Top positive review
38 people found this helpful
This book, a dictionary, and open ears are all you need!
on 26 February 2002
This book was just what I needed, having moved from Ireland to Sweden, to learn Swedish quickly. With a decent dictionary (say, David Harper's Swedish Dictionary - also Routledge - which is the only dictionary I have found so far that gave the genders of nouns), and this book, I am able to understand and follow conversations in Swedish more easily, and feel much more confident to try my "Baby Swedish" out on people and improve it.
This book is designed to be used by native English speakers, and every point is compared and related to English grammar. That, alone, makes it much easier to grasp the grammar concepts quickly. Swedish is a notoriously difficult language to learn for English speakers, and the grammar is very different to any other European languages, not least of all English.
Starting with a basic guide to pronouncing Swedish words, which should perhaps be skipped if you don't want to sound like you're from Stockholm, the book is broken into a small number of logical chapters - nouns, adjectives, etc., each of which is described in excellent (but never superfluous) detail.
The structure of the book means that I can read it from start to finish, or search for and immediately find the exact topic I am interested in. The quality of the binding feels excellent, and the print is very clear, with a clean, uncluttered layout, so I feel that I will be using this paperback book for a long, long time.
Holmes also writes an excellent classroom book "Colloquial Swedish" with Serin Gunilla, and if you add this to "An Essential Grammar" and your decent dictionary, you will find that you can study and learn a lot of useful Swedish in a short time by yourself, or in addition to some language classes (the approach I'm taking).