Learning German Tips

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.

Learning German Tips has been rated 3.2 out of 5 based on 1717 ratings and 1 user reviews.
Where can I get help doing homework in German?

Need help doing homework?

Here is a great site concerned with homework: Hausarbeiten.de


A great way to read up-to-date German on a variety of topics.

What is "Plattdeutsch"?


Plattdeutsch is a regional variety of German spoken in northern Germany, especially at the costal region next to the Netherlands. It is related to Dutch and English. It is very hard to understand, even for a German. It is not taught at school.

Where can I play German scrabble?

German scrabble

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.


Where can I find a German spellchecker?

German Spellchecker for Winword

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.

Who will help me with my translations?


I will help you with your German letter writing & translations for a small fee. Inquire for details at: tom.packlick@worldnet.att.net. 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.

Where can I get information about the IIK Duesseldorf?

IIK Duesseldorf

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

What is a "Ziege"?


A "Ziege" is a goat. If the adjective 'old' is added, it becomes an insult: "Alte Ziege", which is still quite effective if you are out to annoy, though the phrase is a little dated.

Where can I take German language classes?

Berlitz Language Schools

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.

Where can I find info on German texts online?

German information for students

Go to


and find links to German texts, historical information and literature all over the web. In English.

What about all those "sie" pronouns?

The personal pronoun "sie"

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)

What does "das" mean?

The neutral article 'das'

The word 'das' has several meanings, so you will encounter it often. It can mean either "the", "this", "that" and sometimes "it".
Examples: das Maedchen (the girl), (this girl), (that girl) - depending on the context of the sentence.

What is an "Ossi"?

Westler, Wessis

Term used for a person born in the western part of the Federal Republic of Germany. Slightly less offensive than "Ossi". Still, the term is best avoided, particularly if used by a tourist.

Where can I speak German and meet new people?

The Stammtisch in Seguin, TX

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.

What is the German Internet Project?

The German Internet Project

The German Internet Project is a US-based portal with a variety of tips and links dealing with German language and culture (in German and English). Highly recommended.


Where can I get German magazines?

Free copy of Das Fenster Magazine

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!

Where can I look up German words?

Look up German words and phrases

You can look up German words and phrases at your.dictionary.com. They also have an extensive index of other online dictionaries. The index is searchable.

What does "das" mean?

Ostler, Ossis

"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.

What is ´ein Rad ab´?

ein Rad ab

"Der hat ja ein Rad ab" means that the person in question is daft (stupid). The phrase is similar to the loose screw, only here the allegory is a missing wheel.

How do I pronounce "ch"?

The German sound "CH"

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".

How can I refresh my German in a short time?

German radio in Florida

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

What is the Goethe Institute?

The Goethe Institute

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:


Where can I find someone to chat with in German?

A.L.I.C.E speaks German

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 :-)

Where can I listen to the latest German news?

Newsreport "Tagesthemen"

The Deutsche Telekom phone company offers a daily German newsreport for a small fee when you dial + (49) 01165.

Where can I take German language classes?

Learning German in Berlin

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: berlin@goethe.de

Where can I find out more about the German "Wurst"?

Donna's Favorite Sausage Expressions

'Donna's Favorite Sausage Expressions in German and English' is a great site dedicated to the various usages of the German "Wurst".


What is ´geil´?


"Geil" means randy or horny. However, it was used in the 80s and 90s to describe something 'fab', e.g. a 'geil' song, a 'geil' t-shirt, a 'geil' haircut etc.., such as in 'Das ist ja total geil! Abgefahren!'.

Where can I learn "Business German"?

German for businesses

Interested in acquiring "Business German"? Go here:


Is "Tempo" associated with speed or rhythm?


A "Tempo" is a paper tissue. The term is derived from one of the leading manufacturers of paper tissues in Germany. So "Hast Du ein Tempo?" would mean "Do you have a paper tissue"? ANY tissue, not necessarily the TEMPO brand. - In musical terms, tempo describes speed and rhythm.

