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Learning Spanish Like Crazy: Spoken Spanish, Vol. 1 (2 volume set)

Learning Spanish Like Crazy: Spoken Spanish, Vol. 1 (2 volume set)
Author/Publisher: Inc. Learning Like Crazy
Emphasis: Spoken Spanish
List Price: $197

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description
Learning Spanish Like Crazy was developed to teach conversational Latin American Spanish. The course was developed after the Founder of the course realized that the Spanish that Latin American actually speak was different from the Spanish that he had learned from other self-study Spanish courses. Unlike many other Spanish courses, Learning Spanish Like Crazy teaches you how to speak spoken Latin American Spanish as opposed to textbook or formal Spanish. The course is all audio. This is the first in the series of two levels of Spanish. The first level will take the student from beginner to lower intermediate level. As a special bonus gift for Amazon customers, the customers are given access to re-mastered downloadable copies of the complete FSI Spanish Level III and FSI Spanish Level IV. As an additional bonus gift, with your order you will receive a link to download bonus video Spanish lessons.

Product Details

  • Audio CD: 15 pages
  • Publisher: Learning Like Crazy (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976666103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976666103
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review:

    4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Strong on verb tenses and grammar, but thick accents and pronunciation not always clear.
I've just completed the first 30 lessons. Learning Spanish Like Crazy uses a Pimsleur-like method. The primary pro of LSLC is that they really target grammar, with the lessons gradually walking you through the various verb tenses and sentence constructions. This is a tremendous positive. They also include full transcripts for all lessons, though you are cautioned not to read them until after you've listened to the lesson at least once. It's good for car study. It's reasonably priced and if you purchase and download LSLC online (as I did), it's cheaper and comes with some extras, such as dialogs and videos.

The cons - The lessons accelerate quickly and I could see easily being left behind. (I alternated them with the Pimsleur courses I and II (60 lessons total), which moves at a slower pace and is available at most public libraries.) The speakers change a couple times as the lessons progress. They often don't speak clearly (appear to be young U.S. Latino-Americans) and many of the lessons pair speakers with vastly different and very strong accents / dialects. This is bad because, as the two speakers alternate, the same word or phrase is often repeated with very different pronunciations and the learner is left to guess which one is correct / preferred. One of the female speakers speaks quickly and mumbles and slurs her words to the extent that one often can't tell if they contain r's or end with an "o" or an "a". I've seen some reviews argue that this good because it's how Spanish is actually spoken. My answer is "So what! Teach me how to pronounce the words properly, in generic, clean Spanish, without strong regional accents. I'll have enough problems trying to overcome my own gringo accent without adding someone elses poor pronunciation to the mix" One gets used to this (mostly), but it's really annoying. Finally the LSLC website is very sleazy! It all hard sell with little product or company information. It takes quite a leap of faith to actually buy the course from it. However, once you develop the guts to give your email address and create a log-on ID, they let you download the full versions of the first two lessons to get a taste of their course. This was what finally led me to purchase the level 1 and 2 combo. I'm glad I did. It's a good course overall, though I still don't like their marketing and think they'd be much better off if they presented a more professional face to the public.

Note: LSLC also repackages and sells the FSI (U.S. Foreign Service Institute) courses, as do several others. The FSI Spanish courses are public domain and are available for free download at fsi-language-courses . com

Learning a foreign language is hard hard work. It's not something that can be done in a just a few months, no matter what the course vendors tell you. You have to commit steady time and effort (e.g. an hour+ 5 or more days a week) on-going. Neither LSLC nor Pimsleur (nor any course?) will leave you speaking Spanish when you're done. What they will do is provide you with a solid foundation and basic vocabulary from which to develop and move forward. It's up to you to find opportunities to try to speak Spanish, watch Spanish TV, read Spanish articles, and take it to the next step.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Even Seniors can learn with this program

