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Learning Like Crazy Spoken Spanish, Vol. 2

Learning Like Crazy Spoken Spanish, Vol. 2
Author/Publisher: Inc. Learning Like Crazy
Emphasis: Spoken Spanish
List Price: $247

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description
This course is a continuation of Learning Spanish Like Crazy Level 1. Level 2 consists of Lessons 31 to 60. There are also bonus CD's with 8 more lessons and a DVD with an hour of video Spanish lessons. Learning Spanish Like Crazy teaches you conversational Latin American Spanish and helps you develop an authentic Latin American Spanish accent. As an additional bonus gift, with your order you will receive a link to download close to an hour of bonus video Spanish lessons.

Product Details

  • CD-ROM: 13 pages
  • Publisher: Learning Like Crazy Inc. (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 0978609085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978609085
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.2 x 4.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review:

    4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

I own Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, Rocket Spanish and LSLC level two. Using all of these programs has been a very effective way to learn the Spanish language. The only issue with Learning Spanish Like Crazy level two is that there are errors in the transcript that have not been corrected. I have contacted them and they have been saying that they will correct the errors for the past six to eight months but so far they have not done anything. There are also errors in the audio (in English) that have not been corrected. I have made the corrections myself with the help of a native Spanish speaker but it wasn't easy.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - nice product...but take it w/ a grain of salt
In terms of content, I'd rate this product a 4. It does a good job of covering all the key grammatical points. Between LSLC 1 and 2 (total of about 35 cds), it covers about the same amount of material as LIYCS (11 cd's) and more material than BTWS 1. Key difference is that w/ the greater number of hours, it'll go into greater details through drills than LIYCS or BTWS and it seems more interactive helping u to remember stuff more. That said, for every hour of lessons, it covers much less vocab than the other two products. I've finished studying LIYCS and BTWS and this course is better. However, it provides no background on grammar so once it starts conjugating verbs, u don't really know why it was conjugated and stuff so can be confusing for total novice. The transcripts don't have any info on grammar either, unlike the other two products. The online grammar page is pretty thin and incomplete.

Though can get a great deal on publisher's site with LSLC 1 and 2 plus 5 hrs of bonus lessons and FSI 3 and 4 for about $170, the product that u'll download is kinda crippled. They'll bait u w/ mp3 samples that are 192 kbps. When you actually order, the files for LSLC1 and 2 and bonuses range from 96 kbps at 22 kHz for entire LSLC 2, to some 112 kbps and a few 128 kbps at 22 kHz for LSLC 1. People here on amazon say the audio quality sounds great. To me, audio quality in BTWS and LIYCS sounded much clearer than LSLC. LSLC sounds like clear AM radio...with that hollow hissing sound when u turn up the volume...kinda hard to explain. BTWS and LIYCSsound like professionally recorded CD's. The free FSI 3 and 4 are 128 kbps at 44 kHz. The bonus video lessons downloads look like the 1.5x2" boxes u'd see w/ video quality worse than youtube. PDF of dialogs are about 10-12 pages per lesson, making them around 350-400 pages in total. They could have easily single spaced the pdf of transcripts to save us some paper from printing.

Price wise, this product too expensive. It'd be more fair if both LSLC 1 and 2 w/ cd's were $200 total. Also, the website does itself a disservice w/ all that propoganda which makes it look like an informercial. For all the people whose pictures appears raving about it, it would seem as if their online forum would be vibrant and active. In reality, it's pretty empty with a few posters here and there. The reviews on amazing are waaay too glowing for this product, making me doubt their authenticity. However, the Free FSI 3 and 4 make LSLC worth it.

5/24 addendum:
In terms of equivalence:

For FSI Spanish series, there is the Programmatic series and the Basic series.

-FSI programmatic 1 and 2 by LSLC is a distinct course.
-FSI basic (barrons and platiquemos) are a distinct course. Platiquemous divides the Basic in half so there's a total of 8 lessons from the original 4 lessons. Barrons has the first two lessons, which equals platiquemous' first 4 lessons.

