Is speaking Spanish nothing more than a bad high school memory for you? Are
the phrases "Yo quiero Taco Bell" and "Hasta la vista, baby" the extent of
what you can say in Spanish?
Whether you need a quick primer for an upcoming business trip or want to
build on a basic understanding of the language, Spanish For Dummies
can help. But the book is more than just a language text full of cool
phrases and useful vocabulary -- it's also a cultural guide for those
moments when you really need to know how and why things are done.
Part of what makes this book so valuable is its whole-language approach
to Spanish. Instead of burdening you with endless vocabulary lists and
tricky grammar rules, Spanish For Dummies gives you the tools to take
your Spanish on the road. Focus on everyday situations and hone your
small-talk skills that help you with basic communication in Spanish. What's
more, the authors have scattered throughout the book tidbits that
contextualize the language so you understand the people, places, and things
that are unique to Spanish-speaking cultures. An audio CD enables you to
hear Spanish as it's really spoken by presenting dialogues between native
From the Publisher
This unintimidating guide from the experts at Berlitz helps you start
speaking Spanish quickly and easily! Whether you're a student, a traveler,
or just want to pick up basic Spanish, you'll find its packed with practical
lessons, cultural facts, fun, and handy references including a
Spanish-English mini-dictionary, common verb lists, and more!
Discover how to:
*Have everyday conversations in Spanish
*Make sense of Spanish grammar
*Improve your pronunciation
*Get a handle on verb conjugations
*Use idioms and popular expressions
*Get around in a Spanish-speaking country
- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: For Dummies (December 15, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0764551949
- ISBN-13: 978-0764551949
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.6 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review:
The book was in great condition and for a very low price. As far as the quality
of the book itself, it's very helpful. (my boyfriend is learning faster than I
expected!) Highly recommended.
I bought this for my boyfriend cause he been asking for it.. he likes it a lot,
since I'm hispanic, its more of a challenge for him... but fun
I orderd this for my daughter,so she could have extra help at home with her
Spanish and she has done very well with it,thanks for a great item and price.
The book is average at best. It's cheap for a reason. I have learnt MUCH more
thru the "Coffee Break spanish podcast on iTunes". bought this as a companion
book. As a companion this book is OK. But if i had bought it as just the primary
then i would have been very disappointed. So use it along with other audio
material and you will be fine.. Have not listened to the included CD.
Here is the bottom line about Spanish for Dummies. The good news is that the
author at least attempts to simplify the learning of Spanish. The bad news is
that it did not work. The book and the approach is overly 'gimmicky' and this
detracts from the instructional value.
A much better option would be either Behind the Wheel Spanish II / 8 Multi-Track
CDs /Complete 250 Page Illustrated Text / English Translations / Answer Keys &
Tapescrip if you already have some background in Spanish. If not, the best
beginning Spanish CD course on the market isBehind the Wheel Spanish/Complete
Illustrated Text/Answer Keys/8 One Hour.
I am not saying Spanish for Dummies does not have value, but the programs I list
above are far more strightforward, have 8 CDs per course and come with a
complete no-nonsense book. All for $69.00 bucks.
This book is excellent if you're a struggling gringo like me. My fiance is a
Spanish translator so I got this to learn the fundamentals of Spanish. She gave
it two thumbs up so I know it's good stuff. If you're looking for a good travel
book as well, this is the way to go.
I purchased this book because my four year old grandson is taking Spanish in his
pre-nursery school class and while I had basic Spanish in high school (many many
years ago) and can say a "few things to get by" I wanted reference material I
could refer to in order to communicate with him as I know he will excel quickly
and I need to "keep up". He already says good morning - good night and how are
you so I had to get with it!
I have read reviews which slam 'Spanish for Dummies' pretty hard. Maybe some of
the criticism is justified. I don't know.
I personally like Spanish for Dummies but do not recommend you use it alone. The
book and CD have too many learning gaps.
