Brandon Lee Miller
Language Learning Tools

Hello world!

I'd love to know what everyone's favourite language-learning tool/material is!

I've been using Duolingo to learn German for 4 months now, and it's been great, but... it's kind of frustrating to use, from this perspective: I understand the whole concept of spaced repetition, but Duolingo often forces me to revise insane quantities of words, in order to revise the words I don't remember, and this is often discouraging, as there are many days where I simply don't have the time to revise 100 words, especially when I only NEED too revise roughly  40 out of that 100...

I've heard many good things about Babbel, and the "Teach Yourself" courses... any recommendations?

Mar 21, 2017 5:29 PM
Comments · 4

Can't really recommend Babbel - if there is a single typo in an endless dialogue, you'll have to type in the whole dialogue again, just to erase that one typo. Realize that you need to revise a particular structure that came up somewhere in the beginning? No way to find the lesson it was in. Heaps and heaps of structures that get no explanation whatsoever and you're just expected to repeat the words like a parrot.

What I can really recommend is the ASSiMiL thing ("German with Ease"), if you're willing to pay some money (those Babble fees keep adding up as well) - be careful, though, as the book is relatively cheap on its own, but you absolutely need the CDs/mp3 files that go with it. Oh, and the book is tiny, something between A5 and A6, so it's easy to carry. BTW, they're not paying me to say this (wish they did), but I worked as a language teacher for a while and those are literally the first self-study books I've ever seen that don't terminally put you off learning a language by yourself :)

March 22, 2017
As a beginner, I used Deutsche Welle, which has interactive material for learners of all levels. Lately, I've been using WordBrewery to learn vocabulary. It's also compatible with Anki, which is nice. ^^
April 5, 2017
Yes, Susanne, I have felt like a parrot on Babbel for a long time. Very unstructured, often senseless stuff; but very well presented (means: many colorful pictures for illiterate people :-). Additionally, Babbel removed the option for revising the own word lists; and months before, they closed the often very important forums. I am really frustrated about those uncommunicative and uncooperative methods in the treatment of customers; and I am about to prepare my cancellation. That is not that easy, because I have to rescue before very long own wordlists.
March 22, 2017
Anki is pretty great, so long as you don't mind putting together or tracking down your own flashcards.
March 21, 2017