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Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach Paperback – September 1, 1989
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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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1. Speak Spanish
2. Read Spanish
3. Write in Spanish
4. Think in Spanish
There are so many things that I like about this book. For starters, the author of this book uses a very interesting method to help you quickly learn Spanish. What she does is teach the reader how to add hundreds and hundreds of Spanish words to his or her vocabulary by simply using the English words that you already know. For example, did you already know that the following words are both Spanish and English words:
The only difference is the pronunciation is different in Spanish. But the words are spelled the same way and have the same meaning in both Spanish and English.
In addition to showing the reader that he or she already knows many Spanish words because there are so many English words that are spelled the same and that have the same meaning, the author also shows how the reader can take many English words that he or she already knows and convert them into Spanish words just by making small changes in the words. For example, the author shows how we can convert many English words that end in “ist” into Spanish words by adding the letter “a” to them:
Pianist – el pianista
Violinist – el violinista
Dentist – el dentista
Oculist – el oculista
Capital – el capitalista
Communist – el comunista
Novelist – el novelista
Optimist – el optimista
I also found it beneficial that there is a helpful pronunciation key at the beginning of the book. Another thing that I really like about this book is that after every 9 or 10 lessons, there are a series of tests that help you test your progress and see how far you have come.
Near the end of the book, there is also a section called “Common Spanish Expressions” where you’ll find five pages packed with helpful Spanish expressions, such as:
Acabar de (plus infinitive) - to have just
A pesar de – in spite of
Buena suerte – good luck
Claro – of course
Dar la mano – to shake hands
Echar la culpa – to blame
Esta vez – this time
Me alegro de verlo – I am happy to see you
No lo haga – don’t do it
No es justo – it isn’t fair
Otra vez – again
Poco a poco – little by little
Ya lo creo – now I believe it
At the very end of this book, there is a handy 35-page “Vocabulary” section that is organized like a dictionary. You will find Spanish words from “a” (to, at) all the way to “zoologia” (zoology).
Out of the 45 chapters covered in this book, my favorites were Chapter 41 and Chapter 42. In chapter 41, the author teaches The Present Subjunctive and breaks down how to express hope, fear, doubt and desire in Spanish. In chapter 42, the author teaches The Past Subjunctive and breaks down how to express past hopes, fears, doubts and desires in Spanish. She even explains how to use the conditional and past subjunctive together. In other words, you will learn how to express the following in Spanish:
I would write a letter if I had the time.
She would buy an airplane if it were possible.
They would watch the movie if were interesting.
In chapter 42, Madrigal also covers the Past Perfect Subjunctive which enable you to express the following in Spanish:
I would have known the lesson if I had studied.
We would have spoken Spanish if we had studied.
If they had had time, they would have traveled to Spain.
The reason why Chapters 41 and 42 are my favorite chapters is because these are the chapters that teach the Spanish subjunctive. I, like many native English speakers, find that the Spanish subjunctive is one of the most difficult areas of Spanish. In Chapters 41 and 42, Madrigal does a fantastic job breaking-down the complex topic of the Spanish subjunctive.
The only thing that I did not like about this book is that the vocabulary does not cover modern technology. The first edition of this book was written in 1951. This book seriously needs to be updated. You will learn how to say the Spanish words for telephone, newspaper and telegram. But don’t expect to learn how to say cellphone, website or email in Spanish.
Although this book does not teach you any Spanish words related to modern technology, I still recommend that buy this book because it will allow you to quickly learn hundreds of Spanish words quite easily – just by using the English words that you already know. By the way, this same author, Margarita Madrigal, has another helpful book that you will find available here at Amazon:
In closing, I want to leave you with a list of my favorite three learn-Spanish products available here at Amazon:
1. Easy Spanish Phrase Book NEW EDITION: Over 700 Phrases for Everyday Use (Dover Language Guides Spanish) Easy Spanish Phrase Book - This is an economically priced, handy resource that easily fits into my back pocket. You can conveniently take it anywhere with you when vacationing in a Spanish speaking country in order to have more than 700 phrases in your Spanish-vocabulary arsenal. And unlike so many learning-Spanish books, there is also a section called "Computers and Technology" where you'll find Spanish vocabulary related to modern technology.
2.Learning Spanish Like Crazy Level 1 CDR - w/ Super Bonus Package - Learn Spanish & Speak Spanish - New & Improved for PC/Mac - Free Updates for 1 Yr LSLC - This is my favorite audio Spanish program because the program focuses on everyday, Latin American Spanish. It's geared toward the foreign-language learner who wants to eventually achieve fluency in Spanish instead of someone who just wants to learn a few travel phrases. Compared to the other programs that I have used, this one does the best job at teaching you how to develop an authentic sounding Latin American Spanish accent. The program also comes with a very impressive bonus package.
3. 501 Spanish Verbs with CD-ROM and Audio CD (501 Verb Series) 501 Spanish Verbs - If you think you can accomplish fluency in Spanish as an adult without mastering conjugating Spanish verbs, you are only fooling yourself. This book is an absolute essential resource for learning how to conjugate Spanish verbs.
And if you have any questions about Madrigal’s Magic Key To Spanish, please post your questions below and I will do my best to answer your questions.
Of course repeatedly practicing helps
I've tried cds, books, watch TV and still just feel they are all works and never have any reason why/when the word order should be
I bought this book as a last hope before I officially gave up
And it has helped wonders, the reason being...not only does this book give you new vocabulary/words it starts off with words that are similar to English language (perfectoperfect and evidente=evident)
it gives you the confidence to want to try and speak the language
My girlfriend (or 'mi novea' as the book says) is impressed with how my Spanish is coming along
I would recommend this book to anyone First before buying/trying any other spanish books
Good luck, keep practicing, and after 1 week using this book...you will see a Instant improvement in your Spanish vocabulary, Spanish language rhythm and your confidence.
One downside is that she doesn't teach the verb conjugation for "tu". I used to think that was okay, that I would just use the more formal form "usted" but other people use the tu form and I don't recognize the verb.
That said, for me, I would have still purchased the Kindle version. So far, all of the spelling errors from the conversion are very obvious and the convenience of use the iPad for my studies rather than a huge and bulky 500 page paperback more than make up for it.