Best foreign language study book

Discussion in 'Hook Up' started by Maverick74, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Maverick74


    Just curious if there is a consensus here on ET on what the best guides are out there for foreign language study. From what I hear, Rosetta Stone seems to be recommended highly. Any other ideas?
  2. FWIW, I've heard Rosetta Stone is more hype than substance. Don't know that from experience; but it might be worth checking into them further before sending money.

    I've looked at a lot of language learning programs, and I really don't know one that's any better than any others. Anything that teaches the basic grammer with audio feedback seems to work for me.

    The one thing I do know of that's really good is Champs-Elysees ( This is for beyond-the-basics type work, however.
  3. Maverick74


    Thanks for the feedback. Anyone else? Has anybody on ET bothered to learn another language?
  4. I hear Defense Language School is pretty good.
  5. Rosetta Stone is not good in my opinion. It just tries to get you to mimic the language for learning, but does not try and get you to truly learn it well. True speaking is hard to get from a book since you nned to interact with a speaker or teacher. However there are good books which go over conversational aspects that build a good foundation.

    I have studied Spanish and Japanese so have some detailed experience in languages. Is there a specific language you are interested in, maybe I can suggest some books depending on whether you are total newbie or have some basic background but looking for more conversation.
  6. Maverick74


    I need to brush up on my German (took 4 years of it in high school). I forgot most of it. And looking to learn spanish as well.
  7. For a refresher on German, two genreal sources are any Berlitz book you can fnid in the bookstore or there used to be a series called "______ in 20 Minutes a Day" with different languages in the blanks. Basically it is a simple approach to refreshing on vocabulary and phrases and they are soft cover and cheap. Best approach is to thumb through them in the in thebookstore and see if you remember everything so quickly such that the book is too simple a refresher.

    If you have never studies Spanish then you obviously need something more detailed. One idea that has worked well is if you have a college near you. Go to the bookstore near the beginning of the semester and look for the language section and the assigned textbook for the intro to Spanish courses. The texts are usually detailed in grammar descriptions and vocabulary and are not bad for self-directed learning. If not then the bookstore language section is good, looking for a beginner book as well. But the text idea will give you a real good book (at inflated prices so just record the nae and get it on Amazon).
  8. I used Rosetta Stone, and it was well worth it. I learned Russian, brushed up on my German and French and will next study Arabic with it.

    It is expensive, but incredibly effective.
  9. My advice is do not do the Arabic one. Rosetta stone might work for languages written out in letters you recognize like German and French since you can read the sentence structure. Arabic it is all written in Arabic and you are asked ti simply match the wound or squigglies with the picture. I need to learn by seeing the grammar and if you cannot even read the text on the screen you are way behind unlike if you use it for German or Spanish.

    I got it and returned it the next day for Arabic.
  10. It worked for Russian (Cyrillic). But I studied the alphabet first. I'm not saying you're wrong. What you say actually makes sense. But if you study the alphabet first, perhaps it'll work?
    #10     Nov 6, 2007