What's the best way to learn languages (particularly French and German) through software or online which a) does NOT rely on long lectures, b) teaches sufficient grammar and vocabulary to read moderately complex books, and c) is interactive (if possible with a clear measure of progress) and d) self-paced?
posted by shivohum
on Jul 10, 2014 -
In the process of helping post my late grandfather's digitized papers online, I found his adoption paperwork (he made no secret of being adopted, but didn't talk about it much). It gave enough information that I was able to find that my grandfather had a brother, who apparently is still alive. I'm not sure what to do next; it's good to know there's more family out there (my father has few living relatives), but I'm not sure how happy others in my family will be with the reality, and the same may go for my grandfather's newly-discovered relatives. Advice would be helpful; details below. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on May 20, 2014 -
We are travelling to Germany and the Czech Republic later this month.
My mom has a set of severe food allergies, and would like to print some translated cards for restaurant staff just to be on the safe side.
I'd like to translate this list into both German and Czech please. I'm happy to translate using a dictionary, but I feel that native speakers will have a better handle on subtle details, such as corn and its derivatives (for example, corn flour is not big in Canada, but corn starch and corn meal are in everything).
Many thanks Metafilter!
posted by jjonajason
on Apr 12, 2014 -
Please help me find some interesting german-language blogs or online magazines or articles to read on my commute. [more inside]
posted by tinkletown
on Mar 9, 2014 -
I'm a US transplant to Germany. I listen to a lot of lefty podcasts from the US: Democracy Now!, The Young Turks, Majority Report, Best of the Left, Citizen Radio, etc. My German is getting pretty good after two years, and I'd like to listen to similar issues discussed auf Deutsch. Suggestions? Vielen Dank!
posted by dmvs
on Mar 6, 2014 -
What is this dessert I read about on a blog? It was cooked by a German person and the blog author wrote: "It was like a really, really thick pancake cooked in a huge skillet, then cut up into big chunks, and topped with a syrupy, crystallized type of peach topping that was just to DIE for. Everyone in Germany/Austria/Hungary knows what it is". I don't think she knew what it was called, but I want to, because it sounds freaking delicious!
posted by threeants
on Dec 25, 2013 -
I’m in a conundrum -
I hold a Bachelors Degree in Physics and I am currently searching for a Master’s Programme at a German University specialising in the management of Oil resources and/or the relation to Oil and Physics that I studied. [more inside]
posted by theTrap
on Dec 20, 2013 -
What are your favorite nutty German desserts that are not terribly sweet? Please share your tried and true recipes! [more inside]
posted by Viola
on Dec 20, 2013 -
Do any of you know of a documentary about a Holocaust survivor who makes trips to Germany to tell children and public officials, "Please, no more memorials"? [more inside]
posted by makethemost
on Dec 1, 2013 -
On the weekend I discovered a great series of German magazines/publications: Karfunkel
, especially the Karfunkel Combat series
. I know my son would love this stuff, but his German is super basic. So is there an English magazine series anything like these? [more inside]
posted by Megami
on Nov 25, 2013 -
My 9 month old baby likes it when I sing to him, but I am horrible at remembering song lyrics. He's a fan of "Feliz Navidad," which is cool because it has about 20 words to remember and the Spanish keeps him interested. What other happy, easy-to-remember songs should I learn the lyrics to and sing? English, Spanish, and German are all in my wheelhouse.
posted by Maarika
on Oct 7, 2013 -
I'm an intermediate ~ advanced German student, and my instructor recommended native language-to-German translations for extracurricular reading. Her idea is to make it easy to find stories/authors/genres you already know you like, and just get you reading in German. I really like crime thrillers - serial killers, gruesome murders, etc. I'm looking for recommendations for authors and novels that have good, engaging stories, but aren't written in especially sophisticated English. I remember quite liking Cody McFadyen's stories, but being very underwhelmed with his use of language. This is perfect. I'm lucky as a native English speaker, as it's pretty likely that anything written in English that was even slightly popular has been translated into German. So, any recommendations? Vielen Dank!
