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Complete Catalan: Teach Yourself (Book/CD Pack) Paperback – 24 Sep 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Teach Yourself (24 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444105655
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444105650
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.8 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

Discover a new and effective way to learn Catalan. With 16 units covering the four key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, this best-selling course comprises a book and audio support which is easy to download to your computer or MP3 player.

About the Author

Anna Poch Gasau is a native speaker and an experienced teacher of Catalan to adults. She has been teaching at universities and schools in France and England since 1996. Alan Yates is former Professor of Catalan Studies at the University of Sheffield and has recently received a prize for his services to the teaching of Catalan.

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lycos Limited C. Jones on 7 July 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The major deficiency of this book is the lack of help with pronunciation. Catalan is not phonetically written and the pronunciation is distinctly more complex than Spanish. 5 vowels are used to denote 8 vowel sounds and certain consonants are silent. If the vocabularies, either in each chapter or at least at the end of the book, were to give the phonetics of each word, this book would be a far more useful tool for acquiring the language. Even using the CD in conjuction with the book, you will need to employ a vast amount of detective work to try to sort out correct pronunciation.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
Having used "Teach Yourself Spanish" many years ago (in the month prior to visiting a friend in Asturias) I fully expected to do just as well with this book - especially as I'd been on a course for tourists going to the Costa Brava. So I knew the pronunciation and some basic usage and so on. Sadly, I found myself getting bogged down with dense grammar, when I wanted to feel how the language worked.
The worked examples are very good, and memorable; my friends and I are still enchanted with phrases like "estic disposat a sortejar la cabra" - which means "I am inclined to raffle the goat" (!)
On the whole, three stars - not for the faint-hearted, but still good solid stuff. Perhaps a little too solid.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read the generally negative reviews of this book, I approached it with trepidation. But, much to my surprise, for the first time in ages I was delighted to come across a language textbook that treats the prospective student not as a mindless parrot mouthing phrases that he hasn't a clue how to analyse but as an intelligent individual with some knowledge of linguistic terminology who should be capable of generating new linguistic formations on the basis of the structures he's been taught in the book. Catalan is a Romance language with obvious roots in Latin, and the traditional Latin-based approach to grammar in this book with its rigorous analysis of every aspect of the language offers an ideal basis for acquiring a thorough knowledge of Catalan. The book won't be of much use if you're uninterested in the mechanics of the language and merely want to acquire a few phrases as a tourist, but then you'd be better off getting hold of a phrasebook in the first place. Also, this analytical approach is of enormous benefit if you already know French and/or Spanish: the close similarities between Catalan and its neighbouring languages mean that it's easy to get confused between the languages without such an approach. The main drawback of Teach Yourself Catalan is, of course, the absence of any cassettes or CDs, but since the book is essentially a descriptive grammar of the language, it's difficult to see how any recorded material could be produced for this book along the lines of the other items in the Teach Yourself language series. Catalan is not an easy language to pronounce on the basis of the spelling alone and guidance through the use of cassettes, etc. is essential.Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Widmann on 21 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
This book uses a classic approach to language teaching, what with pronunciation in IPA and good grammatical explanations.
If you're scared of grammar, this book is not for you.
If you're a trained linguist, on the other hand, this may be one of the very best self-study books you'll ever come across!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JR Anderson on 11 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is good to an extent. I don't really think it covers an awful lot and there certainly seems to be more of an emphasis on grammar than practical vocabulary. Saying that, there are some fairly useful dialogues that aren't simply translated word for word.

The book is quite small in comparison with other Teach Yourself language publications, although I don't think this matters.

I would imagine that the vast majority of people learning Catalan will already be familiar with Spanish or another Romance language, so perhaps some points are a bit simplistic.

Overall, it is probably the best English book you will find on Catalan and it will undoubtedly allow Spanish speakers to understand the language around them when in Catalunya or Valencia.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
Although the book is clearly set out and very useful in terms of pronunciation, etc. some of the phrases included are not particularly useful in terms of learning such a difficult language. Would you really think that the following phrases could be used in Modern Day Catalunya?: "they dressed her in white and disguised her as a nun" "raffle the goat" "they sat the invalid by the fireside"
What is needed is a much more up to date, down to earth guide in a similar teaching style.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Quintrell on 9 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
I have only just started so cannot say whether it will help me to become fluent in a short space of time but I am finding the explanation and practicing of pronunciation of letters, numbers and letters of the alphabet all very clear, a good start toward getting the words right!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 17 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
This course, as with the other Teach Yourself courses that I know, is well designed, clear and user friendly. It assumes no knowledge of the Catalan language and guides you through a logical course, concentrating on the typical communicative aspects of the language (introductions, buying food, directions, booking a hotel room etc). The CD that accompanies the course is ideal for listening and pronunciation practice. In fact, I wouldnt recommend the book on its own. Catalan is a fascinating language, a mix of Spanish and French, and well worth the challenge!
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