I need your help!

Hey everyone,

ich hoffe, euch geht’s gut :). So there’s something I could use your help with.
Two things actually – a review and then
this blob.
Oh… I mean this BLOG, but man, this cat really needs help, too.

Anyway, let’s start with the review stuff…

 

 

Help me review “Interlinear Books”

What is Interlinear books?
Well, the idea is really simple. Most of you probably know these bilingual books where you have one language on the one side and the translation on the other. Well, in interlinear books you get a line by line translation. But not a “normal” translation. You  get a word for word translation. So you have a German sentence structure, just with English words. Like so:

  • Ich habe heute eine halbe Pizza gegessen.
  • I      have    today    a        half     pizza     eaten.

Now some of you might be like “Wait a minute Emanuel, didn’t you already tell us about that 3 years ago?!?!?!”
And yes, I almost forgot it myself, but I actually did do a review. But I wanna do it again.
Why? Well, my first review is REALLY hard to find as it is kind of hidden at the bottom of a hidden article.
But what’s more important is that I reviewed it back then. But I, Emanuel, doesn’t exist. It is a concept your unconscious has made up; an imaginary friend that helps you not to go crazy over learning German. Yes, that’s right… you had to crazy, not to go crazy. Man, what kind of red wine is that? I feel really weird. Who am I?  Where were we… oh… oh wait, yeah, right. Interlinear books.  So I did review Interlinear Books but the thing is… I’m actually not that qualified because I don’t have to learn German. I’m not learning any language in the present decade … I mean moment. Of course, I can have an opinion but I can’t really tell whether it is any good.
YOU GUYS CAN. 
For me, Interlinear Books was a mixed bag back then, but I do like the idea because it’s something new, and when the people contacted me again now, I felt like I really wanted to get YOUR opinion as language learners.
So that’s why 
I am looking for two of you as test readers.

There’s one title available in German at the moment: Franz Kafka’s “Die Verwandlung”, which a classic of German literature, by the way.
As a test reader, you’ll get a copy for free (it costs $20) and in turn I’d like you to write a short review.

  • How did you like it?
  • What were the downsides, what the ups?
  • Do you think it’s helpful, and why?
  • Would you recommend it?

If that sounds interesting to you and you’d love to be a reviewer then here’s what you have to do:

 Leave a comment and complete the hashtag #Iwant____ .

Kafka’s stuff is pretty random sometimes, so the two most random answers will get the chance to review the book/tool.
UPDATE: CONTEST IS OVER!! Sorry :)
Here’s the link to Interlinear books for more information and a snippet of the product:

Interlinear Books on the Web

And here’s the link to the article that contains my review from 2014 :)

It’s toward the bottom of the post.

All right. So this is the first thing I need your help with. And the second one is… drumroll please….

Improving this blog

There are close to 400 articles here and I’m still gonna add more. But recently, I feel like devoting more energy to improving the stuff that is already there.
One aspect is to review older articles, edit them and trim some fat. Or a lot of fat sometimes.
But that’s just the basics. Here’s some more ideas:

  • adding more audio (it’s about 120 article with audio right now)
  • adding exercises to certain articles (especially the ones of the course)
  • adding a summary box at the end of an article
  • connect some sort of vocabulary training app so you can build a Yourdailygerman-deck as you read

I can’t do all of that at once and I’m sure there’s more ideas  so I’d really love to hear from you what you think would be the most helpful for you as a learner?  Is it audio? A summary? Exercises? Vocabulary? What’s a good app for vocabulary learning?
Let me know in the comments. And also… do you have any wishes about the layout and usability of the site?
I won’t be able to do everything until I my plan of creating a minion army from empty beer bottles finally works but I really appreciate any input and inspiration you have.
So go wild in the comments :).

