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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

German Language: Home

Apps for Your Phone and Computer

Beelinguapp is a free app exclusively for mobile devices and focuses on learning and practicing languages through reading. Within the app, you can listen and read stories in your language of choice, as well as follow along with its English translation. The side-by-side reading lets you check any vocabulary or sentences you don't quite understand. A variety of stories are available, including folk and fairy tales, mysteries, classics, and more. 

Access for Apple Devices            Access for Android Devices

Busuu is a free language learning app, providing access to lessons for twelve languages. The app uses the four main language concepts--reading, speaking, listening, and writing--and provides tailored lessons to aid in the learning process. Additionally, Busuu can connect users to native speakers, who can provide feedback on lessons, writings, and more. You can access the app on your computer or mobile device.

Access for Apple Devices                      Access for Android Devices

Drops is a free app that uses game-style mechanics to help you learn the language. The short, five minute lessons combine aesthetically pleasing word games with mnemonic devices. Drops also has a companion app, called Scripts, for learning character-based languages (or languages with a different writing system). While the basic app is free, there are also subscription options for more features. In addition to accessing the app on your device, you may also try it in your browser or download it to your computer.

Access for Apple Devices        Access for Android Devices

Duolingo is a free language learning application that you can use on your computer or your mobile device. The app uses a game-like system to aid learning, letting you accumulate points for every correct answer, and even allowing you to compete against your friends. Small, short lessons make up a majority of Duolingo exercises, and the more you use the app, the more personalized your lessons become. There are a variety of languages available (with more being added every day), and no limit to how many you can learn! Best of all, you can practice your language skills wherever and whenever you want! 

Access for Apple Devices                  Access for Android Devices

 

Babbel- This app is a paid "cousin" of Duolingo, though with 40 free lessons, it is a great option! Each class uses pictures to teach you vocabulary. Then the words you learned are used in related phrases and short dialogues adjusted to the the level you are at to build conversation skills. There are handy pop-ups that explain the most important grammatical points related to the learned material and if you are on a computer, they also include short cultural notes. You can also get separate packages devoted to improving specific skills such as grammar or vocabulary if you already have some experience with the language and only want to improve certain skills. Lastly, Babbel’s classes can be downloaded and kept offline for you to study.

Access for Apple Devices                    Access for Android Devices

Memrise is a free app designed to adapt to your needs as you learn a new language. It provides audio and video clips from native speakers to help with pronunciation, vocabulary building, and to grow your own speaking skills. Rather than focusing on grammar, Memrise prioritizes speaking confidently and learning how to communicate. 

Access for Apple Devices                 Access for Android Devices

Mondly is a free app that uses course materials, chatbots, and augmented reality to aid the language learning process. They have 33 languages to choose from, and even allows you to learn a new language using your native language, instead of from English. This is relatively unique amongst language apps. The free version of Mondly gives you a daily lesson as well as seven other "Hello" lessons. Like Duolingo, Mondly awards you points for correct answers, even ranking you among other users in a friendly competition.

Access for Apple Devices                  Access for Android Devices

Conversational Apps

HelloTalk is a language learning app that focuses on learning through conversation. The app connects you to native speakers of the language you wish to learn, as well as allows you to teach them your native language as well. You can communicate with them through messages, voice recordings, video and voice calls, and even drawings. Additionally, the app provides language tools to help with pronunciation, translation, and tools to correct grammar or vocabulary errors within messages.

Access for Apple Devices           Access for Android Devices 

Like HelloTalk, Tandem is a language exchange app that uses communication with native speakers to help teach or aid in language acquisition. After joining Tandem, users may start conversations with native speakers of the language they wish to learn. Communication methods include text messages and voice and video calling/recording. Additionally, there are correction and translation tools for users, so they can correct grammar and vocabulary while chatting with one another.

Access for Apple Devices              Access for Android Devices

​HiNative- A Free App! This app makes learning correct pronunciation a breeze. It allows you to get the benefits of getting in touch with native speakers without the hassle of searching for an exchange partner or having to schedule a chat. Anything is up for question here; you can ask for translations, input on pronunciation, or advice on cultural norms. You can also help fellow learners with the knowledge of your own language(s)! 

