15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2007
I'm moving to Slovakia shortly to work for a while, and this is one of several different CDs/books I've used to try and get a grip on their language. The first CD-ROM in this series - EuroTalk Slovak Beginners - was absolutely fabulous for learning vocabulary, and I was surprised how much of it had stuck when I was in Slovakia for a short time sorting out my accommodation etc. Naturally I ordered this second one, but, as the review title says, I was really disappointed.
Where to start...well, firstly, there are quite a lot of mistakes on it. I didn't know this when I bought it, but I'm writing this several months later and with the benefit of having shown it to some Slovak friends. Just one example: "I'd like some aspirin" is translated as "I need some aspirin". "I'd like" is "Chcel by som" and "I need" is "Potrebujem". Perhaps not a catastrophic error, but to many people there's a big difference between "need" and "like". Additionally, some of the questions it asks you in the 'quiz' mode are stupid and don't really teach you anything, for example, some of the spelling questions. Of course, it's important to learn spelling, but in Slovak 'y' and 'i' are pronounced the same, and it really is unimportant to learn the difference in spelling at this level, and to be honest a lot of Slovaks don't know which one to use, yet we have these bizarre spelling questions early on for really irrelevant words.
But the biggest problem with this product, I suppose, is that the ten or so questions that it asks you in each section remain the same each time you boot up the programme, so once you know the answers there's no room for further improvement.
If you really want to make improvements in the language, James Naughton's 'Colloquial Slovak' remains the best - but be warned, it isn't easy!
on 4 October 2013
The product suggests this is for beginners to intermediates, which is where I place myself but it's definitely for beginners or my idea of intermediate is different to the publishers.
I would recommend the Colloquial Slovak book and CD for intermediates as well as "Before You Know It" for learning words.