BarCharts German Vocabulary Flash Cards

3-5 German, Flashcards, Vocabulary

March 10, 2013

Publisher  BarCharts Publishing
Publication Date  2008
Price  $14.95
Skill Level  Beginner, Intermediate

Now that my favorite SparkNotes flashcards are no longer being made, I am in search of a new flashcard love. In my quest, I recently tried out these German vocabulary cards from BarCharts. They are for sure useful, and they have the advantage of still being in print and therefore findable/buyable, but they did not console me for the loss of my SparkNotes cards.

With some exceptions, the BarCharts vocabulary level seems a little more advanced than you might ordinarily get in your first 1,000 vocabulary flashcards for a language. If “dog,” “cat,” and “ball” were in there, I don’t remember seeing them. I do, however, remember seeing “humidity,” “celery,” and “antibiotic.” I’m not totally opposed to the inclusion of less common words such as these, because I need flashcards for things I can’t remember, and the translations of “dog” and “cat” are not usually big problem areas.

One thing I don’t love is that there is an above-average amount of technical and practical vocabulary—words and phrases associated with being a tourist, getting sick (I guess while being a tourist), being a student in Germany, conducting business in Germany, and using a computer.

When I am new to a language, I am not a fan of focusing on such things, because German people who are helping you, say, wire money overseas are likely to be adept at speaking to you in English about your transaction. I do not want to spend time studying “maturity date” and “transfer slip” (yep, those were in there) when I could be learning more broadly helpful, not to mention interesting, terms.

The cards are laminated on one side only, which makes them feel funny to the touch and leaves them uninclined to lie flat. In addition, the box is flimsy. Nonetheless, these practical details are not too significant; you can still flip the cards and learn from them. 

Useful, But Not My Favorite Ever
Useful, But Not My Favorite Ever

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