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Teach Yourself Czech Book/CD Pack (Teach Yourself Complete Courses) Paperback – 27 May 2005
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If you want to progress quickly from the basics to understanding, speaking and writing Czech with confidence then 'Teach Yourself Czech', using a book/CD combination, is the course for you. Although aimed at those with no previous knowledge, it is equally suitable for anyone wishing to brush up existing knowledge for a holiday or business trip.
About the Author
David Short has taught Czech and Slovak in London since 1973 and is a founder member of the North-American (now International) Association of Teachers of Czech. He has also examined in Czech for a wide range of institutions, including other British universities and a period of involvement in the Czech A-level examination, before it was scrapped. He publishes widely on Czech and Slovak topics, with many items brought together in a volume of Essays in Czech and Slovak Language and Literature (1996), and he is pleased to have had some involvement in prize-winning dictionaries of Czech idioms (1983, 1988, 1994). He is also an active reviewer, freelance translator (including some literary and scholarly works) and interpreter (chiefly for asylum-seekers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia). His other published books include the bibliography Czechoslovakia (1986), its updated revision Czech Republic (with Vlaïka Edmondson, 2000), and Customs and Etiquette in the Czech Republic (1996), and he is the author of the descriptive outline grammars of Czech and Slovak included in Bernard Comrie & Greville G. Corbett (eds): The Slavonic Languages (1993).
Top customer reviews
The Czech word: at' will appear as the nonCzech word: afl and the Czech word: vrat' will appear as the nonCzech word: vrafl.
I wrote to the publisher four years ago asking for my money back. They only offered a corrected copy when it would be printed. I've never received one, and, these incorrect texts are on the shelves in book stores worldwide.
Look at pages 205, 208 and 215 for some incorrect words.
Once again, no matter the good and great things in this book, you will learn an embarrassing Czech that does not exist if you use this book. Buyer beware!
There is an accompanying CD, but a) it's obviously been recorded from a crackly old cassette, and the sound quality is poor; b) instead of giving a clearly, slowly enunciated example, then repeating it in a more natural way, the speakers merely mutter the same thing twice, in such a way that the learner cannot hear the phonemes properly.
Given the lack of obvious cognates with English (or German, or French), it would be better to have a light load of useful and useable words. Instead, this book goes in for a huge vocabulary overload - each half-page dialogue is accompanied by 1.5 to 2 pages of vocabulary lists, with no attempt to make the words memorable.
But the worst fault of all is the way the noun declensions are introduced - dry as dust, rule after rule after rule, exception after exception, and with pitifully few useful examples. There are better ways of doing it than this - all you need is a bit of imagination.
I speak as a archetypal 'good language learner' (and a language teacher), who has learned Japanese and Thai to fluency, as well as several European languages. I will learn Czech too, but not from this book, which is going in the bin.
Is it possible for anyone to get this right.