Chapter 3
The Self Study of a Language

A classical book with chapter episodes, old or new, or compiled texts with vocabulary lists form the central basis for a structured knowl­edge communication.

The availability of pronunciation, via dictionaries with sound files and pho­net­ic transcription, enables self-learners to memorize the basic sound of new words and phrases, including various English dialects, from the very beginning.

Even without Internet access, free dictionaries, book and reference texts, language courses, sound files and video films can be stored on a computer at home or on data media to the extent of a library col­lec­tion. With this almost inexhaustible ba­sis, even financially weak households and institutions have an excellent learning or study basis, even with old and even very old computers for which free spe­cial­ized lightweight operating system distributions are available, which convert old hardware back into a fast productive platform.

In addition to the classic exercises of your book or study materials, there are a number of autodidactic learning pos­sibil­ities, which are presented in the following.

Table of Contents Chapter 3

3.1 Writing down Words and Texts in the Ten-Finger System, Learning the original Keyboard Layout of your Target Language(s)
Image source:

Parallel to working through your lan­guage book, it is advisable to ac­quire the original keyboard lay­out of your target language, in the ten-finger system, in addition to hand­writ­ing new vocabulary and texts. This will give you a double writ­ten memorization. You can find further information in sections 1.4.1, “Free Software for learning the Ten-Finger System, Teaching Articles” and in 1.4.2, “Language and Keyboard Layout”. By learn­ing the ten-finger system, you can save a con­sid­er­able amount of time and increase the speed of reaction in telex dialogs.

Write down each newly learned word (or phrase) over sev­er­al lines in the ten-finger system. In addition, the en­tire text of each chapter unit should be written down at least once in one piece. As with any skill acquisition, the beginning is arduous, but success will be evident very soon; the reward is a huge time saving in writing texts.

Most word processing programs have an autocorrect func­tion built in, they check the written words for correctness by making comparisons via reference word lists. If there are discrepancies, such as typos, misspelled words are under­lined in red or circled. If not already available, import one or more free dictionaries of your target language into your word processing program.

Create a sample docu­ment or template for writing texts in your target language. Make the necessary basic settings for this document and select your target language. You can then create working copies again and again.

Extract from the official LibreOffice help, “Selecting the Docu­ment Language” (March 26, 2020): “The language you select for your document determines the dictionary used for spellcheck, thesaurus and hyphenation, the deci­mal and thousands delimiter used and the default cur­ren­cy format.. [...]”

Dictionaries have only a limited vocabulary, but they can be extended by the user, see for LibreOffice the article “Spell­ing and Grammar”.

3.2 Personal Areas of Interest and Topics, further Education

On the Internet, people organize themselves around every conceivable topic. Specialized web sites, portals, ar­ti­cles, newsletters and RSS news tickers offer com­pre­hen­sive content. The exchange of ideas takes place via commentary sections (also RSS subscribable), via dis­cus­sion forums, via mailing lists (e-mail newsletters), or directly via telex discussions (chatting), directly and un­reg­is­tered on platforms, or via separate service pro­vid­ers (with user account).

Transfer your personal areas of interest in­to your target language area, e.g. into the Anglosphere: Look for topic pages ded­i­cat­ed to your main interests, pages that are in the target language you are aiming for. Find topic groups, forums (see also “Cat­ego­ry:​Web forum”), where you can of course just read along, and video channels of like-minded peo­ple. Ex­plore the almost inexhaustible, freely accessible docu­ment sources.

Use RSS news tickers to stay up to date effectively and time-​saving. From a certain number of websites of in­ter­est to you, you can only keep track of new articles and news via RSS tickers. Although there is the possibility to use mailing lists and to be informed about new con­tri­bu­tions by e-mail. However, a few e-mail providers delete in­com­ing mail from websites considered “politically in­cor­rect”.[1] This sometimes also applies to outgoing mail to po­liti­cal­ly questioning web sites, which can also be fil­tered out.

However, the retrieval of RSS news tickers is similar to a nor­mal internet page retrieval, if there is a filtering here, you will know immediately.

Use the bookmark function of your browser and save or ex­port your bookmark collection regularly. At the same time, maintain a classic notebook in which you write down all the the website addresses (name and URL) that are im­por­tant to you, as well as the addresses of specific docu­ments.

