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Old 3rd January 2010, 04:30 PM   #1
Melocoton
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Default A really excellent book for intermediates

Hola a todos...

I have just finished reading this book which I came across by chance: 'Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish', by Joseph J Keenan* (Texas University Press) and cannot recommend it highly enough. It is written by someone who admits he learned Spanish 'the hard way', as an adult, and that it took him 10 years to achieve real fluency. The result is a highly intelligent analysis of the language which at the same time is very enjoyable to read.

You feel that the author is entirely on your side, as a learner - he acknowledges all the difficulties, the pitfalls, the ambiguities, and the frustrations, as well as the excitements, of learning another language. Most unusually, the book is never boring - you can read it straight through, in bed or in the bath, like a novel.

The title is the only slightly confusing thing - this is not a beginner's book, it assumes you have covered all the tenses and have at least made a tentative exploration of the subjunctive. It is ideal for anyone at any of the intermediate levels, especially if, like me, you know quite a lot of Spanish but still find yourself floundering in conversation, and trying to make clumsy, un-Spanish translations from English.

Chapters include the all-important sentence starters (es que, resulta que, fijate, lo que pasa es que etc) and tells you what they really mean in context and when to use them; a close-up look at 64 of the trickiest verbs (quedar, seguir - that means you!) how to develop automatic 'snappy answers' (imaginate! no puede ser, da igual), while other chapters deal with concepts that resist direct translation from English to Spanish ('to become'; motives and degrees of obligation).

Anyway, I don't want to bore you, but if you want something offers a huge amount of practical help and provides a genuine insight into the differences in perspective between the two languages, this is for you.

*PS I have no connection with the author or publisher!

Last edited by Melocoton; 10th February 2010 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 05:39 PM   #2
mightykaboosh
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Thanks, sounds good i've just bought it for £8.78 delivered.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Breaking-Beg...2533316&sr=1-1

Not one bad reviewon amazon! 17 reviews 16 gave 5/5, I particularly like;

"It's as if Bill Bryson had written a language book". David Monk.

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 4th January 2010 at 05:48 PM. Reason: Incorrect price, £0.02p out, in the words of a well known supermarket "every little helps!"
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Old 3rd January 2010, 06:16 PM   #3
Juanjo
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Thanks, sounds good i've just bought it for £8.80 delivered.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Breaking-Beg...2533316&sr=1-1
Me too!
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Old 5th January 2010, 04:19 PM   #4
Stephen
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I read it a couple of years ago. You know what I still can't speak Spanish.

You have to retain what you read and that sometimes is a problem for me. I sometimes think an unfortunate person of low intelligence but with a perfect memory would be better at learning languages than any intelligent person with a memory like a sieve.
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Old 5th January 2010, 06:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
I read it a couple of years ago. You know what I still can't speak Spanish.

You have to retain what you read and that sometimes is a problem for me. I sometimes think an unfortunate person of low intelligence but with a perfect memory would be better at learning languages than any intelligent person with a memory like a sieve.
Don't knock yourself - one out of two ain't bad.
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Old 5th January 2010, 10:08 PM   #6
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Me too!
Yo tambien lei eso libro. Para mi es fantastico! Un otro libro, que es bueno para estudiar espanol es........'Spanish a la cartoon' de Dr Albert H Small. Es sobre todo los dias con una risa. Ayudarte hablar espanol mejor. Me gusta mucho. Por cierto, el mejor manera apprender espanol es hablar mucho con amigos. Es dificile en Espana porque ahora todo la gente quieren hablar ingles!!!!

Es la primera vez a la forum. Por favor, corrigeme.
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Old 10th January 2010, 07:09 PM   #7
mightykaboosh
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Thanks Jaybee Spanish a la cartoon sounds good, purchased it for £3.30 delivered courtesy of Amazon.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spanish-Cart...3146874&sr=8-1

Feel like I should have shares in Amazon

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 10th January 2010 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 12th January 2010, 02:49 AM   #8
Acosta
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He comprado el libro tambien, graicas por el consejo.
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Old 12th January 2010, 04:05 AM   #9
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Thanks so much for recommending "Breaking out of Beginners Spanish." I bought it and it's great!!
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Old 14th January 2010, 01:39 PM   #10
Melocoton
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De nada!
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Old 15th January 2010, 09:27 PM   #11
Andy.G.
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Muchas gracias por el consejo, despues de leer tu consejo lo compré y ha sido muy útil.
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Old 16th January 2010, 08:18 PM   #12
La Vaquera
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I have slept with that book for years. Seriously, it is in my bed full time. Learning Spanish without it should be illegal. I like the "Bill Bryson" comment, so true. You know, it would be fun to read even if one had no interest in learning Spanish! Even when my husband is in the doghouse, that book is always in my bed.

Last edited by La Vaquera; 16th January 2010 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 4th February 2010, 01:14 PM   #13
mightykaboosh
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I read it a couple of years ago. You know what I still can't speak Spanish.
I've just finished reading it and I've hammered it on Amazon, I gave it 3/5 and that was being generous!

Chapter 8 is the books only redeeming feature.

I've got 4 major gripes with this book. (I'll cut and paste the review when Amazon publishes it)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-revi...y=addThreeStar

Last edited by mightykaboosh; 28th February 2010 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 4th February 2010, 04:03 PM   #14
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I am reading it at the moment. It has been useful for explaining several things about which I wasn't sure, but its emphasis on SA Spanish will leave me doubting how good it is until I have tried out what I am learning on my Spanish friends.
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Old 7th February 2010, 08:42 PM   #15
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It's a good book but I think it should be called "Breaking out of Intermediate Spanish". I bought it as a beginner and it gave me that banging-your-head-against-a-brick-wall feeling.
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Old 28th February 2010, 02:29 AM   #16
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Yes, I've had this book for many years and what everyone says about it is true. It's fun and informative and deals with the language in a way that no other book does. I have lots of Spanish books of all kinds but this one is my favorite. It certainly is not the only book one needs since there are no written excercises, but it's the one I read for pleasure and inspiration. I agree that the title is a bit misleading. It's really a book for intermediates who want to go on to the advanced level and who want to keep their inner beginners from popping out at the most inopportune moments.
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