Dr. Rasma Lazda

GN 504

German Reading Proficiency

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Class hours GN 504: R 5:45 pm - 8:00 pm in B.B. Comer 246

Office Hours:
Please see me after class or e-mail any time in case of any questions.
Dr. Lazda: 220 B.B. Comer Hall; phone: 348-6954; e-mail: rlazda@ua.edu

Richard Allen Korb, German for Reading Knowledge. 7th ed, 2014. [ISBN 978-1133-604266]

Completion of GN 503 or prerequisites.

This course is a continuation to German grammar and vocabulary, with emphasis on developing more advanced reading and translation skills. It is designed for graduate students who wish to develop their reading skills for a basic competence in German for research purposes. The focus of this class is basic grammatical structures of German, basic vocabulary and translation of various texts from the textbook and the various fields of the participants of this course. Emphasis will not be on speaking, listening and writing German, but rather reading and translating German. GN 503 will covered chapters 1-15, chapters 16-30 will be covered in this course.

Students will acquire basic German translation skills in order to successfully translate a German scholarly text with the help of a dictionary.
Students will acquire German pronunciation and reading skills.
Students will learn basic German sentence structure and grammar.
Students will acquire basic German vocabulary in order to translate a text.
Students will learn how to use a dictionary and existing translating tools for translations.

GN 504 is a pass/fail course. I recommend, however, that you expose yourself to as much written German as possible. You might find it also helpful to watch German language films to help with your pronunciation of the language. Students will pass the course/s if they are able to translate two German texts from their field of study.

GN 504 is a pass/fail course but you are still expected to prepare all assignments on time and take the tests as explained in the course requirements section.

Regular attendance is crucial because we will cover a huge amount of material. The more you study outside of class, the less you have to spend in class. The study of the grammar structure for every chapter is crucial, as is the memorization of basic vocabulary. Please prepare for every day the assigned chapters by reading before class the grammar section and study the basic vocabulary. We will then discuss the grammar in class and work on translations. You will also be assigned to prepare translations of readings. Three translation exercises/exams will be given along with regular short quizzes testing basic vocabulary and translation skills. Every student will prepare three translations of texts of own choice from his/her field of study. You have to provide the class first with a copy of the texts you wish to translate so we can check if the text(s) are on the appropriate level. Grades on the tests are solely for your benefit and do not go into a final grade. So relax, no stress in this course!


This course is the first half to prepare the students to pass the German reading proficiency test to fulfill the language requirement as stated by various Graduate Programs. Please note that simply attending GN 503/504 does not fulfill the language requirement. The German reading proficiency test can be taken at a prearranged date, usually at the end of GN 504. It is the student's responsibility to confirm that the Graduate School receives the proper documentation of having passed the reading proficiency test.

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the official 
Code of Academic Conduct provided in the Online Catalog.

Kursplan GN 503

1. Donnerstag, 9. Januar
Kapitel 17
2. Donnerstag16. Januar Kapitel 18
4. Donnerstag, 23. Januar Kapitel 19
submit text for approval for Übersetzung 1
5. Donnerstag, 30. Januar Kapitel 20
6. Donnerstag, 6. Februar Kapitel 21
submit Übersetzung 1
7. Donnerstag, 13. Februar Kapitel 22
submit text for approval for Übersetzung 2
8. Donnerstag, 20. Februar Kapitel 23
9. Donnerstag, 27 . Februar Kapitel 24
10. Donnerstag, 5. März Kapitel 25
11. Donnerstag, 12 . März Kapitel 26
submit Übersetzung 2
12. Donnerstag, 26. März Kapitel 27
submit text for approval for Übersetzung 3
13. Donnerstag, 2. April
Kapitel 28
submit Übersetzung 3
14. Donnerstag, 9 . April Kapitel 29
15. Donnerstag,16 . April Kapitel 30

LEO Dictionary: German<->English English-German/German-English; excellent, fast, covers also idiomatic expressions
PONS Online English-German/German-English; look on bottom of page; covers also idiomatic expressions
Student-Online Wörterbuch English-German/German-English

Basic Vocabulary First - third year vocabulary, other vocab resources, from U of Michigan
1000 Most Common
German Words with pronunciation, list can be downloaded
Deutsche Welle Learn German Online Resources
B1 Wortliste Goethe-Institut (pdf, nur Deutsch!)
Top 30000 German Words in German (no English translations), Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, most accurate
Beilstein Dictionary for users of the Beilstein Handbook of Organic Chemistry

Grammar, Exercises etc.
German Grammar, Exercises etc. by Nancy Thuleen

Google Translate has evolved
Foreign.Com online translation; for many languages; same comments as above apply

English-German Websites
Museen in Köln - Museums in Cologne pick a museum and read the description in both languages (click on the left on English version)
Tatsachen über Deutschland Facts about Germany; official site from the German Federal Foreign Office
Die Varus Schlacht / The Battle of Varus from the Museum Kalkriese, switch between German, English, or Dutch to read about one of the great battles of history
Luther 2017 500 Years of Reformation, switch between various languages
Die Berliner Mauer - The Berlin Wall History and background
Gerhard Richter learn about one of the most highly paid contemporary artists, switch between German, English, and other languages
Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden Learn about a small sculpture park with contemporary art,
switch between German and English
Museum Ludwig One of the great contemporary art museums in Cologne / Köln,
switch between German and English

General Interest
DAAD Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst - German Academic Exchange Service

LeMO "Lebendiges virtuelles Museum Online" vom Deutschen Historischen Museums (DHM)

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