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Spanish Stories / Cuentos Españoles (A Dual-Language Book) (English and Spanish Edition) Revised ed. Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
When I started reading book I had to regularly refer to the english page for a translation. At the end of the book, I seldom need to check the translation.
I assume that the stories written in the 16th and 17th centuries were re-written to update them into current Spanish, as I would think the older Spanish would be much more difficult to understand. As a result, this made the stories easy to read at the same time I could appreciate the skill of the writers.
1) improving my Spanish
2) reading interesting new thoughts by Spanish writers
It achieved both goals admirably.
I also learned that apparently the Spanish language has not changed nearly as much as the English language from the time of Shakespeare and Cervantes to the present day. I understood more of the Cervantes -- in Spanish -- than in my first readings of Shakespeare in English, my native tongue.
Some of the stories were more difficult than others to be sure. Just as there is a huge style difference between writings of Earnest Hemingway and Nathaniel Hawthorne in English.
Like a previous reviewer, I found myself referring to the English side of the book less and less as I continued to read.
One improvement should be made in future books of this type, however. The definitions of the Spanish words in the back should do more than just restate the original translation. This where the author can truly help a student understand the nuances of the language. Give the reader the origin of the word -- Latin, French, Greek, etc. -- along with a general definition, not just the repeat the same english translation used in the body of the story. If that's all the author is going to do, he should save the paper.
This type of dual-language book encourages reading fluency and translational skills as well as helping to build vocabulary and give a fuller understanding of the Spanish language.
The format of the book allows for quick reference and translation, with the Spanish on one page, and the English translation on the facing page. This means you can read the stories more naturally, without flicking to different sections of the book to look up words that you are not familiar with.
The style of the authors vary, and you may find some writing easier to understand than others, just as you may find some of the stories more interesting than others. This will be due to your personal preference as well as your level of Spanish, so don't be too disheartened if you find yourself struggling to make it through one of the stories while others seem to flow easily.
A glossary in the back of the book provides a quick reference for many of the words covered in the stories so that you can reinforce what you have learned. You may also want to have a good English-Spanish dictionary to hand while you read the book so that you can have a more in depth translation of any words that are causing you trouble as well as another example of context so that you know how to use the new word you have learned.
These are the three Amazon products that I have found most helpful in my pursuit to learn Spanish.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book to help my Spanish language fluency. I'm a teacher and I know that the best method for language proficiency is a combination of reading and writing. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MrsK
I respectfully disagree with the reviewer who said it was not for the intermediate reader. I first read this book back in high school days when I would have charitably been... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Pierre Groussac
Excellent adjunct to beginner Spanish. Lots of idioms you never see in textbooks. Challenging but worth it.Published 9 months ago by DaisyMay
Did not read all the stories yet but so far the writings are excellent.Published 10 months ago by emmalani12
Archaic Spanish and needed help translating without using the accompanying English version.Published 11 months ago by Bill B.
I am an intermediate level speaker and I purchased this book to clean up my spanish. However, only one chapter in and I was spending more time looking up words on google translate... Read morePublished 13 months ago by MichaelMyers
I bought the book to improve my Spanish. The e-book was too frustrating to compare pages back and forth so I quit trying. A good book to encourage giving up language learning.Published 14 months ago by Brenda Mann