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114 Reviews
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151 of 156 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect...
I bought this set after seeing a friend's copy of the French edition. I really like the set up and I do feel that I am learning a lot (though the first book seemed mostly a refresher of items I learned in high school and college).

Positives:
-Division of chapters is clear and the companion cds read almost every word on the page. (Which makes it easy to...
Published on October 3, 2011 by H

versus
65 of 73 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Many missing tenses, inferior to the "ultimate" series it replaces
The Living Language "Ultimate Spanish" taught **all** the verb tenses. This new series is not nearly as advanced and leaves out **all** the compound tenses such as the present perfect, so you will never learn how to say such basic things as "ya he comido" (I have already eaten). You will be able to say "I ate " instead of "I have eaten" so you will be able to make...
Published 14 months ago by Jason Baker


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151 of 156 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect..., October 3, 2011
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This review is from: Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning (Audio CD)
I bought this set after seeing a friend's copy of the French edition. I really like the set up and I do feel that I am learning a lot (though the first book seemed mostly a refresher of items I learned in high school and college).

Positives:
-Division of chapters is clear and the companion cds read almost every word on the page. (Which makes it easy to read along with the chapter or use it as extra practice on your drive to work as I do.
-The book is written in a way that seems more organic to learning conversational Spanish. Instead of just learning a bunch of words and how to conjugate them or just a set of general vocabulary each chapter is topic based. This means the the number section isn't just "uno, dos, tres." It also includes "Tengo dos gatos" and "Ella tiene tres perros." (I have two cats. She has three dogs.) Slowly interspersing new vocabulary, sentence structure, gender-dominance of the terms, and of course conjugation.

Negatives: (why I did not give it 5 stars)
-You have to come in with a basic knowledge of the Spanish alphabet and sometimes the pronunciation doesn't seem as clear in writing.
-Sometimes some of the most important/interesting vocabulary is thrown into the summary paragraph at the end of the chapter giving the reader only one chance to familiarize with that set of vocabulary before it is either not referenced again or thrown into another part of the following chapter. (The cd does read this chapter to you but does not give you the option to repeat those words.)
-The cd can really only be used after reading the chapter for extra study. I tried to use some of the lessons ahead of where I was in the book. (Only the next lesson, not far in advance.) And I found myself tongue tied. The cd gives you a chance to repeat the Spanish out loud after they have given a definition in English and it has been read quite rapidly in Spanish. It did not give enough time for the me, as the reader, to repeat the more complex sentences and spoke so rapidly that it was hard to hear. So I will now only use the cd after reading the chapter. (It was very frustrating because I knew some of the vocabulary but not one or two words that I felt like the reader flew over.)
-The online learning content though useful seems a little slow or gimmicky at times.

