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Customer Review

on January 2, 2003
There are a plethora of books purporting to deal with Spanish slang on the market; a surprisingly large number of them have come out in just the last few years. After having checked out many of them, I must say that this is far and away the best one that I have encountered to date.
One of the problems with dealing with colloquialisms in Spanish is that they differ so much from region to region. This book addresses this by setting the dialogues in different Hispanic countries, including (dare I say it?) that particularly large Hispanic country called the United States, specifically in California and Florida. The book then selects out the colloquialisms covered in the lesson and tells you what the equivalent terms are in other Hispanic countries.
Another problem with learning colloquialisms, and this is true in any language, is that they tend to vary considerably depending on the social type you're dealing with: students, business types, street people, etc. Not infrequently, the learner may have to deal with several different strata in the course of his or her travels, and so familiarity with several situations is called for. The different lessons, and lectures, in this book intentionally vary the milieu of the characters so that you get an even spread.
The book also has an abundance of cultural notes and asides, jokes, and situational items to polish up your skills. Among the features I enjoyed best was the essay on that famous Hispanic folk art, the "piropo", including examples of the genre, along with some snappy comebacks for women to use when encountering this phenomenon on the street.
So may study aids come out on Spanish every year that it's hard to single out the real winners. This book is definitely one of them, and regardless of your interest in the language you'll find your money well spent on this one. To top it all, it's a good read!
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