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on 22 May 2011
I have studied Latvian for two years now, at the beginning I was using books called Pal'ga but I switched to Colloquial Latvian as soon as the second edition was published. I am not a native English speaker and I come from a language background, therefore I have seen quite a few textbooks for language learners and I can definitely recommend Colloquial Latvian. I have to admit that the first edition was not at all impressive, I found it unclear and confusing. The second one, however, is completely different, it is well thought through and it explains everything very well. Probably the fact that the second edition was co-written by a Latvian, Ms Dace Praulins, caused this transformation. The only thing that the second edition has in common with the first one is the title, everything else, especially the educational content, is different. I have used Colloquial Latvian with the CDs and I got an A for my last oral exam, with a note from the external examiner saying that he was very impressed with my performance, especially my pronunciation! Isn't it the best review for a textbook? Liels paldies!
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on 9 July 2004
I also found this book very useful. It is criticized on another side as not being tailored to the linguistic neophyte, and that is to some extent true, but how many of those are there out there wanting to learn Latvian? I personally valued the storyline and cultural elements of the dialogues as adding interest and the lack of transactional drills and colorless situational dialogies was more a relief than anything else. An hour a day for a month and it's under your belt - I think that's hard to beat in its genre, and textbooks for much more widely spoken languages often fall far short of this standard.
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on 19 February 2000
a well thought out book providing the most basic latvian to indepth conversations.The oddities of this language are clearly explained and the cassette is invaluble
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on 9 October 2009
I was very disappointed with "Colloquial Latvian" but originally bought it as it was the only English-language course then available. Since then I have accumulated quite a collection of Latvian language books and this is probably the worst of them.
It begins fairly well, but the speed with which new grammar points are introduced quickly becomes bewildering and the explanations leave you more confused than ever.
Don't be fooled by the title - this isn't "colloquial" at all but rather too academic.
The accompanying CDs are am embarrassment, apparently featuring dialogues spliced together from people sitting in very different acoustic settings. In particular there is a little girl who sounds as if she is speaking from the bottom of a well with a nasty head cold.
I was also interested to note that one of the early translation exercises is EXACTLY the same as one I have in an out of print Teach Yourself Latvian book by Teresa Budina Lazdina printed 30 years earlier. Coincidence? Hmmm...
The more recent Teach Yourself Latvian book and CD is much better all round.
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on 23 March 2008
Bought this CD for my British husband who has been taking Latvian lessons for over two years. He could just about follow the first dialogue... Latvian is my native language, and I found the conversations already from the dialogue 3 became very complicated. This CD is certainly not for the beginners.
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on 31 May 2015
I ordered this item because I thought the book which was listed as Hardcover is indeed with the size given in the detailed section Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm while the paperback Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 21 cm
To my disappointment the book inside the pack is actually paperback and the size given is for the whole pack size, not the book size.
There are two CD's inside the box and it was very difficult to take them out of the plastic holding them without breaking them. Very poor design for the CD's holding mechanism.
I informed Amazon about the book binding type and they have accepted to change it to paperback, but there is no way to update the size of the book at the same time so it is still going to mislead customers to think the book is larger than it actually is.
I wanted to buy the Teach Yourself Complete Latvian, but unfortunately they are not available for some time now.
As for the course itself, I think it should help me to learn Latvian, however I shall need to buy also the digital format in Kindle or EPUB format because I need larger fonts than the paperback.
I would recommend to buy the audio CD's plus Kindle book instead of this pack.
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