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8. Electronic Language

There is a huge list of quotes of the strange kind.

8.1 Dictionaries (and Word Lists from the Net)

German word lists

German word lists and German-English dictionary word lists are available via ftp from the sites listed below. Note that the dictionary at U Ulm made by Jürgen Dollinger) comprises a cleaned up combination of many of the others. Much redundancy removed. This project has just been updated and is now also available as a straight zip file for dos-users. An alternative directory to find these files is ftp://ftp.stud-verwaltung.uni-ulm.de/pub/dict/. 1997-01

FTP sources in Europe

FTP sources west of the Atlantic

WWW sources

Also check out: Forwiss, U Passau 1997-02

Oh yes, and then there's Munich! and the comprehensive services from TU Chemnitz 1996-05

Travelang has set up a very general translator and also a mirror of leo's service. 1996-10


U Kiel 1994-11


For general mail order places selling CD-ROM's look at Questions and Answers!

The following companies might have CD-ROM versions of Collins German-English Dictionary:

  • Bibliographisches Institut & F.A.Brockhaus AG, Dudenstr. 6, 6800 Mannheim 1, tel +49(621)3901 -81, fax -389 1994-11
  • EBP - Electronic Book Publishing, 52 Monmouth Street, GB-London WC2H 9EP, tel +44(71)2404-292, fax -138 1994-11
  • Harper Collins Publishers, Electronic Reference, 14, Steep Lane, Findon, Worthing, West Sussex, BN14 0UF, U.K., tel +44 (0)903-873-555, fax -633, Compuserve: 100317,1372
Collins themselves have different kinds of electronic bilingual dictionaries. They are only available on floppy disk (they intend to issue a CD-ROM in the future)
  • Collins On-line v2.20: >40,000 references; >70,000 translations; >1.5Mb disk space;#59 +VAT.
  • Collins Series 100 v1.1a: >75,000 references; >110,000 translations; >2MB hard disk space; #69 +VAT.
Both versions are supplied for use in windows and DOS. I was told that the main difference between the two versions is that although the Series 100 is larger, it does not allow you to add your own entries, whereas the smaller On-Line is not fixed. 1994-11
Languages of the World


There is also a CD-ROM, originally put out by Sony in 1989, called Languages of the World. This disk was in DOS format and cost US$800 back then, but now it's available for Windows with a better interface for about US$40, has German, French, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese (with limited character output), Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish. You can go from any one to any other, but since mostly English-Other Language dictionaries are the base it is best to and from English. The dictionaries are decent student paperback type works, not the quality of the Oxford English Dictionary.
For German specifically, it has Harrap's Concise, which I have found to have just about everything I have looked up (and I'm a German major), and Brandstetter's Science and Technology dictionaries. Again, it's top rate, and it can run as a TSR so you can pull it up in any other program, such as a word processor.

8.2 Encyclopedias, Lexika

Bertelsmann Universal Lexicon

Available on CD-ROM, which can be ordered one from

  • totronik Torsten Droste, Rotebühlstraße 85, D-70178 Stuttgart, tel +49(711)6271980, fax +49(711)616218
  • Asix Technology GmbH, Postfach 142, 76255 Ettlingen, tel +49(7243)31048, fax +49(7243)30080
The cost is about DM 150, and they take major credit cards. Airmail shipment arrived within a week. They carry a number of other CD-ROM's also, and a catalog on 3-1/2inch disk is available. 1994-1
Meyer's Lexikon - das Wissen A-Z

An experimental online version of Meyer's Lexikon.

8.3 Translation Programs


Translation by Timeworks Inc.

For both Macintosh and MS-DOS

Power Translator (PT)

Cost in US: about US$120. Requires: Mac II or better, 31 MB of disk space, 2 MB RAM, System 7. Note: There is also a Professional version (untested, about US$475) for which subject dictionaries are available.

A user of Power translator said

PT is designed for producing rough draft translations, whereas (GA) provides reference tools in addition to translation. PT translates several times faster than GA. PT can (barely) be used as a bilingual dictionary, but GA's dictionary is much, much better. PT provides only a single word translation, while GA has multiple definitions and phrases as one would find in a real dictionary. GA also has a useful verb conjugation tool and grammar help. Generally speaking, in this price bracket the software translations range from poetic to horrible.
Language Assistant (GA)

Made by Microtac Software. Cost in US: about US$50 Requires: Mac II or better, 6 MB of disk space, 3 MB free RAM, System 7. Note: Comes with 90 day money back guarantee directly from company.

