Reviews - What do customers think about German Step-by-Step: A Unique, Short-Cut Method to Learn and Speak German Fluently by One of the World's Master Language Teachers?
Useful for review, but typo-laden and very casual Apr 9, 2008
I bought the 3rd printing of this book in Half Price Books in Houston years ago for around $4. If you know German, but need to review your conversational skills, this is a good buy - if you can also get it for around $4.
While this books covers a large amount of vocabulary and grammar at a fast yet coherent pace over 24 relatively short chapters, and gives plenty of text for the reader to practice reading and speaking, it's laden with numerous annoying and potentially confusing typographical errors. The fact that it reads "Third Printing, Septemeber 1997" on the *title page* even before you get to the lessons should be fair warning. If you know German to a fair extent, these typos likely won't trip you up. But for beginners, I think there's reason for concern, especially when German words are misspelt, the wrong German sentence is given for the English translation (or vice versa), or when they botch the phonetic spellings. There's just too many good beginner's books and CD-Roms now for a beginner to have to suffer through that - plus, if you are a beginner, it's better to get something with an audio component. I know German pronounciation well enough to only look at the phonetics in this book when I can't quite remember where the stressed syllable in a word falls. Beyond that, I avoid the phonetic guide - too confusing for this experienced yet still non-native German speaker!
Another thing about this book that one needs to be aware of is its very casual approach to grammar. You'll get no spifty grammar paradigms in the back if you forget which definite article goes with which case - and German definite articles are one very good argument for such paradigms! The goal of this book is just to get you speaking, apparently, and not to make sure you have a firm grasp of basic German grammar. That's fine if you know some German, are using other materials that cover grammar in more detail, or just need a handful of German phrases to get by on a couple weeks' vacation in a German speaking country. But I can't recommend this as a sole or primary resource for anyone wanting to learn German properly or seriously.
The real value in this book is that it gives you 24 chapters of accessible dialogues and text for reading and speaking aloud best suited for intermediate-beginner to advanced-intermediate German learners who need either review material or additional practice. If used as a supplementary resource in this way, you'll likely get your $4 worth out of it.
A great help and learning tool Mar 16, 2002
Easy to understand writing. There are 2 lines to every sentence to learn. One in German, two in english pronuncation of the German words, and 3 the Englis translation.
I found this book very helpful on my trip to Germany.
Solid Introduction to German Language May 16, 2000
The book provides a good introduction to the German language. Each lesson consists of a conversation followed by exercises. The conversation is written in German, with a pronunciation guide and English translation. The written exercises which follow the conversation emphasize key aspects of the lesson. My only complaints are these: (1) some words are very hard to pronounce, and so the product would be better if it had a tape or CD accompaniment; (2) there are usually only 10 exercises at the end of each chapter, and I would prefer more.