Customer Reviews: Living Language German, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning
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on September 15, 2011
This product is amazing, far beyond my expectations of it. The best part is the audio CD's follow almost exactly along with the book. In some ways it's better than rosetta stone and others it isn't. But I would definitely recommend this over Rosetta stone just because it has course books and exercises to do. Hope this helps!! :)
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on March 21, 2012
I bear a great love for languages, and my first language I ever developed quite fully was German, through the Living Language complete German program course. Though the course does not necessarily make you an advanced or fluent speaker despite the title of the final book, I was surprised with what knowledge I had attained after I finished it. It is probably one of the best courses out there for beginning students; it starts off nice and easy and doesn't overwhelm you with too much at first (unlike a Russian course of a different edition from the same company I got that failed to be structured in as easy a manner). The first few chapters equip you with what you could call basic survial words and phrases which is helpful, and the grammar is spread out evenly through each chapter so that you learn a little of it as you keep progessing instead of taking it in in large segments. There are also unit tests after every three or four chapters to test what you've learned.

Overall it is structured to take you long in an amazingly easy-flowing way. You will remember most of what you learn and most likely have little difficulty with the course. After you complete the course, you will probably have to be creative and find some verb, vocabular, and grammar building books separately to maintain and increase your knowledge, but this, I found, worked for me as it gave me freedom to explore different books. My grammar comprehension grew a little hazy near the end but I picked it up in a jiffy through other books.

5 stars, awesome company and course. Good luck if you learn it! ...Oder, vielen gluck!
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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 March 28, 2013
My original expecations were low, but I really like the latest version of the Living Language Complete programs. I am about half way through the German course, trying to brush up on my somewhat dormant German. This package covers grammar from very simple to fairly advanced language patterns. The progression of information presented is logical, and overlaps just enough to maintain contact with themes covered in previous lessons.

Seeing vocabulary and language patterns in context is great, but I also like seeing tables and charts that summarize a commplete grammatical structure at a glance. Those are found in the back of the books.

I am a language teacher, but was a graphic designer. The books in the program really use design well to communicate progress and to make the information accessible.

I don't like hearing so much English on the CDs, especially in the early parts of the program, but the recordings are still quite useful overall.

I don't think I've seen so much learning material at this price. I'll buy others in this growing series. Hindi is coming out later this year. Cool!
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on June 5, 2013
Yeah, I know evryone in Germany speaks English but I thought it would be a good idea to know some basics before we left on our trip. I listen to the CD's in (DC) rush hour to and from work. I have even surprised myself at how much my vocabulary has increased. This was WAY cheaper than the Stone process.
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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! [hurry]
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on August 19, 2014
This is a poorly designed program that will teach you very little German without a lot of effort on your part and even then you will not learn all that much. It is mostly a vocabulary and phrase builder. The lessons employ no higher level learning techniques. It is mostly hearing vocabulary and phrases said in both English and German and then repeating them. The lessons also have very little overlap, which means it is much harder to retain what you learn from lesson to lesson. It is better than merely buying a text of German phrases because the CDs have native speakers on them and for the money it is a pretty decent primer. I guess one cannot expect too much for $30. However, if you really want to learn and retain German with a higher level of interactive learning and thinking in the language, then I would recommend something that follows the Pimsleur method such as goGerman. Many think Pimsleur is boring, but once the Pimsleur CDs get going you are thinking and retaining far more German in less time because the method moves the new language from short to long term memory and actually challenges you to construct your own sentences. The Living Language method is basically nothing more than rote memorization.
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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 September 27, 2013
My impressions after a few hours with this course:

This is an incredible value. I'm traveling to Germany in three months and have little free time so I had initially bought this with the intent of using the 9 audio CD's with my 45 minute commute every morning and evening but I can already see that the audio works best in tandem with book.

The pacing of the three text materials so far seems excellent. Though small, these things are loaded with activities, making this feel more like a self taught "class." They even throw in a Living Language notebook (sort of like a blank journal) to assist you in your studies, complete with that "new book" smell.
The audio is very clear and I enjoy the use of repetition, though I would like to note that the pacing of the audio is a little faster than that of the book and I find myself pausing frequently to complete activities.

All in all when compared to the outrageously expensive Rosetta Stone, or even the 300 dollar German college courses at my local university, this really appears to be a lot of bank for your buck!
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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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