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German Quickly: A Grammar for Reading German 6th Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0820467597
ISBN-10: 0820467596
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Editorial Reviews


«April Wilson is to be congratulated for her clear, logical and concise presentations of German grammar to which the proverbs add much life and human insight. She has provided the profession with a superb pedagogical tool, and anybody studying German for reading knowledge or simply reviewing German grammar should be thankful that this book exists.» (Wolfgang Mieder, University of Vermont)
«Based on April Wilson’s very popular reading course for students in the University of Chicago community, ‘German Quickly’ is an absolute delight. It is witty, lively and exciting. The on-going adventures of Fräulein Meier and the mailman entice readers from one lesson to the next, and having them translate extracts from Nietzsche, Goethe, Buber and other literary heavyweights instills a definite sense of accomplishment as they progress. Explanations of the grammar combine wonderful clarity with a sympathetic ear to the beginner’s difficulties. This newly revised edition is to be warmly welcomed.» (Jonardon Ganeri, University of Liverpool)

Language Notes

Text: English, German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 430 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.; 6 edition (August 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820467596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820467597
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
To start with I didn't have any particularly keen interest in German. While browsing through books in the library I chanced across Ms Wilson's book and started leafing through it. I was really impressed by the flowing, homely style of presentation and I decided to learn the language seriously.
Here are some of the salient features that make the book so helpful for beginners (this is the first foreign language that I have started learning, other than English which I learned as a kid):
1. Well chosen exercises after each chapter. To get the full benefit from the book, one must do all the exercises. I personally found that I could easily manage a chapter a day for the firsr few chapters, and then a chapter per two or three days for the later ones.
2. Sense of humor. Yes, in this regard it is doubtlessly one of the best textbooks that I have ever read in my life. And this is in sharp contrast with some of the other texts that are available in the market (for instance the texts that are used for the beginning German courses at Stanford. Oh, why are those books SO devoid of humor?)
3. Using proverbs to teach German. This is a great idea that should be used in teaching any language. Proverbs are those little simple sentences that somehow stick in our minds more than other things do. That's why they survive so long. Now Ms Wilson smuggles the German vocabulary into the reader's mind in packets of these proverbs.After reading the German for "When there is fire in the heart, there's smoke in the head", it is hard to forget that Rauch means smoke.
4. No language book for beginners can be expected to be full of real examples of great literary value, since those will be above the level of the average reader.
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Format: Paperback
I first studied German over twenty years ago, and found it isn't like riding a bicycle -- if you let it go, it goes. I've studied several languages, so perhaps I can be forgiven, but when I started seminary I found that there were various pieces that were important to read that could only be found in German, or while they were available in English translation, the original language was important to capture the nuances of the arguments. When I looked to my old textbooks for German, they didn't seem designed to be re-learned quickly.

I was very pleased to find this book, German Quickly. As a seminarian, I appreciated the fact that the author April Wilson had also been through a divinity programme. She specialised in teaching German to graduate students who needed to quickly capture the language so that they could read fairly high-level academic articles and texts for their studies. This particular book is very good at helping students in the humanities -- German is also important for those in the sciences, but this book does not cover the particular scientific terminology; that being said, this would be a good primer for German generally, and students could then go on to master the nuances of scientific language.

One of the best features of this text are the stories and text samples at the ends of the sections. Wilson takes these from all manner of sources -- the story of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac from the Bible, pieces from works by Martin Buber and Friedrich Nietzsche, and other writings make for interesting, realistic learning. These are not artificial constructs, but rather perfect examples of the kinds of actual reading that needs to be done.

There is also humour and style in the 'ordinary' exercises. How does one translate 'Ich bin ein Berliner'?
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Format: Paperback
I have both this book and German for Reading Knowledge. German Quickly is by far more helpful and worth every penny. It was developed by the author after years of teaching students how to read/translate German (without worrying about speaking). Because the focus is on translation and not "learning" German language in the manner of a formal school course, the book is much more intuitive than any other I have encountered on this topic. After working with this book for 5 weeks, I was able to translate an amazing amount of German!
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Format: Paperback
April Wilson's German Quickly is the best German grammar for reading available. Ms. Wilson brings nearly thirty years of experience preparing graduate students for the German exam at the University of Chicago to this marvellously concise and lively grammar, and her experience shows. German Quickly is designed, as its title indicates, to produce rapid progress in German through several weeks of intense study. Rapid comprehension of complex paradigms and irregularities is facilitated with very clear charts and lists of essential rules at the beginnings of each chapter. Since it is assumed that the owner of this book will use it primarily to improve reading skills, Ms. Wilson does not clutter the text with rarely-encountered exceptions and colloquialisms, or verb forms that tend to be absent in literature and academic prose. Instead she identifies those verbs, nouns, prepositions, and syntactical constructions that are most frequent and most troublesome, and returns to them often.
One of the most effective aspects of German Quickly is its repetition of "essential" vocabulary items throughout the chapters. The reader is spared the trouble of constantly flipping back through previous chapters to recall an important word, since the most important words are repeated in several lessons, marked with an asterix. Additionally the exercises provide constant review of the most important grammatical constructions, which the reader must learn both to recognize in readings and to produce in English-to-German composition.
German Quickly can be used as a handy reference grammar after the student has mastered the basics.
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