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Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach Paperback – September 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reissue edition (September 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385410956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385410953
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (393 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish

From the Publisher

Anyone can read, write, and speak Spanish in only a few short weeks with this unique and proven method, which completely eliminates rote memorization and boring drills.

Original B & W illustrations.


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Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to anyone serious about learning Spanish.
Jane Conaway
This book is very good, starting with words that are common or similar to English words and then jumping into the past tense for 'ar' verbs.
pj
This book is easy to follow and the author made learning the language easy and fun as well.
K. Hui

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

589 of 605 people found the following review helpful By Leo E. Walsh on May 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I got decent grades in college Spanish; two “A-‘s” and a “B+.” However, when I needed to actually speak Spanish, I was lost. I couldn’t say much except “Mas cervezas, por favor (More beer, please)!”
"Madrial’s Magic Key", along with the expensive (but quite worth it) Pimsleur tapes, have corrected the “mis-education” I was subjected to. The drills Ms. Madrigal presents are easy to remember and fun to do, not like those tedious translations and verb conjugations that college texts are so fond of. In two months, studying this book in my spare time, I retained more Spanish than I did in an entire academic year. And, for the first time, I can actually say that I understand Spanish.
I would supplement this book with a comprehensive book on Spanish grammar (I have the Barron’s, but I suppose any would work) and a dictionary. I would definitely recommend “Breaking Out of Beginner’s Spanish” by Joseph Keenan for an in depth take on colloquial Spanish as well. Further, if you have the money, buy the "Pimsleur Comprehensive" series as well. Get vol.’s 1-3, even though they are pricey. If you are an audio/tactile learner like me, I guarantee that you will retain more Spanish idioms using the Pimsleur method than any other.
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243 of 252 people found the following review helpful By Languagelover on January 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Magic Key to Spanish is one of those rare books that you come back to again again, it inspires progress and there's so much to learn from it- it's certainly not going to be a dust gatherer if learning Spanish is what you truly want. If I've convinced you already buy it- if not read on.
The book starts with a very positive introduction and goes on to explain that an English speaker already knows hundreds if not thousands of words in Spanish and it gives you the rules that unlock this 'magic key' to Spanish. It then moves on to teach you grammar in a very novel way, none of the boring conjungations that had to be learnt by rote when doing languages at school. She starts with the past tense as this is how we speak to friends and then moves through much of the essential grammar required to Speak, Read and write Spanish.
I would recommend this book to all beginners in Spanish. It has got two downsides which are the layout, which is now dated (it was written in the early 1950's with Andy Warhol as the illustrator) and also (for me living in England) the fact that the emphasis is on South American Spanish not peninsular Spanish.
I wish the Magic Key to French and German were still in print as I have made substanital progress with my Spanish using this book, the method obviously works. If the publisher is reading this, please consider a reprint of the other two editions given the success of the Spanish version.
The late Margarita Madrigal was ahead of her time as the method she used in this book is akin to what trainers would now call Accerlerated Learning. A word of warning, make sure that you do all of the exercises and tests or you will not be learning to your full potential.
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186 of 193 people found the following review helpful By Gary W. Schroeder on October 27, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have searched for years to find good books to teach myself Spanish, and this one is head and shoulders above the rest. The clear structured organization and presentation make it easy to read and to study. Most others are too basic or, it seems, oriented to very young students. If you are seriously interested in teaching yourself conversational Spanish, then this book will be very helpful. It progresses at a good rate, integrates vocabulary painlessly and uses excercises that build conversational ability. If you are interested in teaching yourself Spanish, then this book is very effective. It uses some very effective shortcuts. For example, it omits the familiar form which reduces the number of verb forms without limiting your ability to comunicate. Many books seem oriented to college course work and seem tediously and academically oriented to stucture and detail, rules and form. This book does not suffer these defiencies. It is committed to teaching you to communicate in Spanish easily (at least as easily as possible)and effectively. I am just someone who wanted to learn to speak Spanish and for that purpose, I found it very effective.
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful By doug edmunds on July 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Since the original date of publication (1951), the Real Academia de la Lengua Española (guardian of the Spanish Language) officially removed the accents on some one-syllable words. The old spellings appear in the book. For example, in Chapter 31 (common irregular verbs), these words have changed:
Old form: ví, vió, dí, dió, fuí, fué
New form: vi, vio, di, dio, fui, fue
(NOTE: this is not a complete list!)
Old spellings also appear in exercises using these words.
These changes don't change the pronunciation of the words! Accent marks are used to show how a word should be written in accordance with the way it is pronounced. The rules on pronouncing weak-weak, weak-strong, strong-weak and strong-strong vowel combinations apply: so, for example, vio (new form) sounds the same as vió (old form).
This is a great book for learning Spanish. Don't let the age of it throw you.
My plug for a top-notch dictionary: get the Pocket Oxford Spanish Dictionary Second Edition (2000).
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