Favorite language things

Online dictionaries and translators

  • Linguee -- multiple bilingual German-based dictionaries

  • DeepL -- an instantaneous translator that often beats Google Translator

  • DWDS (Digitales Wortbuch der deutschen Sprache) -- excellent for finding practical use cases for new words; I regularly used the Korpusbelege to make Anki flashcards when preparing for a C1 exam

  • Wordreference -- numerous bilingual dictionaries

  • Glosbe -- one of the few decent bilingual dictionaries that also accounts for Bulgarian

  • PONS -- multiple bilingual German-based dictionaries; I've also used PONS books to build a basis in Bulgarian

  • Dict.cc -- multiple bilingual German-based dictionaries; absolutely essential for data-free travel

  • WIPO Translate -- another deep-learning-based translation tool, trained specifically on patents

Cool Projects

  • 7000 languages -- a project providing software to help preserve all of the world's 7000+ languages

  • Endangered Languages -- a related project with a super cool interactive map

  • Kamusi -- a multilingual dictionary

Language-learning software and resources

Spaced repetition and flashcards

  • Anki -- space-repetition flashcard software that has revolutionized the way I learn languages. The learning curve is steep-- you should be comfortable editing TeX, HTML, and CSS if you want to edit flashcard templates-- but even the basic templates are quite powerful. I've developed my own decks for Bulgarian and German.

  • Rosetta Stone -- great software for getting a solid foundation in a new language without using your native language as a crutch; expensive (but also easy to get for 90% off if you sign up for their newsletter). A lot of people hate it, but it gave me a solid foundation in German.

  • Memrise -- a simple app for picking up new vocabulary via spaced repetition; most useful decks are user-created and may have errors, but overall this has been a great supplement to my language-learning journey, especially the browser version. (Also, completely free.)

  • Transparent Language -- simple software for learning less "trendy" languages, like Bulgarian and Czech. Unfortunately, both courses I tried were absolutely riddled with errors and taught weird, often useless phrases... hence why I decided to make my own BG curriculum via Anki.

Online exercises with immediate feedback:

  • Lingolia -- detailed grammatical explanations and practice worksheets with immediate feedback

  • Deutsche Welle -- tons of solid, free material for learning German, especially the Video-Themen, which also have exercises

Podcasts and audio training: