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Colloquial Albanian [Book and Cassette Pack] [Audio Cassette]

Isa Zymberi
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £33.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

9 May 1991 0415056659 978-0415056656 Har/Cas
"Colloquial Albanian" gives a introduction to a little-known language, together with background information on the Albanian people and their culture. No previous knowledge of the language is necessary, and the course has been designed for self-study. Each lesson contains conversations and texts based on everyday situations, and the vocabulary is built up gradually from this material. All grammar used in the lessons is fully explained, and supplemented by clear grammatical tables for easy reference. Progress can be tested at the end of each lesson by completing the varied exercises. An exercise key, a two-way glossary of over 2000 words and a supplementary reading section of extracts from Albanian literature, are all features which contribute to the course's self-sufficiency. The text is accompanied by a cassette and a pronunciation guide. All dialogues are spoken by native Albanians.

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Routledge; Har/Cas edition (9 May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415056659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415056656
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 16.9 x 5.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,574,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should be titled Kosovan Albanian 5 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Any language course is difficult when all of the grammatical rules are different to any language you've ever learnt - and Albanian is very different. I bought this book & cassette because I work in Tirana, the capitol. I realised very early that the pronunciation is different.
When I started to use the first word in the first lesson, "Tungjatjeta" for "hello", I was advised that it was very old fashioned and nobody uses it any more. My Albanian friends have listened to the tape and advise that the pronunciation is Kosovan. The author acknowledges that fact in the Preface, but for me, I bought the book before being aware of that. But the grammar lessons are good and applicable.
If you're going to Kosovo, it's a great book. If you're going to Tirana, it's useful, but learn pronunciation from Albanians. If you're just an academic or language enthusiast who wants to learn a new language, then go for it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A heavy-going book for the beginner. 29 Dec 1999
There are not many books to help the beginner with Albanian. I found this book to be verging on the incomprehensible after chapter 5. A vast quantity of grammatical material is given, which is of questionable value for anyone who needs a grasp of colloquial Albanian. The tapes are useful because they provide an indication of pronunciation of the written word. The format of the book, however, is simply not the best way to encourage anyone to persevere with what appears to be a formidably difficult language. By the time I was a quarter of the way through the book I became convinced that the principle rule of Albanian grammar is that there are no rules of Albanian grammar! It would be good to think that the approach will be radically modified in a subsequent edition.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Aryldi
This is not the easiest book in the world to learn from.
It is good for being about half the price of a lot of the books out there, and if you are persistent then you can battle your way through.
What you must note though is that the pronounciation you will learn from the tape is different from the pronounciation in most of Albania. It's like learning English from a Scotsman then trying to converse in London.
You will probably be able to make yourself understood, and the foundations and vocabulary will be there, but really it's a different dialect to the one that you are most likely to need to use, so it's not the best way to learn a new language.
If you use the book and get an Albanian friend to teach you the proper pronounciation and slightly different spellings of the words in the most common dialect, then you should be ok with this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating! 29 Jan 2009
By Steve
When I started learning Albanian there was very little methodologically up-to-date material for the purpose. This was the best material I could find, which is not saying much. I am a language teacher and teacher trainer and I found this book frustrating. It is very traditional, placing emphasis on grammar rules which are usually presented without context. There is very little that is immediately useful for a visitor to Albania or Kosovo: how to order in restaurants, how to ask for directions in the street, coping with an attack of illness, shopping, complaining to hotel staff... NONE of this is provided. Instead there are dialoogues of rather unfunny schoolmasterly jokes and largely irrelevant reading passages with very poorly designed comprehension questions. It's hard to know what audience the publishers had in mind for this book. If you HAVE to learn Albanian this is unfortunately as good as anything else on offer.

The language in the book is Albanian 'as cultivated in Kosovo'. Bear this in mind if your dealings will be with Albanians from Albania.
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