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on June 2, 2012
It's hard to believe this program is being offered in 2012. The content is not bad, but the interface is so slow, clunky and antiquated you feel as if it must have been written in the early 80s. What is the point of learning language on a computer, if the program relies on retrieving the info from a CD ROM, and you spend most of your time waiting for the computer to pull up the CD data? When the programs work at all, BTW. Starting them takes a lot of poking around, because each CD seems to have a different start base, and the .exe that you actually do install on your PC, which tells you to insert a CD in any drive, does nothing much after you do that. You have to explore, find the program on the CD and start it from there. I have a 64 bit Windows 7 Pro computer with 16 GB of memory, and more than enough HD space, and again, this is 2012, not 1980, so why is this program set to run off of slow CDS? Who has time to waste waiting for the CD to pull up the program, or the next line of instruction, when you could be spending that time productively learning the language. This company needs to spring for a rewrite of their software.

Another thing is the vocabulary sections -- the first disk or two you can click a button to have it stream the vocabulary pictures and sound. By level 2, it requires you to click each one to see the picture and hear the sound, not once but TWICE for each word and sound. If you are an 7 year old child, sure, you may need the program to be this slow. If you are an adult, you are finding it hard to get through the vocabulary from the sheer slowness of the program, and could have done it two or three times faster but for that. So they REALLy need to rewrite that too.

Regarding level three, it says the phrases in English, when it shows them in German, before it says them in German. Now, at this point, if you have done the vocabulary, you really don't want it to say them in English first, because you want to puzzle out the meaning yourself. Say them in German, show them in German, and then, in English to CONFIRM that you got it right, or correct if you got it wrong. So that is frustrating too.

Again, the content is not bad, and if you have all the time in the world to wait for slow and buggy programs, you might find this acceptible. I find myself looking for something else written in the 21st century because, once again, I am trying to run the program and it is not running, so I have to tinker around with it to get it going - as if the little free time I have to learn language should be spend troubleshooting the computer program and not practicing.
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on April 24, 2012
It should be noted that this product DOES NOT work on the newest Lion Operating System for Mac (10.7.3) I JUST bought this laptop two weeks ago and it has the newest software available and when I received my German Lessons last week it would NOT run on my new computer. That information should be made available to buyers. It claims that it will work but it DOES NOT. That being said I tried the program on my windows computer and It works fine the program is very good, but if your only option in a new MAC, then i would advise caution!!!
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on May 11, 2012
I honestly don't know where to start. I guess i'll say this to give you some perspective. I never write reviews... never, even if the software is bad. But this company....

First off I know this is on Amazon so my first problem won't be an issue to you it will just show you how the company is. I paid the 49.99 off of Instant Immersions website and it took 11 days to get to my house. They said it would take 5-7 days so I was beginning to wonder. Eventually though it came in and I was like okay, human error happens whatever.

Plug the first CD in ran through it like a champ, actually liked it. It has an old outdated interface but who cares you're buying the product to learn a language not to be swooned over by it's aesthetic beauty. So when i'm finished I'm like hey let me move on to CD 2 of level one. Apparently CD 2 did not wan't me to move on. In fact I couldn't get out of CD 2. No exit button on the interface, and this one was way more outdated than the first CD. Before the interface popped up I was expecting more of the same but no this CD looked WAY different. It looked like a completely new product, like another company had made it. I eject the CD hoping it would bring me back to my desktop but no. After about 20 minutes of running through interfaces maze I admitted defeat and had to pull the plug on my laptop (Something very bad to do). So I won't be using disc 2 but never the less I am a positive person so in goes disc 3 with a smile on my face :) it quickly turns to this :(

Disk three seems to be stuck over in the corner of my desktop and I can not figure out how to go full screen.Thank fully I can still use the software though. It looks way different from both disc one and disc two but its bearable. I've yet to tinker with it much but I can tell that disc one is going to be way better. Have yet to put in Disc 4,5 and 6. Have yet to play the 70hr Oscar Lake game. The final straw that made me write this review was the dvd that comes with the software. It's supposed to have tons of learning stuff on there but I can't get passed the main menu. It wont let me select anything. It's like its constantly froze or something I don't know...

