For anyone unsure of how to do the umlaut on a standard keyboard, here's how:
Press ALT (either side of the spacebar) and hold it while typing the 3-digit code for the various letters (release alt after the numbers are typed). Here we go:
alt 132 = ä
alt 148 = ö
alt 129 = ü
alt 225 = ß
alt 142 = Ä
alt 153 = Ö
alt 154 = Ü
I keep a sticky note with these codes near my computer screen for easy referencing.
You cannot do this using the numbers across the top, only the numbers on the number pad that most keyboards have on the right side. Why? I have no idea. For those using cellphones: hold down the letter you want (a, o, u, and for the ß, s) and slide your finger along to the desired letter form. For capital letters, make sure the letter desired is already capitalized.
Also, if this is different in other English speaking countries, (I'm in the US; so Canada, England, Australia, etc...) the method may be different. I certainly hope not, but it wouldn't surprise me.
I'm posting this because I keep seeing comments about not knowing how to type the social characters, and I finally decided to help out.
Hope this helps ;-D
It depends somewhat on the context.
gehen is always walking at normal speed and would be used if you do not want to stress the process of going or walking itself, but just indicate that you go somewhere: ich gehe einkaufen, ich gehe zur Arbeit etc.
laufen can also mean walking at normal speed, but you would use it to indicate that you go by feet instead of using a car or the bus or something, for example. Nimmst du das Auto? - Nein, ich laufe.
laufen can also mean running though, especially in a sports context.
er ist die hundert Meter in unter zehn Sekunden gelaufen
(rennen also means running, but it is more informal than laufen.
Du bist ganz außer Atem, bist du gerannt? (= You're short of breath, have you been running?))
Yes, to some extent you are right. As a native speaker, I would use "gehen", when someone walks - as in this case. You can use "laufen", when you are walking but almost running, e.g. on a marathon or when you are in a hurry, but not want to attract too much attention in public.
So in general "gehen" describes a movement slower than "laufen", yet to some extend you can interchange them.