German Language

This guide points you to some of the Library's main resources that will support the German language classes on campus and so focuses on resources to help learn German, as well as resources that are IN German.

For a list of German Language classes at Carleton see the undergraduate calendar.

Language Dictionaries

Grammars & Workbooks

Linguistics, language

Reading Books in German:

  • Books/Bücher: A Directory of Online and Other Sources of Books in German (not all link to free sites)
  • Free German e-books This free page of a German e-book store offers a few titles, mostly as PDF files.
  • New  ngiyaw eBooks. Hard to find German works and authors are featured here, especially by and/or about women. Available in various formats.
  • Internet Archive: many out of copyright works available for free. Search for a specific work, or in the advanced search you can add a custom field: language and specify German
  • OpenLibrary- German Books
  • Kindle : Top 100 free bestsellers Bit of a trick here: you can't download the free books from the German Amazon site if you have an or .com account. However, many of these titles will be available for free there as well. So, you can use this link to discover titles, then go back to your home Amazon site and search for the title. Reminder: you don't have to have a Kindle device to read these books, just install the Kindle app.
  • Our own collection of literature is mostly in print, and is mostly from literary authors 
    • You can look up a specific title of a book, or you can see all the works we have by a given author by going to the Advanced Search screen, changing the "any field" to "author/creator" and looking up the author by last name, first name:
      shows author search for grass, gunter in Omni advanced search
    • When you are looking at the full record for a particular book, you will see a virtual browse function at the bottom of the screen: this is quite useful for literature since all of the books BY a certain author, and ABOUT an author are found in the same area and you can use the arrows on screen to browse through titles. You will notice that English translations of German texts will usually be found beside the original German.
      shows the virtual browse shelf where you can see other works by or about a literary author

Scholarly journal articles

  • Omni: our easy-to-use search tool, right on the Library home page. You can limit results by language  OR
  • You can search some of our other recommended databases: 

News & Magazine Sources

We subscribe to a number of databases that have the full text of magazines, newspapers, and  and other news sources from around the world

  • Factiva full text news from around the world. Some important notes for finding material in German
    • Note that the default date limit is "in the last 3 months", so change as needed
    • You can choose one or more specific sources to search, example: Die Zeit
      screen shot of Factiva search screen showing selection of specific source
    • You can choose to search news sources from one or more cities, countries, or regions. Example: sources just from Berlin or Vienna
    • Very important: Remove the default language= English and add language = German
      more of factiva search screen showing selection of regions to search and changing language of search to German
  • Nexis Uni - you can do a keyword search in German and then filter results to specific regions or specific sources. All dates are included by default
  • Press Reader - access over 5000 newspapers and magazines from over 100 countries. 90 day backfile only. Language or country can be selected from menu on the left, and then subcategories by topic. For example, there are over 300 titles from Germany
    sample of German magazine titles from Press Reader
  • Deutsche Welle
  • Euronews - video and text of current news from a consortium of European national broadcasters
  • Tagesschau - TV news produced by the NDR (North German Broadcasting channel)
  • Logo - the news in German aimed at children, so best for beginner learners
  • Nachtrichtenleicht - aimed at language learners, articles include audio of someone reading each article in slower, clearly enunciated German

Our Collection:

  • Do a Keyword search in Omni for a specific title or by topic.
  • Once you get your results, limit the "Resource Type" to "videos" . (NOTE: you will probably have to click on the "Show More"  to see the video options)
  • Limit the language to German
  • If you only want to see videos available via online streaming, limit the "Availability" to "Available online"
  • You can request physical DVDs through our  Curbside Pick-up service.
    Showing the Videos Resource Type filter, and the availability filter


  • We also have 2 streaming video database you can search

Other Video Sources

  • YouTube: you can find a huge amount of free German language videos
  • Internet Archive: search by topic and then limit results using filters: media type = movies & language=german
  • Your favourite video streaming service, for example:
    • Netflix: just search "German" and you'll get a large selection of TV shows and movies. Many of these default to an English dubbed version, so just change the audio to German and then choose your preferred subtitles: English or German. Great shows such as Dark, Babylon Berlin, 
    • Prime Video: many movies and TV shows have dubbed versions, just check the audio options once you start watching. Now's your chance to watch Downton Abbey in German.
  • BBC Languages - German: now an archived site, but has videos plus a lot of other material for learning Spanish
  • Deutsche-Welle: Learning German a number of online resources for helping learn German including audio courses, courses for different levels....
  • Ultimate Guide to Watching German TV Online - very detailed blog post on how to and where to access German tv online

Listening to German music and following along with lyrics, can be a great way to improve your language skills, especially with pronunciation. Listening to audio podcasts is another way to get your ear familiar with rhythm, tone, flow of a language

General sources:

  • Deutsche-Welle: Learning German a number of online resources for helping learn German including audio courses, courses for different levels, for example: 
  • BBC Languages: German resources for learning German including audio, video....
  • Ottawa Public Library: Mango Audio and text, each language course consists of 100 lessons. You must use your Ottawa Public library username and password to access Mango (anyone who lives in the city of Ottawa can get a free username and password, contact your local branch
    • The OPL has many other language learning resources: browse by going to their advanced search screen, limit Language to German and Collections to "adult language learning"

Music & Lyrics:

  • Lyrics Translate:German-English - you can see the original lyrics, plus translations
  • AZ Lyrics - search by artist or song
  • - search by artist, song, or album
  • Lyrics gaps: German - choose a song, then a level and listen along to a song and choose the correct missing word in the lyrics
  • Sing Deutsch - listen/watch along with lyrics, translations, and grammar analysis
  • Youtube: keyword search a song or artist with the word "lyric" to find lyric videos, e.g. Kontra K

Curate your own playlist, or discover German language music using your preferred way of listening to music, here are some examples:

Free Podcasts:

This list is for free podcasts: there are many other great podcasts for learning German that you must pay for so I am leaving those off of this list. 

  • From Deutsche-Welle:
    • Radio D podcast: A1, A2 levels (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
    • Warum Nicht? : A1, A2, B1 levels. Click on one of the Series to go to list of episodes. Each episode has a downloadable transcript
    • MarketPlatz: B2 level . Business German just go to The Episodes pull down menu and choose one, that way you can get pdf transcript
  • Slow German: follow along with transcript, speed is a bit slower than natural speech making it better for lower level learners
Content last reviewed: January 29, 2021