StoryPlanet prototype FAQ
Why can’t I click on words?
We have tested our prototype on most browsers and mobile devices, but not all. Please try another browser or mobile device and see if it works. If you still can’t click on words, please send an e-mail describing what you’ve tried to email@example.com
Why is the translation in the base form?
Good question! Actually, we’ve thought a lot about this. The point is, it’s not always possible to translate the significance of a German tense or case into English. The differences are often more about the way words are spelled in certain situations than their actual meaning. That’s why we try to help you understand those differences with the tips we offer (click the light bulb to get those tips).
What’s the “+” for?
When you click “+” that word or phrase will be added to your personal learning list – along with the sentence it’s in. You can review the words and sentences you’ve collected by going to the “Learning list” at the end of the book (e.g. accessible via the Table of Contents).
What’s the “X” for?
If you got all the information you need and want to keep reading, you can close the window by clicking the “X”. You can also just click anywhere outside of the popup window and it will close.
What’s the “–” for?
If you added a word to your learning list but then decided you don’t want it there, you can click “–” and it will be removed from your list. You can also remove words directly from the list when you are reviewing words.
How can I see the words I’ve collected?
All the words you have added can be reviewed at any time in your learning list. You can access the list via the Table of Contents. Just click the icon at the top right of the page – the Table of Contents will then appear to the left. There are links there that let you easily switch between the reading text and your learning list.
Is there a tool to practice the words in my learning list?
This is coming soon. That is actually the whole reason we developed StoryPlanet, to use technology to facilitate learning while you read. In order for us to be able to save your answers so you can track your progress, this learning function will require you to login. We do not have a login function set up yet, so please bear with us. We also have a vocabulary trainer app called vobot for iOS. If you want to find out once new functions and products become available, please sign up for our newsletter.
Why all the grammar details?
StoryPlanet has been designed as a way to learn German, not just get translations. Plus, if you just get the translation of the word, you still do not know exactly what it means. For instance, you may click “Eichen” and the translation is “oak tree”. If you read the information below the translation, it tells you that Eichen is plural and the singular is actually “die Eiche”. That’s important! Other information, like the case, are also going to be very valuable for you as you progress with learning German. Absorb what you can and over time it will all start to make sense.
What are the light bulbs about?
Learning is all about following your curiosity. If you’re interested in understanding more about the word you just looked up, click one of the light bulbs to get useful tips that will help you get the bigger picture of the German language. Is there something you’d like to know, but couldn’t find? ? Let us know what kind of information you would like to see when reading a text in StoryPlanet. Write us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is this the original Grimm version of Rotkäppchen?
Yes! Almost, anyway. We really believe the Grimm fairy tales are an excellent entry point to the German language and culture. But they were also written over 200 years ago. The first edition of the Grimm fairy tales was published in 1812 – the oral tradition goes back even further. We used the 1850 version of “Rothkäppchen” for StoryPlanet, which is one of the Grimm brothers’ final edits and the basis for most modern interpretations. Still, we noticed that some of the language is archaic and the use of the past tense (Präteritum) does not lend itself to beginning learners. So we simplified and modernized the story only slightly, sticking to the 1850 version line by line. We strongly believe there is a reason Grimm’s fairy tales have endured for so long. To honor that storytelling tradition, we changed as little as possible.
How do you know this version of Rotkäppchen is suitable for beginning German learners?
We reworked the original fairy tale line by line, working closely with different German teachers and the Profile Deutsch vocabulary list published by Goethe-Institut. So the language you will be exposed to in the fairy tale is optimized for beginning learners. There are actually less than 400 unique words in our text. As a core technology of StoryPlanet, we have also created a so-called Language Level Evaluator (LLE) to analyze German texts and classify them according to CEFR, the reference for European language learning levels.
I saw there’s a video too. Can I buy it somewhere?
The whole StoryPlanet idea actually grew out of this video that we began developing with Tim Fernée, an award-winning animation designer in Ireland. While our team in Germany was busy developing the initial technical framework and business strategy behind StoryPlanet, Tim was merrily drawing away at the approx. 8,000 illustrations that went into the video. The DVD may be purchased here or you can buy a downloadable video here.
Can I read other stories on StoryPlanet?
Once StoryPlanet has a login area, we will start adding lots of new content which you can purchase and read at your own speed. We also aim to have a subscription model that offers short reading materials and other useful functions like the ability to practice any word you want (not just words in the books you buy). It may take another few months until the shop goes live, so for the time being, please sign up for our newsletter and be among the first to know when a new feature or product is released.