German (Deutsch [ˈdɔʏtʃ] ( listen)) is a West Germanic language and is closely related to and classified alongside English, Dutch, and the Frisian languages. To a lesser extent, it is also related to the East (extinct) and North Germanic languages. Most German vocabulary is derived from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. Significant minorities of words are derived from Latin and Greek, with a smaller
amount from French and most recently English (known as Denglisch). German is written using the Latin alphabet. In addition to the 26 standard letters, German has three vowels with Umlauts, namely ä, ö, and ü, as well as the Eszett or scharfes S (sharp s) which is written "ß".
German dialects are distinguished from varieties of standard German. German dialects are traditional local varieties and are traced back to the different German tribes. Many of them are not easily understandable to a speaker of standard German, since they often differ in lexicon, phonology, and syntax.
Around the world, German has approximately 100 million native speakers and also about 80 million non-native speakers. German is the main language of about 90 million people (18%) in the EU. 67% of German citizens claim to be able to communicate in at least one foreign language, 27% in at least two languages other than their own.
German English Frequency Dictionary Edit
This German frequency dictionary covers about 95% of all spoken German, and 85% of all written German you will encounter on a daily basis. In the book you will find:
- 2500 most used German words listed by frequency and alphabet
- frequency rankings as part of speech (most used nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc..)
- 2500 German to English example sentences showing word usage
- phonetic spelling of German words with the International Phonetic Alphabet
- Recommended in conjunction with an audiomethod (Michel Thomas or Pimsleur)
- Great book for learning vocabulary
- No grammar
- Available for beginners.
- Covers everything. Prefers to teach grammar intuitively rather than grill it.
- Very good system and easy to use. Can be used to gain a very good foot hold in the language.
- 5 levels available
- Recommended as a beginning tool
- Strongly not recommended to be used as the only tool.
- Covers pronunciation, reading, listening, vocabulary, writing.
- Very poor for grammar.
- Easy to use. Shouldn't take more than an hour to set up and begin using.
- More expensive than it's worth. Thank you based internet!
- 4 levels available with 120 total lessons.
- Recommended as a learning tool.
- Strongly not recommended to be used as the only tool.
- Covers mainly speaking and being able to hold a conversation.
- Easy to use, just open the audio file and repeat.
- http://www.pimsleur.com Try a free lesson!
- Unlimited advancement available
- Recommended as an adjunct learning tool.
- Not recommended to be used as the only tool.
- Covers every field.
- Very useful as it offers a lot of material for translation, forcing the user on a hands on approach while offering good aid.
- 3 minutes to create an account and know all there is to it about how it works.
- Now has an app on iOS or Android or Windows Phone if you're into that sort of thing.
- Free. Thank you based anon!
Books and .PDF filesEdit
- Basic German. A grammar and Workbook
- German essential grammar
- Hammer's German Grammar and Usage Matin Durrell
- A practice Grammar of German - Hike Dryer, Richard Schmitt (Hueber 2001)
- A compilation of .PDFs and books of grammar, vocabulary, etc.
- German for reading
- The Everything Learning German Book, 2nd Edition - Edward Swick (Adams Media, 2009, 2003)
- Schaum's Outline of German Grammar, 4ed
- German Grammar Sparkcharts
- If you know what you're looking for Book Depository sells a variety of foreign language books, including books and manga in German. And it's free shipping!
- A guide to buying manga in German
- German Graded Readers This is a compilation of books that sometimes you have to read as part of the curriculum in official schools. A lot of them come with the audio files, and you're getting them all for free.
- Nachrichtenleight News written in easy german.
- Nachrichtenwerk News written in easy german.