> I was told by several language teachers that it
> was very difficult or impossible for older people to learn a new
> language; of course, I took that as a challenge. I am 70 years
> old and previously spoke only English and a few words of
> high-school French.
> My wife and I decided to go on a month's holiday to Cuba.
> We wanted to see the "real Cuba" so decided to avoid hotels and
> restaurants but instead, to stay with the local people in "Casas
> Particulares" ( Bed and Breakfast houses) and to eat with the
> locals in "Paludares". We rented a car and explored the Island on
> pothole ridden roads.
> 2 months before our departure I started your program
> "Learning Spanish Like Crazy" spending 2 hours every day. I used
> the program at home and in my car and was able to complete all 30
> lessons of Nivel 1. I actually had time in the 2 months to do all
> of the lessons several times over.
> Armed with my knowledge from "LSLC" and a copy of "The
> Lonely Planet pocket Latin American phrasebook" we went to Cuba
> and had a marvelous experience. Hardly anyone we met spoke any
> English but I was able to express our needs and also hold
> conversations in Spanish. Furthermore, after listening to the
> recorded speakers in "LSLC" I was able to notice the local Cuban
> dialect and pronunciation as well as colloquial words and
> phrases. Cubans speak very fast and clip their words in staccato
> fashion.
> I would like to thank you for your excellent program which
> is very well produced and made it fun to learn. I am definitely
> interested in continuing on to Nivel 2.
> Sincerely, Ian Taylor.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - learning Spanish like crazy
This is a wonderful CD for beginners. The structure of the CD helps to reinforce the language by learning single words and incorporating the words into phrases or sentences, building on previous lessons, answering questions in Spanish, and repeating the word/phrase/sentence before and after the Spanish speaker. I highly recommend this series for anyone interested in learning Spanish...and it's fun, too!


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Pimsleur It Ain't
If you are serious about learning Spanish, and don't want to sign up for a live course, then probably you are trying to choose between Learning Spanish like Crazy and Pimsleur. Or possibly Rosetta Stone, which I don't have experience with. Shorter courses, such as Living Language or Penton Overseas Learn in Your Car are useful to an extent, but you won't really learn the language from them.

On the surface, Learning like Crazy follows the Pimsleur method. Namely, you are given a sentence in English, with a pause so that you can repeat it in Spanish, then you are given the correct version in Spanish with another pause to repeat the corrected version. And then maybe another repetition.
This is a slow process, but nothing else works to really master the language. (To repeat, I don't really have experience with Rosetta Stone.)

Beyond the surface level, though, Learning Like Crazy is structured differently from Pimsleur. It is more like a combination of Pimsleur and the traditional academic course, or the Living Language courses. (The best of these, in my opinion, is the Living Language All Audio course). If you watch a student of the traditional approach speaking, you can observe his mental process. First, he needs to find the right words. Then find the right grammatical structure. Then put it all together like doing an algebra problem. Doing this, you can often learn to speak correctly most of the time, but you will not sound natural. When one really knows a language, sentences do not come into the mind one word at a time. In my opinion, the basic unit of language is not the word but the sentence. Or at least the short phrase.

Grammar should not like a set of traffic rules which one carefully observes in order to avoid getting a ticket. Grammar needs to be understood at an instinctive level (which native speakers often can't even explain), so that a grammatical sentence simply sounds natural and an ungrammatical one sounds wrong. (Which is not to say that one needs to have perfect grammar all the time. But one needs to know the way people actually speak.)

Pimsleur and Learning Like Crazy teach not by presenting words and rules, but by having the students learn model sentences. And it's important to learn these model sentences really well. One needs to not just repeat the sounds, but to make the sentence one's own, so that one says it and really means it. This is why I disagree with the idea of going on to the next lesson as soon as one has mastered about 80% of the current one. In fact, I think it's important to use the pause button on one's CD player and repeat some particular sentences five or six times, until one has really got them down and they come out smoothly. (Because some of the patterns in Spanish are so different from English, some Spanish sentences are real brain twisters if not tongue twisters.)

In going through Pimsleur, one has a very natural feeling, as though the sentences one is learning were part of a conversation one might actually have when visiting a Spanish speaking country as a tourist or on business. This in my opinion makes it much easier to really make these sentences one's own. Doing so is also helped by the fact that the intonation and rhythm are very much that or natural Spanish. (Notice how almost metronomic the rhythm of Spanish sentences often is, as you can verify by tapping your finger along with the words.) If you are making the right sounds, but what you are saying doesn't really sound like a Spanish speaker talking, then it will be harder to really learn the sentence.

In Learning Like Crazy, on the other hand, I am very aware that I am going through a set of grammar exercises. And many of the sentences are things that I would never have any occasion to say to anyone. Things like, "After I wake up, I wash my face." Or, "Every week, I go in the bank." Or "Where did I work five years ago?" Of course the point is not that I expect the course to give me actual sentences that I will use in real life. The sentences are only a means for learning vocabulary and grammar. But nonetheless, in my opinion, it's important to thoroughly learn the model sentences. Because that's the way the mind learns the essential patterns. And it's much easier for me to learn a sentence when I can imagine myself saying it to someone.