posted by dmvs
on Oct 3, 2013 -
I'm taking an introductory German course and am looking for some good podcasts that will supplement what I am learning and help me get to fluency quicker. What should I be listening to? [more inside]
posted by _DB_
on Sep 29, 2013 -
Hello. Does anyone know of a bricks-and-mortar store in New York City that sells cuckoo clocks? Doesn't have to be exclusively cuckoo clocks, of course. Some clock repair shop that might sell them? An antique clock place? Or a German specialty store? It does have to be a bricks-and-mortar place, though. Classic cuckoo clocks. Halp me, I'm cuckoo for cuckoo clocks! Dankeschön!
posted by Capt. Renault
on Aug 27, 2013 -
is the sort of thing I had when I was young and it was so practical. I'd love to get something similar for my elementary school kids.
posted by Dragonness
on Aug 20, 2013 -
A German woman left her ID card (personalausweis) at our store in the SF Bay Area two weeks ago. We haven't heard from her. Is it a good idea for me to mail to to the German consulate in San Francisco? If not, what's the best course of action? [more inside]
posted by wintersonata9
on Aug 11, 2013 -
Question for German speakers: I would like some reading material to improve my German. I've studied it for a while and have passively absorbed many words, but usually in the context of vocabulary lists and such. I don't want anything really easy however. [more inside]
posted by polywomp
on Jul 17, 2013 -
Has anyone come across good sources on the history and evolution of the term "tax haven"? I am looking for sources detailing at least its first appearance in written or spoken English, and if possible the date in which it was (wrongly) translated into French as "tax heaven" (paradis fiscal
). [more inside]
posted by ipsative
on Jun 23, 2013 -
After Georg Friedrich Händel became George Frideric Handel in 1727, I have it stuck in my mind that he once said, to a Brit who called him a German, "No, Sir, I am more English than you, because I chose
to become English, whereas you were assigned your nationality willy-nilly," or words to that effect. But no amount of googling has found a reliable quote or reference to this. Has anyone else heard this story, or did my mind make it up? Anyone have a reliable source? [more inside]
posted by aqsakal
on May 26, 2013 -
I am looking for a text file of a list of words (roughly the 5000-10000 most common English words) and their root word and root word language. My Google Fu only turns up single words or pages that I can type in a word to get to another page to get the etymology.
Wikipedia has some stuff, but it is sorted by language root, which is not what I am looking for.
I would like to have a long list of words in a text file so that I can manipulate it programatically. Comma separated or whatever, any format would be great.
Here is one use case:
Yoke - [list of words that have yoke in the etymological history] (Many, many many English words come from the root work for Yoke.)
All answers appreciated!
posted by Monkey0nCrack
on May 16, 2013 -
I super love my 4-year old German Shepherd, but his desire to work/have a purpose has not waned with age, and I feel like he would be so much happier in life if I could help him find that purpose. His favorite thing on earth is playing fetch, but I know I can give him more than that. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by corn_bread
on Mar 26, 2013 -
This envelope with a letter inside was found inside a large decaying bound edition of Shakespeare auf Deutsch in a junk shop in Bushwick that was only apparently open for a few months before disappearing. The letter, postmarked 15 March, 1939 - was sent to Paris by a Mr. Henri Wolf. The contents of the letter appear to be German shorthand. Included was small piece of what looks like code, there's nothing else on the back.The letter, envelope, postcard, etc in question are at this imgur album.
Hivemind: What the hell is this?
posted by The Whelk
on Mar 14, 2013 -
I am at a meetup in Boston at a German restaurant (Jacob Wirth) and we have been served cornbread as an appetizer, but none of the mefites present thinks of cornbread as a German food. Can anyone tell us if there is some Germanic cuisine connection we are missing here?
Hope us, please -- a half-dozen curious mefites are baffled.
posted by ricochet biscuit
on Feb 28, 2013 -
I'm working on a historical graphic novel and a portion of it involves four sentences in German. I've made an effort to hammer something out by testing Google Translate's gibberish against some German language textbooks and grammar sites. I'm sorta confident about them, but would love for any bilingual native German speakers to give them a once over. Particularly, if you have any insights into generational differences in the German language, as this piece is supposed to take place during WWII.