- Sublearning - learn languages from movie subtitles. Flash cards of movie lines in 62 languages
- (add more if you know them lol)
- A Coffee in Berlin
- Apollo 18
- Daheim sterben d'Leut
- Das Boot
- Das Experiment
- Das Leben der Anderen
- Der Baader Meinhof komplex
- Der Himmel über Berlin
- Der Untergang
- Der Schuh des Manitou
- Die weiße Rose
- Die Welle
- Die Wilden Hühner
- Die Wilden Kerle
- Die Wolke
- Er ist wieder da
- Fack ju Göhte
- Freche Mädchen
- Free Rainer
- Gegen die Wand
- Good Bye Lenin
- Honig im Kopf
- Lola rennt
- Paradies Liebe
- Sophie Scholl: Die letzten Tage
- Soul Kitchen
- Suck My Dick ( https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suck_My_Dick )
- Triumph des Willens
- Vincent will Meer
- Was nicht passt wird passend gemacht
- ORF 2 (Austria)
- ORF III (Austria)
- ServusTV (Austria)
- n-tv (Germany)
- SWR (Germany)
- WRD5 (Germany)
- 3sat (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)
- ARTE (Germany)
- SRF 1 (Switzerland)
- SRF zwei (Switzerland)
Interesting German directors: Michael “Bully” Herbig, Leni Riefenstahl, Jörg Buttgereit, Olaf Ittenbach, Andreas Schnaas, Uwe Boll, Ulli Lommel, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Fatih Akin, Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
- 257ers (Hip-Hop/Rap)
- Alligatoah (Hip-Hop/Pop)
- Angelika Express (Indie Rock)
- Beatsteaks (Punkrock/Indie Rock)
- Bilderbuch (Indie/pop rock)
- Blumio (Hip-Hop)
- Blutengel (Future-Pop)
- Bushido (Hip-Hop/Rap)
- Callejon (Metalcore)
- Casper (Hip-Hop/Rap)
- CRo (Hip-Hop/Pop)
- Darkwood (Neofolk)
- Die Ärzte (Punkrock)
- Die Orsons (Hip-Hop)
- Die Skatoons (Ska)
- Die Toten Hosen (Punkrock)
- Die Weisse Rose (Neofolk)
- EAV (Rock/Pop-Rock)
- Eisbrecher (Elektro / Industrial / Neue Deutsche Härte)
- Equilibrium (Folk metal)
- Falco (Hip-Hop/Rap)
- Faun (Pagan Folk)
- Forseti (Neofolk)
- Hammerhai (Ska-Punk)
- In Scherben (Neofolk)
- K.I.Z. (Hip-Hop)
- Knorkator (Neue Deutsche Härte / Industrial)
- Kollegah (Hip-Hop/Rap)
- Kraftklub (Rap-Rock)
- Kraftwerk (Elektro)
- Lacrimosa (Neue Deutsche Härte / Gothic rock)
- Madsen (Rock)
- Marathonmann (Post-Hardcore)
- Marteria (Hip-Hop/Rap)
- Megaherz (Industrial / Neue Deutsche Härte)
- Nebelung (Neofolk)
- Nena (Neue Deutsche Welle / Synthpop)
- Nina Hagen (WTF-worthy)
- Oomph! (Industrial / Neue Deutsche Härte)
- Peter Fox (Hip-Hop / Raggae)
- Rammstein (Industrial / Neue Deutsche Härte)
- Revolverheld (Rock)
- Saltatio Mortis (Folk Rock/Metal)
- Seeed (Raggae / Dancehall)
- Sido (Rap/Hip-Hop)
- Sonne Hagal (Neofolk / Experimental)
- Sportfreunde Stiller (Indie-Rock)
- Unheilig (Neue Deutsche Härte / Synthrock)
- Vergissmeinnicht (Neofolk)
- We Butter The Bread With Butter (Deathcore / Electro)
- Weekend (Rap/Hip-Hop)
- I have learned a good bit of German by playing video games. Keep a bilingual dictionary at hand (see the 'Other' section way down below) and try to make some German speaking friends on said (online) games. They will help you learn German.
- You can play many console games (such as gameboy advance) on your computer in several different languages. Just be sure that the game supports the language. Many gameboy advance games for example come in a few different languages if the game was published in Europe.
- World of Warcraft can be played for free (with some chat and level restrictions) in German. If you already have a battle.net account with World of Warcraft on it, you aren't able to play on European servers with an American account and vice versa.
- Diablo 2 can be played in German. If you have a Diablo 2 CD key lying around that hasn't been binded to a battle.net account, you can bind it to a European account and download and play it in German (and a few other languages, such as English.)
- Minecraft can be played in German and you can play on many different German speaking servers.
