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First Spanish Reader: A Beginner's Dual-Language Book [Paperback]

Angel Flores
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 1988 Dover Dual Language Spanish
Perfect for beginning students of Spanish, this affordable anthology is filled with 41 delightful stories and proverbs based on works of Don Juan Manuel, Luis Taboada, Ricardo Palma, and other noted writers. Complete and faithful English translations are featured on the facing pages of the Spanish text. Exercises are also included.

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First Spanish Reader: A Beginner's Dual-Language Book + Spanish Stories: A Dual-Language Book + Easy Spanish Reader
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first reader with a literary bent Sept. 6 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Classy and elegant are the first words that come to mind upon going through the first few pages of this book.
The book is a selection of stories, or their portions, from the original literature, ranging from the medieval times to the first half of the 20th century, and covering both Spanish and Latin American authors. In addition, it has an occasional interlude consisting of a short poem or a selection of proverbs to tempt the neophite into further exploring the richness of the Spanish language. Being a dual-langage book, the english translation of a story appears on a facing page. I found the translation of varying utility in nailing down the nuances, but the glossary at the end of the book is quite good, so one can read without a separate dictionary at least on the first pass.
The book generally avoids the use of subjunctive and introduces the past tense only in the middle. I had thought that this would make the stories look emaciated, as is the case with a number of such readers I'd seen. Somehow, it does not happen with Flores' delightful volume; if anything, it drives the point home that verbs is not all there is to a language, rich vocabulary and phraseology are just as important, and Flores' selections definitely get across that aspect of the beauty and expressiveness of the Spanish language.
As you work through this reader, more likely than not, your motivation to keep going with your Spanish and, furthermore, to get familiar with its rich literature, will be reinforced tremendously. It will also encourage you to venture into unabridged novels and stories in Spanish sooner than you had thought possible.
Finally, an attractive price helps make it a real winner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
First Spanish Reader was a very enjoyable read. I ended up reading it twice because the first time I did not realize that there were exercises at the end of the book for every story that you read in First Spanish Reader. The exercises at the end of the book were a tremendous help for me. That way after I read a story in the book I could then go directly to the exercise at the end of the book to see if I really understood what I read. There are both "ejercicio oral" (oral exercises) and "ejercicio escrito" (written exercises) in the end of the book.

My only complaint is really minor. This book does not have answers to the written exercises so you have no idea if you wrote the correct answer or not. But this is a small gripe. Obviously, you won't learn how to speak Spanish with this book alone. The purpose of this book is to help you read Spanish better, and by learning how to read Spanish better, you will learn more vocabulary words, which ultimately will help the reader speak Spanish better. You will still need an audio course to help with you with your Spanish. My preference is Learning Spanish Like Crazy. I have used a few courses and I think they did an excellent job teaching practical useful real-life conversational Spanish with the Learning Spanish Like Crazy course.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First Spanish Reader May 27 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was the first time I read a story in Spanish. Even though I didn't understand some stuff at first, it's easy to check the English side to make sure you understand.

Love it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Charles
Format:Paperback
First Spanish Reader: A Beginner's Dual Language Book, is an excellent beginner book for the Spanish neophyte or for the individual with some background in Spanish that needs a little refreshing. It contains 41 short stories/proverbs in somewhat graded difficulty of well-known Spanish writers past and present. Spanish verbal forms, that bugaboo for most students of Spanish, are arranged so that the first 15 selections are in the present-indicative, after which imperfect-indicative and preterite are introduced, followed by future and conditional verbs towards the end. No subjunctive verb forms are found in this small volume. Idiomatic Spanish is introduced as well, using common idioms understood in all parts of Spanish-speaking world.
The choice of selections reflects the Spanish culture well and is excellent, often highly amusing, and arranged so that short and long selections are interspersed.
In the rear of the book, oral and written exercises regarding each selection are especially helpful if this book is to be used in the pedagogical setting. Additionally, a thorough vocabulary, referenced for the selections presented, rounds out this book.
Editor Angel Flores has done a remarkable job with this book. I would highly recommend it for the beginning Spanish student or those who wish to brush up on their prior Spanish.
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