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My confusing method

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38 messages over 5 pages: 1 2 3 4
United States
Joined 2566 days ago

23 posts - 31 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German

 Message 33 of 38
22 July 2015 at 2:54am | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
..........Assimil is a very good course but I find it extremely useful
to combine it with a more systematic resource, such as a grammar book..........

What I think could help is supplementing it with a good enough grammar book with
exercises. Does the Simple book have those? I am very content with Klipp und Klar
published by Klett. It is German only but that is not a problem if you use it
alongside Assimil. And I think it is more fun to learn the grammar in the order of
appearance elsewhere than going from cover to cover. There are examples and some

that's it

4.Get Klipp und Klar or another pleasant, easy to use grammar book with exercises.

I just wanted to chime in about Assimil and grammar. I have zero background in German,
and started the newest Assimil course for it (just entitled "German" in English). I am
9 lessons in, and quite enjoy it. The voice quality is wonderful and quite pleasant to
listen to. The audio isn't so slow as to seem unnatural, but the speak so clearly
that even tricky or long words are easy to repeat. It really is quite refreshing from
audio I've experienced in other languages that seems to have more English than the
target language.

The grammar for German seems to be no joke, though. Day 8 and already the subjunctive
is getting thrown around! I came to the conclusion that I needed to get a grammar
supplement to use with this. I have a few grammars, but wanted to get something with
drills. Always wanting to support local used book stores, I went and got a copy of
Hugo's German in 3 Months, original printing in 1969,
Teach Yourself German, 1971 copy,
Colloquial German from 1941,
Berlitz Self-Teacher German from 1950

Does anyone more experienced in German know how much the language has changed? I know
there are spelling reforms and all, but the new Assimil is up to date on that. Is
grammar more or less left unchanged? Or would it be a poor idea to use such an old
grammar? I see books on Amazon like Essential German Grammar that are getting rave
reviews even half a century after publication, so it makes me think I shouldn't worry
too much, but outside opinions are always welcome.

All told, buying all of these set me back $1.50, so it is absolutely not a problem if
they should be seen of as more of a novelty than a wise investment for study time. If
nothing else, they make my bookshelf look good ;)

The reviews of that Klipp und Klar book make it seem good, but maybe a bit too
advanced since I am a beginner: e-

Any other suggestions for a good basic grammar with exercises/drills to use alongside
Assimil if none of the old Berlitz, TY, Hugo, or Colloquial are a good idea? Or,
alternatively, if older grammars are fine, any suggestions on which to work through?
The Berlitz I'd probably skip since it has no explicit grammar from what I see. Of the
others, it looks like the TY (by Sir John Adams) is the simplest, with Hugo covering
more grammar, and then the Colloquial book (by Doring and revised by Hubmann-Uhlich)
seems a bit more ambitious. It h as four parts including grammar lessons, reading
exercises in literature and well-known poems, etc.....

If the age of these isn't an issue, I'd probably work through the TY since it looks
simplest and then the Colloquial since it has extra reading exercises.

Lastly, are there any German writers known to be straight-forward in their prose? The
German Hemingway, if you will. I'd love to get a shorter book to have as a goal to
work towards reading like what I see people do with French and The Stranger by Camus.
I am not much of a Harry Potter fan.

I hope it was ok to put this in your thread! It seemed topical :)
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United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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235 posts - 453 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Dutch, Norwegian, Japanese

 Message 34 of 38
22 July 2015 at 4:52am | IP Logged 
I would suggest you get a book that's actually devoted to grammar. Hugo, Colloquial, and the others
that you mentioned aren't. Routledge has a lot of really good German grammar books, some of them
have exercises in the same book and the ones that don't generally also have an analogous workbook
(the advantage being that you get more exercises if you have a seperate workbook).

The grundstufe Klipp und Klar should be just fine for someone who is a beginner. The topics are A1-
B1. Did you look at the sample of the book on Klett's website? If you click Im Buch blättern you'll be
able to see a good chunk, if not all, of the book which should give you a good idea of the level.

Right now I'm working through German in Review. Which I chose primarily because it's on my shelf
and the explanations are better than Huber's Essential Grammar of German (which is also on my
3 persons have voted this message useful

United States
Joined 2566 days ago

23 posts - 31 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German

 Message 35 of 38
22 July 2015 at 5:55am | IP Logged 
Thanks for your input, aokoye. Good point. If I want to learn the grammar, I should get
something focused on the grammar.

I just ordered "Essential German Grammar" by Durrell, Kohl, and Loftus. A new edition
just came out and the first edition is quite cheap. From the look inside, it appears
there are about 60 pages of grammar exercises, with key, after the grammar book itself!
If I am left wanting more, German in Review by Kimberly Sparks appears to have an amazing
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4142 days ago

235 posts - 453 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Dutch, Norwegian, Japanese

 Message 36 of 38
22 July 2015 at 6:12am | IP Logged 
What's also nice about the Sparks book is that it's easily available used. If you do get it the full
answer key can be hard to find but, turns out, a professor at Brigham Young University put it on a
website for one of his courses. Mind you, it took a surprising amount of searching to find it, but it's
out there. Note that the publisher has a version of the answer key on their website but it's only to a
key for some of the exercises in the Lehrbuch. I'm assuming that the one the BYU professor put up is
the key that's available to professors (which from what I can tell is also free but you need to have a
instructor's account to access).
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Senior Member
United States
Joined 2013 days ago

136 posts - 149 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 Message 37 of 38
26 July 2015 at 3:36am | IP Logged 
rdearman wrote:
I'm going to give you my opinion which you can feel free to ignore. Here is
my 5 step plan for you to learn German.

1) Forget about A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 or any other grading system, immediately!
2) Do not less than 3 hours per week of learning in German, either coursework, grammar lessons,
Anki vocabulary, etc.
3) Do not less than 2 hours per week of FUN stuff in German, movies, video games, music, TV,
4) Read something in German everyday, at least 250 words (or one page of a book), lean on the
dictionary as much as you like.
5) Repeat each week for 156 weeks.

After you've followed this method for the proscribed about of time, then grade yourself A1, A2,
etc. If you still haven't progressed and want to quit, do it at the end of the 156 weeks.

I'm giving you this advice because of my neighbour who is a French woman, married to an English
man and who has lived in the UK for 30+ years. I once asked her "How long did it take you to
learn English" and her reply was, "I'm still learning English."


Does this go for any language you are trying to learn? I would like to use it to do my Spanish
if you don't mind.
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Russian Federation
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Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
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 Message 38 of 38
27 July 2015 at 12:34am | IP Logged 
This is a decent meta-plan for a Romance or Germanic language :) The most tricky part is deciding what exactly you do and sticking with it.

The numbers are very much adjustable though.

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