- Series: TY: Language Guides
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 2 edition (January 24, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071758887
- ISBN-13: 978-0071758888
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.7 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,261,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Complete Serbian with Two Audio CDs: A Teach Yourself Guide (TY: Language Guides) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Vladislava Ribnikar and David Norris lecture in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Nottingham, where David is currently an associate professor. Vladislava is a former lecturer at the University of Belgrade.
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Top Customer Reviews
Complete Serbian presents more vocabulary than most introductions and does a fair job of introducing the grammar without actually making a formal presentation of the rules. This method has the obvious defect that the material is presented without rhyme or reason, whereas in a traditional grammatical presentation an older student begins to grasp general rules that he can apply to a variety of situations. The authors assume their readers are illiterate idiots, and they could save a lot of space and time by teaching a little grammar. Still, it is a decent book and easier to use than the far more explicit and complete Introduction by Thomas Magner--which should be used in conjunction both to build vocabulary and learn the structure of the language. Still, Complete Serbian is well worth having and studying.
The audio files, by contrast, are virtually worthless. The speakers read without intonation or affect and at breakneck speed. I have spent a great deal of time in Serbia and no one talks this way, no one. The male speakers are particularly hopeless. It is as if they are in a race to get to the end before anyone can catch them, and along the way they are inarticulate to the point of being mush-mouthed. I wonder about their educational level. When I meet educated Serbs, I can take dictation from what they say, even if I do not understand them.
Like many Serbian men, the male speakers fail to make the tonic accents distinguishable. This is not a question of the rise and fall of the voice in other languages: rising and falling tones have a lexical and grammatical significance, and if one cannot hear them, mistakes can be made especially by novice speakers. (Montenegrins, by the way, have a proverbial tin ear, both as speakers and as singers, even though they have produced two of the finest poets in the language--Njegos and Matija Beckovic.) The women in these tapes are better and more articulate, but they often read like zombies.
There really is no good audio course for Serbian. The massive collections made by the FLS are hilariously unlistenable, far worse than the dialogues accompanying this text., and delivered in a harsh monotone that defies comprehension. Croatian is much better served by audio courses, but unless you are a fairly advanced student, you should not use Croatian audio if your desire is to learn Belgrade Serbian. Of course, they are the same language, but you would not listen to Lowland Scots if you were planning to spend time in London.