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$41.99 list($185.00)
1. Berlitz Think and Talk Spanish
$99.99 list($165.00)
2. Berlitz Think & Talk Advanced
$19.77 $17.02 list($29.95)
3. Italian for Children (Language
4. The Princeton Review Wordsmart
$50.37 $50.00 list($79.95)
5. Mastering Spanish: Level 2 (Foreign
$34.95 $10.50
6. Berlitz Basic German (Berlitz
$23.07 $19.99 list($34.95)
7. Berlitz Basic Russian (Berlitz
$17.79 $17.73 list($26.95)
8. Spanish Now!: Level 1
$25.17 $17.25 list($39.95)
9. Learn in Your Car-German: 3 Level
$79.95 $25.00
10. Mastering German: Level 1 (Foreign
$12.89 $10.99 list($18.95)
11. Getting by in French: A Quick
$45.00 $7.70
12. Learn German the Fast and Fun
$11.53 $5.88 list($16.95)
13. Spanish: Level 1: Learn In Your
$12.71 $6.73 list($14.95)
14. Funky Phonics.... and More: Reading
$32.64 $31.61 list($48.00)
15. Japanese for Young People I (Japanese
$28.96 list($12.95)
16. Linguafun! Language Learning Card
$12.58 list($9.95)
17. What's For Supper?/Qu'est-ce qu'on
$12.89 $12.50 list($18.95)
18. Romanian: Language 30
$13.27 $8.47 list($18.95)
19. Getting by in Italian: A Quick
$11.53 $11.14 list($16.95)
20. A Visit to Grandma: Italian-English

1. Berlitz Think and Talk Spanish
by Berlitz
list price: $185.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 2831511968
Catlog: Book (1990-06-01)
Publisher: Berlitz Multimedia
Sales Rank: 1257142
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2. Berlitz Think & Talk Advanced Italian
by Unknown
list price: $165.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 2831516536
Catlog: Book (1993-02-01)
Publisher: Berlitz Multimedia
Sales Rank: 807261
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3. Italian for Children (Language for Children Series)
by CatherineBruzzone
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071407731
Catlog: Book (2003-02-05)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 27625
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Already a proven home-study program, the Language for Children series is making noise with this updated, integrated book-plus-audio edition. Along with its charming visuals and lively activities, the series now provides in CD format the stimulating sounds of language to entice preschoolers through primary graders into learning a second language. Cute, catchy songs and the humorous, serial adventures of SuperCat are sure to captivate the imagination and foster language acquisition. Each set in the series contains an 80-page full-color activity book coordinated with two 60-minute CDs as well as a Parent/Instructor CD packed with helpful tips.

Together children and parents can master basic language skills, including making introductions, counting from 1 to 20, and describing objects. The perfect package for parents and teachers who want to familiarize three- to nine-year olds with foreign languages and cultures.

... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Learn Italian!
I have been searching for an easy way to teach my daughter, age 4 who has grown up only speaking english, my native Italian. I have tried various computer programs, books and tapes, and other teaching methods. All were rather boring and unhelpful, my daughter soon lost interest. This system is wonderful! The lessons are interesting and fun. They are blended wonderfully with songs and activities that keep a child's attention. I highly recommend this program. I do recommend that someone in the family practice with the child and participate with them while they listen. This is by far the best children's language packet I've seen.

5-0 out of 5 stars An engaging and informative program for learning Italian.
My son and I enjoyed the music, activities and games provided in this learning program. The use of children's voices for the cassette was very effective. A great starting point for both children and adults alike.

It would be great to have this program on video.

's ... Read more

4. The Princeton Review Wordsmart I Audio Program : How to Build a More Educated Vocabulary (4 60-min cass)
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517593556
Catlog: Book (1993-01-26)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 407373
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Book Description


The words you use say a lot about you. Some words say that you are smart, persuasive, and informed. Others say that you don't know what you're talking about. Knowing which words to use and how to use them are keys to getting the most from your mind and to communicating effectively.

Based on the best-selling book, Word Smarton cassette will help you learn the words you absolutely need to know. To find these words, the Princeton Review researched the vocabularies of educated adults. It analyzed newspapers like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, books from best-sellers to the classics, and standardized tests like the SAT and GRE. The words included in this interactive program are those that appear most frequently and are often misused or misunderstood.

Here's what Word Smart includes:

  • words grouped by subject
  • concise, accurate definitions
  • lively, humorous examples and stories to illustrate meanings
  • mnemonics (memory devices) ... Read more

    Reviews (39)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good source of must-know words
    As always Word Smart is a great way to study for the SAT, GRE, and standardized tests. These 800+ words not only help you do good on standardized tests but also enrich your vocabulary for everyday conversations. I especially found the pronunciation keys for every word very useful. It doesn't really make you look very smart if you mispronounce a word does it? I found it really funny that books never gave you pronunciations and was so pleased when I finally saw them in Word Smart. The sentence examples are also a great way to learn how to use these words and Adam's humor definitely shows up in some of them:) The word root list and GRE hit parade were also very helpful.

    I recently got a score of 700 on my verbal section of the SATs. A large part of the reason was Word Smart. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars was because I feel that you need to also purchase Word Smart II to get all the words that you absolutely need to know for the SATs. There are also some words in this book that are way too easy. Come on, ironic? Who doesn't know what that means. Otherwise this book is a must-buy for anyone taking the SATs.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great for SAT, GRE or TOEFL Preparation
    This book contains 800+ words, which may not seem like a high number, but, those words will very likely appear on the GRE, SAT or TOEFL. Why? Because the testmakers test words that are commonly misused. For example, many people do not know the distinction between 'libel' (false written statements) and 'slander' (false spoken statements). Without knowing the subtle distinctions of words, you'll lose points on standardized tests which test vocabulary. Word Smart points out the commonly misused words and how those words are misused. Word Smart also provides interesting sample sentences to help you understand the context in which a word should be used, unlike the boring, somewhat useless sample sentences often found in dictionaries.

