What points do I need to consider in order to find the best German online course?

I answered this question at StackOverflow, before I realized that the question was 10 months old and not likely to get a response. Therefore, I’ll post my comments here and see if anyone has any comments of suggestions.

When learning German and choosing an online course

It is very important to understand that the gender of a noun is the most important element, when learning the German language. Without knowing the gender of a noun, it is impossible to properly form a sentence correctly. If the course fails to include the article when teaching nouns, it should be avoided.

For example, if the course only teaches you that “Haus” is the word for “house”, it should be avoided. The course must teach you that “house” is “das Haus/die Häuser”.

Deutsch Welle (DW) is a good place to get supplemental learning material. In addition to their website, they have some audio podcasts on iTunes. I like the slow news podcast, where the current events are read slower than they are in normal new broadcasts.

The only problem with the DW is that they are designed for multinational students living in Germany. The vocabulary lists are not going to have English translations in many cases.

If you are looking for a really good online course, you might try Duolingo. It is free, fun and slightly addictive.

Two absolutely essential resources are the dict.cc and leo.de websites. Both sites are off-shoots of the Mr. Honey German dictionaries available at Gutenberg.org by Winfried Honig. Dict.cc allows you to download their entire database for your personal use. I downloaded it. It is a CSV of over 1 million rows.

Lastly, be sure to look at youtube.de as a source of German material. There are a large number of German language audio books available including many kids books. I constantly listen to German audio books. There is nothing better for students who are not around German language speakers on a regular basis than listening to German language books. I recommend the speakers David Nathan, Dietmar Wunder, and the great Dirk Bach.

Die drei Fragezeichen Folge 162:

…und der schreiende Nebel

Die drei ??? – Folge 162:…und der schreiende Nebel

Veröffentlicht am 10.11.2014

Als die drei ??? Post von einem alten Bekannten erhalten, ahnen sie noch nicht, was für ein gefährliches Abenteuer sie erwartet. Der rätselhafte Hilferuf führt sie mitten in die Einöde von South Dakota. Dort werden sie Zeugen unfassbarer Ereignisse, die eine abgelegene Prärie-Ortschaft heimsuchen. Welches dunkle Geheimnis steckt hinter dem unheimlichen Nebel, der die Einwohner in Angst und Schrecken versetzt? Und was hat es mit den grässlichen Schreien auf sich, die immer wieder aus den weißen Schwaden dringen? Die drei Detektive nehmen die Ermittlungen auf – und geraten selbst in die Fänge des Nebels…

die-drei-fragezeichen-162-500px-front-bionichead
Folge 162: Die drei ??? und der schreiende Nebel (Front Cover)
die-drei-fragezeichen-162-500px-back-bionichead
Folge 162: Die drei ??? und der schreiende Nebel (Back Cover)

 

  1. Warnung aus South Dakota
  2. Fort Stockburn
  3. Phase 1
  4. Fremde unerwünscht
  5. Phase 2
  6. Dem Grauen auf der Spur
  7. Schwierige Recherchen
  8. Die große Bedrohung
  9. Schatten der Vergangenheit
  10. Furcht und Hoffung
  11. Der Nebel lichtet sich

Happy Darwin Day – Free Books

Today is Charles Darwin’s 206 birthday.

Charles Darwin - Feb. 12, 2015 (Darwin's 206 Birthday)
Charles Darwin – Feb. 12, 2015 (Darwin’s 206 Birthday)

Charles Robert Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.

Most of Charles Darwin’s major scientific books are available in digital editions. All of these books can be downloaded for free in ePub, HTML, Kindle and Plain Text formats. Below is a small collection of books available for free to the public.

Free eBooks

On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin

The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Vol. I by Charles Darwin

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin — Volume 1 by Charles Darwin

The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol. I. by Charles Darwin

The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin by Charles Darwin

A complete list of free eBooks by Charles Darwin is available here: Charles Darwin

Free Audio Books

If you do not have the time to read books by Charles Darwin, download an audiobook and listen to it on the way to and from work.

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (machine read audio book)

The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (Read by Annie Coleman RothenbergKara ShallenbergHugh McGuireDavid Barnes and others).

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin by Charles Darwin (Read by LivelyHive)

The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Part 1 by Charles Darwin (Read by Denny Sayers, Mary Ballard-Johansson, Rory Lawton, Michael Reuss, J. M. Smallheer and others)

The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Part 2 by Charles Darwin (Read by Elsa Youngsteadt, Rory Lawton, Matthew Reece, Availle and others)

The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Part 3 by Charles Darwin (Read by Rory Lawton, Guero, Availle, and Tai John)

Darwin’s Virtual Library

Read what Charles Darwin read. The Charles Darwin’s Library is a digital edition and virtual reconstruction of the surviving books owned by Charles Darwin. The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) special collection draws on original copies and surrogates from other libraries. It also provides full transcriptions of his annotations and marks.

 

 

Die drei Fragezeichen Folge 147:

Grusel auf Campbell Castle

Die drei ??? – Folge 147: Grusel auf Campbell Castle

Veröffentlicht am 10.11.2014

Adam Campbell hat ein schweres Erbe angetreten: er muss das imposante Schloss seines verstorbenen Vaters in Schuss halten. Bei einer spiritistischen Sitzung meldet sich dessen Geist und spricht von einem sonderbaren Vermächtnis. Natürlich nehmen die drei ??? die Ermittlungen auf. Mit einem Gespenst, davon sind sie überzeugt, haben sie es nicht zu tun! Bis Peter von einer gruseligen schwarzen Hand ins Meer gezogen wird. Erst in letzter Sekunde kann er gerettet werden. Der Zweite Detektiv ahnt Unheilvolles: Wurde er von einem Wassergeist attackiert?

Die drei Fragezeichen Folge 173:

Dämon der Rache

Folge 173: Die drei ??? Dämon der Rache (drei Fragezeichen)

Veröffentlicht am 13.01.2015

Bei einer Ballonfahrt entdeckt Peter in der Nähe einer abgelegenen Villa ein Monster – eindeutig ein neuer Fall für die drei ???! Ihre Ermittlungen führen die Detektive zur seltsamen Mrs. Pembroke und ihrem Neffen Luke. Die beiden werden von der grässlichen Gestalt bedroht. Luke bittet Justus, Peter und Bob um Hilfe. Doch schnell wird klar: Der Dämon der Rache ist nicht aufzuhalten…

Dämon der Rache