Learning a foreign language like German is difficult! There are no corners that you can cut and no shortcuts you can take. It is all about putting in the hard work. But, that doesn’t mean that learning a foreign language can’t be fun. With this German language learning gift guide, you can send a message of support to someone special in your life. Or, you can treat yourself as a reward for all of the time and energy you’re spending. It’s amazing how impactful a small thing like a kind word or a thoughtful gift can be in keeping someone motivated. Here are more than a dozen great gifts for a German language learner.
Magnetic Poetry – German Kit
You don’t have to be writing poetry to enjoy the German kit of Magnetic Poetry! The kit includes over 500 German language words (verbs, nouns, adjectives, and so on as well as some endings like “t” and “en”) to do some creative writing on your refrigerator. Or anything magnetic.
Collins German Dictionary Complete & Unabridged
Regardless of whether you’re new to learning German or you’re nearly fluent, everyone needs a good dictionary. It’s simply a must for German language learning. It can be surprising how often you will come across an unfamiliar word or phrase. Dictionaries provide the extra information and context that a word sometimes needs. And Collins German Dictionary contains 500,000 translations, guaranteeing that there will be little you won’t be able to understand.
German/English Visual Dictionary
While a dictionary of a half-million words is a must-have reference, it isn’t necessarily the best way to learn new words. Talk about overwhelming. A visual dictionary, however, can make learning new words a lot easier. This is especially true for visual learners. Seeing photographs with English and German definitions helps with the absorption of information. This is also a great gift for younger German language learners.
Duden Thesaurus (Synonymwörterbuch)
Duden is a highly respected German maker of dictionaries and other reference books. They’ve been around since the 19th century. A dictionary will help you define words, but what if you’re looking for another way to say something? What if you need a synonym? That’s where a thesaurus is a necessity. And Duden’s offers 300,000 words.
Practice Makes Perfect Complete German Grammar
You don’t need me to tell you practice makes perfect. And you probably already know that the basis of learning any language is grammar. That’s what makes the workbooks from Practice Makes Perfect, well, perfect. Learners can take their time and go through the workbook and complete exercises as often as they’d like. The answer key is in the back of the book, too. There are also additional workbooks available focusing on topics like verb tenses and vocab.
Short Stories In German Parallel Text
I can tell you from personal experience, that the feeling of satisfaction you get when you read your first novel in German is like no other. But German language learning is like any other skill. Before you can run, you have to walk. Penguin’s Short Stories in German is like a great set of training wheels. You don’t have to be able to read a whole novel to enjoy the story. Plus, because it’s a parallel text, the German is on one page and the English translation is on the opposite page. This means you can easily look between the left and right pages as needed for some assistance.
Sling’s German TV Package
In our fully connected world, it still isn’t very easy to get German television programming in your home if you live abroad. If you’re looking for something really special to gift your special German language learner, consider a subscription to the streaming television service Sling with the German language package. The German Mosaic add-on includes German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle’s DW Deutsch+ and popular pay-TV broadcaster ProSieben.Sat1 Welt. With a click of the television remote, your friend can be watching German-language programming without any worries about regional blackouts or availability.
An audiobook can be a great way to learn. You can listen while doing something else, like driving or exercising, or you can listen while you read along to the text. But audiobooks aren’t all novels or fictional stories. There are instructional and informational audiobooks, too.
Buy Audiobooks from Audible: German: Learn German for Beginners Including German Grammar, German Short Stories and 1000+ German Phrases,
German short stories for beginners,
Learn German with Paul Noble.
The best way to learn is when you don’t know that you’re learning. That applies to German language learning as much as it does to mathematics or anything else. You can spend hours with a puzzle book in German and you probably won’t even notice that you’re learning. Whether it’s a book of word searches, crossword puzzles, or a book of a variety of different games, a puzzle book’s a fun way to reinforce German skills.
German Board Games
Whether it’s cards or a proper board game, Germans love their games. So much so that many board games of strategy are considered German-style games. While some games might not involve a lot of reading, there are some proper German games that you can enjoy. If nothing else, it’s a great taste of German culture and a way to bring family and friends together for some fun.
Buy from Amazon: Exit the Game,
Mensch Aergere Dich Nicht Family Game (Black Edition)
Carddia German Vocabulary Flashcards
Flashcards are so effective because they aid in repetition. Carddia’s flashcards are more than just simple cards with English on one side and German on the other. Instead, they provide the pronunciation, illustrations, and examples of how a word is used in a sentence. Flashcard drills are a great way to reinforce genders with nouns, too!
German Language Learning Software
These days, people don’t sit down with textbooks and notebooks the way that they once did. We all seem to be on our smartphones or computers. So German language learning software like Babbel, Pimsleur, or Rosetta Stone is not only a convenient but fantastic way to learn German on your own schedule.
It can be difficult to say which is “the best” program. Everyone learns differently and, for that reason, each program has a different appeal. The best program is really the one that you will actively use and engage with.
German Word-A-Day Planner
Know someone looking to get started with German language learning but not willing to fully commit? Then help them learn a new German word each day with a daily planner.
Similar to a board game, a cookbook is a great gift because there are obvious language skills for translating recipes. But there is also the extra benefit of being able to enjoy the food of another culture. With 2014’s Heimat, German chef Tim Malzer offers a modern taste of his Germany. The cookbook contains many traditional German recipes, such as asparagus soup, that are prepared in a way that will appeal to many tastes. Just be sure that your gift recipient shares their cooking with you if you do gift them this book!
Any regular reader of Reverberations will know that I am a big proponent of German language learning with both films and music. I think film and television is a great way to learn German because there is something that speaks to everyone. Regardless of whether you prefer a thrilling crime drama or a romantic period piece, there is something for you. A great recommendation for any film fan is Good Bye, Lenin! In the film, a young man goes to great lengths to keep his ill mother (a loyal communist) from experiencing too great a shock by learning that Germany is again a single country. The film is a great blend of history, drama, suspense, romance, and comedy.
Everything I said above about German language learning with films applies to music, too. Whether your gift recipient loves techno or opera, there’s a German-language music option for them. A great recommendation is Austrian musician Falco. Blending singing with rapping to form his own unique style, Falco was the epitome of the 1980s and ’90s cool. Who can resist an infectious tune like “Rock Me, Amadeus?”
Buy Falco 60: Deluxe from Amazon.
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out these gift guides:
12 German Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Germanophile
Austrian Gift Guide
9 Irish Gifts for Your Favorite Irish Lover
Unique Scottish Gifts for Your Favorite Scotophile
Yo! Philadelphia Gifts Guide
All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.