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Colloquial Czech: The Complete Course for Beginners (Colloquial Series) - James Naughton

Colloquial Czech: The Complete Course for Beginners (Colloquial Series)

ClanBrandon Books
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James Naughton

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Pages: (Audio CD)

ISBN: 0415301378

Pub: Routledge

Pub date: 2002-11-07 Sales Rank: 308024

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Reader Reviews:

4/5 stars

Good as introduction, but more structured grammer necessary (11/12 people found this helpful)

I found this book very useful, but I have also found some problems in the book.One of the problems with this book is that it shows various "cases" of words piece by piece, and not in a structured way like in a table. I am sure that the author deliberately chose this way, but I must say that for a beginner, it is extremely difficult to memorize piece by piece without any systematic way. So, I would recommend you buy some grammar book as well.Another problem is that this book shows the "cases" of words in a different order from how it is actually taught in the Czech Republic. More specifically, the order of the cases should be: 1. Nominative, 2. Genitive, 3. Dative, 4. Accusative, 5. Vocative, 6. Locative, and 7. Instrumental. All Czech people and foreign students learn the cases in this order so that they can memorize. So, it is not a good idea to change the order simply because some cases have similar forms (such as nominative and accusative).On the other hand, this book is very good because it shows real spoken Czech, not written one. I think you can use what you have learnt immediately in the real life.All in all, I can recommend this book to any beginner who wants to use the language in the real life, and not to read Czech literature.It is definitely better to buy a package with CD's and cassettes so that you can develop your listening skills if you do not live in the Czech Republic.

4/5 stars

Really useful (15/17 people found this helpful)

I'm currently on Chapter 7 of Colloquial Czech and have found it really useful so far. I'm very slapdash when it comes to learning languages and when I've tried learning langauges before I've started enthusiastically enough but got disheartened when I can't grasp the grammar. This book explains the grammar effectively and in in small manageable chunks, which has meant I've found it a lot easier to perservere with this element of the language. I've not struggled at all so far with the speed on the dialogue on the tapes/CDs (although maybe that will come later). This is definitely the best Czech language book I've found, so it's probably a bit harsh not to give it the full five stars. However, to make this a more perfect learning experience for me I would have liked to have more audio material that you can listen to in the car without having to reach for the book all the time. Also, this book also has the annoying habit of presenting a lot of new vocabulary mixed up in big paragraphs of English, rather than in lists, which I'd prefer as lists allow me to test myself.
The book is very texty and the going is tough, but the flipside of this is of course that there's an awful lot of stuff packed into it - so even after 7 chapters I'm feeling confident enough to take on all the everyday interactions that the Czech Republic throws at me.

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