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This is a great series for any language and I used this book for German and it does bring you to B2 level if you complete it as instructed with audio. Try to do about two lessons a day and complete it in about a month to 2 months.
You want to get a version that has the book plus audio. This is the newest one like that: http://www.amazon.com/Assimil-German-Ease-English-Speakers/dp/2700517504 There's another version called the German Super Pack which has the same audio on the CDs on an Mp3 CD as well, but that's not really necessary if you can just rip the CDs. Weirdly, the one with the extra Mp3 CD was cheaper at the time I was buying, so I got that one! (Note: at the moment they're using the same picture for both products, which is inaccurate -- the one I linked to doesn't include the Mp3 CD).
The most diligently designed and most comprehensive book to learn German with is <strong>Deutsch nach der Naturmethode</strong>. This quite rare book has recently been retrieved, digitized, and recorded. In short, it is a 36-chapter (about 280 pages total) novella that is diligently prepared for each sentence to be self-interpretive, when needed, with the aid of marginal tips that are also entirely in German. It requires absolutely no prior knowledge and the book is self-referring in that without any need of a dictionary, grammar book or anything alike you will smoothly get through all 36 chapters, provided that you don't give too long of breaks in between your sessions (at most a few days is okay so that you don't have to study the previous chapter over and over again each time.) Also, make sure to use the audio! Upon reading a chapter and understanding it, you can read along with the audio or treat it as an audiobook.
Deutsch nach der Naturmethode being the main book, I recommend these resources to be used in conjunction with it as supplementary sources of comprehensible input:
Studien and Plaudereien First Series is a book quite similar to our first book, however, it is short of some qualities Deutsch nach der Naturmethode has, like not having a margin section and enough pictures to supplement the context for easier comprehension. However, just like the same book, this book starts with universally intelligible easy sentences and gradually gets more complicated, however, more complicated not necessarily meaning more challenging for the student. Another good news is that First Series of this book also has recently been recorded in its entirety and you are strongly recommended to make use of that as well! The book has a sequel with the same name Studien und Plaudereien Second series and lots of supplementary readers written by the same author, that is, Sigmon M. Stern. (See my comment for the download link which contains the entire collection.)
Similar to these books are Deutsch für Ausländer and Worman's German Readers. (See my comment for the download)
Besides these resources there are those much more widely known, that should be included in this list.
Older generation Linguaphone German Course (1990) (much better compared to new ones) It is also quite similar to the aforementioned books, however, it comes with a guide which contains notes and translation of one and each sentence, besides instructions, written exercises, and oral exercises booklets. The audio is available in its entirety which is again, a hearty feature. Compared to the aforementioned courses, this Linguaphone course is primarily based on everyday, practical conversations. Linguaphone also has an advanced German course available in 2 volumes with audio. You can send me a message if you are interested to have it.
Assimil German with Ease and German without Toil are great courses as well. Since they are quite famous, and much information about them is available all over the internet, I will pass them without giving an explanation. However, I still recommend that they are used as a supplementary source of input. Even better if you know French, you will have access to other editions of Assimil courses.
Cortina German Course is very similar to Assimil in many ways. They are all apt for self-taught students because, even when sentences happen to be incomprehensible since the translations are given immediately, that which was incomprehensible is made comprehensible input for the use of the student. PDF+Audio is available for free.
Pimsleur courses are not bad at all. They are good for initially acquiring the phonetic system of the language. They are also quite famous.
Routledge Colloquial German is another famous course, Although it is good for self-study compared to the earlier resources mentioned in the list, it is more like a textbook with lots of explanations. Some of Routledge Colloquial series are available for free on their website.
Teach Yourself German is another famous course, You can easily google it for more information. Apparently, there are multiple editions available. Teach Yourself Beginner's German (can be borrowed) Teach Yourself German 1998 edition (can be borrowed) Beginner's German (can be borrowed) German Vocabulary (can be borrowed) Improve Your German (can be borrowed)Teach Yourself German Complete (2008) and Teach Yourself Complete German (2012)
On top of all these great courses, as a video course, Deutsch Direkt is strongly recommended as a supplementary resource. Those who know French in Action will also like this one.
A lot more can be added to the list, however, I believe someone who has these resources in his library will have more than enough to start learning German as an absolute beginner and make it to B2. However, if you think there is a great course that is missing from this list, kindly let me know so that I can edit and add it to the list.
EDIT: Forgot to add Sandberg's German for Reading. It is a book for those who want to quickly learn reading German and start reading papers. It does quite good of a job so by using cognates to speed up the acquisition of vocabulary and giving a parallel translation in English of almost literally every sentence in German.
So based on what I see:
And that series of assimil, pimsleur is good too
As a software engineer I know its very important to have a public portfolio of your projects to talk about.
You can get started with any of angela yu's bootcamps which are awesome:
Uh... http://www.amazon.com/Assimil-German-Ease-English-Speakers/dp/2700517504 With "get", I also meant torrent.
Assimil claims B2, and even if that's a stretch, most people like it.
I like it.