In the first ten lessons or so Pimsleur teaches only the "I" and "You" forms of verbs. Plus the present tense of "to be" (is/am/are, which in Spanish is five verb forms rather than three). These are the verb forms which one would most often use at first when visiting a foreign country, or in a business environment. ("Do you understand English? I don't speak Spanish. I am an American, are you Bolivean?") Then later on, it's only one more step to learn the other present tense forms. On the other hand, when Learning Like Crazy ... Read More


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Wow!
This is a fantastic course. I have been using it for about 2 months along with Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish book. I go to a Spanish discussion group with 2 English speaking friends and 2 native Spanish speakers from Guatemala. I finally was brave enough to read a couple of paragraphs from a book we were discussing (hadn't said more than "mucho gusto" before that). Everyone was amazed with my accent and pronunciation. (the Guatemalans were wanting a good laugh is why they asked me to read! Ha!) It made me feel great. I am still not able to understand a great deal of what is being said (have to get used to the way people slur their words in real life), but I am getting better all the time. I don't think you will be disappointed if you purchase this course if you are really serious about learning to speak Spanish. Also the company has sent me so much extra information by email, I can barely keep up with it all. Really a great deal.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - It's crazy!
This is Ellen's husband.
I'm on lesson 6. This is one very amazing way to learn. I can't say enough about Patrick. Very well put together. Well thought out. And he visits different areas in his travels and sends back info on the regional dilect.
I don't know him but in a way I do. If you pay attention there is also a bit of humor. I actually laugh sometimes.
I listen to the lesson, then go through it again using the pause button so I have more time to answer and I'm getting faster with each lesson.
Oh, and I also have Rosetta stone, more of a flash card learning system which is good for many people but not me.
It's spoken Spanish. Not written but I'll give a try.
El perro babe en el banyo todo al tempo. Avaces babo in el banyo! That's how it sounds to me so excuse my Spanish. Ha!


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Well, Yes it is all its hyped up to be... depending on....
Yes, this is a Pimsleur rip off. I own this (Volume 1 and 2), Pimsleur 1-3, and rosetta stone 1-2. Even the first track sounds like they were listening to the Pimsleur lessons while they were making the CDs :)

Pimisleur is good IF.... Pimsleur teaches a more formal spanish. The Spanish that tends to be spoken in Spain. Hence the references to Casteyano as the 'dialect' in the Pimsleur series. It is still a great series, and will teach the subject well, and you will get the formality needed if you want to sound 1/2 educated.

LSLC teaches you "street" spanish. In my point of view, I want to use Spanish as a healthcare provider. Therefore, I find Pimsleur and LSLC equally beneficial. Pimsleur provides an educated base so you can talk with other academics if need be, and LSLC provides a good base for communicating effectively with the patient pool in North America. (Rosetta Stone rocks too).

Therefore, I would not suggest one over the other. Pimsleur teaches properness and formality, LSLC teaches laymans spanish.

It seems, overall that LSLC goes a bit more in depth... the narrator begins with verb/adjective forms...

So, if your learning Spanish to go to Spain, get Pimsleur's set, if you're learning Spanish to talk with most spanish speaking NORTH Americans, get LSLC (rosetta stone has a version for spain and a version for latin america)... if you're taking it as a student or academic or health proffessional, and want to be able to properly speak 'the king's' spanish, as well as communicate effectively (and not get corrected, since there are subtle differences) here in the US, get both, (and rosetta stone).

Overall, they're effective and cost less than taking a college level course... or if you've just got too much $$$ burning holes in your pocket, get them and take a college course, or two :)


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - great product, but buyer beware
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 - Great supplement to learning Spanish
The LSLC CDs have been a great supplement to using Rosetta Stone's Spanish Program for learning Spanish. The pacing of the audio can be a little slow at times, but for someone who's learning Spanish for the first time it works quite well. I wouldn't recommend this as the sole Spanish program for a first time speaker, but it works well as a supplement.

As a bonus, the company who produced it regularly sends out bonus audios and videos with additional lessons. Though the CDs only contain 30 lessons in volume one, we've received almost 30 bonus lessons accessible on the web.


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars - Nice try but it's not Pimsleur
They may have tried to copy the Pimsleur method, but they came up well short of that goal. Initially, the course is quite good, even if not as good as Pimsleur. But about half way through things start to fall apart. They through way too much new information at you with almost no explanation of the material. The lessons do not have much, if any built in review of previous lessons. Once you do feel you have a lesson down well enough to move on, you forget most of it by the end of the next lesson. You certainly can learn with this method, but I find Pimsleur to be much better, even if a little dated and more expensive.

