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Goethe Institute A1 Wordlist

7.62MB. 800 audio & 0 images. Updated 2021-12-31.
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About this Deck This is the Goethe Institute's A1 wordlist (including example sentences), translated into English, using double-sided cards and machine-generated audio. The original document is available here as a PDF. This deck is maintained in a public GitHub repository here. I translated the words and sentences personally, and a professional German->English translator proofread the results. Both of us are native English speakers, so there are unlikely to be errors, but we are only human. How it was created. I created this deck by opening the wordlist document and exporting the list of words and associated example sentences. This was not a scripted process, and involved quite a lot of spreadsheet and text editor adjustments to get things into a reasonable state. I included the additional snippets of vocabulary that appear before the list proper, but without example sentences since none were provided. This extra vocabulary is primarily colours, months, days, numbers, units, and other elementary concepts that will likely be useful. These do not have any audio, as the TTS does not handle the plural notation gracefully. The Advanced Browser plugin was invaluable for finding these entries when adding the audio. The audio was created automatically by google cloud using the AwesomeTTS (Google Cloud Text-to-Speech) [unofficial] plugin with the "German (de-DE-German-Wavenet-A)" setting, which saved me a tremendous amount of work, and saved everyone else from having to listen to my voice :) Finally, I used the Add note id plugin to add ids to the notes in case I need to make future corrections. Card format The front of each card is a german word with an example sentence. Verbs are provided in the infinitive and nouns with their definite articles. The back of each card is a translation of the german word and example sentence. Some cards have an additional comment to clarify the context, for instance, indicating if a colleague is male or female. Note that sometimes there are set phrases in which transating the word directly does not make sense. In such cases the word is not translated, but an ellipsis ('...') is given in place of the word's translation. Where a word has multiple translations and sample sentences, these were split into individual notes. This avoids a word having only one translation, which may not appear in the translated sample sentence (without it being a tortured rephrasing). Deviations from the Goethe Institute Some of the sentences from the Goethe Institute were not brilliant example of the use of a word in context - for instance, "Platz" had an example of "I wohne am Messeplatz 5.". However, since addresses are not translated, this would not have been a useful sentence to translate, so I changed it to "Ich wohne neben dem Platz." There are a small number of modifications of this nature, or instance, where I have added an additional sentence to distinguish between two common usages of a word. These cases are listed below: Last words I hope this deck is useful. If you find any errors then please let me know by either creating an issue on the github page or emailing ankistuff@ethernull.org and I'll take a look. Before you email though, please consider whether what is already in the deck is an equally valid (albeit alternative) translation. In such cases I would not update the deck, as adding a second sample sentence would reduce format consistency and make the note less accessible for users who are just getting started. Updates

Sample (from 926 notes)

Cards are customizable! When this deck is imported into the desktop program, cards will appear as the deck author has made them. If you'd like to customize what appears on the front and back of a card, you can do so by clicking the Edit button, and then clicking the Cards button.
Note ID 84886454798
de_word das Haus, -ä, er
de_sentence Paul ist nicht zu Hause.
en_word home
en_sentence Paul is not home.
Note ID 84886454703
de_word fragen
de_sentence Er möchte Sie etwas fragen. Wann kommen Sie?
en_word to ask
en_sentence He wants to ask you something. When are you coming?
Note ID 84887177259
de_word ein Pfund
en_word one pound

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Contact Author


on 1652234880
One note. The der Appetit card is messed up.
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Good collection for beginners
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Audio not working
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It clearly is a perfect match for young German learners. The preparations are also quite satisfactory- pronunciation, translation everything.
on 1644605912
Useful ;))
on 1644460222
very helpful
on 1643345725
sier good
on 1643139102
Full list with essential primary words
on 1642360577
I have completed this deck - it got me started for my German vocab, I knew nothing when starting but used this deck along side 'DW Nicos Weg' and managed to get to a solid A2 in 5 months.
Really useful - I appreciate the effort that went into making it.
on 1642030718
amazing and very helpful
on 1641360077
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My 2022 goal is to learn German (somehow by myself) and this is reallyyy useful. Thank you!
on 1639281890
Phenomenal little deck that's proven to be super helpful. :)
on 1638777938
Vielen Dank, that's awesome!!
on 1638027413
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vielen dank, this can help me a lot since it contains basic words with sentences, for A1 level
on 1636394756
amazing deck for complete beginner!
on 1636137165
Very well made!
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includes example sentences and audio
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Vielen Dank
on 1634347650
Very useful, thanks a lot.
on 1633306813
Thanks a lot
on 1633274475
liked it
on 1632139431
very helpful!
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I loved it. Really useful
on 1631218358
Somewhat short (took like a month and a half to finish) but definitely a good start.
on 1630918397
Sehr gut.
on 1630109410
Sehr gut
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Literally the best pack. Good quality audio and very comprehensible example sentences that make remembering words very easy.
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This is a wonderful deck.

