|Editor's Review Costs & Features User Reviews|
Editor's Star Ratings:
|Emphasis on Speaking / Pronunciation:|
|Emphasis on Writing / Grammar:|
|Variety of Learning Materials:|
|Ease of Use:|
|Value for Money:|
|Overall Star Rating:|
With top of the range software and a wide range of features, Transparent languages boldly claim to get you 'speaking German as you would your mother tongue'. As a market leader in language learning software and with a hefty price tag of $179.95 to match, Transparent Languages certainly do not market themselves as a budget language learning solution. However, with 5 products in one and a wide range of features, Transparent German Premium Addition may actually represent great value for money to those serious about learning German. In the end, if Transparent languages are to deliver on their promise it will all depend on the quality of their features and ease of use of the software.
With 5 products in one convenient package Transparent Languages offer you a varied learning experience that not only makes learning more fun but also optimizes the learning process through the stimulation of different areas of your brain. Through an integral combination of traditional study techniques, immersion activities, reading activities, audio courses and conversation practice, Transparent German should suit the preferences of most learners, bringing your confidence in German from beginners to advanced level in no time at all. Each component of Transparent German Complete Edition can be purchased separately, however, only by purchasing them together will you get a complete course and make some great savings.
Vocabulary forms the building blocks of language; an extensive and varied base is indispensable for both expressing yourself and understanding German. To meet these ends, Transparent Languages provide you with Byki Deluxe. This innovative flashcard based program allows you to internalize and revise thousands of the most common German words and phrases according to a specific algorithm that optimizes the learning process. We found ourselves able to construct and rapidly retain an extensive base of vocab with surprising ease and speed. After just a short time we had learned enough words to form a foundation upon which we could rapidly progress in teaching ourselves German. In order to practice actually vocalizing this vocabulary, Transparent Languages include speech recognition technology that allows you to record yourself, play back, compare to a native speaker and analyze the disparity between your pronunciation and theirs so that you can improve on it the next time; this really helps you in not only getting your head around the language, but getting your tongue around it to!
Once you have built up a strong base of vocab, Transparent German's complete course of lessons will teach you how to put it together into sentences of increasing complexity, allowing you to confidently express progressively complex meanings and concepts. The course includes texts, videos and stories (all using native speakers) which focus equally on your speaking, reading and writing. The course covers a range of topics such as at the restaurant, traveling, numbers, shopping, emergencies and many more. This way, you will be able to apply the vocab and grammar you have learned to real life situations from the very beginning of your learning experience. We especially liked this aspect of Transparent Languages as it meant we could begin practicing our German immediately, putting ourselves in situations that really pushed and challenged us.
For the really dedicated, only a full immersion in the German will bring you up to a level at which you can confidently express yourself in the language ‘as if it were your mother tongue’. This requires being surrounded by the language almost all the time. To these ends, Transparent Languages include Everywhere German; a full course of lessons and exercises on CD and mp3 so that whether in the car, cooking or walking the dog, you are exposed to and learning German. This feature is fantastic for those of us who want to convert that ‘dead time’ jogging or sitting in traffic into productive German learning as you will be revising and consolidating what you learn during the interactive activities.
Despite Transparent German being a comprehensive and very practical course, do not expect that on its own it will get you fluent in German. In our opinion this was a rather brash claim from the start. The only way you can possibly achieve complete fluency in any language without actually living in that country is with a full immersion course. This would involve interactive activities and, crucially, a personal touch which Transparent German lacks. Immersion activities are touched upon but this does not make Transparent German an immersion style course. This said, the course does combine the best of both worlds to give users a varied, comprehensive and very practical learning experience. The software and audio companions focus on exactly what you need to learn. For example, as you progress through the course you are introduced only to the different grammatical concepts that are necessary for your level so as not confuse or disrupt your learning. We would recommend Transparent German as a crash course for that upcoming business trip or holiday in which you will not only be able to utilize what you have learned, but build upon it in a real world environment. Without a trip to, or living in, Germany you will have to supplement Transparent German in order to achieve a level approaching fluency. We did like the option to chose exactly what to study and when. However, complete beginners may initially find this flexibility frustrating as, without language learning experience it can be difficult to know exactly where to start, especially considering the wide range of material on offer with Transparent German; you may feel rather overwhelmed, simply not knowing where to start! Still, do not let this deter you as once you are settled in it is easy to structure your learning with Transparent German’s excellent progress tracker. We really appreciated being able to orientate ourselves within the course, visualizing what we had achieved and what we needed to improve. This feature helped secure Transparent German a place in our top ten list.
Transparent languages will do exactly what it says on the tin but nothing more. You will only get out of it what you put in so it may take a little effort to not let the slightly dull classroom approach bore you. If you can get past this you will enjoy a simple and comprehensive teach yourself German course that will provide you with sturdy foundations upon which we are confident you will be able to progress to higher levels of German with ease. The overall simplicity of the program may leave some feeling as though they are not getting their money’s worth but don’t let this distract you from the fact that all of Transparent Language’s features are top quality and will not disappoint. Furthermore, despite not boasting the slick user interface of many of its competitors, the software is certainly flexible enough to suit the learning preferences of almost all language learners. What is more, Transparent Languages offer a 6 month money back guarantee, giving you peace of mind when parting with your hard earned cash.
Click on the button below to check out Transparent.com German for yourself...