    If you purchase this book, do all the matching quizzes which will greatly assist your vocab memorization.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I prefer IPA symbols.
    One thing I personally don't like about this book is that they use their own pronunciation keys instead of IPA symbols.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Effective
    Very good book for International students preparing for TOEFL/GMAT/GRE
    I used when I was taking my GMAT. I knew about 25% of the words that it had such as prolific or excentric but there were some good ones that I still remember such as vociferous and verdant. I found it very helpful to use during short periods of time when I would have a few minutes between meetings or in the public transportation on the way home. Generally, a very pleasant book. It has good white paper and each words has a full page. Remebering was easy too, but forgetting was not hard. Sometimes I caught myself that I would remember the picture but would not remember the definition. In any case, this is a much faster way to learn words than mere memorizing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Good
    This book is really very very VERY good! ... Read more

  • 5. Mastering Spanish: Level 2 (Foreign Service Institute)
    by Mastering
    list price: $79.95
    our price: $50.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0812079191
    Catlog: Book (1992-09-01)
    Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
    Sales Rank: 200409
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (14)

    4-0 out of 5 stars to the point
    I purchased both level 1 & 2 of the spanish language series. I also had studied two semesters of Spanish. I believe that with two semesters of college Spanish and using these tapes-for about six more months after your freshman Spanish classes- you can acquire a solid and fundamental grasp of Spanish. The courses are very untilatirian: but you will be able to have conversations in Spanish. I work at an Ct. Casino and it is a polyglot environment, and I am able to speak Spanish with people from all over the central, carribean, and south american world. you will learn standard, no slang, no lazy pronuncements, spanish. People often believe that Spanish spoken by people versus taught in school is radically different. It is not. Spanish has its aints, gottas and all that.
    If you wish to read and write in Spanish, you will probably have to study in college as I did, but for general fluency the tapes can work. I do however suggest at least a semester of college Spanish or if you are a high school student two years of study. The tapes teach language in the old fashion way: you either want to learn the language or do not. you will not take this tapes into your car and use them on the way to work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hard to Beat
    These cassettes can at first be off-putting: there's almost no English heard, and the Spanish is spoken quickly. But that's the way real Spaniards speak and as your ear gets used to the language as it's really spoken, it is truly exciting. With frequent repetition, your confidence and fluency grow rapidly. These tapes were made by the State Department in the late 50's, and some of the dialogue is hilarious: the men go out to the airforce base to review the bombers, while the women fret about their dresses and clean out the ashtrays. But if some of the social customs are dated, the rigor and clarity of the tapes are classic. For the committed learner, I don't think there's anything out in the market that compares.

    I didn't start with Barron's. For the first month or two, I worked with the Learn in Your Car series -- excellent for basics. I switched to this for greater fluency -- and found them to be a superb combination.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent follow up to Level I class
    I have both the Level I and Level II Foreign Service Institute courses, and since I've already reviewed in detail how the Level I course works and compared it with the other major offerings out there, such as Michel Thomas's, Berlitz, and Instant Immersion, I'll keep this review brief. If you're interested I refer you to my review of the Level I class which I've also posted on Amazon.

    This is basically the advanced course and continues with the same philosophy and structure as the Level I class. It is intended to get you up to speed conversationally as quickly as possible without getting bogged down in too many formal details of the grammar. The approach here is to teach you the grammar by means of many examples of individual spoken sentences and brief conversations and through substitution drills, along with brief discussions of the grammar which are interspersed occasionally between the audio sections. The big, 600+ page workbook allows you to follow along with the native language speakers, which is very helpful also. This contrasts with Michel Thomas's approach, which is just as pricey, but contains no workbook, drills, exercises, or even any memorization at all. It also emphasizes starting with the most basic sentence structures and then building up slowly from there, so that the principles are acquired almost intuitively. I also have the Thomas course and it is excellent as well, and for many people would also be a good choice. I like having the detailed workbook that this course provides, however, so I still have a preference for this one over the Thomas offering. But if you're looking for the most painless approach possible, without the rigors of any formal grammar, the Thomas course might be your best choice.

    I have a pretty strong background in structural and comparative grammar and linguistics in general so I don't mind a little formal grammar, but most people don't and just want to get a speaking command of the language as quickly and painlessly as possible. For that purpose this course serves very well and is regarded by many as still the best one out there for that. Someone who masters the 24 tapes in these two courses, which is twice as much material as in most of the other big self-study courses, should have a pretty good command of spoken Spanish and be able to do pretty well conversationally.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to help your Spanish jump up a level
    I am so grateful to the previous reviewers, as I bought these tapes on their advice. I have reached the point where I can read and write Spanish well and my grammar is pretty good, but I still get lost in real world situations where natives are speaking Spanish quickly. These tapes are just the answer I was looking for.

    They speak really quickly, so these are definitely not for beginners, but I am loving them because natives talk just as quickly as they do on these tapes. I also like that they include a book, because often times they talk so fast I just can't catch what they are saying, but a quick glance at the book gets me back on track immediately.

    They have a lot of drills and grammar and verb conjugation practice that I really appreciate. I also think these are a real bargain for the price -- I am too cheap to pay ... for some of the others that I see have good reviews. I think these are a real bargain for [the price].

    The only criticism is, as mentioned in other reviews, they are REALLY dated and you will definitely feel like you are in Ozzie and Harriet land (50's era for you ... out there reading this).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Fluency but I wouldnt recommend for a beginner
    I bought the cassette version and found it to be the best investment in Spanish that I've made. As stated in some of the other reviews, there isn't a lot of English spoken (one of the features I was looking for). I've had 4 years of Spanish prior to this (but it's been about 7 years since my last class). I bought the tapes for a trip to Spain and found them to be incredibly helpful. If you do have a grasp of the spanish language, I would recommend about a year (just the fundimentals of verb tenses), I think that you'll find these tapes the best on the market (yes better than Pimsluer). If you don't have a grasp and are looking for a basic tourist phrases etc, I would recommend ultimate spanish basic intermediate or Pimsleur 1. Some other great additions to this set are 501 Spanish verbs. ... Read more

    6. Berlitz Basic German (Berlitz Basic)
    by Globe Pequot Press
    list price: $34.95
    our price: $34.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 2831557208
    Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
    Publisher: Berlitz Guides
    Sales Rank: 825146
    Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Learn German as it's really spoken. Berlitz German Today is arevolutionary new self-instructional course, designed both for adult beginners and for those who need to refresh their language skills. It uses a variety ofinteractive components to provide learners with a practical, comprehensive introduction to their new language. It's everything you need to study the languagefrom the comfort of your home or office. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars basic
    I bought this course and have been working through it in the last month. I like this course, I remember things alot quicker when I can read along with a text book, without too much english.
    I have pimsleur basic and find it difficult because I can't see the words. I have to remember strings of syllables that make up words, made harder by sounds that aren't in english. Berlitz have made an easy approach to learning basic german. I have worked through "Japanese for busy people 1" and "basic italian".