My only request is to add tags (Kapitel 4, 5 ,6...etc).

I'm doing the Goethe A1/A2 online course at the moment. Having tags would allow me to filter the deck and only revise words that I have already covered.
Comment from author
Hi there, unfortunately I haven't done the Goethe A1/A2 online course so I don't know what chapters the words appear in.
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Muchas gracias
on 1627507338
sehr gut
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sher gut
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Awesome deck
on 1626196723
This deck is like a hidden treasure. Thank you so much for uploading it
on 1625315749
on 1624895768
good share
on 1623368309
Vielen Dank!
on 1623183721
It's really well done!
on 1623054116
Fantasic starting vocabulary for German!
on 1622653390
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Sehr hilfreich!
on 1622361764
Excellent. You are a legend.
on 1621700836
Awesome deck, thank you!
on 1621298030
Gut gemacht!
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very complete
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Excellent! thanks
on 1614734225
Very complete and useful for beginners
on 1614208126
Nice deck for beginners
on 1613680346
great deck!
on 1613668537
Just a couple of errors, but for the rest is optimal!
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Very helpful so far--I've only used it for two days, but it is already improving my knowledge! The practice sentences are good because they help you learn the context but also extra words :)
on 1612458134
Great work, thank you !
on 1612380162
Almost perfect, with audio and all
on 1611622884
Good quality
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Big diversity of well-made cards.
on 1610221734
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Joll good
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Sehr hilfreich
on 1606846491
High quality content !!
Thank you for your efforts, thank you for your passion, thank you for your time
I ll do my best to honour it
on 1606308788
Thank you so much for all of your hard work, this is a total life-saver for me. I have tried to make a deck from this exact wordlist but it's definitely not easy work, I want to thank you again for doing all this for me. <3
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One of the best deck I've come across.
on 1605125455
Amazing deck for learning German A1. Thank you!
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great list
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cool decks
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Very nice deck!
I just had to comment on the earlier remark about "Automaten":

"Die Fahrkarten gibt es nur am Automaten".
"Tickets are only available from the machines."

The comments above are misleading on three (!) counts:

1. "das Automat" is hardly ever used, "der Automat" is the preferred gender. Check Duden :)

2. The singular form "am Automat(en)" here does not necessarily refer to a single machine.
German often has a singular where English would use a plural if the sense is distributive.
Distributive means there is one part of the sentence that is shared among the members of another, plural part.

A random grammar text gives these examples of a distributive plural/singular:
- We almost lost our lives.
- Wir haben beinahe das Leben verloren.

In the sentence pair above, distributivity would amount to many travellers each accessing a single machine.
But the non-distributive sense is also a possibility.
So the sentence could be read as either "each traveller must buy their ticket(s) from a machine" or "all travellers must buy their tickets from the (only) machine". If you think this is not specifically about a train station with only one ticket machine, then you should probably use the plural in English.

3. The context very strongly suggests that you can read Automat as short for Fahrkartenautomat == ticket machine. The English phrase can then be abbreviated in the same way.

So it appears the original sentence was exactly right :)
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Great deck.
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This is an excellent resource. I recommend it, and appreciate the effort that has gone into it. However, there some oddities and things that appear to be errors. First the oddities. For some reason, the creator has deviated from the Goethe wordlist approach to the presentation of plurals, and indeed, deviated from the dictionary standard manner of presenting plurals. For example, consider "the glass". The German singular noun is "das Glas" and the plural is "die Gläser". The Goethe Institute A1 wordlist indicates the singular and plural combinations by using the standard formula "das Glas, ¨-er". The entry, which matches most dictionaries, indicates that the singular is "das Glas", and that the plural is formed by putting an umlaut over the vowel, and then by adding "er" to the end of the word. Critically, the hyphen indicates that the letters that follow (in this case "er") are added after the end of the word. Now for some reason the creator of the deck has decided to ignore this approach and to use a confusing, idiosyncratic approach. The deck creator shows the entry as "das Glas, -ä, er".

In addition to the oddities with the presentation of plurals, there are some mistranslations, suggesting that they need careful checking by someone who is not merely a native speaker but is also familiar with teaching language. For example, the entry for the German noun "das Automat", includes the Goethe wordlist sentence "Die Fahrkarten gibt es nur am Automaten". The translation offered is "Tickets are only available from the machines." Now here there are two problems, the first minor, the second more important. The first problem is that "das Automat" is a particular kind of machine and in this case it is a vending-machine. If your translating from the German to the English, then to use the generic word "machine" is no big deal, but if you're trying to produce a correct German rendition of the English sentence so that you know to include "Automat" then you need to know that the machine being talked about is a vending-machine. The second problem is that you will see that the offered English translation of the sentence uses the plural "machines". But that isn't the case in the German. The word "Automaten" at the end of the German sentence looks like the plural of "das Automat", which is "die Automaten". However, despite appearances, the word "Automaten" at the end of the German sentence is NOT the plural. It is the dative singular. We know this because the preceding word is "am" ... "am Automaten", and "am" indicates that the word that follows is singular. If "Automaten" were plural, the German sentence would have ended with "an den Automaten". There are similar kinds of translation errors elsewhere.