FSI Programmatic 1 + 2 = FSI Basic 1+2+3+4

LSLC's bonus FSI 3 and 4 download are different from FSI programmatic...and don't follow their programattic 1 and 2 series..

In terms of order of courses with increasing difficulty:
Barron's FSI Basic 1 = plaquetimos 1/2 --> Barron's FSI 2 = plaquetimos 3/4 --> plaquetimos 5/6 = LSLC's FSI 3--> plaquetimos 7/8 = LSLC's FSI 4

Because barron's only provides the first basic 1 and 2, that's why some posters have mentioned that u'd need to get the programattic II from LSLC to get the free FSI 3 and 4, or you could by plaquetimos.

LSLC Spoken Spanish 1 and 2 are distinct from FSI but use same approach to teaching. LSLC's SS 2 covers up to subjunctive, which is in FSI 3. I haven't personally seen the programattic series.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Ear Training in a New Language
LSLC is a wonderful course that I use all the time to sharpen my Spanish skills--and I live in Mexico. However, to cure the "100 mile an hour" Spanish listening problem this is not what you want. LSLC really does meet the need for the breaking into conversation or "production in the second language". Before using LSLC, Pimsleur, or Rocket Spanish you need ear training. You have got to get your ear used to the sound of the language. That is one of the reasons you cannot understand Spanish spoken rapidly and why it sounds like one straight line of gibberish. You also have to obey the "Natural Order" hypothesis and learn the L2 in the order in which it is designed to do. In other words, you didn't send your infant to a grammar class to learn his or her native language. Nor did you expect locution of the Queen's English of your child right out of the womb. Adult learners of second languages (L2) have to go through the same silent period that we did when learning our native tongue. Then, naturally and personally will production in the new language emerge. This is why adults have such problems with accent and learning speech in the L2.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - Okay, but overated
There is way too much propoganda out there for this product. I think the course suffers from trying to cover too much without going into depth with anything. Sometimes way too much time is spent on a really simple sentence, while a more difficult one is breazed through. Also as another reviewer has pointed out, each lesson does not incorporate stuff learned from the previous ones, so you don't feel like your building a base of knowledge. Some lessons I felt like there was very little method at all, just introducing a word, repeating it several times, then onto another. Not saying it's a complete waste of time, and it's a step up from most stuff you can find at the bookstore, but it is presented as this miracle product which it's not. I have found the original fsi spanish (level's one through four) which can be found at "[...]" to be a much, much more effective method--there's really no comparison. And no I don't work for them, just trying to help fellow spanish learners.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - ¡Qué Bueno!
I've been studying Spanish on my own for the past two years and have found the reviews on Amazon to be ever so helpful in both the quality of learning materials I have purchased here as well as avoiding many pitfalls for courses that don't offer much. And so I felt I needed to contribute also since the reviews have been so helpful to me.

On this particular product: It's exactly what I needed for the stage that I currently am in my learning... I would call the stage 'TRUE intermediate' with the continued desire to continue on into true advanced Spanish. En otras palabras, I understand much more than I can speak but need more conversational audio for the subjunctive mood tenses. As others have already stated here, this course is terrific for continuing on in the subjunctive. I also liked how they did the conditional tense, commands, etc. Oh, before I forget: The audio is crisp and clear!

As an aside: The FSI course has been the main thread for me during these past 2 years, pushing me closer and closer to true fluency... but the FSI audio cds are NOT clear audio. The FSI manuals are indispensable and are terrific. I just wish someone would redo ALL the audio on the FSI CDs because it's such a great course!

