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Comment: 1994 edition, different cover that that shown. Pages in very good condition, does have corner creasing to bottom, covers in good condition same corner crease to bottom page edge.
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Colloquial Estonian (Colloquial Series) Paperback – 16 Jun 1994

3.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (16 Jun. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415087430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415087438
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.5 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,174,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have managed to learn some Estonian from this course, but there are some really serious flaws which make the course extremely difficult, confusing and frustrating to use.
The major difficulty is with the descriptions of the grammar, which are often either unclear, misleading or even quite wrong. For example we are told that the past tense is formed from the -da infinitive. In fact it is formed from the -ma infinitive. Until I had realised this I was very confused by an apparently huge list of exceptions which result from trying to build the past tense from the -da infinitive! In other instances a grammatical point is defined very vaguely where the simple statement of a firm rule would have been much more useful - for example the description of the genitive plural, Unit 9.
The vocabulary lists for each unit sometimes omit words used in the unit and some lists even have words which are not used at all! The vocabulary lists for Unit 7 are particularly sloppily constructed, with some words not even included in the usually reliable glossary at the back of the book.
Some dialogues have idioms or grammatical constructions which are totally unexplained or are only introduced later in the book. This leaves the learner confused and undermines confidence.
The answers to the exercises are full of dreadful mistakes: sometimes they miss the point of the exercise, sometimes they are wrong, and - worst of all - sometimes they include vocabulary, grammar or constructions not yet introduced. In the latter case students are confronted by a set of model solutions which they could not possibly have come up with and which in some cases are not even comprehensible. This too undermines confidence and is certainly the most serious flaw of the course. The exercises do not consolidate what has been learnt, which is what they ought to be doing.
All in all this is a poor effort, sloppy, inaccurate and ill-conceived.
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Format: Paperback
If this was a drug it would be recalled from the shelves and you'd get your money back. It is so full of mistakes that it is unuseable. You do an exercise and when you look up the answers you find the exercise uses words and constructions you have not had yet. It also has many misprints, and I understand that the voices on the CD are not even native speakers. After five chapters I catalogued two pages of mistakes. I have even complained to Routledge who after two years have agreed to give me my money back.
Judge a book by its cover for once. A Russian cathedral on the front cover, as sensitive as putting a union jack on an Irish course or a swastika on a Yiddish one. They can't even spell Tallinn correctly.
No excuses, the book has been in print for over ten years and it's been cynically left out there. This does no credit to Routledge or anyone who stocks it.
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Format: Paperback
I found this riddled with misprints and with exercises (for example 7 on p.28) needing information only presented later (in this case p. 128).
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Format: Audio Cassette
I've used this book to teach Estonian at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. It's not bad, but it doesn't explain the essential aspects of the fiendishly difficult 'lengths'of vowels and consonants. These lengths cannot be explained adequately without knowledge of the history of the Estonian language. Maybe a beginner's guidebook isn't the place for a detailed exposition, but when there are so few textbooks in English, more detail might have been expected.Why is it always assumed that a beginner's textbook cannot contain historical explanations?
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