Read these 54 Learning German Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about German tips and hundreds of other topics.
Playing scrabble is a great way to brush up your German, it is fun, and now you can even do it for free on your computer. The German Scrabble Site offers two free online word games: Hornets and Net Hangman. In German. Requires Shockwave.
Type the names of the missing drivers (mssp232.dll and mssp3GE.dll) into a search engine. You will find that many people have this problem, i.e. you'll find these names cropping up in newsgroups and such. Chances are that you will also find a site where you can download these drivers. Download them into: ...\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Proof\. This is step no. 1. Step no. 2 is getting the driver mssp2_ge.lex. Grab it here: http://willow.cats.ohiou.edu/~lrc/germanware/proofing/.
Download it into the same folder (..Microsoft/Shared/Proof). Now, Word 2000 will be able to spellcheck German documents.
I will help you with your German letter writing & translations for a small fee. Inquire for details at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Here's my bio:
Dorothea F. Packlick. Birthday: 11. August 1963, Berlin, Germany. BA (German MA) in English Literature & Linguistics, Economics & Journalism. 1979-1992: German, French & English coach for pupils aged 6 - 18. 1980-1995: freelance work, translations of English-German texts (e.g. movie scripts, contracts, literature, book reviews) & work for German TV with the Berliner Spiele Filmproduktion. 1987-1993: English & German teacher for independent educational institute (Berliner Nachhilfezirkel E. V.), 1994-1998 Assistant of the Vice President of the Max-Planck-Society, Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin. Moved to the US in 1998, currently not employed (thank God!). Interests: Literature, computers, music, internet, traveling, cats.
Learning German or getting a stipend with the IIK Duesseldorf
Institut fuer Internationale Kommunikation in Zusammenarbeit
mit der Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf (IIK e.V.)
Universitaetsstrasse 1, D - 40225 Duesseldorf
Tel +49/(0)211/81-15182, Fax -12537
* Informationen about IIK Duesseldorf
* IIK stipends
You will find Berltz language schools in most bigger German cities. They offer classes for both small groups and individuals. The teachers are always native speakers. It is possible to have your classes tailored to your interests and needs (i.e. Business German, refresher courses, compact courses). The classes are well-structured and very useful.
Watch out for "Sie - sie - sie" (you, she, they). The same word has different meanings. "Sie" with a capital S means 'you' in the formal address, "sie" can either be "she" or "they". You can usually determine by the size of the s and by the following verb (singular or plural)what is meant. Since each German sentence starts with a capital, however, you may just have to conclude from the sense of the sentence alone what it is.
1 Essen Sie Kaese? (Do you (formal) eat cheese?)
2 Am Abend singt sie. (She sings in the evening)
3 Am Abend singen sie. They sing in the evening)
4 Sie singt. (She sings)
5 Sie singen. (They sing)
Good news for people living in Guadalupe County, TX. There is a weekly discussion group for anything related to Germany. Best of all, it is free. Also, your German does not need to be perfect to attend. Discussions are held every Monday from 12:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm. at the Silver Center, 510 East Court St., Seguin, TX 78155, phone: (830) 372 98 57.
Get your free copy of the American-German mag "Das Fenster" at www.dasfenster.com. The mag is highly informative, as it deals with a variety of topics related to Germany & Germans living in the US. There is also a decent ad section and cultural stuff, such as short stories and poems. Check this out!
"Ostler" or "Ossi" is an unflattering term for a person who was born in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). Use of this term should be avoided, as people are quite sensitive about this issue. On the other hand, it is quite common for former East Germans to use the term themselves with their peers.
Master the German "ch". It is important and has no equivalent in English. It is an aspirated, guttural and prolonged "k" (but it is NOT the same sound!). It sounds like someone wants to clear his throat a bit, like "krrrrr". Examples: ach, Achtung, echt, endlich. Remember: it is not a "k".