Overall I think it is a great purchase and since I am a librarian with access to many self study guides at my local library I would still recommend this to a person wishing to get serious on relearning what they vaguely remembered from high school over some of the other sets available. Also at the library since I have many Spanish speaking patrons it makes it easier to converse, granted it is still for the both of us Broken English and Broken Spanish. I do find that I am understanding more structure and the in between words that I was previously missing.
[End note: It would be excellent if Living Language decided to make something like this for ESL, since I have many patrons in the library who wish to have a firmer grasp on English and have been asking me what I have been doing in order to converse better with them in Spanish.]
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119 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Rosetta stone, November 4, 2012
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This review is from: Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning (Audio CD)
I purchased Rosetta stone Spanish a year ago. I worked on it diligently but didn't feel like I was learning Spanish. I bought this and feel like I've made much more progress and the accompanying CDs are perfect for the car. Don't waste money on Rosetta stone, living language is a better program and the price makes it the best.
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. Here are some suggestions for additional material., December 27, 2012
This review is from: Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning (Audio CD)
NEW EDITION:
This latest edition of the Living Language self-study language programmes is a modified and enhanced version of their "Complete: Basics" series. It seems to be part of a program by Random House to consolidate their language courses. Unfortunately, the vastly superior "Ultimate" series has been abandoned in the process. The new "Complete" edition is divided into three levels. The first level, "Essential", is drawn from the Living Language "Starting Out In German". The second and third levels, "Intermediate" and "Advanced", respectively, are, for the most part, slightly modified versions of the previous "Complete: Basic German". The Intermediate and Advanced books contain "Units", each of which covers a theme (Family, Work, Hotel, Restaurant, Medical Appointment, etcetera). The Units are divided into four "Lessons", the first three of which present the Words, Phrases, and Sentences that are used in the fourth lesson Conversations. Although the approach seems quite logical, it does take a little getting used to at first as, occasionally, some individual Phrases or Sentences seem a little odd because they are missing the context of the end-of-unit Conversation. Each Lesson also contains explanations of grammar. Despite the publisher's decision to label the second and third books as Intermediate and Advanced, be advised that this is STILL an BASIC self-study language course. Nonetheless, enhancements include: a vastly improved visual presentation, some much-appreciated additional exercise material, and access to some fairly simple on-line learning activities. Also, a glossary and a summary of grammar are included as appendices in all three levels. Although I have detected a few, very minor errors, in my opinion, the "Complete" series merits five stars.

AUDIO RECORDINGS - ONE IRRITATING FEATURE
The audio recordings are, as always with the Living Language programmes, of a very high quality. The voices are clear, well-modulated, and at an appropriate speed. The latest set of recordings includes EXTENSIVE instructions in ENGLISH that are drawn directly from the printed material. This accounts for most of the expansion of the recordings from the original 4 CDs to the 9 CDs in this latest edition. Some users might find the English audio reassuring, as it will permit them to read through the text only once and then rely more-or-less completely on the recordings. The DISADVANTAGE of all of this English audio is that, as the learner becomes more comfortable with the material, reviewing the key phrases and dialogues will require some deft skipping forward to avoid - what will have become - superfluous English instructions.

SUGGESTION FOR ADDITIONAL PRACTICE
I have found that finding opportunities to PRACTICE a language to be one of the greatest challenges. If you simply want to DRILL--DRILL--DRILL your Spanish, I suggest that you visit the website FSI-LANGUAGE-COURSES.ORG. The FSI BASIC COURSES were developed by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), U.S. State Department, in the 1960's through the early 1970's. While they were meant to be taught in a classroom by a qualified instructor, the texts and accompanying audio recordings are absolutely fabulous for practicing the basics of the language. And here's the really good part ... they're FREE as pdf/mp3 downloads! Have a look at FSI BASIC SPANISH.

