Best books for learning German at home

Self-study textbooks and audio CDs etc.

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hallie132
Hey,

So what would you reccomend as the best books for German self-study, in preparation for attending language school/classes?

I've been working with German in 10 Minutes a Day (good starter, easy to outpace), German Verb Drills, 500 German Verbs, and a dictionary.

Basically, I learn bits of grammar and verb-play from the Drills book and it along with the dictionary to make tons of flashcards. I also have Essential German Grammar, but really haven't gotten much use out of it. Additionally, I have a Schaum's Grammar workbook that I am in the very beginning of.

Any books or methods that you might reccomend would be great!
UrbanAngel
Do a search for grammar and you find :

Best books for learning German grammar, Pons? Other recommendations?

or search for 'learn German' and you get :

Software to learn German

or search 'learning online' and you get:

Online German language courses

Hope that helps.
Kermit
Though I used many book in learning German, I really lucked out with the little paperback Oxford German Grammar. Besides being really cheap, it is just a well written and well layed-out book. This book really helped me wrap my head around the language and now my grammar is by far the best aspect of my German. I really can't recommend this book highly enough.
Ulysses
Read children's books, Brothers Grimm would be a good idea. When you're a bit more advanced you could try Asterix.
Jimbo
Isn't Hammer's Grammar the bible of all things grammar?
Kermit
I don't know Hammar's. The Oxford was fairly comprehesnsive but I really just liked the writing. it made sense. I swear by it.
koala
Hammer is the definitive bible of German grammar, but not necessarily recommended for an absolute beginner. It's designed more for A-Level/degree students.
Alys
Best grammar book for me, which I used and passed on to my son (and later to my boss now learning German) was called "Schwarz Rot Gold" - it's very simply and clearly written, can't remember who it's by though. It was not expensive, about 10 quid as I recall.
nixe
For grammar exercises I would recommend Die Neue Gelbe by Hueber Verlag - I used this at university and found it really useful. I also used the blue, yellow and green EM coursebooks and workbooks (also by Hueber) as part of my university course and preparation for the Goethe Institute ZMP though these are probably more class books than for self-study. (There are cds to go with the exercises however they are pretty expensive -my teacher just used to loan us copies). Mostly though when I want to study German I just buy comic books and trashy gossip magazines as they are a shitload cheaper than textbooks and grammar exercises can be a bit of a drag.
Schotte
look out for Michel Thomas' stuff. absolutely brilliant. its just tapes or cds with the philosophy you shouldnt have to write things down or do homework. i thought it was spot on.

Prag78m
I would also (as Schotte) recommend you the AudioCD's as studying method; if you want to learn basic german quicklly.
I am big fun of this method (I have also bought for it 140 € Sennheiser headphones with the exceptional attenuation of external noise which is particularly useful for use in a high-noise environment [for example U-Bahn] ) and wish I have started using it from the very begining of my German language learning process. I have visited 2 German courses here in Munchen but nothing improve my German better as self-practice with my MP3 player..

Apart from above mentioned M.Thomas
I would also recommend Pimsleur AudioCd's.

It is also good to watch TV/news in German, no matter if you do understand nothing in the beginining.
You can also borrow from bibliotheca some audiobooks in German. Especially those which you have already read in English or kinder books. For example: I was hearing The Little Prince (by Exupery) AudioBook in German while parallel reading it (in German) to learn the words spelling and from time to time checking English version (to learn the meaning of some uknown German words).

Not a bad idea also; is to hear German songs (lookup the lyrics on internet and translate them) or to rip (into MP3 for example) German Audio from DVD of your favourite film and to hear it several time. With those methods especially you would have fun; forgetting that high-effective studying what you are doing..

I would also recommend you to check LEO (really super, comlex German-English, English-German dictionary, thesaurus, grammar explanation etc. - you can also hear! pronunciation of most of the German words there ..etc)

I cannot recommend you any learning software. I have tried many but I never realy enjoyed to be stack to my PC/laptop. Nothing beats studying while laying relaxed in the bed with eyes closed or while skating/biking in the sunny day in Olympia Park or snowboarding in mountains etc..

Enjoy & let us known what for have you decided in the end and what helped you the best...

Wishing you success

DANiel
Tim
The best book is one that you use.

I have several that are good (but do not get used), so I am looking to get rid of them. One in particular might be good for you and comes with 8 CDs... send me a PM if you are interested.
iscream
I find this forum to be useful Babel Board
JPW3
I am just trying to figure out the best books that will not require a teacher to hold their hand while studying in free time

Topics merged by admin
clebo
Are you a beginner or can you already speak some German?
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