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JR Anderson (England)

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Oxford Russian Grammar and Verbs (Dictionary)
Oxford Russian Grammar and Verbs (Dictionary)
by Terence Wade
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.89

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for quick reference, 27 Dec. 2006
Russian gramar is not exactly what one would call a simple task to master, therefore you're going to need a very accessible book in order to cope with all its intricacies. Granted, this book is relatively small (at least compared with Mr Wade's other publication on Russian grammar) but don't let that put you off. Every significant area of the language is explored to a reasonable depth although obviously there is little room for extensive verb tables given the 250 page limit. I believe, however, that the author's purpose lies in providing the reader with what is essential for them to use and improve their Russian and the book has certainly managed to achieve that. Definitely the best book available for students doing Russian for GCSE or A-Level and a worthwhile purchase for those studying the language at university. I'd advise serious learners to purchase another book on verbs (there are two excellent publications that are available here on Amazon) but still, Oxford Russian Grammar&Verbs is one of, if not THE, most helpful books I have come across.


Don Quixote (Wordsworth Classics)
Don Quixote (Wordsworth Classics)
by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.99

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best version available.., 26 Aug. 2006
Don't get me wrong, I love everything about the stories of Don Quixote, but I found this translation far too poetical and long-winded to actually read. I realise that this specific version was written 200+ years ago and in some ways may perhaps stay more true to the original version, but I definitely think there are better, easier to follow editions available. Also, the book isn't exactly a pleasure to look at, though I suppose that's why it's so cheap to buy. I would go as far to say that if you want to truly understand and enjoy Don Quixote, you should read it in its original form. This translation is only really suitable for someone who might also have the Spanish version and wants to read the two.


Teach Yourself Indonesian (Teach Yourself Complete Courses)
Teach Yourself Indonesian (Teach Yourself Complete Courses)
by Christopher Byrnes
Edition: Audio CD

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent purchase, 25 Aug. 2006
I really like the lay out of this book. I felt I learnt quite a lot of Indonesian and I enjoyed reading all the cultural information that the authors included. The dialogues were very helpful and actually relevant, which makes a nice surprise. I think it helps that Indonesian isn't a particularly difficult language, but even so I found this book very useful indeed. The content is suitable for anyone (novices to linguists) because it covers the right amount of vocabulary. So if you're going to Indonesia then you must by this book- don't just expect everyone to speak English!


Teach Yourself Catalan (Teach Yourself Complete Courses)
Teach Yourself Catalan (Teach Yourself Complete Courses)
by Alan Yates
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good enough for most people, 11 Aug. 2006
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.


Collins Greek-English Dictionary
Collins Greek-English Dictionary
by Unnamed
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars +++++, 1 Aug. 2006
This is a very good dictionary with reasonably wide coverage of words ranging from colloquial terms to more archaic words. It doesn't provide that many examples of the words in context, but I suppose it is primarily directed at Greek speakers learning English. There is no direct help with Greek grammar but a large section at the back of the dictionary is dedicated to English grammar if you require such information! The text in the dictionary is mainly blue, which is more visually pleasing than the same old black and white. Very helpful but if you're serious about learning Greek, try and get a monolingual dictionary.


Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language (Oxford Paperback Reference)
Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language (Oxford Paperback Reference)
by Tom McArthur
Edition: Paperback

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting information, 21 Jun. 2006
I can't believe that this book has actually been edited and significantly shortened! Whilst I found much of the information very interesting and relevant to my AS course, some entries seemed to be longer than necessary. I also noticed that although the book has recently been rereleased, the actual text has not changed (i.e. it is now 9 years old and lacking in entries for the effects of technology on language). Despite that, and despite some dull entries which could have been further reduced, the book contains much more facts than many other similar publications.


Collins Portuguese Dictionary
Collins Portuguese Dictionary
by Unnamed
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suitable for some people, 21 Jun. 2006
As far as dictionaries go, this one is quite good. It provides entries for all the words you would use on an every-day basic and there are phonetic transcriptions beside each word. Some key phrases are included but I think they probably could have included a bit more. Also, there is no guidance to writing in different registers which can be found in some dictionaries, plus it isn't set out in a very visually pleasing manner(rather dull- completely black and white). Appearance aside, it is a dictionary worth having as there isn't really anything better on offer. Ideal for those who have a knowledge of Spanish and have now taken up Portuguese.