Posting them after the jump. [more inside]
posted by ProfLinusPauling
on Feb 27, 2013 -
I’m currently working on an international project and need to format documents written in German, Polish and Croatian for use on the web. What is the quickest way to convert all the non-ASCII characters into the relevant character entity? Some sort of web form would be my ideal solution, but I’d settle for a freeware program.
posted by the latin mouse
on Feb 27, 2013 -
What are your tips and techniques for learning advanced vocabulary and grammar in a foreign language? [more inside]
posted by kristi
on Feb 26, 2013 -
I would like to know, when one is studying German, what do you have to learn with nouns? With verbs?
I think with nouns you must learn the gender and the plural form, but that's it. Should you also learn declension?
With verbs, what must one memorize in addition to the root word? [more inside]
posted by gnossie
on Feb 16, 2013 -
We have this "German translation" of a template, which is obviously incomplete: Sie haben einen Termin mit Dr. [DOCTOR'S NAME] on [DATE] at [TIME].
I don't trust google translate, so I come to you, German speakers of metafilter. Can you please finish the translation? Thanks.
posted by [@I][:+:][@I]
on Feb 7, 2013 -
What is this non-English, possibly German word? Sounds like veetsul zooten, means emotional from an impending change. [more inside]
posted by BusyBusyBusy
on Jan 3, 2013 -
I'm visiting my family for the holidays in Boston. My senior German Shepherd dog
cannot come with me. How can I make sure that my house is not destroyed and neither my dog nor my roommate are traumatized by the experience? [more inside]
posted by ablazingsaddle
on Dec 19, 2012 -
Could someone please identify these two lieder? I think they are German art songs. I can't even make out any phrase to use as a search term (so if you can, that would be great): one
. Thanks in advance.
posted by amtho
on Nov 9, 2012 -
Where can I find the text of the poem "Swabian Tale" by Ludwig Uhland
that Albert Einstein extracted the term "Valiant Swabian" to refer to himself in communication with his wife Mileva? [more inside]
posted by zaebiz
on Nov 5, 2012 -
If true, why did German Intelligence pale so much in comparison to the British and Russians during WWII?
posted by mousepad
on Oct 13, 2012 -
What are the German equivalents of the Savage Lovecast, This American Life or Judge John Hodgman? Doesn't have to be a podcast, but I do need to be able to listen online. [more inside]
posted by Acheman
on Oct 4, 2012 -
Hermann Hesse apparently published a book called Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte
(Trees: Reflections and Poems) and I'm trying to find a version in English, because it sounds awesome. Look
. [more inside]
posted by Cobalt
on Sep 25, 2012 -
What is "the German" (dance? Game?) referred to in several Louisa May Alcott books? [more inside]
posted by xaire
on Sep 17, 2012 -
My senior German Shepherd has had a few bouts of diarrhea recently, and I'm not sure why it's happening or how to stop it. I haven't changed his food, and fecal analyses and blood work didn't turn up anything. Is occasional diarrhea just something that happens, or should I be more worried? [more inside]
posted by ablazingsaddle
on Sep 4, 2012 -
Making friends in a second language: Can you explain to me why it doesn't matter? [more inside]
posted by colfax
on Aug 16, 2012 -
Information on JLLERT (German printer?). I have an old German olive oil label. I am trying to determine just how old it is. In small print, it reads "JLLERT No. 7516 (or 4516)". I suspect that JLLERT is the printer's name. The label was used by August Grill (Schorndorf), a store that was in operation from 1912 to 1965. I would like to know when JLLERT was in operation.
posted by kirsti
on Aug 8, 2012 -
My wife, a card-carrying permanent resident alien living in the U.S., allowed her German passport to expire and is seeking a renewal through the German Consulate in New York City. She has her documentation mostly in order, including German birth certificate, but needs to show proof of a name change that took place during an adoption in Iowa when she was four years old. Difficulty: Iowa adoption records are sealed. Looking for advice on how to best request a copy of the documentation, or provide a suitable alternative. Comprehensive details inside. [more inside]
posted by Joey Bagels
on Jul 23, 2012 -
What would it be like for an American to live in a neighborhood of Berlin like Neukölin
and attempt to study Arabic and German at the same time? [more inside]
posted by Corduroy
on Jul 15, 2012 -
Ridiculously specific classical music question: What is the poem/program note that is supposed to be read before the final movement in Hindemith's 'Sonata for Alto Horn in E flat' (1943)? In the original German and the English translation, if possible. [more inside]
posted by Peter Petridish
on Jul 13, 2012 -