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Perfect Russian (Learn Russian with the Michel Thomas Method): Russian Advanced Course (Michel Thomas Series) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (28 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340948434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340948439
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 3.4 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 691,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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)

Book Description

Learn another language the way you learnt your own.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By R. WEST-SOLEY TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 July 2008
I bought this course without having followed the Foundation Course in the same series - I'd learnt some Russian through other self-study courses, and wanted to take things further. I managed to get into this course straight away, as you can follow the lessons easily without reference to the previous course. In fact, I'd say that Russian learners across a range of levels could get into this quite quickly - most of the material is presented and explained as new language, and you can pick up any words you haven't covered as everything is translated into English anyway.

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!).
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The Michel Thomas method is excellent for anyone who wants to gain a proper understanding of Russian, in comparison to other methods out there which I have tried, which tend to just drill into you phrases that you can quickly regurgitate (although this does improve speed).

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!
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I was very impressed by the Michel Thomas Advanced French Course, so I came to this one with high hopes. But I've been disappointed.

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.
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Verified Purchase
I found this product excellent value,the structure was easily identifiable with a strong emphasis on the sounds of words,I enjoyed the experience and hope that there might be a further course with emphasis on Russian texts.
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This is the best method of language learning I've ever experienced. In a few days, I have gained a good understanding of how the language works and am now able to converse with my Russian boyfriend and understand a lot of what his family are talking about at the dinner table! It took me many years to gain the same knowledge of German in a classroom. It is also very enjoyable because I was constantly amazed by how much I could say without any effort at all. I did the whole course (foundation and advanced) in 3 days because I enjoyed it so much and didn't want to stop! Since then, I have also done the entire Michel Thomas French course and, in response to one of the reviews of the Russian foundation course, I didn't think it was any better than the Russian course. His method is brilliant and has been expertly adapted for the Russian course. I didn't find that the students' mistakes confused me at all and it was always made clear when they made mistakes. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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