- Many valve titles such as Team Fortress 2 (which is free to play) can be played in German with the ability to play on German servers.
Anime/cartoons (German dubs)Edit
- South Park
- My Little Pony
- Death Note
- Soul Eater
- Alfred J. Kwak
- Darkwing Duck
- Almost all of the Ghibli movies
- Pipi Langstrumpf
- Nils Holgerson
- Biene Maja
- A lot of current anime and manga are licensed and translated to German. Look up Carlsen-Manga, Kaze and the news section of animexx they usually have an up to date article about recent manga releases.
- If you have experience learning this language please share it, it's greatly appreciated.
- When learning vocabulary it's important to learn the article as an important part of the word and not just the word by itself. So it's not Hund, but der Hund. Not just Halskette but die Halskette.
- Tips for studying word genders:
- When writing out vocabulary or adding nouns to Anki, colour code your words! Blue for masculine nouns, pink for feminine, green for neuter.
- One technique I learnt in class is visualising a male, a female and something considered neuter (let's say ET) along with the noun I'm learning. So David Hasselhoff sits on der Tisch, Angela Merkel opens die Tür and ET drinks das Bier.
- Use this in conjunction with Anki! I use a bunch of kawaii as fuck images I pull from the internet with my cards to remember my genders. Want to remember the gender for die Sandburg? Find a picture of a little girl playing with a sandcastle and stick that in your Anki cards.
- There are also a few hints you can use to recall genders of certain words.
- If you have time, write three stories and use only nouns from one gender for each one. My story for the masculine gender starts like this:
- I wake up and my Kopf is on the Tisch. I've fallen asleep on front of the Bildschirm of the Computer. I've fallen asleep over my Kugelschreiber, Radiergummi and Bleistift. I sit up on the Stuhl and I take a look at the Kalender. What Tag is it today? Oh shit, I'm gonna be late. I take my Rucksack from the Boden and throw my Ausweis inside. It's cold today, so I better take my Pullover, my Schal and Handschuh. I get out of the Raum. I can hear a Schrei from my Nachbar. "Mein Gott", I think. They're always fighting. Perhaps I should write them a Brief and put it in their Briefkasten. I drink my Kaffee, clean my Mund and take the Aufzug to go out.
- This way, next time you need to remember for example the gender of "Nachbar" all you have to do is remember in which story was the word used. Make the protagonist of the story the same gender as the other objects. For example, if you're a man, you can be the protagonist of the story with masculine nouns. Your mother can be the protagonist of the story with feminine nouns, and something that you know to be neutral (e.g. Mädchen) can be the protagonist of the story with neutral nouns.
- Learn about the High German consonant shift not only will it help you understand a little bit about how German spelling works, but will help your acquisition of cognates. For example, an English D is a T in German, e.g. World -> Welt, Good -> Gut, Word -> Wort, Dance -> Tanz.
- When reading the Graded Readers be sure to read those that are one level above yours. If you're studying A2, try reading those labeled B1. That way you'll be practicing your A2 and learning new things from B1.
- Uz-translations (a very useful website that you should definitely check out)
- dict.cc should be your go-to DE<->EN dictionary (also supports pronounciation examples for most vocabularies and some other languages like DE<->PL, DE<->FR but in a less complete way)
- leo.org as an alternative to dict.cc
- Toms Deutschseite A website which mainly teaches grammar and conjugation
- German for English Speakers A nearly-finished complete guide to the German language
- Marathon Sprechen Blog A blog on German grammar concepts. They're not posted in any certain order like Tae Kim is, but the examples and explanations are very helpful.
- Collection of grammar worksheets
- german.about.com Wonderful website that covers all things German (such as traditions, etiquette, culture, etc) but in particular: grammar, pronounciation and how to use certain words.
- Beolingus Excellent German <-> English dictionary including pronunciations and example sentences (most of the time.)
- Busuu.com really good website to learn german. Has vocab, scentences structuring, convesations to listen to and teaches levels of German from A1-B2
- Canoo.net Is a good site for German dictionaries, word formation (conjugation), and sentence grammar.
- Native Monks Learn German language online through skype.
- A song for learning the alphabet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_6QzHc2PPA