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86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Es ist sehr gut! (It is very good...)
Quite simply, buy it! With almost minimal effort (Ok, you have to put some effort in, but it really isn't too much) you can learn enough German to be able to communicate effectively in simple situations. It gives you the confidence to speak to others in German and gives you a great grounding in the language, which will help you to learn more once you have finished the...
Published on 29 July 2004 by chrisaub76

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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique words used is very low
The method used in this course is excellent and you certainly will learn what is taught, however the amount of vocabulary covered in the course is very small I found a transcript of the Michel Thomas 8 cd course as well as his 5 cd advanced course and 2 cd language builder on the internet I found the reference to the site with the transcripts on Wikipedia. I then did a...
Published on 7 Nov 2006 by TJ


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86 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Es ist sehr gut! (It is very good...), 29 July 2004
This review is from: German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD (Audio CD)
Quite simply, buy it! With almost minimal effort (Ok, you have to put some effort in, but it really isn't too much) you can learn enough German to be able to communicate effectively in simple situations. It gives you the confidence to speak to others in German and gives you a great grounding in the language, which will help you to learn more once you have finished the course.
I listened to this CD in the car, travelling to and from work. This was after moving to Germany, not being able to speak a single word. Within weeks I was able to start asking for things and holding very basic conversations in German. More surprisingly, I was also able to read a lot of German (surprising because there are no reading or writing exercises in the course). Better still, once you have started you will find it easier to pick up new words and sometimes to work out what words mean (Michel teaches you that many English words come from German origins).
I would absolutely recommend this course to anyone who wishes to speak German, for whatever reason. This is even if you have never spoken the language before.
The best part has to be the fact that there is so little theory involved - if you are like me and prefer to just get stuck in, then this is perfect for your needs. Also, the fact that Michel does not start with the usual phrases such as 'What is your name?' and 'How old are you?' is a big bonus. He starts straight away with questions that you will actually need in every day situations...
Seriously, buy it - you won't be disappointed!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for speaking, 22 July 2006
This review is from: German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD (Audio CD)
I think this is a brilliant CD if all you want to concentrate on is oral German rather than written. Michel Thomas explains the grammar really well and in a logical way, much better than a text book I had used previously. He also tells you how everything relates to English so that you learn grammatical structures more easily (I also found this very interesting from a history of language point of view). He makes you learn by thinking rather then memorising, which I think is the best feature of this German course - Michel does this by slowly building up your vocabulary and sentence length, so you start off by saying "I play tennis" and gradually move on to saying "I play tennis with my sister on Mondays in Berlin". There are two students recorded on the CD, and this gives you a brilliant opportunity to correct their mistakes - it certainly did NOT make me learn their mistakes, as a previous reviewer wrote; instead, it gave me the chance to first think about how I would say the sentence myself and then to correct the student, and finally to see if I was right by listening to Michel. The only disadvantage is that you won't be able to write much German while using this set of CDs alone. Michel himself stresses the importance of learning in your mind as you listen, rather than writing things down and learning them off by heart for hours. Not being able to see the German as it is written down could be a big disadvantage if you need it for something other than verbal communication, and I solved this problem by buying the German Experience text book, so that I get some reading and writing practise of German too. I find that using these two courses works really well, and I am very happy with the progress I've made over the last 3 months. Obviously you have to stick to the CDs - I know people who listen to the CD once a month and then are surprised that they don't remember anything. I use the CDs 5 times a week for 20 minutes at least, and after 3 months I can definitely say that they do work! Try it for yourself!!
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars German With Michel Thomas, 12 Feb 2005
This review is from: German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD (Audio CD)
I've spent a lot of money trying to learn German. I've been to various classes, I've got books, flash cards and computer programmes. If spending money made you speak German I'd be fluent.
