I am looking out for self-study German books targeted for beginners. Please help me to compile a good list of titles worth buying.
Langenscheidt's "Basic German Vocabulary" is a tool for building your vocabulary, and I must emphasize that it is not a dictionary. It contains the 4000 words that most frequently occur in written German divided into categories. Each category is again divided in two, with the most frequently occurring words first and the more esoteric ones last. Each entry contains the following:
- English and German translation of the word
- An example sentence in both English and German
- IPA of the German word
- and also all kinds of auxiliary information like gender, irregularities, cases, and so on
Here's an example entry from the category "Ordnung und Einteilung":
Alle Angestellten werden entsprechend ihrer Leistung bezahlt.
All employees will be paid according to their work.
I have been studying with this book for almost 200 days and will soon finish it. Before starting I could read nothing in German without a dictionary, and now I hardly need a dictionary at all when reading, because the few words I do not understand can be understood from the context.
I suggest using any kind of "spaced repetition software", like Anki, to learn the words.
It's also cheap. I picked it up for 12€.
There is a corresponding "Übungsbuch" ("workbook"), which I have not tried. From personal experience I would say that it is not necessary.