Great Beginning Language Books

A Listmania! list by sb (PORTLAND, OR, United States)
The list author says: "I've studied a lot of languages over the years, and thought I'd put together a list of my favorite beginning language books. I like books that make the language simple in both theory and practice. No confusing charts and definitely nothing grammar heavy!"
A Chinese Phrase A Day Practice Pad
1.  A Chinese Phrase A Day Practice Pad by Samson A. Brier
The list author says:
  "One phrase a day, sometimes with a corresponding answer. Also includes online pronunciation repeated twice. Has stand, and is not a calendar, so you can start anytime of year and do not feel obligated to rush through phrases because the date changed. Great for beginners. Similar concept as Japanese Phrase-A-Day, but both have different phrases, with relevant phrases for each country."
$13.32   Used & New from: $6.31
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

The First 100 Chinese Characters: Simplified Character Edition: The Quick and Easy Way to Learn the Basic Chinese Characters (Tuttle Language Library)
2.  The First 100 Chinese Characters: Simplified Character Edition: The Quick and Easy Way to Learn the Basic Chinese Characters (Tuttle Language Library) by Alison Matthews
The list author says:
  "Excellent for learning not only the most common characters and words using those characters, but the format is very simple and helpful for a beginner."
$10.78   Used & New from: $3.52
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

A Japanese Phrase A Day Practice Pad (Tuttle Practice Pads)
3.  A Japanese Phrase A Day Practice Pad (Tuttle Practice Pads) by Samson A. Brier
The list author says:
  "Similar to Chinese Phrase-A-Day, but with different phrases that have been chosen based on Japan as opposed to China. The
'pad' has a stand, and it is not a calendar, so you can start any time of year and not feel obligated to blow past a phrase because the date changed. Online recordings of all phrases. Words are used again and again to help you practice throughout the book."
$15.26   Used & New from: $7.11
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Easy Thai: An Introduction to the Thai Language
4.  Easy Thai: An Introduction to the Thai Language by Gordon H. Allison
The list author says:
  "Great book for learning to read, write, and translate Thai. I wish it had a CD, but aside from that, it's the best beginners book out there for learning Thai, and it's still being reprinted (since the 60s), so you know it's solid."
Used & New from: $0.01
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Lao Basics: An Introduction to the Lao Language (Audio CD Included) (Tuttle Basics)
5.  Lao Basics: An Introduction to the Lao Language (Audio CD Included) (Tuttle Basics) by Samson A. Brier
The list author says:
  "Easy to learn, starts from the beginning, teaches reading, writing, speaking, listening (all on CD as well), and translation (E-L/ L-E). based on Easy Thai."
$14.53   Used & New from: $8.01
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

See It and Say It in Spanish
6.  See It and Say It in Spanish by Margarita Madrigal
The list author says:
  "It would be nice to have a CD, but it's a simple and useful book to get the basics."
$6.00   Used & New from: $0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)

1001 Most Useful Spanish Words (Dover Language Guides Spanish)
7.  1001 Most Useful Spanish Words (Dover Language Guides Spanish) by Seymour Resnick
The list author says:
  "Cheap and simple. Good for adding vocabulary, but not necessarily for beginners to learn to speak."
Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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sb (PORTLAND, OR, United States)
Qualifications: Language teacher, Study abroad student
Last updated: 1/2/11
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