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I have just finished my first book in German! Thank you, Duolingo!

My native language is Czech and I am obviously able to communicate comprehensively in English, but I've been learning German since I-do-not-know-when with shorter or longer breaks. For instance, I've relearned basics in short span of time before my vacation in Austria and Switzerland few years ago and then forgot most of it, you know how it goes...

I am approaching the end of German tree. Slowly, but steadily. As a supplementary resource I grabbed a book in German and now...it has been read! :-)

July 29, 2018



Hi AmberjackCZ, as an American who once lived in Berlin, I found your post interesting. Although I haven't spoken German fopr years, Duolingo has been a great refresher course for me. I read German very often to keep the language fresh in my mind. A book that might interesr you is "Knulp" by Hermann Hesse. It's a short story about a German vagabond. Alles Gute!


Thank you for your tip! I am of course interested in German literature. But for now I am sticking to the terrain I know pretty well. I am going to read Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings, The Song of Ice and Fire and so on. Until I get that language into my blood :-)


So glad to read your story. Like Raisinnoir, I'm an American who lived in Berlin (and elsewhere in Germany), for many years. When I visited Prague for a week a few years ago, I'd planned to get around using German. I'd assumed from talking to old friends and reading Milan Kundera that I'd get along just fine with German in the Czech Republic. Sadly, for me at least, this was not the case. I somehow muddled through with English, where this was possible. Maybe next time I'll have more luck? Or maybe learn some Czech in the meantime!


Yeah, German is not a language to use in here. English is crushing everything (but not everyone is close to be at least somehow fluent). It hadn't been it always this way. German once was really widespread in Czech Republic, but its using diminished. Although it is very valuable (Czech Republic is the only non-German speaking country having border with both Austria and Germany) and widely requested by employers.


Hi Amberjack, which book did you read, if I may ask?


Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen :-)


Würden Sie sagen, dass es ein guten Buch für Anfängern zu lesen ist? (Would you say it's a good book for beginners to read?)


Es war sehr schwer für mich...

But I like challenges. Now I've ordered next three Harry Potter books. I will force that language into my brain :-)


"I will force that language into my brain." That's my new motto. ;-)


My one friend used to say, "You know how you force five gallons of beer down? One sip at a time! I think, that's how you'll force the words into your brain - one sip at a time.


Prost und wohl bekomm's! ;-)


I think it depends on how much of a beginner you are. Any German book that isn't aimed at 1st grade and below will be difficult for someone in the A levels to read. Although Harry Potter does have some advantages. It's aimed at a younger audience, but the language isn't dumbed down, so it's much better practice than using strictly material for language learners. It's even better if you've already read the book in English, because then you'll have context for what's going on, so it should be easier to learn new words from it. Definitely try it if you have the chance. Worst case, you'll have the book, and can come back to it later after some more months of learning.


If I can get through and enjoy Grimms' tales (at least some of them), I might be ready for Potter.


As a beginner, I'm reading "Der Doppelte Prinz," by Daniela Ackermann. It's a children's book, but at over 100 pages, it still qualifies as a book to me. Then I want to try Grimms' Fairy Tales.




Hence the name draco? : )


Ha ha a true classic :) I remember when I started to read Dutch books the first one of mine was Goblet of Fire :) Good luck with your further studies


Ich liebe dieses Buch!


What kind of book was it, and what was the title?


where can we finded your book?:)


Das freut mich für Dich. Ich glaube, Harry Potter ist gut geeignet. Es sind Jugendbücher und die Übersetzung ist modernes, aber nicht zu schwieriges Deutsch. Auf der anderen Seite sind sie auch für Erwachsene nicht zu albern und vermitteln kein "Kinderbuchdeutsch".


Congrats AmberjackCZ for reaching your goals.


Great job!! I bet you feel like a king now :D


Glad to hear that! I wish you that your inner fire for language learning (and also other things) never burns out :-)


Congratulations! What was the book if you don't mind asking? have you been learning extra German vocabulary from somewhere other than Duolingo, or did you need a dictionary to help you get through it (or maybe the vocab here on duo was enough idunno)?


Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen :-)

I needed a common sense, my previous knowledge (I've read the book both in Czech and English and seen the movie) and yes, I needed dictionary for some words. But to be honest, I haven't been translating everything. Sometimes I just left the sentence and moved on.


I am losing my motivation, unlike when I first started my German tree :( May I ask how do you keep going?


Just a few XPs a day. 10 is okay, really. And I grabbed that book and just go through it. I didn't understand everything, but I fought on. And now it is behind me and I have read a few first pages of Das Lied von Eis und Feuer (which I've also read in Czech and English) and it is easier this time!

That's my motivation! And yes, now I got 70 XPs on Duo. Tomorrow it may be only 10, who knows, but I keep going.


Great! Thanks dear, this helps alot.


Keep your eyes on the prize, as they say. Think about why you want to learn German. Then picture yourself successfully communicating in your target language, whether it's speaking to people, reading a Harry Potter (or any other) book, listening to radio or watching TV in that language. This approach has worked very well for me. And, as AmberjackCZ suggests, try hard to do a bit every day.

I initially set my goal at 50 XPs per day, but now I routinely do hundreds a day. Of course, my next flight to Spain leaves in under three weeks. That's my prize.


Appreciate this, thanks, pal! Consistency is the key and my aim is to re-visit Austria and explore the city speaking German! Inshallah, next year I will, wishawishwishwish


gut gemacht! das muss sehr lustig gewesen sein.


That's awesome, now you should start thinking about the 2nd one :P


Congratulations Amber :) very good


Excellent! Congratulations.


Das ist eine tolle Leistung! Ich hab eine deutsche Übersetzung von Harry Potter auf dem Bücherregal, die ich noch nicht gelesen hab. Dein Post hat mich daran erinnert, weiter zu machen. :)

[deactivated user]

    I have you 2 Lingots give


    Nice, if you are looking for other book ideas, you might want to look for reclam published books. They are kind of like the USA's pocket library publisher lots of quality books in german. My impetous for learning was in part pushed by receiving some as a gift.


    nice doing. Viel Glück weiterhin.

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