If you do decide to get this get it off amazon not their website because at least here you will get it. It is no Rosetta Stone, this company claiming it is should show you how much of an idiot they are. But I guess you can't expect to learn a language for $30. I didn't but I did expect to be able to learn way more than this. And the false advertising? Well it just pisses me off.
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on October 5, 2012
I should've spent the money on Rosetta Stone. For example, some of the first words you learn are ant and baseball bat. How often are you going to use those words in conversation? It spends too much time on cognates - I get that coffee is der Kaffee and house is das Haus. Why don't we work more on memorizing difficult words like Entschuldigung (sorry)? The program is also contradicts itself. In one section bus is der Bus, in another it's die Autobus. The lessons don't have any rhyme or reason. The play-back of your recording is cheap and really difficult to compare to the example. I like Rosetta Stone much better for that feature alone. Don't waste your money.
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on January 21, 2014
I took two semesters of German in college, taught by a native speaker that grew up in East Germany during the time of the Berlin Wall. I can definitely say that there is no comparison between learning the real thing in a classroom vs buying a $25 computer program. At the time, I thought the textbook, "Wie Geht's," was a bad choice by the University. Now I am disappointed that I sold it after finishing the course.

I bought this at Costco and am really disappointed. The amount of learning covered in my old college textbook, in just the first few chapters, far surpassed the entire scope of this program. I tried a few of the level one courses; upon completing the food section, it dawned on me that the amount of words you are learning are minimal. There are maybe 25 words for each subject. I also noticed a few errors in the program. For "vielen Dank" (many thanks) and "Danke" (thank you) they use the same exact picture of a person holding a bag of money. When I took the "hard" quiz for that section, they had both words/pictures on the same page and expected you to be able to distinguish between the two of them; which I apparently failed to do.

Bored with Level 1, I decided to jump all the way to level 3 and take a couple quizzes. The level of difficulty is no different for level 3 than it is for level 1; the only difference is that you are learning phrases instead of words. There is no emphasis on grammar and the four cases; these are very essential components of learning the German language!

Videos of the speakers are just an animation that plays every time you click on a word. The movement of their mouths does not match up with what they are saying. The male character does blink A LOT and it can be very distracting. I imagine that they are the same characters for every single language offered by instant immersion and a cheap attempt to add some interactivity to the program.

In short, don't waste your money on this program unless you are looking to upgrade your well-used and dilapidated box of "Beginner's German language flashcards."

Now to test out the "Instant Immersion six-month money back guarantee."
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on May 27, 2011
It is difficult to believe how amateurish this software is. No, "amateur" is not the word. I've used dozens of excellent Linux applications from the free software community, almost all written by amateurs. There "amateur" tends to mean solid, with few or no bugs, simply lacking some of the slickness of professional products (and not even always that). That does not describe this product.

No, this was probably written by true professionals, with too little time on their hands. No amateur working on this at night out of love would come up with this jumble of junk.

Instant Immersion is better described as juvenile, disorganized, and creaky. I'm sure the interfaces would have been truly 1987. It's worth knowing that it consists of six to ten separate, weakly linked products in one box. I imagine they were all written by one company, but they have slightly different feels and interfaces. (Yes, it turns out there are multiple ways to feel ugly and disorganized.) So you should read the subtitle "Levels 1, 2, and 3" as "Programs that were written by programmer 1, 2, and 3 in our shop. We let #3 use bigger words." (And hey, in Deutsch, the words can get really big!)

With all this in mind, you'll understand why I was relieved, rather than upset, to discover that some kind of bug rendered this program basically unusable on my MacBook (OS 10.5). With (literally) every single word that I attempted to learn in the "Talk Now Part I" program, a dialog box would appear to explain that a long unsigned integer was expected but not found. (I wasn't informed what was found instead. Hmm?) I sympathize, I really do. When I want an unsigned long integer and get, I don't know, a cheeseburger, it's really distressing. So this dialog box wants to know if I'd prefer to "Cancel" or "Quit". "Quit" is obvious enough--you give the program permission to crash. "Cancel", it turns out, means "ignore the cheeseburger and treat it as an unsigned long integer", or something. But click the wrong box, and your work learning German is done. It's like it was never tested. I'd assume this bug does not apply in Windows, nor in the previous (yellow) edition. But maybe I am being too generous.

