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Spanish Complete (Learn in Your Car) [Audiobook] [Spanish] [Audio CD]

Henry N. Raymond
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penton Overseas Inc; Com/Pap edition (1 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591257336
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591257332
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 23.4 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,320,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This exciting new edition includes a 60-minute Travelogue DVD of the relevant destination countries for each language. This added feature will enrich the learning experience and add that extra stimulus to motivate users with their studies. New material in this second edition includes a variety of internet and digital media/technology terms. It contains nine 60-minute CDs; full text listening guide; and a zippered CD carrying case. It features: Level 1 - introduction to key words, numbers, phrases, sentence structure, and basic grammar; Level 2 - more challenging vocabulary, more grammar, and more complex sentences generate confidence in your ability to comprehend and converse; and Level 3 - expanded vocabulary, advanced grammar and complex sentences to expand your conversational skills.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
105 of 109 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too depressing for beginners 8 Jun 2004
Format:Audio CD
This course consists of nine CD's - three for each of the three parts of the course. There are also three small booklets, one for each part, each covering three of the CD's. The CD content consists of a very bored American woman reciting English words or phrases, followed by a pause, followed by a native speaker reciting the Spanish equivalent, at speed, twice. And that's it. There is no explanation whatsoever for the grammar being covered. Each "lesson" also starts and ends with an excruciating electronic tone that is annoying and headache-inducing. This all makes for a very "cold" teaching method - there is no empathy for the student and I was left feeling very much on my own.
If you try to use this course in your car exclusively, i.e. without referring to the accompanying booklets, it will be of very limited use. The native speaker goes so fast and merges words together. Granted, this would happen in real speech, but for a student who hasn't encountered the words before, it is virtually impossible to split each phrase into its constituent words, let alone remember them.
Fortunately, the unpromising-looking booklets are actually fairly useful. Firstly, they list all of the phrases on the CD's, in both languages. This is vital given the break-neck speed at which the native speaker talks. More importantly, though, unlike the CD's, the booklets give fairly good explanations of the grammar used in the phrases.
A complete beginner would find this course difficult and disheartening. It is presented in a dry, cold manner that is enough to turn anyone off. However, it is quite useful as an ongoing method of testing your language knowledge as it develops, because some of the vocabulary and grammar is more advanced than beginner level.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good 6 Nov 2008
By Stuart
Format:Audio CD
I have been listening to these CDs in my car, and it has made a massive difference to me. I spoke no Spanish originally, just English. Now, I can say lots of things and understand it to. I do not think the Spanish bit is spoken really fast, it is at a perfectly acceptable speed. I listen to one lesson for about a week everyday in my car and say the Spanish bit out aloud. After a while you say it before they do and you are on your way to speaking Spanish. I got on quite well in Mexico after only the first couple of CDs. Ecuador in April, lets see how I do!
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  154 reviews
1,076 of 1,098 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The more you practice, the better it gets! 27 Jan 2004
By Jonathan M. Mason - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Your Spanish, that is!

I started learning Spanish about 8 1/2 weeks ago using another set of CDs and a book as well as this set, but I have gradually switched over to using this set of CDs alone and am currently working on the 8th of the 9 CDs.

This set works for me, because:

1) It is great for developing your accent. Constant repetition developes the right muscles in your mouth, tongue and lips for speaking Spanish. At first I really struggled with certain sounds, but by striving to mimic the speaker, I have really come a long way. Pronouncing words and phrases correctly and fluently is incredibly important if you want to speak decent Spanish, and this is one of the biggest strengths of this course. You start off just trying to get each word right, then getting whole phrases and sentences exactly as spoken, with all the accents in the right place, 'r's trilled, and vowels elided as required.

2) Constant repetition of the pattern sentences helps to reprogram your brain in Spanish without any real effort on your part. Sometimes I will drive for long distances repeating every phrase 3 times while my brain is elsewhere, but find that later in the day those same phrases are running through my brain and that I am wanting to speak to English speakers in Spanish, which shows that the program is definitely doing its job.

