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Michel Thomas Foundation Course: German (Michel Thomas Series) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 10 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; 2 edition (29 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340938927
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340938928
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 7.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Michel Thomas was a gifted linguist who mastered more than ten languages in his life-time and became famous for teaching much of Hollywood's 'A' list how to speak a foreign language. Film stars such as Woody Allen, Emma Thompson and Barbra Streisand paid thousands of dollars each for face-to-face lessons.

Michel Thomas was born Moniek Kroskof, the only son of a Jewish family who owned a textile factory in Poland in 1914. As a young boy, Michel was sent to live in Germany to escape the anti-Semitism directed at his family. Living in Vienna in 1938, when the Nazis annexed Austria, Michel was rendered stateless as a Jew.

He fled the country for France, and when the Germans invaded he joined the French Resistance.

He spent two brutal years in French concentration and slave labour camps, and narrowly avoiding being sent to Auschwitz. He escaped, surviving capture, interrogation by Klaus Barbie and torture by the Gestapo.

His mastery of languages enabled him to adopt many identities. At the end of the war, he masterminded operations to uncover war criminals and infiltrate underground Nazi groups.

It was during Michel's wartime experiences that he discovered his ability to block out pain and unearth the untapped potential of the human mind. The only way he survived this period of his life, particularly his capture by the Gestapo, was by concentrating and placing his mind beyond the physical.

Fascinated by this experience, he was determined that, after the war, he would devote himself to exploring further the power of the human mind, and so dedicated his life to education.

In 1947, he moved to Los Angeles and set up the Michel Thomas Language Centres, from where he taught languages for over fifty years in New York, Beverly Hills and London.

Michel Thomas died of heart failure at his home in New York City on Saturday 8th January 2005. He was 90 years old.

The unique all-audio Michel Thomas Method of language learning has been used by over a million people. It requires no reading, no writing and no homework, so that you can learn painlessly and effectively. Choose from 12 exciting languages - start with the beginner's Foundation courses in French (9780340938911); German (9780340938928), Italian (9780340938942) and Spanish (9780340938935). Then expand your knowledge with the Advanced French (9780340938980); German
(9780340939130); Italian (9780340939000) and Spanish (9780340938997) courses and take your learning even further with a range of Language Builders and Vocabulary courses.

The Michel Thomas Method has now been applied to new languages including Greek (9780340983935); Portuguese (9780340971673); Russian (9780340948415); Mandarin Chinese (9780340957264); Polish (9780340975176) and Japanese (9780340974575).

Product Description


Ideal for any business traveller who needs to be able to get around confidently. (Sunday Business)

"A great way to learn; it's fast and it lasts". (The Daily Telegraph)

Five minutes into the first CD, you already feel like you're winning. (Time Out)

Michel Thomas is a precious find indeed. (The Guardian)

Thomas makes it simple (Sunday Times)

Michel's methods will teach you effectively and easily (Daily Star)

Hugely inspiring (Red)

"Excellent for learning ... This entirely audio course is easy to use and quickly results in some useful ability in the new language. Great for the car." (Adventure Travel)

"Moving along at a relaxed, slow pace, punctuated by amusing anecdotes and jokes from the teacher, the new words, phrases and language rules are gently introduced and reinforced through subtle repetition without ever being tedious. In fact, despite a distinct emphasis on non-work, the course proves very effective and enjoyable, and its format is ideal for learning anywhere you like. So, if you only want to learn to speak the language, this course is highly recommended." (Top Real Travel Product, Real Travel)

Book Description

Michel Thomas's approach to language learning aims to provide in a few hours a functional working knowledge of a language without books, note-taking or conscious memorizing. This CD pack provides an eight-hour course in German plus a 2-CD review course.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Androo TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Feb. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I've tried language courses on CD before. Usually they start off with `Hello, my name is James and I am from London', that sort of thing. Actually, the sort of things you never say to anybody when you go to another country. And you get those ridiculous conversations in shops, or at the railway station... they don't help at all do they?

