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      December 5, 2019

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GGerman Pod 101 vs Transparent Language

To help you find the Best German Lessons, provides you with an in-depth comparison of GGerman Pod 101 and Transparent Language.

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Learn German with Rocket Languages Today! Did you know that German is the 3rd most common language taught in American schools? Whether you’re looking to brush off skills you learned years ago, interested in the language of your ancestors, or wanting to have a grasp of basic German prior to traveling through Europe, now is the time to start!

German is spoken by 90-95 million people throughout the world, and not just in Germany. It is also recognized as an official language in Austria, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, as well as portions of Italy, Poland, and even Brazil.

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Best Reviews


German Lessons Reviews

3.5 stars
German Pod 101


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$4+/month for Basic plan

$10+/month for Premium plan

$10+/month for Premium plan

Innovative Language's GermanPod101 program provides a wide variety of language instruction levels, from brand-new language learners to those looking to move to a new level of German fluency.

The high-pressure sales pitch used by Innovative Language might be off-putting to some customers. The main site promises a free account with lifetime access, but no further information is available until you enter your name, email address, and level of learning (absolute beginner, intermediate advanced), and then activate your account once you receive the email. (You can also sign up using your Facebook account.) The confirmation page then takes you to a "limited, one-time offer" that includes the following:

  • One month of premium access (regular price of $25/month)
  • One free product download (starting at $9.99)
  • 7-day Fluency Fast Course
  • Ultimate Getting Started with German Lesson Pack, with 60 German audio lessons and lesson notes, 10 bonus video lessons, and user guide

In order to access this "one-time offer", you'll need to pay $1 as a "bandwidth fee". Otherwise, click on the "No Thanks" link and it will take you to your main account page. On that page, we got yet another "special offer", explaining that we had now been given a 7-day free trial with access to the entire lesson library and Premium tools, but we could get a 10% discount if we upgraded to a subscription plan that day. Fortunately, the sales pitch seems to finish there, as you can jump directly to audio Absolute Beginner Lesson 1, "Is Your Coffee as Strong as Your German Apologies?"

In that sample lesson, which navigates a conversation between two strangers when one spills on the other and needs to apologize, we particularly like that the audio speed can be changed right on the main screen if you need to hear the lessons more slowly (or more quickly!). Also be sure to check out the spot at the top of the lesson that says "Download PDFs". Here you'll find a transcript of the lesson, lesson notes (including cultural notes and grammar explanations), and checklists to help you track your progress through the materials.

From that point, we found it difficult to know the recommended path(s) for logically progression through the lessons. We saw that there are also video lessons, so we went to the series "Learn German in Three Minutes" found under the "Lessons" heading on the main page. Those videos made more sense than the audio files, but we weren't sure if we needed to follow the instructions to "add course to dashboard".

Additionally, the learning dashboard shows the recommended lesson progression under the "My Pathway" heading, access to flashcards and other tools, and access to the "My Teacher" feature included with Premium Plus memberships.

We recommend that students go to the Lessons navigation at the top of the page, and select "Learning Paths": here you will find groups of lessons categorized as Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. The content initially looks skimpy - for example, under the "Advanced" section of the Learning Paths, it appears to only have two areas of content. However, as we took a closer look, we noticed that the "Flexing Your Fluency" area includes a total of 80 lessons, comprising a total of just over four hours of instruction.

We were initially confused by the pricing for Innovative Language's packages. On one page, it said that their packages were priced at $4/month for the Basic plan, $10/month for the Premium package, and $25/month for Premium+; however, on the main pricing FAQ page, the prices were listed as nearly double those amounts. Why? The higher prices are for a 1-month subscription, and the lower prices reflect a 50% discount given for a 24-month subscription. Keep that in mind as you decide which plan meets your needs and your budget, and be sure to compare the features offered at each subscription level (for example, interactive voice recording is included with Premium and Premium+ only, while printer-friendly lesson notes are included with all paid memberships).

Innovative Language does offer a guarantee. If you are unsatisfied with your membership at any level, you may request a refund within 60 days. Be aware that you will only be refunded for the unused time on your membership plan.

Because of the breadth of the content offered and the solid variety of teaching approaches (such as audio, video, MP3 downloads, mobile apps), we give Innovative Language's GermanPod101 a respectable rating. This rating would improve with fewer hoops for prospective customers to jump through in order to check out what the German program has to offer, and less emphasis on the sales pitch.

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3.5 stars
Transparent Language


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$29.95/month for Online German monthly plan

$24.99/month for Online German 6-month plan

$16.66/month for Online German 12-month plan

$49.95 for Everywhere German Audio Course

$29.95 for KidSpeak German desktop program

Transparent Language's online German program bills itself as providing "radically better language learning, in one complete experience". Like most of our higher-rated language learning programs, Transparent Language makes use of a variety of techniques - speaking practice that allows users to compare their speech to that of a native speaker; questions that involve multiple choice, dictation, and listening recognition; detailed grammar lessons to help learners understand the mechanics of German; and much more. We didn't find much to indicate what makes Transparent Language's German program exceptionally different from other providers, though what they do offer seems to be on par with more commonly-used programs.

We do like that Transparent offers a 14-day free trial of their online program, and that no credit card information is required to activate that trial period. Many customers report that Transparent Language's structure is much less rigid than other German programs, so we recommend that new users take advantage of that free trial to determine if they have the self-discipline required to make progress with Transparent's more flexible approach to language learning.

We also appreciate that Transparent Language offers a full refund for all of its products, within six months of purchase for any physical/downloaded product, and a full refund prior to the next billing cycle for Transparent Language Online.

One unique aspect to Transparent Language is the ability to have live instruction and tutoring in German. Their offerings are not inexpensive - $299 for an 8-week, customized online course that meets once a week, and/or $99 for 90 minutes of private online tutoring at the student's proficiency level - but for students who want face-to-face instruction or help without leaving home, Transparent Language is one of the few providers that offers it.

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Continued from above

And, with the increasing popularity of genealogy, or family history research, many people are interested in learning German as a way of connecting with their roots. In the United States alone, there are as many as 50 million people who claim German descent as part of their heritage, making it one of the largest, if not the largest, ethnic groups in the nation.

From new students to the German language to those looking to fine-tune their grammar and pronunciation, there are a variety of providers of German language instruction that can help. When choosing the German lessons that will be the best fit, it is wise to get a feel for each program's methods.

Some German lessons take advantage of multiple learning modalities and strive to meet the needs of all types of learners - visual, auditory, and so on - making use of flashcards, pronunciation practice using a microphone, games, and online resources.

In contrast, some German lessons make use of a single approach to learning (for example, workbooks or audio lessons) that might not be a good match for your preferred learning method(s). For that reason, it is highly recommended that you take the time to choose the provider of German lessons that will fit both your learning objectives and your personal approach to learning.

When looking for German lessons, there are several factors to consider. Some of these include:

  • Instructional Methods. Do the German lessons use a teaching methodology that fits your personal learning style?
  • Skill Level. Are the German lessons designed for novice learners of German or those with significant experience with the language? Do the lessons provided allow you to progress from one level to another for the same price, or do you have to purchase subsequent products?
  • Value. Do the German lessons give you a good value for the money invested? has reviewed and ranked the best German Lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you learn one of Europe’s primary languages with ease and enjoyment!

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