General Linguaphone Discussion

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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:55 am

Linguaphone Hausa
Whilst stumbling around in the Internet a few minutes ago, I discovered traces of a Linguaphone Mini-Language Series course for Hausa. Overcome by powerful sensations that only a true language nerd can appreciate, and despite the fibrillation of the muscles in my hands and forearms as they attempted to maintain control of the keyboard, I added the information below to the “Hausa Resources” discussion thread.

Linguaphone Hausa (1940s) - Linguaphone Mini-Language Series
The website of PublishingHistory.com lists a Linguaphone Hausa course during the 1940s – 1960s and, in support of this record, the Discogs website lists 2 x 78 rpm x 10-inch shellac records for a Linguaphone Mini-Language Series Hausa course accompanied by additional note: “Issued with 42-page booklet containing texts, English translation and explanatory notes on the pronunciation of Hausa.”
https://www.publishinghistory.com/linguaphone.html
https://www.discogs.com/Nagogo-Lamba-Hausa/release/10146722
Linguaphone Mini-Language Series HAUSA 0.JPG
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EDITED:
Typos, of course.
Last edited by Speakeasy on Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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David1917
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby David1917 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:33 am

Speakeasy wrote:the Discogs website lists 2 x 78 rpm x 10-inch shellac records for a Linguaphone Mini-Language Series Hausa course


Never thought to check the Discogs site, and while the listings are by no means complete, I did find yet another Linguaphone / Teach Yourself collaboration. This time, Japanese:

https://www.discogs.com/No-Artist-Teach-Yourself-Japanese/release/7451920

I confirmed this by checking the names on the label (CJ Dunn, S Yanada) with those listed on the old Teach Yourself Japanese book, and they are exactly the same. So, this makes three confirmed collaborations (Danish, Cantonese being the other two), since I have yet to confirm the Persian course's existence. Nonetheless, it stands to reason that there are probably even more such collaborations.
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David1917
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby David1917 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:03 am

Seneca wrote:
n_j_f wrote:
jeff_lindqvist wrote:

I don't see Arabic listed as a language you have interest in, but wanted to flag that a russet-and-gold edition is available now on ebay.


Today, I received in the mail a Linguaphone Arabic course that I got for a steal at just 20 bucks plus shipping. Oddly, and the reason I quoted all of you, is the formatting of the books included. The Handbook with Vocabulary and Explanatory notes (on the right) is a Russet & Gold book with silver dustjacket, the rest are just silver hardbacks:

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Ug_Caveman
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Ug_Caveman » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:04 am

Speakeasy wrote:
Ug_Caveman wrote: …Also, quick question on history - are the Linguaphone second stage courses a reasonably new part of the series (such that they are only available in paperback/CD), or are there old hardback/cassette tape editions knocking around?


Although I have never seen a hardback/cassette version of the “second stage” courses, they may have existed, my copies are the paper/CD editions and I’m pretty darned sure that these are what LinguaphoneUK is presently selling.


So it turns out that if one searches the corners of the globe hard enough, such a thing does exist:

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(Sorry if these pictures are a bit small, I wasn't sure how to put them in and didn't want to make them too big).

The silver/grey books/cassettes representing the first stage Linguaphone courses we all know and love, and the silver/blue books/cassettes representing the second stage material. If you get both courses in the combined set, it comes in a rather large briefcase. I've not seen any material from another second stage Linguaphone course, so can't say if its the same or different to the material currently on offer from Linguaphone, BUT it does exist.
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Elexi
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Elexi » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:54 am

I have most of the blue cover hardback/cassette era second stage courses, so I can confirm they exist.
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Ug_Caveman
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Ug_Caveman » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:01 pm

Elexi wrote:I have most of the blue cover hardback/cassette era second stage courses, so I can confirm they exist.


Do they always come in the “double packs” with both courses in the briefcase, or were you able to acquire them as seperate courses?
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Elexi
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Elexi » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:31 pm

They came in both formats - the single packs of the second stage courses were in the usual vinyl sleeve with a clasp on it and the double packs often came in huge briefcases.
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David1917
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby David1917 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:51 pm

On the quality of the printing in Linguaphone Books:

Yesterday, I was in New York and visited the famous Strand Bookstore to scour their foreign language section. I found the Hindi set, which I’d like to use in my future study of Hindi, but upon inspection, it seemed to be of low quality. Specifically, the typeset was not only quite small, it was also spotty in several places. As a beginner to any language, especially one with an exotic script, this seems like a serious hindrance to the learning process. I recall reading Prof Arguelles make nevative remarks regarding the quality of the Hindi course, so I don’t think the one I was looking at was anomalous in any way.

My Arabic books on the other hand seem to be much better, though still printed quite small.

Thoughts? How are, for example, the Korean or Japanese typesets? Are there certain generations that might have better printing?
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Speakeasy
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby Speakeasy » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:06 pm

The complaint of low-quality Linguaphone textbooks is a recurring theme on this forum. For the greater part of its existence, this publisher provided high-quality, hard-bound textbooks, which were printed in clear, easily-readable fonts on heavy stock paper. While packaging varied over the years, generally speaking, the storage cases were both durable and attractive.

While Elexi would have more details on the company’s history, I am under the impression that the company experienced severe financial difficulties at some point and that it changed hands. It may be that the restructuring by the new owners ultimately led to a decline in the quality of both the printed materials and the storage containers for these courses.

It would appear that the constant pressures to reduce costs for an aging product, which was facing serious competition from more up-to-date language courses by other publishers, induced the owners to cease the practice of providing the high-quality textbooks and storage cases about a decade ago and, in their place, include lower-cost, low-quality, soft-bound reprints of the originals (the fonts of which seem to have suffered in the transition), shipped in the unattractive, flimsy, plastic cases. While the company’s “standard pricing” for these courses continues at around 400 $US, for all practical purposes, the “effective pricing” is now about half that.

I do not foresee an improvement in the present situation. Most publishers of language-learning materials abandoned the printing of hard-bound textbooks a few decades ago and the market seems to have adjusted to this practice. The courses themselves, with rare exception, date from the 1970’s. While they would benefit from a complete revision of the texts and audio recordings, this would mean that Linguaphone would have to completely rebuild its catalogue of language courses. Doing so would be a very costly endeavour for which the return on investment would be highly uncertain. Ultimately, apart from the language schools, most of which offer English courses, Linguaphone’s fate may resemble that of Cortina and so many other once-great publishers.

The present situation may explain, to a partial extent, the continued market for vintage copies of the Linguaphone courses. That is, some people simply purchase an older edition of their desired course and either digitize the vinyl records or audio cassettes or acquire the recordings elsewhere.
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eido
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Re: General Linguaphone Discussion

Postby eido » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:20 am

David1917 wrote:Thoughts? How are, for example, the Korean or Japanese typesets?

The Korean version has quite small print, and the Japanese version doesn’t provide text in the target language’s native script at all. It relies solely on romaji. (I’m speaking about the older versions here, like pre-90s and whatnot.)
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