Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Language corner
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09.01.2017, 18:16
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Switzerland, zurich
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
countchochula has no particular reputation at present
Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

i love learning languages and prefer to use books which are written in the native language you're trying to learn as often used in immersion classes for foreigners. you know the A1, A2, B1, B2, C... classification type materials.

i'm presently in CH and wanting to start ramping up my german skills and don't need a lot of handholding. before i lay out some money on some books my guess is that most of the german language schools in germany and switzerland (yeah i know switzerland has it's own dialect) probably choose from maybe 4 different book series options.

does anybody out here have a recommendation on one vs the other based on first hand experience? strengths or weaknesses or if one really sucks?

fwiw : i know there's plenty of german stuff online but i want these books to supplement the online material so i don't have to be stuck in front of a computer all day when i want to get my german on

thanks in advance
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09.01.2017, 20:29
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Zürich
Posts: 185
Groaned at 34 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 160 Times in 82 Posts
peternieder has earned some respectpeternieder has earned some respect
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

I really recommend B-Grammatik (B1+B2 level) and C-Grammatik (C1+C2 level) from Schubert Verlag.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09.01.2017, 22:25
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 1,146
Groaned at 23 Times in 18 Posts
Thanked 793 Times in 479 Posts
Meerkat33 is considered knowledgeableMeerkat33 is considered knowledgeableMeerkat33 is considered knowledgeable
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

The university language centre also uses those.

Genial and aspekte are crap, but they're specifically for school so no risk of buying them.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09.01.2017, 23:47
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Switzerland, zurich
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
countchochula has no particular reputation at present
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Quote:
View Post
I really recommend B-Grammatik (B1+B2 level) and C-Grammatik (C1+C2 level) from Schubert Verlag.
hey thanks for the recommendation. that's exactly what i'm looking for.

one question though. are these purely grammar books?

grammar is especially difficult and important in german but i'm actually wanting books that deal with conversation / vocabulary in daily useful / practical situations in the A1-C2 level series. in sum, i'm looking for books that are conversation and vocab heavy. i don't care if they have extra grammar study in them i just don't want to invest in a grammar only series as that is one thing am willing to do online.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09.01.2017, 23:50
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Switzerland, zurich
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
countchochula has no particular reputation at present
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Quote:
View Post
The university language centre also uses those.

Genial and aspekte are crap, but they're specifically for school so no risk of buying them.
thanks!

which university language center are your referring to?

regarding genial and aspekte : when you say they're specifically for school what do you mean by school?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10.01.2017, 00:10
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Zürich
Posts: 185
Groaned at 34 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 160 Times in 82 Posts
peternieder has earned some respectpeternieder has earned some respect
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Quote:
View Post
hey thanks for the recommendation. that's exactly what i'm looking for.

one question though. are these purely grammar books?

grammar is especially difficult and important in german but i'm actually wanting books that deal with conversation / vocabulary in daily useful / practical situations in the A1-C2 level series. in sum, i'm looking for books that are conversation and vocab heavy. i don't care if they have extra grammar study in them i just don't want to invest in a grammar only series as that is one thing am willing to do online.
The matching course books are IMO the best ones - Erkundungen B2/C1/C2. If you cover them, and the B-Grammatik/C-Grammatik series, it is what you need to pass C2 level (from a grammar and theory sense - you obviously need to be practising conversation in daily life and at the level to pass C2, it is unlikely to happen given the Pidgin-Deutsch level of daily life in CH).

I have also used Aspekte, Schritte, Tangram Aktuell, Mittelpunkt and TBH I didn't like any of them. The style and structure of the Erkundungen/Grammatik series from Anne Busche were great for me.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10.01.2017, 00:39
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Switzerland, zurich
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
countchochula has no particular reputation at present
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Quote:
View Post
The matching course books are IMO the best ones - Erkundungen B2/C1/C2. If you cover them, and the B-Grammatik/C-Grammatik series, it is what you need to pass C2 level (from a grammar and theory sense - you obviously need to be practising conversation in daily life and at the level to pass C2, it is unlikely to happen given the Pidgin-Deutsch level of daily life in CH).