Another thing to be aware of - the transcripts provided are full of errors and should not be relied upon.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Excellent product
I have used several means and methods attempting to learn Spanish over the last 10 years. This method seems to be working the best. I very much like the audio concept. After listening several times to a lesson, I follow-up with the transcript. Now, for the first time, I find myself gaining confidence that I will actually learn to speak Spanish.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Nice product - great for filling 'gaps'
I bought the product last year and have completed all of the lessons. Trust me - I agree with several of the other reviewers that it is really a great tool - if not the best that I've come across for dealing with everyday conversation. Being a very skeptical person with stuff like this, I admit that this is the only audio course that I have bought, and honestly don't think I'll purchase others. I did a lot of research before I tried the LSLC Level 1 system.

I live in Trinidad and Tobago (unlike any of the other reviewers that I have seen so far). TnT is located just 9km (about 5-6 miles) off of the coast of Venezuela, and 99.5% of the population here knows just a handful of Spanish words. After taking a course at the Venezuelan Embassy here for two years, I still found it quite difficult to understand them when they spoke - especially among themselves! I can read and write it quite well, but still had great difficulty understanding the natives. After studying the first maybe 14 lessons, I visited some friends of mine over there in December, and to my surprise I understood them a heck of a lot more. By the way, these folks speak much faster than Mexicans and Colombians in normal conversation - particularly those from the Eastern part of the country, so most of you have virtually no stress, since most Americans interact with Mexicans or Puerto Ricans. Try conversing with someone from Guiria, Venezuela too see what I'm talking about! The Mexicans I have interacted with speak very clearly compared to most Venezuelans - and the accent is easier to understand. Of course the LSLC instructors were quite easy to understand, and YEAH - it's a CD, so you don't have to ask them to say something again!

I would recommend the course for anyone, but would like to sort of categorize it (hope it helps somewhat):

- Beginners: You need some good reference material and a tutor to work with, alongside the course. The course is not ALL! 501 Spanish Verbs by Christopher Kendris, and Dorothy Richmond's 'Practice Makes Perfect' series of workbooks - these are GREAT! A good dictionary such as the Oxford Spanish Dictionary is a must. NOT a pocket dictionary - at least not for serious learners. The Oxford is bulky, but it contains many idiomatic explanations and context-based translations for virtually all the words it contains, along with explanations of the nuances of using certain words - again, in context. Regional differences are well-covered in this dictionary. There is no dictionary out there that comes close - although the latest Collin's tries really hard. I have lots of reference books, but I have found these outstanding in building stuff clearly so one could understand without boring drills.

- Intermediate: I think the best way to treat this is to relate my own experience. This course helped me to fill the gaps in my understanding of certain annoying things that you don't see in texts and that are not found in other audio courses - stuff like '¿Como?' meaning 'What was that?' or 'What did you say?' in English, clearly explained. Before, I used to say '¿Qué?' and any native speaker would look at me kind of funny, but I never knew my (potentially rude) error until I used the course material in Nivel 1. You can find yourself in some embarassing positions if stuff like that is missed in your speech. I did learn a lot of new stuff with the course as well, such as a few idiomatic expressions that you can't really translate directly. And yes - your accent becomes really HOT! My friends told me they were amazed at how I sounded when I visited. Of course I felt great, even though I knew that I still have much more work to do.

- Advanced: Heck, you don't really need this stuff - this is for newbies and the peeps like me who are still striving toward fluency! Anyway, I think that even advanced non-native speakers may pick up something small in here, maybe as revision or something.

Dive in, folks. For those of you who have used the more antiquated products that focus on mainland (Spain) Spanish, you'll really appreciate this stuff. The use of different people from at least two countries really helps you differentiate the accents. Remember, my problem was lack of listening skill (and still is to a great extent), so that's how I addressed it. LSLC allows you to attack both speaking and listening at the same time, so if they're your squeeze, get the course. The FSI material included is wonderful for rigorous reinforcement, but it's not as much fun as the LSLC. It's actually quite mechanical, BUT has serious material, so it should be used too.

Hey, a tip I have tried is to buy some music in at least one genre that you really love, performed strictly in Spanish, and listen to it over and over. You will be amazed at how well your listening will improve and you'll be checking that dictionary pretty often too. I have several albums that I listen to, and I tell you - they've helped plenty. This also seems to reinforce your ability to hear words slumped together as individual or logical groups, and at least for me, allows you to start to figure out missed or unclear words based on the other words around them.

Now handle yuh scene!

Sweet TnT!!


