on 6 January 2011
I'm currently about a third of the way through this book and CD set. It's generally quite good. It has a nice balance of vocabulary, grammar, reading texts, and exercises for you do to along the way (with the answers in the back). And of course, the audio CDs are very helpful for pronunciation (which is a 'must' with Swedish). It does move along at quite a fast pace, so the complete beginner may find it quite challenging. I already knew a fair amount of Swedish vocabulary before I started so this wasn't too much of a problem for me.
On the downside, it is full of mistakes, and clearly hasn't been proof read before going to publication. For example, in the glossary at the back, it states that the word for 'violin' is 'viol' (wrong) when throughout the book it refers to violin as 'fiol' (correct). On the audio CD, the speaker states the price of a train ticket as "tvahundranittiotre" when in the book it's "etthundranittiotre". Then on page 67, it notes 'Flicka' as meaning 'The girl' when actually 'Flickan' means 'The girl'. These may seem like little errors, but they add up and can become confusing and rather irritating. There are probably loads more that I haven't noticed and I'm only a third of the way through!
This is a great shame, because were it not for this sloppiness, I think this would be a very solid and proficient introductory guide to Swedish. Despite the mistakes, I'd still say it was worth the buy as I believe it's still better than the 'Teach Yourself Swedish' package.
on 20 November 2015
This is a good book but it seems to be a badly revised edition of an earlier book. In several places answers differ from the sentences in the exercises and quite a few words and grammatical structures appear before they are introduced. Sometimes this happens in the dialogues and texts and sometimes in the exercises, which really throws you and makes you feel hopeless. It feels like it falls apart a bit in Unit 11 but then gets better again. It was also frustrating to have so many words missing from the wordlists at the back. This is in complete contrast to, for example, Colloquial Russian, which I recently worked through which was extremely thorough and had almost all the words at the back.
I'm pleased to see that Routledge is planning a fourth edition, which I'm hoping will be completely redone. If it is, I'll probably buy it for future revision/reference.
on 22 April 2008
I was looking for something to take me on from the excellent "Teach Yourself Swedish Conversation" and the title "Colloquial Swedish" suggested this would be what I was looking for - snappy and fast paced. Well, I was wrong. If you like learning languages by listening to long lists of words that have nothing in common except they contain the same consonant this might suit you. Oh yes, and the CD seems to be narrated by John Major. I was asleep before lesson 2.