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Starting Place
    This course is an excellent starting place for learning German. The lessons are geared toward the tourist (a lot of hotel, restaurant, and travel information), but the supplemental Learning Guide and Verb Handbook are excellent references for more in-depth study. I found the Course Book to be colorful, interesting, and easy to follow. The lessons are short - excellent for studying when you only have a few minutes at a time. I especially like the pocket dictionary, which also some grammer hints and conversational phrases. I carry it with me everyday! A great investment if you plan to spend any length of time in a German-speaking country and want to learn the language on your own.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Needs Updating
    Berlitz theory, in practice since the 1870s, believes the best way to learn a foreign language is the way a baby learns a language, through listening to/repeating after native speakers. Berlitz Basic German comes with 3 hours of campy dialogs on 3 cassette tapes. I can imagine the actors in a 1940s radio studio, ringing bells, playing tapes of car engines, etc. First you're supposed to just listen to the tape to get a feel for the language, then participate with the actors, then follow the dialog in the workbook. The black and white workbook is a disappointment. Individual words are defined in the margins, instead of right over or under the German words, so it's time consuming to figure out the exact translation. An occasional grammar rule (such as a verb conjugation) as it applies to a particular word is given in the margin, but not in a way that you can easily generalize across the board. Words that are exceptions to rules are presented here and there, but not as a list where one can learn many at a time. Furthermore, grammar rules are often awkwardly written, so one must read them several times to figure out what's going on. I'd prefer a learning system that made more use of visual learning, with a colorful and more helpful workbook. Also, I'd prefer the tapes to contain some English, so one can easily learn German in situations where one can't consult the workbook such as driving or walking.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Set For Beginners
    This was the second German set I got when I first started to learn this language over two years ago. Not only is it a great source for learning German, it's also entertaining. Each scene deals with a different situation. It's not boring drills like some sets are. This is recommended it you're new to the German language. It took me quite a while to finish this, but it was worth it. Recommended. ... Read more

    7. Berlitz Basic Russian (Berlitz Basic Series)
    by Berlitz Publishing
    list price: $34.95
    our price: $23.07
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 2831562473
    Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
    Publisher: Berlitz Guides
    Sales Rank: 520569
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Berlitz Basic Russian offers a friendly and accessible approach to rapid language acquisition; words and grammar are introduced through real-life situations. The Roman alphabet is applied throughout. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    3-0 out of 5 stars good concept, poor tapes
    I used the cassette version and was disappointed. With the tape version I the sound quality was so low that I had a hard time understanding what was being spoken. A native speaker verified the accents to be accurate, so it wasn't the quality of the language, just the shortcomings of the cassette tape. However, I did enjoy the book and found it to be very useful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Especially for someone new to Russian.
    This is a great way to learn basic Russian! If you are diligent and put in the time and effort, you will complete this course in about 3 or 4 months (at the most). I used this in conjunction with the Pimsleur Comprehensive courses (I, II, III) and I had no trouble understanding anything by the time I finished. After completing this course you should have a basic Russian vocabulary of about 700 or so words.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad
    I purchased this book as my first introduction to the Russian Language. I spend a lot of time rewinding the tape in order to try and understand what is being said. About 75% of the phrases on the cassette are written in the book in Russian along with the English translation. I wish 100% of the sentences on the cassette were written in the book. The book is good because you get a combination of grammar and conversational skills.

    I did some further research and for developing conversational skills possibly the Pimsleur approach is the best. I have ordered the Pimsleur introduction course which is audio only.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
    I am a 15 year old student and I wan't to learn russian. This is brilliant for someone like me who has a little bit of extra time, etc. It doesn't bore you with grammar but there is some still there. all around this is a great program ... Read more

    8. Spanish Now!: Level 1
    by Ruth J. Silverstein, Heywood, Ph.D. Wald
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $17.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0812084837
    Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
    Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
    Sales Rank: 60538
    Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun to learn Spanish
    As a Spanish teacher I have used this book to teach Spanish to adults. For those with no prior Spanish it can be challenging, but with guidance it can be quite fun and interesting. I especially like its format, with each unit beginning with a short story that contains the lesson's vocabulary and grammatical forms. The story is followed by several pages of a variety of exercises that can be written in the book, and grammar explanations. Each unit is packed with new vocabulary, which takes the learner quite beyond travel phrase books. This is a nice, fat book that really gives the truly motivated a lot to learn. The monotony of typical practice books is broken up with fun illustrations and two colors of ink for the text. For anyone studying without a teacher, I'd recommend contacting the publisher for a teacher's manual in order to obtain the answers to the exercises and check your work.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A generally excellent textbook for beginners.
    I am a professional tutor of college-level Spanish and use this book with almost all my private beginning students (i.e., those not enrolled in a first-semester college course). They appreciate the book's low price, humor, useful vocabulary, clear grammar explanations, logical organization, extensive cultural information, and the textbook/workbook format: being able to write the answers to the exercises on the lines in the book. Working with this book and a good tutor, the diligent student can get a terrific combination of basic grammar plus considerable practice reading, writing, speaking, and listening, all while having a lot of fun. The book is marred by some typos, but I don't know any foreign-language textbook that isn't -- and I speak four languages. I simply correct the typos for my students as we go along. In sum, it's a very good book for the price.

    5-0 out of 5 stars comprehensive and fun
    I am not a disciplined person and find it difficult to buckle down and study. With this book, I found myself studying and completing the lessons on my own on a regular basis. The lessons are entertaining and fun too!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love it, easy and fun
    I've tried to learn Spanish about three times and so have three books. I think this is the one to get me over the edge. It's very clear and fun.

    4-0 out of 5 stars spanish now!
    ... I love this spanish study book because I find it challenging but fun and entertaining and it's a nice book if you already know some spanish and I am glad I bought it, so maybe if you have a teacher to help you out or maybe when you learn more spanish come back to this and then get it and also there is a bonus that comes with it you learn spanish culture because if your like me you'll find it interesting and if your not you still really need to know the culture your speaking in to learn it so happy learning! ... Read more

    9. Learn in Your Car-German: 3 Level Set: Complete Language Course: Audio Cassettes and Listening Guides (Learn in Your Car Series - Includes Individual Levels 1, 2 and 3)
    by Susanne Olson
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $25.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1560151390
    Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
    Publisher: Penton Overseas
    Sales Rank: 248287
    Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Audiobook Review

