Text Book Review

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dankameny
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Postby dankameny » 27-May-04 16:24

Hi. I just finished a year's worth of czech language classes here in prague and i have to say all the czech i learned was not from a book or class. I learned the most czech from a phrase book and then from friends that spoke czech. In terms of books I can talk about two: czech step by step and cestina pro cizince by hronova and turzikova. I used step by step in class and hated it and i used cestina pro cizince on my own and liked it better. The bottom line is that i hate book learning especially for languages. Cestina pro cizince was more problem oriented for me because it's like an ESL book but in czech, there is no english at all it's all in czech starts out easy and progressively gets harder and uses lots of pictures. I have become keenly interested in linguistics while over here and i think the cestina pro cizince book is better because after using that book i feel like i think in czech more. I associate pictures with czech words, i don't try and translate everything from english to czech, etc. I think it doesn't matter what book you have as long as you have the desire but the longer i am here trying to speak czech the more i realize it's about strategy. I learn as much as i can from magazines, billboards, signs, etc. and i make sure i have phrase books and dicitonaries on me at all times so i can look things up when i want to. The only thing my textbooks do is to serve as references. I am finding them more useful as of lately because i realize my grammar is horrible and that i speak a lot more than i write so i say things wrong often because i don't know what they look like cause i don't write it that much. It seems as though i learn more from free czech publications i find in restaraunts like "zoom" and "houser" magazine. Incidentally along the line of phrase books i'd have to say my reccomendation would be Lonely Planet phrase books. I have used a berlitz phrase book for a long time and people laugh at me because nobody speaks like that. Lonely planet phrase books are more colloquial. And that colloquial czech book by naughton seems good especially if you can get the audio. The place where i live there is a girl that has the whole book on MP3 and i download them off our network....really good method.

dan
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rsalc1
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Postby rsalc1 » 28-May-04 13:35

After reading this Forum, I've become interested in buying "Cestina pro cizince" and maybe "Czech step by step".
I live in the USA. I have checked some on-line bookstores (Amazon and others) but apparently these books are already Out-of-Print.

Does anyone know where I could find these books?
Thanks :!:
ondrejana
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Postby ondrejana » 01-Jun-04 23:03

Same exact books to learn from as Joss has:

I adore my inventory, actually, which are excactly one-in-the-same, Naughton's Colloquial Czech and Lida Hola's book (which I just acquired last week). Together, they are truly wonderful resources.

We also went to many antikvariats and purchased children's books for me (Ondrej Sekora, Capek, etc), so that I could at least have a goal of reading at a 7-8 years old level.

the TY series is also rather good (i learned Danish that way, and my husband is learning Cantonese through its offerings too), but I didn't feel it necessary to have. Overall, my experience with TY is very positive.

Naughton and Hola: winning combination. The former gives a great overview of everything, and I feel that Hola's simple formula-reduction memorization techniques and many exercises are great practice and review. By the way, does Step by Step have answers in the back? I was just going to have my 'manzel/ucitel' correct them for me!

Jana
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rsalc1
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Postby rsalc1 » 04-Jun-04 15:31

ondrejana wrote:We also went to many antikvariats and purchased children's books for me (Ondrej Sekora, Capek, etc), so that I could at least have a goal of reading at a 7-8 years old level.
...
Jana


Ahoj Jano,

Just wondering: did you go to the antikvariats in the States or while you were in the Czech Republic?
I would like to improve my reading skills in Czech, but just I can't find books online or in my local bookstores.

Zatím se mej,
Rene
ondrejana
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Postby ondrejana » 04-Jun-04 19:48

Ahoj Reno!

I just received your message to me. We (hubby and I) went to antikvariats in Praha, actually, to locate very reasonable-priced used books. For example, at least 4 of my children's books purchased were in wonderful (I'd say perfect) shape, and they cost me about $1-2 each.

there's a particularly good antikvariat with great inventory in Vinohrady (close to Nam. Miru). Its website is www.antikariaty.cz
and its address: Belehradska 96 120 00 Praha 2 tel: 222 521 043

We hit a good # of these all over Praha 1, 2, and this one was quite good. Best wishes :wink:
Jana
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rsalc1
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Postby rsalc1 » 04-Jun-04 22:16

Ahoj Jano!
Moc dekuji za informace.
I checked out the website of the Prague antikvariat that you mentioned, and it seems to have a wide selection of books.

Thanks again!
Rene
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MikeStribrny
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Postby MikeStribrny » 08-Jun-04 13:35

My dad's from the Czech Republic and he's helping me learn some Czech before I move over. Apparantly the problem with text books that you find most of the time is that they teach you to think of the Czech language in terms of English which makes it harder to grasp the essence of words as you still think of it in terms of your native tongue and not the context of the Czech language. He's recommended I go and buy one of these 'Basic English' books that has everything in English with no translation. The idea is that you associate the English word with the picture and not a word in your language. He's going to translate the Basic English text into Czech so we'll see how that goes. Man its hard finding stuff in Czech, its not exactly a popular language to learn eh?
Meme
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Postby Meme » 09-Aug-04 1:21

Another pretty good one is Czech for You by Milena Kelly--large-format textbook and a set of 8 (I believe it is) tapes. I bought them in Prague last year (published by Anglictina Press). Kelly lives in Prague, and was very helpful in replacing one or two of the tapes that had some problem.
(That should NOT discourage anyone, by the way; all subsequent sets had been corrected.)
babicka
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Postby babicka » 11-Jan-05 19:37

I wish to add a further book to this Text Book section and that is:-
The second edition of "401 Czech Verbs" by Bruce Davies and Jana Hejdukova
This latest edition was publlished in October 2004 in Prague.
ISBN 80-239-3692-1
This book lists the conjugations of the most commonly used verbs together with precise definitions (both formal and colloquial), and examples of useage.
www.401czechverbs.com
Babi
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czechchris
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Postby czechchris » 12-Jan-05 18:02

I would add a useful little book I carry with me when visiting Czech Republic, and that is Přehledná Gramatika - Čeština from infoa. Their website is www.infoa.cz - use the search box to find the item.

Also I use bilingual texts, where the text is English on one page and Czech opposite. I have Dubliners by James Joyce and the Merry Wives of Windsor in this format.

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