And don’t forget complete the hashtag #iwant___ with the most random thing possible if you want to win a copy of Interlinear Book and review it.
I’m really looking forward to reading from you!!!!
Eine tolle Woche wünsch ich euch, und bis bald :)

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Ruth
Ruth
4 years ago

The interlinear approach is interesting, but surely of quite limited appeal.
Something I’d really, really, really like from publishers of translations is electronic versions with two (or more?) languages in which it’s possible to choose how it’s read. Side by side; paragraph by paragraph, choosing which language is shown first; etc …….What I’d most like would be to be able to read continuously in either language but toggle straight to the same place in the other and to any notes.

Ruth
Ruth
4 years ago
Reply to  Ruth

Use of a famous web search engine has led me to doppeltext.com which is approaching what I’d like. Text is presented in the original language, but translation, a little at a time, will appear at the click of a mouse (or tap of a touch screen). The translations used are published ones and doppeltext has been doing it long enough to have a variety of works available. It looks very interesting.

Ruth
Ruth
4 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

And, amazingly, it’s free! What lovely people.

evabara
evabara
4 years ago

#iwantitsoimmagogetit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSLz5uYMHRw
But this sounds awesome! Ich wollte vor lange Kafka lesen, aber hab ich mich bis jetzt nicht getraut, alles zu verstehen.

In terms of suggestions, I love the examples with audio that you put throughout your blog posts. They are so random but they are super helpful in understanding how words are used in different contexts and I like the variety in your sentence structure. So more of those I guess? I repeat them to my computer (und meine Mitbewohnern mussen denken, dass ich total verruckt bin)

Karl Roloff
Karl Roloff
4 years ago

I have some suggestions for you:
1. To devote some time to completing all the projects that you mention in different areas throughout the blog;
2. That in articles you post where your view of the article significantly changes from responding to the comments would warrant some revision, or at the very least, what you find most useful in the exchanges in the comments could somehow be incorporated into the body of the article;
3. You do an extended series on language learning skills, tips, tricks, etc. Because the kind of German learner who follows your blog does so because s/he wants to master the language, and this is a daunting, long-term, and sometimes overwhelming proposition. But people want to learn German the way you know English. How do we get there? This would mean some extended advice for how to approach learning the language, and there just aren’t enough reputable resources out there offering good advice.

Bavanek
Bavanek
4 years ago

Hey Emanuel,

I have benefited a lot from my first year as a member.

My dream machine for learning would somehow include all your great grammar tips and etymologies as well as vocabulary lists culled and collected from the Duolingo and Memrise German courses, available AnkiApp lists, and the Assimil texts and audio tapes as well as access to Michael Thomas leaning tapes.

To this I would add the great selection of dual language German English stories in the Dover edition edited by Applebaum- there are likely similar dual versions with other languages- and to round up this modest list a more complete modern dictionary that contains more current speech as well as archaic words found in classic German literature.

Yes it’s a huge ask but I see it all coming together as many of us may want to pool resources in an open-source project.

And one of the strong points in Memrise is the Meet the Natives videos of a range of Mandarin speakers of various ages and accents in their paid edition.

#iwanttospeakmore German!

Stephen

keineAhnung
keineAhnung
4 years ago

Hi Emanuel,

I’m a big fan of podcasts.
That way i can load one up, go for a run, and find myself so in depth in the discussion that I notice I’ve just run another 2.4km without even realizing it.
That’s a sign of a good podcast! Prime example http://www.radiolab.org/series/podcasts/
I reckon with your witty prose, and deep insights into word stems and their origins, it could be an invaluable accompaniemnet to my next venture on the pavement.
It’s also time saving.
I can squeeze in my daily run and my daily word of the day at the same time!
My wife cooks with baby in hand and listens to her podcasts at the same time.
In the car, on the train, the options are endless for multi-tasking!
Not to mention bringing you to work to each day with a smile and most importantly a new word to try out!
So do it!
Go the next step.
Put the entire blog in audio!
#I wantaPodcast

