Advent Calendar 5 – “Choose!”

You reach a door. On it is written “5”. The door appears not to be locked.
Do you want to

a) open door
b) go back

So you chose to open the door? Good choice, because today there’s a really really awesome language learning tool behind it. Well, I think it’s super awesome because… well… most of you know me as this incredibly attractive, distinguished, well bred man with perfect abs teaching German on the radio. And that’s all true, BUT it wasn’t always like that. As a teenager, I was actually a bit of a nerd. Because I reeeaaally loved role playing games. No, not what you think.
I mean pen and paper role playing games in a fantasy world. If you don’t know how that works… it’s basically World of Warcraft on tranquilizers, run on the most complex computer to date: our brain :).
Seriously, you meet up with friends, everyone has a hero with features and skills and weapons and stuff and one of you guys is basically leading you through an interactive fantasy story.
In fact… here’s a snippet of a recording of such a session , so can get an idea in case you don’t know this stuff :).


“You get to a river. What do you do?”
“I use my staff to check how deep it is.”
“You put your staff all the way in but it is not long enough.”
“Hihihi… his staff is too short… hihihi.”
“As you’re trying to pull it out, it is suddenly pulled in very strongly. Do a strength test +3 to keep holding it.”

“… *rolls 20 sided die*… 6. My strength is 8, hooray.”
“Nu uhhhh… you forgot you still have -2 strength because of that diarrhea. The staff is pulled out of your hand.”
“Oh come on, dude… .”
“I don’t think mages use the word dude.”
“My huntress was standing next to the mage. I’ll try to grab his staff.”
“Fine, do an agility+4 combined with a dexterity +6.”
“+6 ?!?! Wait, why is grabbing this staff more difficult than fingeri….”

And so on and so on :). So much fun.
But you might be wondering what this has to do with learning German. Well, bear with me.
You see, there were these interactive book with the same system. Like, you’d read a couple of paragraphs and then the book would give you a choice and refer you to a certain page to continue reading. So you’d basically read a novel but you’d also have some influence on how the story progresses.
Certainly not for everyone, but I found these pretty fun.
And now  what I told you such a book, actually exists specifically for German learners?? Well… it does.
OMG… #nerdgasm

And to make it even better: it can be read online.
And to make it even more better: it comes with little quizzes, a vocabulary section and audio for the unknown words.
And to make it even more betterer:

it is free!!!

The author, André Klein, has written quite a few novels for language learners so he knows the “genre” and when I came across this interactive book I just had to share it because I REALLY love the idea. I’m sure, it’s not for everyone and you do need to be at least B1 to enjoy it but yeah… it might turn out your new most favorite tool so check it out.  That’s really all I can say :).

Here’s a little Youtube-video about the project:

And here’s the direct link:

Interactive Fantasy Adventure for intermediate German learners

How about you? Do you know pen and paper role playing and these books? How do you like the idea of combining that with learning German?
Did you try out the book? And how did you like it?
I’m really curious for your feedback.
Einen schönen Tag euch und bis morgen :).


for members :)

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I just want to say, all this German is making me fat. Too much studying and not enough exercise – waist is thickening. And now this book. Oh, my god! Is this too cool, or what! Can’t put it down. My To Do-list is getting longer by the minute because I’m consumed by Aschkalon. Although, I find my thoughts keep wandering to how talented this André Klein person is – writing bits for all the different clicks on the screen. His mother must be Oh, so proud of him!

But seriously, I keep hitting the return button on my browser and re-read to then click on a different choice to see where it all takes me. Great for learning sentence structure, German punctuation, VOCAB. Just wish I could use it on a treadmill or something – 2 kg since I started learning German in August – at this rate, I’ll need a new wardrobe by xmas. In conclusion, German is fattening.


Thanks for linking to this gem! Unfortunately I am not at the appropriate reading level to have a good understanding of the text, so will just appreciate the generosity of the creator and the simple beauty of the design.
Anybody remember those Goosebumps choose-your-own-ending stories? Much more effective in theory as there was only one true (correct) ending.
BTW, I was also a mage.


I love it! Bring back the nerd in me :)


The ad just doesn’t work for me, (?)unfortunately. Twice I’ve played it and got to the end having missed everything but the music! Looking at the actual site It seems very nicely done, and I’m sure works much better than it would in print. The vocab off the bottom of the page is good – there, but not intrusive.

Anyway, finding myself in the company of people experienced in the “choose your own” genre I want to ask – do you read all the different possibilities? ….and do you ever calculate how many variants there are?

Shannon Skilton
Shannon Skilton

Wow!!!! Thought I’d go check it out…not really expecting to be able to keep up but it was absolutely do-able and a ton ‘o fun! Thanks for including this!!!!


Ruth: In answer to your question, I try to read all the possibilities. After each choice, I read, go back, click another option and then repeat. Math was never my thing so I don’t know how to calculate the possibilities. Rumor has it that Emanual is a math-whiz, he should be able to tell you how to calculate the possibilities. Caveat emptor! The book makes you fat. All this sitting around, clicking options, backing up and clicking new ones in lieu of exercise can put on the kgs. Otherwise, it’s brilliant.


Herrvoragend! Ich werde es probieren und dazu mochte ich so etwas finden oder erzeugen (can I say that?) for my English learning students.


Danke so much to everyone who has donated extra for those of use who couldn’t buy a membership!

Larry S
Larry S

Unfortunately, and despite my two years of college German, and three years in Germany in the service, I find Aschkalon too hard, with many words I didn’t know in addition to the ones in the dictionary at the bottom of the page. I did like “wie oft” and “der Schweinehund”. A word or concept a day seems more like what I can deal with, for now anyway. I’m an octogenarian, and Langenscheidt didn’t have a word for that.


Danke! I’ve been catching up today on the calendar and Love this story. I’m surprised at how much I am able to follow and understand. I recall when I was a young teenager (quite more than) a few years ago and used to live these stories.

Charlie Joe
Charlie Joe

I feel like Goldilocks. Not too hot or too cold. This on line free book is perfect for me. Thanks.