German language information resources

Contact info

This guide lists selected print and electronic information resources in the Library and on the Internet that will help you better enjoy studying the German language. If you need help, please contact Ivana Niseteo, Liaison Librarian for English, French, French Programs (FASS), Humanities, Linguistics, and World Languages & Literatures at 778.782.6838 or or Ask a librarian


German is a West Germanic language spoken mainly in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and  Liechtenstein, with approximately 90 million native speakers. [Read more in Omniglot and here]. 


German books at SFU library

If you want to find books in German, it might help to use advanced search in the SFU Library Catalogue. From the drop-down menu in the 'Language' box choose 'German',  then enter the keywords, e.g. 'fairy tales', 'german poetry', etc.

Easy reads

SFU library has a very small number of easy books in German, such as fairy tales, children's books and short stories. Try the Curriculum Collection. Public libraries usually have a larger selection of easy books, especially for young readers. Check, for example, the Vancouver Public Library and search in 'Call numbers' by GER J, or GER J FIC. See also the section below, Literature Online.

Movies in German at SFU library

  • Both online and hard copy videos and DVDs (feature and documentary films) are available at the Library. To find a movie in German, search the catalogue in 'Advanced Search' mode. In 'Resource type' select 'Videos', and in 'Language' select 'German'. Enter 'Foreign film' in the 'Subject' field.
  • The Criterion on Demand database contains a selection of feature films in German.

Here is a selection of movies available:

Newspapers and Radio stations

Dictionaries, grammar & pronunciation

  • WordReference - German  dictionary and an active language forum where you can ask native speakers questions about grammar, style, expressions, translations, etc.
  • German-English, English-German dictionary - A simple dictionary based on a wordlist of about 150,000 entries
  • The Oxford paperback German dictionary [print]
  • The Oxford-Duden German dictionary: German-English-German [print]

To find the German grammar books in the SFU Library, search the catalogue by Subject 'German language -- Grammar'.Basic German - Grammar and workbook

  • Modern German grammar a practical guide (2011)
  • German: an essential grammar (2006) [print]
  • Klaro! a practical guide to German grammar (2001) [print]
  • A practical review of German grammar [print]
  • German, a self-teaching guide (2007) [print]
  • Forvo - The pronunciation dictionary. Look for a word, then listen to a native speaker pronounce it.
  • Modern German pronunciation: an introduction for speakers of English [print]

Journals & articles in German

  • The German quarterly - Brings the best in literary and cultural studies. Also included are book reviews and special reports and forums. Selected articles in German and English.
  • Germanic Review - Only selected articles are in German. Search the MLA International Bibliography database to find such articles.
  • New German Critique - The leading journal of German Studies (in English).

How to search for articles in German? Some databases (e.g. MLA International Bibliography, Anthropological Literature, ERIC, PsycINFO) allow a researcher to limit the search to a particular language. However, the SFU library might not own journals that publish in foreign languages and that appear in those databases. Such articles are available through the Interlibrary Loan, but for the purpose of language learning, you should aim for online full-text articles.

Connect to the MLA International Bibliography database.

In the 'Publication type' box choose 'Journal Articles', and in the 'Language' box select 'German'. You can mark the 'Linked Full Text' box.
Perform the search by either clicking on the Search button to find just any article (e.g. to have an article for discussion in your German language class), or by adding keywords on a particular topic.

German language courses and useful websites

  • German for beginners -  Free online German course from ThoughtCo. History & culture, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar
  • Learn German Online - Online resources in German as a foreign language
  • - German learning portal. Free German learning resources, tools and lessons
  • LingQ by Steve Kaufmann, Vancouver, BC - Books, podcasts, news, sports, entertainment, food, culture; audio lessons with matching transcripts

Literature online

German characters

Fun section