So, you want to learn German, but you don’t know where to start. This page is designed to help you get started learning German with Herr Antrim. If you don’t know any German, but you want to learn, keep reading. Not a complete beginner? You might find Herr Antrim’s German learning tips more helpful.
Start with the End in Mind
Franklin Covey wrote in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that any journey must start with the end in mind. Or, to use a quote from Yogi Berra: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”.
Learning German is no different. Know why you want to learn German, so you can use that to guide your German learning. Do you want to tour Germany? You need to make sure you learn things you will be doing while you are there. Eg. How to buy something, where to go for information, and how to order food. If you want to work in Germany, you need to learn about work related vocabulary. Want to study in Germany? Better start looking up the requirements for getting into German universities and find out how to fulfill those requirements.
No matter what your goal is, you can get off on the right foot by starting with these 8 tips for learning German on your own.
Herr Antrim’s E-book “Beginner German with Herr Antrim”
No matter why you are learning German, Herr Antrim’s e-book “Beginner German with Herr Antrim” is a great place to start. This e-book starts with pronunciation. By the time you finish you can have your first real conversation in German.
When you download the e-book, you get all kinds of extras. This includes mp3 files designed to help you work on your pronunciation as you go along. There are worksheets and answer keys for every lesson in the e-book (except the pronunciation and alphabet chapters). You will also gain access to online flashcards among other materials. All of these things are meant to support you along your German learning journey.
How to Use Herr Antrim’s E-Book Properly
The first few pages of the e-book are not to be skipped. They include a quick guide to getting started with the e-book. Since it is an e-book, the underlined blue words are links that lead you to wonderful things to go with the e-book. It explains how to access the online flashcards and additional materials in case you lose the download from this site. (You can always access anything you purchase from this site by clicking on “Login” on any page. Then enter your login information that you created when you made the purchase. Finally, click on the “Downloads” tab.)
Chapter 1: Pronunciation
The first chapter in the e-book is all about pronunciation. It is incredibly detailed and explains every letter combination you will come across in the German language. You could read the chapter and listen to the mp3 files for correct pronunciation. You could also use this as a guide or reference when you have questions about pronunciation.
All of the Other Chapters
Start by reading the chapter and trying to understand what is being taught. If it helps, you can watch the video or listen to the mp3 version of the chapter. These can be found via a Google Drive folder or in your download tab on this site. I find this particularly helpful in the chapters featuring skits.
Once you think you have a good grasp of the information, try the exercises that follow the chapter. Check your answers using the answer keys that are provided. Use the online flashcards to help solidify the words that you learned in that lesson. Re-read, re-watch, or re-listen to the lesson again in a day or so. This will help you to store the information in your long-term memory.
After Each Chapter
Once you have finished a chapter and your review of it, go to the end of the e-book. Check out the extra resources, which start on page 124. I have included a variety of links that include videos from other YouTubers about each topic. You can also find links to each chapter’s individual flashcard list here. After all of the chapter specific links, there are links to other sites where you can learn German and practice what you learn from the e-book or even take it to the next level.
I’ve Read the E-Book. Now what?
Can I pass an A1 exam after reading this e-book? Yes, sort of. If you only read the e-book from cover to cover and don’t supplement with any outside materials, you will not be able to pass the exam. It isn’t designed to do that. You need to add more to it. So, what do you add? Where do you go for that?
Once you have read the e-book, you should be able to understand a lot of German (provided you followed my instructions above). Now is the time you need to increase your input. You can use a site like LingQ to find level appropriate materials to read and listen to or you can start with my A1/A2 series.
LingQ provides a variety of lessons about the German language, but the most appropriate thing for you at your current level is to use their “mini stories”. These stories are designed for entry level German learners. They are built in such a way that you build vocabulary without being terribly bored.
Herr Antrim’s A1/A2 Series
My A1/A2 series was actually created before my A1 e-book. Every week on my YouTube channel I created a lesson designed for either the A1 or A2 levels. No matter which video you watch in this series, you will learn vocabulary and grammar that is appropriate for your level. Best of all, you can get all of the extra materials to go with these lessons for free. This includes worksheets, answer keys and mp3 files for each lesson, just like in my e-book.
The downside to my A1/A2 series is that those videos were never meant to be viewed in any particular order. This is also a good thing, however, as you can watch whichever videos interest you the most or the ones you think will help you reach your goals the fastest.
I’ve read the book. I finished the A1/A2 series. Now what?
If you have read my e-book and completed all 50 lessons in my A1/A2 series, you should be able to read a book or two by Angelika Bohn or André Klein. I like Angelika Bohn’s books, because they are labeled for each level and they are simply entertaining to read. You can read my reviews of her books here: Nachbar Nr. 5 (A1), der silberne Kugelschreiber (A1/A2), Immer wieder Sascha (A1/A2), and Foto ohne Namen (B1/B2).
If you want to buy them right now, you can find them on Amazon* via the links below.
*Amazon links are affiliate links. This does not cost you anything extra, but when you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, Herr Antrim receives a commission for the sale.