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - BEST audio lessons I have tried
As someone who has picked up quite a bit of Spanish through contacts with friends, work, and general American culture. I even lived in Brazil and learned pretty good Portuguese -- but I never took a "real" course in Spanish, so I regularly make silly mistakes of conjugation or word agreement (gender or number). I have tried some tapes, cds, and the Pimsleur program (TOO SLOW) and books, all to minor improvement.

This course is PERFECT for me! This past weekend I plowed through 12 lessons, picking up all these little rules that I missed along the way. I can go through each lesson in sequence and not feel like I'm rehashing too much, while still reinforcing previous lessons that just roll off the tongue! I think of the hundreds/thousands of dollars I have spent over 20 years and wish I had this program available to me years ago.

Meanwhile, I just ordered Vol. 2 -- between these two volumes and the FSI materials (definitely worth buying w/ Amazon benefits), I only have myself to blame, but one week later, I'm feeling confident I'll get through this program!

Addendum (later): I finished the cd set and feel even stronger about the quality of this program. The last 10 lessons go deeper and quickly reinforce lessons from earlier and get a lot more vocabulary quickly than other programs. The vocabulary and the rapid pace of getting different verb conjugations make this an outstanding program. After finishing the first set, I was so excited to keep the progress I picked up Nivel Dos (Level 2) immediately and kept right on rolling!


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - ABSOLUTELY THE BEST AND EASIEST
Thanks to a review by Anna Rivera and a lot of other research, I bought these CDs. I have had 2 years of high school Spanish, 12 weeks of an immersion course and 2 weeks of immersion in living with a Mexican family in Cuernavaca. I have learned more with these CDs than I thought was possible. Please read Anna's review and ditto from me.

"As the editor of the Learning Spanish Products Reviews (LearningSpanishProductsReviews) site, one of my responsibilities is to review Spanish courses that are listed on Amazon. I am also a native Spanish speaker from Argentina and a professional private Spanish instructor.

I have recommended this course to at least a dozen of my private students. I had recommended it to a married couple that has studied Spanish for years and was finding it easy to read and write in Spanish and even understand the novelas, but was having difficulty speaking it. After several weeks of daily practice with this course, they are speaking Spanish much better and with a lot more confidence.

As several reviewers have pointed out, this course uses a teaching method that makes it possible for the student to really get a true Latin American Spanish accent. As a Spanish instructor I am very tolerant of students that have poor pronunciation or bad accents in Spanish. But as a native Spanish speaker, I can tell you that there is nothing more annoying than someone that has taken the time to learn proper Spanish vocabulary and grammar but has neglected to learn the proper pronunciation and accent. If you fall into that category, please give this course a try so you can get your Latin American Spanish accent right.

The sound quality of the lessons is also excellent. And to develop proper pronunciation and accent, you really need good sound quality like this course has. I was also impressed with the amount of content that the course covers.

As a native Spanish speaker, I can say that this course comes closer than other courses in teaching Latin American Spanish that is for everyday conversation, and teaching the Spanish that Latin Americans actually speak. Although I have not personally experienced them, one of my students told me that the course also includes a live weekly group class by telephone with a native instructor from Costa Rica. The students on the group class call and speak in Spanish to each other and the instructor in Spanish.

Without a doubt, this is the best course for learning true Latin American conversational Spanish. And also the best for refining a proper sounding Latin American accent."


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Not as easy as presented
Though learning Spanish this way is not as easy as it was presented when I visited the website, I still find it easier than other methods I used in the past and am learning and remembering much more than with other methods. I even watch some novellas and understand most of what is said


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Wish I'd Found this one First!
I have spent probably a thousand dollars on courses like Pimsleur (I went through all three levels; heavy on pounding stuff into your head, but not enough vocabulary to write home about), Auralog computer-based Spanish(boring and tends to crash the computer), and "Behind the Wheel Spanish" (inconsistent -- way too slow, then way too fast) in my attempt to learn Spanish. What a waste! Everything I wanted was in "Learning Spanish Like Crazy." I only wish I'd found it first.

The lessons are, like Pimsleur, structured to pound stuff into your head so you won't forget it as soon as you learn it. But LSLC differs from Pimsleur in several key ways.

