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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 27 January 2001
Michel Thomas believes that there are no bad pupils, only bad teachers, and being a total language dingus, who is now successfully learning German, I'm beginning to believe him.
He claims no notes, no memorising, which is a little OTT, but you will speak your first German sentance within 5 minutes of starting the course, and you will understand what you are saying, and why you are saying it!
He lays out the ground rules of the German language and how the pronounciation has developed from Olde English, and suddenly it all makes sense!
He's taught Grace Kelly to speak French, and Emma Thompson to speak Spanish and those courses (plus Italian) are also available on cassette or CD.
I really can't recommend this course highly enough!
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on 17 March 2001
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 two 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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on 23 February 2001
This is an excellent 2 hour introductory course to German. You will hear what German sounds like and learn a bit about sentence construction - but set your course expectations accordingly. This 2 hour course is simply designed to provide you with a brief 'glimpse' of what German is like. You will not really learn all that much; a few phrases and words - but you'll know what you are getting yourself into. If you like what you hear you can then purchase the full 8 hour introductory course with Michel Thomas (note that the 2 hour introduction course is simply the first 2 hours of the 8 hour course). My recommendation is that for those of you who really think that you want to learn German, purchase the full 8 hour course straight away and get on with it! For those of you who are unsure and really just want to hear a bit of German to see if you like it, then go for the 2 hour introductory course and take it from there.
Michel takes you through sentence construction and vocabulary step-by-step as you learn with two other students. You really start to like Michel and his teaching methods. Michel's approach is really good - but again, set your expectation accordingly. There will be no instant grasp of the language; if you want to learn a language you must put the time and effort into it - this is just one of many approaches.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 January 2007
Finally, a language course that doesn't feel like a chore. I've listened to this several times and just ordered the full 8-CD course.

I don't see how you can criticise a 2-hour course for not including certain things, since in two hours it's bound to miss out almost everything. So don't expect to be able to chat to a German at the end of it.

This is about structure, so it would be easy enough to get a vocabulary book and apply what you learn to other words.

But I feel like I've gone from knowing nothing about German to the start of having a real feel for it. And in no time at all, with no pain.

The best thing to do is to stick it on your iPod, remembering not to say things out loud when you're on a train of course. With your iPod in one hand, it's dead easy to pause like MT suggests. Initially you get a beep to tell you when, but soon there's no beep and it's up to you.

I also think it's a good idea on the second or third listening to NOT pause. In real conversation you don't have three minutes to work out what to say so it's a good habit to get into to work out your answer fast. There's a small pause before the 'students' start speaking that should give you enough time.

I think the students are helpful, because you start to hear when they're wrong and work out what they should be saying. Perhaps they are annoying at times, especially when they just can't pronounce 'Ich' properly time after time (I keep expecting Michel Thomas to slap them or something).

Michel Thomas himself is simply entertaining, and sounds like a cross between Peter Ustinov and Victor Borge.

I can't wait to do the full course.
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on 23 July 2009
I was never very good at languages at school - my main achievement was mixing up French and Spanish to create a hybrid mess and, not suprisingly, didn't go far with either. I've had to learn some German for my job and someone recommended Michel Thomas.

It's an unusual way of learning and it won't be for everyone. Rather than bombard you with days of the week, numbers and other stuff that you rarely use (such as "please can I buy some postcards and stamps?"), MT teaches you how German works and how it relates to English and in this way, you find yourself working things out rather than parroting what a teacher is telling you.

I did find it difficult to concentrate at first, MT seems to go off on tangents which made me quite impatient, but I was amazed at how much I retained at the end of the course. I'm not fluent by a long shot, but even after this basic course I can identify some words and verbs in what is being said to me.

Some comments have mentioned the lack of vocabulary and basic numbers/words being taught and to a degree they are right. But it helps if you use a German dictionary and guide to grammar to supplement this course. They can be picked up cheaply and if you are serious about learning German, that should be no problem.

I'd highly recommend this short introductory course to find out whether you are suited to this type of learning. I will most definitely be buying the next course in the series, the foundation.
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on 26 July 2010
After purchasing a dozen different German courses from Amazon I made the determined effort to work through them, so this was course 1.
This course uses a rather unique audio only method of teaching which consists of Michel building up a series of dialogues with two 'students'. My problem is that I tend to need to visualise the words to learn.Although the course does build up slowly it ends very aburptly and rather oddly doesn't teach you any basic greetings or introductions.However this may be that this is really only part of a larger course.
My main problem with the course is that the so called 'students made so many mistakes in that I found it to be more distracting than helpful and sometimes found the course boring.This method didn't satisfy my learning needs so wasn't tempted to try the rest of the courses.
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on 17 February 2001
I did this introduction nearly a year ago, and I can still remember the phrases I learned in this short cassette. Thomas' way of teaching is second to none.
In the full course there are 8 parts, and this introduction is the first one. I highly recommend you go right ahead and buy the full one if you want to learn German, but if you aren't convinced, this introduction will convince you!!
Absolutely brilliant!
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on 26 October 2000
As a teacher of German I was very sceptical when I heard about Thomas's concept of language learning, and I was not disappointed: an adult will need to spend many more than just 2 hours to learn even the basics of a language...
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on 5 December 2000
I disagree with the previous review of this introduction. The reason is that this INTRODUCTORY course does not claim to teach the German language in two hours. In fact, Michel Thomas claims himself to take three days to teach the structure of the language. This course provides you with an idea of the technique used in the main course.
I would recommend anyone to buy the main course as the introductory two hours are repeated there. And as the previous reviewer rightly points out the first two hours are not enough to get anything other than an overview.
This technique is not boring because Michel Thomas always gets you working. The technique is to teach you the German equivalent of a word and then for you to think out the sentence in German.
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on 14 September 2015
I have given it to somebody as a present, so don't know how good it is.
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