Linguaphone — Portuguese

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Linguaphone — Portuguese

Postby n_j_f » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:13 pm

For those familiar with Linguaphone courses, and the Portuguese course specifically, can anyone help me with a few queries?

1. Was there a '1st Generation' course? I have been unable to locate reference to one. I am aware that Linguaphone tradiitonally offered a smaller number of courses compared to, say, Assimil, but I would have expected one alongside the French, Italian, etc. Having said that, Portuguese does definitely seem overshadowed compared to Spanish, at least as far as English-speaking courses go.

2. Although I have mp3s and PDFs for the '2nd Generation' course, I prefer to have a hard-copy, at the very least the Textbook with the transcripts of the dialogues.
I located Linguaphone Curso de português Liçoes on Abebooks but the page numbers don't match up with the PDF of the Textbook I have:
http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDet ... dded%3Dall
Does anyone know if this is the Textbook, Handbook, Exercises or something else?

3. What's the general consensus on the quality of the course? Any suggestions on getting the best out of it?

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Re: Linguaphone — Portuguese

Postby Speakeasy » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:02 pm

Given the long history of the Linguaphone company, it is plausible that the “1st generation” Portuguese course was published in the 1920’s. There is at least one online seller of “previous generation” Linguaphone courses who offers a Portuguese course, the contents of which are described only as a course book, a handbook, and mp3 files converted from audio cassettes. The date of publication is not indicated and it is possible that this course dates from the 1950’s and, if so, given the availability of more current materials, it would be of interest to collectors only.

I have a copy of the latest Linguaphone Portuguese course that was published in 1987, composed of a course book, a handbook, and 8 CDs. This course, like their Dutch course of the same period, shows a distinct evolution in Linguaphone’s approach to teaching. As opposed to the lengthy dialogues of the previous generation as exhibited in, say, the currently-sold German course, the Portuguese and Dutch courses are based on much shorter dialogues but include more exercise materials. I find the course to be quite well-conceived, current, and effective. Note that this course emphasizes Iberian Portuguese. I purchased all of my Linguaphone courses via Linguaphone U.S.A. either on sale or as refurbished copies for an average price of around 120 $US which I believe is quite reasonable given the high quality of materials and the number of CDs.

Addendum (CEFR Level): My experiences with the Linguaphone Complete (Beginner to Advanced) courses lead me to believe that the student is "exposed to" materials up to and including the B2 level. However, I suspect that a motivated, perseverant independent-learner, relying only on these materials and putting in many hours of study, would achieve a "functional level" in "real world terms" of something in the range of A2 to B1.

It is not clear to me which of the two books is presently offered by the online booksellers per the link you provided. In any case, even assuming that the book might actually coincide with the audio files that you have, be advised that the “course book” contains the dialogues and exercises in the target language only, whereas the “handbook” contains lesson-by-lesson glossary, translations, notes to the exercises, and etcetera in English only. From my perspective, trying to study the language with only one of the two books (even if the one book turned out to be the course book) would be an unnecessarily difficult task, particularly given the availability of other materials. By the way, I just checked EBay and there are presently no offers for Linguaphone Portuguese courses.

Although not part of your question, in the event that you are looking for alternative introductory courses for learning Portuguese, I would recommend the following:

Brazilian Portuguese
FSI Portuguese Programmatic
DLI Basic Portuguese
Português Contemporâneo 1 & 2 (audio-lingual method)
Assimil Le Portugais du Brésil
Ponto de Encontro*
Pimsleur Brazilian Portuguese 1,2,3

Iberian Portuguese
Assimil Le Portugais
Ponto de Encontro*
Pimsleur European Portuguese 1

*Ponto de Encontro
This course was designed for teaching both the Brazilian and European variants of Portuguese. While there is a main textbook, the supplementary texts and audio recordings are distinctly one of the two variants. As this course was designed for use in a classroom setting, and given the publisher’s predatory pricing and their Orwellian control of access to the supporting materials, I would not normally recommend this course for use by an independent learner. However, as it happens, I recently purchased … legally … a copy of the Instructors’ Resource Manual which contains, amongst other things, a copy of the transcripts ( to which the students normally do not have access) to the two sets of 16 CDs that were recorded as supplementary student materials.

EDITED: Typos and addendum.
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Re: Linguaphone — Portuguese

Postby n_j_f » Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:46 am

Thanks for your usual interesting and in-depth comments, Speakeasy.

As it happens, I do have the PDFs and mp3s but I like to have a hard-copy of the text book with Linguaphone. I'm a bit old-school when it comes to books, CDs, etc.

I only just noticed today when reviewing the PDFs that unlike the other Linguaphone courses, there is only a Textbook and Handbook (whereas other courses tend to have between three and five books) and there doesn't seem to be as much of a focus on dialogues and narrations. The exercises are part of the textbook and follow on from the text, rather than a separate book. This does eliminate part of the frustration with Linguaphone courses after the first 'generation' — i.e. having to switch between books when studying.

As Linguaphone is UK-based, I had assumed that it would be European Portuguese but thought it would be useful ear-training for the Iberian accent/dialect. I plan on doing a quick review of the Assimil Portuguese (European) at some stage.

Also good to know that DLI and FSI Portuguese courses are Brazilian Portuguese which is what I suspected.

Ponto de Encontro is a new course to me, so will definitely look into that one.
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Re: Linguaphone — Portuguese

Postby Speakeasy » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:33 am

Having you tried ordering the textbooks only from Linguaphone? You might explain that you purchased your copy "used" and that, when you received it, you found that the previous owner had made so many inscriptions that they were interfering with your enjoyment of the course. The other possibility would be have the textbooks printed and bound by your local print shop. Good luck!