Aside from the insufferable long integer dialog boxes, there are plenty of weaknesses that could be overlooked individually, but not in combination. For me the most severe was the requirement that you run the application from the CD-ROMs. I understand they want to protect their intellectual property (such as it is), but the performance hit you take from reading EVERY SINGLE NEW WORD off the CD is enormous. The program is just looking up a short audio file, a small and ugly image, and some letters. From memory, that would be a piece of cake. From the disk? Many seconds. Add on the way that the detective game "Where is some missing dude?" can only run in full-screen mode but using only a small subscreen (320x200 maybe? Or 480x300?); the way that the MP3 files are a zillion little one-word files (free of any context or even the English translations; the way that the program does not appear to engage you in conversation at any point.... Well, I think I've covered enough serious flaws.

It's true that I did not give the program much of a chance to show me some unexpected tight connections between the sections. I can't say whether it teaches grammar as well as vocabulary. Perhaps the advanced levels (which also have debugging dialog boxes) engage you in conversations.

You see, the program being so weak in all respects, I was glad to have a technical excuse to send it back for a refund. (I assume it's hard for the vendor to argue with "It pops up a pointless debugging dialog on Mac OS X for every single activity I attempt".)

Perhaps language-learning software is just an impossible dream. The pain of using the Instant Immersion program is far too great, and the expense of its most prominent yellow-boxed competitor (you know who I mean) is just far too steep. I am going to return to my previous German-learning technique: checking out the excellent Pimsleur language CDs from the local library, maybe buy some textbooks or workbooks.

I don't know what to say about all the positive reviews that the 2nd (yellow) edition of Instant Immersion receives. Are they using the same program I got? Did the 3rd (orange) version break everything that was beautiful in its predecessor? Or have we all come to expect sludge in a box when we buy software? I did not think I was a total software snob, but perhaps that's the answer. Anyway, if you are, too, then I thought you'd like to know why I found this program not worth the polycarbonate it was printed on.

But if you find something good, let us all know!
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on August 5, 2011
This is the only thing that you'll need to learn German quickly and efficiently. I had a brief layover in Germany, about nine hours, but I didn't want to spend those hours confused or disoriented from my lack of fluency in the native language. I searched for quite a bit of time for a solution to my language deficiency, but nothing was really 'working' for me- until I saw this product. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a problem similar to mine or to anyone who simply wants to learn a new language! I absolutely love the voice recording feature which allows you to finely 'tune' your pronunciation. I remember taking French in school, and this product is just like having a real teacher to guide and instruct you! Forget about books and other programs that offer maybe half of what this has to offer. If you aren't the 'school' type, and think that perhaps this program won't be able to hold your attention, think otherwise! There are many interactive games and even lessons you can simply transfer to your iPod (or other mp3 player) and listen while you go about your day. This worked for me and if you're looking to learn German (or perhaps another language that Instant Immersion offers), search no further!
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on January 5, 2015
Does not work on mac. I tried and tried, but every time it would load and crash. Not once did I learn a word, if you have a mac just be prepared for failure. Luckily it was only $35. I guess Ill have to go ahead and buy Rosetta Stone.
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on October 6, 2013
I bought this product on the recommendation of an elderly friend who really likes it. It is actually for my 10 year old son to help him learn and practice his German. I have mixed feelings about this product, because part of it seems more geared toward children, while other parts more towards adults (business vocabulary such as bank, hospital, hotel etc). Some of it is quite comical. If you answer something right a man or woman says "Ja" in a very comical way. We have not made it through all the way and are still on flash cards, but have played some "games". If you click on a picture a voice will say the word or phrase in German (which is very clear and easy to understand). It has also recording capability to record your response and listen to it. For the price I find the product ok. Some people compare this to Rosetta Stone, which I think runs several hundred dollars. While I cannot comment on Rosetta Stone, you do have to take into account the large price different and you probably get what you pay for. Since I speak German I can always help my son with questions. I was looking mainly for something my son can use to practice on his own.

The product comes on disks, not to install on your computer or laptop, but to play like a DVD. There was a note if the product does not start automatically to go through the start menu, which I had to do most of the time.
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on December 17, 2014
SO AWESOME! It gets you involved right away and it makes learning German a LOT of fun. I was using new German words after my first session! This is reallllly fun and so easy!! It also sharpens your hand / eye coordination as well as your memory.
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