The reason I've been slow to learn is that I don't find the time to use all these learning aids - I buy them and put them in the cupboard to gather dust. There are two things about the Michel Thomas CD course that make it work for me: First, I can put the CD on in my car whilst I'm driving around and all I have to do is listen. Secondly everything is repeated ten thousand times and if there's one thing I seem to need to learn language it's repetition. By the time I'd driven to work and back half a dozen times I knew a CD backwards and could move onto the next one.
Michel Thomas rambles on a bit (especially at the beginning of the first CD) and frequently gets annoyed at his inept students but if you can cope with this it will teach you a little bit of German very thoroughly.
True it's expensive but so were all the books I bought and didn't read - at least I got something out of this course.
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111 of 115 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for grammar, but don't expect much vocabulary, 9 Nov 2004
This review is from: German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD (Audio CD)
Is this a good course? It depends on what you want to learn or what you think it ought to contain. Previous reviewers have noted the lack of vocabulary taught: "I do not know when I will be able to do it" is a typical sentence. Michel concentrates on sentence construction and verbs to the exclusion of almost everything else. This follows his philosophy that verbs are the cornerstone of a language and everything else is just vocabulary (which, by implication, is left as an exercise for the listener). Very few nouns and adjectives are taught and there is virtually no acknowledgement of the existence of case and gender other than pointing up the difference between "mich" ("me") and "mir" ("to me"). At the end of this course, you will not have learnt even such a simple sentence as "Ich möchte eine Tasse Kaffee" (I would like a cup of coffee). Michel teaches the present, future and conditional tenses of verbs, but not the past - so you will be unable to tell a German what you did yesterday: and "Sie" but not "du" so you will be unable to address close friends and family correctly, "you" being translated in German as "du" for close friends, children, and family, and "Sie" for everyone else. (Though this is hardly going to be a great problem unless you get to know a German really well!)
HOWEVER, one of the big problems with German, at least for an English-speaker, are the word order rules that result in sentences that literally translate as "Can you to me tell how I to the station go?" English may be a Germanic language but word order in it has been heavily modified by French - blame the Norman Conquest for that - and the big plus of this course for me is the concentrated drilling in forming sentences. The most oft-heard phrase on the CDs is "How would you say...?" - and Michel expects you, and his two students, to work it out for yourselves, following which he gives instant feedback on what you should have said. A few hours of this, advancing one small step at a time, and you'll find yourself saying some quite complicated things, AND getting the words in the right order - which is often very different from English - as long as they don't involve nouns! There is also a LOT of practice with the German modal verbs, or handles as Michel calls them (can, want, like, may, will - the sort of little words we use all the time). Another big issue is prepositions, which rarely translate simply between the two languages, and Michel tackles a few of these, such as the difference between "wenn" and "ob", both of which translate as "if".
At the end of the course you won't be able to say much of any practical use, but you will be in a position to slot any vocabulary you learn later on into meaningful sentences which are grammatically correct, and you will understand a lot of how the language "works".
The Advanced course does in fact address some if not all of the criticisms above - which suggests that this course is just not long enough to be a "complete" course.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes german a doddle., 1 Dec 2005
This review is from: German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD (Audio CD)
I've tried quite a few German courses over the last 6 months or so and this is by far the best that I have tried.
Thomas doesn't teach you much in the way of vocabulary but what he does teach is very powerful. The method that he uses concetrates on making sure that you understand the principles behind the language. By giving fairly simple examples he teaches you how to construct sentences correctly and pretty soon (with the aid of a german dictionary) you are ready to go. This is so much easier than having to memorise large amounts of information you literally can build a basic knowledge of the language in a couple of weeks. Towards the end of the course the density of infomation increases pretty rapidly and you might find that you have to concentrate a bit more, but otherwise the whole thing flows well. Although, you may find yourself wanting to scream every time he mentions "What I call handles." this whole set is well worth the money.
