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German language information resources

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 do not find what you need, please contact Ivana Niseteo, the Liaison Librarian for Linguistics, 778.782.6838 / /

Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei.

Over  95 million people speak German as their native language. German is spoken in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, as well as parts of other European countries such as Italy, France and Belgium. Twice as many people speak German in Europe than any other language. After English, German is the most popular foreign language to learn in Europe. Read more...

Recommended

  • Online German Course - Grammar and vocabulary exercises, audio, forum.
  • Deutsche Welle - Listen live! Germany's International broadcasting station offering top stories, analysis and press reviews.
  • Deutsch Perfekt - A language magazine for learning German as a foreign language. 
  • Learning and teaching German. Improve reading, writing, and comprehension skills with these comprehensive German language guides.

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, limit to 'Audio Visual', and to 'German'. Enter keywords, e.g. 'picture' or 'film'.

Here is a selection of movies available:

Newspapers and Radio stations

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Grammar

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

  • Basic German - Grammar and workbook.
  • German: an essential grammar [print]
  • Klaro! a practical guide to German grammar [print]
  • A practical review of German grammar [print]
  • German, a self-teaching guide [print]

Pronunciation

  • 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

  • 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 type in 'German'. If you like, you can mark the '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 keywords on a particular topic. Look for articles that are full-text.

German language courses

Literature online

German characters

Use this chart to display the German Umlaut characters.
Hold down the ALT or MAC key while typing the number, using the numeric keypad on the right side of keyboard.

          PC   Mac   HTML     Name

    Ä    142   128   Ä   A umlaut   
    ä    132   138   ä   a umlaut
    Ö    153   133   Ö   O umlaut   
    ö    148   154   ö   o umlaut
    Ü    154   134   Ü   U umlaut   
    ü    129   159   ü   u umlaut
    ß    225   167   ß  eszet

You can also add the German language as an option on your machine:

Click on Start / Settings / Control panel / Regional options / General.
From the pull-down menu select 'German' and click OK. You will see a blue square at the right bottom corner of the screen. You can now switch between EN (English) and DE (Deutsch = German) (or other languages if they are set up like this) either by pressing Alt+Shift or by clicking on the DE or EN box to make a selection. You will then use the proper keys on your keyboard:

   Ä = '
   ä = "
   Ö = ;
   ö = :
   Ü = [
   ü = {
   ß = -
   Ä = '
   " = shift+@
   z and y are switched

Fun section

Language games, quizzes, chat rooms

  • German games - German language games and quizzes
  • Chat room for German - From Duolingo. Join for discussions in German and/or about German at the scheduled times.

Cuisine & Travel

  • Fodors.com - German for travellers. Choose a topic, read and listen.