There is still time! How to learn German up to level B1 in 2017

As many people liked my post about learning French in 2017. I decided to do a German version. German is for most people more difficult than French, so I cannot guarantee that you’ll reach level B2 by the end of the year if you use these resources, but it is certainly possible to reach the  B1 level, and the best of all is that most of the materials recommended here is free of charge!

 

Knowing the language

As I recommended in the article on the French language, it is best to start slowly. Therefore, one of the best resources is Duolingo, which covers both writing and listening comprehension from the beginning. Another great and free option is the Deutsche Welle course called “Audiotrainer“. The course consists of small audios with words and phrases in German and English that must be repeated.
Another basic and fast course to get to know German is the Mission Europe course.

Choosing your first course

Once you know the basics of the language, you should choose a more complete course.
I recommend starting with two Deutsche Welle courses. My favorite is the Deutsch – Warum Nicht? course. The course is a bit old (early 90’s), however it is very good, interesting and well organized. The advantage of this course is that the characters are always the same and you are get curious to know more about them and their stories.

The second course I recommend is the interactive course “Harry”. As the structure is multimedia, it is a great course to do in front of the computer. Just like the “Deutsch – Warum nicht?” course, the characters are always the same and you are get curious to know what happens to them.

Another course I always recommend is the Assimil, although I find the French version better, the German version is also very good and the course follows the same structure as the French course. The first texts are short and simple; the audios are slow and repeated twice. After the first week, the texts become longer and the audios have a more natural rhythm. After the 50th lesson, we begin to practice reverse translation and the lessons take about an hour to complete, while in the first cycle they take only 30 minutes.

It’s time to talk!

Once you get a basic notion of the language, you should start practicing it. The best tool for this in the market is the Italki website, which has thousands of teachers available online. You can get individual lessons or buy a package. Other option is to participate in language exchanges in your city, using sites like Meetup.com and Couchsurfing to find foreigners or apps like HelloTalk.

FSI: to train phonetics and for those who like to suffer

Although I recommend the French FSI course, I do not recommend the German one, because besides being old, is not as well structured as the French version. Therefore, I do not recommend the Basic Course (FSI German Basic Course). However, the introduction course (FSI German Programmed Introduction Course) is easier and structured, very good for learning the German phonology. The course can be found here.

For the grammar lovers

As always, for grammar lovers, I recommend my favorite book series “Practice Makes Perfect“. As I said before, I love this series because they have specific courses, such as the course of pronouns and prepositions, the basic or complete grammar, verb tenses; in addition to vocabulary and conversation courses.

Another good German grammar book, but to more advanced students is the Klipp Und Klar: Ubungsgrammatik course, available for levels A1/B1 and B2/C1.

Culture

And, as always, I recommend that you be in constant contact with the culture of country, watching movies, listening to podcasts and radio or reading books, magazines or newspapers.

Good luck and start right now your studies !!!

Studying abroad: German in Hamburg

Today, I will talk about my experience in Germany, the last place where  I studied a language. If you want to know more about my other experiences, look at the posts about how I studied Spanish and French abroad.

In August 2015, I started to learn German and I still am studying, albeit at a slower pace. To improve quickly and use as a motivation, I decided that I would go to Germany in January 2016. Continue reading

My favorite children’s books in German

As I commented in my video 233 days of German, I read many children’s books to help my German. The advantage of children’s books is that they have a simpler language and many illustrations that show what’s going on. My favorite books were from the collection “Wieso? Weshalb? Warum?“. That collection explains to children how the world works in simple language. Storybooks are also interesting, but sometimes vocabulary is not as important for an adult, one reason why I don’t read a lot this kind of book. Nevertheless, I decided to put here a mixture of fiction and non-fiction to please those who like both genders.

livros infantis

Nonfiction Books

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Review of the course Harry – Deutsche Welle

Harry – gefangen in der Zeit is the newest course of network Deutsche Welle. And, of course, I tried the course to tell you all about it.

The story and characters

Harry is a grumpy man who is visiting the Black Forest in Germany while on holiday with his girlfriend Julia. He is from the fictional country Traponia and does not speak German; consequently, Julia always serves as an interpreter for him. One day, he wakes up alone in his hotel room and goes alone to the Black Forest, where he is struck by a lightning. After that day, all his days are always the same. Harry is stuck in a time warp and he wakes up every day on April 31st, at 7 am in his hotel room.

Now, he needs to learn German and get out of this time warp. But what caused this time distortion? In whom can he trust? Where’s Julia? Continue reading

German movies 2

After a long time, finally a post about movies. You can check the first about German movies here.

Die Welle – The Wave

The film is based in an experiment that occurred in United States. “The Wave” tells the story of a high school teacher that creates a microcosm of an autocracy to show his students how this kind of government works and its consequences. The teacher loses the control of the experiment and the autocratic movement grows inside and outside the school.

Sophie Scholl – The Final Days – Sophie Scholl – Die letzten Tage

Continue reading

Review of Deutsch – Warum Nicht? – Deutsche Welle

I completed another course of the broadcaster Deutsche Welle, this time, the course was “Deutsch – Warum nicht?“. And, it is my favorite so far. Even the name of the course I adore.

Story and Characters

The story takes place at the Hotel Europa in Aachen. Andreas is a journalism student and works as a door attendant at the hotel. He is always accompanied by Ex, a female elf that came out of a book. Strange, I know, but Ex is a lovely character! Other secondary characters are Frau Berger, the hotel manager; Dr. Thürmann, a regular hotel guest and Hanna, the housekeeper. Continue reading