Stick it on your mp3 stick and learn on the way to work.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful course, 2 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD (Audio CD)
"If you know how to handle verbs, you know how to handle the language. Everything else is just vocabulary," says Thomas towards the end of this course. This is one of the core principles that sets this course apart from others. By convention, beginners' courses focus on building basic vocabulary based on everyday situations; booking a hotel room, a visit to the doctor, eating at a restaurant, catching a train: the complexities of grammar glossed over in favour of teaching the pupil how to survive in a foreign language environment.

But that isn't the approach here! A large part of the course focuses on verb use; auxiliary verbs (or "handles" as Thomas calls them) and subordinate clauses ("weil case") and how they affect that tricky German word order. Thomas' approach is to teach you the skeleton of the language first. From that base it should be easier to become fluent by fleshing out your vocabulary with nouns, adjectives, etc. at a later stage. (In fact, the number of nouns introduced must barely touch double figures!) That's the theory. However, I'm not totally convinced that Thomas' assertion about verbs is quite true. In German there are noun genders, noun cases and agreement of adjectives with nouns to worry about; which are only mentioned in passing or not covered at all.
Nevertheless, I can thoroughly recommend this course for beginners of German, or maybe those who have learnt a little but are struggling with the grammar. Michel Thomas is a wonderful teacher, a natural. As other reviewers have pointed out, these CDs really do shame the state of language teaching in our schools, or at least how I experienced it 20 years ago!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I wish I'd bought the full course!, 6 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD (Audio CD)
I'm not too good at English let alone German, I bought the short course because I didn't know if I had the ability to do more, ( I get confused when verbs are mentioned - shows my level of education I guess!), but not worrying or studying works. I cheated a little, some words wouldn't stick in my brain so I jotted them down- naughty, I know. The eight hour course is more like a month for me, but what does it matter. I'm enjoying it. As someone else said, its good when you get the answer before the person on the CD; mindyou I've heard it dozens of times so I ought too. I'm just at the end of the first CD, I'm not moving on until I feel happy with the understanding. There are some amusing moments, especially the problem with the word 'nicht' I hope to continue and purchase the full course in the future. There's no advanced level - but that doesn't worry me at the moment!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I really can speak german after only 2 weeks!, 23 Aug 2004
This review is from: German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD (Audio CD)
Simply the best language course ever discovered. After trying to learn German using the BBC's course and others, and failing miserably, Michel Thomas was a last resort. I wish he'd been my first resort. Simply brilliant and intuitive, I listened to a CD a day for 8 days, and then repeated it (usually the same day). After about 15 hours I actually understand the way the language works, and can improve my abilities and vocabulary unaided. Forget all the others, this WILL teach you how to communicate in a foreign language.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its quick and dirty but effective., 21 Sep 2001
This review is from: German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD (Audio CD)
As someone who has struggled to learn German the traditional way I found his tapes to be of great help. They are specifically geared to English speakers. Which really helped me.
Its quick and dirty but very very effective!!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!, 12 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD (Audio CD)
After completing this course and the Language Builder, I went to Dusseldorf, with a non-German speaking friend, and did more than 90% of all things in German. I was very well understood and I understood most of what was being said to me. I had done German at school to a pretty basic level, but it desperately needed brushing up! The only word of warning is that some of the German taught is very formal, which you would use to a stranger, but not to your friends.
I am now doing the French course with a view to going to France in the near future to speak the language.
With regard to the comments of a past reviewer, in the French course, he does have a strong German accent, but he gives examples in a French accent.
It's just a pity he doesn't do more than 4 languages (!) Read his biography as well - an incredible man!
Many people criticise him for being slow and having a monotonous voice. But he is trying to relax you and not rush you, whilst at the same time, get you through a lot of ground and structures in very little time without you realising just how fast you are going. He also takes responsibility for your learning and remembering, and only loses his temper, on the tape, with the student who always tries to rush his answer without 'thinking it out'.
CANNOT BE RECOMMENDED ENOUGH to anybody who WANTS to learn a language.
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German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD
German With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD by Michel Thomas (Audio CD - 1 May 2000)
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