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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Croatian Language Course on the Market!
The 14 Lessons presenet the text in the usual high quality of Living Languages, this time even printed on halfway acceptable paper (not the usual thin law quality toilet paper..
Each lesson starts with Warming Up Vocabulary, followed by a conversation/text which is at first presented in Croatian, followed by the complete English translation. A complete chapter...
Published on 14 Mar 2010 by Steffen Thomas

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very badly designed language book
I purchased this book last year and have been using it over several months. I am now on the last chapter of the book.
I am a languages teacher myself and teach 4 languages. I was surprised to see that the other reviews of this book have been quite positive. I will explain below why this book is badly designed.

The book has 15 chapters, divided into themes...
Published 22 months ago by Mr. C. L. Grindley


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Croatian Language Course on the Market!, 14 Mar 2010
By 
Steffen Thomas (Münster, Westfalen) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Croatian: A Complete Course for Beginners (Living Language Series) (Hardcover)
The 14 Lessons presenet the text in the usual high quality of Living Languages, this time even printed on halfway acceptable paper (not the usual thin law quality toilet paper..
Each lesson starts with Warming Up Vocabulary, followed by a conversation/text which is at first presented in Croatian, followed by the complete English translation. A complete chapter
Highly motivating grammar explanations and excercises follwo, plus notes on country and culture and an extra Phrases part per lesson.
I tried to learn Croatian using the Colloquial Croatian and then the Teach Yourself Croatian books but have learned hardly anything even after having worked through both books twice (with lots of highlighting and marking). Then I compared the Teach Yourself Serbian book which is miles better (also by Norris but apparently a completely new edition after Yougoslavia split apart whereas the Teach Yourself Croatian book is simply a reprint under different name of the old Teach Yourself Serbocroatian whith deletions of those parts that are particularly 'Serbian'.
If you want to learn Croatian as a complete beginner but still thouroughly than I cannot recommend highly enough this Living Languaes Croatian course. It follows a very easy to follow didactical concept and - in conjuntion with the 2 sets of 3 CDs - can be used easily outside of class, which is important considering that apart from London Univeristy College London and Westminster University evening classes) and Nottingham (Nottingham University evening courses) there will be hardly any classes held anywhere else in Britain.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction, 9 Oct 2009
By 
Warleybear (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Croatian: A Complete Course for Beginners (Living Language Series) (Hardcover)
Complete courses are difficult to find on Croatian (or Serbian). The course / publication was published in the USA, so there are comparitive references to the USA in the book and CD's - but this represents no problems. A near 400 page course book and two sets of CD's. One set of three to accompany the book and a further set of three for when you 'out and about'. One critacism is that there are at times a lot of new words thrown in very early on which makes the first couple of chapters a bit difficult. However, I found the course clear and a welcome addition to some other material that was starting to look / feel quite tired.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Croatian: thorough course, but grammatically difficult, 12 Mar 2011
This review is from: Croatian: A Complete Course for Beginners (Living Language Series) (Hardcover)
Note that I'm only onto lesson number 2, but this course seems pretty thorough. It doesn't just teach you the basics of Croatian (which by the way is pretty difficult), but also talks about the history and croatian customs. Each lesson starts out with a vocabulary warm-up, followed by a short conversation. Then it goes on to more glossaries and spends also quite a few pages of grammatics. This is where it gets difficult as Croatian grammatics are pretty hard. If you're not familiar with words such as feminin, masculin or neuter and infinitive, nominative, accusative etc. then I would not recommend this course. It is a must that you know how to break up sentences, knowing what is a noun and what is a verb etc., in order to be able to follow this part of the lesson (which is quite an important part in learning the language).
Having said that, the book does come with 6 cd's covering all the material (except for the grammatics). These cd's are of great help and enables you to learn how to pronounce the words. Just as the book has at the end of each lesson, also the cd's have a few (interactive) exercises, where it's not just about repeating words, but you have to answers questions and/or make dialog, as you are learning.
All in all I give this course 4 out of 5 stars, only deducting a star due to the fact that it requires for you to be familiar with all the grammar "expressions". It doesn't explain how to pick apart a sentence grammatically. So if you only speak English and this is your first foreign language to learn, this book would not be for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than adequate, 20 Aug 2013
By 
T. J. R. Walsh (Bury St. Edmunds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Croatian: A Complete Course for Beginners (Living Language Series) (Hardcover)
I did not know that there was a pronounced American bias (mom, grade school etc.) in this series, but this has nothing to do with quality and usefulness of this course, which are excellent. The course positively invites the student in and quite significant progress might be made in a very short time. However, I had a head start, having just visited Croatia. Croatian is not an easy language; patience and sedulous study are needed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Useful, 28 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Croatian: A Complete Course for Beginners (Living Language Series) (Hardcover)
I looked around for a Croatian book for quite a while, and this one looked by far the best. Then when I received it, it was even better than expected.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very badly designed language book, 12 Feb 2013
By 
Mr. C. L. Grindley "cg" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Croatian: A Complete Course for Beginners (Living Language Series) (Hardcover)
I purchased this book last year and have been using it over several months. I am now on the last chapter of the book.
I am a languages teacher myself and teach 4 languages. I was surprised to see that the other reviews of this book have been quite positive. I will explain below why this book is badly designed.

