Overall, I liked this course but I don't really agree with all the gushing praise that you can read on Amazon. But I've only been through it once, reasonably quickly, to be fair. Here are some of my thoughts:
- Things suddenly get much harder/faster as you get into double-figure lessons, unexpectedly so (to be fair, such a sudden leap seems to be a feature of many language courses) - The writing part of the course is very weak – you only fill in the odd word in sentences that are otherwise written for you and the required words just repeat what has already just been iterated in the text – the "Get Started" course was much better for this - Would have liked to have seen a section on or some treatment of the Norwegian Fjords as these are v. popular travel destinations - The English characters seem a bit jerky, whereas the main Norwegian characters seem only nice! - Sue only got the job in the hotel in Bodø because the boss fancied her?? Jobs are not usually that easy to land. - The course is quite good for reading and rather good for listening. Of course, it is harder to measure the active skills - Drilling of the grammar points is good and to have commonly-confused grammar points drilled is useful - To have an entire section on Easter seems a bit overkill - The material covered, overall, though, is well-conceived, useful and quite wide-ranging - There are occasional mistakes in the material
NOTE: the "audio support" comes in the form of a phone app. There is no CD, and the audio can't be played on a computer. You have to have a modern smartphone.
I might up this rating as I get on through the book, but I'm on Chapter 4, and am feeling increasingly weary. The author makes a point of saying – in the introduction – that learners shouldn't be afraid to work things out for ourselves. To this end, the book incorporates the "discovery method ... a sort of DIY approach" (as though teach-yourself isn't already DIY enough), which we're told is more likely to result in more thoroughly embedded learning. Sounds sensible enough, but this results in a number of frustrating features: incomplete vocab lists (this is deliberate: earlier editions have complete word lists) – we're supposed to work it out for ourselves, remember, but this has left me floundering with some words and expressions that aren't in the appended dictionary (e.g. it took a lot of googling to find the correct meaning(s) of "skal" – present tense of å skulle); grammar seems to be presented first, and explained later, sometimes quite a lot later, resulting in confusion; sections in Norwegian, with no translation – meaning you have no way of knowing whether you've truly understood or not. I have no problem working hard to learn a new language (this is my 5th), but this book isn't yet suiting my learning style – which is being able to check and double-check my comprehension.
All this said, the accompanying audio files are great (ignoring the *ridiculous* conversations the characters have) – particularly the feature that allows you to slow down (or speed up) the rate at which people are speaking. When very slow (0.5x), they all sound drunk, but at least you can pick out individual words. Other options are 0.75x (which works best for me), 1x (i.e. normal speed, which I find too fast), 1.5x and 2x (neither of which I've tried yet). It's a shame the audio can't be downloaded to a laptop, but it's been no bother playing it on my phone. The worksheet-type questions also work well for me, although the space given to write your answers is ridiculously, and unnecessarily, small; and there are errors (p.48, for example, is littered with them); THIS IS UNFORGIVABLE IN A TEXT BOOK. (Sorry for the shouting – Amazon doesn't allow italics!)
Could work if you already have some grounding in Norwegian and don't mind a lot of head-scratching, and have reliable internet access (for all the googling you're going to be doing). Oh, and a smartphone.
This course comes complete with book and the MP3 Audio CD. I have learned languages with Teach Yourself before and quite liked it - and this one does not disappoint. It moves at a good pace, covering all the basics. I am using this one to prepare for a Norway trip later this year. I wanted a proper course, not just a phrase book and Complete Norwegian is exactly that.
I bought this recently and think it is fantastic. I'm about 4/5 of the way through and am both really enjoying it and making good progress. I read online that Norwegian is one of the easiest languages for English speakers and I definitely agree so far. The book itself is extremely well written and is probably the best teach yourself language book that I have come across. I recommend this book unreservedly.
Very good home study course. The audio is an essential supliment to the book. The audio is now on one hundred mp3 tracks, which can be transferred from the CD to a computer, then onto a smartphone or tablet. The book is very user friendly and starts for absolute beginners. The course does require commitment, but that is up to you!
This is hands down the best book on the market for a beginner learning the Norwegian language. The set comes with a book and CD - the book is split up into several units and has an array of listening, reading and writing exercises to test yourself on. The CD is also very useful as you can transfer into onto your mp3 player and listen to it when on the commute etc - you'll be surprised at how much information you'll remember, even if it's just playing in the background!
I ordered this, as with a trip to Norway on the horizon, I thought perhaps I could learn a little bit of the language. Now, I am rubbish at languages. However, after reading and listening to a little bit (I've had it for less than a week) I'm actually picking this up quite quickly. Im stumbling a little when it comes to explaining how the language works, but I think that is more to do with my own grammar weakness.
The book and audio is clear and concise - however you do need both at hand to fully understand everything. That said, it is possible to use them independently, it's just not as emmersive. As with anything, learning another language takes time, however from my experiences so far, I am confident that with these resources I will develop a good grasp of the language