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Swedish: A Complete Course for Beginners (Teach Yourself) (Swedish) Paperback – 1 Jan 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Jan 2001
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: NTC Publishing Group,U.S.; 2nd edition (1 Jan. 2001)
  • Language: Swedish
  • ISBN-10: 0844238392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844238395
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,887,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Vera Croghan started teaching Swedish at Aberdeen University straight after her second degree from Lund University, Sweden. After her marriage, she moved to Edinburgh where she gave private lessons and translated and interpreted for the Swedish Consul and businesses. She began teaching at the University of East Anglia when it opened in 1963 and taught there for 30 years. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I tried to learn Swedish with this book and I was satisfied with it. But the audio content (which for Swedish is absolutely necessary in order to be able to understand or speak anything) was very bad. One of the speakers has a dialect (from south of sweden) and the pace of the cassete is almost impossible to follow. Besides, it uses expressions that no one uses today (according to mz native speaking girlfriend). I am searching for better material than this book+audio cassete
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By A Customer on 29 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
We found the tape goes too fast to learn from. We then felt daunted and have changed to 'Swedish in 3 months' instead as that is what our language teacher is using. It is also unclear from the book how new words are pronounced which can be a big problem for starting Swedish
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Format: Paperback
A very good book, a little old fashioned but still handy to give one a starting point
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Format: Paperback
So, ya wanna learn Swedish? Then thank your stars for Vera Crogan's "Swedish: A Complete Course for Beginners". This book is custom-made for people just like yourself who have always wanted to learn Swedish, but never quite found the appropriate study guide to use.

The book contains 18 lessons, each broken up into 8 parts: a dialogue, the vocabulary to the dialogue, a true or false test, things you need to know about grammar and culture, important words and expressions, language patterns, exercises, and further dialogues testing your comprehension.

The book is very easy to get through. You can go at your own pace, and you can also use the book as a grammar reference once you've advanced to a higher level. With this book, you're bound to advance quickly if you're serious about learning Swedish!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars 23 reviews
88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This one is not the best. 8 Aug. 2000
By Steve Malcolm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I learned Swedish without a single formal lesson extremely quickly (in 4 months to fluency whilst living in a Swedish / English speaking environment), and bought and borrowed an enormous range of books to bring me there. I feel compelled to write a review here due to the relatively high average customer review compared with the actual low quality of the book. This book I would not recommend except as a supplement to the others when you are doing your very first lessons of the language. There are periods in learning a language where you hit a brick wall in one textbook, and you can then turn to this text to "re-learn" from another angle what you have learned before continuing. For the extremely early stages of learning the language I would recommend the Colloquial Swedish book and tapes, but once you get to about lesson 6 or 8 you will move quicker by shifting to something like Göransson & Lindholm's Nybörjarsvenska and The Essentials of Swedish Grammar (In fact, after you read and understand this grammar book which is written in English, you speak Swedish, then you need only bolt on more vocabulary and idioms get you from a basic level towards fluency). As you progress further, move onto something like Ballardini et al, Mål 3 Svenska som andraspråk.
Swedish is a fantastic language that is a lot of fun to speak and is very easy and rewarding to learn for English speakers due to its similarity to our own language. Swedish is not a language that requires rote learning of verb tables because unlike French and Spanish, etc. verb conjugations are not complex. This book does not ask you to rote learn as some do (notably Hugo's which is even worse than this one). Spoken Swedish is impossible to learn in a complete vacuum due to the nuances of the *sing-song* pronunciation that makes the language fun and can only be learned from imitation / mockery (Once you start learning you will understand what I mean when I say mockery ... you turn up the pronunciation to make fun of the language and the Swedes you are talking to, and it is only then that you are pronouncing it close to correctly. This light mockery is also central to the Swedes sense of humour).
It would be impossible, in my opinion, to learn to speak fluent or even passable Swedish from this Teach Yourself book alone, and if someone out there has actually been able to achieve passable Swedish, he/she could have cut their learning time into a fraction with a different choice of book. This book may do okay if you are only wanting to ask for directions and order a beer, but again I believe that the Colloquial Swedish book and tape set are better for that purpose also. Colloquial Swedish treats the subject more seriously with the ultimate goal in mind of getting you through the tedious early stages of learning a language to proficient as quickly and painlessly as possible (but again, I would not recommend that book as the sole teaching aid either).