1. There's enough vocabulary to choke a mule -- and that's good thing.
2. Every verb is fully conjugated in each lesson, so you recognize the patterns and start "absorbing" them faster...but it's done in a conversational style so you barely realize "hey, I'm conjugating a verb" and you don't get grossed out by the fact that you're learning grammar.
3. Brief explanations are given on things that are complicated or irregular so you understand why you are doing what you're doing, instead of learning by rote. (Adult learners need to understand why, trust me.)
4. It moves along at a good pace. It's taken me 10 days to get to Lesson 13 and I've enjoyed every lesson. Lesson 13 introduces the student to reflexive verbs (and you know it because they tell you, "today we're doing reflexive verbs." Pimsleur never tells you what you're doing -- which is fine if you're a kid, but boring and confusing if you're over the age of 40!)
5. Best of all, it isn't boring. There are plenty of reasons to pay attention when attempting to learn a language, but it's easier to say than to do with some courses. LSLC makes it easy to pay attention because there's always something going on.
6. Lessons are logically laid out, with specific groups of related words in each lesson so you can absorb them all; with Pimsleur the words sometimes seem chosen at random and the conversations change ideas from sentence to sentence.

Again, I'm only on Lesson 13, but I like what I'm doing and my vocabulary has increased drastically; I know words for day-to-day functions that Pimsleur never covered although we take such words for granted in English. I've already purchased LSLC level 2. This is great! Highly recommended to anybody who wants to really learn and understand Spanish.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - This is the best
Like the creator of this series, I went through every home-study course I could find including Pimsleur (three levels), Rosetta Stone, and the diplomatic corps course. The other courses were good and very helpful for the most part. None are better than this, and this course, Learning Spanish Like Crazy (LSLC), has amazing bonuses and customer support. I ordered directly from the website and actually received much more than promised.
The approach is very similar as Pimsleur, and the lessons are actually fun to do. I am currently working on Level 2 of LSLC.
I am 68 and have moved recently to Central America. I am still learning Spanish and will be for several years--languages are complex and robust. I will always be grateful for LSLC, and I wish there were a Spanish version to teach English for the benefit of my many new Latin friends who want to learn English. I have searched a lot and they have nothing comparable with this.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - You Need Both...
I think someone who really is looking for fluency should do both the Pimsleur and Learning Like Crazy Spanish programs. My reasons are that since I live in Mexico I can attest to the practically of Pimsuer in formal more educated settings with Spanish speakers. To say that Pimsleur teaches "archaic" Spanish is nonsense. However, it does teach a more formal Spanish that is spoken in educated crowds. When you hit the streets of Mexico and try to speak with kids, teenagers, and local store employees Pimsleur tends to fail you. That's where LSLC comes in and rescues you. You need both! You need to know the formal more educated Spanish as well as the street Spanish. It is not necessary to mean-mouth Pimsleur in order to point out the benefits of LSLC.

Doug Bower
You Can Learn Spanish No Matter Your Age or Disposition


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Great for fine tuning and advancing your Spanish
This program is great. Overall I felt Pimsleur was better for the true beginner because it has a great way for you to memorize words and they go through alot of them fairly quickly without overwhelming you. I feel that this program will be too much for some starting from scratch. Others may not have a problem. I suppose it all depends how well you learn. But because Pimsleur teaches you so many words it lacked the time to teach you all the different ways to say them. And thats where this program shines. It uses the same approach as Pimsleur, but stays with a word until you understand all the variations fully. Once you have a grasp on the language, this tape will be much easier to memorize and they do a great job explaining WHY you say the word a certain way. My only gripe is some of the noun choices. I cant imagine a scenerio where I would be on vacation in a Spanish speaking country and have to argue over whos pillow cases they belong to. I realize that the point is not to teach you how to say "pillow case" but to teach you the different ways to ask and respond when talking about a object in fem or masc form. But still, a better choice of nouns to learn wouldve been more satisfactory. There are a few in the program I found useless, but there are also many that will help a traveler. Its a small complaint, so pay it little attention. If you know a little Spanish and want to fine tune it, this program is your friend.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Best I've Heard
I began listening to LSLC I a couple of years ago, and ended up buying LSLC II as well. The structure of the lessons is excellent, each lesson starting with a fast conversation in Spanish you probably won't understand any of at first, and spending the entire lesson explaining the conversation and drilling.

The speakers aren't just flatly saying their lines in monotone, they really act out the phrases so you can get a good sense of the connotations involved. The method doesn't have any written materials, which is actually a great strength if you want to learn in your car or at the gym.

Some of the strengths include:

1) Portability of the lessons (no workbook needed)
2) Concentration on spoken Spanish from Latin America (not literary Spanish)
3) Enthusiastic speakers
4) High quality sound production

I also highly recommend LSLC II because it gives a great introduction to the subjunctive mood. If you do purchase either set, make sure you get on the email list - it provides free lessons as well. To be fair, the method is complementary to writing and grammar exercises (many of which you can find on the internet), and won't take you to fluency in every area. Still, it's a great foundation for actually speaking in Spanish.