Create systematic archives for your web pages, articles, films, and documents, archives that are structured in such a way that the documents remain retrievable even after years. USB flash drives have become very inexpensive. For the stor­age of extensive collections of articles (HTML documents, etc.) from the Internet, the use of compression programs such as ZIP or 7-ZIP can be useful in some cases, especially if the existing file names are longer than usual and optical disc authoring software may not be able to cope with them. For daily use, USB memory sticks are the easiest to use, they now offer the largest mobile stor­age capacities (besides external hard disks). However, please note the different durability of the data media, make backups regularly and in time. You should make print­outs and image prints of your most important docu­ments.

Use external hard drives with USB connection for ar­chiving your data. They are available at a reasonable price in a classic version (proven HD drive technology), or as a some­what more expensive SSD hard disk. If you want to use the external hard disk both under MS-Windows and to­geth­er with MacOS computers, it is recommended to for­mat it with the exFAT file system (or an NTFS driver for MacOS).

[1] MP-article “Political correctness”

3.2.1 Locating of topic-related Websites in your Target Language

Make a note of your areas of interest and call up a dictionary or translation system and write down the terms translated into your target language. Then call up a search engine. If it is a practical activity, you can search for instructions.

Example: You are interested in English pages and documents. Go to​ncr, “ncr” stands for “no country redirect” (no country redirection), this will keep you in the English language superset search index. Combine a subject area with the word “tutorial”. Drawing search examples: drawing tutorial; drawing tutorial anatomy; drawing tutorial portrait. Search examples for the topic tailoring: tu­to­ri­al tailoring. Also switch to the video category to watch tutorials.

“Introduction to [subject area]”, “Introduction to”: Effective search term combinations are also Introduction to tailoring or simply introduction tailoring, introduction drawing. Refine your search, within your field of interest there are sections that are of particular interest to you, translate them as well.

Describing the problem within a topic area leads to numerous articles, often you are then already on a corresponding (main) topic page when you call up the article. Translate the problem into the target language yourself or, for example, with the help of DeepL.

Internet encyclopaedias offer portals and categories, bundled overviews of subject areas and professions, mostly sorted alphabetically like catalogues.

Wi­ki­pe­dia: „Por­tal:​Con­tents/​Portals“ • „Cat­ego­ries“ • „Cat­ego­ry:​Trans­la­tion“ • „Translation“ • „Por­tal:​Spra­che“ • „Por­tal:​Spra­che/​Spra­chen der Welt“ • „Por­tal:​Spra­che/​Info“ • „Wi­ki­pe­dia:​Spra­chen“.

German Me­ta­pe­dia: „Me­ta­pe­dia:​Ka­te­go­rie­ver­zeich­nis“ • „Al­le Sei­ten“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Por­tal“ • „Ka­te­go­rien“ • „Cat­egory:​Por­tals“.

Encyclopedia overviews: „List of on­line encyclopedias“ • „Li­ste von On­line-​En­zy­klo­pä­dien“ • „Wi­ki­pe­dia-​Al­ter­na­ti­ven“.

Encyclopedia articles are usually available in several lan­guage versions. Call up your area of interest, i.e. select the corresponding topic article. Then switch to your target lan­guage (if available) in the left-hand navigation menu to ac­cess the article version in another language. At the very bot­tom of the page, additional links to other websites and docu­ments are often, but not always listed, in English WP ar­ti­cles in the “External Links” section.

Example Art: Information about the paint­er Franz Marc In the English Wi­ki­pe­dia you will find the article “Franz Marc” and can switch left to the German version “Franz Marc”, to the French version “Franz Marc”, the Span­ish version “Franz Marc” and to oth­er language versions. Articles about art at Metapedia, among oth­ers: “Deut­sche Kunst” • “Ka­te­go­rie:​Deut­sche Kunst” • “Mo­der­ne Kunst” • “Kul­tur­ge­no­zid”. A central documentation on the con­cept and essence of art: “Why beauty matters” von Rog­er Scruton, 59 min.

Discussion forums are a further point of contact. Ex­am­ple searches: tailoring discussion forum, discussion forum draw­ing, discussion forum pho­tog­ra­phy, forum pho­tog­ra­phy. tailoring dis­cus­sion forum, dis­cus­sion forum drawing, discussion forum photography, forum photography. Always re­mem­ber which words might be included in your target text. For example, for product discussions:forum problem [con­crete product name] topic.

