Cortina Languages "Closing" Sale

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Speakeasy
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Posts: 594
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Location: Canada (Montréal region)
Languages: English (N), French (C2). Studying: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; all with widely varying degrees of application, enthusiasm, and success.
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing" Sale

Postby Speakeasy » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:47 pm

I took advantage of Cortina's "Closing" sale to purchase their Vietnamese course as a gift for a close friend. In response to a question that I submitted concerning the shipping charges to Canada, the General Manager replied "we are closing we will not be updating the web page" which, to my mind, is rather conclusive.

Being somewhat surprised by the materials that I received, which are somewhat different from those of most of the other Cortina language courses, I Googled "Cortina Vietnamese" and discovered that the majority of the "Cortina Master Linguist" courses are now available on Amazon and AbeBooks, a sure sign that the company is winding down its operations. I mourn the passing of one of the “greats” from the Golden Age of self-study language courses. My best wishes to them all!
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Seneca
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Location: Eurasia
Languages: English (N)
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing" Sale

Postby Seneca » Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:49 pm

The German course arrived today. What follows is a review of what you get since the one picture on the Cortina site shows so little.

1. A guide on how to use the course:
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2. A handy travel dictionary that conveniently has the German pronunciation in both the German->English as well as the English ->German sections of the dictionary. This dictionary.
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There are two hardback books that seem to make up the core of the course.

3. First is Cortina Method German in 20 Lessons (ISBN: 0832700045)
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The text of each lesson beings with a vocabulary list. It continues with a dialogue in German along with a pronunciation guide as well as the English translation. Following the final lesson, there is a fairly lengthy grammar that even has a program to work through it all to study the grammar more explicitly.
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It finishes up with a ~2,000 word dictionary.

4. A book called Deutsch Auf Deutsch which is supplementary readings for after each lesson of the above that has German with English translations on facing pages.
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5. A German exercise book for each lesson along with a complete answer key in the back:
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One half of the exercises is to translate English sentences into German and the other half is to translate German sentences into English.

6. You get 8 cds in a handy plastic case. Each cd is labeled with track number, and corresponding page number for the entire course from the alphabet through to the comprehension tests.
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Speaking of the comprehension tests, there are some unbound papers that start with an intro saying
All educators agree that the student should have some concrete evidence of his successful progress in learning a given subject. A periodic comprehension test is the ideal method and gives the student the pleasure and satisfaction of checking his progress.
There are 20 lessons in the course overall and there is a comprehension and written test following both the 10th and 20th lessons.
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I have not listened to the audio, so have no idea how fast or slow it is. But I hope all this was/is of use to someone out there :)
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Seneca
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Re: Cortina Languages "Closing" Sale

Postby Seneca » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:24 pm

I finally had some downtime and ripped the audio from the cds to my computer. The audio is definitely quite slow, but a good pace if you wish to listen and repeat. I appreciated that the segments were quite long. Each lesson has its vocabulary and then the dialogue all in one track. Thus, the entirety of Cortina German is 41 tracks versus the 571 that Linguaphone German is. A quick drag and drop to audacity to Truncate Silence, and it is easy as can be to listen to vocab lists/dialogues at a reasonable, if not fully "real-world" tempo.

I do wonder if these were re-recorded to cd at some point, as the sound quality is amazing considering the lessons do not appear to have been updated since the 1950s.
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