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Colloquial Russian: The Complete Course For Beginners (Colloquial Series) [Paperback]

Svetlana Le Fleming , Susan Kay
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Colloquial Russian: The Complete Course For Beginners (Colloquial Series) Colloquial Russian: The Complete Course For Beginners (Colloquial Series) 4.7 out of 5 stars (7)
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Book Description

14 Aug 1997 0415161401 978-0415161404 2
Colloquial Russian is easy to use and completely clear. Specially written by an experienced teacher for self-study or class use, the course offers you a step-by-step approach to written and spoken Russian.


Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (14 Aug 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415161401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415161404
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Colloquial Russian is easy to use and completely brilliant! Specially written by experienced teachers for self-study or class use, the course offers you a step-by-step approach to written and spoken Russian. No prior knowledge of the language is required.

What makes Colloquial Russian your best choice in personal language learning?
* interactive - lots of dialogues and exercises for regular practice
* clear - concise grammar notes
* practical - useful vocabulary and pronunciation guide
* complete - including answer key and special reference section

By the end of this rewarding course you will be able to communicate confidently and effectively in a broad range of situations.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Before I bought this book I looked at several other introductory books on Russian. I chose this one because it is clear and concise, and packs a great deal of learning into each chapter. If you are sufficiently determined, in an astonishingly short time you should have a grounding in grammar and a vocabulary of about 1500 of the most commonly used words, and be able to read and write confidently in Russian about everyday subjects. It takes you up to intermediate level, which I think means to about GCSE level. The last few topics introduce current affairs vocabulary, and have an A-level feel to them.

I understand this is the book that Cambridge University recommend to complete beginners in Russian studies. Be warned then: you will need either a Russian tutor or the kind of motivation and self-discipline that you would expect from a Cambridge student. There is little space devoted to teaching you either pronunciation or Cyrillic writing. It is simply assumed that you have other ways to learn these (e.g. the optional extra CDs or cassettes). There are few opportunities to consolidate your understanding (e.g. revision exercises): you are expected to grasp every grammar point and learn every word the first time you encounter it. There is a good English-Russian, Russian-English vocabulary section at the back, but the grammar topics are poorly indexed. Expect this book to become dog-eared as you thumb through it searching for the page where the grammar point that you need but can't quite remember is explained.

If you want to learn simply a little conversational or tourist Russian then this book is not for you. Buy this book if you want to learn written Russian to intermediate level, and have access to a tutor or previous experience of learning a language on your own.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent russian book 22 Sep 2004
Format:Paperback
I take private Russian lessons, and this is the book I use. It is ambitious and highly useful, as you are likely to find anything you, as a beginner, will need to look up. The only thing is that it is not designed to be used alone, and you could find youself struggling if you don't have a teacher to guide you, or a basic book which spoonfeeds you everything.
Overall, however, it is a very handy book for the student of the Russian language.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard work but worth it 4 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback
This is the text book which is used on the Russian evening class I am attending. I would agree with other reviewers that it is not suitable for total beginners and not ideal for self-study, but I am definitely learning more from it than from other "teach yourself" style books which I have tried. One of its strongest points is the large number of exercises in each chapter, which reinforce the grammar and vocabulary covered.

The grammar summary at the back is well laid out, though for in-depth study a dedicated grammar book is useful. The CDs are worth having if you don't have a native speaker to check your pronunciation.

Yes, there are a few niggles, but on balance this is a well-structured book and excellent value for money.
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35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've been wrestling with two Russian for Beginners books on my own for the last year. The end of this one is finally in sight, thank God. It's a book which is by turns frustrating and rewarding.
Frustrating because the authors, for some reason, feel it is necessary that as a beginner I learn how to say "tonight there will be a fancy dress competition", "in Russia 60 per cent of all health care specialists are female" and "I am writing a dissertation about education in Russia". All this before teaching me how to tell the time or buy train tickets.
Frustrating because at the beginning of every new chapter you're confronted with 50 or 60 new words to learn as well as 2 or 3 ridiculously silly grammar rules (the fact that Russian grammar is silly is obviously not the authors' fault). There's no revision, no consolidation, no time to sit back and say, "yep, learnt that".
Frustrating because the Berlin wall fell 12 years ago (alright only 8 when this book was written). But do we get anything of interest about post Soviet Russia? Net.
But despite its serious shortcomings this book is rewarding. Rewarding because it is thorough. If you invest time and patience in this book, you cannot fail to learn a lot. A fair bit of the subject matter is useful and interesting and the taped conversations and oral excercises are excellent.
Apart from that I'd say that the overall presentation is poor and that the careless mistakes which crop up in more or less every chapter show a lack of respect for the student.
This is not a bad book. It does the job. But if you are on your own and you are not a) a genius or b) a masochist, you will need something lighter to go with it.
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