German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day – Book Review

In this post I review the book “German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day“. I talk about its features and why it might be worth your time to buy it for yourself.

A few months ago I updated my recommendations on my Amazon Affiliates page to include some more German learning resources that I thought German learners would like. While I was doing that Amazon kept suggesting more things for me to buy. So I bought a few of their recommendations and I decided to see whether or not they were worth you buying as well. The first of those purchases is this book, German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day

German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day - Book Review

If you are really wanting to put your German learning on track, consider joining Herr Antrim’s Deutschlerner Club! For just $14.99 per month you will get access to his full A1 and A2 courses plus new materials as he creates them. You will go from knowing zero German to being able to have a short conversation in a short few weeks. Before you know it, you will be conversational in German on a variety of important topics, all while mastering German grammar.

What is this book?

German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day is exactly what the title says. It shows you 5 words every day. The book doesn’t actually do 5 words every single day of the entire year, however. The first four days of each week present 5 new words and the 5th day helps you practice the words. Apparently they want you to take a break over the weekend, so there are only 5 days in each week.

This means you are actually learning 20 words per week for 52 weeks, which is just over 1000 words. One article I read said that beginners need to learn 250-500 words. Intermediate learners should learn anywhere from 1000-3000 words. This puts you right on the edge of that intermediate range.

Book Quality

The book itself is incredibly well made. The cover is almost a kind of plastic, the pages are all woven into the book very well and the pages themselves are very sturdy. The images and text are sharp and very well drawn. It looks and feels amazing.  

Which 1000 Words are in German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day?

Usually my biggest complaint about books like this is that the words you learn aren’t what I would recommend for the first 1000 words you learn. German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day actually does a pretty good job of mixing variety of vocabulary with useful vocabulary. The first week for example, includes numbers 1-5, a few fruits, colors, and some school vocabulary. Week 2 includes numbers up to 10, some more school vocabulary, names for toys and writing utensils. 

Since this is the Junior version of the book, the vocabulary in this book are aimed at kids. I personally think that the vocabulary they picked is practically perfect for elementary-aged kids learning German. The words they chose are the ones that elementary-aged children are going to be using on a daily basis in their everyday lives. This gives you an excellent opportunity to work them into their daily routine. “Oh, you learned the German word for a playground today? Let’s go to the Spielplatz.” You can slowly replace English in your conversations with the German words as you learn them each week. 

Practice Exercises

The exercises at the end of each week are awesome, too. They make you recall the spelling of the words, match the words to their images and a bunch of other age-appropriate exercises. There is an answer key at the back of the book, but I think that the exercises are simple enough that you could just flip back to the previous page and check your answers on your own. 

If you were teaching German at an elementary school, this book would be perfect. It teaches 5 words each day for the first 4 days of the week and then the class can practice at the end of the week. You could even practice the vocabulary throughout the day as you integrate the vocabulary into daily conversations like a said just a minute ago. 

FREE Audio Companion App

So far, I still haven’t even gotten to the coolest part about this book. In the top right corner of the book it says it includes free online audio. You can either use the DK 5 Words website or the app (Android or iOS). I tried both.

When you download the app, you have to tell it which language you are using. Then you finish the website URL in the app. At first I thought there must be different versions of this book, since I had to type in “US”, but this is not the case. I’m not sure what that is doing there. 

The app itself is very simple. You can choose the week, start from day 1 or something from the quick reference from the back of the book for numbers, days and months. Once you choose a week, it shows you the first day. You can read the words in German below each play button.

When you tap on the play button, a super chipper German native speaker reads the word to you. You can tap one word at a time or “Play All” to play all of the words one after the other. I personally like the one at a time option, because then it allows you time to listen and repeat. You can also listen to the same one over and over again to get the right pronunciation. 

What I don’t like about the German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day App

I do have a couple of complaints about the app. I would have liked to see the image of the vocabulary word with the word itself. This would make it easier to memorize the words. I understand that you could simply have your phone open at the same time that you are reading the book and look back to the book while the app reads the words, but I just like everything to be in one place. 

The second complaint about the app has to do with long German words. When you get to longer German words, they start to run into each other. Sometimes this makes it look like the word is twice as long as it really is, but other times it causes the words to overlap onto each other making it impossible to read. I’m sure this is just an oversight and this only happens with the German version of the app, as only the German words have that many letters, but it still bugs me. Of course, you can still see the entire word and the correct spelling in the book. 

What I don’t like about the German for Everyone Junior: 5 Words a Day Book

While we are on the list of complaints I have, let’s talk about the things I don’t like about the book. There are no sentences in this book with the exception of the 6 speech bubbles on the table of contents page. Those speech bubbles aren’t even translated for you, so you have to figure out what they say on your own. It would be awesome to see how these words could be used in some simple sentences and get more complex as you learn more. 

The first week for example has numbers, colors, a few fruits and some classroom vocabulary. You could use the colors and fruits together to write simple sentences. “Die Banane ist gelb. Der Apfel ist rot. Die Trauben sind lila.” Of course, you could do this on your own and if I were to use this with my kids, I would do exactly that, but the fact that there isn’t even a recommendation for this kind of thing within the book is a bit irritating. 

Sometimes it’s the little things

Each  4 week group on the table of contents has a certain color assigned to it. These colors don’t mean anything. I don’t know why they bothered having them be different colors and grouped them into 4 without having a purpose. If they just wanted to make it cute, they could have made each week a different color instead of groups of 4 weeks. I know it is petty to complain about little things like this, but there is just enough OCD in me to hate this. 

Why no dictionary?

There is no dictionary at the end of this book! There is a glossary of German terms and a glossary of English terms. It tells you where you can find each word, but even that irritates me. Most of the words are listed with the week in which they were introduced. Days, months and numbers are listed with the page number that they are listed on in the quick reference guide at the end of the book. But these words also show up in the weeks. Why not list the weeks that they are in and not bother with the page number at the end? 

The fact that you can’t look up a word and it’s translation at the back of the book is bothersome. You have to go to the glossary in whichever language you remember the word and then find the week and then find the translation. Why is this so complicated? Put a German to English and English to German dictionary at the end of the book and include the week number in which the words were introduced. Is that too much to ask? 

Overall Rating

As you can tell, most of my complaints about this book are pretty petty. Overall this book is excellent. I would give it 4.5 out of 5 bowties on the Herr Antrim scale of awesomeness that I just invented. The audio files really elevate the value of the purchase for me. The illustrations are fantastic. The word choice is practically perfect. All in all, it is a great book. If you have a younger kid that is learning German, this would be a great addition to their German learning. 

More German Learning Books from DK

The company that made this book also makes several other books, which are now on my list of books to buy and review. The first one I plan on getting is called “15-Minute German”. This looks to be the closest thing to an adult version of the German for Everyone Junior book. It has an audio option to go with it, just like this book does. It includes phrases and conversational German. It definitely looks like it is aimed at older learners, but I’ll have to see what it looks like when I get it to be sure I like it. If it is anything like German for Everyone Junior, however, it is sure to be a great book. 

If you want to buy the books mentioned in this post or see my other book recommendations for German learners, you can check out my Amazon Affiliate Shop or see all of my recommended resources here.

More German Learning Resource Reviews

If you are really wanting to put your German learning on track, consider joining Herr Antrim’s Deutschlerner Club! For just $14.99 per month you will get access to his full A1 and A2 courses plus new materials as he creates them. You will go from knowing zero German to being able to have a short conversation in a short few weeks. Before you know it, you will be conversational in German on a variety of important topics, all while mastering German grammar.

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