    Look ma, no textbooks! The Learn in Your Car series treats you like a child--in the best possible way--starting with one-word phrases ("please," "good-by"), counting exercises, and simple nouns ("bus," "train") designed to imitate a child's learning process. First you hear the words in English, then they are repeated slowly in clear, unaccented pronunciations. The method is extremely effective for those who don't know a thing, or for those who want to brush up by testing themselves when the English words are spoken. The tapes emphasize the building blocks of communicating in a foreign country rather than rote phrases that only apply on the tape and not in real-life exchanges. Level 1 painlessly covers basic verb forms, essential prepositions, near future and past tenses, as well as shopping, hotel reservations, and other travel-related situations.The series includes French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, and Spanish in three levels that can be purchased individually or in boxed sets. Each level contains two 90-minute cassettes (or CDs) and an accompanying booklet (not for use behind the wheel) with helpful explanations and scripts for the lessons. ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent way to improve listening comprehension
    For someone at an intermediate to advanced level, this is the best method for maintaining or improving listening comprehension that I have yet found. The format has been described in previous reviews so I won't repeat that here. I have both the German and French versions of the tape so I can comment on them from the prospective of someone with widely differing language abilities. Since I spent two years in Germany and studied German at the university level, I could understand the German tape the first time I listened to it. It is an excellent example of normal conversation - something all too often lacking from your typical language course, which seems to either present tourist phrases or delves into classical literature. This is normal spoken German such as you might hear regular folks speaking in Germany today. There were few words that were not familiar to me and those that were are probably regional variations or colloquialisms not common in central Germany where I lived. As a previous reviewer pointed out, the tape is not primarily intended as a means of vocabulary acquisition and the English translations are quite free. Better to simply look up the German word directly if you are unfamiliar with it. For comparison, the French version (which contains the exact same stories) was much more difficult for me. I have studied only a couple of semesters of college French and have never lived in a French speaking country so, as others have pointed out, I have had to listen to the tape many times to even begin to gain a good comprehension of the spoken French. It certainly helps that I already know the stories from the German version.

    Too often language courses present individual sentences for listening comprehension. This gives you time to listen carefully and then think about what has been said. In real life (and in this tape) the conversation doesn't stop for you to think about what was said and you can quickly find yourself lost. You could listen to a radio broadcast or movie but then you would have no transcription to let you review what you heard and it can't be slowed down to help you catch what you're missing. This tape allows you to do just that and I highly recommend it.

    (Interestingly, with the advent of DVDs, I've noticed that you can pick the spoken language and subtitles independently allowing you, for instance, to choose to view a film in French along with the French subtitles. Unfortunately most movies seem to come in English, Spanish, and French so it doesn't help my German. I haven't tried it in French yet to see if the subtitles are an actual transcript of the spoken language but that would be another effective method for improving listen comprehension.)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Let's Talk German Today
    An excellent concept, inadquately realized. The method of speaking first at a normal pace--often difficult to understand on first hearing--and then more slowly and carefully enunciated, is of great value, and justifies the reasonable price. However the tapes have a serious shortcoming in the area of vocabulary building, which is, of course, fundamental to learning a language. The problem, the serious problem, with these tapes is the colloquial English translations. These translations, while essentially accurate, frequently give the student little or no idea of the specific meaning of the German phrase, of the individual German words. English words are used as translations which, if then looked up in the dictionary, give words in German different from the original German word. Also, instead of using an English cognate, which would aid the student in fixing the meaning of the German word, in a translation that, at worst, would be slightly awkward, a colloquial English translation is used that, although it accurately expresses the meaning of the sentence, uses words that do not accurately express the meaning of the words used to make up the sentence. Vocabulary building is sacrificed for English style, where style is at best, of secondary importance. For instance:

    "Wahrend wir uns das uberlegen, giesse ich mir einen Drink ein un schaue mir die Sportnachrichtin im Fernsehen an."

    "Uberlagen" is translated as, "thinking about it", and "giesse" as "make". However "uberlegen" is more generally translated "considering", and "giesse" as "pour"--both perfectly reasonable translations in this context. And going the other way, "thinking" is of course more usually translated "denken", and "make" as "machen". "Considering" and "pour" are two useful words, but one would not learn them from this dialogue.

    And then:

    "Kann ich Dir auch einen Drink mixen?"

    which could be quite adequately translated:

    "Can I also mix you a drink?"

    but which is translated:

    "Can I fix you one?"

    The English translations are all chatty exchanges that might well be used as movie subtitles that have as an objective the transmission of general meaning. Unfortunately they are of limited, and in fact in many cases, of negative use for learning vocabulary.

    What is needed here are obviously not word-for-word literal translations such as, "Can I you also a drink mix?", but rather translations that stick as close as possible to the German words used, where possible to the German word order (although German makes that difficult), make maximum use of cognates, and that do not combine or separate sentences to satisfy English diction, even at the expense of some awkwardness of expression. The closer to a literal translation, without sacrificing coherence, the better. The objective is not to learn how to translate fluently into English, but rather to understand and speak acceptable German.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Great for insomniacs!
    I bought this after reading the glowing reviews - I'm afraid I was disappointed. I'm sure it is through and would teach me German - if it didn't send me to sleep first! I'm not sure driving and listening to this at the same time should be allowed. All you hear is very dry and emotionless voices repeating words - a man says the English, then a woman repeats the German word twice. No hints on pronunciation, no cultural advice, no music, no enthusiasm, *nothing* except these two voices. You also need to listen to the tapes over and over again before you start to learn the words. However, I'm sure this would appeal to some people, and it is very through. Personally, I need a little more enthusiasm and joy in my life!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Listening Comprehension
    This is just one cassette with an accompanying booklet, but it serves its purpose as good listening comprehesion. The level is intermediate, but even beginners will benefit from just hearing the language spoken clearly in dialog format. Each dialog is repeated three time, once normal (for a studio recording), once very slow, and once at normal conversational speed. There's not much else to say because there's nothing particularly amazing about this program . .. but if you are learning German and want to gain listening comprehension, it's definitely worth the money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A good commuter's tape
    A series of brief conversations for the more experienced student. The tape is completely in German except for a short introduction to each conversation. Each conversation is heard three times in a row, with the middle one spoken slowly to give you a better chance at grasping the words. The accompanying booklet contains the texts of the conversations along with English translations. This is another good choice for that morning commute! ... Read more