I've listened to at least five other Spanish audio programs (most of which are extremely boring), and I don't think there's another program out there like this.

Que disfruten las lecciones!


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Highly addictive - excellent method to learn Latin American Spanish
In addition to the skill of speaking Spanish, the LSLC has helped me to truly THINK in Spanish and more importantly, helped me develop the skill to LISTEN in Spanish.

The native speakers used from different Latin American countries results in an excellent way to experience the different regional accents (e.g. the first lesson has the article "I" and in the practice conversations you hear both the "yo" sound and "joe" sound used).

In my business travel to Central and South America, I'm amazed with each month's travels, how much more I'm picking up on
and understanding from the conversations taking place.

I've been studying Spanish approx. 8 months now and had no previous language studies. I first completed Spanish for Gringos and then Level 1 of Pimsleur. The LSLC is truly
my favorite and the interactive challanges are highly addictive (my 11 yr. old daughter has learned quickly that she better be quick to the car CD or it's "Lecciones en español para ella)!

I can attest that I speak more fluent and free-flowing Spanish, than my coworkers who took at least two (some three) years of Spanish in high school. In addition, with the audio format (rather than PC or Class format) every minute I devote to my studies is spent studying (i.e. the only wasted time is the time it takes to press "play" on my iPod or CD player).
I'm convinced that if I had taken a traditional class first, there is no possible way I would have progressed as quickly.
I have conversations in Spanish while waiting in rush-hour, in lobbies waiting for appointments, weekends at the coffe shop, etc.. whenever it's convenient for ME.

In addition, the LSLC Level 1 course has a whole community of learners behind it to add to a deeper immersion in learning the language. As they say with many things - Spanish is better caught than taught and the Learning Spanish Like Crazy has been an invaluable investment. (& fun of course)

I just need LSLC to hurry up and publish LSLC Level II


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Good product,but could have been better....
This was actually the first learning spanish course that I bought.I remember on the webpage for LSLC,the owner says that if his friends would teach on the cd's,that he would show the best method for learning,that he has found.For anyone who has done pimsleur,it is pretty obvious that this is the method that he chose to use.

So I went through level 1 of lslc really easy,but then from there I struggled.I just felt like there was just to much information per each lesson.

However,I kept reading about how great and easy pimsleur spanish is,etc etc.So after I struggled but made it to lesson 5 on lslc, I decided to buy pimsleur 1,to see what the big deal was.

Wow,what a difference.

With pimsleur,you only learn about 4-6 words per lesson.However there are 2 special things about the words you learn.
1.After you learn the couple of words,you use them many times over and over,and in many different combinations.
So if you learn:I have,you have,and,but,1,2,3..the lesson would look like this:I have one.You have three.I have two,but you have one.I have one and two,but you have three ETC.

2.You use the words frequently for the next 2-4 lessons.And each time you learn a couple more words,you use the words in various combinations,with words from the previous lesson(s).So if in the next lessons you learn:I want,you want,dollars..You would say phrases like:I have 2 but I want 3.I have 3,do you want 1.I have 2,but I want 3,and you want 1 ETC ETC ETC.

With pimsleur everything is just so simple,.I have been doing 2 lessons a day with no problems.I have only had to review one lesson twice,and I am almost done with pimsleur 1(30 lessons).

As a reviewer said on here,you probably learn more in 30 lessons of lslc than you do in 3 times the lessons and time of pimsleur.But that is where the problem is,the lslc team has crammed so much info per lesson,that I had to review some of the lessons 7-8 times to get it down greatly.After reviewing the text for the lessons,some times they conjugate 3-4 verbs,plus teaches some nouns and other stuff.

The only other problem I have is that they have decided to put info in the lessons by grammer patters(ar verbs in these lessons , er verbs in these lessons,possesive nouns in these lessons etc.)Once again unlike pimsleur that rolls on smoothly lesson to lesson,with LSLC you learn how to talk about possesive pronouns,and then in the next lesson your learning how to start a conversation,and then in the next your learning how to conjugate ir verbs ETC.So you kind of start learning one thing, then start learning another thing ETC ETC.

Also,unlike pimsleur where you may use a word20-30 times or more, you sometimes only use a word 2-3 times with lslc.

So why am I giving 4 stars?
Well because despite it not being as easy and natural as pimsleur,everything else is great.The voice and sound clarity is top notch.You learn the grammer rules easily,and some good patterns of the language(for instance in lesson 1 you learn how to conjugate regular AR verbs,and just by learning the unconjugated verbs,with a little thinking,you could conjugate them).
Plus,While it can be just to much at times,there is alot of words and information to learn.From reviewing the text(which is also a great benefit,you get the text for them words you are just not sure of)I can see it teaches alot of everything verbs, lots of nouns ETC.
Plus,as promised,you get to learn all the informal phrases and the tu conjugation of each verb.

