Some quick notes on resources for learning theological German.
For being able to read German there is German Quickly by April Wilson, as well as Jannach’s German for Reading Knowledge. There is also Cole and Dodd’s Reading German: A Course Book and Reference Grammar. If you only can get one book on reading German, get Wilson’s (though I don’t have Cole and Dodd’s book so I don’t know if it is better than Wilson’s). One might also like to complement this with a German grammar book such as Modern German Grammar: A Practical Guide or Hammer’s German Grammar and Usage. I don’t have either, but am planning on getting one at some stage (probably Hammer’s edition as I’ve heard it is the best).
Inevitably you will need a German-English dictionary. I have Collins German Unabridged Dictionary, 7th Edition. Some might prefer the Oxford German Dictionary or a pocket dictionary (or this Oxford pocket version). A handy book on useful German vocabulary I purchased is Basic German Vocabulary. It has 4000 of the most useful and basic words and is split thematically. German is on the left side and English on the right. Every word is also used in an example sentence which is written out in both German and English. Another feature I like about this book (and there are a few) is that the vocab list is evenly balanced out with adverbs, adjectives, nouns, etc. This may seem like an obvious thing, but I’ve seen vocabularly books/lists which wind up having an emphasis on a particular type (usually nouns). Here is a picture of a page. I definitely recommend this inexpensive book.
A book more geared towards reading theological German is Modern Theological German: A Reader and Dictionary. Or one can simply get a German/English New Testament and make one’s way through it.
For speaking German, I am using the Pimsleur course which is divided into three courses (I, II, III). Each course contains 30 audio lessons and the retail price is generally $200-250, though you can pick up second-hand copies for half the price. There is also the more popular language learning program Rosetta Stone. It is more expensive and after doing a little bit of research it seems that it is somewhat an overrated program (especially for its expensive cost), but keep in mind that I’ve never used Rosetta Stone and am just relying on opinion I’ve heard from people who have learned 5+ languages and/or linguistic grad students. I’ve heard good things about the Michel Thomas program for German, but as with the Rosetta Stone program, I haven’t used it so can’t verify how good it is. I am working my way through the Pimsleur program and I really enjoy it. It is audio files (with an accompanying booklet available online as PDF) in which you are given words and phrases from German speakers and then continually repeat them. The main drawback with this program is the limited vocabulary you learn, but on the upside I think it does a good job of making you be able to understand German sentence formation.
For those who cannot or do not wish to spend money on learning theological German, then I would recommend this website, Getting German, which was created by a fellow bibioblogger.