3) I find myself making up original Spanish sentences in my head, based on the pattern sentences.

All these changes have occurred in the last few weeks, without any effort on my part and without me devoting any special time to the projects, except time when driving, walking, or lying in bed with a Walkman type CD player. Now I am over the worst bumps in starting to learn Spanish. I know the 30 most common verbs, even if not fluent in all their tenses, I know the 20 or 30 most common prepositions, how to use reflexive verbs, the numbers, the days of the week, the months, the seasons of the year, the weather, lots of nouns and adjectives, the use of many idioms with the verb 'tenir', the mysteries of the verb 'haber' , several ways to say 'excuse me', and, most important of all, how to ask someone to speak more slowly, or "mas despacio", as we Hispanophones like to say.

The materials are extremely well organized, though you do not need to know this, and new concepts and vocabulary are introduced in a logical order a teaspoonful at a time, so that you never feel you are learning vocabulary or grammar, yet you are speaking Spanish, so you must be digesting something.

( I realised how well organized the materials were when I foolishly skipped Level 2 discs II and III to go to Level 3 disc I and found I was struggling with new material overload.)

I am not sure that there is any correct or incorrect way to use these discs, but my method is to play each disc 10-12 times, first just listening a few times and repeating in my head, but not aloud, then listening and repeating, and finally giving the translation in Spanish before hearing the Spanish version. When I am heartily sick of a disc, whether or not I know everything on it, I move on to the next disc. When I have completed all, I will go back, revise, and reinforce my knowledge of all the materials--at least that is the plan.

I really recommend this course. You have to put in the work of repeating phrases, but that is about it. After that you can just open your mouth and let the Spanish flow.

Obviously the course will not give you every word or phrase you need, but you can use an online translator to make up the sentences you really feel you want and you will have enough knowledge by now to know if the translation program has got it right, and to be able to edit any errors or misunderstandings.

*** Addendum 2/24/04

Soon after writing the above, after about 9 weeks with the CDs, I made my first trip to a Spanish speaking country with wonderful results. Mostly I avoided being around English speaking people and initially I was pretty tongue tied, but by the end of three days I was starting conversations with strangers, ordering meals without reference to the menu, and had learned almost enough Spanish to get a job as a soap opera writer in Spanish. By the time I left I did not want to stop speaking Spanish and in fact continued on the plane and in the airport in Miami. I was even thinking and dreaming in Spanish, for goodness sake.

Since my return I have had conversations with Spanish speaking people I have met, and it is amazing how friendly they become when you are trying to speak their language, however badly.

Don't get the impression that I am now miraculously fluent in Spanish. My Spanish is still pathetically bad, but I am still working with the CDs as I drive and improving all the time.

Maybe there are other better courses for learning Spanish, but all I can say is that this one has hit the spot for me.

***Additional addendum written April 11th 2006:

I used this program for about 6 months from the time I bought it, and after that I just flew solo and picked up Spanish by talking to Spanish-speaking people. It is almost two years now since I stopped using the program, and my Spanish now, while not exactly fluent like a native speaker, at least sounds fluent to people who don't speak Spanish. My vocabulary is still limited, and I can't tell you half the names of parts of a car, or of fruits and vegetables (except everyday ones like apples, oranges, pears, and passion fruit (chinola), but I can hold reasonable conversations in Spanish and deal with my Spanish speaking tenants with no difficulty, I would not hesitate, for example, to pick up the phone and make a hotel reservation or dental appointment.

So there you have it. I still recommend this program very much, but you do have to be motivated to learn Spanish. A friend of mine just returned from living in a Spanish-speaking country for a year and a half and still hardly speaks any Spanish. Wasted time, if you ask me!

Additional addendum #2 written July 12th 2007:

Pretty much fluent in Spanish now. Can talk for 1/2 hour on the phone. This course plus a couple of Cliff's Notes books is the only course of study I have ever done. Give it a try.

