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on 2 January 2018
A great language book. Bantu languages are grammatically very different and people have different approaches to teaching (I've gone through about 7 books on Bantu languages including in Zulu and Chichewa). I think this was very effective with some great exercises. It actually became fun to work through this book.
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on 17 March 2017
This book is not bad. It has some good features and some bad.

The good things about this course are:

1. The vocabulary lists along with the pronunciation (as long as you have the CD with this book). Some language courses fail to add vocabulary lists at all, making a student's life difficult and forcing them to use just the dictionary at the back of the book or a translation, but this one has included vocabulary for each dialogue and the fact that you can hear each word pronounced on the CD is a bonus.
2. At the end of each chapter, there is a small culture-based reading text, which is quite nice.

The bad things about this course are:

1. Although there is a vocabulary list for each dialogue in each chapter, a lot of vocabulary which pops up in the dialogues is not included in the vocab list. That means you have to use the dictionary at the back which can be a bit tedious and time wasting. I have written words in pencil all over my book because the authors have not included them. Quite a few times, I have had to use "google translate" because some words are not included in the dictionary of this book at all. This leaves the student puzzled and wondering how they are supposed to "guess" words.
2. The grammar, whilst well explained, can feel a bit too much per chapter. Smaller more manageable chunks of grammar would work better I think. There is quite a lot to take in.
3. A lot of grammar pops up in the dialogues without an explanation for it, so sometimes you are left wondering why you are saying a phrase in a specific way and there doesn't seem to be an explanation for this.
4. It is nice to have the culture based text at the end of each chapter, but there is no vocbaulary list for this section and the texts are quite difficult given the level. People with no language-learning background may struggle with these texts.

I have not seen the Teach Yourself Swahili or Colloquial Swahili books yet, but I intend to invest in one of these, in hope that their courses may have a slightly better structure. Having said that, this course is not bad, it could however do with improvement.
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on 11 May 2011
This is the best Swahili course I have come across so far and I have seen and owned a few! It consists of a book and two sets of CDs: one to listen to whilst following a text in the book, and another one to be listened to "on the go". Great idea, especially when driving: I've had language courses CDs when, during my driving, suddenly it said " and now open the book on page 15"! So at last, somebody gave it a little thought! The course itself seems to be well designed and the grammar explained in a very simple and orderly way, quite easy to follow. Whenever there seems to be a gap in information, it explains why (usually because is too difficult at the particular stage), and covers the subject later, not leaving a student to guess or frantically trying to find the answer somewhere else in the book. The exercises are good and not too difficult to do although, even as a beginner, and I don't want to look big headed, I found 2 mistakes in the answers given. Each chapter covers quite a lot but all topics within a chapter are quite logically connected. It is easy to split the chapters into smaller portions and learn without feeling tired or overloaded with information. The CDs are good too, leave enough time gaps for the students' answers and give the correct answer at the end. The dialogues are read may be a little bit too fast but nothing too difficult if you spend time studying the text first. What is missing on a CD though (hence four stars), is the reading by the teachers of the section G in the book, called "Reading" and there is no way of checking whether you are doing this correctly. Another thing, I personally could happily do without, is the jolly exclamation "GOOD JOB!" at the end of each practice session.
Overall it is a good course and so far I haven't been bored or disappointed with it and I am sure it will help to understand Swahili and communicate in it.
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on 17 April 2017
I am learning Swahili in preparation for a 5 month trip to Tanzania. This course is really straightforward to use and quite varied so it doesn't get boring. The CDs are good.
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on 13 March 2016
This is a helpful course and good value for the quantity of audio you get along with it. I felt very confident after chapter 1, but then realised each new chapter was a bit of a quantum leap in level. This is in some ways because it is my first experience of a language from the Bantu group and the grammar is very different from any European languages I have learnt. I have also noticed that there are a few minor errors in the exercises or answers for the exercises. I do not think I could learn Swahili simply from using this course but it is a very helpful tool amongst the different ones I have accumulated. I am also using "Teach Yourself Swahili" by Joan Russell and some grammar explanations in that seem more helpful for me as well as having had some on line lessons.

This book ensures it includes some listening, reading and writing for each chapter. Worth buying if you aspire to be able to reach more than simply pre-learnt tourist phrases.
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on 13 February 2013
This course is better than learning from a phrasebook and teaches you 'proper' Swahili rather than touristy Swahili. It teaches things from greetings, to time and buying food and renting property. I would recommend it to get you started, especially if you are moving there.
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on 28 June 2014
I have been 'playing' at learning Swahili for 5 years and this is the first course that I have come across which takes you through it in a systematic way. I particularly like the two sets of cd's, one for learning the lessons and the others to play in the car and elsewhere to reinforce and test the learning. It comes with a good text book, with sensible suggestions like the use of flash cards for learning vocabulary, but it still takes time and effort to learn a language no matter how good the language course.
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on 30 September 2015
This pack teaches formal Swahili and provides a very solid foundation in Swahili grammar explaining with ease the use of Noun Classes. I would recommend the use of this course in combination with another book a foundation for Speaking, writing and reading Swahili. The CDs are very useful and clear and can be used daily and on commute
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on 29 December 2016
These book is really good to leatn Swahili and the CD-ROM are really helpful to pronounce well the words.
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on 20 June 2013
I tried a lot of Languages courses and this one is one of the best!
you will not be disappointed!
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