The book has 15 chapters, divided into themes such as shopping, the workplace, computers etc. Each chapter begins with an introduction of new vocabulary, followed by a dialogue and an explanation of the grammar with exercises at the end. In theory, this method should work very well but it doesn't. I would like to highlight the problems with this book below:

1. There are too many words to learn at the beginning of each chapter. In some chapters there are almost 80 words to learn at the beginning of the chapter before even beginning to learn the grammar. The vocabulary is divided into 3 sections. As an example let's look at chapter 13 (na poslu - at work):

13A. VOCABULARY WARM UP - contains 26 words to learn before reading the dialogue
13.B Dialogue - contains words that are not included in the warm up or the chapter or indeed the dictionary at the back!!!
C. VOCABULARY - contains 38 words to learn
D. KEY PHRASES - contains 15 entries of new words or expressions (One you have learnt over 80 words, then you can start learning the grammar)

In total this means learning over 80 words before even beginning the grammar of that chapter. That is a lot of words to learn in one go and I can tell you this from a teacher's point of view and as a linguist. None of my students are capable of learning 80 words and expressions in one go and few students know how to learn this vocabulary and would die of boredom trying to learn it all at once. By putting this much vocabulary at the beginning of each chapter, the authors are putting an obstacle in the way of students' progress. Words such as "entrepreneur", "board of directors" and "unemployment rate" are advanced pieces of vocabulary and should not be learnt in a beginners book.
The vocabulary is thrown at students and not taught gradually as it should be. Some of the vocabulary is quite irrelevant and in some entries, up to 3 synonyms are given. In my experience, teaching synonyms to beginners is a bad idea and just creates confusion.

2. Many words are written in the dialogues and in the reading passages that are not explained and are not included neither in the vocabulary of the chapter nor in the glossary at the back of the book. This means that you MUST have a dictionary to understand these words, otherwise you will not understand any of them because the authors have not bothered to translate them for you.
For example: in chapter 14's dialogue, there are 16 new words that are not found anywhere else in the book and are not included in the dictionary at the back of the book.
In chapter 10 in the reading passage, the authors introduce over 40 new words!!! with no mention of their English equivalent and most of these words again are not included at the back of the dictionary. This means that you are left not knowing their meaning, unless you look them up in a dictionary.

The grammar explanations of the book are very well presented and are well written and explained. However the lessons (or chapters) are very badly designed with too much vocabulary to learn at a time and I would highly recommend buying a different book to learn Croatian. Your progress will be much faster.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Croatian Course, 9 April 2013
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This review is from: Croatian: A Complete Course for Beginners (Living Language Series) (Hardcover)
A very well written and user friendly book that creates different scenes that you would easily encounter in the country. Good references too :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Croatian: A Complete Course for Beginners (Living Language Series) (Hardcover)
Great audio and clear text. Very good.
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Croatian: A Complete Course for Beginners (Living Language Series)
Croatian: A Complete Course for Beginners (Living Language Series) by Living Language (Hardcover - 28 May 2009)
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