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Online German language learning resources June 25, 2008

Posted by Paul Rees in german.


My collection of relevant bookmarks is available here http://del.icio.us/madam3181/German or you can subscribe to an RSS feed of them here http://is.gd/13lT. This document is a summary of those bookmarks with some commentary.

Dictionaries – Translations

Online German courses
  • http://german.about.com/ There is a lot of lessons, articles, activities, discussions and more here. Best to leave it to you to explore for yourself. I think the site layout and structure is not so good, but it’s worth struggling with that to find the valuable content. This site appears to have now moved here http://forums.delphiforums.com/aboutgerman/, but I am not sure what is going on.
  • 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 A very basic introduction to German.
  • Deutsch – Warum nicht? Online course includes MP3 and PDF’s downloads for each lesson. Presented by DW-WORLD.DE.
Podcasts (no, you don’t need an iPod)
  • 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. Stephan appears to have given up on this project and it is no longer updated.
  • Slowly spoken daily news reports in German from DW-WORLD.DE http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1833641,00.html. RSS version seems to work best http://rss.dw-world.de/xml/podcast_langsam_gesprochene_nachrichten.
  • SBS Radio Australia Try the Children’s program because the language is simple.
Online language exchange with German speaking people
  • 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 unfortunately has some broken links and incomplete sections.
Online broadcasts in German
Australian radio broadcasts in German

If you don’t know what RSS is see this link http://www.whatisrss.com/. You need a RSS feed reader. I recommend FeedReader or Google Reader. FeedReader is for Windows and is free.


My latest craze is Twitter . I am still learning how to learn Twitter myself, but I think that it has the potential to put me in contact with other people with similar interests. Therefore I am hoping that I can use it to expand my German skills. Go to http://twitter.com and register. If you are like most people you won’t get it first off; you will probably think it is stupid. To help you get started try The Big Juicy Twitter Guide by Caroline Middlebrook and this Video: Twitter in Plain English | Common Craft – Explanations In Plain English from Common Craft.

One good tool for finding people on Twitter with similar interests is Tweet Scan. Using several Tweet Scan RSS feeds combined with RSS mix, I came up with a way to find people on Twitter who might be learning, or prepared to help with learning, see here http://www.rssmix.com/u/33031/ or subscribe to this feed http://www.rssmix.com/u/33031/rss.xml.

“Friends” on Twitter are referred to as “followers” or “following” so once you have joined go here http://twitter.com/madam3181 and follow me by clicking on the follow button under my photo. Make sure you read Twitter help http://help.twitter.com/index.php it will get you started.

Newspapers and magazines

For people in Melbourne Australia

And finally to type those extra German letters of the alphabet without getting a German keyboard and/or resetting your system settings to German, here are the keystrokes:
ä Alt + 132 Ä Alt + 142
ö Alt + 148 Ö Alt + 153
ü Alt + 129 Ü Alt + 154

ß Alt + 225 € Alt + 0128
This means to get the letter you want, press and hold down the Alt key and type the code number, release the Alt key. Your letter will appear on the screen.


1. Rhett Maxwell - July 21, 2007

cool, thanks for the post. I haven’t heard of the mylanguageexchange.com site before. I’ll have to check it out.

2. Learning German | Andrezero - May 25, 2008

[…] Sie Lernen Deutsch? Hier finden Sie gute Web-Ressourcen für Deutsch lernen. (google transtalated.. hehe).. just make sure you don’t follow these lessons. The Learning […]

3. sackgasse - May 27, 2008

I will check these out and see whether I can think of any tips to a certain point/chapter/…

4. madam - May 28, 2008

Please don’t post comments here linking to your paid services. They will be deleted.

If you have a worthwhile paid service please contact me via e-mail. If I like it, pay for it and use it; then I will list it.

5. Verena - May 30, 2008

I found you on Twitter! Your blog about learning German is great! I will encourage my husband to connect with you on Twitter and to check out your website since he is also trying to learn German. ;-)
Und von mir ein gut gemacht und weiter so! :-)

6. madam - May 30, 2008

Thank you Verena. Yes the more German learners we can get together on Twitter the better. I am hoping that we can help and encourage each other. Encouragement is needed when frustration levels are high. Then there is the native speakers who are willing to help learners.

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