If I was the driving force behind LSLC,I would make each 1 30 minute lesson into 3 or 4 shorter lessons.This way it would be alot easier to learn and absorb the info,and they could still get away with cramming tons of information in 15 hours.

One more thing.Besides pimsleur and fsi spanish(and its variations),I dont think that there is any program out there that teaches anywhere near what this one will(And I have rocketspanish,synergyspanish and a few other products).

So in a nutshell,this product is great,but it is difficult to try to learn that much in 30 minutes,and without repeating the words alot.

I still recommend you buy it,just wanted to give an honest opinion.


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars - Not all it's hyped up to be
I give this product 2 stars simply because it dosen't deliver what it claims but this is a decent product for learning "basic" Spanish. You will not come off anywhere near fluency. It does get you talking basic sentences though. The highlight of this product is that you can get the FSI program for a very cheap price. There is no magic in learning a foreign language to a proficient degree of fluency. The author claimed that you would learn the "real Spanish that Latin Americans speak". I thought that the site looked like an infomercial. If it seems too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true. I was disappointed when I finished. I mastered each level and probably still could not hold a meaningful (spontaneous) conversation with a 5 year old. It is however better than most but not the best out there. Better than Pimsleur because of the price not because of the content. I do recommend you get the product to take advantage of FSI because that is what you will learn Spanish like crazy with (great marketing). Use FSI as your base study and supplement with Learning Spanish like crazy. With learning Spanish like crazy alone you will not learn Spanish like crazy unless you are a complete beginner hoping to get to a basic level. Overall decent product.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Strong Customer Service and personal attention to issues.
When I first ordered this product I had some issues. I had some difficulty reaching customer service due to an email account that was returning my emails. I asked for a refund because I was unhappy with that part of the service. However, the company responded promptly and courteously and resolved the situation as soon as they realized there was a problem. The end result - I found them fantastic to do business with and I was given a lot of personal attention to ensure I was satisfied. Job well done! Thank you Patrick!


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Best Deal anywhere
Learning Spanish like crazy is the best investment I have ever made in my quest for fluency. I did not buy the CD course from Amazon, but rather, ordered it in downloadable MP3 form from their website for $97.00 (Sept 2005 price). For less than a hundred bucks, you get the Learning Spanish Like Crazy, Vol. 1 course, and extra bonus lessons:

Los Dichos (common Spanish Sayings)
Los Insultos - No vulgares (rather tame Spanish Insults)
Los Insultos - Vulgares (Really nasty Spanish insults)
6 months email support for your questions about Spanish
A once-a-week teleclass (I don't know how long you get this)
AND, Best of all,

You get remastered versions of the Foreign Service Institute's
Spanish Level 3 and level 4 courses!!
--The same courses that are commonly sold for $199.00 apiece!

I know this may sound like an advertisement, but I do not work for the Learning Spanish Like Crazy people, I just was so happy to get the 2 FSI advanced courses along with the LSLC courses, that I wanted to get the word out. Even if you don't give a rat's CULO about the LSLC course, just getting the FSI-3 and FSI-4 courses for $97.00 is the best bargain on the planet. Maybe the other vendors of the FSI courses will have to lower their prices when word of this deal gets out. One caution, you probably do not want to order the download version unless you have a high speed connection; With DSL, it took me about 7 or 8 hours total time to download the files. (If you have a cable modem, I think it would be a fraction of that time. If you have dial-up, this is probably not a viable option for you unless you have an accomodating friend with high-speed. The other option on the company web-site is a huge pack of 50 CDs for $347 that has all the above, plus the FSI Level 1, FSI level 2, and the "FSI Fast Course Spanish" course that I can't find anyone else selling. Offhand, $347 may sound a bit steep, but you do get all of the courses on about 50 CDs in regular audio CD format, except for the FSI-3 and FSI-4, which you still have to download. (Again, all this info is as of Sept 2005). The Learning Spanish Like Crazy course itself is very good. I am at a high-intermediate level but I learned a lot about speaking in the way that people actually talk, as opposed to the stilted, formal language taught in schools and other courses, that would make you sound like the nerd-king of the gringos if you actually talked that way to native speakers. The course also stresses repeating the audio after the native speakers, in order to develop an authentic accent. I listen to them in my car whenever I am driving, repeating the drills, and probably looking like a psycho to other drivers who think I'm talking to myself.


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