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Your favourite supplementary resources!

Hey guys,

So looking for some advice. What are your favourite other resources that you swear by? Websites, note taking, little tricks to learn, radio shows online?, tv shows online?

I'm learning German - but any advice would be good. Hey even if someone has a good low-intermediate level (complexity of writing-wise) book you would recommend?


June 10, 2013



As you're learning German take a look at the language learning facilities on Deutsche -Welle.As you advance this site will become more and more useful with its news and current affairs content. http://www.dw.de/

The bbc has very good introductory courses for German and other languages


Also Euronews has news in several languages including German and often has transcripts you can follow


The same articles are covered in English so at this stage maybe watch the English stories first and then read and listen to the German equivalent entries.

Finally check out your other interests in your target language ,Rock Music perhaps,sport ,politics are all generously supported on the web.

Good Luck


one thing I used to do more frequently before finding duolingo was something that's a little weird but was pretty good for daily practice. I'm not into astrology myself, but astro.com has free horoscopes in I think eight languages. I only ever really paid attention to the ones I was trying to practice. The nice thing is that the horoscopes are virtually identical in each language. So if I didn't have much time I'd just read them in order of weakest language to strongest language, picking up a little more meaning with each reading, but if I really wanted to challenge myself I'd take the English horoscope and try to translate it into a target language, then check my work against the website's translation.

BBC news also has similar articles in translation, but they are not as reliably identical. Also I listen to podcasts and never hesitate to make a fool out of myself by practicing in real-time conversation whenever the opportunity arises. I work at a university and there's a language exchange program where people can seek out others to do in-person language practice, which is nice. Maybe you can get that going where you live!

[deactivated user]

    For a daily 15minute podcast in german I would recommend the german news format: 'Die Tagesschau' (http://www.tagesschau.de/sendung/tagesschau/index.html). There is also a 100seconds version of it (http://www.tagesschau.de/100sekunden/index.html) for the impatient.


    I'm not learning German so I don't have any language-specific suggestions, but I changed the system language on my phone to my target language a few weeks ago and find myself absorbing many words just by being confronted with them every time I look at my phone (you will get really good at spotting words like "search" and "exit"). Changing the regional format settings also shows you the date in your target language, which is always good practice. Plus, many apps (Duolingo included), will automatically switch over to your target language.

    Also, before you send a text, try to construct it in your target language first, and if you have time, look up words you don't know how to say. I find that really helps fill in some knowledge gaps, especially for common conversational phrases. Attempting to construct responses in your target language can really be done anywhere, as the idea is to get you "thinking" in your target language, but it's a little unsettling to pause dramatically in face-to-face conversations as you search for German words in your head, so short of having fluent speakers to talk to, texting is the perfect medium to practice constructing sentences on the fly, since a few minutes of delay won't freak the other person out.


    For speaking and listening I use Pimsleur Audio Books which I have found the most useful.

    Duolingo for reading and writing mainly. Great for increasing vocab and improving knowledge on grammar etc.

    I have also bought the first couple of harry potter books in Italian to help with reading. I would suggest that you should buy any book that you have or know fairly well as you will understand the basic story and characters etc before starting.

    Any film with sub and dub in the language is also handy. I put both on so if I didn't quite catch the spoken conversation I can catch up with the written as well as recognizing words in the spoken speech that I know but haven't heard out loud before.

    I also read news articles in the language and use google translate to help improve vocab and reading proficiency.

    I don't use a great deal of resource but if I think of anything else I will add it in.

    edit - As above I have changed my phone into the chosen language to absorb new information more easily and test my current knowledge. Also Siri being in Italian helps me to practice my speech recognition.


    I don't know any good websites for German but I like this one for Spanish. http://www.notesinspanish.com. It has free podcasts from a family living in Madrid - an English man married to a Spanish lady. It is not for complete beginners but if you already know some Spannish it is good.

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