By the way, I was well past 50 years of age when I started to learn Spanish, so there is hope for us all!
387 of 396 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Que bueno! 3 Jun 2003
By Chris Salzer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This Learn is Your Car Spanish comes with 9 CDs(3 per level) as well as 3 mini-books(1 per level) with all of the lessons in the exact order in the books as they are played on the CDs. This makes for an easy follow. Seeing as the description above tells about as much as a mute, I checked it out from my library to get a feel as to the quality of the set before purchase. I must say that I have found the set very well organized and easy to follow. If you're learning Spanish, it's so much easier to learn in your car - just turn off the radio and learn.
I've just finished the 3rd disc(and, hence level 1) and have learned quite a bit thus far. The first level has 44 lessons ranging from buenos dias in lesson 1 to conjugating verbs such as tener in present, near future, and past tense in lesson 44. Perhaps the only minor annoyances are the lessons on trains and the OVERLY loud incessant chime ring that occurs at the beginning of each lesson.
143 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the language student, not the traveler 16 Mar 2004
By Stephen Sykes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This series is formatted differently from other beginning language courses, such as those from Living Language and Berlitz. It's not a series of phrases designed for the traveler, but a more complete course for people who have aspirations of fluency. Hence, I'd recommend this course to anyone who was serious about learning the Spanish language, but not to the occasional traveler. Plan on spending several months going over the material.
The early part of the course involves a considerable amount of basic vocabulary. Sentences and phrases come later. Once they do, they build upon each other quickly, so you'll be glad you learned the vocabulary. The advantage of this approach is that when the sentences come, you have a better chance of understanding and remembering them. The downside is that you really have to force yourself thru the early part of the course without any sense that you're getting anywhere.
The material is perfectly suited to anyone with a long commute. What's needed is about 45 minutes per day of uninterrupted listening -- over and over and over and over. You don't even need to listen that hard. It's more like singing along with the radio. Just the constant repetition, with you repeating the words and phrases, is enough to implant the material in your brain. After a while, you'll know the language and not know how you know it.
One great advantage of the presentation over other similar courses is that there is a slight pause between the English speaker and the Spanish translation. This pause allows you to say the Spanish word or phrase before the Spanish speaker, if you know it. This seemingly insignificant detail is actually critical for learning. Other courses put the Spanish translation immediately after the English speaker, without a pause, and you never really build the kind of recall that you need. Another advantage of the course is that it presents both Spanish and Latin American versions of words and phrases, when there is a difference.
139 of 146 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Your car may need a jump start 22 Aug 2004
By Bevetroppo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Penton Learn In Your Car Spanish is a strong program and an excellent value under one very important condition: you will struggle with this mightily unless you have some prior background in the language. Key disclosure: I last studied Spanish in high school over 30 years ago, but during the past few years I've taught myself Italian using predominantly the Pimsleur Series, which I'll talk more about later. The fact that I took six years of Spanish in school and more recently studied Italian were pivotal factors in my ability to use the Penton materials effectively.

The Penton package comes with 9 language CD's (three each for beginning, intermediate and advanced levels), several printed booklets that contain transcripts of the CD's, 3 'bonus' CD's I guess I'd call them that present the series philosophy on how to learn a foreign language, and a compact and rugged travel case that conveniently houses everything above. While in a sense the inclusion of printed materials is antithetical to a product called learn in your car,' their presence is extremely helpful as a reference when you can't quite hear what's being said on the audio track, and also to explain some basic grammatical concepts that would be incomprehensible otherwise. Both the booklets and the carrying case are factors in why I rate this package as an excellent value.

Like many similar do it yourself courses, Penton relies on trying to ask you in English to say something in the language you're learning. On the surface there is no rhyme or reason to the order of what they present or the way it sequences through the progress of the course, but over time the subtle reinforcement builds knowledge and confidence. On the plus side, they pack a lot of grammar and vocabulary into these nine CD's. I found the treatment of verb conjugations and tenses to be especially thorough. You'll get credible exposure to present, past, imperfect, conditional, future, and imperative tenses, which was way beyond my expectations in such a low-cost product. It's a terrific refresher and I think it worked great for me since I was able to connect back to both Spanish and Italian, even if the Spanish was buried deep in the attic of my mind.

