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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 28 reviews
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!
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on June 11, 2007
Throughout my student years I had always learned "proper" Spanish. Just learning proper spanish does not give you a real "feel" for the language. I found many of the phrases in this book quite entertaining and funny. There are chapters for different situations (expressing anger, romantic relationships) each with two conversations in Spanish and then an English translation. One of the most valuable aspects of the book is that they let you know which Spanish-speaking country the phrase is commonly used as well as giving you tips on what phrases are OK to use in one country but can be offensive in another.

The only reason I knocked one star off the rating is because it would have been helpful to include a list of commonly used English phrases with their equivalent Spanish phrases. It's good to know what people are saying, but it is equally good to know how to express yourself. For a more "dictionary" style book, get "The Red-Hot Book of Spanish Slang" written by the same authors.
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on December 30, 2013
I recommend this book. It contains a lot of expressions and information that will help people when traveling to other countries, but also if they are just learning Spanish. I've taught Spanish to various ages, and I like to bring in extra materials to compliment what I've been given. It's always good to expose students to more "real life" experience, and give them exposure to specific countries and their expressions. It has a CD, but that will probably change as technology has changed...a great book to add to your collection!
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on July 21, 2011
I have lived in Mexico for yrs & yrs & learning spanish is an ongoing battle. There is book spanish but that is never enough. The spanish that is spoken in the streets is QUITE differnt then what is found in grammer books.
Sreetwise Spanish helps to gap the bridge between the two.
As a daily routine I am taking the newly found sayings & putting them to practise in normal conversation. They are always being understood. Also coming from an english background the mexican people here get a kick of me using the "modismos" (sayings) of the latin culture
The only thing I didn't care for was one chapter where they use the Spain sayings that uses the vosotrous. However I HIGHLY recomend this book to those who wish to go to the next level of Spainish. The money I spent on this book was very well spent.
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on June 9, 2013
Both the audio CD and the book are excellent. The CD provides fairly fast but clear street conversations from various countries. The text is not a typical instructional text, but provides reproductions and explanations of the audio.
Good for an intermediate student. Definitely not for a beginner. I wish they would produce a follow-up CD with 30 new conversations.
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on October 16, 2007
When someone "borrowed" my 1st edition, I was glad to be able to get an Audio CD with this second edition. But, the CD chapter exercises do not follow book exercises. The familiar exercises at the end of chapters is a nice touch, but I was disappointed that CD doesn't match up with these. The book itself is a good taste of Spanish slang from around the world. The book is especially good for the learner who has become bored with the usual textbook vocabulary from beginner's Spanish.
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on July 7, 2010
If you want to improve your conversational skills and learn different slang words and idiomatic expressions in Spanish, this is definitely the book for you.

This book (along with the accompanying CD) has helped me tremendously. I speak Spanish daily to people from several different countries: mainly Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and some people (like myself) who speak Spanish as their second or third language. Sometimes it is confusing because of the different dialects, word choices, etc. When I'm studying Spanish on my own I can't just concentrate on one country or region.

I liked that they included dialogues between Central American and Caribbean speakers as well as the "big" ones (Mexico, Argentina, Spain). The dialogues in Venezuela, Colombia, and Uruguay were really interesting too.

My only wish is that they had included a dialogue between speakers in the Dominican Republic because I still have a lot of trouble understanding their type of Spanish. Of course I know that, because it is so difficult and different from "standard" Spanish, that's probably why it was left out.

The best part, though, is that the book was actually helpful and interesting. Who would have known that so many slang words in Spanish come from food? Or how one word can be totally acceptable in one region and be a vulgarity in another?

If you are just starting Spanish, hold off on buying this book. I don't know why anyone would include this on a Spanish 101 list. Because the dialogues in this book step away from the standard grammar, you should have already have a good grasp of the language so that you can notice the differences.

Once you advance in your studies, though, definitely buy this book!
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on November 29, 2015
Great book. Just as described. Very informative and quite funny.
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on March 3, 2016
If you are looking for a program for beginner to intermediate lessons or activities. This is NOT it. I was specifically looking for beginner CD for my child. I have had 2 years of Spanish in high school and failed at keeping up. It is literally sets of conversations, not short conversations either. It does NOT break it down into smaller increments. The book and CD were in great shape when I got them.
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on January 20, 2011
I got this book to talk to a South American friend I have at my job. I took Spanish a decade ago so I don't remember the basics like sentence construction, verb and noun tenses so it was confusing for me. Also the dialogues for the different colloquialisms are on limited situations. The CD doesn't have the dialogue to English translation on it so you have to refer back to the book which is a pain if you're driving. I have to get a beginner Spanish book to brush up on the basics to try to get a clearer understanding of the info.
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