3.3 Methods of Translation Optimization

You can use a range of methods and tools for creating and optimizing translations, in addition to the dic­tion­aries listed in Chapter 2 and the most advanced ma­chine translation system.

3.3.1 Checking of the Naturalness of translated Words and Phrases using Search Engine Statistics

Search engines and digi­tized archives rep­re­sent only a part or an excerpt of the vo­cabu­lary of a lan­guage, but they can pro­vide clues as to how common words and phrases are.

To check how frequent one or more (translation) text vari­ants are, proceed as follows:

1. Call up a search engine whose search catalogue con­tains results in the lan­guage relevant to you Example for the lan­guages English and German: For text and video search queries on Google, it's best to generally use the much more extensive and less censored U.S. search in­dex, which you can access via http://​www.​google.​com/​ncr (it also contains the German-language sources). This way, you will not be redirected to the highly cen­sored German search engine catalog, but remain in the much more comprehensive search index superset. Of­fi­cial Google information about this in English. [Restrictive note from March 28, 2020: The political censorship of the Google search engine superset is now as far-reach­ing and devastating as the country-specific search in­dexes. At least in part, you get through over­all much more neutral result lists, without denying the ori­gi­nal address and politically correct indoctrination ar­ti­cles on the first pages (search term example for com­pari­son: Metapedia)].

2. Enter a single word, or combinations of words or phrases in quotation marks.The quotation marks define phrases, sentence fragments and sentences as a search term unit and are not interpreted as unrelated individual words.

3. Check what frequency information is provided. Does the translated word or phrase not appear at all (0 search re­sults)? Does one of your translation variants hardly oc­cur at all, while another one occurs very often? In this

case, the listed extracts of probably not common phra­ses may be based on translations whose translators did not know better at the time. For example: “scanned at 300 dpi” (probably very common), “scanned with 300 dpi” (possibly common), “scanned by 300 dpi” (probably ra­ther not common among native speakers).

Of course, there can also be several spellings of one and the same word or phrase. However, learners of German should take into account that the BRD-​End­phase-​Schrift­deutsch is only a small, mutilated subset of the naturally evolved written German. In particular, thousands of words have completely different meanings when written sepa­rate­ly or together, which are unknown to the younger gen­era­tions.

In many thousands of words, however, separate and compound spelling represent completely different mean­ings that are mostly unknown to younger generations. Examples: An An­ders­den­ken­der and an an­ders Den­ken­der, wohl­durch­dacht and wohl durch­dacht, so ge­nannt and so­genannt, etc., each mean something com­plete­ly different, separate and compound spelling have different content, it does matter whether words are writ­ten separately or together.

The Andersdenkende (dissident) has a different world view, a different view resp. opinion. The an­ders Den­ken­de usu­al­ly refers to the way someone thinks, to thought pro­cesses and -characteristics, etc., although of course it is also used in the sense of positioning a point of view resp. stance [Standpunktverortung] (“ich denke da anders”). “Hat er das Boot ge­si­chert? [Did he secure the boat?]”. a) “Er hat es wohl­ver­taut [das Schiffstau, moor­ing].”, b) “Er hat es wohl ver­taut.”, meaning a) written in one word: He has secured the boat thoroughly, meaning b) written sepa­rat­ed: He probably tied it up (you don't know if it was se­cured). So genannt (so called) is a neu­tral information, so­ge­nannt contains a critical evaluation.

More detailed information as well as many illustrative ex­am­ples can be found in “'Recht­schreib­re­form': Ge­trennt- und Zs.schrei­bung”. Detailed overview: Site Map.

The deformation of the expressiveness of German took place with a very specific intention, which is discussed in the appendix article “Naturally Developed Written Ger­man”.

3.3.2 Finding topic-related Basic Vocabulary: Internet Encyclopedias with Articles in different Language Versions

In many subject areas, (basic) formulations for facts tend to predominate. Dictionaries often contain a large num­ber of con­text-​de­pend­ent (reference frame-dependent) word translations or formulations, so that it is sometimes not easy to make a reliable selection. In ad­di­tion to search engine statistics (3.3.1), online en­cy­clo­pae­dias and wikis are useful for finding the pre­domi­nant context-related words and phrases; their topic ar­ti­cles are usually available in several language versions.