I give the program a four star because it is still worth the money if even it is
However, if you supplement this course with 'Behind the Wheel Spanish' 8 CDs and
text, then I think I could increase the rating to a 5 Star when used together.
Because with 'Behind the Wheel' you learn to make easy but essential 'sentence
bits' that according to author, every kid knows but most adults don't learn with
most language courses.
With these small but useful sentences you begin instantly to communicate,
adding, enhancing, and increasing your ability to speak and understand original
Spanish. Like magic, naturally though.
At this point you can add Spanish for Dummies for a more thorough understanding
of the language, a different approach, and more practice.
Much better together, but, if you only have enough money for one, start with
Behind the Wheel.
not worth the time or money unless you already know how to speak or write in
spanish....a much better choice is the EURO METHOD INSTANT IMMERSION 33
LANGUAGES....where i work i need to know alittle bit of different languages and
this product does better....
This book was OK but not definitely not the best learning-Spanish book that I
have read. I thought that the two Practice Makes Perfect books (Spanish Verb
Tenses and Spanish Pronouns and Prepositions) were much better. I used both
books with Learning Spanish Like Crazy CDs and I am very pleased with the
progress that I am making.
The reason why I prefer the Practice Makes Perfect books over this one is
because there were not enough exercises in this book for the self learner. There
were also a couple of mistakes that I spotted in this book. To be honest, I
didn't finish this entire book. After learning with the Practice Makes Perfect
book, I have grown accustomed to having very high standards for learning Spanish
tools, and this book just didn't meet up to those standards. I felt that I would
learn more by reading the Practice Makes Perfect Books a second time instead of
completing this entire book. Also, Spanish for Dummies is not as reasonbably
priced as the Practice Makes Perfect Books.
The resources that I have found most effective for learning Spanish are:
1. Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Verb Tenses
2. Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Pronouns And Prepositions
3. Learning Spanish Like Crazy: Spoken Spanish, Vol. 1
4. 501 Spanish Verbs: with CD-ROM (Barron's Foreign Language Guides)
5. Easy Spanish Phrase Book: Over 770 Basic Phrases for Everyday Use (Dover Easy
The book is easy to understand and the Spanish words spelled out phonetically so
that the user may pronounce them without difficulty. Like most of the Dummies
books, this is laid out in a way that is easy to use. It also has a CD in the
back so the words and phrases can be actually heard to improve pronunciation.
Spanish for Dummies is an important work, and it does help to simplify the
'traditional' approach to learning Spanish.
It does have serious drawbacks. The approach for all of its creativity remains
quite rigid and limiting.
Another problem with Spanish for Dummies is that it doesn't include a full set
of usable CDs for the car or gym.
I would recommend you try 'Behind the Wheel Spanish 8 CDs and Text' if you
really wish to learn Spanish quickly and easily.
Behind the Wheel works well with Spanish for Dummies and you'll likely find
yourself (as I have), scratching your head and saying 'Oh' when you finally see
a concept that clicks and you understand it from two different perspectives.
Of the two, if I had to choose, Behind the Wheel Spanish 8 CDs and Complete text
would be my preference by far.
I wish I had purchased this book before, because it's A LOT better than the
textbook used in my college Spanish class. While it's true that this book,
alone, will not make you fluent in Spanish, there is no one book that will do
that. What this book will do is act as a great tool to help your Spanish fluency
The only thing keeping me from giving this book five stars is the pronunciation
guide used with new vocabulary. It unduly complicates something that is, in
essence, very simple. Ignore those "phonetics" and the vocabulary, grammar,
exercises, and audio CD are excellentand and very usable.
Spanish for Dummies is a quick study that gets you going and keeps you pretty
motivated as a result of its organization of practical, grammatical, syntactical
and vocabulatary elements. I like the way it introduces tenses without it
seeming to be punishment. I have taken many years worth of Spanish over the
years and this was the most fun. Muy bueno!