What is the best way for beginners to learn German?

A German reader should provide you with a wonderful and engaging story, making your learning fun and interesting. However, you should also feel like there’s a teacher next to you at all times. This is achieved by using readers, which provide annotations, glossaries, quizzes or a translation of the text, also known as a Parallel Text or Dual Language book.

The way Brian Smith structures the text and stories to gradually increase the vocabulary, with varied repetitions and ways of saying things really facilitate the understanding and retention of what you are learning. He doesn't have a lot of competition in this regard. Other authors do German-English parallel texts, or provide definitions at the bottom of the pages or on the facing pages, but they typically don't have such a smooth learning curve.

Reading is fun, but not so much when you’re always struggling to understand the words. What happens when you encounter a sentence that you don’t know? In the series “German Easy Reader – Super 500” any such problems do not occur, as there is always an English translation side by side with the German text. This allows you to understand the German easily and enables you to make rapid progress. If you prefer a German only book, then the series “Learn German with short stories – Magic in Munich” is for you. Each chapter provides extensive German – English vocabulary lists, notes on Grammar and quizzes to test yourself.

Which way of learning is better for you, only you can decide – or you use both books simultaneously to get more reading practice!