I have also used Aspekte, Schritte, Tangram Aktuell, Mittelpunkt and TBH I didn't like any of them. The style and structure of the Erkundungen/Grammatik series from Anne Busche were great for me.
hey thanks!

let me be a bit more specific. reaching C level is actually a pretty hard accomplishment. i'm not necessarily that concerned *right now* with mastering the language at that level or with any super urgency. i want to basically start to build an A1-B1 street level proficiency. just get my legs and a base under me from which to build later if i choose to do so. based on studying other languages, i just like the immersion approach of the A1-C2 level type courses / books where everything is in the native language. i just think it gets you thinking like a local with relevant usage of the language, including colloquialisms if the books are updated vs other methods.

fwiw, in a past expat situation i was in a class where i could pass all those tests but none of the other foreigners in my class could. i understood the grammar and how to read and write where they wouldn't get passing grades. the difference was that they were extremely functional conversing on the street where i was horrible. i learned from that experience that the ability to communicate (speak and listening comprehension) was actually much more practical than having perfect grammar i totally agree that you need to be practicing speaking the language on a regular basis to get anywhere with it!

ok so to get back to your reply

so you're saying that the course book aka Erkundungen is essentially the situational / conversational / vocab book and Grammatik is the accompanying grammar book and that you can buy them in pairs for what ever A-C levels you want to study right?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10.01.2017, 00:53
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Zürich
Posts: 185
Groaned at 34 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 160 Times in 82 Posts
peternieder has earned some respectpeternieder has earned some respect
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Quote:
View Post
hey thanks!

ok so to get back to your reply

so you're saying that the course book aka Erkundungen is essentially the situational / conversational / vocab book and Grammatik is the accompanying grammar book and that you can buy them in pairs for what ever A-C levels you want to study right?
Yeah exactly. Most of the books come as a Course book and an accompanying Workbook (Kursbuch, Arbeitsbuch). That is in principal all you need, but if you add in the Grammatik books you will find fluency comes much quicker (but there is a time commitment).

For vocab, the books will get you a good way up there, but in reality once past A2 you should look at Deutsch Perfekt or something to starting expanding vocab specifically at your level. You will find that at around 3000-4000 words, you can pretty much get by in daily life in German and socialise at a reasonable level. No ambassadors reception and no Ferrero Rocher just yet, though.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10.01.2017, 01:09
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Switzerland, zurich
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
countchochula has no particular reputation at present
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Quote:
View Post
Yeah exactly. Most of the books come as a Course book and an accompanying Workbook (Kursbuch, Arbeitsbuch). That is in principal all you need, but if you add in the Grammatik books you will find fluency comes much quicker (but there is a time commitment).

For vocab, the books will get you a good way up there, but in reality once past A2 you should look at Deutsch Perfekt or something to starting expanding vocab specifically at your level. You will find that at around 3000-4000 words, you can pretty much get by in daily life in German and socialise at a reasonable level. No ambassadors reception and no Ferrero Rocher just yet, though.
ok i gotcha. also, deutsch perfekt is exactly the kind of thing i'd be looking for once i get a bit of a base so thanks for sending that along

one semi-related question since it sounds like you and i learn the same way

i normally use wordreference as my online dictionary for french, italian, spanish to english. it is excellent for these languages but upon initial inspection it looks a little weak in german.. perhaps very weak.

could your recommend a good online german - english dictionary?

what i like about wordreference is it's really complete and there are relevant colloquialisms after the main definition when appropriate as well as a forum for answering questions betwen languages.

also if you have any other thoughts on german language sites, blogs, forums, you tube or other language resources. feel free to pass them on if you feel like it since i have your ear. as i said your approach seems to be similar to mine so quality is often better than quantity.