    10. Mastering German: Level 1 (Foreign Service Institute Language Series)
    by Mastering
    list price: $79.95
    our price: $79.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0812073525
    Catlog: Book (1985-11-01)
    Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
    Sales Rank: 699307
    Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
    These tapes have helped my german out so much. I can't really find an argument against them. Yes, the audio quality isn't what it could be, but it doesn't hinder you from hearing anything. This especially doesn't matter with a language that is phonetical. Although and update is in order. I found it somewhat odd that in the first units i couldn't say much but i could ask for tabaco, pipe, cigars, cigarets. But that quickly changed into very useful vocabulary. At times the drills can seem boring, but it's so much better than other language series that have you learn 50 words in one unit and only actually using half of them in a sentence. I walked away from a study session knowing that i could use the words i learned correctly. With other methods I knew my colours, days of the weeks, and other "basic stuff" but found myself unable to actual use any of it because i didn't understand hardly any grammer, usage, and lacked a sufficent vocabulary of relevant words. All in all i found this series the most effective I have seen and reasonably priced too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic masterpiece!
    Using libraries, I tried most of the currently available taped courses in German before settling on Barron's. It is superb! It is not for the casually interested, but rather for the person who would, as the title indicates, begin the mastery of German. I understand that the criticism of the Audio-Lingual method (which this course follows) is that it did not, in the end, produce truly bilingual speakers amoungst all the high school and college students who were taught using the method. I'd suggest that this may have been heavily influneced by the motivation (or lack thereof) of many of the students. Presumably, a self learner would be sufficiently motivated to take the necessary extra step of practicing free speaking, the lack of which will inhibit the real acquisition of any foreign language. The tapes, which intentionally demand quick responses, are brillantly designed to make the processing of the language automatic. I wonder if, perhaps, those people who seem not to have found the tapes useful did not read the instructions at the beginning of the book so as to understand the purpose and use of the tapes...or maybe they simply needed a different approach to learning...we don't all learn in the same way. It is true the speakers on the tapes do not sound like trained actors, but then neither will most Germans with whom one might speak. Everything you need to speak, read and write German is here...vocabulary, grammar, constructions, verb conjugation, etc. Moreover, if one applies oneself, one learns very quickly and with extraordinarily good retention. A truly magnificent accomplishment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype
    The reason this course is so good is that no-one these days has the time and energy to develop a course of this calibre. This was written at the start of the Cold War, when the Diplomatic Service put serious resources into developing a language course that would allow diplomats to walk into Germany and start communicating. The volcabulary isn't too large, but it is designed to get you speaking. The quibbles about the packaging are justified but minor - they obviously just used the course notes and there are lots of spelling mistakes. Also it's clearly aimed at diplomats - I doubt I'll be using "Einfuhrbestimmungen" (import regulations) anytime soon. Also I don't understand why people have difficulty with the speakers - they're actually German and talk like the natives will when you get there. Isn't it better to become used to how a German will talk to you now rather than later? The tapes are a bit hissey but not too serious. It just takes getting used to.

    I think the main problem people have with this course is that it tells it how it is. Most modern courses sell the idea that you can learn a language in a very short time and it just isn't true, and people lose confidence when it doesn't happen. To learn a new language from scratch (in a country that doesn't speak that language) to the point where you can have a basic conversation takes at least a year for most people. I've watched beginners on language courses, and it takes them a couple of weeks just to feel comfortable introducing themselves. The Barrons course is not designed with the hype in mind. It was developed for a purpose and that is to get you speaking. That said I almost died of boredom doing this course so I suggest using it as an addition to teaching. You'll be surprised at how fast you improve.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Way, way out dated (and way too expensive)
    A quick listen of the poor audio quality on this title speaks volumes for what it's trying to accomplish. It is SO old there's an obvious anachronistic dialect to the English speaker. It has a lot going for it, though - it's been around for a very long time, which increases its viability to many, but Barron's has done nothing to update it which it drastically needs. Tsk tsk tsk...this piece appears to be found quite easily in your local library, and I highly recommend testing the product firsthand before purchasing it at a very high price.

    "Learn In Your Car - German Levels 1-3" is quite a bit better, really, and a bit less expensive (which can also be found in libraries). Audio quality is quite good on this one, and covers more ground in an easier-to-learn method on cassette or CD. "Ultimate German: Basic-Intermediate" by Living Language may even be considered better, although audio quality could be improved.

    I could not recommend this title due to superior and far newer titles available for less, although it is adequate. The above two examples are much better, in my opinion, and are simply a much better buy than this ancient German language course.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, warts and all.
    If old-school audiolingual style rote drills and model sentence imitation works for you this is the course you want. It's a bit dated but the approach still works well. There is also a Level II course with 12 ninety-minute tapes to follow-up with. If you've tried other courses in the FSI series this one roughly follows the format of Barron's "Mastering French" and "Mastering Korean" but is quite a bit different than that of "Mastering Italian." You have to be tolerant of some of the faults that have been pointed out by other reviewers and be ready for lots of repetitive exercises and drills. The side-by-side English translations of the German dialogs were particularly helpful. ... Read more

    11. Getting by in French: A Quick Beginner's Course for Tourists and Business People (Get By in)
    by Pierrick Picot
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $12.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0812084403
    Catlog: Book (1996-08-01)
    Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
    Sales Rank: 408241
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Getting By in French
    I have had many years of French in America which in no way prepared me to speak anywhwere in France...especially in out lying country regions.Formal address of each person is mandatory at all times with proper attire(coat/dress pants/tie/dress shoes for men , skirt/dress and dress shoes for women)will get you every where in France as long as you speak as fast as the tape or faster.I played the tape each day for 2 months and everyone understood me.Eight years of American French will not help without extreme speed in talking. Best intro tape ever,,,don't forget the new Euro. Viva La France and good luck , Capt, Mike

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just as advertised
    French is very difficult for those who have never learned another language. I made use of this tape/book combination for about a month and was truly able to "get by". I found as many do, that just giving an effort put me in good graces with people I came in contact with. They would then most often speak in English. Give the book and tape a good effort--Lots of repetition--and you'll benefit.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It Works! Its Easy!
    Do you need to be spoken slowly to and have everything explained and repeated to learn it? Well, I sure do! Especially when it comes to learning another language and this book does the trick!! Other tapes I tried first made me think I could never learn French... Thank god I tried this one. An Excellent introduction to the language.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best travel language tutor for the non-speaker.
    Unlike Berlitz, which gives you long, wordy sentences to memorize, Getting By In French teaches you quick phrases that the French use themselves, without the excess verbiage. How to understand the responses you will get using keywords is also stressed. I used it to practice for a few weeks before my trip, and it made communication much easier. I even got compliments (!) from the French (!!) in Paris(!!!)! ... Read more

    12. Learn German the Fast and Fun Way (Barron's Fast and Fun Way Language Series)
    by Paul G. Graves, Paul Graves
    list price: $45.00
    our price: $45.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0764170244
    Catlog: Book (1997-07-01)
    Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
    Sales Rank: 1028210
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Updated with helpful facts and tips for international travelers, this new third editions of Learn German the Fast and Fun Way is suitable as language teaching book for adults as well as for older children. It instructs beginners in the basics of reading, writing, understanding, and speaking German. The book lightens language-learning routines with cartoon-style illustrations, language games, and puzzles. A set of vocabulary flashcards and a small staple-bound bilingual dictionary booklet are bound into the book's spine and can be easily removed for supplementary use. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very good tool for the traveller
    There are a variety of basic german books and book/tape combinations available for the person who wants to learn a bit of the language primarily for travel purposes, i.e., shopping, eating out, making hotel reservations, etc. This seems to me to be one of the best of that genre. I'm not quite sure why, but it seemed to work better for me than any of the others of this ilk. The text is nicely done with amusing illustrations; and, more importantly, the exercises and tapes seem to go a long way to achieiving their desired end of teaching and implanting a bit of German. For the person who wants more than a smattering of German, may I recommend the other Barron's course, Mastering German (the old Foreign Service Insititute course) and the Berlitz, Think and Talk German, both of which are superb, but rather more demanding and pricey than any "tourist" course.

