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Specific Practice Texts

Texts with detailed annotations at various levels of difficulty.

  • Der Panther (poem) [Deutsch 231]
  • Chor der Geretteten (poem) [Deutsch 231]
  • Der Erlkönig (poem) [Deutsch 231] Unfortunately, this page looks odd in some browsers. The formatting is meant to distinguish the speakers: the narrator and the father get the same font; the child gets a bolder font, and the Erlkönig’s text is in italics.
  • An die Freude (poem) [Deutsch 231] This is the text of the “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Only the first stanza is annotated.
  • 66 Fragen [Deutsch 231]
  • Der Stern der Weisen und die Wissenschaft (speculative text offering an interesting (though incorrect) theory as to what astronomical event may have given rise to the biblical Star of Bethlehem [Deutsch 232])
  • Die Todesfuge [links to an external site] Ein Gedicht von Paul Celan über den Holocaust. Auf der Webseite finden Sie den Text, eine Übersetzung [=translation] und viele Materialien zum Text.
  • Der Tod und das Mädchen [links to an external site] Ein kurzes Gedicht von Matthias Claudius. Roll over the text to see annotated words/phrases. Links at the bottom let you hear the poem read and sung. Note also the mesmerizing painting, Der Tod und das Mädchen, by Schiele, and this version of the Schubert song, with Marian Anderson and Franz Rupp singing.

Collections of Practice Texts

  • 19th century German Stories Wonderfully done multimedia editions from Virginia Commonwealth University. Includes Struwwelpeter, Max und Moritz, and a selection of the Grimm fairy tales, as well as a great selection of other texts.  For most texts you can find a “story menu” that allows you to read a dual-language version, or to read the text side-by-side with a convenient dictionary window.
  • BookBox German Short YouTube videos of original children’s stories, read expressively, with clear subtitles. Click on the “three dots” icon next to the thumbs up/share etc. options below the video to open the full transcript, e.g. if you want to preview the story or paste parts of it into a translator.
  • Dartmouth: Annotext Extensive collection of classical texts (includes many Kafka texts, including Das Urteil and Die Verwandlung; Part I of Goethe’s Faust; Mann’s Tod in Venedig; plays by Kleist, Lessing, and Schiller, and much more). Each text available in Annotext contains a translated glossary specific to that particular text. See the Annotext Help page for more details!
  • Litgloss (University of Buffalo) Collection of extensively glossed texts in various languages (most are freely accessible, a few are only for UB students).  The German selections include texts by the Grimm Brothers, Goethe, Kafka, and Kant. Click on words to see translations, or look for more info in the “Context” and “Resources” tabs. 
  • doppeltext.com This site offers a selection of dual-language texts in electronic form. Prices are low, and the site offers a number of free excerpts for you to try first, including the complete text of Kafkas Die Verwandlung.
  • L2Press.com This publisher offers three titles accompanied by audio: German Short Stories [the stories seem to have been written for this book], German Grammar By Example, and 1000 German Sentences. Each line of text is followed by a phonetic transcription and a literal translation, with a “proper” translation to the side. Audio of each text being read by a native speaker is also available for purchase. Free samples of each book are available on the site; buy the texts and audio if you find the free samples helpful!
  • books.learnoutlive.com A selection of relatively affordable practice texts.

Antosch & Lin Flashcards and Text Analyzer

Antosch & Lin Flashcards and Text Analyser

  • The link takes you directly to the German site, but you can use the site to study many other languages via the “Languages” pulldown menu on the bottom left.
  • Create a free account and try it out (all features are currently free).
  • The flashcards include audio and example sentences, and an option to make your own notes (e.g. mnemonics for the word). They use a spaced repetition format that allows you to control when you see a card again.
  • The “Text Analyzer” (see the link further down on the left) allows you to enter a German text and then hover over any word in the text that is included in the site’s database, in order to see a translation and access the flashcard for that word if you wish. You can also create a set of flashcards to study based on the text.

Simplified News Sites [News = die Nachrichten]

News organizations sometimes publish articles in simplified language for children, language learners etc. Here are a few: