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5.0 out of 5 starsFun reading for beginners
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2018
First I must admit that I'm really a beginner - just finished German A2 (European system). I am reading each book in this series in order. I really like the author's use of simple grammar and vocabulary, so beginners can actually enjoy reading in German. The author constructs the stories so that you can almost figure everything out from context, but you still learn new words, expressions, and usage as you go. Each book builds on learning from previous books so you gradually progress to reading more complex stories. This book is my favorite so far. It was a bit longer and more complex than earlier ones, yet not daunting. The plot was a bit more substantial, as was the use of language. Ich möchte das Buch empfehlen! Viel spaß!
I like this series. There is a consistent theme as the Sicilian youth struggles from his Italian native language to learn Deutsch in Deutschland with others in a shared apartment. In this, the most recent book, he finishes up his travels and sojourns in Germany, where he began in Berlin, Frankfort, Munich, Hamburg and now Palermo with his adventures that sometimes get him into minor problems. The series is filled with nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs, with appropriate but not excessive repetition. I was able to read each one with my level of German ability but I also picked up new vocabulary in buying, shopping, eating, clothing and other things. All of the events are briefly but adequately described, as are the characters he encounters. In this book, we meet his family in Sicily at the point of a wedding for his brother who regularly helps Dino by sending him money. The vocabulary continues to expand using already familiar settings such as airports, train stations, subways (metros), restaurants and snack bars, things such as coffee, beer, wine and foods. My only fault with the books is a lack of glossary to confirm my translations. I've had to go to the Google translator for some of the phrases I needed to know. Again, I like this series. I am polyglot, speaking Spanish, French, German and Russian and I look for series like this to help me grow my vocabulary. I am reading Der Erste Weltkrieg which is very challenging so as I read and when I grow tired, I return often to this series to refresh and confirm my vocabulary. I recommend it to those still building their vocabulary and understanding of Deutsch (German) as it is a fun method to learn and in any language, our speaking and reading skills are very different.
3.0 out of 5 starsA more serious theme in this one
Reviewed in the United States on January 18, 2018
Well written and containing a lot of contemporary dialogue for vocabulary-building, as in the earlier stories. However, to be completely honest, I found the heavy political content to be a bit of a turnoff and the book wasn't as enjoyable as the earlier ones. I took a couple of weeks to finish it, and it was mostly because I just wasn't as invested in the story. This is a great series and I'll absolutely continue with it, but I'm hoping for a return to the lighter side of Dino's adventures.
Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2016
After several decades of neglect, I recently decided to refresh the four semesters of German I took in college. As an adult learning on my own, I needed materials that would keep me motivated. These stories have met that need perfectly. Dino's adventures in Europe are so engaging and informative that I happily read them again and again. The books provide a delightful way to build vocabulary while learning about Germany. The level of difficulty and the lengths of the chapters are just right. These books are well worth the price, or as one of Klein's characters would say, das ist ein guter ,Deal'. Along with some other reviewers, I hope that Dino's story will continue.
5.0 out of 5 starsTrying to learn German? These are for you.
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2017
Really struggling trying to learn German, with its unusual (to me) grammar rules. This whole series of books is fantastic for the new learner, like myself. I bought one and was so impressed I bought the whole series. They're just above "see spot run" books for children learning English, with excellent translation sections behind each story, and with each story building on the previous one.
This is ideal for a beginner learner. The characters are engaging, the narrative is skillful and the dialogue introduces one to typical expressions in context. It perfectly fits Stephen Krashen’s model of learning through stories and the principle of ‘comprehensible input’.
5.0 out of 5 starsI love these books! ...and the audiobooks
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2020
I've been reading these books in series (as they should be read - because they increase in language proficiency needed). I'm reading them to supplement my German language course. I'm actually amazed how much better my reading comprehension has become. Last night I read a chapter from this current book and I understood almost everything.
The books follow the main character, Dino, through his life, loves, and experiences in Germany. (Dino is from Sicily). The chapters are just a few pages long and end with a glossary of vocabulary and terms which might be unfamiliar. There is also a short reading comprehension section (multiple choice items) at the end of each so you can check how much you are understanding.
All the books have an audiobook (available from Audible). After I read a chapter, I usually listen to the audio version and read along. It's incredibley useful for pronunciation and for listening comprehension. (the audiobooks for the first book and maybe the second also - can't remember - are read very slowly, but the later ones are at a better speed ... not too fast and not too slow).
Anyway, I read a chapter every night after getting in bed. It's the perfect time for me and something relaxing and interesting to do before going to sleep.
5.0 out of 5 starsHelpful for learning German especially with so much dialogue in the stories
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2018
I have now finished the sixth book in the series and have found them all excellent. I have recently begun using online flash cards with chunks of German so I am now going back over all the books and taking out chunks of German to memorise and learn. The stories are excellent for doing this, especially with so much dialogue. I have particularly enjoyed this sixth book with the story of the Syrian refugee which is so topical as well as providing me with useful vocabulary on the subject.
5.0 out of 5 starsexpressions and basic phrases is easily and rapidly acquired
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 18, 2016
This little book is the follow-up of "Café in Berlin": the adventures of a young penniless Sicilian who experiences life in various different settings _ First in Berlin, then in Palermo ........ etc. The author uses simplified sentence structures and basic vocabulary making his books suitable for "post" beginners and intermediate students of German. By using these "building blocks" of language, one unconsciously learns the basic structures of the language. Accumulation of vocabulary, expressions and basic phrases is easily and rapidly acquired. One needs, however, to be at least at a "post beginner" stage to take full advantage of this book.
5.0 out of 5 starsThe series of books is great for learning German
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 29, 2018
When you get sick of learning German with textbooks this is the way to go. I have learnt so many new words and phrases and my comprehension of German has improved loads since listening to the series. The books appear to be getting slightly more difficult as the series progresses which is great for me. I have been learning german for around a year now and would not have been able to understand the books as a total beginner but for my level (which is around A2/B1) this is great
These are lovely stories, well written and entertaining. They seem to contain material which must reflect some real life experiences for some one, especially the story of working as a cleaner in a film studio, with a dismissal scene which itself begs filming. Strongly recommended.