8.4 Spell Checkers; Thesauri

For Macintosh

  • Excalibur:
    For German on the Macintosh, look for Excalibur. This is a spell-checker designed to work with LaTeX documents, but does also handle plain text very well. Communication with just about any editor via clipboard is possible! There are German, Dutch, French, Italian, and many other dictionaries available.
    (about US$0). ftp://ftp.rrzn.uni-hannover.de/pub/info-mac/text/excalibur-221.hqx
For both MS-DOS and Macintosh

  • Word, WordPerfect and the like offer special modules for several languages, not only German. One can get spell checking and thesaurus modules for German. (about US$100) 1994-2
  • Claris' International Language Packs include spellcheckers, dictionaries, thesauri and more. Available also in German and Swiss German. Claris Corporation, Box 526, Santa Clara, CA 95052-9870, +1(800)544-8554 US$50 1995-10

Accent 1.0

Multilingual Word Processor

Over 30 different languages. Needs IBM 386 with Windows, 6 to 25MB. Spellcheckers: 17 languages, Thesaurus: 9 languages, Hyphenation: 12 languages, Berlitz(R) Interpreter(TM) (5 language translation tool)

Accent file filters allow you to import and export documents to other standard Windows software you are using including: Lotus, Ami-Pro, Excel, Word, Wordperfect, RTF, and ASCII text. The accentwm.zip file is 1.2MB.

Send email for more information. 1994-4

8.5 Tutorial/Educational Software


If you have an MS-DOS platform, an interesting place to look at might be the Simtel Software Repository at oak.oakland.edu and its mirrors, directory: SimTel/msdos/langtutr/

There is free/shareware German, Spanish, Afrikaans, and other language software in this directory:

  • GERM1-23.ZIP and GERM2-23.ZIP. Cover German language topics (mainly verb CONJUGATION and vocabulary exercises.)
  • VOCAB217.ZIP Has basic vocabulary for several different languages.
  • GPLUS30.ZIP German Plus v3.0 is a language tutorial featuring review and exercises of over 500 nouns, adjectives, and verbs conjugated in the four major tenses. The program contains a look-up feature for use with the database. (about US$0)
  • GI-ZERTI.ZIP. Basic vocabulary German. The official list of the Zertifikat Deutsch als Fremdsprache (ZDaF) of the Goethe Institutes and the Deutscher Volkshochschulen-Verband. You will find all the basic vocabulary with example sentences that show you how to use these words in a context. Very useful for beginners. About 2000 words in hypertext format. The program can be loaded resident. Features help, search, index, print and color options. IBM-compatible. (Shareware)
  • GI-LEHRW.ZIP List of teaching materials of German. Helps students and teachers of German to find all kind of information about teaching materials of German. In hypertext format. IBM-compatible. The list is the official Arbeitsmittelliste für den Deutschunterricht von Ausländern 1994 of the Goethe Institutes including prices and publishers. (Shareware)
  • GI-DLAND.ZIP More facts about Deutschland (Germany.) Helps students and teachers of German to find information about all kinds kinds of political, economic or social issues of German reality. Hypertext format. IBM-compatible.
  • GI-ADRES.ZIP 10,000 addresses of German institutions. Helps students or teachers of German to find addresses in Germany by name, location or any other key word. Hypertext format. IBM-compatible.

Several German instructional software programs at this Washington gopher site. No idea what it is, though. There are text descriptions for each you can read before down-loading. (about US$0)


An interactive morphological analysis system for German. 1995-4

Berlitz Conversation Course (on CD-ROM)

(Speak s.c.g-readers:)

HyperGlot's Berlitz Think and Talk German package consists of 9 CD-ROMS containing a (rather simple) 10,000 word dictionary, the German text for 50 conversations (scenes), and an instructional program. The scenes CD-ROMs are compatible with audio CD players, so you can play them on your stereo, walkman, or computer. They range from the basic Das it ein Wagen, to the complex discussions similar to business discussions.

