Improve your German comprehension with Webbu

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A while ago I was told about a new website that offers short stories for German learners. Would I like to check them out?

Of course I would!

To start, I wasn’t too impressed. I didn’t like the website’s image much. It reminded me of those old first basic computer games. There weren’t many stories yet and I spotted a mistake pretty quickly (which they corrected immediately). But I subscribed to their newsletter and then over the last few months watched the site develop into something I’m very happy to share with you now.

The site is called Webbu and it has short stories for German learners. You can read the stories for free but there are limitations. To be able to enjoy everything you would need to pay.

Let me tell you what you can do.

Each story has two versions, one for beginners and one for advanced learners. Have a look at the screenshots I took of the latest story:

This is the beginners’ version. A short text, which you can also listen to.

If there is a word you don’t understand and the rest of the text doesn’t help to even guess, you can click on the word and you get the translation of the word and the whole sentence. I tried it with the word ‘überraschenderweise’.

Now let me show you the same story for advanced learners:

Again, you can listen to the story while reading it and find out what unknown words are. I tried it with ‘ohrenbetäubend’.

Underneath the text are questions for you to check your comprehension. If you are reading the text for free, you can only answer one question and you won’t be able to check your answer. However, if you register, you will get an answer, even if you don’t have the premium version.

With the premium version you’ll get several comprehension questions and once you typed in your answers, you can check if you were correct. To show you I have answered some questions, one of them I deloberately answered with a wrong number to see what happens.

Recently, they added a ‘mentor’, a chat box where you can ask any questions you may have about Germany or learning German. So I tried it and asked “What type of questions are you expecting learners to ask?”

The reply was “I’m expecting learners to ask questions about grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, cultural aspects, and tips for improving their German skills.”

So, to summarise it, there are three ways you could use the site:

  1. You could just click on this link and read the stories and also listen to them.
  2. You could register and subscribe to their newsletter. That way you’ll get informed when there is a new story and you can answer one question.
  3. You can pay for the premium version (currently $3 a month or less if you pay annually), practise lots of questions and get instant answers, and use the virtual language mentor.

I still don’t like this image, sorry, but I’m pretty sure others will love it), but I really do like their stories and activities. So, go and see for yourself. I was told that, apart from more stories, they’re also working on more features. I’m looking forward to it.

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