thanks again
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10.01.2017, 01:13
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Zürich
Posts: 185
Groaned at 34 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 160 Times in 82 Posts
peternieder has earned some respectpeternieder has earned some respect
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Quote:
View Post
ok i gotcha. also, deutsch perfekt is exactly the kind of thing i'd be looking for once i get a bit of a base so thanks for sending that along

one semi-related question since it sounds like you and i learn the same way

i normally use wordreference as my online dictionary for french, italian, spanish to english. it is excellent for these languages but upon initial inspection it looks a little weak in german.. perhaps very weak.

could your recommend a good online german - english dictionary?

what i like about wordreference is it's really complete and there are relevant colloquialisms after the main definition when appropriate as well as a forum for answering questions betwen languages.

also if you have any other thoughts on german language sites, blogs, forums, you tube or other language resources. feel free to pass them on if you feel like it since i have your ear. as i said your approach seems to be similar to mine so quality is often better than quantity.

thanks again
Not a problem - I am basically just saying what I did. I used Beolingus for English German online dictionary. I didn't use any forums because in reality, the questions are answered in (I) the course book or workbook (ii) the Grammatik book or if not I used (iii) the Duden reference books (e.g., Rechtschreibung, etc., ). 99% of the time, there was no need for a Duden look-up. The other part was listening; for that I used the podcasts from Deutsch Welle and also the huge amount that you can get on apps. I found one that was like the US based PBS - just talking, interviews, etc., . Drinking was also a major component, you need to be prepared to sink around 10-20 beers per week in at least 4 beer gardens of varying levels of Deutsch-elitism.

http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10.01.2017, 02:00
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Switzerland, zurich
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
countchochula has no particular reputation at present
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Quote:
View Post
Not a problem - I am basically just saying what I did. I used Beolingus for English German online dictionary. I didn't use any forums because in reality, the questions are answered in (I) the course book or workbook (ii) the Grammatik book or if not I used (iii) the Duden reference books (e.g., Rechtschreibung, etc., ). 99% of the time, there was no need for a Duden look-up. The other part was listening; for that I used the podcasts from Deutsch Welle and also the huge amount that you can get on apps. I found one that was like the US based PBS - just talking, interviews, etc., . Drinking was also a major component, you need to be prepared to sink around 10-20 beers per week in at least 4 beer gardens of varying levels of Deutsch-elitism.

http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/
awesome! thanks for the other links / tips

regarding that online dictionary : i just looked up "strasse" to test it and i get a whole bunch of entries not really related to solely the definition of strasse even if i set it to "exact"??? any thoughts? perhaps i have chosen a wrong option somewhere?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10.01.2017, 13:10
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Switzerland, zurich
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
countchochula has no particular reputation at present
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

ok i think i figured out the problem with the dictionary.. i typed "strasse" thinking it would mean street but i forgot that it was really the german word "straße" with that german funny double s thing (aka Eszett). as a result the dictionary picked up all kinds of extra entries for "strasse"

thanks a lot for your help on all of this. exactly what i was looking for!

if anybody else has any recommendations on any of this feel free to post them too.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 29.01.2017, 20:30
samliz's Avatar
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Zurich
Posts: 22
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
samliz has no particular reputation at present
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

For learning vocabulary and sentence structure I’ve been using graded readers since I started at A1 level. They’re great because you see the vocab used in context, plus you have the satisfaction of having read a book in German (albeit a tiny one!). And they normally come with an audio version. There are several types in Orell Füssli, but I’ve been using ‘Lern Krimis’, and some others from Cornelsen.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank samliz for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 29.01.2017, 23:20
Pachyderm's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,023
Groaned at 50 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 2,201 Times in 765 Posts
Pachyderm has a reputation beyond reputePachyderm has a reputation beyond reputePachyderm has a reputation beyond reputePachyderm has a reputation beyond reputePachyderm has a reputation beyond reputePachyderm has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Notwithstanding the recommendations you've already received, everyone has their personal preferences. We respond to different look-and-feel. So my advice is to go to a bookshop with a big foreign language section and just check out the options.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01.02.2017, 13:51
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Zurich
Posts: 10
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 9 Times in 4 Posts
LuJo has no particular reputation at present
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

I used this series and I really liked it: http://www.schubert-verlag.de/begegnungen.php
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01.02.2017, 14:26
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Switzerland, zurich
Posts: 28
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
countchochula has no particular reputation at present
Quote:
View Post
I used this series and I really liked it: http://www.schubert-verlag.de/begegnungen.php
that's the one i actually wound up getting!

