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Livemocha and Suetterlinschrift

Posted by: msunada | April 9, 2008 Comments Off |


Hey all. We have some great German resources for you today!
First, I’d like to introduce you to a website called LiveMocha. It is, hands down, probably the best free online language program out there. It offers German, French, Spanish, English, Hindi, and Chinese, with the possibility of other languages coming soon.
Livemocha is a very structured site. You sign up for a specific course; the German section offers sections 101, 102, 201, and 202, from absolute beginner up to more complicated conversations and grammar. Each separate course offers thirty to fifty hours of instruction, so it’s pretty intense. I signed up for German 202 and did some exercises about telling time, packing one’s suitcase for a journey, and ordering pastries and drinks at a cafe. The types of exercises include matching, listening and answering questions, putting words of a sentence in the correct order, and writing short answers to questions.
Livemocha is different from many other programs because it is interactive. When you submit a section of writing, or something similar, other LiveMocha users who speak the language fluently grade you and give you pointers on your language skills. You can also set up tutoring sessions with other users, and it is expected that you will also help others trying to learn your own language. LiveMocha reminds me a bit of Mixxer, but in a more structured, “classroom” environment – and I love the idea of international cooperation to help everyone learn together.
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suetterlin.bmp
Can you tell what that says above? It’s a German word you know, but it’s written in Suetterlin script. Check out this page at http://www.suetterlinschrift.de/Englisch/Sutterlin.htm to learn more about it. Suetterlinschrift is a style of handwriting that was taught in German schools before WWII. During the Nazi regime, they realized that many people could not read anything they wrote, so the script was banned, but many older Germans still use it, and it was taught in schools in Bavaria as late as 1970.
At this site, you can type in words on your keyboard and it will show you what they would look like in Suetterlin script. I highly recommend learning it as a secret code. Alternatively, if you have a professor who drives you crazy, hand in a bunch of assignments written in Suetterlin and I’m sure your revenge will be sweet.
PS: the above says “Deutsch”.

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