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Spanish for Dummies

Spanish for Dummies
Author/Publisher: Susana Wald
Emphasis: Phrases
List Price: $24.99

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description
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 Spanish speakers.

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


Product Details

  • 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:

    3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Very nice.
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.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Cool Book
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


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Spanish for Dummies
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.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - Mediocre book
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.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - The Truth About Spanish for Dummies. Read on ....
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.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Spanish for this gringo
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.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Spanish for Dummies
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!


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Better With Behind the Wheel Spanish
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 used alone.
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.


Rating: 1 out of 5 stars - not worth it
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....


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - OK But the Practice Makes Perfect Books are Much Better for the Self-learner
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 Phrase)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Spanish for Dummies works!
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.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Good but Better with Behind the Wheel Spanish
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.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great supplementary book!
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 along.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Spanish for Dummies
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.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - A good primer
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!


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