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17 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:    (0)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect as a brush-up course
This material is perfect as a brush-up course, and I simply love the CDs. To a complete beginner, however, I guess that the progression is pretty steep, and there are some obstacles making the understanding more difficult. For instance, I have found 2 faults in the Russian writing in some of the first lessons, and as I haven't read so much of the text at all, I suppose...
Published 2 months ago by Camelfreak

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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK - Pronunciation not explained well
I recently bought this book to begin learning Russian. I am a languages teacher by profession. I teach Spanish, Italian, French, Greek and Portuguese and I have studied many other languages.
The conversations and grammar explanations in this book are good and the grammar is explained clearly. However, I would like to point out a couple of bad points about this...
Published on 2 Oct 2012 by Mr. C. L. Grindley


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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK - Pronunciation not explained well, 2 Oct 2012
By 
Mr. C. L. Grindley "cg" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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I recently bought this book to begin learning Russian. I am a languages teacher by profession. I teach Spanish, Italian, French, Greek and Portuguese and I have studied many other languages.
The conversations and grammar explanations in this book are good and the grammar is explained clearly. However, I would like to point out a couple of bad points about this book:

1. The book does not explain the pronunciation rules well.
After working through the pronunciation chapter and upon listening to the conversations in the following chapters, you soon realise that certain letters are simply not being pronounced according to what was explained in the pronunciation chapter. You are taught that "oh" is pronounced as the "o" in the English word bore. However in conversations, it if often pronounced as "a" as in "car". There seems to be no explanation for this whatsoever in the book and it seems impossible to predict when an "o" is pronounced like and "o" and when it should be pronounced like an "a".
This is just once case. There are many other letters that are pronounced in a different way to what is explained in the book. Some letters (especially the vowels) completely change their sound but there is no explanation by the author, thus leaving the learner completely confused and unable to pronounce words unless listening to them on the cd.
As a beginner, this is very confusing. Having studied many languages from Hindi, Japanese & Arabic to Tamil, Yoruba, Bulgarian etc... I can honestly say that Russian pronunciation needs much more of an explanation than what has been given by the author.

2. The audio cds only cover the main conversations. This means that every time new vocabulary is introduced, you will have no idea how to pronounce it correctly or where the stress should fall. Of course not knowing how to pronounce those new words correctly could make it difficult for natives to understand you.

3. Some new words are given in the conversations without a translation at all and those words are not even in the dictionary at the back of the book. So this means you keep reading the new words again and again and still have no idea what they mean.

In conclusion, the book itself is good for learning but without a Russian native sitting next to you, you are going to struggle to pronounce many of the words.
In my opinion, the author should explain the pronunciation in more detail rather than just teaching the alphabet and main sounds and completely ignoring the "major" changes in pronunciation that occur depending on where letters are in words. This NEEDS to be explained to learners. New words need to be given on the audio cd so that students know how to pronounce them. Furthermore all new words introduced must have a translation so that learners are not left clueless to their meaning.

Explaining grammar and teaching vocab is one thing but if you don't know how to pronounce them, you won't be understood!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect as a brush-up course, 8 Aug 2014
This material is perfect as a brush-up course, and I simply love the CDs. To a complete beginner, however, I guess that the progression is pretty steep, and there are some obstacles making the understanding more difficult. For instance, I have found 2 faults in the Russian writing in some of the first lessons, and as I haven't read so much of the text at all, I suppose that there are more than that. Anyway, to my private purpose the material deserves 5 stars.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Missed Opportunity, 25 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Complete Russian: Teach Yourself (Paperback)
I have to agree with the review by Mr. C. L. Grindley except I would rate it even lower.
Russian - like English - is a language where the pronunciation of EVERY SINGLE word must be learned.
The pronunciation of most French and German words follows the spelling - not so in Russian.
Mr Grindley mentions the different pronunciation of the letter "0". You need to know that it is pronounced
like "0" if the syllable is accented and like "a" if the syllable is unaccented. You only get to know this by hearing the word.
Only a tiny fraction of the text in the book is recorded on the CD's.
Without a teacher this book is next to useless.
In my own case I have recorded a Russian friend who has read out every bit of Russian text not on the CD's.
If only the publishers had done the same this could have been a fantastic book,
I just cannot understand how these 5-star reviewers reached their conclusions.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silly Buyer didn't read the product title!, 29 Dec 2011
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Please don't make the mistake I did and only purchase this product. I wanted the book as well as the audio, but only got the audio. Excellent product, but due to my own incompetence I have to wait to buy the book! Enjoy!
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3.0 out of 5 stars I did not realise that "audio support" meant two CD's ..., 26 Jun 2014
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I did not realise that "audio support" meant two CD's only. This product cannot really be used without the book, which I ordered afterwards. Then it was very helpful for learning the alphabet, but even the first chapter is very difficult until you have learned the alphabet. I have learned the Greek alphabet, and did not think I would have so much difficulty, but I am progressing very slowly. Easier books such as the "Talk Portuguese". "Talk Greek" do not seem, to be available in Russian.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but sure, 1 July 2013
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Very good support for the text. The speakers speak veeeeeery slowly - but that is better than too fast in my opinion.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unclear sound and missing units, 6 Feb 2013
There are 12 units on CD 1. I can play the first one - whit really bad quality, and then it jumps to unit 11, starts playing, whereafter it just stops. CD 2 I cannot even start playing...
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a good lesson book for learning the russian language quickly, 13 Aug 2011
By 
IVAN VICTORY "watch collector" (GIBRALTAR(WESTERN EUROPE)) - See all my reviews
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Without any doubt this is one of the best books available on the market for people wanting to learn how to speak russian,by the time that you have finished this language course you are truly an expert(it's easier to learn the language because it contains a double cd that you can listen to it over and over again so you get the language pretty quickly and speak it fluently without any complications within a short period of time you will be amazed with the final results)and at a cost effective price,truly a chance not to be missed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 Oct 2014
By 
Maurice C "InulasHelp" (Reading Nr. London UK) - See all my reviews
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I need this because of my relationship

A great teaching aid
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect Russian course, 20 May 2012
This review is from: Complete Russian: Teach Yourself (Paperback)
The good thing about this book is that the author neither assumes you're a linguist nor treats you like a complete stupid. It's fun, very well structured and effective, so I would definitely recommend it.
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Complete Russian: Teach Yourself
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