Thursday, 6 May 2010

Flash Cards lets you create and share your own online flash cards as well as providing plenty of Germany vocabulary with which to learn and test yourself. You can read about quizlet's features or just dive in an give it a try.

If you want to pick and mix and save yourself some typing then it looks like you can lift some of the entries from other people's flashcard sets.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


When I had my eyes examined in February my optician was a little concerned about the readings she got when testing for Glaucoma so I had to book another test. That was today and all is well. I'm much relieved but realised there are some limits to my ability to discuss this in German. Glaucoma has a very similar name in German - das Glaukom - and this is also know as der grüne Star. Der graue Star is the cataract, also called der Katarakt.

Last week I was watching some videos about training for jobs from the series Ich mach's and two had some relevance to the subject - Augenarzthelferin 30.03.2009 and Augenoptiker 14.09.2009.  If you want to watch or download these go to BR-alpha Ich mach's and look down the list for the download you want. To start the download: Right click on the down-arrow button and choose Save Target As ... if you are using MS Internet Explorer or Save link as ... if you are using Google Chrome. The guidance in German is: Download starten: Rechte Maustaste und "Ziel speichern unter ..." wählen.

Here's some German vocabulary to look up:
  • der ophthalmologische Prüfplatz - der Phoropter - das Ophthalmometer - das Augenrefraktometer - der Sehzeichenprojektor - der Probiergläserkasten
  • die Brille - die Brillenfassung, das Brillengestell - der Brillenrand - die Brücke, der Steg - der Nasensteg, der Seitensteg - das Brillenglas - das Brillenetui - der Bügel - das Bügelscharnier
  • die harten/weichen Kontaktlinsen - die Aufbewahrungsbehälter - das Pflegemittel, das Reinigungsmittel
  • das Auge - das Oberlid - das Unterlid - die Augenbraue - die Pupille - die Iris, die Regenbogenhaut - der Augapfel - die Hornhaut - die Netzhaut - die Wimper

Monday, 3 May 2010


Wikibooks ist eine Bibliothek mit Lehr-, Sach- und Fachbüchern. Jeder kann und darf diese Bücher frei nutzen und bearbeiten. Unsere Lehrbücher spiegeln bereits gesichertes Wissen wider, das heißt die hier vermittelten Kenntnisse sind in ähnlicher Form in anderen tatsächlich publizierten Werken des jeweiligen Fachs bereits dargestellt.

Do take a look at the German version of Wikibooks which has offerings across a wide range of subjects including Deutsch als Fremdsprache.

I have to say that after browsing through some of the material on Wikibooks some of it is in an early stage of development. If you feel really confident about your ability to write in German you could always make a contribution to one of the books.

Vocabulary learning tips

I managed a whole week without connecting to the internet once but I did still use a computer to help with vocabulary revision. I use Teachmaster which is a free download from (See also the earlier entry in this blog). I had copied my installation of Teachmaster onto a memory stick along with some vocabulary files so I was able to run the program straight from the stick without loading it onto the borrowed laptop that I had with me while I was away from home and office.

The vocabulary exercises I use are home made with words or phrases in English used to prompt for the German equivalent. Teachmaster uses a series of virtual card boxes (Karteikasten). Everything starts off in box 3. If your response is correct it is promoted to box 1 the first time and everytime your response is incorrect the word or phrase drops to box 5. You can choose then to work with just the vocabulary that's in the lower boxes, the aim being to promote the vocabulary one box at a time by getting it right.

What I did last week with anything that landed in box 5 was repeatedly work with it to promote it up to box 1. I realise now that this might not be the best way to learn because I was promoting the vocabulary through the boxes using short term memory. A longer interval might have been a better way of handling 'doubtful' vocabulary. Fortunately, I tested myself with the same material again the next day.

There are several methods for using the learning program and I've rather ignored some of them recently. What I probably should be doing to learn new vocabulary is use the Patience method which also gets a mention in Sebastian Leitner's Buch So lernt man lernen.

I've found it difficult to access the manual on the Teachmaster site. The English version is still "under construction" and the German pages will not load for me but I did find I had a hard copy from a previous version of the program so I'll quote an extract here.

Der Clou [die Patience-Lernmethode] besteht darin, dass die Vokabeln in einer ausgeklügelten Reihenfolge relativ häufig wiederholt werden. Ein Lerndurchgang is beendet, wenn alle Vokabeln einer Lektion alle vier Ebener durchlaufen haben.

I have used Teachmaster for many years and the one improvement I would like to see is an ability to include pictures so it could also be used to create electronic flashcards.