7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
by lazyness, February 6, 2003
This could be a very good book for learning Croatian. As said below, the idea with each chapter consisting of three dialogues concerning tourism, business and a soap opera is very good since it enables the learner to cope with different situations. On the whole, the grammar is presented in a clear way and after finishing the course the learner should have a good grasp of Croatian grammar. Still, somewhere along the line someone got lazy - either the author or the people at lay out.
-Of the three different dialouges only the first in each chapter (tourism) has got decent vocabulary tables. For the other two dialouges in each chapter you do get some words, but since they aren't arranged into tables it is much harder to read and learn them. Of course you can write your own vocabulary for each of them but it will take quite some time - Routledge are the ones who should have put down that additional time.
-Speaking of vocabulary, the general vocabulary at the end of the book is a bad joke. My estimate is that even less than half of the words in the book made it to the vocabulary. It's quite frustrating to do an exercise, find a word you don't know and then for the umpteen time have to realize than the author/Routledge didn't bother to include that word either in the vocabulary.
-The exercises are quite good, but now the laziness reaches extreme hights. Only about 20% of the answers to the exercises are included in the book! I've no idea why, in every other Colloquial book I've read all the answers are given.
-Word accent in Croatian is not predictable and for some few words the accent is marked. For most it is not.
To sum up, the lack of vocabulary tables after each dialouge, the much-too-short general vocabulary and the non-existent answers to the exercises hugely diminish the value of this book. It is sad that a book with such good potential should be destroyed because someone didn't bother to add the final touch. My advice to the author: look at other books in the Colloquial series, such as Colloquial Slovak or Colloquial Lithuanian and learn from them.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
good, January 22, 2002
This must be one of the best language courses for learning the language spoken in Croatia (which is extremely close to the one spoken in Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro). There are three themes running through the book, all of them useful. The first one is the familiar "English Tourists" which will give you the vocabulary for ordinary situations, just as in most other language courses. Then there is a very interesting "soap-opera", which will be most useful if you're into some flirting. Given how extremely good-looking the Croatian girls are, this section is a blessing. Then there is a further theme focusing on a businessman going to Croatia.
The grammar is very concise and well-structured, and the vocabularies in each chapter are fairly full-covering. The audio is great as well, with natural Croatian speech. There is only one small problem and that is that the course does not show whether stressed vowels are long or short.
Though focusing on the speech in Croatia, the book also contains many references to the differences between Croatian and Serbian, which I found very interesting.
Be aware that the overall rating of this book is rather low, NOT
becuase it's a bad book (it's great) but because some people like
the previous reviewer from Greece attack all books that aren't
exclusively in Serbian. That is a political action that has nothing
to do with the qualities of this book. As someone who have never
visited the region and have no passions about the political
situation in the region, I would like to see reviews focusing on the
qualities of the book