Quote:
View Post
Notwithstanding the recommendations you've already received, everyone has their personal preferences. We respond to different look-and-feel. So my advice is to go to a bookshop with a big foreign language section and just check out the options.
sure. i totally agree. i went to orell fuesli one day and looked at them all. i essentially decided on what peter recommended above. from past experience, it's almost better to just pick something and work through it versus getting too many different books and agonizing which are best to start with. later you can be more choosy once you get a bit of a base. otherwise you just spin wheels and waste time with a lot of books imho versus building the base you need to work out from.

samliz thanks for the tips. i've used those readers for french in the past. i saw them while at orell fuesli. i'll have to go back and choose one or two in the near future. thanks!

Last edited by 3Wishes; 01.02.2017 at 21:10. Reason: merging consecutive replies; please use multi-quote (to the right of quote)
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06.02.2017, 17:48
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Zurich
Posts: 98
Groaned at 16 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 104 Times in 35 Posts
pisceangirl is considered knowledgeablepisceangirl is considered knowledgeablepisceangirl is considered knowledgeable
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Any thoughts/feedback on the Hueber Schritte plus series? I'm looking at self learning options too.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06.02.2017, 18:23
nigelr's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Aargau
Posts: 1,645
Groaned at 118 Times in 59 Posts
Thanked 2,007 Times in 900 Posts
nigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond reputenigelr has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Quote:
View Post
Notwithstanding the recommendations you've already received, everyone has their personal preferences. We respond to different look-and-feel. So my advice is to go to a bookshop with a big foreign language section and just check out the options.
Agreed, I actually like the Aspekte Neu series of books which are used by my teacher. I looked at (and bought) a few others but these work for me.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 13.02.2018, 00:21
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Rapperswil-Jona
Posts: 54
Groaned at 7 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 11 Times in 8 Posts
Crazydre has no particular reputation at present
Re: Book Recommenations A1-C3 : Learning German for Foreigners

Perhaps a bit off-topic, but passing the level C2 test by the Goethe-Institut does not require a near-native level of German, contrary to popular belief. Although I'm perfectly comfortable having it as an everyday language (at school and outside), it is still very much flawed (grammar+vocabulary wise) after over 3 years in Switzerland (admittedly I never had a social life here, instead only focusing on my studies, which I manage perfectly fine).

I do understand the message of complex texts, but a lot of words I only get from context (thanks to my own language being Germanic as well) and my active vocabulary is downright terrible compared to that in English, which isn't my native language either.

Nevertheless I passed the C2 test before moving here, with 72% on average in all modules combined (60% being the passing limit in each module). Couldn't even complete my text in the Writing module, but still got 69% on that one.

(FYI I have no actual education in the language, but started surfing the web in it in my upper teens, reading articles, listening to videos etc. and the language essentially came to me. Lucky as I decided by pure coincidence to move here a few years later)

Last edited by Crazydre; 13.02.2018 at 00:32.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
German A1 book SarcasmXXL Items wanted 3 24.08.2016 20:46
[for sale] German Class Book & CDs A1+ Beginner in Zurich markizz88 Items for sale 5 06.02.2014 09:53
german level A1 book required rashmie Items wanted 6 20.09.2013 12:28
[For Sale] German Language book and glossary - studio d A1 from Cornelsen [Zurich] chiaero Items for sale 0 16.10.2012 11:11
For Sale: German A1 level Text Book (Zurich) jazzy Items for sale 0 19.03.2010 20:26


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 07:14.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0