Access for Apple Devices            Access for Android Devices

Online Duden Dictionaries

Datenbank-Paket Duden--contains 18 online Duden dictionaries, including Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache and Das Stilwörterbuch.

German Translation Tools

Online Dictionaries

Wordreference.com: German

LEO

YourDictionary: Germanic Languages -

includes Old High German dictionary and more.

Pons.eu: das Sprachenportal -

includes a vocabulary trainer.

For Synonyms and Antonyms

Woxikon Synonyms (no antonyms); menu has multiple interactive features.

What is the opposite of... - interface in English, but works with German words.

Verb Conjugation

About.com German Verb Conjugator

Verbix - German Verb Conjugator

Reverso - German Verb Conjugation

Translators

Babelfish

Google Translate

Print Dictionaries

The Literatures and Languages Library circulates print dictionaries. To find a monolingual German dictionary, search the Online Catalog using the subject heading German Language Dictionaries. To find a German/English dictionary, search the Browse Search using the subject heading German Language Dictionaries English.

Rosetta Stone 

The Library subscribes to Rosetta Stone Foundations, which features 30 languages from around the globe. To enter the database, go to Rosetta Stone Foundations/Alternative link . You can also use Rosetta Stone on a mobile device.  If you have trouble entering the database and signing up for an account, contact Paula Carns at pcarns@illinois.edu. If you have difficulties once you set up your account, please use the "Contact Support" option at Rosetta Stone (linked off of the entry page).

Selected German Resources at LLL

Conversational German in 7 days. by Baldwin, Shirley and Sarah Boas 

Call Number: PF3121 .B35 1998 (Literatures & Languages)
Publication Date: 1998

Listening Skills

German Podcasts

To listen to or subscribe to a podcast, you can use these individual websites, or you might find it easier to search in the iTunes music store.

Beginning German

The "Learn Out Loud" website has a list of beginners' German podcasts that you can play directly in your browser - no need to download iTunes, iPodder, or similar software for these.

MyGermanClass - lots of video skits with goofy humor. There are German subtitles and episode scripts in English/German available.

Young Germany - The Young Germany website has intermediate German podcasts as well as a "starter kit" page that links to  grammar basics as well as some "survival German" (beginners') podcasts.

Intermediate and Advanced German

Slow German - Short podcasts of German texts spoken slowly. Texts available as PDFs. Difficulty ranges from beginner to intermediate-advanced.

Schlaflos in Muenchen - Buchkritiken, Filmreviews, Interviews, Anniks Gedanken und vielen anderen Geschichten. From the maker of Slow German.

German GrammarPod - Podcaster Laura focuses almost exclusively on German grammar. Her blog accompanies the podcast that you can listen to in your browser window.

German LingQ - free podcasts with full transcripts. 

A Flavour of German - ten episodes of German phrases for intermediate to advanced learners (View in iTunes)

 

Audio Books & Courses

Pimsleur language programs. German I A [sound recording] : the complete course

Reading Skills

Readers

Readers offer mini-lessons in grammar and vocabulary before and after each reading and thus are a great way to improve reading skills. To find readers, try searching the Online Library Catalog using the following words as a subject:

German language, Readers

Primers, German

German language, exercises and readers

 

Popular Magazines

  

Guide to Magazines in German - written from a student's perspective.

Stern - very rich in photos; one of Germany's top illustrated magazines.

Der Spiegel Online - One of the best German magazines online.

Computer Bild - Computer magazine that addresses games, software, etc.

Bunte - popular woman's/gossip magazine.

Das Beste - the German edition of Reader's Digest.

Capital - weekly finance magazine.

