My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing), in 30 hours, French in 30 days, and German in 30 years. Mark Twain, “The Awful German Language” in A Tramp Abroad, 1880

German is essentially Dutch with a gay lisp. Heinz Hummer (in John Cowan's Essentialist Explanations)

General Information

German is a West Germanic language, a subdivision of the Germanic languages that also includes English, Dutch, Afrikaans and Yiddish.

General Resources for Learning German





The relationship between German spelling and pronunciation is relatively straighforward, but punctuation is different from other Germanic languages such as English and Dutch.


Language Tests and Certificates

Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF)

TestDaF is a standardised proficiency test for non-native speakers of German who want to study at or work in a German university. The test covers four skills: reading, listening, writing and speaking.

The following resources are not directly related to TestDaF but skills and exercises that are part of the exam.

Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (Goethe-Institut)

The Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom is the highest level exam offered by the Goethe-Institut. Its level corresponds to C2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFL) and requires a near-native level of German.


Making Friends and Finding Language Partners

Reading / Literature

Cultural Aspects, History and Society

Other Resources in or about German

The untranslatability of some German words has led to frequent articles and blog posts, such as the following:

Politics and the German Language

Leichte Sprache & Einfache Sprache

The concepts Leichte Sprache and Einfache Sprache are not related to learning German as a foreign language.