Finally, there are some oddities in the pronunciation which is described as being machine generated. The particular instance that I noticed was under the entry "letzt-" where the German sentence is "Morgen ist der letzte Kurstag." The machine generated pronunciation pronounces the "s" in "Kurstag" as if it were a "z", so that the word sounds like Koo-r-ts-tag.

Please don't be discouraged from using this deck by anything I have said in my review. I think the deck is extremely useful and I have found it to be one of the best available. There is an enormous amount of work that has gone into it and I appreciate the creators fine efforts. But do not assume that it is perfect.
Comment from author
Thank you for the feedback, I'm glad you like the deck :)

I think your criticism of the depiction of plurals is misdirected though. If you look at the PDF of the A1 wordlist that's linked in the deck description you can see that I followed the Goethe Institute's convention on the display of plurals (e.g. under Dorf, Ehemann, Glas, Auskunft, etc.). Perhaps you've seen a more recent version?

Thank you for pointing out the singular/plural entry for "das Automat" - I will fix this in a future revision.

As for "vending machine", in the UK this is only used for food so it would be strange to talk of getting tickets from one. "ticket machine" is often used, but the context of the sentence makes it clear that this is a machine that sells tickets, so I think just "machine" is okay in this instance.
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Thank you so much for your efforts. It's really helpful with the examples and audio.
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Best things
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You are amazing. Thank you for your efforts
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thank you for all the effort you put into this
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Fantastic work!
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This is very useful
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Good list. A few improvement suggestions:
-Add images to help learning/remembering
-Add plurals for all nouns: I know there are not plurals for all the nouns in the original list but for better learning (optimal & efficient) it would be better.
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Very useful!
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i also a native (from near Frankfurt) and i just wanted to note that we use dorther all the time.

Also i am currently recording all the words and sentences of this deck for someone. but i changed the cards, so probably going to upload it differently

also personally feeling i find
Please send me a brochure of your hotel.
more natural then
Please send me a brochure for your hotel.

so i changed it

also i changed all nichts to nichts/nix because germans use both versions (both spoken and written) interchangable. nix is casual tho

i also plan to merge cards that have the same base word
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Great job and efforts, thank you very much!
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this is so amazing
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Im starting to learn by myself and this has been an invaluable tool!! Thank you very much for your effort and kindness :)
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thanks for the effort
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A nice deck, thanks for the effort.
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Hi, I'm a native speaker of German and would like to give some feedback.

I went through (only) the description so far and thank you for the detailed documentation.

My remarks on the modifications:

> New: "Er arbeitet mit Vorsicht." - difference between "Vorsicht" as "caution" or "attention" and the exclamatory "Vorsicht!" ("Watch out!" or "Careful!")

"Mit Vorsicht" is less idiomatic than "Er arbeitet vorsichtig.", but it would not appear odd in everyday speech.

> dorther

This probably varies from region to region: Between the Moselle river and Cologne, in my experience, this is a very unual word. People in this area would usually say "von da" or "von dort" or "von da her" or "von dort her". I would deem it unusual on TV and radio, too. Perhaps it's more common in Southern regions.
It is so odd for me that now, as I look at it again, I perceived it as an English word for a second: /dɔɹðəɹ/

> Removed: "Sie haben Zimmer Nummer zwölf." - would normally be written "Zimmernummer zwölf", but this didn't add anything over the "Hausnummmer" example.

This is not true. An internet search engine quickly returns plenty of results for "Zimmer Nummer" and "Zimmer Nr.". This is because "Haus Nr. 12" and "Hausnummer 12" (and the same with Zimmer instead of Haus) do not mean the same thing. For example, "Gehört Haus Nr. 12 Ihnen oder Ihrem Vermieter?" can be paraphrased as "Are you the owner of the house which is designated by the number 12, or is your landlord the owner?". In contrast, "Gehört Hausnummer 12 Ihnen, oder Ihrem Vermieter?" can be paraphrased as "Have you been assigned the number 12 which designates a house, or has your landlord been assigned the number 12?".

I'm going to recommend the deck to my friends who are learning German.
Comment from author
Thank you for the feedback!

> Vorsicht
In the original Goethe Institute wordlist the sentence was to demonstrate the noun "die Vorsicht", hence avoiding "Er arbeitet vorsichtig.". I have amended the explanation of this change.

> dorther
I'm not sure if I've heard it before, but since the G.I. included it I was reluctant to remove it.

> Zimmer Nummer zwölf
Thank you for explaining in detail - I don't think the distinction is made so often in English. I have added this back in. :)
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Great work and effort, dearly apprecited
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Thanks a lot, nice deck.
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Very dedicated work. Thanks for putting this together!
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Clearly a labour of love for the author. A wonderful deck.