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Customer reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
40
Instant Recall Spanish, 6-Hour MP3 Audio Program
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on 14 October 2013
I liked this so much I've told a few people about it already, it's very good basic Spanish which is very vital to getting to grasps with this complexed language. Spanish grammer is not addressed in this CD as much as I would have liked but you can put it in your car and just listen until you've had enough, then do it all over again the next day, the more you listen the more you learn.
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on 15 February 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've dipped in and out of this for quite a long time and have to say that the learning by association technique has for me proven particularly effective in remembering key words in comparison to some of the more traditional and slightly uninspiring methods commonly used in the teaching of foreign languages. It is not a particularly new method of learning, variations of which can technically be applied to other academic subjects. It involves in this instance learning the Spanish for cat (gato) by imagining a cat eating a 'gateau' You have in principle made the connection between English and Spanish via the association of this image. A crude description but it works, think of the cat example for 10 seconds and it's unlikely you will ever easily forget it's Spanish equivalent.
The discs cover to an intermediate level words you would use in restaurants, hospitals, travelling etc as well as numbers, days and months etc.
Coming on 2 discs the first of which has 200+ MP3 Files covering both 'Spanish' and Latin American Spanish; the second disc is a CD ROM consisting of a summary, a helpful printed glossary of the first discs words and phrases and review and revision aides. There is something like 6 hours worth of running time though goodness knows how long it would actually take to wholly complete this due to the amount of mental processing involved in learning the words. It is a strange process; after a while my brain did begin to speed up once you get used to the style, if nothing else it was a good mental exercise and is a bit more interesting than the others I have used really. If you can get over any initial scepticism like I did then there's a lot worse out there than this. Definately worth a go if other approaches have failed for you in the past.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 November 2009
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What you get: a CD comprising a selection of useful Spanish words and suggestions on how to remember them by using basic (and sometimes comical) word association. Also, a `supplementary' CD which reprises everything on CD 1 without the pauses for you to fill in the answers.

Pros: the male speaker is clearly spoken and easy to understand in Spanish and English. Many of the words are useful and some of the word association suggestions are helpful. The spoken instructions are easy to follow and the exercises are easily achievable for a beginner. It is a competently put together course. It wins over a book in the respect that you can hear native speaker pronunciation - always a help.

Cons: the female speaker is a little softly spoken. She also seems to have a slightly different accent from the male speaker. The vocabulary offered is basic so if you have already done a course in Spanish you may already know the words for 'cat', 'chair', `and' and `but'. Some of the word association suggestions are confusing. For example it is suggested that you remember Spanish for chicken, namely 'pollo' by visualising a chicken playing polo. However, the female speaker pronounces the word 'pojo'. This could be confusing if you don't have any prior knowledge of Spanish spelling. It says `see booklet for loading files onto your MP3 player' but there is no booklet. (That is, I didn't get one.)

Hilarity: one suggestion which did make me laugh was to remember that the masculine form of 'the' is 'el' because 'Men are 'ell to live with.' Well, if it works...

It's quite a useful little CD to reinforce the basics but it is probably more time effective to simply print a list of useful vocabulary words from the Internet. It's not going to be of much assistance to someone seriously studying language to any advanced state. For beginners only.
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VINE VOICEon 18 February 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is certainly a novel approach to learning a language. It's based on a system of word association with a provided image. So, to remember then word for Monkey (mono), then 'think of a monkey wearing a monacle', soup (sopa) 'soup that tastes of soap' and so on.

This approach I found to be a little hit and miss. While some of the images seem to stick (the cat eating the gateau) others don't and there's no real pattern to it either. Sometimes they stick BECAUSE they are so outlandish, and other time they're too outlandish to stick!

I have only listened to it all the way through a couple of times and, in doing so, HAVE learnt some new words but wouldn't say I felt anymore confident were I to engage a Spaniard in conversation! As such I would say it was more of a vocabulary builder that a language course per se - although notes on grammar are provided along the way.

The first CD consists of 260+ audio files split into different categories. These can be easily downloaded to an mp3 player and listened to on the move. There is no book to accompany the course, so it's ideal for this purpose!

The second CD consists of a spoken Grammar lesson and some demos of the other languages available.

I think I would have to spend some real time with this to get the real benefits and, being an impatient sort, am not sure that I will! It's success, I would say, is largely down to the individual listeners ability to recall images - even ones that are a little 'random'!

If you have a good visual memory, an some people do, then this is a fun way to expand your Spanish vocab. If you just want a basic language course then this may seem a little arbitrary in its presentation - i.e. it starts with animals rather than the more traditional 'greetings' section you may expect!

