Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
VERY HELPFUL BOOK! You won't have to guess about "vos sos" anymore!
on January 29, 2007
I bought this book to help "demystify" some of the alternate usage I was hearing in those interesting Argentine films I was watching. While I surmised that "vos sos" meant the same thing as "tu eres", this book actually verified that I was right! While it doesn't go into great depth about vos vs. tu, it does offer at least a basic idea of the alternate "vos" verb conjugations of the second person singular familiar form.
Most books I've studied simply mention the vos variation in a kind of "by the way" manner, as if nobody needs know more, because nobody will ever meet anybody from Uruguay or Argentina. This book is different! Personally I could use a little less vosotros and a little more vos information.
Lots of useful information about other regional variations in meaning and what NOT to say where. Handy "tests" at the end of each chapter plus "reviews" after every five chapters. ANSWERS at the back, so you can check whether or not you're actually learning anything.
Also includes appendix of "signature" words arranged by country from Argentina to Venezuela, AND a handy Spanish to English glossary of words and phrases that mean something other than the literal translation.
Humorous stories, anecdotes and cartoons keep the learning fun. Definitely a handy guide, presented in a simple enough format that even non-advanced "students" of Spanish can use. As confusing as some of these Spanish slang usages are, it makes one think of how much MORE confusing English slang must be to native Spanish speakers! Just think for a moment about the differences in American, British, Australian and Canadian (eh?) English, plus all the sub-dialects in each country and those Caribbean and South African versions. Not only different standard nouns, but alternate verb meanings, pronunciations, spellings, contractions and slang! I guess the old saying about Americans and British being two people separated by a common language really is true.
But, back to THIS BOOK. STREETWISE SPANISH really is useful. You'll learn a LOT! Easy to browse through randomly as well, no need to go from front to back. About the only question it didn't answer for me was, "What does 'guey' mean?" That word is still a mystery!