Perfect Russian (Learn Russian with the Michel Thomas Method): Russian Advanced Course (Michel Thomas Series) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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"A great way to learn; it's fast and it lasts". (The Daily Telegraph)
Five minutes into the first CD, you already feel like you're winning. (Time Out)
Michel Thomas is a precious find indeed. (The Guardian)
Thomas makes it simple (Sunday Times)
Michel's methods will teach you effectively and easily (Daily Star)
Hugely inspiring (Red)
Ideal for any business traveller who needs to be able to get around confidently. (Sunday Business)
"Excellent for learning ... This entirely audio course is easy to use and quickly results in some useful ability in the new language. Great for the car." (Adventure Travel)
"Moving along at a relaxed, slow pace, punctuated by amusing anecdotes and jokes from the teacher, the new words, phrases and language rules are gently introduced and reinforced through subtle repetition without ever being tedious. In fact, despite a distinct emphasis on non-work, the course proves very effective and enjoyable, and its format is ideal for learning anywhere you like. So, if you only want to learn to speak the language, this course is highly recommended." (Top Real Travel Product, Real Travel)
Learn another language the way you learnt your own.
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Top Customer Reviews
The teacher-pupil format isn't unique to audio courses, but it works particularly well here; the teacher (an amenable but quite strict Russian lady!) takes her male and female student through a series of short grammatical / vocabulary points and subsequent translation exercises. It's quite fun to try and preempt the students in these tasks, and beat them to saying the Russian out loud!
I was surprised how well and clearly the grammatical points were put across; for instance, I've not come across a clearer explanation of imperfective and perfective aspect in verbs than in this course - the teacher's way of explaining this particular point may not be the orthodox route, but it made more sense than any dry grammar.
In short, it's fantastic for teaching you some important rules to improve your confidence in Russian, and get you used to using what you know to communicate (and not overcomplicating things by translating word for word!).
However, I was disappointed to find that this "Advanced" course only really covers 2 of the 6 noun cases in Russian, and since these are shared with English, I would really put this in the "Foundation" category. Also, the course does not cover other things like transitive verbs; something I am only just starting to get my head around.
To give you an idea, there are 4 different ways of saying the word "my," depending on whether or not the direct object is male, female, neuter or plural; respectively: moy, moya, moyo, moi. No worries here, and you are taught this, as well as the 2nd case in Russian, the "accusative" case, in which the female changes to moyu.
What you are NOT taught, is that there are a further 4 cases, in which nearly all of the endings change depending on what you want to say, essentially 4 endings for nouns (male, female, neuter and plural), times 6 cases = 24, and since you only learn 8 endings with this course (2 cases), you will have to find another way of learning the remaining 16!
What is most disappointing is that there doesn't appear to be any intention of covering these areas, which are absolutely crucial for you to speak and comprehend Russian correctly. All the publishers are doing is releasing a "vocabulary" set in April, which unless I am mistaken, is just going improve your collection of words and phrases, not take your abilities in Russian any further than the foundation level this course remains at.
So, while the method is excellent, don't expect to be speaking Russian particularly well by the end of this course!
As somebody else has said, it doesn't deserve the title 'Advanced', but that's not really the point - the Advanced French Course isn't very advanced either.
It's partly that the tutor doesn't seem to pay much attention to the students' pronunciation; for example, they constantly pronounce the Russian letter 'e' in an entirely English way, and are rarely corrected, and, to my ear, anyway, they seem constantly to get away with mistakes relating to 'hard' and 'soft' vowels and consonants - which are crucially important in Russian.
But I suspect that the major problem is that Russian is a very strongly inflected language, that is the endings of the nouns and verbs are hugely important. I wonder to what extent the Michel Thomas method is suitable for teaching a language of this kind, at least to people whose native language is English. Will the student actually learn the underlying structures, and then apply them, or will s/he simply memorise a mass of pre-set phrases? (This raises interesting questions, like: could you use the Michel Thomas method to teach Latin or classical Greek? Somehow, I think not!)
Still, having said that, I think this course could be a useful adjunct to somebody who is learning Russian by other means, and, at the Amazon price, it could be good value for money. I've rated it three stars, but I've wavered between two and three.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Despite the somewhat steep price I would say it's a worthy purchase, especially if you're learning in your own time for leisure.Published on 9 Sept. 2013 by Benjo
I guess the Michel Thomas method may be good for absolute beginners, but not for anybody with a basic grasp of Russian. Read morePublished on 8 Jun. 2012 by book worm
I've been learning Russian on and off for two years, and whilst able to find my way around, and get myself food and drink, I've struggled with the finer points of grammar etc. Read morePublished on 5 Oct. 2010 by Masha
The Advanced Course is a step up in terms of difficulty and the interaction between the tutor and students. Read morePublished on 11 April 2010 by Chris Mac