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Colloquial Slovene: The Complete Course for Beginners: A Complete Language Course (Colloquial Series) Paperback – 14 Sep 1995

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Product details

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (14 Sep 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415089468
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415089463
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 13.4 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 995,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By J. V. Williams on 7 Oct 2010
Format: Audio CD
I would have preferred the voices to have been more easily distinguished. In conversations it was not obvious to me when one person stopped speaking and the next began as their voices sounded too similar. This affected my understanding of the dialogue.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I do not have a natural aptitude for learning foreign languages and this was my first attempt at a Slavic language.

I found with this book and accompanying CD I was able to learn enough Slovenian to fairly confidently get by during recent holidays touring around Slovenia. I liked the balance between conversation and grammar. I certainly didn't find the grammar easy but it was clearly presented and was a pleasure to work through the exercises. I feel happier if I have some knowledge of the rules so that I can use this framework as a way of diverging from a set of standard phrases and sentences.
Perhaps if I had a natural aptitude, I would not have to bother about the grammar!

Spoken English in Slovenia is quite wide spread in towns and cities but is less known in the country areas especially with the older population. However to be able to converse in the local language wherever you are makes a holiday much more enjoyable.In Slovenia, the people are so friendly and encouraging if you can make the effort. I just hope I can remember everything when we go back!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
simply fantastic 28 Nov 1999
By Piffer Daniela - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I started learning Slovene 3 years ago ( when I was 13)as self-taught girl and I have a lot of slovene books ( I mean grammar books)but I think this is the best one I own. Here there are 13 chapters and the book talk about an English man,Robert, who goes to Slovenia to work there for a year. Each chapter is about a different situation in Robert's life and at the end of each chapter there is the vocabulary, language points, civilization and grammar notes with a lot of examples and exercises.At the end of the book there are the translations of the dialogs, the solutions of the exercises and a 22-pages glossary. The cassettes are great too:they are very very useful for the pronounciation. The only problem (but it's only for the students who are not english)is that this book is written only in English so quite difficult. However this book is better done than any other Italian or German one.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Good but far from enough 27 Jun 2005
By Slavic World - Published on
Format: Paperback
Slovene is a hard language, possibly the hardest of all the Slavic languages due to an unusually rich (read: complex...) grammar. This is one of the few Slovene courses available in Englisg, and unfortunately it's not enough.

The vocabulary introduced in this course is the main problem. While the average language course in the Colloquial series introduces well over 1000 words, this course is well below 800. Compared to some of the other Colloquial books on Slavic languages, the vocabulary is down by 50%. This means that the learner is left with a very limited vocabulary.

The grammar is introduced at a very slow pace. There are obvious advantages to this approach, but at the same time it means that it only touches upon the most basic points, and is likely to leave the learner confused when he approaches actual Slovene.

You'd better buy the tapes, because this book does not show the stress of words nor the different pronunciations of the letter 'e'.

To sum it all up

What is good with this book

- It is easy to use.

- The dialouges are modern and relevant

What is bad with this book

- The grammar is incomplete

- The vocabulary introduced is very limited

This book would not be bad at all as part one of a course in Slovene, or as a short introduction, but it is not a full language course. Those who have used other courses in the Colloquial series should not expect this book to be an equally extensive course
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Useless 8 May 2006
By Liam - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I'm sad to say that this course will be of no use to those wanting to learn Slovene. The aim of this review is to illustrate its shortcomings and suggest improvements that could be made.

Problem 1 - no accents

This problem alone is enough to render the book almost useless. In Slovene, any syllable of a word may be stressed. Get it wrong and you may end up saying a completely different word. This is especially evident in the case of the letter 'e', representing different sounds in Slovene. Apart from being stressed or unstressed, it can be an open e or a closed e. It might also be a schwa sound, the sound found in words such as English 'the'. In other words, how will you pronounce the common word 'vecer' (evening)? There are eight(!) options available... And what about the word 'svet'? Is it the Slovene word for 'holy' or for 'advice'? Almost all courses and books on Slovene make use of accents to indicate the pronunciation, since it is impossible to predict. The only two exceptions are this book and Teach Yourself Slovene by the same author. I never thought I'd say a language course in which you will have to guess the pronunciation of each and every word.

Problem 2 - Very limited vocabulary

The reviewer Gwilym mentioned how very limited the vocabulary of this course is compared to Colloquial Czech. The same goes for almost all the Colloquial courses on Slavic languages. Colloquial Czech, Colloquial Ukrainian, Colloquial Bulgarian, Colloquial Slovak, Colloquial Russian are all excellent courses with a well-suited vocabulary. Colloquial Serbian is decent enough. Only Colloquial Polish and Colloquial Croatian are a bit off the mark and then Colloquial Slovene that cannot even be compared to the other courses.

So only 1 star to this course, that star is for a decent (but not great) explanation of the grammar. Two stars off for the very limited vocabulary and two more for the lack of accents.

I'm glad that Routledge offers many excellent courses in Slavic languages and I can only hope that they will one day publish a Slovene course worhty of their reputation.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
As Spoken in Slovenia 17 Jun 2003
By Kurt Rasmussen - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was born and raised in Los Angeles California, but my wife was born and raised in Slovenia (Andol and Ljubljana). For years my in-laws have been trying to teach me Slovene; my accent was just too much for my wife. We traveled to Slovenia and I made a major leap forward (immersion) and now my wife can tolerate my accent. After the trip to Slovenia, I found this audio cassette course and decided to try it. My wife and in-laws are very impressed with the differing styles of speech and the accurate phasing that one would normally hear in and around Ljubljana. Although the course might move a little too fast for someone without any exposure to the language, it is the right pace and style for a serious student. My diction has greatly improved. I converted the tapes to audio-CD and spend time mimicking the exact style of the different persons speaking in each lesson. This has greatly reduced my accent. This is not a dry classroom lecture series. It is everyday people talking and having fun -- it reminds me of the relatives in Slovenia.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
i'm a native Slovenian 7 Nov 2009
By Peter Breznik - Published on
Format: Paperback
And I didn't buy the book (KEEP READING), I just want to help some of you to understand that stressing vowels differently is really not written in few other reviews (low stars ones). it's very easy to attack someone not doing they're job adequately and be blind at the same time. Now...

where am I getting at?

OK, let's base our stressing for example. Slovenia has 4 main accents within the language.. word kako means how..the central and NW Slo would read it that way, pronouncing o, NE would leave o cmpletely, coming to kak' si kaj(means How are you?), SE would say KUKO, o is pronounced, and the SW or seaside part (we border with Italy) would read KAKO in Italian pronouncing both a and o ..And..

what does this actually mean?

Means that however stupid anyone will pronounce their words, letters etc, we will understand him/her.. Because I can't show it to you any other to properly pronounce a word just depends on the region you live in, or are moving to.It's a complex language, but let's leave it that way, don't overcomplicate it.

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