To review vocabulary for University of Michigan courses, check out these Quizlet folders:

You can also:

The mobile app versions of our Univ. of Michigan Flashcard Program use spaced repetition, which is MUCH more effective than just rotating through cards. Unfortunately, the program’s “back end” is built on Flash ==> we are phasing it out and moving to Quizlet for now. For German 101/102, the vocabulary database for the Umich flashcard program is based on the 2nd edition of Vorsprung. The overlap with the current 4th edition vocabulary is about 80% ==> using the Umich program will still be very useful, but not perfect. For German 221/231, the Umich program is not useful (it is based on vocabulary lists from an older version of the course). For the German for Engineers courses, the Umich program IS still up to date, but a few vocabulary lists are only on Quizlet.

  • Get the mobile version (iOS or Android) via the links here!
  • Access the desktop version here. This is Flash-based. It does NOT use spaced repetition, but lets you sort cards into “Easy” and “Hard” decks for more efficient review. Go to Options > Add Cards > Load Pre-Made Cards to load the cards you want. If you can, take a minute to read the Help menu for more info!

A flashcard program is most effective if you can quickly form a simple sentence in your head with each word that comes up.

Here are some ideas for doing that!

Vocabulary Learning Advice and Tools
Vocabulary Lists for University of Michigan Courses
Lists of Most Frequent German Words
Miscellaneous Vocabulary Lists by Topic
German Vocabulary Learning Sites
German Words in Other Languages

Vocabulary Learning Advice and Tools

  • Strategien zum Vokabellernen
  • Flashcard Sites:
    • A flashcard program is most effective if you can quickly form a simple sentence in your head with each word that comes up. Here are some ideas for doing that!
    • Research suggests that the most efficient way to study vocabulary (or other factual information) for long-term retention is via spaced repetition. The goal is to try to review an item just before you are likely to forget it. Look for this capability in a good flashcard site!
    • Quizlet Create your own study sets, or find existing ones. Then use the learning tools on the site to study the items in your study set. Note the “Long Term Learning” mode, which uses spaced repetition, and the games “Gravity” and “Scatter.” Free (or upgrade for more features and no ads). Their database includes translations and audio for a large set of core vocabulary.
    • Memrise.com Uses spaced repetition, and encourages you to choose or create “memes” [mnemonics] to help you remember words. Choose from existing memes, or make up your own. Create your own study sets, or find existing ones.
    • Anki Free for Android, $25 for the iPhone app. VERY customizable, and uses spaced repetition ==> worth looking at if you’re interested in making flashcards suited to your particular learning preferences. It’s easy to customize the app, and easy to add images, audio etc. to the cards. Create your own study sets, or find existing ones.
    • Other possibilities to explore:
      • LearnWithOliver (see “Miscellaneous German Vocabulary Learning Sites” below)
      • Cram Make 3-sided cards; the 3rd side is a “hint.” According to a user comment in the “Flip, Flip, Flip” article (see below), “it’s got a nice feature called Cram Mode that is very useful for spaced repetion work.”
      • Brainscape Rate difficulty of cards on a scale from 1 to 5 as you work through them; the program shows you more difficult cards more often.
      • Chegg Flashcards Study in flashcard or multiple choice mode. Make your own cards, or browse a large database of shared sets. There seem to be few or no limitations on the free version.
    • Other lists of flashcard sites/apps:

Vocabulary Lists for University of Michigan Courses [including some exercises & worksheets]

Lists of Most Frequent German Words

  • Easy German: German Basic Phrases Playlist This is not intentionally a “list of most frequent German words,” but these videos are a wonderful collection of useful basic phrases. Each phrase is spoken clearly, while you see the German and an English equivalent on the screen. Please note that what people really say is not always what people should say according to the grammar rules!
  • German 221/231 Kernwortschatz [=”Core vocabulary”] Only visible for University of Michigan students. The Quizlet sets for this list are openly accessible.
  • OLD Gateway Vocabulary List for German 221/231 Downloadable Word Document
    • Includes the 100 most frequent (mf) nouns, the 100 mf strong verbs, the 100 mf weak verbs, the 100 mf adjectives, the 100 mf adverbs, the mf prepositions, the mf conjunctions, a few of the mf collocations (word groupings), a few of the mf abbreviations, and some usage information.
    • Gateway Test A practice test on the above list, which you can take anytime. Each time the test loads, you will see a different set of 100 questions. Viel Spaß!
    • Based on the Frequency Dictionary of German (see below)
  • Older list of the most frequent German words (these 200 or so words
    make up 1/3 to 1/2 of most German texts!)
  • List of the 500 Most Frequent German Words Based on the Frequency Dictionary of German
  • A Frequency Dictionary of German, by Randall L. Jones and Erwin Tschirner. Lists the 4,000 most frequent German words in order, and alphabetically in the index. An example sentence is given for each word.
  • about.com’s list of the 100 most frequent German words Includes some annotations, and links to some related lists.

Miscellaneous Vocabulary Lists by Topic

German Vocabulary Learning Sites

  • LearnWithOliver Offers both Words of the Day and Sentences of the Day. The flashcards include audio and example sentences, and an option to make your own notes (e.g. mnemonics for the word). They use spaced repetition (see the “flashcard” section above for an explanation). The “Text Analyzer” allows you to enter a German text and then hover over words in the text to see a translation and access the flashcard for that word if it’s in the site’s database. You can also create a set of flashcards to study based on the text. You can sign up to receive daily practice emails. Another great feature: “Practice Sentences“: click and you will see a random (useful) sentence, then (after a pause), its translation, then the next sentence, etc.
  • deutschlernerblog: Wortschatz – Deutsch lernen Vocabulary learning resources organized by CEFR levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). Alles auf Deutsch – kein Englisch! Note their series on “Die 200 wichtigsten deutschen Adjektive,” “Die schönsten deutschen Wörter,” “Redewendungen und Umgangssprache – Deutschquiz,” etc.! The site includes some great lists and activities, but is also cluttered with promising-looking links leading nowhere (typically, the word “Datenschutz” appears in tiny font above sets of buttons leading nowhere). Click carefully!
  • languageguide.org Focused mostly on nouns. Choose a category of words, roll your mouse over the images to see and hear the German, and take some simple tests to practice the words.
  • Word of the Day Sites:
    • GermanPod Word of the Day Sign up for a daily email, or scroll down the page to see today’s entry. A calendar gives you access to all previous entries.
    • Transparent Language Word of the Day
    • Duden Wort des Tages Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the word. This German page selects a distinctive German word daily; it seems to be intended for advanced learners of German and native speakers, but the words chosen can be of interest for learners at all levels. If the definition seems unclear, enter it and the word into a translator to see if you’re interested in learning the word!

German Words in Other Languages