Back to the subject at hand: I'm happy to report that the Learning Spanish Like Crazy Vol 2 is exactly what I needed for a little variation on the listening end of things due to the above-stated reasons. This product is terrific but please make a note (as others have already stated)this isn't for the beginner. The only downside to this package is that there were no transcripts. Let me repeat: NO TRANSCRIPTS CAME WITH THE AUDIO COURSE. (Usually, I'd be pretty upset, but, believe it or not, I'm not too disappointed because the audio is just that clear and also because I am not a stranger to the mood tenses, etc.) What it does contain: 14 audio CDs, as well as a bonus lesson package of 4 audio CDs (which I haven't yet listened to since I just received everything 2 days ago); also a really well done video interactive DVD. You get a lot of material with this one, folks.

Hope I may have helped someone up here just a little, because many of you have helped me without ever knowing it by taking the time to post a review. ¡Sigan adelante y que Dios les bendiga!

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars - Can't recommend.
There is way too much new information in each lesson with almost no explanations. You might turn to the transcripts to help but they are so full of errors that they are almost useless. There is a lot of info in the course but it's difficult to learn the way it's presented and way overpriced.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Finally a Spanish Course that teaches the Spanish that Latinos really speak
This course is awesome. I have been telling everyone about it. I have spent a lot of time researching other courses and using other Spanish courses to find one that really teaches 'real' Spanish.

I did some other courses and felt that they did not prepare me for really speaking to native speakers. I did not realize it at the time with other Spanish courses that I used in the past because I was still able to hold a conversation with Spanish speakers and communicate on a basic level. Wow was I making progress! Or so I thought. But when they would speak to themselves I had absolutely no idea what they were saying. They might as well have been speaking in Russian or some other foreign language because I didn't have a clue what they were saying to each other. I only understood them when they would speak directly to me in a deliberately nice, slow and clear manner. It was so frustrating to be able to hold a conversation with native speakers and then as soon as they started talking to each other I had no idea what they were saying. Who knows? They could have been saying this gringa's Spanish is awful.

But you won't have that problem with this course. It prepared me so that I am able to speak the same Spanish as real Latinos and even understand them when they speak to each other.

Without a doubt, what I like best about this course is the pace. I have used other courses that seemed to teach me Spanish at a snail's pace, especially Pimsleur Spanish. But with Level One and Two of this course, I felt that I was learning Spanish really fast. That's really important to me because I know people that learned to speak Spanish fluently in 3 years. And I also know people that have been studying for 7 or 8 years or more and don't speak Spanish fluently. So I am happy that I am learning Spanish incredibly fast with this method. And I am not just learning lots of words quickly but the grammar too. And they use a method that taught me the Spanish grammar quickly without me even realizing that I was being taught grammar. Let's face it, grammar is a boring topic if you actually think you are being taught grammar.

The Bonus gift DVD that comes with the course was very beneficial because the instructor's method taught me lots of Spanish words using a visual style. My daughter who is learning Italian also enjoyed the DVD that came with this course and we both picked up a lot of new Spanish words.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great Product, Questionable Promotion
The creator of this product is quite an aggressive salesman--his marketing tactics actually made me hesitant to buy it! There are obvious shills for his stuff all over Amazon and the rest of the internet--transparently phoney "reviews" for other products that end up being an endorsement for his program. Even on this page there is at least one planted endorsement from a bogus review site. Because of this, it is impossible to tell which reviews are from honest, satisfied customers!

All that being said, I actually bought this thing (downloaded, much cheaper, from the website), mostly because of the sample lessons I heard. I've only had it a couple of days, but from what I've heard so far the sound is nicely recorded (although 96 kbps is a bit thin in quality), and I can usually hear subtle nuances of speech and mouth movement. The actors are expressive in their delivery, which holds my attention much better than the droning voices in the FSI recordings. People actually laugh and flirt in their conversations, which involve everyday topics rather than finding the right office at the American Embassy. The narrator/teacher has a very odd accent, almost spanish/british (?), but he explains and breaks down the grammar very well and has a friendly, encouraging manner. The speed of speech seems about right--it's challenging, and I have to replay sections in order to hear how words are clustered together. That has been the most difficult part of learning for me--the transition from what I know about the language to hearing the way it sounds in real conversation. It has made me conscious of how we English-speakers do the same thing with our language-- we naturally garble syllables and link words together, which makes comprehension excruciating for new learners!

