Cover Image: Unlocking German with Paul Noble

Unlocking German with Paul Noble

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Member Reviews

I have studied German for many years in school and university, I have lived in Germany, I have read many German books and used language learning apps but I haven't come across a book like this before.  It lays German out in a simple way, it doesn't teach you, it in forms you.  It comes with a bit of humour too.

I really enjoyed the illustrations of Germany through out as well.
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I moved to Germany a few years ago and wanted something to help me along with learning the language. It's the perfect accompaniment.

You need to go through it from through, page one to the end. But everything is explained perfectly clear, there's no confusing jargon, and it's full of grammar and setences you actually use in every day life.

I highly recommend this to anyone learning German at the moment.
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This book uses a really clever and novel approach to learning a language. Paul Noble quickly gets you speaking useful phrases in German rather than the not so useful phrases you may have learnt on a traditional German course.
I learnt German at school, can remember odds and end but haven’t spoken any German in years. I found this book great at reminding me things I’d forgotten and new ways to remember and use the skills I do have plus new ones.

The book starts with explaining to you just how many words are very similar in German to English and how we can use simple rules to move from one language to another (in most cases).

This is a book you have to work through from the beginning, page by page, it's is structured in particular way to aid learning. Each chapter slowly builds up a multicomponent phrase. As you go through the chapter, the author asks you to cover the answers written in red with a bookmark or piece of card, to get your brain working and so that you actually work through the multiple micro-tasks. Each answer in German has a pronunciation guide as well as the actual written answer. There's no active memorisation required but the use of spaced repetition gets you effortlessly remembering how to say all sorts of different phrases. 

At the end of each chapter are increasingly long word/phrase lists that the author encourages you to keep going through until you only get 3 wrong. That sounds hard, but the way you're taught to put phrases together and the spaced repetition actually makes this much easier than it sounds. Noble also reminds you to not try and do too much and that if it takes all week to get through the word list, that's ok.

You start learning how to put together the phrase Can you come over tonight?" and end with being able to hold a conversation including things like "Hey, wait a second, do you think I’m oblivious to what’s going on? You’ve got a hangover!"  By starting with words that are similar to the English equivalents and slowly building up sentences, sub phrase by sub phrase, Noble soon has you speaking increasingly more complex German phrases.

There are no long lists of grammar rules to memorise, instead there are really useful tips like how to remember when to makes changes to match gender and when you don’t, and ways to remember how German phrases are put together. For example, describing “weil” (because in English) as a catapult word because of how the it causes the verb to move in the sentence and to go with it, a simple description of how to recognise a verb.

The book ends with ideas on where to go next as this book really is just a stepping stone to further learning although a really useful one. It definitely builds confidence and makes you realise learning a new language does not have to be as difficult as many courses make it. School may have you put off learning languages for life, but this book shows it doesn’t have to be that dull and difficult! I will definitely look up Noble’s audio course as this way of learning does seem much more sensible and useful than the usual ways!

Whether you are totally new to German, learnt a little at school but not used it since, or know some German but don’t feel like you know anything actually useful, this is a great little book to get you going and feeling confident about learning and starting to Speak in German.
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What to do in lockdown?  Learn a new language of course.  I studied German at school but that was many, many years ago so I decided to go back to the beginning and signed up for a short online course in beginners' German. So I was pleased to get this book as I thought it might help ease me back in. 

The method used is very different to how I was taught at school. There I learned lists of nouns, conjugated verbs, struggled with the grammar. For some reason it was thought necessary to be able to conjugate regular and irregular verbs in the present tense before going on to learn the past tense. Here the past tense is introduced in the second chapter, no bells, no song and dance, just a brief phrase. There is a lot of repetition in the book, you go over everything you've learned in a chapter before moving on to the next, then at the end of that chapter you go over the previous chapter and the current one and so on. There are seven chapters so by the end you are repeating an awful lot of stuff. 

I liked the recommendations made for further study especially the recommendation about using dvds of english series dubbed into German and putting on German subtitles. I do this with French whenever I can and it does help to improve your fluency. 

The layout of the book doesn't work on kindle and makes it very difficult to follow so I downloaded a pdf file and found this to be much better.. So, I would recommend buying a 'hard' copy of this rather than an e-copy. 

As I said, I have some knowledge of German so I don't know this would be for an absolute beginner. I flew through it but still felt I had learned something by the end. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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I’m an intermediate learner of this language by using Duolingo and luckily this book kicks my mind into Deutsch-consciousness! It’s extraordinarily perfect for ‘baby boomers’ or those who were struggling on how to construct any sentences in German – whether it’s a complex one or a simpler one. What I’d love the most in this book was the ‘checklist’ section, where at the end of each chapter will be repeated all the sentences. Also, the pronunciation and the quick tips making this book helpful.
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A very useful book. I wanted to refresh my German and I found this book very useful.
It's recommended to whoever want to learn some German or refresh their knowledge.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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An awesome book, easy to read, understand and follow. I love learning languages and will definitely use this to improve my language skills!
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This is the perfect book for those who want to learn German. It keeps everything simple and focuses on you learning words as opposed to simply memorising them.I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning German.
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Indeed, a very unique way of learning the complex language that German is. As someone who identifies as I-have-been-studying-this-language-for-twelve-years-and-I-still-struggle, this book is very helpful and very nice constructed!
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Book is a practical guide of how to learn a spoken language in a fun , non tiring way. And can we just stop and appreciate how aesthetically pleasing this book is, it makes you want to keep studying.
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This is the perfect book for those who want to learn German. It keeps everything simple and understandable and truly focuses on you learning words as opposed to simply memorising them. Perfect gift!
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Für einen Muttersprachler mutet der Versuch, jemandem auf einfache Art und Weise deutsch lernen zu vermitteln, vielleicht etwas lustig an  - aber die Herangehensweise ist sowohl charmant als auch überzeugend. Die Hinweise zur Aussprache brachten mich zum grinsen, aber alles in allem ist es wirklich ein tolles Buch, jemandem die Angst vor der "schweren Sprache" zu nehmen und den Anfang leicht zu machen. Perfektion ist anders, aber dafür macht es so mehr Spaß - und ist nicht ganz so steif-deutsch ;o)
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Let me start by saying that I have wanted to learn German for a while as I love Germany and have many German friends who I would like to be able to talk to in their mother tongue. Paul Noble knows exactly how to get you engaged and absorbing information rapidly. This book is miraculous! I have read plenty of books that tout themselves as being the one book that can teach you the language in a very short amount of time. Up until I read "Unlocking German with Paul Noble" I have not found any of them lived up to my expectations or their claims. Here, Noble truly has you learning by methods I have never seen before and, most importantly, they work!

If you are looking to learn a language you cannot go wrong with these books from Collins. I can't recommend this highly enough. As it says in the synopsis, even if you struggled at languages in school or find it difficult to learn or remember what you have been taught this is the perfect title for you! Absolutely brilliant!

Many thanks to Collins for an ARC. I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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Fabulous book for those learning German and struggling to grasp the finer points! Well structured and easy to follow; I highly recommend this book.
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