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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, comprehensive guide
I feel that the earlier reviews of this book are a little unfair. Admittedly, if you are looking for a quick-fix guide for going on holiday, this is probably not the book for you, but if you are actually looking to learn Polish then it is excellently structured.

The units may at first seem somewhat illogical or irrelevant, but their strong point is that they...
Published on 13 Nov. 2006 by Clare Nettleton

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful. Do not buy this book.
I bought this book/CD having had a good experience with another 'Teach Yourself' title (Teach Yourself Japanese). Unfortunately, it seems there is no guiding principle between the publications of these titles and this book has been nothing but an eternal disappointment.

The biggest problem is that the whole thing moves far too fast and lacks any sort of logical...
Published on 6 Nov. 2007 by Elephvant


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful. Do not buy this book., 6 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Complete Polish Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself Languages) (Paperback)
I bought this book/CD having had a good experience with another 'Teach Yourself' title (Teach Yourself Japanese). Unfortunately, it seems there is no guiding principle between the publications of these titles and this book has been nothing but an eternal disappointment.

The biggest problem is that the whole thing moves far too fast and lacks any sort of logical structure. For me the whole book can be summed up by a section from the third chapter (out of twenty).

"Genitive forms are used...after negated verbs that take the accusative form (which you study later) when they are not negated"

Now, if this were from a book whose stated intention was an in-depth look at grammar for those who already speak Polish I would understand. However, this quote comes from the same chapter in which the learner is introduced to cardinal numbers for the first time. I'm still struggling to count to ten and I'm being expected to negate the accusative for...or wait...not negate...

At this stage you haven't even learned how to say anything more about yourself than your name! I am an english teacher and if I take a couple of minutes to think about the above quote i can pretty much understand it but, how the authors considered this as important in the third chapter(!) is simply beyond me.

As if this wasn't enough, the CD is quite simply useless. Many of the dialogues ar not included and I would say at least two-thirds of it is taken up by a woman speaking in english. The first dialogue sets the tone. Using four full sentences the scene is set (in english) despite the fact that everything spoken is written down in the book anyway before we are treated to a whole...six words of Polish. Fantastic.

Of course, later dialogues are longer but these merely introduce problems of their own. In this format of language book usually the 'new vocab' boxes after dialogues get shorter as the student becomes used to the common vocab being used. This is done deliberately so the student becomes familiar and confident with everyday terms and structures. Not so here. Instead 'new vocab' boxes often include 90% + of the words in the dialogue. This practice continues throughout the book leaving the learner feeling lost, overwhelmed and bewildered.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, but audio is gappy, 3 Mar. 2007
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This review is from: Complete Polish Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself Languages) (Paperback)
Do not mistake this book for a crash-course for a complete beginner in languages. It is somewhere between an all-round language book and a guide: you can find only dialogues and accompanying grammar with practices in the lessons, i.e. without any continuous text to read and translate. Even the narrative texts in dialogues are in English!

Regarding the CD, it's not really useful. I bought this pack just because of the audio material and I'm not really happy with it. First, I suspect they made a rough transition from an original tape without ever considering the advantages of the CD format. Thus it's not structured into meaningful and easy-to-navigate parts: you can find each lesson on one separate track on its own, which means you have to forward/rewind it all the time as it were a mere tape. You have to sort this out for yourself. Plus, the audio material seems truncated as there is no audio for all the dialogues and relevant practices. Probably they cut them back for not to go over a 1 CD limit.

As I'm Hungarian, this may sound subjective but a language book should offer more native texts and instructions in the long run, not just dialogues with English instructions around. Having studied a few languages, and having a mother tongue that is agglutinating in its nature like Polish (and unlike English), I do not really find it hard to learn the inflections as set out in the book. The book will give you help in the context. The only thing I find hard is that Slavonic languages are really keen on discriminating between genders, and the book sometimes orientates too much on the dialogues without exact info on the grammar (personal pronouns(!), inflections in simple present tense etc.). Good book nonetheless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly for "beginners", 20 April 2008
This review is from: Complete Polish Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself Languages) (Paperback)
I only own the book so cannot really comment on the CD but given the fact that there are now many native Polish speakers residing in the UK, you hardly need to shell out for mediocre recordings. The book itself covers a lot of material in considerable depth and it can't be denied that one must be very motivated in order to make any progression. I personally think the writers of the course have too high expectations of normal people who want to learn Polish as a hobby rather than a full on academic subject. Furthermore, the focus appears to be on dialogues which support grammatical points rather than any emphasis on specific vocabulary which would generally be more practical. However, if you have some knowledge of another language with cases and verb endings then there's no real reason why this book wouldn't come in handy if you decide to take on an admittedly difficult language.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, comprehensive guide, 13 Nov. 2006
By 
Clare Nettleton "Amarantha" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Complete Polish Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself Languages) (Paperback)
I feel that the earlier reviews of this book are a little unfair. Admittedly, if you are looking for a quick-fix guide for going on holiday, this is probably not the book for you, but if you are actually looking to learn Polish then it is excellently structured.

The units may at first seem somewhat illogical or irrelevant, but their strong point is that they present grammatical points in context, rather than simply bombarding you with grammar and then expecting you to be able to apply it. Having studied French and Spanish at school, I remember being almightily confused as to why we were taught one variation on a word in one context, and another in another, so the structure of this book is quite good from that point of view!

Polish friends of mine have told me that some of the language in this book is not particularly up-to-date, but I think this is a fault of any language textbook. Certainly, I feel that I have learnt a lot about the language in a very short space of time. However, the accompanying CD is not immensely helpful, except if you have no other source of pronunciation to assist you. As with any language, there can be no subsitute for practising with native speakers!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars messy layout, 6 Aug. 2006
This review is from: Complete Polish Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself Languages) (Paperback)
This is a really good book. It starts off at a steady pace and progresses to good knoledge of the subject. It differs slightly to other books in the range as vocabulary is often not fitting to the unit being revised and it muddled up. I found pronunciation quite messy and not as set-out properly compared to alternate titles. I found this book good use, but I would not reccomend it to a complete language beginner. Only consider this if you have studied any other language before.
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1.0 out of 5 stars NOT for beginners!, 26 Jan. 2013
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TroyofHellen (Ayrshire, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Complete Polish Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself Languages) (Paperback)
I bought this as my first steps into learning the polish language. A mistake. I ought to have read the otehr reviews on Amazon first, before purchasing this. As other reviewers have stated, the CD is pathetic and is not worth the extra expense.

The book is divided into twenty units. The problem is, from the very first unit, very demanding things are asked of the learner at the end of the unit in the 'Practice' section where you are given a series of questions to test you on what you have learned in the unit so far. One example of the stupidity of this 'Teach Yourself' method is in the first 'Practice' section of unit 3, where one is asked to fill in blanks. One of the blanks required a word that had only came up in the unit once before and had not even been translated at that point! It had only been mentioned as part of a hypothetical dialogue, so you were expected to understand the meaning of the missing word without having been provided with the translation in book!

Don't waste your money with this junk. Instead spend money on the excellent Eurotalk series, which i have had very good progress with.

Don't forget to buy a good Polish-English dictionary (slownik) too.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teach yourself polish review, 5 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Complete Polish Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself Languages) (Paperback)
Postage and arrival times were as described. Very helpful book considering I am a beginner to the language, but am still to finish it. Good integration of CD with the book, plus a few minor written excercises at the end of each section for helpful practice.
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