First Spanish Reader: A Beginner's Dual-Language Book Paperback – Dec 1 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
I haven't read the entire book as of yet, since I'm using this as an aid for learning Spanish. The book is what I was expecting, simple stories written in Spanish and English. This I find helps to comprehend and learn.
Most recent customer reviews
Short stories. The translation is right on the next page. Very easy to follow. It avoids picking up a dictionnary to look for words.Published 16 months ago by Maxime Vachon
This is way above a beginner level reader, more like intermediate level.. I would not recommend the book to anyone.Published on Dec 1 2012 by Wct
Simple stories,with notes,exercises & vocab lists at the back of the book.I think this book is good value for the money.Published on Nov. 30 2012 by acaaleks