So, if you like the sounds of it, then it may work for you. If you have reservations then it quite possibly won't!
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VINE VOICEon 18 March 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I usually have a memory like a sieve so i was dubious as to how the audio CD would help me in learning spanish, i wanted to pick up a little bit to survive future holidays without having to phonetically read menu and resort to the tourist say everything slow and loud approach but then i was equally short on time and not really relishing the idea of hitting text books for something that was intended to be enjoyable.I actaully found it pretty helpful though, in CD format i can stick it on in the car or listen to it on my ipod whilst im killing time.

I actually found this way of learning quite fun and fairly memorable, as i am the type of learner that responds to things like rhymes and images, but if anything i found what it covered was too diverse for my need. As other reviewers have pointed out it teaches you things like animal names...which would be great if i were going to a zoo that had monkeys and cows but otherwise not particularly useful. I guess you'd just need to keep repeating the bits that were useful to you personally to get the most meaningful results out of it. I'll likely just use this as a starting point though to build from as it will also limited to speaking, and understanding accents...
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VINE VOICEon 17 January 2011
Don't get this if you want a conventional language-learning course!

The concept seems to be that you learn vocabulary first, and then grammar is introduced to enable you to use that vocabulary to constuct meaningful sentences. That seems reasonable in theory, but in practice I found the "helpful" mnemonics for the vocabulary extremely irritating.

Finding a vivid picture to associate with a word or concept is a useful memory technique, but I think it only really works if you use your own images that are relevant and meaningful for you. This course uses standard images which are, frankly, often very odd.

As an example, the first word is "cat". We are told: "The Spanish for cat is "gato". Imagine a lovely cat eating a gateau." It only gets stranger from there. For a dog ("perro") we are to imagine a dog pirouetting. For a cow ("vaca"), we should picture a cow cleaning a field with a vacuum cleaner. I wish I was making this up.

If that sounds like it would work for you, then this might be the language course you've been looking for. I just found it annoying.
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VINE VOICEon 2 May 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is just a CD-rom which plays on your media player with no instructions, so basically just a LISTENING CD.
This has a selection of some useful everyday words such as time,days of the week etc & some not so useful words such as animals & furniture. it has some basic grammer * becuase they put it very simply & plainly it is very good for a beginner introduction.
They give you hints on howe to remember the words but I find the pronounciation is not easy & I have difficulty recognising if she is saying "g" or "c" (pronounaced K).
It is short & precise which I like & doesn't confuse or intimidate. However, it needs to be more for everyday language & it has unclear pronounciation & there's no book to read the words to learn the pronounciation/spelling either. You'd need to purchase that separately.

Note: you do NOT need the internet to use this CD, you can use it on your laptop.

I therefore would only buy this as a basic introduction.
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VINE VOICEon 21 January 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This course takes the view that it's easier to learn vocabulary if you have a mental image to fix the word with rather than just having lists. For instance, 'gato' for cat might conjure an image of a gateaux. Mystically it is claimed that having two things to remember rather than just the one makes it easier. I guess for some people that may be the case, but I don't think I'm one of them. I almost seem to have to filter this extraneous stuff out on purpose so I can hear the actual words themselves to be able to listen to them. If words are the same or similar in both languages then you picture a bull fighter. Apparently that helps for some reason. Nevertheless, there are quite useful lists of things, with translations (and the other stuff) given first, then a chance to practice your own translation afterwards. There's also some complete beginner level grammar. If you've ever done any Spanish before this won't really be useful.
So in the end a cd with lists of vocabulary that's easy to listen to except for some rather anooying additions.
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VINE VOICEon 19 November 2010
The external and quite professional the presentation of this item belies it's relatively amateurish software presentation, i.e. no splash screen, and relatively indecipherable mp3 file names. Despite this disappointing yet forgiveable flaw the actual content is quite good if you want to build your vocabulary. My mind is quite associative so I found that tips like: remember a cat eating a gateau cake = gato, etc. quite useful, although I can appreciate that may be a little too wacky for some. In terms of grammar and underlying structure however, this package is lacking in grammatical understanding and anyone who has a background in linguistics, mathematics or the sciences would find it very difficult to effectively learn to use a language from phrases and vocabulary. I would therefore recommend that a basic grammar textbook such as, "Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Spanish Grammar (Practice Makes Perfect Series)" by Gilda Nissenberg would be a useful purchase for the serious student.
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VINE VOICEon 27 May 2010
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I ordered this for my wife as she had expressed an interest in trying to learn a foreign language. She has been using it in the car when she takes long journeys, and has enjoyed having it as an alternative to music. She initially found it to be very useful and was suprised at how much she picked up in a short space of time. However, as her initial enthusiasm began to wane, she found that much of what she had picked up slipped away just as quickly. She did comment that she liked the appraoch to learning the language based on individual useful phrases and statements, rather than the more acadmeic approach of learning lists of related nouns, conjugating verbs, etc. Her final verdict was that although it introduced Spanish in a user-friendly way, simply listening and learning will not be enough to make a person even vaguely fluent, unless you have other outside sources to learn from and, more importantly, to practice your growing fluency on.
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