Teach Yourself Russian Complete Course Package (Book + 2 CDs) (TY: Complete Courses) 4th Edition

26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 063-9785386759
ISBN-10: 0071431772
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daphne West

is a prize-winning teacher and author
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Product Details

  • Series: TY: Complete Courses
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 4 edition (April 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071431772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071431774
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #733,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 22, 2007
Five years ago, I began learning Russian with TEACH YOURSELF RUSSIAN. Though it was only through a combination of textbooks that I reached the point that I speak Russian, if not perfectly, at least comfortably most of the day every day, I think Daphne West's textbook was a good choice for my first exposure to the language. I should note that my copy of the book is the 1995 edition. I don't know how much has changed in successive editions--I should hope at least the annoying plethora of typos in my edition has been corrected--but so many recent Teach Yourself publications contain the same information as in the past with just some new formatting and more timely financial and political information.

TEACH YOURSELF RUSSIAN begins with the alphabet. I found Cyrillic fairly easy, but those who end up struggling with it can obtain Teach Yourself Beginner's Russian Script as well. The meat of the book is a series of chapters containing a dialogue (mainly a story about the usual English tourist, here one Anna Prince) with following vocabularly, new grammatical points, and exercises. There is often a reading passage dealing with some aspect of Russian culture or history. While the grammar can be pretty heady for those who have no prior experience with foreign languages, I admire how the amount of new vocabulary and idiom in each chapter is kept manageable, unlike the avalanche found in each lesson of the mid-1990s Routledge's Colloquial Russian. At the end there's an appendix with Russian accidence, which is nicely substantial for a Teach Yourself book. I cannot comment much on the cassettes, as I've always been surrounded by native speakers of Russian who read the dialogues for me.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By greengables on August 22, 2006
Verified Purchase
I've worked through nine of the twenty chapters of this book (and accompanying CDs), and I'm very pleased with it. The author takes a "spiraling" approach, repeating the material in different contexts as you progress through the chapters. Russian grammar is difficult, but the author manages to work it in without belaboring it. There is continuity from chapter to chapter, as you follow Anna as she makes friends with Ira, goes to museums and restaurants, and travels to St. Petersburg by train.

I had one semester of Russian using an expensive and, in my opinion, poorly written textbook called Golosa. I also used Rosetta Stone a little, which a friend bought and installed on her computer. In my opinion, neither of these can match Daphne West's book, which costs a small fraction of the other two.

No matter which book or computer program you choose, learning Russian requires a LOT of hard work, but I think this book provides a very comprehensive intro to the language, at a very reasonable price. I also recommend the author's companion book, Teach Yourself Russian Grammar.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful By W.A. Mozart on April 3, 2007
I speak fluent Russian as my first language, and I can honestly say that this is a pretty good guide to learning Russian. My only complaint is that the spoken Russian on the recordings is WAY TOO SLOW! Russian is not spoken quickly like Spanish or Italian, but it is nevertheless spoken more briskly than English. The recordings overpronounce everything and speak almost painfully slow to a native ear. It's good at first for when you first start to learn, but I've spoken with people who have finished the course and speak very slowly. When I ask them why, they say that it's the way they speak on the CDs. But even though, the book is a very indepth guide to one of the most beautiful languages and has the complete beginner speaking within a couple of pages!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Yvonne Kirk on March 3, 2007
Verified Purchase
I have this set and the book on Russian writing and both are clear and easy to understand. The chapters are mercifully short and therefore you can knock over a short lesson on the way to work or on the way home. One of the best series for languages on the market and relatively cheap. Value for money.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark Twain on November 5, 2006
Although it's early days for me as a student of Russian language, I am seeing immediate results with this book. Within the first few lessons conversational Russian is introduced for scenarios that would aid the casual traveller. A quick glance at further lessons reveals much more in depth conversations. The CD is very helpful for listening to spoken Russian, to help pick up the finer points of pronunciation.

I have previously used the 'Teach Yourself' series for Turkish language study, and found it very helpful when I travelled through Turkey - it gave me many opportunities to meet and stay with locals I would otherwise not have been able to communicate with.

I expect to get similar results from this book.

I am very happy with this purchase.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mostyn on June 21, 2008
I have used other language books from the Teach Yourself lable and found them to be excelent value. But the Russian book had several flaws that I found really annoying.

Firstly the word lists are often incomplete, both after the dialogues and in the mini dictionary at the end of the book. Secondly the excercises are fairly light which doesn't help with practicing the language. I often need to use a seperate dictionary to find the meanings of words.

Russian grammar is fairly complex with six cases for which all verbs and adjectives need to be inflected. I don't think this book did a very good job of drilling those rules.

The book does have many good points. It is thorough and will reap rewards with hard work. It would make a very good compliment to several other books, especially a grammar book such as Schaum's Russian Grammar.
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