It would be better to have somebody who knows what they are doing to teach you how to speak a language, and this is what Michel Thomas does. You become part of his little class, along with the two students.

Michel Thomas famously says on here that if you can handle verbs, you can handle the language - everything else is just vocabulary. So he doesn't waste any time teaching you vocabulary, though you will pick up the odd word here and there. He teaches you how to make sentences, how to use verbs, how to communicate. You may wish to pick up a book on vocabulary to help with `everything else'.

I found the method very exciting because it is immediately different from other methods. He explains everything with a new clarity so you grasp it straightaway, more or less. You need to listen more than once. After four or five listens to each disc, I found I didn't need to listen again, and each disc builds on the previous one.

It seemed to me that people travelling on business would find this particularly useful because the kind of things you'll be saying are to do with doing, possibilities, time, direction, requests. There's never anything about asking for an ice cream or buying stamps. You will, on the other hand, be able to ask why somebody hasn't done something yet, and when they are going to do it. It's more like real language.

The two students are a learning device.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ross Maynard VINE VOICE on 16 Mar. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I was rubbish at languages at school - I wasn't even allowed to study German. 25 years later I find myself going to Germany on business so I decided to try and at least master the basics. Michel Thomas is a hero. Within 15 minutes of the first CD I felt I was making progress. I just couldn't get enough. I really enjoyed it. A fortnight of fairly intense study and I felt I was had a good grip of basic sentence construction, having worked through the first 4 disks. Michel's method is to focus on verbs and sentence construction. The rest, as he says, is "just vocabulary". He is right. There isn't much vocab here but you will get a great grip of the way the language works in present and future tenses. Get a dictionary for the vocab. The course is really great. If a hopeless case like me can manage it so can you !. His approach is fairly intensive though and you need to devote a fair amount of time to do it justice. Listen to each CD two or three times.

I can't recommend this course enough. I may even try the advanced course at some point. I am certainly moving onto the Italian foundation course. Fantastic !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pete on 27 Jan. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I spend a lot of time in the car working throughout a large county. As a change to the radio I decided I would try to learn German after visiting Berlin recently - so no real need to speak it. I can cope with French (school) and Spanish (night class) but always take advantage of the Germans' excellent grasp of our language.
Michel warmed to me instantly as he provided explanations behind the language - how "s" turns to "t", how "y" links to "g"; how problems we have with English grammar (e.g. "could") don't appear in German; but, most importantly, how sentences are constructed in German. The way he works can be compared to a housing estate being built with the roads being put in place (sentence structure) before the houses are added (vocabulary). This suits my style of learning as I find the "In the resturant", "At the station" approach lacking in basic foundations. He is repeptitive (necessary with a language) and challenging - as a good teacher should be. You can feel a sense of personal challenge and you can certainly feel the penny drop. At times the errors of the two students cause frustration, but this happens many times over in a languages night class. The "pause" button allows you to be the top of the class - especially when the female student fails yet again to pronounce "ich" and the bloke once more leaves the "n" off the verb at the end of the sentence. Three weeks on and I have now bought some German grammar and vocab books to supplement the CD course. I am a bit intimidated by the spelling in these books as the learning has involved listening and speaking. However Michel has slowly turned me into an avid learner. I am really into this! I practise in my head throughout the day, dream in rudimentary German at night and look forward to the next CD in the car.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 26 Oct. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have just moved to Germany and did a standard CD course from the local library in the UK (BBC?). It gave me some basics that got me through a few months of being here. I could ask for some coffee and count but it did not give me a foundation on which to build.
I felt that I took a bit of a risk in buying MIchel Thomas because it seems expensive but I am so glad that i did. I have been using the CDs in half term and have managed to get thought half the course without having to repeat anything. I can also practice it straight away and have been praised on my german already!! It is easy to look up words in the dictionary and place them in the correct part of the sentence. I think that the locals here respect the fact that you are being polite.
I would not recommend it for someone going on a short holiday but if you are planning on coming to a german speaking country on a regular basis or living here, es ist wondervoll.
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