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Swedish (Teach Yourself)

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A course suitable for anyone who wants to progress from the basics to understanding, speaking and writing Swedish with confidence.


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A course suitable for anyone who wants to progress from the basics to understanding, speaking and writing Swedish with confidence.

30 review for Swedish (Teach Yourself)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    When I began graduate studies at Helsingfors Universitet, I was keen on learning some Swedish. I examined a number of different resources, including TEACH YOURSELF SWEDISH, the most widely available self-teaching textbook in the English-speaking world. Unfortunately, Vera Croghan's work must be one of the poorest volumes in the entire Teach Yourself series. I had already learnt some basic Swedish for another textbook before opening TEACH YOURSELF SWEDISH for the first time, and so I was shocked When I began graduate studies at Helsingfors Universitet, I was keen on learning some Swedish. I examined a number of different resources, including TEACH YOURSELF SWEDISH, the most widely available self-teaching textbook in the English-speaking world. Unfortunately, Vera Croghan's work must be one of the poorest volumes in the entire Teach Yourself series. I had already learnt some basic Swedish for another textbook before opening TEACH YOURSELF SWEDISH for the first time, and so I was shocked by how Croghan chose to begin her course. Right from the first chapter the reader faces a deluge of highly colloquial and idiomatic language. There's no gentle start from the very basics; instead, it's like you are dumped right into a Swedish crowd. Total immersion is a good language-learning technique in a classroom environment where a trained teacher can skillfully direct the group's activities, but I imagine most home learners will swiftly give up. Worse yet, many of the colloquialisms are already obsolete, and the use of several words Croghan claims are everyday will result in laughter from your Swedish friends. The exercises make too few demands of the reader, requiring him only to utter a few phrases. Sweden is not a country where you need survival language skills. If you try to use overly simple language on the street, people are just going to answer in English. So, the learner might as well work towards as rigorous a command of the language as possible. It is therefore a pity that Croghan doesn't include exercises that really challenge you and force you to start thinking in Swedish. Furthermore, as Swedish word order is so different from that of English, the reader should do long prose translations from English into Swedish to flex his syntactic muscles. But you won't get that here. Now, even though the course is completely useless for the beginners that it is marketed to, TEACH YOURSELF SWEDISH does have some value for people with some amount of experience with the language already. The dialogues, especially as heard from the cassettes or CD, make one more comfortable with colloquial speech and popular expressions. The book I eventually used to reach an intermediate level of Swedish is Gladis Hird's SWEDISH: An Elementary Grammar-Reader (Cambridge University Press, 1977). Hird's textbook is among the best for any language that I've ever encountered, and teaches one both everyday Swedish and the basics of the literary language. Even when it goes for quite a bit on the used market it's worth seeking out more than TEACH YOURSELF SWEDISH.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Back in the day, language courses in the Teach Yourself line made many more demands on the student than they do nowadays, expecting one to be able to learn a foreign language the same way one mastered one's schoolboy Latin. R.J. McClean's Swedish course exemplifies this era. Instead of basing the course on a series of chapters dealing with some particular part of day-to-day life (ordering in a restaurant, going to the doctor, asking directions) like contemporary Teach Yourself courses, McClean Back in the day, language courses in the Teach Yourself line made many more demands on the student than they do nowadays, expecting one to be able to learn a foreign language the same way one mastered one's schoolboy Latin. R.J. McClean's Swedish course exemplifies this era. Instead of basing the course on a series of chapters dealing with some particular part of day-to-day life (ordering in a restaurant, going to the doctor, asking directions) like contemporary Teach Yourself courses, McClean has twenty-three chapters each dedicated to a grammatical category. In chapters one and two, he gives you the entire world of Swedish noun paradigms. There are sentences for translation after each long flood of conjugations and declensions, but no dialogues It is pretty obvious that with a course like this on its own, you'll never get beyond a passive reading command of Swedish. For learning conversational Swedish, I'd recommend Gladis Hirt's SWEDISH: An Elementary Grammar-Reader as your main introductory textbook. Stay far away from the latest incarnation of TY's Swedish, which goes to the opposite extreme from old TY courses, and gives you tonnes of idiomatic dialogue with little grammar to help you make your own sentences. But even if it is no good as a primary textbook, McClean's old course does tell you a lot about the language that you are not likely to see in friendlier textbooks. For example, he gives the old plural endings for Swedish verbs, now archaic but likely to occasionally be encountered in literary texts. There are a number of Swedish proverbs and idioms here, enabling the student to better understand stock components of colloquial speech. Some of the translation exercises, especially those from English into Swedish, are quite rigorous and beneficial, though there is no answer key and one would need to ask a native speaker for corrections. I disagree with another reviewer who praises the chapter on pronunciation. True, this is enormously detailed (35 pages), but nowadays there are so many Swedish pronunciation cassettes and CDs out there that one no longer has to work through a printed phonetic transcription like in these old courses. Also, it gives no information at all about the pronunciation of Finland Swedish, which this student at Helsingfors Universitet would have liked.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Harold

