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Colloquial Latvian : A Complete Language Course

Title: Colloquial Latvian : A Complete Language Course

Author: Christopher Moseley
Format: Audio Cassette
List Price: $49.99
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Colloquial Latvian : A Complete Language Course

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Editorial Reviews
Language Notes
Text: English--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Description:
Colloquial Latvian is easy to use and completely up-to-date. Specially written by an experienced teacher for self-study or class use, the course offers you a step-by-step approach to written and spoken Latvian. No prior knowledge of the language is required.

What makes Colloquial Latvian your best choice in personal language learning?
* interactive - lots of exercises for regular practice
* clear - concise grammar notes
* practical - useful vocabulary and pronunciation guide
* complete - including answer key and special reference section.

Cassettes accompany the course to help you with listening and pronunciation skills. By the end of this rewarding course you will be able to communicate confidently and effectively in a broad range of situations.

Product Details
  • Audio Cassette: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; Bk/CD/Cas edition (December 1, 1996)
  • ISBN: 0415117992
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.7 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 6 reviews.

Customer Reviews
Avg. Customer Review:

Amazing pack, July 24, 2004
Reviewer: T?sio Costa (S? Paulo, Brazil)

COLLOQUIAL LATVIAN is a nice resource for those who want to learn Latvian. The writer uses an inovative way to teach the language that makes you feel confident to speak and understand. Recommended for those who want to improve spoken knowledge. Buy this pack and feel like you were in a Latvian family. "Tas ir ljoti labi!"

Not useful for beginners, July 20, 2004
Reviewer: "rfox5" (Silver Spring, Maryland)

This book was confusing for me, a beginner, and within ten days I returned it for a refund. It may be fine for a more advanced student, but beginners should avoid it and the frustration that it causes. I recommend instead the "Easy Way to Latvian" book and tapes set for beginners, which is a much more accessible course. Veiksmi!

only okay, May 21, 2004
Reviewer: A reader
This book is too advanced for a beginner and too simple for anyone who is ready for its content. Latvian has a complex grammatical structure that is completely foreign to English speakers and this book makes that structure confusing. Furthermore, there aren't a lot of instantly accessible phrases that beginners would need to know in order to survive. The progression is too quick and can cause frustration.

The thing the book is good at is providing cultural information so that a newcomer gets a sense of the place and the people. The book follows a story of Latvian Australians coming to visit relatives and seeing the sights of Latvia and can, from this perspective, provide insight for those who don't know a lot about Latvia.

The problem is that there are precious few materials out there to assist one to learn Latvian. If Colloquial Latvian is all you can find, then it is better than nothing. But do not place high hopes on it helping you to conquer Latvian becuase it simply won't.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Not really for beginners..., May 27, 2002
Reviewer: A reader
I did not find this course to be very helpful to an absolute beginner. There is little vocabulary building, and too few practical phrases presented. I don't speak any Latvian and I am about to leave for Riga for a year. I don't expect to be able to master this language in one year's time, but I would like to be able to ease my way into the culture by being able to communicate in some basic everyday situations. For example I would like to be able to hail a taxi, order coffee, or buy grocieries.
This course attempts to instruct by having you be an outside observer to situations, rather than having you learn as a direct paricipant. Furthermore, the cassette tapes have poor sound quality which makes them a bit difficult to understand.
I did find this course somewhat useful for listening to basic pronounciation, inflection, and sentence structure. Since the number of available Latvian language courses is extremely limited, I would recommend using this course in conjunction with the Lonely Planet Baltic Phasebook to give you a more practical and useful experience.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Well, at least it's available..., April 2, 2001
Reviewer: A reader
Not a lot of ways to learn Latvian and many are out of print or in print but only in some godforsaken place. I currently live in Latvia and can tell you that although this book is not BAD! it is also not good. It drops you into very advanced grammatical concepts very early on (I think perfect tense is covered in chapter 2). There isn't a logical progression of vocabulary or concepts (wouldn't it be better to know past or present tense before perfect?). There is good inclusion of cultural information -- actual maps of riga to learn directional vocabulary, newspaper ads, excerpts from Raina or dainas. I guess when it comes down to it I wonder why I'm learning Latvian from a Brit/Aussie? I can tell you that the local University language immersion programs use the Dialogs series almost exclusively. But why can't someone get Trevor Fennel in print again? That would be the answer -- instead I have to visit the library to review his presentation of grammatical concepts.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

A fine treatment of a difficult language, December 7, 2000
Reviewer: A reader
This is a really first rate language book- and it's up to date, the grammar is covered very thoroughly (and very comprehensibly), there are lots of exercises, the cassettes are a big help (I would always recommend getting the cassettes) and the theme is refreshing, too- the dialogues involve a family of Latvian origin living in Australia that goes back to the old country to rediscover its roots after Latvia regains its independence- an interesting variation on the usual tired plots and characters employed in language books. Incidentally, for those interested in travelling to the Baltic countries, I also highly recommend "Colloquial Estonian" by the same author.

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