The truth is learning another language is fun, but also hard work. Sometimes. But only if you don’t know the right tools.
When learning German you will realise at some point, it’s easier to have the right words at hand to express in better and more correct German. You don’t want to stall in the middle of your sentence.
Knowing the right words is important
Knowing the right words is important. Especially when the conversation is about your topic. You know all about it. Unfortunately, only in your mother tongue. No one would have been able to stop you on that topic in your mother tongue. But instead, the only thing you feel like doing right now is agreeing, even with the weirdest opinions on earth. Only because you are not able to express yourself in proper German.
Don’t give up. I will tell you about the white knight that is coming for help. For free help.
How can you increase your German vocabulary?
What can you do to chat away in German about your favourite topics, about the topics you are excited about?
Like so many things, we’ll find the answer online. This post is part of a series about the best online tools we’ve run and stumbled across, tools that are just waiting for you to make speaking German a reality.
Many of them, we have recommended to our students that learn German with us here in Melbourne. But we want to share our experience and knowledge with you warm-hearted people out there as well.
Let’s talk about Lingua.ly
Lingua.ly is a magic tool that will remarkably improve your vocabulary. With Lingua.ly, it’s not just any vocabulary you will add to your personal dictionary, it will enable you to smoothly learn words about your favourite topics.
Ligua.ly is free for you to use.
Unlike other websites, we don’t learn pre-made lists of words other people have come up with, with Lingua.ly, we collect the words ourselves. They are all words we come across online. We just read texts online in German and collect words along the way.
Click on a word and the translation pops up
Once you’ve found a word you don’t know or find interesting, you just double click on it, and a popup will show up with the translation of the word and a voice will read it out to you.
That way, you won’t have to worry about learning the pronunciation as it just comes with your words.
Later on, even if you only have five minutes to spare, jump on Lingua.ly on your computer or your phone and learn your German words with entertaining quizzes and photos.
Decide yourself, which German words to learn
I really love that you are allowed to decide yourself, which words you want to learn. To get started, you can also download a language pack.
The best thing about Lingua.ly is that it saves the words with a snippet of the sentence you found it in. Since learning words in context has been a proven way on the road to fluency, you’re all set up for chatting away about the things you love or hate in life.
Lingua.ly also shows you other texts from websites that also contain your collected words.
With that, you can see and watch your words in their natural habitat, and as a result, you’ll become more familiar with your new words and will see how they are used in other contexts and how the meaning can change depending on the context.
How to get Lingua.ly?
It’s all about the context which will help to get a feel for them and to take away any doubt on how they are used.
You need Google Chrome
The only things you need are Google Chrome installed on your computer, as well as the Lingua.ly extension installed in Google Chrome. If you’re not using Google Chrome yet, I highly recommend getting it, not only because of the lingua.ly extension, but also because it’s one of the fastest browsers out there at the moment.
Download Google Chrome from here if it’s not installed on your computer.
Install Lingua.ly in Google Chrome
Now head over to lingua.ly and click on “Get started”.
To sign up, choose one of the many options.
Click on “Add Lingua.ly to your browser”.
Confirm this by clicking on “Add” once you get prompted to do so.
That’s it. Now, you’ll see the Lingua.ly icon in the top right corner of your chrome browser.
Find a website in German
Let’s learn new German words.
Navigate to a website in German.
A website in German? I don’t know any websites in German.
Just punch your favourite topic into the Google search. Make sure you use the German word.
If you love cooking and eating meat, type in Rouladen or Schweinebraten, if you like dancing tango, type in Tango tanzen. I love cycling in Munich, so I’ll make Google help me find out more about Fahrradfahren in München.
If you don’t feel ready for proper real life German yet, google for stories in simple German, or leichtes Deutsch or check out this post.
Double click on a word you don’t know
After a quick look at the Google search, I decide on a website which is called outdooractive.de or something. I start reading, once I come across a word I don’t know, I double click on it and look what happens:
How awesome is that? Asphaltiert -> asphalted. The two words are pretty close, I could have guessed that one. Nonetheless, I also don’t want to forget that the two words are so similar, so I am pretty happy it’s saved to my collection of words.
Asphaltiert translates to asphalted. Perfect. That’ll be an easy one to memorise.
Learn your new German words
I feel like learning my new words. To do that, I’ll click on the little Lingua.ly icon in the top right corner of my Google Chrome browser and then on “Practice”.
I’m getting taken to the Lingua.ly website where I can choose to learn just a few words, some more, or I can go for some serious practising.
After clicking on ‘Regular Size’, I can take this entertaining quiz. It’s fun.
Check out your German vocabulary in different contexts
Let’s assume you want to see your words in different but maybe similar contexts. The more often you come across your words, the more you’ll get familiar with them, the more likely you are to use them and the more likely you are to use them in the right context. It’s a win-win situation.
Just stay on the Lingua.ly website and have a look at your Lingua.ly feed.
Make sure you have “Deutsch” selected from the dropdown menu on top of the page. Under each article preview, you’ll see how many words each article contains, as well as which of your words can bet found in the article. In the top left corner, you can change the topics of your Lingua.ly feed.
Once you click on an article preview, you can start reading.
As you can see, your words are marked in orange, so you can’t miss them. Now the ball is in your court. Enjoy reading and learning new words with Lingua.ly!
What Lingua.ly can help you with:
- Increase your German vocabulary easily
- Learn German vocabulary that you are interested in, and about the topics you love to talk about.
- Take entertaining quizzes using your newly learnt words
- Learn the words in context with an example sentence and a photo
- Lingua.ly finds your more texts that have your words as well
- Learn German on the go and use their app from iTunes or Google Play
How to get and use Lingua.ly:
- Use Google Chrome
- Install Lingua.ly in Chrome
- Find a website in German
- Double click on a word
- Learn your new word in Lingua.ly
- Check out your words in different contexts
We would love to hear what you think about Lingua.ly. Has it helped you get more confident about using new words?