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German Lesson 1 – Internet resources May 26, 2007

Posted by Paul Rees in german.
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German Lesson 1 whiteboard

OK, well the German lessons have started for real today. Above is (very bad) picture of the teacher’s whiteboard taken with my mobile phone. Anyway it does give an impression of some of what was taught. I also took some notes which I have typed up. They are here. I’ve excluded from the notes the German (not much) that I already knew. Also it’s been too many years since I went to school and I’m out of practice with scholastic note taking.

Rather than go on about my experience and impressions today, I thought that I would publish a list of useful web resources that I have found suitable for English speakers learning German.

BEOLINGUS: Dictionary/Wörterbuch This is an online dictionary for translation. It is very useful particularly as it provides audio pronunciation examples of many common words. Needs Adobe Flash player and/or an MP3 player (eg Windows Media Player).

BBC Languages – Learn German Fairly straight forward basic online German Language course. Has some useful reference information eg days of the week, numbers.

German Level I I just discovered this little site. A very basic introduction to German.

german-podcast.de This is quite crazy. The presenter, Stephan Wiesner, is a German man living in Switzerland. Stephan sounds like he is a really nice guy and he puts a lot of effort into producing these podcasts. However they are all over the place, ie beginners one week more advanced the next. Also the subject matter covered is the world around him and his interests. This is great as it is very personal but you will learn words about subjects, eg mountain climbing, in which you have no interest. Recommended on the whole because of Stephan’s warmth, passion and sense of fun.

mylanguageexcahange.com This is a site, where for a small fee you can contact German speaking people who want to practice their English in exchange for you being able to practice your German with them. It is offered for a range of languages, not just German and English. The idea is you make contact with someone and then work it out between you how you will communicate, eg by phone, Skype or in person if practical. For me personally, this has been wonderful. I am now in at least weekly Skype contact, and almost daily e-mail contact, with a man in Berlin who wants to practice Australian English prior to his trip to Australia. This is a fun way to learn. For long distance communication I recommend Skype with both audio and video. Video helps when words fail.

A Guide to German Pronunciation This is a very handy reference, although quite brief. For example do you know how to pronounce a “g” when it appears at the end of a word or “ü”? This will help you. It also provides audio examples. This site is part of a larger Exeter University Beginners’ German which I have not fully explored. It looks good, however there are some broken links and incomplete sections, but seems useful nevertheless.

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