Encyclopedias: The “List of on­line en­cy­clo­pe­dias” pro­vides an overview of Internet encyclopedias. The most com­pre­hen­sive multilingual encyclopedias include Wi­ki­pe­dia and Metapedia. Wikipedia is distinguished by nu­mer­ous excellent technical reviews, but it also presents glob­al­ist or internationalist views and perspectives in key areas of life, as well as a prescriptive one in the field of language (at least the German section). Metapedia em­pha­sizes that European/white peoples also have a right to exist as well as a right to preserve their cultures. Its authors represent the right to life of peoples and na­tions in their original (meaning) sense.

The German-language Me­ta­pe­dia contains 71 345 ar­ti­cles (as of March 21, 2020). It is the only remaining Me­ta­pe­dia language section (of originally 20), which was com­plete­ly restored after the major database attack in 2018.

Wi­ki­pe­dia and Me­ta­pe­dia offer huge collections of ar­ti­cles and information on languages, linguistics, and lan­guage acquisition. [The green links are currently not ac­ti­vated because of the SHAEF “legislation”, which is still en­forced by the occupying power[1]].

An overview of the respective language editions can be found at über and From there you can access the title pages of the respective lan­guage versions, for German via de.​me​ Both encyclopedias are directly read­able, accessible without registration.

The WP-​ar­ticle “Wikipedia” as well as the MP-article “Me­ta­pe­dia” (dt.: “Metapedia (Enzyklopädie)” represent the re­spec­tive self-conception or self-perception. Both en­cy­clo­pe­dias have their own view of the other, seeing the other in a very specific light, e.g. MP-article “Wikipedia” (dt. “Wi­ki­pe­dia”)

A selection of Wi­ki­pedia-ar­ti­cles about language: “Eng­lish lan­guage” • “Category:Eng­lish lan­guage” • “American Eng­lish” • “Category:American English” • “German language” • “Cat­eg­ory:German language” • “Category:Language” • “Ka­te­go­rie:​Einzelsprache”.

Some of the numerous German language Metapedia-​ar­ti­cles ( on the subject of language: „Deut­sche Spra­che“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Deut­sche Sprache“ • „Deut­sche Recht­schrei­bung“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Deut­sche Schrift“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Al­pha­bet“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Deut­sche Kul­tur“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Deutsch­land“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​BRD“ • „Spra­che der BRD“ • „Ang­li­zis­mus“ • „Deng­lisch“ • „Po­li­ti­sche Kor­rekt­heit“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:Spra­che“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Eng­li­sche Spra­che“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Ger­ma­ni­sche Spra­che“ • „Deut­sche Li­te­ra­tur“ • „Li­te­ra­tur nach Spra­che“ • „Sprach­for­schung“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:Sprach­wis­sen­schaft“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Wort“ • „Me­ta­pe­dia:​Schreib­re­geln“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Me­ta­pe­dia:“ • „Me­ta­pe­dia:​Ang­li­zis­men“ • „Ka­te­go­rien“ • „Ka­te­go­rie:​Li­ste“.

Example: Compare the corresponding English and Ger­man formulations of the linked WP-articles “Quad­rat­ic equa­tion”. and “Qua­dra­ti­sche Glei­chung”.

1] The Allied occupation administration in the occupied Rest-​Ger­ma­ny is still based on the SHAEF-​legislation (Su­preme Head­quarters Allied Ex­peditionary Force) [MP-​ar­ti­cle “Rechts­la­ge der Bun­des­re­pu­blik Deutsch­land” and “Be­sat­zungs­recht”].

3.4 Learning Pronunciation Ⅲ: Listening and Reading Songs and Texts

Learn your target language also by lis­ten­ing to and reading song lyrics. On the world wide web, there is a text for al­most every song.

3.4.1 Identification Possibilities of Songs or of Song Melodies Noting of Text Fragments or Sentences

When you hear a song on the radio, write down what you understand; write down words, phrases, and even whole sentences. Then call up a search engine and en­ter, for example: song lyrics [“text frag­ment 1”] [“text frag­ment 2”] [“word 1”] [“word 2”] resp. song text [“text fragment 1”] [“word 1”]

An example: You hear a song on the radio and understand the following fragments, among others “and so it is”, „most of the time“. Start a search query with the following terms (put written text fragments in quotation marks): song lyrics "and so it is" "most of the time" resp. in your mother tongue, e.g. in German: Lied Text "and so it is" "most of the time".

