This week’s entry will cover WordAce, German movies, and a helpful online grammar index.
WordAce is a piece of software found on all the computers in the Language Learning Center (quick review: in the basement of Smullin!). It opens up a small window in your taskbar. The window has a number of tabs such as “translate”, “conjugate”, and “verb game”. You will most likely use the “translate” tab during word processing or similar activities. When you enter a word, you may choose to translate it from English to German, or vice versa. The various translations appear in the right box, and if you click on a specific entry, the retranslation will appear in the left box. This is very helpful when you’re trying to determine shades of meaning. In addition, you can set the left box to an entirely different language, if you happen to need a three-way translation.
The conjugation tab is exceedingly helpful. It shows the conjugation of all German verbs in every tense and in every person – including some I’ve never heard of! WordAce also has both a verb game and a synonym game, but bear in mind that they are rather hard and there’s no way to change the level of difficulty.
To find this program on the LLC computers, go the the start menu, to languages, German, and then WordAce.
Even with the help of WordAce, writing in German can be a little exhausting. So once you’re done, why not relax with some popcorn and a nice movie? Even better, what if that movie were in German? Our Deutsch-speaking neighbors across the ocean have come up with some great films that are often overlooked in the United States. Luckily, someone somewhere took on the large task of cataloging the German-language movies that we have at Hatfield Library. The list can be found here, or under “media” in the German section of the LLC website. To pique your interest, here are a couple of titles that sound interesting to me:
Warnung Vor Einer Heiligen Nutte
In weiter Ferne, so nah!
Der letzte Mann
Warum läuft Herr R. amok?
Last, but not least, we have found a site that condenses all the grammar you need to know into one spot. Found here, or at http://faculty.vassar.edu/vonderem/deutsch_heute/index1.html, the site is maintained by Vassar University. It has explanations for even the minute details of grammar (labeled “Gr”), and many of the topics have simple fill-in-the-box exercises (labeled “Ü”). For example, if you needed to know the difference between als, wenn, wann, and ob, you can read an explanation with examples, then try your hand at one of the four exercises. I find this resource most helpful for times when you don’t remember the exact rules of grammar and need a quick refresher. It’s also a good supplement to grammar portions of the textbook.