Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

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AML
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Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

Postby AML » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:18 pm

I have a 1987 edition of Assimil German With Ease, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me if the language is outdated or not.

The reason I ask is because the very first lesson uses "Herr Ober" for "waiter", which is quite outdated, according to a German friend that I asked. This makes me question the rest of the book. Is the rest of the book outdated like that, or is it just that chapter? I'm deciding whether to work through this edition that I already have or getting the most recent version.
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Re: Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

Postby BalancingAct » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:25 pm

In my opinion you should get and use both. You will benefit from both.
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Re: Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

Postby AML » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:30 pm

Thanks for answering, but could you please explain your reasoning? For example, are the dialogs completely different between the two? Is the grammar explained differently? Is one more formal and the other more informal? etc. The more details the better.
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Re: Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

Postby Axon » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:39 pm

German has not changed significantly since 1987 save for a handful of words that have fallen out of fashion. Many users on here have supplemented their learning with the FSI Basic German course, which is even older than your Assimil edition. I recommend you do as they did, namely, use the older course with the foreknowledge that it has the slightest touch of outdated formality to it while still being a useful tool for learning.

After you finish Assimil, or even before then, you will certainly want to have a look at contemporary German materials such as music, radio programs, podcasts, TV shows, movies, and YouTube videos. The more you expose yourself to German as it is spoken today, the less you will be inclined to say Herr Ober! at a restaurant.
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Re: Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

Postby Teango » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:28 am

Now you mention it, I don't think I ever once used the phrase "Herr Ober!" while living in Germany. I do, however, clearly recall learning it in school where it appeared repeatedly throughout inane class dialogues and textbooks. Oh, if only I'd remembered to use this phrase with one of the disgruntled eye-contact-avoiding waiters I met in Darmstadt...what a missed opportunity! :twisted:
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Re: Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

Postby Speakeasy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:10 am

AML, not that it matters much, were you not going to enrol in the SmartGerman programme and attain CEFR B1 in 90 days in favour of using Assimil German?

Coming back to your specific question, for all of the major languages in the Assimil catalogue, the differences between the various “Assimil generations” and their suitability for current study have been discussed dozens of times both here in the LLORG and in the HTLAL. Generally speaking, many members have noted a progressive simplification in the dialogues in each successive generation, accompanied by an increasing use of a less formal register of speech. Some members deplore this trend while others laud it. Is some of the vocabulary “outdated” in any of the generations? As I am 71 years of age, the very question makes no sense to me.

Separating the different “generations” from the numerous “editions” within the generations, all of which have unique ISBNs, can be quite challenging. The dialogues and accompanying notes are unique to each successive generation. Here is the list going back to at least the early 1940’s:

Current Generation, by Maria Roemer
The dialogues are titled:
1. Viel Gluck!
2. Im Hotel
3. Das Foto
et cetera

Previous Generation, by Hilde Schneider
The dialogues are titled:
1. Im Café
2. Im Restaurant
3. Im Park
et cetera

First Generation, by A. Chérel
The dialogues are titled:
1. Erste Lektion
2. Zweite Lektion
3. Dritte Lektion
et cetera

Without wishing to avoid answering your questions, I would say that, were you to study all three generations of Assimil German, doing so would be a truly enriching experience. You would most definitely solidify your grasp of basic German with each successive course and you would undoubtedly learn something very useful from each of them that you could quite simply not have learned by using any one of them alone. I did this and I do not regret having done so. Nevertheless, I freely admit that doing so also delayed my progress towards the higher levels of study which are absolutely necessary for greater mastery of the language.

EDITED:
Typos.
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Re: Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

Postby Arnaud » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:18 am

I'm currently stuying the first generation book and it's really an excellent book. The grammar is explained through variations of the sentences in the exercises, it's really good to see how the cases are working. It's something that isn't done in the following generations, afaik.
I'm complementing the old Assimil with Nicos Weg that is a free modern course, so I can see the difference of use of the language and get used to a more natural speed of speech (I just watch the playlist on YouTube, I don't do the exercises)
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Re: Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

Postby Stefan » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:46 am

AML wrote:The reason I ask is because the very first lesson uses "Herr Ober" for "waiter", which is quite outdated, according to a German friend that I asked.


My childhood is a lie.

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Re: Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

Postby AML » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:40 pm

Speakeasy wrote:AML, not that it matters much, were you not going to enrol in the SmarterGerman programme and attain CEFR B1 in 90 days in favour of using Assimil German?


Good memory. I plan to use both, though I don't plan to take the official B1 exam.

Speakeasy wrote:Coming back to your specific question, for all of the major languages in the Assimil catalogue, the differences between the various “Assimil generations” and their suitability for current study have been discussed dozens of times both here in the LLORG and in the HTLAL. Generally speaking, many members have noted a progressive simplification in the dialogues in each successive generation, accompanied by an increasing use of a less formal register of speech. Some members deplore this trend while others laud it. Is some of the vocabulary “outdated” in any of the generations? As I am 71 years of age, the very question makes no sense to me.

Separating the different “generations” from the numerous “editions” within the generations, all of which have unique ISBNs, can be quite challenging. The dialogues and accompanying notes are unique to each successive generation. Here is the list going back to at least the early 1940’s:

Current Generation, by Maria Roemer
The dialogues are titled:
1. Viel Gluck!
2. Im Hotel
3. Das Foto
et cetera

Previous Generation, by Hilde Schneider
The dialogues are titled:
1. Im Café
2. Im Restaurant
3. Im Park
et cetera

First Generation, by A. Chérel
The dialogues are titled:
1. Erste Lektion
2. Zweite Lektion
3. Dritte Lektion
et cetera

Without wishing to avoid answering your questions, I would say that, were you to study all three generations of Assimil German, doing so would be a truly enriching experience. You would most definitely solidify your grasp of basic German with each successive course and you would undoubtedly learn something very useful from each of them that you could quite simply not have learned by using any one of them alone. I did this and I do not regret having done so. Nevertheless, I freely admit that doing so also delayed my progress towards the higher levels of study which are absolutely necessary for greater mastery of the language.


Your points are excellent. thank you.
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Re: Is 1987 Assimil German still relevant for today?

Postby Hashimi » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:48 pm

Stefan wrote:My childhood is a lie.



I don't get it. Could you explain?
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