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German Complete Course [Ebook & Audio Book]

German Complete Course [Ebook & Audio Book]
Random House | ISBN: 1400023378 | 2004-04-12 | MP3 | 110 MB

The German Complete Course package includes a 40-lesson coursebook, two 90-minute audio cassettes (or three CDs), and a German-English dictionary. It is intended for "beginners or those who want a thorough review" — goals for which the course is very well suited.

Each of the 40 lessons is printed in the coursebook in German and English. The accompanying tapes or CDs are in German only, a plus for someone who needs to get used to hearing only German. The audio recordings are clear and distinct, featuring both male and female voices (another plus). The 40 lessons are well organized and make a gradual progression from simple to more complex German.

The first several lessons introduce the sounds of words, the alphabet, and the German spelling system. Later lessons are thematic ("Have you two met?" or "Apartment hunting") and the phrases are presented in a group that has a certain logic. Grammar is introduced as needed. There are also short review quizzes that help you check your progress. Although this is a very traditional instructional approach, it is effective. Anyone who thoroughly completes the 40 lessons will have a good foundation in "survival German" and a solid basis for continued learning.

The coursebook also features a well-done German grammar summary, including verb charts, and even a short section on writing letters (or email?). The vocabulary is useful and current - up to a point ("fax" but not "email" or "tippen"). When the course was updated, they missed a few items.

Why would anyone need to say "Ein Ferngesprдch, bitte." ("May I have long distance, please?) in this age of direct dialing? And does anyone still send telegrams anymore? Despite a few gaps in present-day vocabulary (a bit more about computers would have been nice), the course does introduce the learner to a good basic vocabulary. But the dictionary of about 15,000 words is limited mostly to just the vocabulary used in the course. I would recommend that any serious learner purchase a more complete paperback German-English dictionary with at least 30,000 words or better.

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