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Complete Catalan Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself) Paperback – 25 Jun 2004

3.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Paperback, 25 Jun 2004
£153.21 £38.78

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Teach Yourself Books; New ed edition (25 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340870567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340870563
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 23 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,447,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Discover a new and effective way to learn Catalan. With 16 units covering the four key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, this best-selling course comprises a book and MP3 audio support which is easy to download to your computer or MP3 player. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Alan Yates is a former Lecturer in Catalan at the University of Sheffield and well-respected author of the current edition. He has recently received a prize for his services to the teaching of the Catalan. Anna Poch is a native speaker of Catalan and an experienced teacher of Catalan and Spanish. She has been teaching at universities and schools in France and England since 1996.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 24 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
Having used "Teach Yourself Spanish" many years ago (in the month prior to visiting a friend in Asturias) I fully expected to do just as well with this book - especially as I'd been on a course for tourists going to the Costa Brava. So I knew the pronunciation and some basic usage and so on. Sadly, I found myself getting bogged down with dense grammar, when I wanted to feel how the language worked.
The worked examples are very good, and memorable; my friends and I are still enchanted with phrases like "estic disposat a sortejar la cabra" - which means "I am inclined to raffle the goat" (!)
On the whole, three stars - not for the faint-hearted, but still good solid stuff. Perhaps a little too solid.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read the generally negative reviews of this book, I approached it with trepidation. But, much to my surprise, for the first time in ages I was delighted to come across a language textbook that treats the prospective student not as a mindless parrot mouthing phrases that he hasn't a clue how to analyse but as an intelligent individual with some knowledge of linguistic terminology who should be capable of generating new linguistic formations on the basis of the structures he's been taught in the book. Catalan is a Romance language with obvious roots in Latin, and the traditional Latin-based approach to grammar in this book with its rigorous analysis of every aspect of the language offers an ideal basis for acquiring a thorough knowledge of Catalan. The book won't be of much use if you're uninterested in the mechanics of the language and merely want to acquire a few phrases as a tourist, but then you'd be better off getting hold of a phrasebook in the first place. Also, this analytical approach is of enormous benefit if you already know French and/or Spanish: the close similarities between Catalan and its neighbouring languages mean that it's easy to get confused between the languages without such an approach. The main drawback of Teach Yourself Catalan is, of course, the absence of any cassettes or CDs, but since the book is essentially a descriptive grammar of the language, it's difficult to see how any recorded material could be produced for this book along the lines of the other items in the Teach Yourself language series. Catalan is not an easy language to pronounce on the basis of the spelling alone and guidance through the use of cassettes, etc. is essential.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This book uses a classic approach to language teaching, what with pronunciation in IPA and good grammatical explanations.
If you're scared of grammar, this book is not for you.
If you're a trained linguist, on the other hand, this may be one of the very best self-study books you'll ever come across!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The major deficiency of this book is the lack of help with pronunciation. Catalan is not phonetically written and the pronunciation is distinctly more complex than Spanish. 5 vowels are used to denote 8 vowel sounds and certain consonants are silent. If the vocabularies, either in each chapter or at least at the end of the book, were to give the phonetics of each word, this book would be a far more useful tool for acquiring the language. Even using the CD in conjuction with the book, you will need to employ a vast amount of detective work to try to sort out correct pronunciation.
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Format: Paperback
Although the book is clearly set out and very useful in terms of pronunciation, etc. some of the phrases included are not particularly useful in terms of learning such a difficult language. Would you really think that the following phrases could be used in Modern Day Catalunya?: "they dressed her in white and disguised her as a nun" "raffle the goat" "they sat the invalid by the fireside"
What is needed is a much more up to date, down to earth guide in a similar teaching style.
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Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
I purchased this book Complete Catalan: Teach Yourself (Book/CD Pack) because, having learned Catalan some 20 years ago using Alan Yates' excellent Teach Yourself book, I wanted to brush it up, having recently made extensive contact with friends in Catalonia, and visited the region on several occasions. The book and CD's are truly excellent as far as they go - but there is one glaring omission - the past subjunctive is not covered at all, and there is one solitary reference to it as a footnote to a text in one of the very last chapters. Anyone who knows anything about Latin languages - and Iberian ones in particular - will know that you just cannot hold a normal conversation in Catalan - or indeed in Spanish and Portuguese - without using a past subjunctive at some stage or another. I am aware that modern-day English-speakers' attitude to "grammar" is usually one of total bemusement - as evidenced by the extraordinary and somewhat bewildering comment of an earlier reviewer along the lines that "the book contained too much grammar whilst all he wanted was to know how the language worked...(!)" - but to omit a crucial and indispensable part of Catalan grammar because it might confuse English-speaking readers smacks of nothing short of cowardice....
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