The song title, the interpreter and the lyrics appear. Switch to the video category to view different video versions, in­clud­ing those on Youtube: “Damien Rice - The Blower's Daugh­ter (Of­fi­cial Video Version 2 [Without Film Clips])”.

Es er­schei­nen der Lied­ti­tel, der In­ter­pret so­wie der Lied­text. Wech­seln Sie auf die Vi­deo-Ka­te­go­rie, um sich ver­schie­de­ne Vi­de­o­ver­si­o­nen an­zei­gen zu las­sen, da­run­ter die­se auf You­tube: „Damien Rice - The Blower's Daughter (Of­fi­cial Video Version 2 [Without Film Clips])“.

Some songs are sung by different performers, so that for a closer encirclement “original” or for example “man voice” or “woman voice” can be helpful. Text fragment searches and song references: song lyrics original “don't go chang­ing” „I just want some­one“ → Billy Joel - Just the Way You Are (Official Audio)    song lyrics “I hear laughter in the rain” → Neil Sedaka - Laughter in the Rain (1974)    song lyrics “into the night into the light” → Joe Jackson - Steppin' Out (Of­fi­cial Video)    song lyrics “the system has broke down” → Phil Lynott - Old Town [HQ Music Video].

3.7 Listening to Feature Films, TV Series and Documentation Films in another Language Version, Listening Comprehension

Many old and new feature films, TV series and documentaries are available in part or in full on video platforms such as YouTube or on the video pages of television sta­tions.

Create a personal list of films and series to watch them in your preferred target language. Translations are often kept quite free or too free and simplified. However, you al­ready know the main film content, scenes and dia­logs, you already know what it is about, even if you only under­stand a part of the spoken scenes.

3.7.2 Movies

Example: You would like to see the original English lan­guage version of the film classic “Tarantula”.

1. Go to Wikipedia to enter the film title in your native lan­guage. Check the corresponding article to see what the original movie title is, or simply switch to the English Wi­ki­pe­dia article version (click on “English” on the left) to look up the title.

2. Call up the page to remain in the high­er-level main index of “ncr” means “no coun­try redirect”; this is less censored and contains as a super­set all other search indexes (, etc.).

3. Enter the movie title and the word “movie” as search term (Tarantula movie) and then switch to the video search category.

4. You can set search parameters, such as the length of the films or videos. Look for a complete film version (e.g. di­rect­ly viewable at the Internet Archive, “Tarantula (1955)”, 120 min.) or for single parts.

3.7.3 Educational Films and Talks

Example: Operating principle of a car, “What's Under Your Hood? (1973)”, from the channel “US Auto Industry”

3.8 Children's, Youth and Fairy-Tale Books

Good childrens and youth books, corresponding TV se­ries and films as well as fairy tale books are excellent for learn­ing a language:

Example: “Peppa Pig” (German version: “Peppa Wutz”), is a worldwide spread animation series, it exists in al­most three dozen language versions (English WP ar­ti­cle).

Call up one of the episode lists held in your native lan­guage (search term example: Peppa Pig Episodes), which lists the episode titles held in English (WP episode list) in ad­di­tion to the language held in your native language, or those held in your target language (French or other). The You­Tube channel “Peppa​Pig​Sub­ti­tled” carries English sub­ti­tled episodes.

Find the counterpart in your target language, for example, episodes in German. The German epi­sode of the English ori­gi­nal “Nature Trail” [Peppa Pig (Series 2) - Nature Trail (with sub­ti­tles)] is called “Na­tur­pfad”

Youtube offers a video subtitling system function, which does not always work properly.

As of: March 19, 2023

Copyright and translation rights 2008–2023 by Peter Jockisch,

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Cal­li­gra font: Copy­right 1992 Pe­ter Van­roose with up­dates copy­right 1999 S. Dachian. Full license at

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A majority of the images come from the “Oxy­gen”- and from the “Cry­stal Pro­ject” and is avail­a­ble at “Wi­ki­me­dia Com­mons”. Overviews: “Ca­te­go­ry:Cry­stal Pro­ject” • “Ca­te­go­ry:KDE icons” • “Tan­go icons” • “Ca­te­go­ry:GNOME Desk­top icons” • “Ca­te­go­ry:Icons”

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