 

Book Reviews

  

In German

Frankfurter Allgemeine - Feuilleton - Buecher der Woche

NDR Buchtipps

Rezensions-Datenbank - from Deutsche Welle

In English

Words Without Borders - organized by author and country, often reviews of books in translation

Litrix - monthly book reviews from the Goethe Institute

New Books in German - book reviews of popular German titles sponsored by the Goethe Institute in London

In English and German

German Studies Review (UIUC) - academic journal devoted to German studies includes numerous book reviews in English and German 

Newspapers

All countries

OnlineNewspapers.com - select from a large list of newspapers.

Germany

Frankfurter Allgemeine - a well-respected national daily newspaper. 

Goyax - stock exchange and finance news.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung - very famous (and densely written) German daily.

Die Welt - another one of Germany's most famous daily newspapers.

Die Zeit - nationally renowned weekly paper.

Austria

Wiener Zeitung - one of the most famous and oldest, still published newspapers in Europe.

Tiroler Tageszeitung - daily newspaper for Tirol region from Innsbruck.

Salzburger Nachrichten - regional news from Salzburg.

Kronen Zeitung - well-known Austrian tabloid.

Switzerland

Basler Zeitung - daily newspaper from Basel, Switzerland.

Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) - large daily newspaper from Zuerich.

Historical Newspapers

UIUC Library Newspaper Database - the database lists German-language newspapers, published in Germany, Austria, the United States and other countries, held by the UIUC Library in print and or microfilm.  The database also includes freely available German and Austrian newspaper titles that have been digitized and are freely available through the Austrian National Library and the Berlin State Library websites.

International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON) - this Center for Research Libraries page highlights and links to past, present, and prospective digitization projects of historic newspapers listed by country (look for various projects listed under Austria, Germany, Luxemburg, and Switzerland). 

Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers - the database of digitized American historic newspapers, sponsored by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, includes 26 German-American newspaper titles.  For more information about this project see, Leah Weinryb Grohsgal, Chronicling America’s Historic German Newspapers and the Growth of the American Ethnic Press.” 

Writing Skills

Orthography (die Rechtschreibung)

Die neue Rechtschreibung : alle Regeln zum Lernen und Nachschlagen by Stang, Christian

Call Number: 431.52 St24n (Main Reference, non-circulating)
ISBN: 3468299575
Publication Date: 2004

Literatures and Languages Library

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Homepage: http://library.illinois.edu/llx
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Specialized German

Business German and German Slang

German for business and economics by Paulsell, Patricia Ryan 

Call Number: PF3120.C7 P38 1999 (Literatures & Languages)
ISBN: 0870135384
Publication Date: 1999
 
Call Number: PF3120.C7 W55 2002 (Literatures & Languages)
ISBN: 382763170X
Publication Date: 2002
 
Call Number: PF3120.C7 H37 1995 (Literatures & Languages)
ISBN: 0415128447
Publication Date: 1995
 

Business German

  

Business German Phrasebook - English to German; also includes sample resumes.

Export.gov: doing business in Germany - a lot of good information about regulations for travel and business in Germany.

German Slang

  

Dictionary of German slang and colloquial expressions by Henry Strutz.

Call Number: 437.09St89d2009

ISBN: 9780764141140 

Publication Date: 2009      

German Words to Avoid - a helpful directory of possibly offensive German phrases.

 

Medical German

  

Medical and Dental Vocabulary - English-German glossary

dict.cc Dictionary - Subject: med. - This online dictionary has great lists of subject words, including medicine.

 

Learning Grammar

German Idioms

  

About.com - German to English Idioms Glossary

German Verbs

  

A number of websites provide verb tables and exercises. A few examples are listed:

About.com's German Verb Guide - Basic verb vocaulary, verb cases/tenses, verb classes, and links to the most common verbs.

German Verb Tables - Paul Joyce at the University of Portsmouth has designed an excellent website with verb tables and explanations of variouses tenses, moods, irregularities, etc. Great for all learning levels.

German Online Exercises - Links to exercises are organized by the order of topics in Deutsch - Na Klar! -  a commonly used German textbook.

German Verb Conjugation Activities - Links to easy-to-print verb tables.