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Colloquial Estonian: The Complete Course for Beginners

Title: Colloquial Estonian: The Complete Course for Beginners

Author: Christopher Moseley
Format: Audio Cassette
List Price: $64.95
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Amazon USA Price: $41.45

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Colloquial Estonian: The Complete Course for Beginners

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Editorial Reviews
Language Notes
Text: English, Estonian--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Description:
This is the first Estonian language resource available in the entire English-speaking world. The basics of Estonain grammar are laid out, as are pronunciation and vocabulary, in short, digestible chapters.

Product Details
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Routledge; Bk/CD/Cas edition (August 1, 1994)
  • ISBN: 0415087457
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 10 reviews.

Customer Reviews
Avg. Customer Review:

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

Well.... it's a start!, June 9, 2002

Reviewer: Dr Nicholas J Fauvel (London, United Kingdom)

Not a full enough introduction to the grammar of this beautiful and interesting Finno-Ugric language, nor a sufficiently extensive source of excercises to consolidate one's new-found skills, but, well....it's a start! The opening chapters on pronunciation are frustrating because the cassettes and text do not correspond precisely: material in the text is left out of the audio, and the description of length and palatalization is poor. The grammar is covered, but a little more depth would make the book much better (for instance more on partial and complete objects, and the cases they govern). The vocabulary and the context of the dialogue that runs through the chapters were the best part for me: good, basic and nearly all relevant to modern daily needs. The vocabulary list at the end of the book would be enhanced by giving a fuller list of declension endings for nouns: in addition to the nominative, genitive and partitive singulars which Moseley gives, the difficult partitive plural would allow the learner to construct all the other endings. Similarly, more sample verb conjugations would be helpful in the vocabulary list since so many are irregular. More positively, I did find Moseley's book a helpful tool when I used it with other learning materials, such as Tuldava's grammar book (ISBN 0-933070-34-9)and the excellent "E nagu Eesti" (ISBN 9985-71-053-3) with its cassette (ISBN 9985-71-089-4)(n.b. designed for use with a teacher).

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Frustrating - and not just because it's a tough language, January 28, 2002

Reviewer: Joshua W Tolley (San Diego, CA United States)

A very frustrating book. No, there's not much in the way of English language Estonian textbooks to compare to, but as compared to textbooks for other languages, this doesn't stack up. The explanations are inadequate, and most passages are only partially translated. The tapes are very nice to have - similar resources on the internet are spoken much more quickly. On the whole, however, this book makes learning Estonian much more difficult and frustrating than it needs to be.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Colloquial Estonian: A Complete Language Course by Moseley, December 10, 2001

Reviewer: John-Allen Payne (Rochester, NY United States)

This book with accompanying cassettes is engaging fare for the casual linguist, but it is not the complete language course that it claims to be. In reality, it is a cursory overview, for it attempts to cover too much information at a superficial level and becomes fragmented. Moreover, it lacks sufficient examples to illustrate its grammatical explanations. Its most serious flaw is in its shallow treatment of Estonian phonology: First of all, In the pronunciation section, 180 sample words are shown in the text for the learner to practice. Of these, only one half are actually pronounced on the audiotape. Moreover, the order of the words on the audiotape does not agree with the order of the words in the text; rather, the tape skips right, left, up, down, and across section boundaries, making it impossible to find the words while they are being pronounced. Second, the fact that Estonian words have three degrees of syllabic intensity/length is totally ignored in the book. Intensity and length should be explained clearly and then demonstrated on the tape; then they should be indicated on words throughout the book by means of some form of written accent. Third, the fact that some Estonian words have palatalized consonants is virtually ignored. Palatalization also should be explained and illustrated with facial diagrams. Then, examples should be pronounced on the tape. Then, palatalization should be indicated on words throughout the book with small diacritical marks of some sort. In this way, a learner would have at least a chance of being exposed to accurate pronunciation. Presently, a learner using this course is cheated of this opportunity and will have no chance of striving for more than a seriously flawed accent.

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

What a wonderful tool, August 30, 2001

Reviewer: Dawn Hadfield (Holbrook, Ma United States)

Tere (Thats Estonian for Hello)
I have to say I am very happy with my purchase. I am now able to speak some Estonian, and The longer I study the more I learn and am able to communicate.
Great book.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Easy Estonian..., July 9, 2001
Reviewer: A reader
Not a bad book. There are very few Estonian textbooks available, so if you want to learn the language then this is probably a good place to start. However, the explanations are brief and for a language with such complicated grammar, you really don't get enough practise which results in a lack of confidence when actually trying to use Estonian. But the tapes are good and you can really get a taste for the language from that alone. In short, too much information crammed into too short a space. Would be better with more exercises and explanations relating to the grammar.

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