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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good guide to the Swedish language
This is definitely one of the better items in the Teach Yourself series. The grammar parts bring you a surprisingly long way, and the topics covered induce a wide vocabulary for a book for beginners. If you need Swedish only for your holidays you can still decide to skip the passages dealing with history, the school system, etc. The one decidedly negative aspect is that...
Published on 12 Aug 2001

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intense!
I was hesitant about this product having read the mixed reviews but am pleased with my purchase. The seller seemed fine; no problems with the item or delivery or timescale. The product itself is a fast-paced book, very intense, but that makes it better value for money. No single language course is perfect as everyone learns differently, so you never know if you'll get...
Published on 10 May 2009 by G. L. Parsons


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56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good guide to the Swedish language, 12 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This is definitely one of the better items in the Teach Yourself series. The grammar parts bring you a surprisingly long way, and the topics covered induce a wide vocabulary for a book for beginners. If you need Swedish only for your holidays you can still decide to skip the passages dealing with history, the school system, etc. The one decidedly negative aspect is that not enough emphasis is laid on the tonal system of the language. This is essential from the earliest stages on and therefore it would deserve more attention. The cassette is quite helpful in this respect but still questions with respect to tone are left open.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Part of the Process, 14 July 2008
This book/CD pack is a good way to get you started on your home Swedish Lessons. Given the price it's hard to dish out bundles of criticism. Swedish isn't as abundant in resources as some other languages so it's really a case of picking and choosing your route in from a few options.

As with any language, multiple reference points in written and most importantly spoken language are needed and this book can prove very helpful as part of that. Firstly I would recommend only buying the CD/Book version of the course as both written and spoken skills are covered in each section. As others have commented the pace is very fast, and you are thrown in at the deep end, so in order to get the most out of the book it's a good idea to try a basic spoken course first.

For this purpose there are 15 free lessons from SurvivalPhrases available on iTunes. This will help you to get used to the tone of the language at a slower level. Moving onwards, there are various websites which promote basic Swedish and give hints on language usage. Once you have a grasp of this it's time to move onto the book.

The book starts with a basic alphabet explaining the Swedish alphabet and there is also a basic pronunciation guide. This is quite useful as to refer back to as occasionally Swedish has some odd pronunciations as it is a tonal language. In each of the 18 sections, we follow 3 dialogues of a family navigating their way around Sweden and picking up the relevant bits of language. Each of these sections takes around 1-2hr to complete, and includes written tests too. In addition to this there is a gradual introduction of grammatical structures allowing you to build on the words you have learned. Bear in mind that there is the possibility that you may need to re-take each section to master it.

At the back of the book is a (very) condensed English-Swedish dictionary to help with some common words, and a condensed verb list. In order to keep progressing in tandem with this book or after you have completed it, I'd recommend a concise verb reference 201 Swedish Verbs Fully Conjugated in All the Tenses (201 Verbs Series), a grammar book Swedish: An Essential Grammar (Routledge Grammars) and a quality dictionary Swedish Dictionary: English-Swedish, Swedish-English (Bilingual Dictionaries).

This package can be a very helpful product in your goal of learning Swedish. It is not without its flaws, but for its price it has go down as a useful tool when used in conjunction with other resources.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable resource, 16 May 2007
The book and CDs together really do make a complete course for you to follow at home. Presentation in good within the constraints of the small format and lack of colour printing/illustration. Each chapter is very well organised and follows a logical format. Grammatical points are explained succinctly. There are exercises and dialogues and also a focus on an aspect of Swedish culture within each chapter. The variety is very welcome. There is a lot of information in each chapter, and you should not expect to progress particularly quickly after the first few chapters. The CD is essential as a guide to the sing-song pronunciation of Swedish. I do not think this book could be improved within its price bracket. It does take a more scholarly or academic approach to the learning of a language. If you have learnt another language previously, you should feel at home with this format
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teach Yourself Swedish, 4 Jun 2010
By 
Ragnar - See all my reviews
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I am only part way into this course, but that's not surprising since learning a new language isn't easy. The book consists of eighteen units each of which majors on a specific area - for example, eating out - but also covers specific aspects of vocabulary, usage and grammar.

The units are quite densely packed so it isn't a good idea, for me at least, to attempt to move through this course rapidly. While working on unit 3 you may find that you have already forgotten something you thought you had learned in unit 1. This is not the fault of the book. It is easy to understand something then forget what you have understood. Learning involves not only assimilation but also retention and recall. You have to work at it.

