Sechs Sachen: German online resources

Apologies to those of you who missed the All Languages blog during our silence last week. This Bank Holiday weekend we’ll be delivering a double dose to try to redeem ourselves…

First off? Well, it’s about time we gave you six German things isn’t it?

Let’s move swiftly past the obvious aural ‘false-frienditude’ of sechs Sachen (what are sechs Sachen? And what do you do with them?) and start with the obligatory Wörterbuch.

1) KLETT

Confusingly, although your dictionary might be a Klett, the name you need online is Pons.
The Stuttgart-based Klett Group is Germany’s leading provider of educational materials and among the most prominent in Europe. It comprises a total of 59 companies, of which Pons is one.

2) DIE WELT

So do you go for Die Welt, Spiegel or Bild? Die Welt has a great selection of newsletters to sign up to – delivering your German comprehension practice right to your inbox.
or you can choose to sign up to their RSS feeds. Of course, the most fun is to sign up to Die Welt, Spiegel and Bild and then compare how the story changes according to which publication you’re reading…

3) BMW WELT

As well as Die Welt, Germany is home to another Welt: BMW Welt. And, for car enthusiasts, it is really out of this world.

Since the Germans make all 3 of the world’s top 3 luxury car brands, it would be rude not to feature at least one of them here. But, even if you’re not a car buff, the BMW Welt site is a fascinating read – if only to see the extravagance of the ambition; the depth of the religion.

The Bavarian Motor Works (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) has been operating since 1916. First selling engines for aeroplanes, then motorcycles and then, in 1929, its famous automobiles. The part-mission-statement, part-temple-of-worship architecture of its Munich plant, offices and Museum seeks to reinforce the ‘remarkable’ nature of the BMW brand. And it certainly does that – from the amazing architecture, the innovative open interior, right down to the building automation

4) KRAFTWERK

For electronica fans, this site is a natural for this list. But after their sell-out, critically-acclaimed shows at Tate Modern earlier ths year, it would seem downright rude not to include them. Plus, the site is great.

5) SALZBURGER FESTSPIELE

Who knew we’d get two music Sachen onto this list? But the Salzburg Festival is a major international cultural event and has a long and illustrious history.

It was officially inaugurated on 22 August 1920 with Reinhardt’s performance of (the now traditional) Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann. In 1922, Mozart’s Don Giovanni conducted by Richard Strauss was the Festival’s first operatic performance.

Nowadays the festival runs for 5 weeks every summer starting in late July under the directorship of Alexander Pereira. This year’s events run from 19th July to 1st September, so there’s still time to squeeze in a performance or two if browsing the site whets your appetite.

There is a huge variety of performances at many beautiful venues across the picturesque city of Salzburg, but (much to the chargrin of Salzburg’s natives) top of my wish list is the Felsenreitschule because (and this is where the chargrin comes in) of that famous scene in The Sound of Music dramatising a 1936 performance by the Trapp Family Singers at Felsenreitschule.

6) SWITZERLAND

After, against all the odds, getting 2 music listings into this German online resources list, the gladiator in me wanted to try and get a food listing onto this list too, but I’ll have to save that ’til next time because this site is just too pretty to ignore.

And, since in 17 of Switzerland’s 26 cantons the only official language is German, it would be rude not to afford the nation a mention (even if Swiss-German is often subtitled on German TV).

What do you think? Are you learning German with us? What are YOUR favourite online German resources? Share your favourites!

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