Most helpful critical review
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2008
After all the rave reviews for this course, I hate to rain on the parade. However, I feel that some crucial parts are missing from the other reviews. Yes, it's a good book and for exactly the reasons other reviewers have mentioned. The grammar is very well defined and Afrikaans is a remarkably easy language to learn.
Unfortunately, this books comes with a major problem. No wordlists! In almost any other Colloquial or Teach Yourself course, each dialogue is followed by a word list containing the words used in the dialogue. That's the way you study the words and enlarge your vocabulary. Not so in this course. For the first few lessons, the dialogues are followed by an English translation. This isn't a very good substitute, especially not as word order is very different in Afrikaans. You can't be sure whích English words mean what, so you can only learn phrases like a parrot. After a few lessons, even this English translation is dropped and your left with dialogues in Afrikaans with no wordlist nor translation! How is this different from reading a newspaper in Afrikaans and having a dictionary to check up each word? Not at all, and that's free on-line.
I usually prefer Colloquial courses over Teach Yourself, but in this case I strongly recommend the excellent course Teach Yourself Afrikaans. The author of that course didn't try to get off too easy by ignoring the word lists and the result is that Teach Yourself Afrikaans is an excellent book. The author of this book was lazy, and it is the reader who pays the cost. So Afrikaans is an easy language, but this book makes everything it can to make learning it harder. Teach Yourself Afrikaans makes it easier.