Whether you are learning a language for work or fun, you have probably figured out by now that tools and materials can make or break this game. With the Internet, we now have thousands and thousands of cool things we can use to aid in studying, and languages are something nearly everybody wants to know more of.
With this comes the inevitable (if somewhat unexpected) issue of information overload.
- What makes this program better than that app?
- Should I buy a textbook or should I do it all online?
- How about speaking? Is tutoring over Skype a good option?
- Does Duolingo work?
And if you are anything like me, you are somewhat skeptical of other people’s recommendations. That is how I end up not learning and not improving, but testing out stuff until I eventually get bored and decide that I don’t really need this language after all.
But if you have decided to learn German, you have gotten over a huge amount of warnings.
German is tough, German is unpronounceable, the grammar is hell, why would you even want to learn it if everyone in Germany speaks English (it’s true, most of them do)…
To be honest, these are all legitimate concerns. You are probably aware of that. And yet, you decided you really, really want and/or need to speak German. Let’s not lose that motivation to information overload, shall we?
As you can probably tell from the title, this is a review for an admittedly pretty cool language learning tool called Rocket German.
I know how I personally look at reviews, so I will try to give as much practical and objective information on what it is and why I think it’s really really good.
It all comes with a disclaimer, though, and that disclaimer is that there are no two brains alike. When people say ‘I got such and such results in that amount of time’ it absolutely doesn’t mean it will happen for you, too. We all have different time frames and this is a beautiful thing if you think about it. You might turn out to be significantly better at language learning than me (and know a few words by the end of this Rocket German review), or you could kind of suck for a longer time than most people.
The single most important thing, especially with languages as hard as German, is to not stop moving. You are not at a race, or under a deadline, and even if you are, stress won’t help you achieve more. Just focus on what you can do and avoid ‘tracking’ your success through others. Trust me, you will want to keep your sanity.
Ok, and without further rambling — here’s the Rocket German review.
First Off, The Facts
Rocket languages is (surprise surprise) a language learning system.
You use it online only so you don’t need to go to class, get a textbook, or do any of the stuff, traditionally associated with language learning. You do the exercises online at your own convenience and they guarantee you will be speaking in no time.
Aren’t there a lot of similar tools online? Now there are.
Some 5 years ago, there were much fewer. 10 years ago — only a couple of them existed.
Rocket Languages started back in 2004, so they have 13 years of experience in the e-learning field. For a field that is so competitive, and that develops quicker and quicker every day (implementing new neurological, psychological, and technological advances), the fact that they stuck around is one of the best things about them. Most online language learning providers barely have a few years of experience. They might know how things work in theory, but Rocket Languages knows what will also work in real life.
Up to date, there are more than a billion people that have used it. That’s a lot of them and a lot of improvement ideas to be found and implemented. And Rocket Languages has improved quite a lot from it’s early days, as illustrated in this Rocket German review.
So What Does Rocket German Include?
- 32 Interactive Audio lessons of around 20-25 minutes each. They come in downloadable audio files, so you can listen in the car or you, whenever, without having to worry about your Internet connection.
- Transcripts for those audio lessons. This comes in super handy for beginners, since it’s not always easy to make out what they are saying (even if they’re speaking as clear as possible).
- Step-by-step grammar instructions. They break down any new concepts that they have introduced in the previous lesson into small, understandable chunks of explanation.
- 30+ Language & Culture lessons. These can range from fun facts, to do’s and don’t s in Germany and German-speaking countries, to additional vocabulary, as well as grammar tips.
- Flash Card sets for every lesson, which significantly increases your productivity when it comes to mastering vocabulary.
- The Rocket Record system. You speak the word or phrase you are trying to learn out loud and it tells you whether you are saying it right.
- 25 Advanced Learning Technique articles that give you ideas on how to improve your language learning. Since nobody actually taught us how to learn, you will find a lot of new things here.
Plus some more useful tools, and access to a fun and dynamic community of language learners.
How Much Is It?
There are three packages. The Premium, the Combo, and the Works. Premium includes level 1 of German, Combo — levels 1 and 2, and Works, you guessed it, levels 1, 2, and 3.
The levels correspond to Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Those are some quite broad levels, but there is a lot of information, lessons, and progress to be made in every single one of them.
Since Rocket languages is set online, you would expect a subscription, but this is actually a lifetime access type of service. Premium lifetime access is $100, the combination is $250, and works is $260.
How About A Free Trial?
They do offer that.
If you sign up with your email they give you access to 4 trial audio lessons, an email vocabulary building newsletter, and their eBook ‘Ordinary Ways to Learn a Language Extraordinarily Fast’. They also send the occasional promotional email with some subscriber-only discounts.
What is more, you get a 2-month money back guarantee. It is super easy to get your money back if you don’t like the system (or as they say on their website ‘You’ll learn German or you don’t pay’). This is particularly easy if you are paying with PayPal, so if you get the program I would certainly recommend that. You know, just in case, although I highly doubt you will use the money back option.
Why do I like it (and think it is the best way of learning German)?
Rocket German Review: It Is Very Friendly
I would have said user-friendly, but it’s also just generally a friendly community and even though it is an online system, there is a lot of personal touches to it. It has so many vocabulary and grammar practice games built in it, so learning really is fun (yup, the cliché is real).
Also, I really loved how there are so many messages from the founder throughout the program, and they feel really genuine.
Lastly, the forum is a great space for language learners.
You can get your specific questions answered by experts within minutes (one of my least favorite parts of learning a language by myself is digging through grammar books to find an answer), you can meet fellow students, it really helps with motivation and it’s generally a fun language place to be a member of.
The Explanations are Clear
With German especially, the grammar can get quite complex. I really appreciated their step-by-step tutorials to how the language works. It was also cool that they came in English, not German. Too many textbooks only have their grammar explanations in German, supposedly because it helps you practice, but that would usually just slow me down and frustrate me.
It’s Also on Mobile
My laptop is 5 pounds and I travel a lot (well, not nearly as much as I would like to, but still). Usually, I don’t take it along, so I loved that Rocket Languages can be used on mobile. It is both on iOS and Android and it works just as well. I like it better than a simple language learning app, though, because there is more material and it is much better structured. With things like Duolingo I would usually feel like I’m not learning a lot, and I couldn’t self-pace as efficiently,
$100 is not little for most people, but when you compare it to most language courses, it is a total steal.
Plus, it usually turns out to be more effective, and it is a one-time price for lifetime access, including any improvements they make on the system in future (and they do improve quite a lot). So yes, I think it is great value.
Rocket German Review: Closing Thoughts
With all that praise for Rocket Languages, you would ask did I actually learn German. There is no way to learn a language once and for all.
You will have to practice every day, otherwise, you will lose your skills before you know it.
That being said, Rocket German will certainly help you go from level zero and overwhelmed with where to start from, to a decent intermediate, or even advanced level.
I hope you enjoyed this Rocket German review.
In conclusion: 4.5/5 stars
PS: You can get instant access to the program by clicking here.
PSS: If you’re looking to date in Germany and put your new language skills to the test, check out these articles…