As a German language learner, I’m always using references. It’s something you just can’t get around. I thought I’d share some of the German language resources that I use on a regular basis. I don’t have a lot of physical books but I have a few that are well used. The online resources, mostly dictionaries, I use practically on a daily basis. I even have them registered in the search bar of my browser so I can jump right to the resource I want and not have to jump through too many hoops. Continue reading →
After nine writing assignments and approximately six months, I have completed my German lessons! I took a correspondence course with the Goethe-Institut for writing training. It was generally a good experience overall and something I’m glad that I did. But there were little things that frustrated me.
I’m halfway done with my return to formal German lessons. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Of my nine assignments, I’ve completed four. (OK, not technically halfway done but that’s about as good as it gets.) For the most part, my experience with Goethe Institute’s Besser Deutsch program has been really positive. Continue reading →
Sometimes you just have to take initiative, especially when it comes to something you enjoy or want to accomplish. I don’t have a bucket list or X number of things I want to do before I die. But learning German has always been something I’m excited about. These days I’m even more excited because I’ve decided to start taking German lessons again. Continue reading →
I’ve been highlighting practicing listening skills with videos and radio. Now I’d like to focus on practicing those all important reading skills with some German language news and magazines.
There are lots of German language newspapers and magazines available online for free. Each publication is going to be a different level of difficulty so it might take you some time to find a paper or magazine that is the right challenge for you. Of course, finding a publication that covers a topic of interest to you is also important.
What’s great about reading these publications is that there is always something new. You’ll never get bored reading German language news because it’s always changing — whether it’s about business, lifestyle or the latest celebrity gossip. There’s always something up-to-date and different to use to test your skills. Continue reading →
Radio is great for practicing your listening skills and training your ear to German, or any language. It’s also perfect for putting on in the background while you clean the house or are working. I’ve put together a collection of just some of the German language radio stations that are available for free streaming online: some are music radio stations, some are talk radio, some are news radio and some are sports radio. Find whatever suits you and your interests — and your skill level!
Just like with the online streaming TV, many of the radio stations offer apps for your smart phone or podcasts, so you can practice on the go at your own convenience. Continue reading →
Sometimes it’s hard to believe what you can access on the internet. I consider sometimes how much more difficult my quest to learn German could have been if I’d taken it seriously back in high school. But today, there’s so much available. Many of the German (and Austrian and Swiss) television stations offer free streams or access to videos on-demand on their websites. I take advantage of these free services regularly to stream German language TV.
Admittedly, sometimes you won’t be able to watch a specific show or even an entire channel due to where you’re trying to watch from. But in the cases that there aren’t any geographic limitations, it’s awesome. I wanted to continue sharing my little “secrets” for practicing German. Here’s a collection of German-language TV stations that have online streaming. Continue reading →
Rock-n-roll autobiographies seem to be especially popular right now. But due to the nature of the beast, they’re relatively one-sided. You get the author’s point of view than you have to wait for their bandmates to write books to get their side of the story! But in 2005, authors Max Dax and Robert Defcon wrote a biography of sorts on Einstürzende Neubauten. Entitled Nur was nicht ist, ist möglich, the book is a compilation of conversations with the band’s members, past and present, plus a few other figures notable to their music.
Because the book is solely their words it reads like a long transcript which the authors have pieced together. It offers a better insight into exactly what each person thought and less of what the authors – or the band themselves – want to portray. Similarly, there is some back and forth between the band mates, especially during the “Ende Neu” era when two members departed and things turned a little sour. It’s also particularly fascinating to read the band in their own words and not edited together like a magazine interview. Continue reading →
I’m no German language expert — far, far from it — but I have been seeing a large response to my posts sharing my experiences learning German. So I’ve decided to start a new “feature” reviewing the German language books I read, which are as much for pleasure as they are for language practice. This will, hopefully, give other learners ideas for books to look for and what they can expect. If you’ve got a favorite book or a book you’re reading now, please share it! I’d really love to get recommendations.
First up, Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre’s Auch Deutsche unter den Opfern. Continue reading →
My previous post sharing some of my favorite spots for subtitled German videos online generated enough interest that I thought I’d do a second part with some more links. In the two or so years that I’ve been seriously, actively trying to learn the language, I’ve spent a lot of time trawling the internet looking for ways to practice. It’s amazing to think about how much easier it is today. These things didn’t exist a decade or so ago, at least not in the current form.
If you’re looking to stream videos straight to your television with services like Netflix or Amazon Prime, there are some great offerings of German language movies and television. And with some services — like Netflix — you can even get subtitles in German!
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always the best at following instructions, more likely to skim the text than read everything word for word. Attention to detail isn’t really a strength of mine. But I learned the hard way just how important it is to keep track of your yeast. Is it active dry? Is it instant? And, more importantly, what does your recipe call for? Continue reading →