Now that I’m finally in Germany, the need to speak and understand German is more pressing than ever.
In Germany, everything is in German: shop announcements, bus schedule, street ads, food & other supply labels… EVERYTHING.
So even without our marriage papers that would allow me to take a government-supported integration course, I decided to start taking an evening course to refresh my A1 knowledge.
The class meets only twice a week lasting 2.25 hours each session. There were many activities in-class that encouraged us to practice the language and just as many – if not more – homework for grammar and sentence construction.
Through it all, I found these three apps consistently helpful in my coursework.
- Google Translate
Although it can be unreliable when it comes to precisely translating sentences, I still find it useful when I’m reading texts that are a little complicated for my still limited vocabulary. For reading comprehension, I think it does the job of providing the learner a starting point in understanding a paragraph. When unsure of the sentence translation, I just take out a few phrases or a word and work out the context myself. (Link to Google Translate app)
Vocabulix offers a screen shortcut when you use your smartphone’s browser in checking it out. I use this app to determine the conjugation of verbs. Conjugation can be quite overwhelming when starting out but repeated exposure to the words and their proper conjugation eases the difficulty in time. (Link to Vocabulix Deutsche Verben)
- Der Die Das
The wonderful world of German noun gender! They adhere to a general rule part of the time but as a whole, you have to learn it yourself. The Der Die Das app is a tool that makes the lookup convenient when you are at a loss. (Link to Der Die Das app)
BONUS: Where Google Translate does not provide, i.e. more information about the word, I would check with Collins German Dictionary. Being a dictionary app, it is handy in providing English equivalents to German words. It is also effective in supplying organized granular information about the word such as usage, word class, sample uses, and gender. I find it particularly useful in building my own vocabulary list and familiarizing myself with how the word is commonly used. The only downside for this app are the ads that mess up the user experience in the free version; perhaps a strategy to persuade users from buying the full ad-free version. I didn’t mind paying for this app to get rid of the annoying ads so it’s working better now.
What apps do you use in your German language journey?