The book comes with two audio CDs which are both excellent and essential. It is stated early on in the book that Swedish is relatively easy since it sounds as it is written once you know some basic rules. While this seems to be true, internalising the basic rules isn't so easy. I find German and Spanish very much easier to 'hear' than Swedish. Without the accompanying CDs this book wouldn't work, and even with them you may have to listen to a sentence or a phrase several times when the speaker runs several words together. (I recorded the dialogues into Pro Tools and selected extracts which were defying my ear, but this isn't an option open to all). The speakers seem excellent to me, though I am not well qualified to judge.

Before buying this book I checked out the alternatives. The main one was Rosetta Stone, which may be very good. But if you are facing this decision there are three points to bear in mind.
1) Rosetta Stone is based on the premise that we should learn a new language by the same process of natural assimilation by which, as a child, we learned our first language. Learning a new language should be a natural process, not a protracted act of drudgery. Attractive as this sounds, I think the premise is false. It is known that at a certain age the mind of a child is receptive to language. But it is also known that as the child grows up this facility is lost.
So if you are an adult you can forget it. There is no avoiding work.
2) This system also aids pronunciation. You speak a word into your mic and the software will hear it and tell you whether or not you have pronounced it correctly. But this is one of the hardest tasks you could expect of computer software and I would not trust it to do this well.
3) It costs a great deal more that Teach Yourself Swedish.

A lot of thought has gone into Teach Yourself Swedish and it can safely be recommended to anyone who is prepared to make active use of it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swedish without tears, 3 Oct 2009
Learning a foreign language is always a challenge,especially for English-speakers and often ends in failure. The "Teach Yourself" series is however a tried and tested tool for getting to grips with a new language and helping one to settle down in a new country. The Swedish course is well structured , easy to follow and gets you speaking Swedish from Day One.While not ignoring grammar, it introduces the student to real-life ,day-to-day situations which the new arrival has to deal with as soon as arriving in Sweden.

The exercises are well geared to the lessons and allow the diligent student to gauge his or her progress on a regular basis. There is ample scope for revision and when a student has finished the course , he or she should have no difficulty in communicating with Swedish-speakers on the ground.

As a professional EU linguist and and a former teacher of languages,I can heartily recommend the course to anyone wanting to learn Swedish and getting to know this beautiful, interesting country and its friendly and attractive citizens.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intense!, 10 May 2009
By 
G. L. Parsons (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I was hesitant about this product having read the mixed reviews but am pleased with my purchase. The seller seemed fine; no problems with the item or delivery or timescale. The product itself is a fast-paced book, very intense, but that makes it better value for money. No single language course is perfect as everyone learns differently, so you never know if you'll get on with a book even after reading reviews. I personally had already done the Teach Yourself Swedish Conversation CDs and this was definitely helpful - coming with some basic Swedish made the intensity of this book/CD course much less scary. They also vary slightly in vocab so useful in that respect. As I don't know a Swedish person I can't comment on how 'correct' this book/CD is but I find it very detailed and useful and would on the whole recommend it as a full, in-depth look at Swedish.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swedish language help, 21 Aug 2009
By 
The best tool for someone who is planning to live in Sweden. It is the most comprehensive language tool that combines both written and audio material for better understanding and learning of the Swedish language
I highly recommond this product
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy going, slow learning, 4 Sep 2009
By 
Neil (Lanchester, Co. Durham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I took on this course looking for a way of building on the (highly recommended) "Teach Yourself Swedish Conversation" but sadly the excellent teaching method employed on that course is not in evidence here. If you learn mainly by ear (as I do) and want to learn while you drive, forget this - too much bookwork and not enough detailed breakdown of the words and phrases in the conversations. These, by the way, seem very old fashioned (nobody says "God dag" any more!) and the tiny cast means the same actors are playing half a dozen different roles each - sometimes having conversations with themselves which is a bit confusing.
Overall, OK if you want more grammar theory and written practice but I wish there was a "Swedish Conversation" volume 2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good little book, 19 Oct 2009
By 
Great book, need the cd's to get anywhere though. Make sure you get em.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid, 23 April 2008
By 
A. J. Moore "amooreuk" (london) - See all my reviews
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This is a terrible book. Not only does it have, as a previous reviewer pointed out, a total lack of structure it also has a very steep learning curve. It starts at the usual greetings and then, improbably, goes straight to talking about having dinner, and then a section on what time people get up in the morning.

The book has long passages which are beyond the language skills of the person at that particular point in the book, and not enough useful phrases or summaries of vocabularly.

I even showed the book to my swedish girlfriend who found the book baffling and in parts inaccurate and explained that some of the expressions were very old indeed.

All in all, steer well clear of this course.
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Teach Yourself Swedish (Teach Yourself Complete Courses)
Teach Yourself Swedish (Teach Yourself Complete Courses) by Vera Croghan (Paperback - 29 Oct 2004)
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