Lingua ex Machina — Machina ex Lingua

We teach German by building and interacting with a chatbot in class. Every time you learn how to do something new in German, your chatbot acquires those newly learned skills. Your chatbot then advances at exactly the same pace as you do, becoming your perfect conversational partner at every stage of your learning process. Your chatbot also helps to remind you of what you’ve learned in the past, serving to reinforce memory and minimize word loss. You will learn how to create and implement your own chatbot, even if you don’t know anything about coding yet. And all that by learning German.

And that’s how it works

Understanding a language’s grammar means understanding its rules. Programming languages such as Python provide the best way for making rules explicit. By coding the rules of German in Python, you will learn both Programming and German in the most natural way. On the one hand, you will speak German by interacting in class with your classmates and your self-made chatbots. On the other hand, you will learn programming & German’s abstract grammar by putting it into code.

Besides the code for building correct German sentences, you will build your own dictionary containing everything you have been learning so far. This dictionary will be accessed by you and by your code. In other words, you will build a machine that draws information from your dictionary in order to produce German sentences (much like you, when looking up words etc.). What is more, you and your machine will advance in the same pace and you will learn everything you need to build this machine. In short: You will learn German and programming in a single coup.


The more you advance the more your machine advances. You will create your own chatbot to talk with. You will learn about Natural Language Processing (NLP) and how to apply Machine Learning (ML) strategies to text analysis and production. In the course of time, you will create your own NLP and ML projects, the most promising and valuable discipline happening within computer science today — and all that by learning German.


We offer two types of classes for two different types of students:

  • Group I: Experienced programmers who want to learn German (starting at the beginner level)
  • Group II: Individuals who want to learn German and coding, starting as beginners in both disciplines.

Classes are held twice a week from 6pm-9pm at the Leibniz Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies at Albert-Einstein-Straße 16, 12489 Berlin-Adlershof. You will have two instructors teaching at the same time (one specialized in German and linguistics and the other specialized in programming, NLP and ML). Classes will start in January 2018.

You won’t need to buy any additional materials since everything is provided in class. All you need is a functioning laptop that you will need to bring to class each day. Since we work with text to speech functions it is a crucial feature of our course structure that you practice outside of class with your self-made chatbots.


Note that places are limited, so please register beforehand by contacting us at and/or Please tell us which group you want to sign up for.

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