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on April 23, 2014
I rely on these reviews for purchase via Amazon so it's time to contribute again...
I may be visiting Germany soon and wish to at least understand a bit of the language. In the past all my attempts to learn other languages was hopeless. The latest attempt was web based, I did pick up some ability, but was stuck.
I figured for the price I would try this CD Audio, and, expected maybe a few CD's in a plastic case. Incorrect! The box that arrived has 9 CD's in a sleeve broken into three separate courses. Each of the three levels (Beginner, intermediate, advanced) are accompanied by a workbook. They even included a notebook to write in, unnecessary but welcome.
Listening to the (3 beginner) CD's on my daily commute, each is broken into vocabulary, grammar, and other practical helpful exercises. Every cause worth pursuing requires commitment, and that is really true for learning language. I have listened to each of the first three cd's at least four times and am beginning to understand conversation and can even structure and speak some basic sentences. One draw back is not being able to use the workbook while driving. Looking through it, it appears very helpful and would speed up the learning.
At first the structure of instruction was just a bit confusing. They really get into speaking proper German verses just trying to communicate (that is why it's so important to listen several times to each CD). In fact, it's so concerned with speaking another language well it was a bit to much for me to follow while driving. If you have the discipline and desire to learn German this is certainly a great option. All in all a great value.
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on March 6, 2017
I bought the French version of this a year or so ago to learn some basic French to get around Paris and surrounding countryside. Knowing zero about French, I found the Living Language product all I needed to get basic, conversational French up enough that French people, while sometimes laughing, seemed to appreciate the effort. With German, which I had in high school and college, I decided to try Living Language's complete edition to refresh mein Deutsche Sprache for an upcoming trip. I really like it too. You can go at your own pace, check yourself, and have native speakers and a disembodied SIRI type English speaker explain what's going on, including grammar - which is always a challenge with German. I considered other choices, such as Rosetta Stone, but that seemed expensive to me for what I needed. I highly recommend Living Language. Going to Russia in a couple years, I intend to refresh my limited Russian using their product then, too.
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on September 18, 2015
I'm half German and so is my husband. He was born and raised in Germany and is fluent in the language. Both my mom and younger sister still live there as well. So, to get to the point, having a background in the language; It's time to become fluent. FINALLY.

I really chose this program based on price, but the reviews did help a lot. It comes handy with it's own book holder. It has 3 workbooks---

It has a nice sized notebook, and then a tri-fold with 9 audio discs.

The books are straight to the point, with a TON of information on each page. I have to put the books down, let the information simmer and then get back to it. There hasn't been an area where I've been like "ok this is a waste of time." I mean, I paid about $31 bucks and for the price I am on my way to a new language.

The audio discs are basic and I wish it was a bit more organized. When it comes to pronunciation and dialect, it is on point.

The online community is very basic too, but I think the little games they have really help.

Now; I'm very lucky to have many German speaking family members, because that is what is ultimately going to help me become fluent. You need to make sure whatever language you are learning, you can find someone to converse with.

If you want to learn a language, you need to jump on these programs. Just do it...now....scnhell! [hurry]
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on April 9, 2015
These courses like all self-study course will not do the job by themselves. But they are absolutely great to augment any other self study regimen you may be following. I use Rosetta Stone as my primary learning tool. Those courses are great for quick learning and absolutely unique in teaching pronunciation and speaking skills. But they don't teach RULES, which are a sine qua non of actually knowing a language, as opposed to speaking "some" of a language. That's where these books are helpful. I have used the German course to learn the incredibly difficult and complex changes to articles and adjectives by gender and case. That information is presented in an easy-to-understand series of tables in the first book. All the RS experience you could ever get won't teach you what this book teaches you in its very first volume. The Living Language Arabic course (I may as well put all my reviews in one basket) has a great separate volume on reading Arabic, which enabled me to learn to read that language in mere weeks! RS can't possibly, I believe, teach anybody to READ Arabic. Whatever language you are beginning to learn, by all means make these courses, in whatever language, a part of your study program.
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on November 4, 2016
Usage drives perception, in part. I do a lot of language learning in my car, and for that the old-fashioned Berlitz Method (which even Berlitz seems to not use anymore) is the best way: drill, practice, drill, practice. The Berliz method was partly driven by the storage constraints of the medium, but the result was a masterfully organized approach which taught quite a few words and phrases in a surprisingly short time.

The Living Language set, on the other hand, has a lot of useless chattiness. (This seems to be the bane of most modern language learning discs: they seem to be more intent on broadcasting than teaching, assuming you will only hear the content once.) On repeated hearings, chirpy explanations get irritating. The pace also feels uneven because of the amount of non-learning talk. This set thankfully avoids the fake, "Ok, that was great!" but there is a lot of preparatory and explanatory content that could be left out in favor or real content. For example, at the beginning of a section you would hear a voice say something like, "Lesson 5, Common Expressions." Right after that another voice says, "In this lesson, you will learn some common expressions in German. As you know by now, listen to the phrase and repeat..." By now I am muttering "shut up and give me the phrases."

German conjugation is somewhat complicated and could use more examples, and possibly have a little more vocabulary before getting heavily into it. Once again, cutting out the chatty filler could make room for that.

Now, to someone sitting in their living room the pace and content may be fine; to me it feels like a waste of time. This is not the worst foreign language learning set I have ever purchased, but it is not the best.
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on December 26, 2017
Very good beginner course. As always in language learning it should NOT be your only resource but it is an excellent start, especially for the price. I would put this course at a high B1 low B2 if you really drill it into your head and supplement vocabulary and verbs, native material and music. I'll be completing this, Assimil, FSI, and Teach Yourself within the next year, then taking the C1 exam in December 2018. I'll let you know how it goes! All in all, it is an excellent start into real German, and it isn't boring. If you have $30 please give this a go.
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on December 9, 2017
Hello fellow Deutsch learners,

I highly recommend this language package if your are really wanting to learn German! It’s really easy to read and easy to follow with the book and CD combined! There isn’t really much to say about it and nothing negative to say. I really enjoy and it’s very thorough!
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on December 16, 2016
I bought this to speak to my German step-father, and make my American mother practice her German. I like how the books follow the audio, it's helpful.
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on April 15, 2016
I picked this up from amazon when in a remote part of South Korea because German lessons were inaccessible where I lived. I knew no German, and had no idea what to expect from the language. But this is a great book to start learning German with. The exercises are simple enough to follow, and the explanations in English are helpful when you're just starting out.The glossary at the back has a list of useful vocab from the lessons, as well as a listing of useful, basic grammar.
The CDs are great listening practice, and as advised, it helps to repeat the words right after they're spoken to get the most out of the exercises, and enhance retention and pronunciation.
Depending on how much time you set aside for it, you can finish it as quickly or as slowly as you want. By the end of the books, you will go much faster, and understand things more clearly than from the beginning.but for anyone that wants to go beyond the basics of language recognition.
The book itself, will help you reach about level A1 in speaking, and upto A2 in grammar. Anyone expecting to go deeper into the language should supplement this with other language learning tools (Duolingo, grammar workbooks, movies, tv series) for more comprehensive learning. The book comes with a weblink for additional exercises that are fun to do. Great starting point for anyone that wants to learn German.
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on November 10, 2015
I checked out so many German language courses from the library and just couldn't find one I liked. I didn't try Rosetta due to cost...so I tried this one largely due to the economical price and discovered that it was the best one I had heard! (Of course, I can't compare it to Rosetta.) I highly recommend this German language course. The books are good, the audio CD is very helpful and I like the progression they use to teach.
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