I’m known to hate drills and routines. Doing the same thing repeatedly bores the hell out of me. This is probably why I never got good at playing the clarinet or bassoon because I’m just too lazy. Unfortunately I have the tendency to switch off if my life gets into a routine.
The same applies when I learn German. The VHS in Frankfurt uses Berliner Platz and I think it’s a great book with excellent online resources. However if I already have to face the book 15 hours a week in class and an additional couple of hours to review what I’ve learnt, I don’t really want to use it when I feel like studying more German during my free time. Reason being – I don’t want to speak like a textbook (even though it builds a strong foundation) and it gets boring. Therefore I use plenty of other fun (in my opinion) resources to make learning German more interesting and today I’m going to share with you the app Mindsnacks German!
First and foremost, it’s free to download to try out a lesson and costs £2.99 to purchase 50 lessons. I love learning through games. Not any other ordinary game; but puzzle-like games where I’ve got to race against time. The thrill of matching the right translation to the German word or getting the spelling right is a major plus for me. This is one game that you should avoid playing in public if you get easily over excited like me.
Above is a screenshot of one of the games in the app. I think the app has pretty good graphics which aren’t too kiddish for adult learners. Another attractive feature of the app is that it adapts to your performance over time and repeats points which you’ve missed in past lessons. For anki users out there this is quite similar, but only more colourful and cute (wanna sell me something? You know what to do now!).
Ever aspire to be a champion at a spelling bee competition? The only criticism I have about this game is that it doesn’t have special German characters like ä, ö and ü. I could get away with selecting “a” when it’s meant to be “ä” and the app automatically thinks it’s an “ä”. Not too big a deal I suppose but I would like to get my spelling right.
There are approximately more than 1000 words to master using this app. Hence I find it really useful that it takes note of the words I’ve done so that I can easily review them when necessary. Each word comes with an audio clip so I can practise my pronunciation too.
To spice things up (plus some motivation), there are plenty of quests to be completed in order to level up. I love little challenges like these since they are fairly easy to accomplish and helps me feel good about my German skills.
I find it really helpful to reinforce vocabulary that I’ve learnt at the VHS or from storybooks. The mini games help make me feel that I’m not studying but rather just enjoying myself.
The app also provides you with a brief overview of your skills. Given that it’s an engaging app which requires me to hear, see and spell, I reckon it’s a good one to have. Yes, it’s not a free app (which some reviewers bitched about) but for £2.99 I think it’s a very good price to pay for.
And gosh, I’m addicted to it!!!