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Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish (1994)

by Joseph J. Keenan

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251778,143 (4.46)3
Many language books are boring-this one is not. Written by a native English speaker who learned Spanish the hard way-by trying to talk to Spanish-speaking people-it offers English speakers with a basic knowledge of Spanish hundreds of tips for using the language more fluently and colloquially, with fewer obvious "gringo" errors. Writing with humor, common sense, and a minimum of jargon, Joseph Keenan covers everything from pronunciation, verb usage, and common grammatical mistakes to the subtleties of addressing other people, "trickster" words that look alike in both languages, inadvertent obscenities, and intentional swearing. He guides readers through the set phrases and idiomatic expressions that pepper the native speaker's conversation and provides a valuable introduction to the most widely used Spanish slang. With this book, both students in school and adult learners who never want to see another classroom can rapidly improve their speaking ability. Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish will be an essential aid in passing the supreme language test-communicating fluently with native speakers.… (more)
  1. 00
    Cassell's Colloquial Spanish: A Handbook of Idiomatic Usage by Arthur Bryson Gerrard (omargosh)
    omargosh: Much more readable than your average language-learning texts, these books give deeper insight into colloquial and everyday usages than you'll gain from most classes and dictionaries.
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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
"Beginner's Spanish" is not Spanish 1 or 2, according to the author, but really any level you can reach at school. The author, who has lived in Latin America and is constantly trying to reach the level of a native speaker, is an excellent Spanish teacher because he not only knows Spanish but he also understand how English-speakers think. This book is an excellent reference guide for all the aspects of Spanish that might challenge an English-speaker.
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
This is a very helpful book for those struggling with conversational Spanish. It covers a lot of common stuff that just doesn't make it into ordinary textbooks, or at least not to the degree that it is covered here. For instance, the word 'pues'. You hear it all the time, but I don't even think I knew it from my (limited) formal study. He discusses the word in its various nuances and makes it possible to understand it when you hear it, and even insert it into your own conversations in a way that sounds natural. He also does this for many other words and phrases, of course. The basic strategies and approaches to the language that are offered here are quite valuable. Once you have your basic vocabulary and grammar, I do not know of a more useful book to help one along the path to becoming a truly proficient Spanish speaker. Plus which, he is an entertaining writer, so you can at least enjoy the ride, even if you don't end up getting anywhere.
  briteness | Jul 1, 2010 |
Delightful read and, surprisingly, a real page-turner. I ordered it on the Net, received it Saturday and finished it this morning (Tuesday 18.11.2008). It is a book I will reread and delve into to absorb its good lessons. At the moment I savour it for its stories and style, and for the author's urbanity and humour, somewhat in the way that I enjoy in other books reading about "el gran ¡pum!" (the author's term, p.187) without really understanding it well enough to reproduce what I've read. ( )
  AlanReynolds | Nov 18, 2008 |
Spanish Grammar
  Budzul | Jun 1, 2008 |
Fantastic, very helpful and fun to read. I recommend it for anyone who's trying to learn Spanish and already knows some of the basics. ( )
  CharmedLife | Jun 19, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Todo se lo debo a mi manager,
Flavia,
y con todo mi amor
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You're on a bus, heading south.
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Many language books are boring-this one is not. Written by a native English speaker who learned Spanish the hard way-by trying to talk to Spanish-speaking people-it offers English speakers with a basic knowledge of Spanish hundreds of tips for using the language more fluently and colloquially, with fewer obvious "gringo" errors. Writing with humor, common sense, and a minimum of jargon, Joseph Keenan covers everything from pronunciation, verb usage, and common grammatical mistakes to the subtleties of addressing other people, "trickster" words that look alike in both languages, inadvertent obscenities, and intentional swearing. He guides readers through the set phrases and idiomatic expressions that pepper the native speaker's conversation and provides a valuable introduction to the most widely used Spanish slang. With this book, both students in school and adult learners who never want to see another classroom can rapidly improve their speaking ability. Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish will be an essential aid in passing the supreme language test-communicating fluently with native speakers.

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