WTIS 1110 AM broadcasts a German radio program, die Deutsche Funksendung. The station is available in Brooksville, Venice and Orlando. The programs deal with German news, features, culture and music. They are broadcasted on Saturdays, 1 - 3 p.m. and Sundays, 1 - 2 p.m. Info: (813) 254 5088
The Goethe Institute aims at spreading information about the German language and culture all over the world. They have offices in most big cities and often show German language films. You can attend German classes for a fee or use their library for free. Their webpages are available in German and English. You will find a list of their branches worldwide, details about German classes, news on arts and culture, learning and teaching German, their libraries and, finally, interesting links with German topics. Check out the Goethe Institute at:
A.L.I.C.E is an electronic brain, i.e. an artificial linguistic internet computer entity. Although she is based in the US, she can speak German well enough. I was totally impressed. She also gives you links and tips. You can chat with ALICE here:
Do it. It is a lot of fun. She can also speak a mixture of German and English. I wish I had ALICE at home :-)
The Berlin Goethe Institute offers summer courses for young people. Choose between 4 or 8 weeks. It is also possible to attend a Berlin workshop (5 days) or have a work experience arranged. For more information contact: Goethe-Institut Berlin, Friedrichstr. 209, D - 10969 Berlin, phone: + 4930 - 259 063, e-mail: email@example.com
Learning German on your own is tedious and difficult, because you do not get any feedback. Check out the websites of popular German magazines, such as "Tip", "Zitty", or "Zweite Hand". Most have ads, and you might find yourself a pen-pal. Or try placing an ad yourself.
On a Windows PC, hold down the Alt key and type the following numbers from the numerical keypad (with Num Lock on).
ä = Alt 132 Ä = Alt 142 ö = Alt 148
Ö = Alt 153 ü = Alt 129 Ü = Alt 154
ß = Alt 225
On any Macintosh, press the Option-key, the letter 'u' and then the vowel you want as an Umlaut.
For example, to get an ä, press Option-u a. The same goes for ü and ö.
To umlaut a capital letter, follow the same steps and press Shift-letter.
For example, to get an Ö , press Option-u O.
To get an ß, press option-s.
Alternatively, hold down the MAC key while typing these numbers:
Ä = 128 / ä = 138 / Ö = 133 / ö = 154 / Ü = 134 / ü = 159 / ß = 167
If you happen to travel in Germany and want to polish your German a bit, pick up a copy of the
"Apothekenmagazin". It is available in all major pharmacies, full of illustrations and descriptions of current health issues, and it is free. The pharmacies ("Apotheken") also publish free mags about nutrition and senior citizens' health concerns, and one for kids with posters, cartoons and calendars. Best of all: the information provided is up-to-date and helpfull.
If you are already in Germany, you will find that most Germans will try to oblige you by speaking English to you (since everybody has learned at least a little at school). You may find it necessary to ask people to stick to German, or you will not learn anything. Ask them to speak slowly - some Germans speak quite fast.
"Auf Liederreise" is a German Christmas carol book for learners of German. Comes with explanations about the songs and instructions for the guitar. An additional CD or tape with the songs is available. (Liederheft: 3-12-675080-x; Kassette: 3-12-675083-4; Audio-CD: 3-12-675081-8)
Listen to some of the songs by going here and click on "Auf Liederreise":
If you happen to pass a university or mensa, take a quick look inside to see if there are any free publications available. Most universities have set up tables in hallways with all kind of free information. You will even find mags and newspapers that you would have to pay for, if you got them at the newsagent. Sometimes students 'dump' books they do no longer want, too.
Get your free post office planner (ca. 140 pages) complete with colorful & up-to-date information on German history, sightseeing, public holidays, fairytales, tips etc. at any German post office. Each page is illustrated, but there is plenty of room for personal notes. This diary is intended for German kids, but it is also a great learning device for adults from abroad: the German texts are not difficult. The planner is good for a full year, and best of all, it is free.
There are three "Umlauts" in German: ae (an a with two dots on top) which sounds like AY, oe (o with two dots) pronounced like the "i" in "sir" and ue (u with dots) sounding like the French "tu" or "sur". Since these sounds are not available in English, you need to pay careful attention whenever you encounter them.
Hyde Flippo is the German language guide at about.com.
His 'hot' topics for November 2001 include:
- German "false friends" flashcards, a fun way to learn new German vocabulary or review
- dog and cat names in German
- German for Beginners - all of Flippo's free German lessons are available any day, any time.
Also check out about.com's recommendations and links to German chatrooms:
You can place free ads on two sites that specialize in German products and services. Go to either
and follow the links. - This is a good idea if you want to find people, who share your hobbies, and an excellent way to improve your German.