Crash course German refresher
March 18, 2009 3:54 PM   Subscribe

I have about a month to brush up on my German before I go on a business trip - what are some good resources?

I just found out today I need to go to Germany in late April. I lived there for a couple years when I was a kid and I took three years in high school, but I have basically not used my language skills in about seven or eight years. What are some good (online?) resources to brush up, especially with regards to vocabulary? I'm not so concerned about technical language (meetings will all be in English), but I would like to get around without English as much as possible.
posted by backseatpilot to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
It might seem obvious, but given the amount of time you have, I would just read and listen to as much German as possible. When I was studying, I found the videos on Deutsche Welle to be very helpful. The site also offers some sort of free German course, but I can't attest to its quality. Otherwise, I would recommend reading German articles and downloading the Babelfish translator for Firefox or a similar application so you don't need to deal with the hassle of switching tabs whenever you need to look up a word.

Viel Erfolg!
posted by null14 at 5:04 PM on March 18, 2009

One Minute German episodes might be a good place to start, though they would only cover the very basics.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:48 PM on March 18, 2009

BBC German
posted by Webbster at 6:13 PM on March 18, 2009

LEO is a really good site for vocabulary too. You get a good assortment of various phrases containing a given word and you can look up things like conjugations easily. Also, whenever you search for a word, there will often be forum results at the bottom where people have asked other specific questions about the word or phrase's usage.

Your foundation in German might not be enough to handle LEO, but if it is, it can be extremely useful.
posted by kosmonaut at 7:23 PM on March 18, 2009

I have been using Live Mocha to brush up on my French. They have German too. I really like the audio components. Part of their lessons include a section in which you record yourself reading a passage. It is extremely helpful!
posted by apricot at 9:05 PM on March 18, 2009

I recently started to listen to the Deutsche Welle's daily news podcasts (Fokus Amerika and Fokus Europa) in order to get the sounds back into my head. I tried the first CD of the Pimsleur "Level I" set, and it was pretty weak. ("Ich." "Ich." "Ich." "COME ON!")

The "Warum night?" series of German lessons on the DW site that null11 mentions were pretty good: they tell a story of a guy arriving in a hotel and getting to know the other gusests, if memory serves. I listened to them a year or two ago.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:42 AM on March 19, 2009

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