Customer Reviews: German Made Simple: Learn to Speak and Understand German Quickly and Easily
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on October 20, 2006
When I was in graduate school I had to pass a reading competence test in German. Since then, I have not done much studying in this area. However, recently I decided I wanted to review and practice what I learned and I have been searching for good resources.

After looking at many books and bringing along someone who is fluent in German, I settled on this as one of my primary resources. This book is well-organized, comprehensive and to the point. It also has very good exercises, stories and tips for learning the language. You can buy this book with confidence.

The pace of this book is quick and if you haven't studied German before, you may want to get supplementary resources. However, this text provides an excellent roadmap and you can use other books, tapes and software to support its basic approach.
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on December 8, 2007
I've been learning German this semester and it has been sooo hard. This book is far more organized than my college textbooks and so much cheaper. I've had so much anxiety watching my peers fly through the course effortlessly. From the very first chapter of German Made Simple, my German comprehension sky rocketed. I am having a much easier time understanding words and how they're strung together to make sentences.
Definitely add this book to your study material. I bought the Living Language CDs and it was a nightmare. Buy this instead.
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on August 21, 2011
I bought "German Made Simple" after purchasing several "learn German yourself" books. I have been trying to learn this language for the past few months. I bought audio CDs, beginner phrase books and even scoured the Internet for a good website. Of course, all of these were to no avail in teaching me German. Then, I discovered "German Made Simple". Best purchase of my life.
Many of the other products I bought had me memorizing dozens upon dozens of phrases that didn't help me much beyond introducing myself. I am the sort of language learner where I want to know how to construct my own sentences. I love to learn about grammar. If I have a firm grasp of the basics, I can skyrocket in my ability to learn more difficult stuff.
Not only did this book teach grammar, but it taught so much vocabulary in a way that is workable and not too overwhelming. I think in the first ten sections alone, your vocabulary ranges to around 300 or so words. I also thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue at the beginning of each section that used previous and new grammar and vocabulary in context.
The only downside of this book is the information overload concerning grammar in the first part of the book. My recommendation is to take it slow through the first ten chapters, especially where it explains noun declension. I was very confused at that part. I purchased "Handbuch zur Deutschen Gramatik (second edition)" at a discount book store and that helped tremendously with that. There are dozens of websites that explain that as well. I also used the website "Quizlet" and made my own flashcards of German vocabulary in each chapter. That was a lifesaver.
So, if you are in the same boat as me, this purchase would probably be the best decision of your life. It was mine. Not only did I learn how to speak and understand German (of what I know), but I know how to write and read in the language as well. The activities are great as is the whole book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is learning or has learned German.
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on October 1, 2009
I bought this four months ago and loved it the moment I opened it with the cute font and the way each chapter takes an interaction and gives the meaning on the right side column, vocabulary at the end and then grammar discussions and extensive exercises.
It also smoothly progresses using a single theme of an American businessman learning German and interacting with his teacher and traveling to Germany and so on with progressive increase in grammatical structures.
Can't pass a day without even reading something from this book. Even take it with me if I travel for even a few days. Have to open this at least once a day!

Only con was the inadequate index of German terms at the end of the book. There is no single place to look up the German words unless you knew which chapter it occurred in first so if you came across a word in some dialog or exercise in chapter 33 and if it is not listed in the vocabulary right there you are on your own if it is missing from the index at the end of the book also; have to search previous chapters tediously. This is the only problem I faced. But overcome by the good things of this book if you kept a dictionary such the Collins.
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VINE VOICEon July 3, 2011
We are learning German for the summer. The title is completely accurate. The way the book is laid out and the explanations really make this an easy way to learn. My kids and I are having no problems being able to read and speak some German. We are just beginning but so far we are having a ton of fun!
The book starts with describing related German and English words. Some examples are Mann-man, Haus-house, Onkel-uncle, kalt-cold. The book then moves into German letters and sounds in words and sentences. The next chapters involve Mr. Clark being taught German by Mr.Muller and so we follow along and are taught as well. The book includes the answer key and glossary for vocabulary.
The book also contains exercises and a review at the end of the chapters.
I chose German and my kids are interested in learning Italian so I am buying the Italian Made Simple book. We are learning and we are having fun. The best part is that my kids are excited to continue and learn other languages and we will be using another Made Simple book!
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on September 24, 2012
I really don't know why this book is getting good reviews from so many other people, besides maybe the fact that it's cheap. I like that the price is low, but that doesn't make it a good product. Let's start with the description on the back: "Void of all nonessentials." Well, by the end of this book, you still won't know how to make small talk or book a room at a hotel, but you WILL know the words for "sailboat" and "industrious." When was the last time you used "industrious" in English?

Then there's the teaching method. Every section contains a long description of a series of events, followed by a selection of vocabulary and a grammar unit. Sounds fine in theory, except that the vocab seems chosen at random and the descriptive passages are almost entirely useless for getting by in a German-speaking country. For example, there is a description of a scene where someone's car breaks down. The passage simply lists the fact that someone stopped to help and fixed the tire, rather than making any attempt to train the reader as to what to say if their car breaks down in Germany. Another reading piece has the characters going to a restaurant, and then just says "Alle bestellten irhe Lieblingsgerichte/everyone ordered their favorite dishes" with no dialog whatsoever. Great, very helpful.

I guess if your ultimate aim in learning German is to read a lot of novels in the language, this is the book for you. If you want to use it to actually speak to a normal person, look elsewhere.
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on February 19, 2012
I purchased this book after completing all 5 levels of the Rosetta Stone German program. After completing all 5 levels, I was able to converse fairly well in German, but my grammar was not very good. Presently, I am about 1/3 through this book, and I must say, this book has done a great job of answering the grammar questions I had, which were not covered in Rosetta Stone. If you are serious about learning German, this is a good tool, especially in conjunction with a software program.
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on June 13, 2009
I have been using the text book German Made Simple for a few years with teaching German to mature students. I have found the book to be an excellent tool because it is an easy text to study and it is very helpful for English speaking students to learn grammar. As any teacher of the German language would know, Germa grammar is a very difficult part of the German language. I have found over many years of teaching that I have to teach students English grammar before I can start teaching German grammar. The text book is well laid out in practical exercises as well as interesting text to make students want to learn. I can thoroughly recommend this text book to tutors of German.
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on August 29, 2011
I am using this as a supplement to Rosetta Stone German. This book is very easy to use and very informative. This book helped to answer many of the basic grammar questions that the Rosetta Stone Program assumes you don't need answered with their learning method. For instance, Rosetta Stone wants you to learn by subject-verb association, without explaining the basics of conjugation. This book teaches the basic rules of conjugation and aids the reader in understanding when certain verb-endings should be applied. It also teaches the reader how to identify masculine/ feminine /and neuter nouns and articles (an/the/a), and very simply explains the difference in the forms of singulars and plurals. The book also provides a very detailed explanation on pronunciation of consonants, vowels, and umlauts. I recommend this in conjunction with any other program that uses an auditory approach.
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on October 5, 2012
I read the reviews and still bought this. It's true, it's pretty good. Only thing is it won't give translations to words if it was in a prior chapter so be warned. you need to buy a dictionary bc you won't know all the words. learning another language is hard. I took rosetta stone for 2 years and did workbooks of french for another 2 years. just came back from long trip to paris. i still had trouble gettting around. this stuff is going to be hard. it is easier to understand and presented well here but it's going to be hard. you have to memorize a lot . there's a lot of vocab
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