Diccionario de Sinonimos, Antonimos: E Ideas Afines
Diccionario de Sinonimos, Antonimos: E Ideas Afines
by Aarón Alboukrek
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.83

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful for the right people, 10 Jun. 2006
This is a book for people who already have a strong knowledge of Spanish as it contains no English whatsoever. There are thousands of words listed alphabetically, and for each there is a wide selection of synonyms. Of course, not every synonym has the exact same meaning as the original word (e.g. 'domicilio/address' is given as an alternative for 'casa/house')therefore it is essential that you already know the main vocabulary. So, if your Spanish is good enough, then this book will serve you perfectly. I have found it very easy to use and it even covers some regional varieties and antonyms. Just a little word of warning: sometimes the synonyms offered are very uncommon in everyday speech and writing which may leave even native speakers bewildered!


Fijacion Oral Vol.1 [CD + DVD]
Fijacion Oral Vol.1 [CD + DVD]
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £10.50

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag..., 7 Jun. 2006
This album is very strange in the way that some songs are truly excellent whilst others are cringe worthy and actually quite embarrassing. You don't often come across an album with such a mixture like this, because the standout tracks aren't just good, they're brilliant.

Firstly, "Fijación Oral" is without a doubt better than Shakira's last album, "Laundry Service". Unlike that however, the entire album is sung in Spanish and generally a bit more interesting. I get the impression that this album cost a lot, because it sounds very well produced and polished. It also seems to be trying to impress everyone, which is ultimately the album's biggest fault. I think Shakira has had the intention of mixing a bit of everything into one album and the result is varied. I don't see why she felt this necessary to be honest, considering her previous Spanish album ("Dónde Están Los Ladrones?") sold like hot cakes without moving away from a definite Latin feel.

Certain tracks stand out more than others- from the brilliant, old fashioned sound of "Obtener Un Sí" to the simply amazing "Día De Enero". "En Tus Pupilas", the opening track and "Día Especial" make for equally great listening. "No" is a bit repetitive but still pleasant and "Las De La Intuición" feels very catchy but a bit out of place on the album (sounds more like a Kylie Minogue record).

The other songs are, unfortunately, duller and less memorable. "La Pared", for example, seems decent enough until you realise that it actually sounds like a less interesting version of "Día Especial". "La Tortura" has a blatant MTV sticker plastered on it and is the type of song that gets boring fast. I'm not saying I hate it, I just think it's very predictable, especially due to the fact that she performs it with another high profile singer. I don't know what Shakira was thinking of when she recorded "Escondite Inglés", perhaps she was trying to pay homage to Suggs or something. It fails on all accounts, the song is dreadful. Then there's "Lo Imprescindible", which is nothing more than a disjointed mess of ridiculous noises. I can't understand why Shakira would want to put this song on the album because it has nothing going for it... At the end of the album, there is an alternative version of "La Pared" and "La Tortura". Again, I fail to see the reasoning behind these songs being on the album, they don't do anything for it.

So, overall I'd say the album is of a mixed standard- the best songs are superb and among the best Shakira has to offer, but the worst are nothing more than typical 21st century rubbish. It's a pity Shakira couldn't have fitted a few more songs on too, considering it's been 8 years since her last full Spanish album. On a positive note, I think Shakira's vocals have seriously improved since her last album, even if she does overdo it occasionally.

To summarise, I'd say, that you're better off downloading some specific songs from the album rather than pay out for a touch-and-go collection.


AS English Language for AQA B: Pupil Book (AS & A2 English Language for AQA B)
AS English Language for AQA B: Pupil Book (AS & A2 English Language for AQA B)
by Mr Ron Norman
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull and not very inspiring, 21 May 2006
I am fascinated in the study of the English language but this book (along with the AS syllabus!) makes the subject seem immensely boring and unpleasant. The book is set out in a way that will send all its readers to sleep, and I definitely don't think it contains enough information to revise and expect to obtain the top grade. I do, however, admit that it's more or less essential for the AS course because it covers everything on the syllabus (albeit very briefly).

So the bottom line is, if you are genuinely interested in learning about the English language then pick up another book, any book! If you are a student who just sees English as another subject, then this book provides the bare minimum information required for you.


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