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German Demystified: A Self Teaching Guide Paperback – June 26, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0071475617 ISBN-10: 0071475613 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Demystified
  • Paperback: 479 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071475613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071475617
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #586,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ed Swick taught German for 30 years. He is the author of Essential German Verb Skills and Practice Makes Perfect: German Pronouns and Prepositions.

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Customer Reviews

Very clear explanation of how/why, through example and tests.
A Bent Fan
In my opinion, if you want to learn the basic German sentence structure, then I recommend that you purchase this book.
Reiki Drake
I found that I had been speaking German without really understanding the grammatical foundations of the language.
Michael F. Redfield

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Woodnip on March 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Good German language books that can be used to teach yourself German seem to be few and far between but this is the one you want. It starts out assuming you know no German at all and proceeds from there. The pace of the material is exactly right so that you feel like you have a handle on the current material before moving on to the next. Along the way you learn alot of vocabulary, grammar and, unlike many other German language books, you even learn tips on how the Germans speak their language and what their customs are so get a better fram of reference on what is being said and why.

This book focuses very well on not only teaching you how to speak the German language but also how to read and write it as well. The book is divided into four parts (each with its own test at the end so you can measure your ability) and each part is divided into chapters (each with its own quiz). There are lots of both spoken and written exercises to help your learning along. The pronunciation section in the first chapter is the best I've seen in any German language text and will really help you pronounce the German vowels and consonants correctly.

Another great aspect of this book is its dedication to teaching the complex grammar of the German language. Far too many books I have seen teach you how to order lunch or ask for directions to the bathroom but make no mention of why the words are changing form from haben to habst to gehat. Now you you'll know not just how to say something in German but why you are saying it that way.

All the answers to the tests and the quizzes are in the back of the book in addition to an English-German and German-English dictionary.

A great self teaching tool for a great price.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Brian W. Capeloto, MD on September 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree whole-heartedly with Herr Hartmann. This course is comprehensive overview of German grammar, which has been constructed very carefully. Starting with a nicely described pronunciation section, the material builds upon itself from chapter to chapter. The book moves at lively but easy pace.

I think that the real genius of the method lies in the oral practice sentence lists which not only review and utilize the vocabulary but also drill the grammar points [without being overly tedious or boring]. The written exercises let one ponder the rules and understand German constructs.

Start at the beginning and work your way through the whole book. The results will be well worth the effort and amazing!

I absolutely enjoyed the course. Ed Swick has done an outstanding job!

I would like to request or suggest that recordings of the chapters [especially the oral practice sentences] by native German speakers be made available on-line or included in subsequent editions. You would have an awesome package!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Michael F. Redfield on April 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I speak German fluently and ordered this book to see how it compared to other "self-teaching" books. I was impressed by its thoroughness and clarity. I found that I had been speaking German without really understanding the grammatical foundations of the language. I do now. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning German.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on January 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book was just about perfect for me. I'd studied German in school decades ago and forgotten 90% of it. The material is presented in such a way that the language "came back" to me without a great deal of effort if I worked at it an hour or two daily. The written exercises and quizzes are frequent and important to do; they come in a variety of forms, though never asking to translate English to German or vice versa, which I felt contributed more to an "immersion" experience in the language.

I had few complaints, besides the fact that the book's title is misleading - in my opinion, it's IMPOSSIBLE to demystify this language so full of rules and exceptions to rules. The dictionary at the back often lacked words I was looking for, and the index was typically not helpful. Wanting to review something I'd remembered poorly, the index seldom helped me relocate it. However, don't be put off by the slap-happy cover design (which looks like it's meant to compete with "German for Dummies"). The tone of the book is friendly but not playful; it wastes no time getting down to business.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Reiki Drake on December 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book while studying German on a website. It is very helpful, because it walks the reader from writing basic sentences to writing more advanced sentences. The book has a section for verbal practice, but does not offer an audio CD to guide the reader through this process. The lack of an audio CD is the only criticism that I have for this book. I have written and chatted with several German people since buying this book. They are quite amazed with the results of my writing skills. I accredit this improvement solely to this book, because I have not used any other writing guides for the German language. In my opinion, if you want to learn the basic German sentence structure, then I recommend that you purchase this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michigoon VINE VOICE on September 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Back in the day, I tried to take a course that was using the Deutsche Na Klar series of books, which were anything but Klar (ha-ha). I wish I'd had German Demystified instead.

German Demystified is the total package. It starts out with simple, clear explanations of grammar. There's no pages of useless filler text like a "...For Dummies" book might have, and neither is it as boring as some traditional textbooks. There's just enough explanatory text to carry you through, no more and no less. Everything is clear, concise, and correct.

Not only do you get prep exercises and tons of useful information, but there are quiz portions at the end of each lesson. The exercises are clear in their intent, as they expect specific answers. If you're a self-learner, this is a sort of holy grail for textbooks. I don't know how many times, in a book like Na Klar, I'd give a response to a language quiz and find that the answer in the back shuffled words around in an unusual way so that my answer- saying the same thing in a slightly different (but correct) way- was hard to grade (I mean I think I'm saying the same thing, right?). Demystified does a good job cutting that out- questions are in a specific format that makes the expected format of your answer obvious from context. This also ensures you are tested accurately on the material, as you can't weasel around a subject using words you're more comfortable with.

Plus, this book is relatively cheap. Good textbooks like this, with quiz portions, normally run multiples of this book's price. I won't name the price I paid for Na Klar, but I can say that looking back I should have skipped out on that class and dined out at a fine French restaurant instead. And dined with my girlfriend. And asked for the wine menu.
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