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Spanish Idioms (Barron's Foreign Language Guides) 2nd Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0764135576
ISBN-10: 0764135570
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Spanish Idioms (Barron's Foreign Language Guides)
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  • Spanish Grammar (Barron's Foreign Language Guides)
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  • 501 Spanish Verbs with CD-ROM and Audio CD (501 Verb Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Â"Intended primarily for English speakers, this practical, pocket-size paperback includes approximately 2,500 Spanish idioms, arranged under keyword in alphabetical order, followed by their English translations. Idiomatic expressions, especially in a second language, are never easy to grasp, yet those included here, which come from contemporary spoken Spanish from Latin America, are clearly accompanied by brief, illustrative sentences to clarify meaning. Common English idioms, pronunciation guides, and abbreviations are appended.Â"




Booklist, Friday, June 15, 2007

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Barron's Foreign Language Guides
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 2 edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764135570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764135576
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.7 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is THE BOOK to consult when it comes to Spanish idioms. It is the best among all others. The book is very well organized; alphabetically, guide words appear at the top of the page and for each word, there is an English translation and after that appear idioms that contain that word. There is an English translation for each idiom, and each idiom is used in a Spanish sentence, which is also then translated in English. At the end there is a list of common English idioms, with a Spanish equivalent and the page where it is found. It is a steal!
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Not a bad book for the price and size (small, makes it easy to carry around & consult on the fly). But .. the spanish words & phrases are in small red typeface and if the lighting is not perfect, nearly impossible to read. English is in black. Bad choice, in my opinion.

It lists over 2000 idioms, but many of these are not really widely used, and examples given are often less than useless. For example: "hacer una pregunta = to ask a question. Example: Hizo una pregunta - he asked a queston". Duh! Besides, that is not idiomatic, it is a use of hacer, like hacer frio, hacer viento etc.

For intermediate to advanced learners who want to start memorizing spanish expressions as they are used today on the streets, I prefer the The Red-Hot Book of Spanish Slang: 5,000 Expressions to Spice Up Your Spainsh which is MUCH easier to read & locate idioms from both spanish-english and english-spanish. Also its choice of idioms are more relevant to everyday speech. There is no 'hacer pregunta' and if you look up hacer you find a list of some really cool expressions not in the Barron's book. Did you know 'hacer zapping' = to channel surf?

I guess if you need a small book you can put in a purse or pocket and look up idiomatic expressions on the fly (in good lighting & don't forget your reading glasses) then this one could work. My suggestion for improvement, apart from MAKE THE FONT LARGER & get rid of that RED! - would be to cull out the lesser used idioms and make the englsh-spanish section larger and easier to navigate by keyword.

What I'd really like to see in a book this size is about 500 of the TOP most-used-in-everyday-speech idioms both in english & spanish, easily searchable from both directions.

I don't really recommend this book for purchase except perhaps as a portable reference as mentioned above.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very good reference book and will serve just about anyone in an academic setting. The downside of this guide is that it tends to shy away from vulgar idiomatic expressions, so don't look to this guide to help you through your day to day conversations overseas...
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I found the Barron's books on language mostly very good -- I am very fond of the verb conjugation series. This is a rather tame compendium of idioms, many of which seem to be little more than translations of English phrases. There are better products out there such as the McGraw Hill idiom dictionary and the Street Spanish series. I barely crack the cover of this when I am looking to expand my Spanish vocabulary or entertain myself. The McGraw Hill idioms dictionary is the one that I keep by the toilet -- that should tell you a lot.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a creator, designer, and publisher of books for over 30 years. In that time I have learned, painfully, that a book's "package" is nearly as important as the content. As an earlier reviewer has noted, the type (font) in this book is too small and "thin", making it needlessly difficult to read. A "heavier" font would have been a very simple solution, as would the judicious use of bold type, instead of red ink. These faults might be understandable for a micro-publisher, but for an experienced publisher such as Barron's, they are inexplicable, but more to the point, a huge drawback for the usefulness of this book. Buy this book only if your reading vision is exceptionally sharp.
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Arranged alphabetically by key word, this book is a very compact and useful collection of expressions that are used by native Spanish speakers, but that can be difficult for English speakers to understand using word-for-word translation. It is a book that you can pick up and open to any random page and find interesting information that can be read and understood quickly. The majority of the book translates phrases from Spanish to English, and it gives a brief sentence in Spanish, then in English, for each phrase as an example of usage. I pick up my copy several times a day and read just a few examples at a time. I highly recommend it for advanced beginners or intermediate students of Spanish wanting to expand their comprehension of idiomatic usage of the language.
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