Today I thought I’d post some of the websites/resources I’ve used over the years, particularly those linked with German learning.
Dictionary wise, I think it’s useful to have a large bilingual dictionary and monolingual dictionary in hard copy as well as using them online. I currently own about 4/5 German dictionaries of various sizes – some pocket sized, some bigger than the Yellow Pages! Almost all of my dictionaries are produced by Collins publishers, although other brands are available.
I also own a German monolingual dictionary – this is a recent acquisition that my former lecturer gave to me. I have yet to use it, but since I’ll be going back to university next year, I’m sure it’ll come in useful then.
For online dictionaries, I like Leo Online Dictionary – there are many different language options (Portuguese into German for example). There are audio clips which help pronunciation and listening skills, as well as a great forum where native speakers of both languages can come together to help one another out with terms that may not have been added to the database yet.
My other favourite dictionary is Dict.cc – it’s a lot like Leo but I think it has a slightly better range of idioms and slang/current expressions in both English and German, and like Leo has a wide range of language pairs. Again there’s a really good forum function, and the website even boasts the ability to search vocabulary by topic. Both dictionaries have an app available for Android and IOS.
Whilst at university I was told about this great site Linguee – it’s a bit similar to the dictionary sites, but is designed more for researching the translations of particular words of phrases. When dealing with technical terms last year, this site was invaluable – not only does it show a variety of translations, it can give you suggestions and also includes a dictionary function.
For self study textbooks – those by GCP and Letts are great. CGP has fewer stock phrases for oral exams, but it does include a great grammar section and has a light-hearted tone, which is sometimes lacking in language text books. Letts books on the other hand are more serious, but are great for exams, as they come with reading, writing and listening exercises (make sure you order one with a CD!) and with great phrases that will be sure to get you an A* at GCSE or A Level. Both companies have books suitable up to A Level, and CGP even has a book for KS3 (ages 11-14).
German Verb books are also really useful – I recently got one in a charity shop, and although I’m supposed to be past the point of using it (I’m actually supposed to remember how to do it for myself!) it’s useful for some of the trickier irregular verbs, and for ihr (you plural) conjugations.
As I mentioned in another post ZickZack text books are great too – again some come with soundtracks so you need to be careful what you buy, but they have great vocabulary tables, grammar sections and a glossary, so they really are worth a look, even if the pictures are a bit ‘retro’!
As I’ve mentioned before apps like Duolingo, Cram and Memrise are all great for language learners of all ages and abilities, and the flexibility of working on phone, tablet, iPod or computer make them perfect for being on the go.
If there are any more resources that I’ve missed or that you think are worth a try, be sure to leave me a comment below! As always, if you want to see what I’m up to, you can always follow me on Twitter @amjsc.