Top critical review
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Disappointing - poor attention to detail, very poor proof reading.
on 27 July 2013
First let me say that I'm not new to learning foreign languages, and I've past experience of learning Russian, Spanish and Italian through book and CD courses. I have Serbian in-laws and so was keen to learn Serbian. I began (thankfully) with the Teach Yourself Serbian course - very similar in scope, size and price to this Colloquial course. I bought this Colloquial course as a follow-up support for the TY course.
I'm very glad I studied the Teach Yourself course first: it's much more logically laid out, with clearer explanations of the (difficult) grammar which the beginner must grapple with in Serbian, and the vocabulary was much better taught, more realistic than the some of the bizarre esoteric vocabulary introduced quite early on the Colloquial course. For example, in the Colloquial course, within the first few lessons, you are taught an archaic word for suitcase (now rarely used), and the words for gunpowder and barrel - please! Worse, there are many words introduced which are not even defined at all, while some of the definition lists contain words which aren't even in the passages - so it appears that the reading passages have been altered without any proper proof reading altering the corresponding vocab lists. Yes, you can look up the words in a dictionary (as one slightly petulant reviewer has pointed out here), but surely a competent beginners' book would provide this. The TY course manages to without difficulty. There are misspelled words, and words wrongly defined for the context, eg. ujna instead of tetka - two different sorts of aunt - but the table provided on page 147 mixes these two up, very confusing. A diagram on another page with a signpost illustrating 'left, right, backwards, forwards' in Serbian manages to even get left and right the wrong way around!
The Colloquial course is not all bad - the 'Ekipa' section at the end of each chapter, introducing everyday conversation between a group of friends is a great idea, just disappointing at intervals because of the poor execution described above.
So I recommend you start NOT with this course, but perhaps get it after another course, just to get more listening/vocab exercise - though just be wary of the errors and glitches. Sadly, many of the passages in the Colloquial book do not have corresponding audio on the CD - but it's still usable for secondary practice.