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Spanish (Eyewitness Travel Guide Phrase Books)

Spanish (Eyewitness Travel Guide Phrase Books)
Author/Publisher: DK Publishing
Emphasis: Travel
List Price: $7

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal
Grade 3-7–The components of the kit teach basic Spanish words and phrases as well as short conversations. The parents' guide has instructions on using the kit, then plunges into articles, adjectives, pronouns, verbs, and more—all in 16 small pages. Adults unfamiliar with the language will be overwhelmed. The bilingual dictionary does a nice job of listing basic words, first in English with Spanish equivalents, then the reverse. The English-Spanish section includes Spanish pronunciations, designates the definite article for nouns, and gives both masculine and feminine forms for the adjectives. There's also a section for verbs and a list of common phrases, days of the week, and months of the year. The picture wordbook and flashcards feature attractive photos showing diverse children and families engaged in daily tasks as well as pictures of animals, food, clothing, numbers, and more. The flashcards have a photo on one side and the Spanish word on the back as well as the English equivalent. The problem is the CD and activity book. Both are divided into 37 sections, beginning with basic greetings and progressing through various social situations. Students listen to the CD and are encouraged to follow along in the activity book. The Spanish is clearly pronounced, but it is disconcerting when an adult male voice reads the words attributed to a young girl in the activity book. More problematic is the imperfect matching of the text in the activity book with the CD, which most frequently happens in the English translations. For example, in one segment, enfrente is translated as opposite in the activity book, but the more correct across from on the CD. In another section, the entire CD lesson on this and that is undermined in the activity book because instead of eso, esto is used. There are numerous other inconsistencies as well. This is a pity, since the activity book has fun games and puzzles that reinforce the lessons. Under teacher supervision, some of the errors could be corrected and the considerable strengths of the pictorial presentation could be emphasized.–Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Description
These pocket dictionaries give business and vacation travelers everything they need for a smooth, successful trip. Organized by subject, the traveler can quickly find the vocabulary relevant to the situation, whether transportation, hotels, meals, shopping, post offices and banks, sports, or health care, accompanied by a pronunciation guide. At the end of each phrase book is a 2,000-word mini-dictionary. Fully updated from the original editions to reflect currency changes such as the Euro and new vocabulary such as e-tickets.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT; Bilingual edition (March 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789494930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789494931
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review:

    5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)


17 of 19 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT., April 4, 2005

First I should say I went overboard and bought 5 (yes FIVE!) different spanish audio CD kits... I did this because:
1) They are cheap enough to,
2) I thought if I got bored of one I could listen to a different CD from another kit, rather than listening to the same CD 5 times over, and
3) Hardly any reviews have been written and you just don't know what you're buying (meaning: I couldn't decide, so I bought them all!).

I can tell you they are not created equal. For a single CD + phrase book I'd rate the DK kit in the top two. The other good one being the Collins Gem phrase book + audio CD. If you can afford it, and you're looking for an easy introduction to spanish, I'd buy both before tackling a more detailed spanish audio program. Both this kit and the collins gem kit complement eachother very well.

I am just beginning to learn spanish & I think you need to hear the spoken language before you can really begin to learn it. It's best if you can repeat the words to yourself. Now on to the info about this set...

The 70 minute CD has a bit of an intro, which is good, rather than just jumping straight into it like some of the other spanish audio CDs. I find this pschs you up for it more so! It's nice to hear: "Welcome to the Dorling Kindersley spanish travel pack..." and something like "here are some numbers starting on page 19..." at the beginning of most tracks, etc. This is followed by any important notes.

The english speaking host is a female, with a british accent, which I find easy to listen to. The spanish voice is provided by a male, and it is pleasing to hear as well. In the beginning, the word or phrase is 1st said in english, followed slowly in spanish, and finally spanish @ normal pace. This is followed by a brief pause to allow you to repeat the word. At about the halfway mark, they ditch the slow spanish. Even so, there is quite a lot of material to be covered here, and it is presented at just the right pace (if it seems like a case of brain overload the 1st time, listen to that section again). It was never fast enough to get fed up with it, and not to slow to start skipping tracks (but then finding yourself getting overwhelmed). I thought I would be able to listen to it in one sitting, but there is too much to learn. I found it took me about 3 hours to listen to it over 2 or 3 days.

The CD is good because, like the collins kit, they cover appropriate, essential & simple words first. This may seem obvious but some of the other kits don't do this - they start with the most odd words and phrases (or worse, they rattle on for 5 minutes a load of spanish words with no english translations). It is 30 minutes longer than the collins one which is a definite plus.

Another plus: It does not include any unnecessary stupid-sounding melodies!
(The berlitz CD was the worst offender in that department)

Yet another plus: None of those annoying american accents, which the rest of us can't stand to listen to. ;-)

Still yet another plus: The words on this CD are clearly spoken, and the recording is clear during the pauses... (in contrast the "Learn in Your Car Spanish" 3 CD set sounded like it was copied from tapes, or from a computer with a dodgey audio card).

Sadly, there is a dark cloud in this sunny sky: The DK phrasebook is just merely satisfactory; it lacks a spanish-english section. So if you want to look up a word in spanish, you can't. The phrase book included in this kit is also monochrome (meaning BLACK text only), whereas the collins gem one has two colours: black for english, blue for spanish. Needless to say, I prefer the collins gem phrase book.... Preferably the separate one listed below...

I also have the larger collins spanish phrase book with the orange cover (see my review) That phrase book has glossy pages (this one has matt pages- but at this price none of kits with audio have glossy pages). It is easier to peruse through because it has various important bits outlined in colour boxes, and more, so I'd recommend that as well.

V Hope this was helpful to you, and I wish you good luck with learning spanish!


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