The Berlitz method to teach German consists of 4 steps:

  1. Listen to the scene,
  2. Read the scene,
  3. Write the scene,
  4. Think and talk about the scene.
The program seems to be designed for beginner speakers of German. List price is $149.00, but it should be available for less than $90 via mail order. 1995-10
The Rosetta Stone

For the early stages The Rosetta Stone was recommend. It's an interactive windows program by Fairfield Language Technology. Comes on CD-ROM and amply uses its multimedia format to your advantage. (US$350) 1995-05

Transparent Language

For both MS-DOS and Macintosh version 2.0, tel +1(800)332-8851, email 70541.3626@compuserve.com

principle: don't memorize -- get involved in a story! main window shows story in original language, (French, German, Italian, Latin, or Spanish) three other windows explain correct meaning of word in context, meaning of sentence, and notes on grammar/root words/etc.

You get only three stories for free, additional stories are US$15-35; they have 17 different German stories as of now, adding about 4 every year.

Readers from soc.culture.german have reported positive experiences, esp. good for not absolute beginners. But the stories tend to be on the serious side. (Kafka didn't have much fun, either!) List price is US$99 -- but mention that you heard of the promotional US$30 price! A number of soc.culture.german readers have already saved good bucks and paid only US$29.95 + 8.00 S&H. 1994-4

Herr Kommissar(R) 1.5

For Macintosh -- a language-learning software with a difference. tel +1(717)296-2517, tel +1(800)262-3791 A free demo.

Rather than drill-and-practice or canned lessons, Herr Kommissar teaches intermediate German vocabulary and grammar by immersing learners in a (simulated) conversation in the living language itself. (A vacationing American police detective attempts to help German colleagues in solving a murder mystery.)

On-line assistance in vocabulary, spelling, and grammar. Optimized to handle the productions of beginning learners; Herr Kommissar's core syntactic/semantic engine also covers most of more advanced grammatical constructions, such as relative clauses, coordinate sentences, and the passive voice.

RAM: >1Mb, System: almost any (US$100), 1995-10

German Tutor

A self-paced tutorial in German grammar fundamentals. On error the program analyses the mistake and automatically generates a review exercise based on the mistake. Online help, list of all possible answers, glossary, and grammar references.

RAM: >1Mb, System: >6.0.5, (US$29), 1995-4

MacLang 4.5

Create computer-assisted language learning exercises.

Possible exercise types: vocabulary, fill-in-the-blank, paragraph, multiple choice, jumble, multi-format. Use English and any one of the following German simultaneously. (Also good for a variety of other languages.)

RAM: >1Mb, System: >6.0.5, (US$25), 1995-4

8.6 Computer Terminology Dictionaries

Woerterbuch der Datentechnik / Dictionary of Computing

by Vittorio Ferretti. Available from Springer's office in NYC. 1997-06

Universalwoerterbuch der Technik

CD-ROM version published by Routledge. 1997-06

Fachausdrücke der Informationsverarbeitung

Wörterbuch und Glossar, Englisch-Deutsch, Deutsch-Englisch (current status unknown).

IBM Form GQ 12-1044-1, approximately 1700 pages, copyright 1985, no ISBN #

IBM Deutschland GMBH, Postfach 800880, 7 Stuttgart-80

Complete Multilingual Dictionary of Computer Terminology

English - French - Italian - Spanish - Portuguese

900+ pages, (1984); ISBN: 0-8442-9108-0

Passport Books, Trade Imprint of National Textbook Company, 4255 West Touhy Avenue, Lincolnwood, Illinois 60646-1975, 1995-3

8.7 Alphabetizing German Words

About the intricacies of constructing good algorithms for alphabetizing international languages have a look at Hans Christophersen's article on the subject!

8.8 German Fonts


Steve Tischer,

Kontex International, Box 8898, Atlanta, Georgia 30306, USA,

tel:404-874-4164 fax:404-874-4169 email stischer@netcom.com

Traditional Fraktur Fonts Series includes four fonts for either the Mac or Pc including Regular, Medium, Medium Lang and a fat version. Both PostScript Type 1 and TrueType formats are shipped for each platform.

Three more fonts can be found the Yamada font collection 1996-07


Find German Sütterlin script fonts (like the Walden Font, (c) Oliver Weiss) and many other Fraktur fonts at www.waldenfont.com.

P.O. Box 871, Winchester, MA 01890, USA

tel +1(800)519-4575, email walden@waldenfont.com 1997-05

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