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Showing 1-10 of 207 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 214 reviews
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 December 19, 2013
I'm not too far into the program. I do like this program and I like how it teaches you why and the reasons for the way things are done in German and their grammar rules. I do sometimes find it confusing though. I find that I like this program for the way it starts out. Basics, and gradually gets you familiar with the words. I recently ordered Rosetta Stone. So, I've been using these together. This explains why and gives more of a lesson when Rosetta Stone teaches without any explanation or english. I also downloaded the living language app for my android and use it on the go. The app is excellent. Definitely a good buy for the price. I do find it somewhat boring so I like switcing it up to Rosetta Stone for the active part in learning the language. But I do recommend this for anyone wanting to start out.
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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 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---
Essential
Intermediate
Advanced

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 May 25, 2013
It is not meant to replace conventional language classes, but will suffice as a refresher or as a warm up for more traditional lessons. Just returned to school and will be starting German next semester (for the next eight semesters, UGH!), heard that these classes are pretty intense(Columbia U. in NYC), and since I have never spoken a word of German I decided to purchase this as an intro course, just to get a little bit under my belt. I am so glad I did. The lessens are at a great pace, very clear and concise pronunciation and intonation, decent explanation of grammar, pronoun, gender, and verb usage. I would recommend purchasing a couple of books on vocabulary and grammar, if only to build up on the lessons, if you plan on becoming entirely fluent as I am. Great little package for the price, and you can log onto the website for flashcards and games to switch it up a bit. Not sure how it compares to Rosetta Stone, but for the price difference, I'm very satisfied. In the end they're all the same, you get what yo put into it...Practice, practice practice!!!
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on March 7, 2014
was worth the price. is helpful, the CDs work fine. the only issue is that sometimes there is less explanation of the grammar than I would like. This, combined with Fluenz has been very effective for me. I'm self teaching, and don't have anyone really to speak with on a regular basis, but I do use the language somewhat in my line of work. Basically its sufficient, but probably not good enough to learn the language on your own without any other resources. Rosetta stone is terrible for learning grammar. And german is very very very weird with grammar compared to english. Rosetta is great for vocabulary. This is decent and worth what I paid for it. But again, needs some work on explaining grammar.
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on February 4, 2017
Hallo! (Hello c: )

First; I'll update the review as I progress through the books (Essential, Intermediate and Advanced).

But I just got it in the mail today (The set) and am already extremely pleased and excited to learn German. I am not going into this blindly, however, as I've been using YouTube lessons and DuoLingo lessons long beforehand. I read the first few pages of the book and they made me extra excited to learn German! The package arrived earlier than expected, in outstanding shape, and I am very pleased.

Auf Wiedersehen! (Goodbye! C: )
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on September 16, 2012
Living Language courses are great for introducing grammar and vocab. The exercises in the books are helpful for reinforcing what you read and listen to.
I own the Complete German and the Complete French courses and recommend them both. If you buy them though, make sure you purchase another workbook and some vocab building books also. The exercises in the books are good, but you'll need more to keep practicing. And, can you really ever have a big enough vocabulary?
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on June 18, 2014
This is a pretty good self-learning language system. Especially for the price +/- $30. It moves kind slow in the beginner's workbook, because it requires repetition. The Russian's have a saying: "Repetition is the mother of learning." (Повторение - мать учения)
I noticed the workbook provides big spaces for fill in the blanks exercises. I recommend writing the word or phrase several times. The repetition will help it stick in your memory. I did that in my Russian textbooks at the university as suggested by my professor. It really helped. If you really want to learn German or another language from Living Language you will need to eventually use other sources, but this is a great place to start as far as I can see.
Good luck! Buena suerte! Ни пуха ни пера! Viel Glück!
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