On the negative side, as previously expressed, I believe newcomers to the language will find themselves baffled by the presentation. You first hear a sentence in English, then there is a very short pause, then the sentence is rendered in Spanish, followed by another short pause, and then repeated in Spanish followed by a final pause. You are supposed to repeat the Spanish each time you hear it. This is the basic methodology behind the entire course. The instructions would have you believe that just by listening to it over and over again you will start to internalize the Spanish and it will all make sense. I just don't think this works very well. It requires an enormous leap of faith reminiscent of the 'Think Method' employed by the scam artist Dr. Harold Hill in The Music Man. However, if you've previously studied Spanish or a similar Romance language, you can quickly get a grip on what's going on and have it make sense from the beginning. The other frustrating issue is that it's a natural tendency to want to be able to say something immediately after you hear the English for the first time. But they don't give you enough time to do that so even on a repeat listening you're frequently talking over the speakers.

I suspect that the underlying construction of the Penton series required the inventor to supply the three ÒbonusÓ CD's that explain how to learn a foreign language. These are entirely generic and apply to any language you might want to study. The narrator sounds exactly like the 'Zen Guy' in the Joe Frank radio broadcasts. You may well disagree with me, but I found these three discs to be virtually useless and almost insulting. If the course materials themselves are good, I don't need to hear some guy droning on about how he himself learned 18 languages while controlling his breathing and standing on his head.

Back to Pimsleur for a moment. The Pimsleur CD's I bought to study Italian (Levels 2 and 3 are also reviewed by me on Amazon) cost roughly five times more each than this Penton program. I found the Pimsleur approach, while fundamentally similar from a teaching methodology, to build more logically and therefore to make it easier to learn from scratch. But despite the manufacturer claims, in either case you can't really succeed if you don't supplement the work in your car with printed materials. At least Penton recognizes this overtly while Pimsleur doesn't, and I think you'll find the transcripts that come with Penton to be of considerable help.

Following about 4-6 weeks of more or less daily listening to Penton, I went to Mexico with my family for a vacation. I started in the moment we arrived with a lively discussion with the young man driving us to our hotel from the airport. Even in a resort where most of the employees were supposed to speak some English, I was largely able to conduct my conversations in Spanish and received a lot of compliments and a few incredulous looks when I ventured to try something more ambitious than the present tense. I give the Penton product a lot of credit for my performance, but again, it's hard to know how it would have worked out if I was coming to the language for the first time.

To sum it up, I don't think you can go wrong with this if you've ever studied Spanish before, even if just a year or two. But if you haven't, all I can say is, 'muy buena suerte,' cause I think you're going to have to work really hard and you'll need all the luck you can get.
58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Which Is Better? Learn in Your Car or Behind the Wheel Spanish? 25 Jun 2005
By Tabitha - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Henry Raymond's Spanish Complete: The Complete Language Course is a great way to learn to speak the basics in Spanish. I noticed a lot of vocabulary showing up on the CDs that does not appear on other courses I have tried. The strengths of this program are the clear recordings, the handy booklets, the universality of the material presented.

I compared this course with Behind the Wheel Spanish which I also own and use. Behind the Wheel Spanish is different in its approach from anything I have yet seen. Very creative, unique method for teaching you how to create and use your own sentences to communicate in Spanish. Very effective method and it comes with a full text and tapescript with explantions, translations, etc ... I liked the interview style with the

university level English speaker and the professional Spanish voice person. Very enjoyable way to learn.

Learn in Your Car on the other hand was much more structured, less creative but still effective.

I am using both and I feel both actually compliment one another.

If you could only buy one of the two, I would start with Behind the Wheel Spanish to get the foundation they provide first. It is priceless. I would then move on to Learn In Your Car Spanish to fill in the blanks.
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