In the event that you're striving to become truly functional in Spanish, then you might consider subscribing to the online monthly magazine "THINK SPANISH". The magazine is designed for adults who are at the Early Intermediate Level. The articles discuss the food, art, history, geography, science and culture of Spain, Central America, Central America. The goal is to help students improve their vocabulary and listening skills. The roughly 25 pages of text and 1 hour of audio can be downloaded as pdf/mp3 files. You can find them on the Internet at "THINKLANGUAGE.COM."
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding Spanish Language Learning Materials!, June 4, 2012
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This review is from: Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning (Audio CD)
I have been teaching individuals (adults and children) foreign languages for over 20 years and have spent countless dollars on books and other learning materials that always fall short. FINALLY, I have materials I can use with older children, teens, and adults. The Living Languages materials (only this one - not other Living Language materials) are concise and thorough, with content organized in a logical fashion. Audio cds are a good supplement for learners to hear a native speaker. I use this material in conjunction with Rosetta Stone. Together, they provide a COMPLETE learning experience.
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65 of 73 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Many missing tenses, inferior to the "ultimate" series it replaces, June 6, 2013
By 
Jason Baker (Goshen, IN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning (Audio CD)
The Living Language "Ultimate Spanish" taught **all** the verb tenses. This new series is not nearly as advanced and leaves out **all** the compound tenses such as the present perfect, so you will never learn how to say such basic things as "ya he comido" (I have already eaten). You will be able to say "I ate " instead of "I have eaten" so you will be able to make yourself understood, though you won't be able to understand when others use the perfect tenses. To it's credit at least it does teach the subjunctive mood, something courses like Fluenz,Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur all ignore which is a shame because it's very important. The lay out is nice and for what you learn it is well done, but for three books of material it's a shame you never learn any of the compound tenses Living Language used to teach . I would recommend Assimil Spanish instead , or if you are going the software route I recommend the whole Visual Link Spanish series.
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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Save A Few Hundred Bucks, February 13, 2012
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This review is from: Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning (Audio CD)
Great course. Moves at a good pace and the audio is clear and slow enough for new learners to catch all of the words spoken. Teaches all aspects of the Spanish language from the beginner who knows only "me llamo es..." to those who are more advanced in the acquisition of the language. I love how this course teaches that ever so pesky subjunctive mood which is used all the time in Spanish. At about $30 this is a crazy good deal. Save yourself a few hundred bucks and buy this first before some of those other all inclusive courses out there.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good course., November 13, 2013
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This review is from: Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning (Audio CD)
This is a 9 CD set. There are 3 beginning CD's, 3 Intermediate, and 3 Advanced. There are books to follow along, but I find myself solely using the CD's in the car. I listened to the first CD 3 times through and am now on the second one. There is a male voice as well as a female voice. Both are pleasant to listen to. The instruction is well organized. Nice set up, with time for you to practice saying the word/phrase a time or two after hearing it spoken correctly. I am finding it a pretty easy way to learn. I do have some prior knowledge of Spanish from my high school years, but only remember words/no grammar. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone. So easy to keep a CD in your car and learn a few things with each errand/trip.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living Language Spanish, March 13, 2013
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This review is from: Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning (Audio CD)
I bought this course and I am doing an advanced part of it now. I have to tell you one thing - this is a great course at a great price ! I am so glad I got it. I got other ones as well and I even have a Pimsleur course 1 to 3. Those are good too, but price is very high because they do lots of advertising. I got Pimsleur ones for 160 dollars for one. Have three that is lots of money. I need last one - number 4 but not sure if I am even going to bother now when I have also this Living Language. This one is great, and also had practice books that are great. Something that Pimsleur course does not have. All they have are CDs and one skinny booklet.
Living Language - course of great price, very good made. I love it and recommend it to everybody!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, March 5, 2012
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This review is from: Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning (Audio CD)
So much easier than a class! no stress & easy to comprehend. I took a spanish class for the first time at age 48, and really strugled until I bought this program.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What are you waiting for... buy it already!, August 6, 2013
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This review is from: Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning (Audio CD)
I've been using this CD set every day I step foot into my car, since the day I received it in the mail. I really must say I love it, the voices are for the most part, pretty true to form (not too exaggerated) and the conversations, really represent those in the real world. I studied 2 years of Spanish in high school, grew up in a Latino area, and have tried my hand at Rosetta. I must say though, this is far more entertaining to me, than Rosetta, and I am happy to say I can now say things with such ease, I find myself going through the scenarios without even thinking: "What will I say", or "How will I say it"! Instead I just react. This is my muscle memory!

I am Very Very Very happy to say that my fluent Mexican American honey, has complimented me on my Spanish, time and time again, since having invested in this product! And I'm only on the first 3 CD's. I find it's best to perfect before moving on. Cant believe it's only been 1.5 mos. My confidence has skyrocketed! And I am no longer tired of the top 100 chart toppers on the radio, because... you know... I spend my time on more important things, and no longer listen to the radio! ;) (OK... every now and then I do, but only when my brain needs a break).

STOP READING... INVEST NOW!
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