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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

German Language: Home

Free apps for phone and computer

Most of these apps are free, but some of them have free versions with an optional choice to pay for more services.


​Duolingo- A Free App! One of the best apps to learn languages, it uses a game-like way of teaching you lessons. You can learn many languages on this app, and even learn a language as a non-English speaker. This application is based on phone use, so you can take your lessons everywhere you go. One of the best things about this app is that many of the lessons are created by native speakers, so you know you can be assured you are learning usable and prevalent phrases.


​HelloTalk- Free App! This app makes practicing speaking many languages super easy. Users can look for native speakers and converse with them using a whatsapp-like chat that has both text and voice messages. Correction of the messages exchanged is easily done with a built-in tool that transforms the exchanges into tiny tutoring sessions. Also included with this app is an integrated translation system when those moments of uncertainty may hit you.


​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)! 


​MindSnacks- This app is only for iOS devices (Apple products) but it sure takes the gold in gamification of learning languages! MindSnacks teaches 7 languages and it does this by having eight or nine tiny lessons with games at the end of them that are designed to help you learn vocabulary, grammar, or practice your listening. The app monitors your progress so you can see how much more learning you need to obtain proficiency in the skills taught. The basic download is free but is limited, and the buy in option is cheap and opens up your options.


​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.


​Memrise- Memrise is the place to go for your vocabulary retention. There are a lot of courses on almost every language, including ones that are "fictional" (Klingon, anyone?). You have your options between more standardized courses based on popular textbooks, vocabulary frequency lists, and less expected vocabulary collections with naughtier words or translations of works. What makes this app great are memes and gamification. The app has a learning method that relies on creating funny or bizarre associations with the studied words. Memes come to play with this method of teaching, and the everyone in the community can add their own! Learning, revising and creating memes is a source of points that help you advance in the Memrise hierarchy of users (which ranges from Membryo to Overlord).

Online Duden Dictionaries

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

German Translation Tools

Online Dictionaries German


YourDictionary: Germanic Languages -

includes Old High German dictionary and more. 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 German Verb Conjugator

Verbix - German Verb Conjugator

Reverso - German Verb Conjugation



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 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 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 


All countries - select from a large list of newspapers.


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.


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.


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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Literatures and Languages Library
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1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-2220


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


Learning Grammar

German Idioms - German to English Idioms Glossary

German Verbs


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