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Travel Forums General Talk German

1. Posted by Falcons508 (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone knows of a good, up to date book to help me learn German. I really would like to learn but im not sure which book I should purchase.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Take a look at the Google group alt.usage.german, the regulars there are all beginners and advanced learners of German and native German speakers. They will be able to help you.

When I hang out there, several learners mentioned a service (by Deutsche Welle I think) where they received tapes and the text written out in German to go with it. Sounded very good.

3. Posted by pfeiffer (Full Member 211 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

There are many sources of learning material available online. I would also recommend the resources of -- especially their online forums. I am not a big fan (too many bells and whistles) but the German-language resources that Hyde and his crew have put together make it worthwhile.

If you are willing to invest a little time and money, I would also recommend the language classes of the Goethe institutes in Germany. They can be found in many large cities, including Berlin. There are other, private language schools as well that will perhaps cost a little less, but if you can afford it, the Goethe-Instituts are nice as they cater to foreign students and provide a rich cultural mix of events, tours, etc. to accompany the classes. (Disclaimer: I attended their classes while in Dresden and Berlin and have no firsthand experience with other programs.)

The important thing is: you can't learn a language from books alone. You can pick up the grammar and the vocabulary, but you need to hear and (more importantly) speak the language.

But since you asked about books, once you get a little further along, look for a "learners' dictionary", such as the one offered by PONS. These are monolingual but use simplified language in the definitions. For learning vocabulary, conjugations, idioms, and more, I also like flash cards (you can even make your own). Very important: when learning new nouns _always_ learn them with their article (which can be masculine, feminine or neutral). This is essential; if you find a book or web site that introduces vocabulary without always doing this, leave it alone. [To give you an example: don't learn "Salat" for "salad" (and "lettuce"), but rather "der Salat". This will be important later on.]

Kevin Pfeiffer, Berlin

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 7, 2006 3:37 AM by pfeiffer ]

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I have the penguin German phrase book.
It has vocabulary on various useful subjects, and basic grammar.
I still often use this book, even though i have been living in Germany, for a few years. Languages are not my talent, and the book gives a good basic, uncomplicated course, in German.
I am, however not sure if it is still in print, because i bought it secondhand.


5. Posted by Falcons508 (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I doubt I will be able to go to Germany unless my uncle gets stationed there in a few years ( he's in the US army).

So should I get tapes or audiobooks to help with pronounciation?

6. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Tapes and Audiobooks are good.

But be aware that a lot of DVD's of American movies sold in Germany have German dubbing over as well as the English original. Often you can watch them with German dubbng and English subtitles or vice versa. It might be worthwile to order them from or This way you you use all of your senses to learn the language.

It is also fun to watch a movie you enjoy while learning a language.