    3-0 out of 5 stars An Opinion
    This is a pretty good book, for the price. It has useful language themes (travel situations, practical things) and many good sample dialogs to model your language use on. The layout is visually appealing. Its coverage of grammar is a bit skimpy. Yes, it's very simple, but they may have gone too far. There is no grammar index so it's hard to locate various grammatical explanations. The past verb tenses are not explained in the book, which I think is a deficiency. There are a few typos, too. ... Read more

    13. Spanish: Level 1: Learn In Your Car
    by Henry N. Raymond
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1560151269
    Catlog: Book (1991-03-01)
    Publisher: Penton Overseas
    Sales Rank: 181948
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Audiobook Review

    Look ma, no textbooks! The Learn in Your Car series treats you like a child--in the best possible way--starting with one-word phrases ("please," "good-by"), counting exercises, and simple nouns ("bus," "train") designed to imitate a child's learning process. First you hear the words in English, then they are repeated slowly in clear, unaccented pronunciations. The method is extremely effective for those who don't know a thing, or for those who want to brush up by testing themselves when the English words are spoken. The tapes emphasize the building blocks of communicating in a foreign country rather than rote phrases that only apply on the tape and not in real-life exchanges. Level 1 painlessly covers basic verb forms, essential prepositions, near future and past tenses, as well as shopping, hotel reservations, and other travel-related situations.The series includes French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, and Spanish in three levels that can be purchased individually or in boxed sets. Each level contains two 90-minute cassettes (or CDs) and an accompanying booklet (not for use behind the wheel) with helpful explanations and scripts for the lessons. ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty useful vocabulary builder
    I have been using this set of 3 discs for about 5 weeks and have now ordered levels 2 & 3. The first disc is real basic stuff that gets you started, the second disc has lists of various types of vocabulary, like common nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, and prepostions, and it is really worth going over these time and time again so as to master both the vocabulary and the pronunciation of these basic word lists. At least once you have go the basic vocabulary down, you have something to build on, so it gets easier.

    Disc three is more phrase oriented, though it should be born in mind that each lesson is designed to illustrate some kind of grammatical rule. For some reason my disc set came with the wrong book (French instead of Spanish) so I have relied totally on the audio, though I do have a basic Spanish book that I refer to occasionally if I can't properly identify the spelling of a word from what I hear.

    The only beef I do have is that while some of the phrases are obviously very useful, like "donde esta el banco mas cercano?" (where is the nearest bank?), others are not. You can just imagine landing in a Spanish speaking country and the first thing out of your mouth is asking for the nearest ATM or bathroom, but not all of the pattern sentences in the exercises are as useful.

    It IS hard work learning Spanish this way, but if you do a lot of driving or can take a CD player with you wherever you are, then it is also incredibly economical with what would probably otherwise be dead time used productively. Being able to communicate in Spanish is an incredibly valuable skill in the workplace these days, and even if you don't use it for that, there are so many Spanish-speaking tourism destinations in the Western hemisphere that learning Spanish while you drive around can only widen your scope. I have already found that after 5 weeks of using this plus the Instant Immersion Spanish discs in my car I can understand lengthy chunks of spoken Spanish, read newspapers and understand 85%, and understand Spanish language posts on the Internet tolerably well. My speech still needs a lot of work, but that is to be expected.

    So, yes, I do recommend this set of discs, but I would use them in conjunction with something else for variety. You will still spend a lot less and learn a lot more than you would going to classes or on a course. Spanish will be my fifth language, if you count English as one, so I do know of what I speak.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Kind of boring...
    I don't know what I expected from this CD... it's cool and it is a good learning tool. It's just so bland. All phrases are said in English, then twice in Spanish. And that's it. Very monotonous. I mean, it serves its purpose, though. I just wish it were more entertaining. Listening to the guy's voice can annoy you after a while (ever heard Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off?)... then you'll turn it off... and how can you learn THAT way?

    4-0 out of 5 stars Easy to use
    In spite of my Spanish sir name, until I purchased this CD set, I knew very little Spanish. After going through this first Learn in Your Car series however, I feel like I can speak broken Spanish to friends and family. I get a great charge out of it. No doubt, learning a second language after your childhood is a daunting task, but it is possible in my experience. Don't be fooled though, you must do the CD exercises again and again. Repetition is really important; it took me quite a long time to get past the first two CDs, and I have a very long commute.

    This first set of CD's really focuses on the basics, like travel, restroom, hotel, and restaurant phrases. I think that I will become far more appreciative of learning Spanish when I get the Level 2 CD's.

    Overall, I enjoyed learning Spanish in my car, and I do plan to purchase the follow-up series.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An effective way to learn Spanish if you're always driving
    This 3 part CD learning tool is a great way to learn another language, especially for those who are always on the road. It allows one to hear how words are properly said, with accent and all. The CDs start off very basic with individual words and then end in fluent Spanish conversations. Forget books, CDs are the way to go!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for beginners
    I found the lesson structure very effective. They begin simply and build on previous lessons. I had no prior experience with Spanish, but after completing the Level 1 tapes I would feel comfortable trying to communicate basic needs and questions.

    I agree with some of the other reviewers that a separate book would be helpful to learn written Spanish. However, the included booklet was all I needed to successfully learn the vocabulary on these tapes. (By the way, I've tried other language methods that do not provide ANY written materials which was very ineffective for me personally. I need to see a word to fully comprehend it and how to say it.)

    I ordered the cassettes (since the CD version was backordered), and I did experience some slight volume variances. The volume changes were slight and rare, so overall they didn't impact my ability to learn the materials. I've just ordered Level 2 on CD, so hopefully that won't be an issue.

