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on 22 September 2010
I'm very pleased with the book and CDs. The book is very nicely structured, the exercises are not at all boring, and the CD complements the book perfectly. Also, the voices on the CD are pleasant, I usually find it difficult to listen to a language CD if the voices are annoying (but that's just me).
I didn't give 5 stars to my review because I don't think that what the book promises: "takes you effortlessly from beginner to confident speaker" is necessarily true. I don't think that only this book (or any other book for that matter) allows you to be a confident speaker after you complete it. The book is just the basis, you have to interact to native speakers, listen to German Radio and watch German TV programmes etc.
So, anyway, great beginner's course, haven't found any other on the market that's better. I hope this helps.
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on 5 December 2014
I bought this back about a year ago as I was going to move to a German speaking country. Whilst I speak a few foreign languages, German is not something I have ever come across in my studies and so I had little to no idea about words, grammar, etc. Basically, I could count to ten. The book starts from the very basics and it uses a limited vocabulary all the way through. The words and experssions are repeatedly used so it's easier to memorize them. The grammar is explained in a way that it doesn't look complicated at all. The audio material is also fine. I finished the book over 6 months and I got to a stage where my grammar knowledge is sound and solid! It is true that this way, you can really only improve the passive knowledge, and speaking will remain an issue. However, now that I have moved and started an actual language course, it was a pleasant surprise that from no German background other than this book, they put me in the A2.2 course after having done the placement test. Means I skipped the first 3 levels and saved about 1000 euros. Pretty good I think! There are, however, some negatives:

- practically no space to write in the book which means you either do the exercises in a notebook, or use mickey mouse size letters...

- conjugation is a very important aspect of the grammar, and whilst it is logically explained in the book, it would be helpful to have a table somewhere at the end that summarizes all the cases, including definite and indefinite articles, and conjugation when none is present. I made myself a table and ended up referring to it all the time until the endings eventually stuck in my brain.

- it would make sense to have more 'burning' type exercises. By this I mean more exercises that purely ask you to change one certain thing in a sentence. Like, put this is the perfective passive. Rewrite with this or that preposition using the dative case etc. The more of these boring exercises one completes, the easier the different grammatical challenges will stick in the brain.

Overall, very happy with the purchase.
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on 14 May 2010
This is an excellent tool for those who want to learn German independently. There are a lot of similar books on the market but this has the advantage of taking you past the basic stages of language learning (to B2) without the learner having to resort to expensive language schools! The explanations are clear and the material straightforward to use. What is particularly useful is the content is directed towards those who want to use German in practical situations. I would wholeheartedly recommend it! I am also looking forward to trying out Perfect Your German.
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on 1 January 2012
The 'Teach Yourself' series is my go-to guide for language learning. I've learnt French to a B2 level with their Complete French course and now, I'm loving this German course as well! Very straight-forward. Another series I like to use is the 'Oxford's Take Off in....'. Both of these are reasonably priced and offer a lot of good material.
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on 24 July 2012
I use this product to reattain a previous level I had in the language a few years ago. I feel that the units are set up in a good order and are not too long or overly complicated, which can be discouraging sometimes.

The CDs really do help with listening skills and can help you with pronunciation if you do not know some of the rules of pronunciation in German.

The book starts off quite easy and gets more complex, introducing grammar concepts and longer sentences to push your level of understanding up as you go along.

My only criticism is that it claims to get you to Level 4 on the Common European Language Framework, which it claims to be the equivalent of an A-Level. Unless the A-Level has got considerably easier since I did it 7 years ago, it is more like a higher GCSE/lower AS Level.

This is a quality product for those who wish to start the language up, or like me, wish to get back into it after a long break!
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I've tried quite a few different language courses over the years and I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The book is quite compact, but it packs a lot into the colourful pages, with 23 chapters covering many different aspects of the language and situations you're likely to use it in.

I particularly liked the fact that the 2 CDs had a huge 110 short tracks over them, which makes it very easy and not at all frustrating to repeat the tracks so that you can be sure of the punctuation.

The style of teaching in the book is less dry than many others and I found the simple explanations given quite helpful when trying to understand the complexities of German grammar.

Having a reasonable basic understanding of German, this book was more of a revision for me, but even so I'm a bit dubious that it would take anyone to to the claimed Level 4 understanding and conversation level without a serious amount of speaking, constant revision and further reading.

I've bought 6 of the Teach Yourself German books - vocab, grammar, Perfect Your German etc, so we'll see how the whole package fits together and just how far it realistically takes me. So far, I've no regrets about the purchase.
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on 12 July 2012
I found this book and CD excellent although I am only 4 units into it. Instructions are very clear and easy to understand, with the German alongside English. Although there are many units, they are short, so I tend to do one every day or every other day for about 20 minutes. Each unit has a test yourself section at the end for consolidation. What I also like is that you are introduced to new vocab and grammar and then given exercises to help implement it. And just when you're feeling confused or unsure, things are explained in depth. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn German and knows absolutely nothing, like me! I have already learned quite a bit.

The only criticism I would have is that there is not much space to write in it but this is not much of a problem as I also use a separate notebook. The book itself is quite small and lightweight so it's easy to carry around.

The exercises are practical and interesting. This book is definitely not boring and keeps you engaged throughout. Very pleased with this buy and hopefully I will be able to speak German soon!
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on 12 January 2016
As a senior citizen learning a new language is challenging. This book is great but regretfully my dedication to the task is lacking. Well set out sections and I'm sure if I apply myself to it I will get there. If I don't it will be my failure and not this excellent publication.
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on 8 June 2015
Easy to follow, progression is gradual which is just what my students need. I also like the Listening exercises; they are just long enough to hold the students' attention .I can definitely recommend this book. Ute
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on 31 October 2014
I love this book, I just have to keep dedicated to learning the language! The book is rather pleasant and a great start for any enthusiast or lover of the language, and I feel it would be great for tourists, as well as hobbyists or even those who wish to learn the language for business endeavors. As for myself, a student, I feel that it is very easy to understand and learn from this book and I have recommended it to others since purchasing it.
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