Top critical review
One person found this helpful
The good things are that it is well set out and ...
on 20 June 2017
There aren't many Romanian courses available that go beyond the basic so this course is to be welcomed.
The good things are that it is well set out and explanations are clear. The dialogues are mostly good containing useful vocabulary although a few more transactional situations would have been better. The recordings are good and the speakers are clear with pleasant voices even though the intonation of at least one of them is really flat. Guess you can't always have good actors. It covers a lot of ground in terms of grammar and if you can plough through to the end of the book you'll be well equipped to do other more advanced courses.
There are two things which I really don't like about this course. One is not specific to Romanian but to all the courses in this series. The brief is to get up to intermediate stage in one book. Well, I'm a language teacher of many years experience and I don't think it works. Languages are like musical instruments and cars. You learn how to do with repeated practice until you can do it without thinking. You can't do a quick dialogue and two exercises and think you know the past tense. So bare in mind that these courses give you knowledge but not enough practice of it to allow you to speak the language. You'll have to go away and do that yourself.
The second thing is specific to this book. The vocabulary lists are quite hopeless and get worse as the book progresses. There is nearly always at least one important word in any given dialogue which is not in the vocab list and if it's not there you can guarantee it won't be in the back either. It's not so bad in the earlier dialogues when translations are given for everything. In the later lessons you don't get that. I wouldn't hate to have had to do this book in the days before on-line dictionaries and google translate. Sometimes vocabulary is given for the wrong text. Sometimes colloquial phrases not found in the lists are even hard to find in dictionaries. The idea in some of the later lessons of giving at the start of the lesson long (yet still incomplete) lists of phrases used in the texts and dialogues is ill conceived. Put them with the relevant dialogues, please.
As a keen learner of Romanian I would also have loved to have some indication of the stressed syllable. It's quite important. Luckily I found a good online dictionary that indicates stress (dictionarroman.ro). In the chapter on the imperfect for example there is no mention at all of the fact that the endings are stressed! If you don't know that you just sound wrong.
On the whole though I'd still say it's worth adding to your collection if you're learning Romanian.