    My one complaint--about the cassettes specifically--is the difficulty of finding the start of a lesson while rewinding. That's an issue with the medium, not the manufacture of the tapes. Hopefully the CDs will make finding the lesson starts easier. ... Read more

    14. Funky Phonics.... and More: Reading Readiness, Vol. 1
    by Sara Jordan
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $12.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1895523087
    Catlog: Book (1992-08-01)
    Publisher: Sara Jordan Publishing
    Sales Rank: 374802
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A great introduction to Reading! Uses both phonics and whole language approaches. Learn about the alphabet, vowels, consonants (C and G), telling time, days of the week, seasons, the environment and more...

    Age: SK - Grade 3 ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a great and memorable song collection for kids!
    I am a second grade teacher and I have to say that "Funky Phonics and more, vol. 1" really livens up my classroom, every year!

    Favorite tunes include "The Vowel Song", "The Animal Song", "Telling Time" and "Androide".

    I would say that "Funky Phonics" is really a Reading Readiness kit which also introduces phonics through song. Lots of the songs are action packed.

    For example, when we are singing "The Vowel Song", I make giant flash cards for the kids and each child gets a chance to be one of the vowels. Then as we are singing about each vowel, the child proudly gets a chance to pop up and show off his letter.

    "The Animal Song" is great. It's much more that an alphabet song. It introduces a new animal for every single letter of the alphabet and teaches an interesting fact about each of the animals too!

    "Telling Time" is wonderful because not only does it each kids how to tell time, it reviews skip counting in 5's because after all, this is often the way we tell, 10:10 or 10:15.

    "The Androide Song" is an interesting approach to telling time. The kids love to hear the Androide sing about time and his daily race through the fast lane of life.

    Of course, other interesting songs, such as "Days of the Week", which teaches how the days were named after the planets, and "Who's Going to Save Us Now?" a great environmental tune, really spice up other curriculum units.

    Whether for home use or in the classroom, I hope you'll be as excited and pleased with "Funky Phonics and more Vol. 1" as I am. ... Read more

    15. Japanese for Young People I (Japanese for Young People)
    by Association for Japanese Language Teaching
    list price: $48.00
    our price: $32.64
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 4770021798
    Catlog: Book (1999-03-01)
    Publisher: Kodansha International (JPN)
    Sales Rank: 545705
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    16. Linguafun! Language Learning Card Games: Spanish
    list price: $12.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1560155906
    Catlog: Book (1996-03-01)
    Publisher: Penton Overseas
    Sales Rank: 266828
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The best I've seen yet...
    The audio is of high quality, the speakers have clear voices and the cards are very helpful. My only problem with it is that they go too fast for a beginner, but they all do. It seems obvious to me...slow down! When a baby is learning to speak, you don't say "apple" all of the time, sometimes you have to say "aaa pull" I have to stop the tape player over and over and over........However, I do recomend this. I would buy it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Spanish
    My daughter (age 10) and I have been playing Linguafun card games for a few days and really enjoying it. The cards guarantee success in speaking in sentences right away, rather than learning numbers and colors and just a few phrases at first, the way I learned in school. It's spurred us both on to learn more--I only wish there were more sets of cards from Linguafun.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best foreign language teaching tool on the market.
    I am a Spanish teacher, and have used the Linguafun cards in the classroom. I was amazed at how easily my students learned Spanish using these cards and cassette! The set comes with instructions for many different games, but our favorite in the classroom is "War". I have reviewed and tried many products for teaching Spanish, and Linguafun is by far THE BEST! It's the easiest way I have ever seen of learning a foreign language. I can't wait for all the other languages to be available ... Read more

    17. What's For Supper?/Qu'est-ce qu'on mange ce soir? (I Can Read Series)
    by Mary Risk, Carol Thompson
    list price: $9.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0764173448
    Catlog: Book (2000-03-15)
    Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
    Sales Rank: 629044
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This attractive paperback book-and-audiocassette combination is anew title in Barron's "I Can Read" series. They introduce a second language tochildren of pre-school and early school age. An appealing story comes with full- color illustrations on every page, accompanied by simple text in two languages.The tapes repeat the books' bilingual texts so kids can hear the actual soundsof spoken French and English. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Une Surprise!
    In preparation for travels next year, my 4-year-old and I are attuning our ears to French. WHAT'S FOR SUPPER (along with other books in this Barron's series) is just our speed. Carol Thompson's appealing illustrations make it easy for a preschooler to "tell herself the story." Mary Risk's story of children buying groceries and preparing supper for their mother - a surprise! - keeps us turning pages, whether in English or French. The cassette is familiarizing us with the sounds, and the end-of-the-book phonetic spelling lists are polishing some of the rust off my encrusted college French. It will be possible to use these at developing levels, too. Right now we read the English, then the French on each page and listen to the tape doing the same. Later we can cover the English on the page and just read the French. And on the flip side of the cassette, we can hear the whole story in just English or in just French. A great supplement to whatever French "text" a family uses. ... Read more

    18. Romanian: Language 30
    by Language 30
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $12.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0910542880
    Catlog: Book (1995-10-01)
    Publisher: Educational Services Corporation
    Sales Rank: 496819
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not a bad value, but a bit tedious
    This set is a decent value. For your money, you get a fairly broad range of phrases and vocabulary. However, the organization of information assumes that you can keep interest listening to a bunch of discrete phrases repeated one after the other with no conversations or anything remotely natural. If you can, in fact, maintain interest while listening to these tapes repeatedly, then you'll do well with this set. If, on the other hand, you need something more dynamic, you might do well to look elsewhere.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Practical & Easy!
    This book with cassettes gives a very practical base for the beginner with the Romanian language. It is in a helpful conversational style, and of great use for travelers. Having both the audio as well as the visual helps to clarify and solidify what you learn. Excellent course. ... Read more

    19. Getting by in Italian: A Quick Beginner's Course for Tourists and Business People
    by Getting by Series, Emmanuela Tandello
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $13.27
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0812084446
    Catlog: Book (1996-08-01)
    Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
    Sales Rank: 387360
    Average Customer Review: 3.67 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Helpful Tapes/Excellent Book
    I found this Barron's series very helpful in my attempts to prepare for a trip to Italy. The title is truth in advertising. These tapes are not for academics or those trying to learn fluency in the language, but instead they are meant for travelers and business people planning a short stay. They provide practical phrases, questions and answers for dining out, making hotel and camping reservations, using public transportation and setting up meetings with people.

    "Getting By In Italian" utilizes a variety of methods to teach and to reinforce learning: imitation/repetition, games, word find puzzles, listening for newly learned phrases in "natural" conversations, and picking out the correct sentence out of several that are recited to you. Rather than relying on rote memory and repetition, it emphasizes picking out things from context -which is far more realistic for most travelers. The variety of methods made these tapes more pleasurable to listen to than either the Fodor's or Pimsleur tapes that I also used.