As to Ponto de Encontro, you will likely notice that it exists in two editions. Thus, assuming that you will be ordering from online booksellers such as Amazon and will most likely be buying used copies, it is very important to ensure which edition you are ordering. As the course was designed for classroom use -- as seems to have become the standard predatory practice by all publishers of such courses -- the materials are sold as separate components. In the case of Ponto de Contro, the main materials, which are sold separately, include:

- Common Textbook, which presents the basics of the language
- 3 CDs to accompany the common textbook
- DVD to accompany the common textbook
- Student Activities Manual for each of the two streams, Brazilian and European Portuguese
- 16 CDs to accompany each of the separate streams, either Brazilian or European Portuguese
- Workbook and answer guide to accompany each of the two streams, Brazilian and European Portuguese
- Activity codes to access the online student materials that are available on the publisher's website
- Teachers' Resource Manual which contains the transcripts to the CDs but that is available only to teachers of registered institutions
- Additional materials of questionable value

The cost of the full student package could easily exceed 700 $US (which would not include the transcripts) and, in my view, would be no more useful than the FSI/DLI courses. I, foolishly, purchased a number of the course components and ended up tossing most of them into the recycling bin. Given the availability of other materials (FSI, DLI, Português Contemporeâno, Linguaphone, etcetera), I simply retained the 16 CDs accompanying the European Brazilian Student Activities Manual as "recorded practice sets" and purchased ... legally ... a copy of the Teachers' Resource Manual which contains the transcripts.
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Re: Linguaphone — Portuguese

Postby James29 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:01 am

You might want to ask around at libraries. My local university library had the old Linguaphone Brazilian Portuguese course. You might be able to get something like that on inter-library loan for a while.
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Re: Linguaphone — Portuguese

Postby n_j_f » Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:32 am

Just an update on the Linguaphone Portuguese, I went ahead and bought the edition I had linked.

For reference, it is a brown cloth edition with gilt lettering, titled Curso de português, Lições. The copyright is 1963 with "this impression" being 1993. Authors are Paiva Boléo, Piçarra Carvalho, et. al. Despite being reprinted in 1993, this is definitely a '1st Generation' Linguaphone course as it follows the structure and storyline of all the early Linguaphone courses that I have seen which answers my earlier question. It is very strange that this was made available after the '2nd generation' course had been available (copyright date is 1987 on the PDF of the 2nd Gen course-book I have). I am not aware of any 1st generation course after the 1970s but I haven't seen every Linguaphone books for every language, of course.

Now I just have to find the audio for it . . .

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Re: Linguaphone — Portuguese

Postby Seneca » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:20 pm

Does anyone find the current generation of Linguaphone courses a pain to study with? They books are not in lay-flat bindings, so I find it akin to studying whilst juggling to get through a lesson. The material here is fantastic, but the presentation leaves a good bit to be desired in my experience.

Pictures I see of older editions seem to look like larger, hardback books with the kind of back that lays open flat without effort. If that is the case, I am jealous!
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Re: Linguaphone — Portuguese

Postby n_j_f » Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:08 am

Seneca wrote:Does anyone find the current generation of Linguaphone courses a pain to study with? They books are not in lay-flat bindings, so I find it akin to studying whilst juggling to get through a lesson. The material here is fantastic, but the presentation leaves a good bit to be desired in my experience.

Pictures I see of older editions seem to look like larger, hardback books with the kind of back that lays open flat without effort. If that is the case, I am jealous!


I haven't tried the editions from the last 15-20 years which seem to be paperback from the photos on their website and elsewhere. Most of the Linguaphone books I have are from between the 1960s-1990s and they seem to lay flat reasonable well. The thing I find annoying is having to use at least two or three books rather than just one, which is something that Prof. Arguelles brought up on his video review.
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Re: Linguaphone — Portuguese

Postby n_j_f » Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:51 pm

Speakeasy and I were having a very interesting discussion off-line about Linguaphone's Portuguese courses and thought it might be worthwhile to revive this old thread.

The Portuguese coursebook that I own is called Curso de português, Lições and has the publication date 1963, with a "this impression" date of 1993. The interesting thing is that despite being part of the russet cloth-bindings with gold lettering editions, which I believe date from the 1980s, it is a reprint of the so-called 1st Generation course. I have a PDF of the Linguaphone Portuguese course from the 2nd/3rd Generation which is copyright 1987 and "this impression 1989". Although I have not seen a 1st Generation Portuguese course, it is obviously a reprint of this generation due to the structure of the course which is almost entirely the same as the French and German courses.

The coursebook, therefore, must have either replaced the 2nd/3rd Generation Portuguese course or else was sold along with it. The 2nd Generation Portuguese coursebook also appears unique in that the exercises are incorporated into the text, and it has more of a classroom textbook feel with the design and use of snippets of the language rather than the more organic dialogues and narrations that Linguaphone and Assimil are reknown for. I wonder if perhaps these are the reasons that the 1st Generation course was reprinted? As far as I can determine, I can't see that Linguaphone has reprinted any of its other 1st Generation coursebooks.

I am curious if the audio was re-recorded as I can't imagine that even in the 90s — the past is truly a foreign country! — a buyer would have been satisfied with the old analogue recordings. Does anyone have the audio for the 1st Generation Portuguese and/or the edition that I have and can confirm this?

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Re: Linguaphone — Portuguese

Postby n_j_f » Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:52 pm

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