There is a slang section in the package, which is great. However, most of it is from Mexican and South American Spanish; as a New Yorker, I would have preferred to hear a lot more Dominican and Puerto Rican Spanish, which I have been told is quite different.

There's tons of material in this package, plenty to listen to. The video lessons also seem useful, although the image quality is mediocre (at least in the downloaded version). I've made pretty good progress in reading Spanish over the last couple of years, but still can't understand a word of the spoken language--I think this will be great for me to sink my teeth (or ears) into. I just wish the owner of the company was a little less of a huckster, because he's distracting attention from the integrity of his product!

Just a side note for other Spanish learners--I have found that Spanish comic books are a GREAT tool for learning to read. In New York, there is a Chilean comic about a character named "Condorito" available all over the city. It's howlingly funny-- the humor is very dark and politically incorrect, a great relief from the bland material one usually finds in textbooks. The artwork is excellent, and it features cast of engagingly bizarre characters such as "huevoduro", whose head appears to be a hard-boiled egg. The jokes are usually one page, often involving puns, misunderstandings, insults or sexual inuendos that give great insight into the language. There are visual clues to help, but I often need to consult the dictionary (which results in building vocabulary). The idioms can be difficult to decipher--sometimes it takes 20 minutes to get through a page--but psychologically, there is a great "payoff" incentive to get to the hilarious punchline at the end. So far I've found it to be the best resource yet for improving my comprehension!


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Great product
I agree with the comments above that say you learn conversational spanish that you will actually hear and use. My only disagreement is that if you travel outside the US, or live in the US, you will certainly hear more than a Mexican accent, and it is very important to learn different accents since, as the person who went to Argentina pointed out, native speakers speak spanish differently from one another. You don't want to get stuck. I live in NYC, but grew up in a small town in NJ - even in the small town, I knew people from Spain, who obviously speak very different from Mexicans. I now know Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Colombians, Argentineans, Venezuelans, and Ecuadorians. I am so glad I can not only understand their accents but also I usually have a sense of where someone is from by their manner of speaking. So, I actually appreciated the different accents.

I also purchased their FSI spanish which was a bit more archaic and the print-outs they provide are difficult to use. This product seems better.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - I like it but...
It obviously mimics the Pimsleur technique, but it covers more ground and explains most things much better than Pimsleur does. Having done the whole three levels of Pimsleur, I'd say it was better, and given that it's cheaper, there's just no question about which one you should get (this one). There's only one thing that Pimsleur does better and that's keep you off balance. Since Learning Spanish Like Crazy approaches subjects thematically, it's pretty easy for your brain to get into a rhythm on a particular topic (say, for instance, forming commands with AR verbs). Since you just stay on one topic your short-term memory kicks in and you find yourself just zombie-ing it through). I went back to a previous topic a few weeks later and asked myself "did I really learn this?" Pimsleur, on the other hand, is *constantly* reintroducing past learned material and constantly trying to keep you off balance so you always have to reuse things you've learned in the past. In this way, I think Pimsleur may allow you to digest things a bit better. Still, there's more here than in Pimsleur and I think it's more useful for people who want to chit-chat with new friends than who want to learn stuff for a Business setting. Pimsleur is far too business-centric for me and far too formal-occasion oriented because of it. My only other little gripe is tiny and applies only to a small fraction of those wanting to learn Spanish and is a problem with all Spanish learning products. I did this series because I knew that I would be spending a good deal of time in Argentina. The first day I was there someone said "vos sos" to me and I was like "Is this Spanish?" Well, it turns out that in Argentina you don't really use the "tu" form except with small children and cuddly animals. "Vos sos" is the basic equivalent of "tu eres," but if you say that to an adult, they might get offended. But anyway, buy this, it's probably the best product out there.


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