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying if used with other textbooks 26 Dec. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have just spent the last two months teaching myself the fundamentals of Swedish grammar, and shall relate the experience I had using the following textbooks: Croghan's "Teach Youself Swedish"; Hugo's "Simplified System Of Swedish In Three Months"(an early edition, not the updated Graves' edition, which I haven't read yet); Viberg's "Essentials Of Swedish Grammar"; and Prisma's "English-Swedish/Swedish-English Dictionary". Three of these books are available at Amazon.com.
I agree with some of the reviewers who decry the 'modernisation' of the Teach Yourself series. It has resulted in a product, which, in many respects, is inferior to the original. I can recall how the Teach Yourself editions for German and Russian that I used in the 1980s were essentially grammar books, in which a different part of speech was covered in each chapter and was followed by a basic vocabulary and exercises to test the reader's translating skills. My only criticism of these books is that they made for dry reading and at times their rote work was excessive. With the new Teach Youself series- Croghan's "Teach Yourself Swedish" being a case in point- grammar takes second place to the Dialogues, making it necessary for the reader to turn to other books, like Hugo's and Viberg's, for a better organised and more thorough explanation of grammar. But, although the Dialogues seem contrived, they cover a wide variety of topics dealing with everday situations. I realise that I may never be able to converse in Swedish if caught in one these situations, but at least the book showed me how such a conversation would be carried out. Furthermore, the book is filled with fascinating tidbits of Swedish history, culture, customs, and cuisine. Here, then, are two reasons why I felt the book was worth the purchase. (I hope that the publishers of the Teach Yourself series will take note of the criticisms that their books have received by Amazon reviewers, and re-write some of them, incorporating the best of the old with the best of the new.)
With regard to the companion audio tapes, I think that some of the reviewers have been too harsh in quibbling about the strange accents and intonations of speakers appearing on the tapes. As a new student of a foreign language, I am not all that concerned about slight regional differences in accent. What I found more annoying on these tapes, as well as on other tapes in the Teach Yourself series, is that the speakers assume a normal rate of speaking from the very first lesson. This makes it difficult for the listener to make out the individual sounds of vowels and consonants. To their credit, the speakers on the Hugo tapes deliberately speak slowly for the first half of the book and avoid the slurring of words, which can confuse the listener. One other fault of the Croghan tapes is that the producers skimped on the final chapters and recorded only one Dialogue and one exercise for each of them.
I strongly recommend Prisma's dictionary for the beginning student of Swedish. There was scarcely a word that I wasn't able to find in this sturdy little book. Each definition includes colloquial phrases and expressions to help the reader grasp the various shades of meaning that a word can have. Though the size of its type is somewhat small, on the whole, this dictionary is equal in quality to the Cassell's and Collins dictionaries I have used for learning other languages.
There is little that I can add to what reviewers have already said about Viberg's grammar. All of them have praised it highly.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am learning fast! 12 Oct. 2002
By Carol Lasetzky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found this book very useful and after getting to lesson 4 I am able to hold simple conversations with my Swedish colleagues. I see that a teacher is critical of this book, but as a student I am finding it useful, firstly because it addresses usual situations you might find yourself in, like the vocabulary used when visiting someone, having something to eat, etc. and is discusses the grammar in small digestible chunks. I learnt German some years ago and the books I had then were nowhere near as good. I also have looked at some 'Teach Yourself' books German/Swedish and find them very clumsey. I don't mind at all if there are different dialects on the tapes because that is exactly how you are confronted with the language when you start speaking to Swedish people and additionally it trains the ear. So far so good - I have been able to write my first small letters to my Swedish step daughter and I thinks thats not bad going.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT beginner level and has scant information! 24 Jun. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are searching for a beginner-level book in order to learn enough Swedish to enjoy visiting the country, don't waste your money on this book and tape like I did!!
Although the audio tape included with this book is a good way to get a feel for how Swedish sounds, it is definitely not at a beginner level. The book does not have enough detailed information for someone who has no prior background in a Scandanavian language to be able to learn this language without lots of extra help (and having learned Spanish and Japanese previously, I found them both MUCH easier to learn than this book made learning Swedish).
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by UVa Department of Germanic Languages 12 Jan. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Teach Yourself series is officially recognized by the University of Virginia's Department of Germanic Languages. I used this course successfully to learn Swedish and am planning a trip to Sweden so that I can show off my language ability. This course can be difficult for beginners, but patience and perserverance pay off in the long run. The Teach Yourself Danish and German courses are also excellent.
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