Where can I aquire German for travelers?

German for travelers

Interested in getting together a basic vocabulary for your trip to Germany? Go to travlang.com. The site is searchable and will also help you with German pronounciation and grammar.

Where can I place ads?

Place an ad in Das Fenster magazine

Want to find a German pen pal or someone to share your hobbies? An ad in Das Fenster costs only $ 20. Go to www.dasfenster.com for more details.

Where can I read up-to-date German without paying a lot?

Get yourself a pen-pal

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.

How do I type German Umlauts?

How to type German Umlauts

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
= 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 , 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 / = 167

Where can I read up-to-date German without paying a lot?

Free "Apothekenmagazin"

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.

How can I improve my knowledge of German while in Germany?

Make them speak German!

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.

Where can I read up-to-date German without paying a lot?


Berlin-Program is a monthly magazine, which you can order from Rimbach-Verlag, Postfach 370144, D - 14131 Berlin, Germany. It will not only improve your German, but will also give you an idea of what's going on in the town. Call + (4930) 802 10 71 for more information.

How can I refresh my German in a short time?

Learning German online

Do a search on "Learning German Online" or "Deutsch im Internet". My search revealed at least four sites that are worth checking out.

Where can I listen to songs from "Auf Liederreise"?

"Auf Liederreise"

"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":


Where can I find information about German as a foreign language?

German as a foreign language

A portal for those teaching German as a foreign language:


What kinds of services can I expect in pharmacies?

Free newspapers and magazines

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.

Where can I read up-to-date German without paying a lot?

Free Post Office Planner

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.

What is "Pipikram"?


"Pipikram" is used to describe something insignificant, ridiculous or annoying. "Pipi" is not a four-letter-word, but a childish term for urine, "Kram" is colloquial for stuff ("Krempel"). The full expression, however, should not be used in a formal context.

Where can I buy German magazines?

Subscribe to Das Fenster Magazine

Das Fenster magazine is a US-mag written by Germans living abroad. A one year subscription (12 issues) costs $ 19,95. Order a free copy first at www.dasfenster.com.

What do the funny dots on top of a, e and u mean?

The Umlaut

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.

Where can I get free samples of German literature?

Free samples of German literature

Free German literature online:

Get free samples of German literature (e-books) here:


Where can I get the Zeit newsletter?

Newsletter from Zeit

Interested in German culture? Zeit Magazine has a free newsletter for you:


This offer is for the advanced student of German.

Which mags are available online?

Learn German with 'Der Spiegel'

Learn German online by reading the popular mag "Der Spiegel".


Not for beginners.

How does a Berliner speak?

How Berlin speaks

Interested in the Berlin sociolect? Find out how a typical Berliner speaks by going here:


Where can I find links to German chatrooms?

Hyde Flippo is your guide!

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.

URL: http://german.about.com/index.htm?terms=Germany

Also check out about.com's recommendations and links to German chatrooms:


Where can I find German exercises designed for foreigners?

Learning German online, for foreigners

Check out this great site:


This is a great opportunity to learn German online, the exercises are particularly designed for foreigners

Where can I brush up my German?

Deutsch als Fremdsprache

Brush up your German by checking out this information service. Special emphasis is placed on German as a foreign language.


Where can I access homepages of German students?

Look at homepages of German students

If you want to find out what German students are concerned with, go to:


A good way to improve your German, too.

What is the Rechtschreibreform?


What is the Rechtschreibreform? Go to:


You will find detailed information on the German “Rechtschreibreform” (new spelling system), which can also be printed in a neat summarized version.

Where can I read up-to-date German without paying a lot?

Place free ads online

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.

Where can I find a pen pal?

A pen pal for Mike

Looking for a pen pal for Mike. He is 13 years old and would like to write in German to a boy around his own age. Please e-mail information to his aunt at peggyk5@yahoo.com. She will pass the information on to Mike.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this German Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Lynda Moultry