    Having studied the language in college, I picked up this package (book & cd) to brush up on my conversational skills in preparation for a trip to Sweden. As a review for folks with some previous experience with Swedish, this set is excellent. However, if you're new to the language, I would suggest you start with another program as this one will immediately drop you into full dialogs after a somewhat brief and inadequate primer on pronunciation (the audio component will prove exceptionally Having studied the language in college, I picked up this package (book & cd) to brush up on my conversational skills in preparation for a trip to Sweden. As a review for folks with some previous experience with Swedish, this set is excellent. However, if you're new to the language, I would suggest you start with another program as this one will immediately drop you into full dialogs after a somewhat brief and inadequate primer on pronunciation (the audio component will prove exceptionally difficult; you will have to listen to the dialogs over, and over and over again as Swedish pronunciation is very tricky and there are glaring omissions in the pronunciation guide...for example, the affect of certain vowels on the letter S that give it an SH sound). The book is crammed full of useful information on Swedish customs and culture and the dialogs are realistic and practical. If you are a beginner and manage to make it all the way through this program you will have a very solid foundation for more advanced study of the Swedish language. PS - You might also want to pick up a decent Swedish/English dictionary if you go with this program, as the glossary in the back of the book does not include all vocabulary introduced in the dialogs.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Back to the start as my conversational skills are at zilch, or as near as damn it. Please note, if exclamation marks bother you then swedish is not the language for you. Passet, tack! = Your passport please. Samtal = dialogue Passkontrollören = passport control Varsågod = there we are/here it is/you are welcome Varifån kommer ni? = Where are you from? Vad har ni för yrke? = what is your occupation? Ingenjör = engineer Sekretare = secretary Praktikant - trainee Har ni varit i sverige förut? = have you been Back to the start as my conversational skills are at zilch, or as near as damn it. Please note, if exclamation marks bother you then swedish is not the language for you. Passet, tack! = Your passport please. Samtal = dialogue Passkontrollören = passport control Varsågod = there we are/here it is/you are welcome Varifån kommer ni? = Where are you from? Vad har ni för yrke? = what is your occupation? Ingenjör = engineer Sekretare = secretary Praktikant - trainee Har ni varit i sverige förut? = have you been in Sweden before? Trevlig resa = pleasant journey

  5. 4 out of 5

    Collin

    I read the whole book and did almost all the exercises. Great to do in addition to Duolingo since it gives better explanations.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kei

    Have to say it's much better than its other prequel Get Started in Swedish. Not that good for beginners to teach themselves though. The poor beginning of the book is a disaster, although it actually got better later - only slightly. The problem is, you won't feel you are making any real progress after 10 chapters. Even worse with this stupid sexism sentence: flickorna är bara intresserade av kläder.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Used this to learn a bit of the language before moving there in 1999. I was surprised at how much I picked up by using this book alone. I still browse through this when I want to refresh my Swedish skills. Although not for everyone, I have enjoyed using the TY method and this book was my first venture into the series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Praveenmayakar

    In the process of learning swedish...looks good from top view...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Davenport

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aber

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Aaron

  12. 4 out of 5

    lian

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chantal

  15. 4 out of 5

    Thyma

  16. 4 out of 5

    Roylene Thompson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  18. 5 out of 5

    Danny B

  19. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Warner

  21. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

  22. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  23. 5 out of 5

    Timothy O'Brien

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elsa

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

  26. 4 out of 5

    Greta

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Adam

  28. 5 out of 5

    Annie Taylor CHEN

  29. 5 out of 5

    Droptoons

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sil

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