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Books for Learning German?

Guten Tag!! I need some help in choosing some book or books which would supplement my learning alongside duolingo. I am aware that duolingo can't be my sole resource in my pursuit of learning German.

I have completed my A1 level(although that was 6 months ago) and I want to take TestDAF (in a year maybe) as I aspire to pursue MS in Germany and since it is a requirement. I am currently using 'German Demystified'. I devote close to an hour everyday to learn german. Any suggestions are much welcome. Danke!

Quick question : Has anyone used GermanPod101 and if yes, how was your experience there?

March 16, 2018



Where did you take the A1 test?

  • 1686

At A1 level you can still benefit from finishing the German tree (if you already didn't) and from practising more even after you finish it. For other resources how to improve your German (including some tips on books) you can look at my older post here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24437249

Happy learning.

EDIT: As for GermanPod101, I tried it but didn't stay with it long. It felt like too much time spent while not learning much (slow pace). I enjoyed Deutsche Welle course Warum Nicht http://www.dw.com/en/learn-german/deutsch-warum-nicht/s-2548 and Radio D http://www.dw.com/en/learn-german/radio-d-teil-1/s-9672 ... and also their new course Nicos Weg could be cool for you https://learngerman.dw.com/en/overview


Nicos Weg. It's free.


I do like GermanPod101. I currently have a basic subscription to RussianPod101, but I've listened to many of the German lessons as well. Those people that think there's not much learning probably haven't done any of the intermediate/advanced lessons.

I currently am liking the Practice Makes Perfect Series. I'm doing the "German Verb Tenses" at the moment, and plan on doing the Intermediate German Grammar next (I'm using the series for other languages also). Duolingo Stories are pretty good for German learning too.

Something that I like to do with my languages, once I get to a fairly competent level at them, is to read translations of books that I really enjoy. I started reading Die Bestimmung (German copy of Divergent) a couple of days ago... I've now read 11 books in Spanish, and it really helps with that language. I like to get a Kindle copy and highlight all of the words that I don't know, then I add them to the appropriate language's Anki flashcard deck (I have a deck for German, one for Spanish, one for Russian, another for French, and another for Italian). I started reading Die Bestimmung a couple of years ago and got distracted after about 100-ish pages; the pages that I went through and put the unknown words into my vocab flashcards are very understandable (I happen to know this book backwards and forwards in English, which helps when I read it in a different language). If you're going to read book translations, I'd go with a book that you know really well.


Assimil German is the best textbook out there. It is in many ways a total course, with 100 short lessons built around audio. The approach is to "assimilate" a language, so you are meant to listen to and read the dialogues many times and so get a feel for how the language works. Theoretically you are meant to complete one lesson per day, but I work slower than that. Between working on lessons I review the audio from the previous lessons.

Initially this is just meant to be "passive" learning (understanding). But when you get to lesson 50 of the "passive wave", they ask you to go back to chapter 1 and start an "active wave": read the English and translate it into German. By the time you get to lesson 50 this is remarkably easy.

The audio files have the text within them, so if you have an audio player which can show lyrics you can read along while listening on your phone. I use Rocket Player on android, which is the only free app I know of which shows lyrics. It is expensive compared to other textbooks, but that is because there is so much there: over 500 pages and over three hours of audio purely in German.

By the time you finish this course you will be ready to tackle solid intermediate material, and even handle native materials such as reading newspapers, listening to podcasts, etc.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.