aufmachen, anmachen, ausmachen, zumachen… these are German prefix verbs and there are literally billions* of them. (*dramatized, may not actual be billions).
We talk a lot about them here on the site, but I am also making a book about them, together with my good friend Helen.
She’s an illustrator and cartoon artist and together we’re working on a book that should be a fun, memorable introduction to the topic as well as a long time reference. And it’s going to be a lot of fun, because the cartoons she is making are amazing.
We’re about 70% done, and we’re currently struggling with nailing down the layout.
I’ll definitely keep you up to date here, but for more info, we’ve set up a little info page about the project, where you can (and should) also sign up for our book newsletter :)
My passion project – fun, bite-sized nuggets of wisdom about German with grammar tips, vocabulary, memes and more, organized like a little lottery.
I’m still building this, but there are already almost 100% nuggets to explore and some premium functionality is also there. My goal is, to have hundreds of nuggets and the option to get them into your inbox on the daily :).
I’m working on a card game for German prefix verbs, together with a nice app for reference. Check out the info page for more details and sign up for our newsletter about the card game. I think it’s a really cool game and I can’t wait to get your feedback.
Anja is one of the biggest Youtubers in the German learning sphere and her channel has almost a million subs. Last year, she created a new German learning course that is centered around a… comedy series. The episodes follow a consistent storyline that gets ever more crazy, and each of them present you with new grammar concepts and vocabulary, all in context. Of course, there are subtitles, too, and for each episode, you’ll get a bunch of exercises, a vocabulary sheet and there are some exams at the end of a block as well.
So far, they have three seasons, for A1, A2 and B1. And it’s not all shot in one room. It really feels like a proper TV series.
If you like Anja’s Youtube videos or you like quirky humor, this might be the perfect choice of a course for you, because they put a lot of effort into making an actually funny and engaging story that you WANT to watch.
It’s not exactly cheap, but if you have the funds for it, I can highly recommend it.
Oh, and you’ll likely recognize some faces from German learning Youtube and Instagram. And I have a couple of guest roles as well :).
For more info, just check out their landing page… a bit ugly but it has all the info you need:
Seedlang is an app for learning German made by my friends Jeremy as well as my other friend Cari from the Easy German Youtube channel. At the core of Seedlang are short lovely video clips that show you German vocabulary and grammar as it is really used, spoken by native speakers. And all the grammar and translations are always one click away.
It’s got a lot of cool functions and the lessons itself are handcrafted and full of love. And my grumpy self is in a few of them as well :).
And the price is quite affordable. Less than 5 bucks per month if you take a full year. You get your money’s worth 10 fold.
Oh and by the way… they have Spanish and French now too, if you get sick of German :)
If you want to learn more about it, you can check out my review here:
The best (and biggest) channel for German learners. Originally, Cari and Januzs started out by interviewing people on the streets about a topic and adding German AND English subtitles, so you can learn how real Germans sound like while also getting a glimpse into their minds. But the channel has grown a lot and they’re also doing grammar easy grammar explanations and awesome lifestreams. And if you’re a premium supporter via Patreon, you also have access to exercises and vocabulary lists for the videos.It’s really a great channel, the concept is great, the production quality is great and most importantly, the people are great and I’m happy to call them friends!
As far as study material goes, this show is definitely one of the most entertaining things you can watch. On the surface it is a sort of comedy soap opera… the story is basic, the acting is totally over the top and even off camera laughs. They clearly don’t mean it seriously :)But they are serious about the learning aspect and they have done an amazing job. All the actors speak super clear and slow they keep repeating key phrases … and still it feels somewhat natural and not at all “schoolish”. And there are subtitles, too…. at least you can turn them on. At the end of each episode there is a little recap of the important phrases, and last but not least… the episodes are long so none of these 5 minute things that are over before you know it. Bottom line: this BBC made series is extra super.
Lach- und Sachgeschichten is a segment in the uber famous German kids show called “Die Sendung mit der Maus” (the show with the mouse). The idea behind Lach- and Sachgeschichten is to look at something from the real world and see how it’s made or how it works… in kids terms. But at least for me, when it comes to how a the technology behind a touch screen works or how tofu is made, then kids terms is just perfect.Seriously, the videos are absolutely lovely and many adults in Germany enjoy watching them, too. The language is simply and the speaker speaks very clearly and if you don’t understand the words the video often helps out and allows you to guess. Of course you need a decent amount of vocabulary to really enjoy it but for an intermediate learner it’s a great way to train listening while learning a lot of random interesting things like “How is a toothpaste made”.
One of my favorite podcasts of all time (And it’s an OG podcast… podcast before they were cool) In each episode, Tim Pritlove talks with one or to experts about a certain topic. A lot of topics have to do with computers (IPv6, the DNS-scene, ARM architecture, various programming languages, app-design) but they also discuss the German tax system, Bitcoin, coffee, beer, board games, World of Warcraft, the solar system, the human ear, secret services, movie dubbing, feminism and post-structuralism…. just to name a few :). I’m sure you’ll find something. They really go into depth on a topic. No wonder that an episode is usually between 1 and 3 hours long. But it’s not a boring presentation but rather two guys just having a relaxed dialog along an outline. And Tim Pritlove is really pushing for layman’s terms and has a great talent to rephrase and summarize things. There are about 200 episodes and I think I’ve listened to almost all of them, even if I wasn’t too interested in the topic. It’s just kind of soothing. Like a slow evening where you sit with friends and you just listen to their nerd conversations. The audio quality is amazing by the way, and it’s completely free and runs on donations which is amazing, too. So… if you want to listen to some a lot of authentic (and fairly slow) German, while learning a bit a whole lot of stuff then check this out!!
You’re already advanced and you want to listen to German literature? This is the perfect site for you because here you can find… free audio books. And it’s legal. Isn’t that great? There are lots of classic stories of (mostly but not exclusively German) literature like Kafka’s “Die Verwandlung” or “Frankenstein”. Or how about one of the wild west novels of Karl May, one of the most famous popular writers in Germany, who has written about the wild west like no other and yet he’s never even been there. The audio quality is great and the speakers are generally good at what they’re doing. There’s also a large crime story section and you can find some drama and some non fiction there too. So if you are into audio books and serious literature and you want to improve your German… check it out.
The TestDaf is one of the most widely accepted language certificates for the German language. On their webpage they offer a lot of information including lots of links where you can sign up for preparation courses or buy guide books but they also have 2 sets of tests samples there. It contains all 4 types of task (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and you can listen to the listening comprehension audio on mp3 and read the transcript there. It might look a little intimidating at first glance but don’t worry… you can do will get there eventually because you are awesome! Enough motivation?… by the way… there is not many of the usual fill in the blank grammar exercises there, so this is good I guess. The link here leads to the digital version, but there’s also a separate preparation section for a paper exam. Just click around and you’ll find it.
If you’re advanced already and you’re looking for material and grammar explanations in German, you might want to check out SpraKuKo (SpracheKulturKommunikation) Patrick, the creator of this online school, lots of material to read in German and also plenty of exercises. And if you like his style, he also offers courses on improving vocabulary & pronunciation, a regular language course from B1 to C2 and special grammar courses, in which you learn essential grammar for the language levels B2 and C1.
I usually answer all the question you ask in the comments, but I don’t know everything and I am just ONE person, so when it comes to more subjective things, it might be good to get input from more Germans. German.stackexchange is a great forum for all kinds of questions about the German language like nuances, differences or grammar. A lot has been asked already so you can find a wealth of information there. There is also a rating system and one can collect reputation so our natural human desire for gathering things is definitely catered for ;).