4 years ago

test

just me
just me
4 years ago

#IwantRitterRunkle

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago

#IwantSüßigkeiten

Francesca Greenoak
Francesca Greenoak
4 years ago

There are lots of places where you can get vocabulary and exercises. Yours is the only one that exercises the mind and entertains as well.Don’t change it too much. I find the audio helpful. You may know how to pronounce a word but it’s different in a sentence – and a you’ve noted, saying something a different way can change the meaning. I love the language clusters.
I use dual text a lot and find it very helpful as it carries me on when I’d otherwise lose the thread . If it’s good it doesn’t matter if it’s a literal translation or not. You can usually figure it out. It also means you can read more interesting texts. I liked the Krimi you gave us.
I’ve started following links back to your earlier pieces and I like the way they jigsaw together.
I’ll review for you if you need another person but would prefer not Verwandlung,Classic touch it is, I’ve read it to much but perhaps remember me did a future item.
Best wishes
Francesca
PS I want to find out what Thomas and Maria are up to.

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago

#IwantOhWTFtoLEARN
SO I’ve been learning for about 6months and that translate but in German grammar is totally how my head is working right now.im still a beginner in the A1 lessons so I don’t get have a feel for the sentence structure and that’s what I find the hardest. The vocabulary is just repetition but the sentence structure is something else. I looknforwarf to checking out the books.

Anonymous
Anonymous
4 years ago

Like the site as it is. I Use Anki which is free and very robust and is supposed to deals with audio too. Would prefer you to add more material rather than improve what’s already there.

I also use a book called ‘Mastering German vocabulary a practical guide to troublesome words’. By Bruce Donaldson. It’s good but you could do a better job on his same selection.

srodersaurabh
4 years ago

#IwantKafka

Veronika
Veronika
4 years ago

#IwantKafkalesenduringmyoptimizationofchemicalprocessesVorlesungen

Veronika
Veronika
4 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

German is cooler!!! #sorrynotsorry

Amerikanerin
Amerikanerin
4 years ago

There is actually one other improvement you could make besides speaking slower inthe Audios. What I would appreciate is a (m), (n) or (f) after each noun in your examples. It would aid in learning when to use dative/accusative in an intuitive way and would help me to nail those pesky articles. Obviously, it would save me the trouble of looking the nouns up constantly, ruining „flow“, but most of all I think it would be a more instinctive way to get those articles to stick in my head.
#Iwant to wake up as a German-speaking insect.

susan voth
susan voth
4 years ago

#Iwant to read the interlinear book by Kafka please! I think it’s an excellent way to learn and I read the book over 40 years ago in English when I was in high school.

Michael Pencke
Michael Pencke
4 years ago

#Iwantthankksfortheofferbutwhelllllll

Sarah Dodwell
Sarah Dodwell
4 years ago

Hello –
I love your site: I don’t actually have time to read Die Verwandlung at the moment, but for what it’s worth, this is what I think – yes, it is handy to have a word for word translation for words that you don’t know, BUT, and this is the important bit, it only works if the words do not make up part of an expression. If you wanted to translate, say, “Ich weiß nicht, wo mir der Kopf steht”, then a word for word translation of “I know not, where to me the head stands” makes no sense at all, so it needs to say in brackets (I don’t know whether I’m coming or going). So, the upsides are: you don’t need to be sitting there with a dictionary to translate the words you don’t know, so you can read and enjoy the book, but the downsides are: if it is part of an expression (especially if you don’t know that it is an expression) then you can end up absolutely misunderstanding something. It is helpful, especially for unusual or abstruse nouns, but I would only recommend it for people who have a reasonable grounding in German – it would be absolutely no use to a beginner.

Michael Pencke
Michael Pencke
4 years ago

thanks for the offer!

slpst
slpst
4 years ago

I already read the Interlinear version of Die Verwandlung. Are you interested in an extra review? (No need for the free copy or anything; I paid for it and was not dissatisfied a year or two ago.)

Mimi
Mimi
4 years ago

Sounds like an interesting project. #IwantmoreKafka