    The book that accompanies this set is possibly even better than the tapes. It provides a more complete translation than the tapes do and will serve as a nice reference on my trip.

    This set does have some weaknesses, however. First, the "natural" conversations (in hotels, restaurants and stores) that they recorded are sometimes very difficult to hear. You have to turn the volume way up and then you get BLASTED when the narrator comes back on.

    These tapes provide the correct pronunciation for a given phrase only once. The listener repeats it, but most of the time the phrase is not repeated a second time. Most other tapes will provide correct pronunciation more than once and expect the listener to repeat more than once as well. As a result, it helps to have a good ear and facility for language if using these tapes.

    Additionally, these tapes work best if you plan to follow along in the book. Some of the translations are not provided on the tape and the games usually require that you circle a correct answer or look at some written options that are before you. As a result, if you plan to listen to the tapes mostly in the car, you will definitely miss out on some things.

    At the same time, most people learn languages better if they can use more than one sense (i.e. just hearing.) Visual cues help to reinforce learning, so you're better off if you use both the book and the tape at the same time anyway. (Just not as convenient for those of us who like to listen in the car. The Pimsleur tapes - which have other weaknesses - are better for that.)

    Finally, the narrator is British, which is fine, but the American listener will have to pay close attention and translate certain phrases for themselves (i.e. "lift" for elevator and "power point" for electrical outlet.)

    All in all, I was satisfied with these tapes and so were my friends who tried them. The value for the price was also better than other tapes I purchased.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Narrator put me to sleep
    After having used the "Getting by in French" and "Getting by in Spanish" with enthusiasm, I found the "Getting by in Italian" version very disappointing. Both the French and Spanish versions have an uplifting musical accompaniments to splice the different sections, and both the French and Spanish versions each have two narrators/hosts/teachers who banter back and forth with each other to make the learning more fun and make the material more retainable. However, on the Italian version, there is only one narrator, and she is slow and deliberate, as if she's reading from a script and she constantly refers the listener back to the book. I could not keep my attention easily focused on the speaker because her speech was too slow. I also found the French and Spanish versions nice because I could use them in the car or while doing household chores. This was not so easy to do with the Italian version because of the narrator's constant reference to the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Useful and easy. Presents just what you most need to begin.
    I have bought and tested at least five different"language tapes" in the past year.These Getting by in... are wonderfully organized and give adults and children a passing use of the language very quickly.This has dramatically enhanced our travels by allowing greater immmersion in another culture.I can easily learn how to be polite, order food and find help and bathrooms in any language.These tapes hit the mark directly and are worth the time and money. ... Read more

    20. A Visit to Grandma: Italian-English (Adventures With Nicholas Series)
    by Chris L. Demarest
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 2831562511
    Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
    Publisher: Berlitz Guides
    Sales Rank: 421698
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Celebrations are under way for Grandma's birthday as Nicholas, his brother John, and sister Maria plan the perfect party and look for theperfect gift. At her party, Grandma opens many lovely presents, but the gifts from the children are the best of all. Full color. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Nice books, but Berlitz gives the worse service.
    I bought all three books in the series: A Visit to Grandma, The Missing Cat, and Five Crayons, all in one order. I didn't use them for a couple of weeks, and kept them in their boxes. Finally getting around to the books, TWO of the three audio cassettes broke within the first week of use. It has been more than a month and a half, and I've been emailing and calling Berlitz (multiple numbers; I feel like i'm getting the run around) to see about replacements, but to no avail. After all the emails and calls, Berlitz says that the best the can do is sell me the items again for half price. All I desire are the tapes. I have the books, of course. It's disheartening that this large, multi-national corporation 1) does not stand by its products, and 2) can't afford to send a customer two tapes.

    With that out of the way, I do think the series is pretty good, though I've (obviously) really turned sour on the company. I've read the other reviews of these prodcts, and by and large agree. The illustrations are nice, and the narrations on the audio are professional enough. Some issues I do have:

    They advertise that the tapes are 60 minutes long. They are, but they're playing with the language. While the cassettes are actually 60 minutes long, there is about 20 minutes of silence on the second side. So if you buy all three, you're purchasing 60 minutes of quiet time.

    Speaking of the second side, it is interesting because that is the side containing songs--songs go along with the story. Apparently all the songs are the same (i.e., same music, lyrics, etc. just translated into different language) regardless of the language you are learning (French, German, Italian, etc.). This makes for some contorted lyrics at times. The writers really had to make it stretch in some parts to get all the syllables in, or to spread them out. So for example, in the back of the book, where the lyrics to the songs are, they give you the German on the left, and the English on the right. The English goes along quite well the song (it must have been written or drafted in English). It has even numbers of syllables per line, rhymes when it should, etc. The German, on the other hand, is almost unwieldy. Don't get me wrong. If you listen to it enough, you will learn, but it's clear that the song was not written in German. If the lines rhyme in German, it's probably a random event.

    Also, this is the first time I have ever seen a cassette no labeled with "SIDE A" or "SIDE B." In the great scheme of things, I guess this is no big deal, but it shows the attention to detail that was *not* paid to this project.

    Given the paucity of German language materials on the market, purchasing these books, for children, unfortunately, is a must.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very useful
    The three Berlitz books/tapes in this Adventures with Nicholas series have been a great introduction to German for my 5 year-old. This is the most difficult of the three; use it third. The Missing Cat is probably the best to use first, and then The Five Crayons.

    3-0 out of 5 stars scholastic material
    This is definitely more self-study educational material in German than an enjoyable tale for bedtime reading. While that doesn't detract from its value, it wasn't what I was looking for in a book. I imagine this is a very helpful book for children who would like to learn German but who have parents who don't speak it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for young readers of German
    I was so pleased to receive this book, along with "The Five Crayons" and "The Missing Cat" (all put out by the Berlitz language company)! I teach German in a German-only K-5 program. The language used in this book is wonderful and easy for young readers/listeners to understand. The book introduces essential vocabulary, including feelings, action words, some past tense, descriptive words, and some colors. These are all items I teach in Kindergarten, then reinforce in 1st grade. Which means these books are perfect for my students!! The tape offers native speakers, which is a plus, as well as 8 songs to go along with the chapters. This book is a wonderful addition to any collection of German books for young learners!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Maintains a child's interest in learning a foreign language
    The tape is extremely well done; the book is colorful and the index offers good explanations for children with pictures presented with each word, which is good for young non-readers. Following along with the tape is easy since Chris Demarest's illustrations keeps children interested in listening along. There are several chapters with different related topics which offers variety for older readers. ... Read more

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