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Colloquial Basque: A Complete Language Course (Routledge Colloquials) Paperback – Audiobook, 14 Nov 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 Box Pap/ edition (14 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415453313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415453318
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 17.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,009,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'...the student will obtain a knowledge of Basque that will prove useful for travel, and an excellent foundation for subsequent...study of the language' Paul Sidwell, Dhumbadji - Journal for the History of Language --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Jan. 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
This is probably the best book available to those who want to learn Basque through the English language. It provides a solid foundation to build on and covers the main grammatical points. It does however fail in one main point - the use of the Guipuzkoan dialect. This dialect although probably the most widely spoken differs from the Batua (Unified Basque) being taught in Schools and institutions in the Basque Country. For those who wish to speak Basque, and who speak Spanish, would probably be better off with J.A. Letamendia's Bakarka series. However this does not take anything away from an otherwise excellent book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Bates on 9 Sept. 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
Basque is only spoken by about 700,000 people in the world, so there aren't a lot of resources available to help you learn it (unless you speak Spanish or French: since the Basque Country straddles the border of France and Spain there are more books on Basque in those languages). Colloquial Basque though is very good, better than most in the colloquial series of language packs (which are themselves generally above average), and although it won't take you all the way to complete fluency, it will teach you enough to get by, and enough to appreciate how fascinating Basque is. Alan King (who wrote the book with Begotxu Olaizola Elordi) also wrote another good book on Basque, called Basque: A Practical Introduction.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book is interesting. It is a language that stands alone in Europe yet shares some similarities with Hungarian. The company that sent me the book was really great and really helpful
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
This book does NOT come with cassettes. It seems there are two Colloquial Basque books. One is a course study with cassettes. This one isn't it. There is an order form inside the book (land post) and for a paltry £12.75* you can order the accompanying cassettes. Have you ever tried to learn a language without being able to hear it?
(*The publishers reserve the right to change the prices without notice.)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Very practical 13 Dec. 2000
By Dan Pradere - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette
I recently bought this book and tape to prepare for my trip to the Basque Country. I read the book a few times and listened to the tape in the background at work and home. For every bit of effort I put into learning Basque, the reward was 100%.
When I got to San Sebastian, I found that people spoke very much like they did on the tapes. Even though I had never studied Basque or Spanish prior to buying the tapes I was able to get around. I was able to ask for directions, greet and introduce myself, and buy food. By the time I arrived, I had heard the tapes so much that little phrases kept popping out.
Having this as a base I was able to begin speaking to people both quicker and at a deeper level. It was amazing how far I could stretch a conversation based on simple grammar and vocabulary.
Once I became to speak some of their language, the Basque people really opened up to me. They really appreciated the effort I made to learn their language. And now is a great time to learn Basque. It is undergoing a revival so both kids and adults are going to school to learn Basque.
This book and tape helped me a lot! Now that I am home I still listen to the tapes to refresh my memory. To the authors I say eskerrik asko!!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The most practical Basque course available 11 May 2007
By R. Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette
[Thoroughly revised on 2008-05-15]
This course is designed for anyone who wishes to learn the basics of Basque for travel or further study. It is both practical, with broad coverage of basic grammar and expressions you would be likely to need, and at the same time linguistically sound, with clear explanations of the grammar. And it's got tapes.

There are twelve units in the book, most of which begin with a dialogue and a list of vocabulary used in the dialogue. These are followed by sections entitled "Doing things with words", "Saying what you mean", "Grammatical nuts and bolts" and similar headings, and containing a mixture of useful structures and vocabulary. Many of these also have short exercises, the answers to which are in the back of the book. A second dialogue is followed by similar grammar and vocabulary sections, and finally a culture section ("Language and Life") with more, slightly less useful vocabulary.

The dialogue follows the story of Elin, from Wales, who is visiting the Basque Country. Thankfully for the reader she is treated as nearly Basque, so we are spared the excesses found in some language courses. However, there is still a strong emphasis on topics such as travelling around and meeting people. The dialogues appear to be relatively natural, but they do seem to lack many useful phrases.

Unit 8 replaces the dialogue with a longer text, which seems a little out of place. There are also no lists of the vocabulary used in the text of Unit 8 or of any dialogues in the latter part of the book, which makes looking up vocabulary rather more tiresome. Those following this course will probably want to purchase a dictionary, since much of the vocabulary isn't listed in the vocabulary section at the back of the book either. (I would somewhat cautiously suggest buying the more expensive Basque-English dictionary by Aulestia and White, and perhaps its English-Basque counterpart, rather than the cheap and nasty two-in-one dictionary I opted for. There is also a good online Morris Student Plus dictionary at [...]

For people wishing to learn Basque, especially outside the Basque country, the options are limited. Basque is not an easy language for English speakers to learn, but those wishing to come to grips with the language will find that Alan King and Begotxu Olaizola Elordi's course provides a practical introduction to the language.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A practical guide for survival in the Basque Country 12 Dec. 2000
By Dan Pradere - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I recently bought this book and tape to prepare for my trip to Euskal Herria. I read the book a few times and listened to the tape when I was at work or around the house. For every bit of effort I put into learning, my reward was 100%.
Although I had never studied Spanish or Euskera before, these tapes helped me get by. When I arrived in San Sebastian, I found that the tape was extremely accurate in the way people spoke. I kept popping out little phrases I had memorized from the tape. These helped me with the necessities, like greetings, asking directions, and finding what I needed in San Sebastian.
It's amazing how far I was able to stretch a conversation just by knowing the basics and the functional words. Once I got past the day-to-day survival, I really began to learn the language.
Once I began to learn the language, people opened up to me in a way they never would have to an English- or Spanish-speaker. Euskera is undergoing a huge revival and it is exciting to be a part of that. And the Basque people will love you for showing them the respect to try to learn their language.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the language or is planning on visiting Euskal Herria. It will give you the base to begin communicating much sooner and at a deeper level.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Best manual I've ever had 1 April 2000
By Pawel Zukowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Alan King made a very good manual, it is hard to make something like this for the language that is not similar to anything we know, but however it is really easy to learn basque with his book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
a difficult language confusingly rendered 14 July 2007
By Robert Harlow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio Cassette
I have used a lot of language tools and classes, and this is hands down the most confusing. Maybe I'm a slower study than the others who reviewed this book, but learning seems quite inefficient. This is because grammar is not explained well (often times the explanations are incomplete, or the reader is told to just "study these examples") and the topics seem to bounce around. That's unfortunate, because Basque is so different from English. A more intuitive unfolding of grammar would help the reader a lot. I've learnt Greek and Japanese with greater ease, and I would guess that those languages are just as difficult for the native English speaker. Unfortunately, there's really not much of a choice for anyone who wants to learn Basque -- there's just nothing out there.
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