Finished my German Tree! :) & useful books
After just over a year of learning on DuoLingo, I finished my tree today. I've been fairly consistent with it, although there were some times where I went a few weeks without doing any. Returning to it and realising just how many skills I had to make gold again kept me motivated for the most part though! I'm not sure if I would have got into learning German as quickly as I did without DuoLingo. The idea of starting to learn a new language is quite overwhelming, but DuoLingo provided a gradual, easy introduction to it and got me hooked! ;) My next goal is to reach level 25!
I know most people share online resources they've found helpful, so I thought I'd share a few books I've been using:
Collins Easy Learning German Verbs http://www.amazon.co.uk/Easy-Learning-German-Verbs-Collins/dp/000736976X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8=1440235204=8-1=collins+german+verbs This was really the first book I used when I started learning on duo. It's an excellent introduction to verb conjugations and tenses, and filled in the blanks for me left by duo, which I think focuses more on vocabulary than grammar. I wrote out all of the rules etc., to create my own little textbook. I used colours and tried to make it look appealing as I'm quite a visual learner, and I have found this really helpful in terms of memorization.
Essential German Grammar http://www.amazon.co.uk/Essential-German-Grammar-Language-Grammars/dp/0340741899/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8=1440235751=8-1=essential+german+grammar I have moved on to using this grammar book and have found it very useful. It goes much more in depth than the previous one, and discusses grammar which isn't verb-related (comparatives & superlatives, prepositions, etc.).
Selected Folktales/Ausgewählte Märchen http://www.amazon.co.uk/Selected-Folktales-Ausgew%C3%A4hlte-M%C3%A4rchen-Jacob/dp/048642474X/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8=1440235563=8-5=dual+language+german+fairytales Really any dual language book that translates from German to your mother tongue. I have found this one particularly interesting; some of the original fairy tales are quite different to the Disney versions I grew up with!
Practice makes perfect German sentence builder http://www.amazon.co.uk/Practice-Perfect-German-Sentence-Builder/dp/0071599622/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8=1440235963=8-1=german+sentence+builder I ordered this book recently, and have found it to be at the perfect level for me after completing the tree (with some additional learning of grammar). It is challenging enough without being too overwhelming. I like the fact that it encourages you to form your own sentences, as I haven't practiced this nearly enough! The only downside is that, I suppose due to the nature of the book, a lot of the answers provided for the questions are 'sample answers', so if you are teaching yourself as I am it can be hard to know if you have answered correctly. There are a number of books in this series; I have also ordered the verb tenses one which has more definite answers in it, but I have yet to start it.
Children's books e.g. http://www.amazon.de/Kleine-Freundschafts--Geburtstagsgeschichten-Ingrid-Uebe/dp/3760716067/ref=sr_1_5?s=books=UTF8=1440236938=1-5=kleine+Geburtstagsgeschichten I have a couple of these books, and they're a great way of seeing the vocabulary that you learn on DuoLingo (and more) in a different context.
Finally, I went on to amazon.de a couple of weeks ago and ordered a biography about Helen Keller, as I had wanted to read an English one and thought I'd give it a go in German instead. I'm not recommending this particular book (although it's good so far!), but I just wanted to suggest that if you are finding children's books a little too easy, or are not motivated to read them, you could search for a book that is written completely in German on something that interests you. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I can understand- about 80% or so, I would say. Enough to get the gist of what is going on. I intend to read through the book without any help, and then go back through it again using a dictionary, etc. to translate the words I don't know. (http://www.amazon.de/Alles-Sehen-kommt-Seele-au%C3%9Fergew%C3%B6hnliche/dp/3407744994/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8=1440236279=8-1=helen+keller)
I'd love to hear of any books you have found helpful with your German learning! All the best.
Thanks for this - some good tips. I've also found reading a favourite book in German translation is good practice as you are already familiar with the plot, etc. - it's interesting to see how it 'comes across' in German.
Congratulations on finishing your tree! Thanks for sharing the additional German resources. Good luck to you.
I didn't find it too hard. I still don't get 20/20 every time, but like I said, I'm going to keep practising until I reach level 25 (at least). :) I guess I took it a little slower than some people, but I found that worked better for me. For example, for a while I wouldn't move on to a new level until I got 20/20 on 'strengthen skills'. Good luck with yours! :)
Thanks for all that you have shared. I have one question, do you go to language class as well or is it just Duolingo?
I don't go to a class, but I've been trying to teach myself outside of Duolingo.
i didnt even know dual language books were available till now...so thanks for that!