include: Wir Sind Helden; Peter Fox; Klee; Juli; Einstürzende Neubaten; Rio Reiser; Herbert Grönemeyer; Wise Guys; Silbermond; and my personal favorite duo, Rosenstolz. Rosenstolz is highly melodic, their more recent work features a lush sound and sweeping, somewhat melodramatic songs about life and love. Recommended: their albums Wir Sind Am Leben, De Suche Geht Weiter, Das Grosse Leben, and Herz. (AnNa, ruf mich an!)
More ideas? Leave a comment. I keep a running list of German language links on Delicious.