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"just-josh"

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The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners (Penguin Handbooks)
The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners (Penguin Handbooks)
by Nicholas J. Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.09

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provides easy access to the language, but treat it as an aid, 6 Nov. 2005
I am one those people who can kinda of speak Russian by having a Russian parent but who never studied Russian, makes plenty of mistakes, can't really read and don't really understand the workings of the language (so im pretty far from the perfect Pushkin scholar). I bought this book in the hope of adding a rigerous element to my understanding.
I thought this book was absoloutely brilliant for my needs. It quickly and easily guides you into a stage where you comfortably read new words (even if you don't understand them). Secondly this book introduces words and grammer in a way that they are actually used. As someone who is comfortable in domestic and mundane conversation i found the corner stones of my own vocabulary brought up and dissected within the first few chapters. In answer to one of the above criticsms about it being heavy on grammer, to be honest if you want to learn to speak Russian rather than survive a holiday, grammer is unavoidable its just the way Russian is. If its too hard take it slowly but its the highly inflexive element of the language that adds vibrancy and colour to its usage.
But as a word of caution when using this book don't get overly bogged down in the gritty detail of the grammer. Learn the common rules and say it out loud so that you can get the general gist of how a case should sounds. Arm yourself with ability to just use the common rules nad try and speak and listen (rent films, use TV and Radio on the internet etc). You will make many mistakes but it makes the giant of a language manageable and enjoyable,besides making mistakes is just a different way of learning. In summary use this book as a reference and an aid in conjunction with other ways of learning, do not use it as a bible where you obey every word.


The College Dropout
The College Dropout
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £4.24

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant at times, 25 Feb. 2005
This review is from: The College Dropout (Audio CD)
Some of the tracks and especially some of the beats are quite brilliant. The tracks that i most enjoyed most are ones such as "last call". These are the tracks that are quite simple and steady in beat and rhyme, they aren't as catchy but every time you listen to them you just seem to love them more and more. I really didn't enjoy tracks such as "jesus walks" and the "workout plan", they just sounded kinda cheap and pop like. You'd listen to them once on smash hits and judge it as alrightish. Reading a couple of reviews these appeared to be quite popular tracks, so i guess this is just a personal thing. If you prefer slower smoother hip hop such as De la Soul or Common then you will probably share my views. For the good bits i give 4 stars.
But its not only that i didn't like these tracks, i just felt that it kind of broke the mood and consistency of the album. At times you really settle into the album as one track seamlessly rolls into another. At other times the transition feels akward and uncomfortable and if you are just chilling out you need to skip a track.
Another thing that made the album harder to listen to were the skits. a couple of them are a tiny bit funny, but never witty, and even though it was long and uneventful, i quite enjoyed the long story at the end. But the amount of talk is just irritating and this cannot be a preference thing! no one can possibly enjoy that much chat.
Its a good album but have remote at hand and if listening to it on an mp3 player prepare to constantly reach into your pocket because at times skipping is essential.


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